In our last blog post we focused on acquiring basic exercise and fitness items and beginning very basic movements and routines. After several weeks of basic conditioning with an emphasis on gentle stretching, strengthening and toning it is time to focus on fitness that is designed to add variety and various levels of core muscle development.
The goal is to design a great exercise and fitness program that provides fantastic fun while you develop fabulous fitness. Remember the purpose is to constantly fine tune our focus on fitness and flexibility foundation as we build and improve our stability, stamina, strength and structure.
Start With What You Can Do
Everyone has their unique body type, conditions and situation so it is essential to maintain your focus on what you can do rather than on what others are doing or telling you to do.
It is important to feel, listen and notice how your body is doing and progressing. After years or even decades of not exercising certain ligaments, muscles and tendons it is easy to get overly eager, enthusiastic and extended which may result in over doing it and becoming sore and stiff.
Our body is an amazing creation and capable of impressive feats of endurance, speed and strength. It is important to remember it requires persistence, perseverance and practice on a consistent basis to develop these abilities.
Like any fine tuned equipment or machinery it also requires proper fuel, maintenance and repair. The one additional thing we need is proper recovery and rest.
Some of the by products of exercise are carbon dioxide, lactic acid, free radicals and waste products. This is why it is so important to provide adequate oxygen, quality nutrients, antioxidants and water. These fuels feed the cells of the muscles and tissues in order to keep the system primed to operate at its peak potential.
Rest and Recovery
While we have the capacity to go much further and longer than we often realize it is essential to also give the body the time for recovery and rest to recharge the system. This is why quality sleep is so important in order for the body to rebuild reserves, remove waste, repair tissues, replenish nutrients and rejuvenate the system. Anything that reduces the quality and quantity of deep and restful sleep your body requires impacts every area of your exercise, fitness and health potential.
Due to our constantly changing routines, schedules and travel it is not easy to say what is the right amount of exercise for each person. As a general rule it is great to enjoy some physical activity everyday for optimal health. This might translate into something as simple as rebounding, walking and yoga everyday or exercising 3 to 5 days a week with light activities such as rebounding, walking and yoga as in between recovery routines.
At a minimum it is really important to have 3 days a week of various resistance exercise focused on core strength training. The other days can be focused more on cardio activity. It is now becoming even clearer how important a variety of core muscle exercises is to our overall health and well being.
Benefits of Interval Training
Since many people are somewhat limited on time for exercise it is even more important to get the most benefits in the time available. One of the best ways to do this seems to be derived from high intensity interval training. The goal is to use the greatest number of your muscles in a routine in a short time frame for the optimal results.
An example might be running for 30 seconds and walking for 90 seconds and repeating for eight repetitions. This way in about sixteen minutes you can benefit from a great workout. Remember to add time for warm up and cool down prior such as walking a mile before and after.
Another day you might hold a plank or push up position for 30 seconds and then rebound for 90 seconds. You would repeat this as many times as your fitness will allow until you are able to do eight repetitions.
One of the most important lessons most people learn is to develop a routine that allows you to get the most benefit in the least amount of time possible.
With excess time needed for driving, waiting, showering or talking at gyms people often spend too much money and time and not receiving the benefits they desire and deserve. When you develop a great routine that is fast, flexible, simple and terrific at producing results no matter what life serves you each day you are more inclined to stick with it no matter what.
Whether you are a busy dad, super busy mom, studious student, or grandparent there is always a way when you are totally committed. To insure your happiness, health and harmony it is essential to develop and sustain a life long love of exercise and fitness. When it comes to your fitness remember the saying “use it or lose it”. Even several days or a week of inactivity can cause the body to begin to atrophy and lose the stamina, strength and tone that you worked hard to build. Therefore it is imperative you focus on fitness flexibility and develop a variety of routines that can be utilized in any scenario that presents itself.
Mastery Action Plan
Find two or three exercises you enjoy doing each week that activate numerous muslce groups and do them on a consistent basis.
Remember slow and steady progress is what you are seeking at this point until you build your stamina and strength to the next level.
Once three days per week of exercise feels comfortable them you can increase the intensity or add another day of exercise during the week. At a minimum continue your walking and yoga each day until you are ready to add some resistance exercise.
Our next blog post will share: Part 5: Focus on Fitness