We’re well into the THIRD month of the year. Where did time go?!
How is everyone doing?
I hope this post has helped you shape your fitness/physical/health/nutrition goals for 2017! What are they? DO SHARE!
Before we dive head in, we need to know the BASICS! Whatever your goals (running PBs, strength gains, yoga, cross fit, OCRs etc), we cannot run away from the fundamentals of fitness.
A well balanced fitness routine should have these components:
*my favourite component*
Your HEART is a vital organ. It beats to keep you alive. There are a million reasons why we need to preserve its function and strengthen it.
Even if you are not training for a run or a marathon, you cannot neglect this component. A strong heart pumps a greater volume of blood with each beat – more efficient (this means that your heart does not have to work as hard). For example, a strong heart may take 1 beat to pump X volume of blood whereas a weaker heart may take 4 beats to pump the same volume (this is not exactly how it works. I’m just SUPER simplying it. But you get the point)!
Photo: Nathaniel Kelly
I know I’m getting stronger when my Garmin FR 235 reports a lower heart rate (compared to prev) at the same pace. 🙂
Why is that important?
EVERYTHING you do involves your heart. You are more able to walk, clean the house, run for the bus (that’s me), climb stairs (without huffing and puffing) etc with ease. It makes daily activities seem less of a chore. PLUS, it keeps many chronic/heart diseases at bay.
*For your heart to become stronger, you need to add a little stress. Only then, will it adapt.*
What to do: 30-60 minutes of running, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, boxing etc as long as you’re moving throughout! You can even throw in a few sprints to keep things interesting. Cleaning the house counts too (haha! :P). This should be done on most days (if not all) of the week!
Just like our heart, our muscles and joints need to be stressed too. With the right amount of stress, we are able to build/maintain lean muscle mass and strengthen our tendons, ligaments and bones. Again, these will help you with your day to day activities that involve lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling heavy objects.
Strenght training is important for everyone. Muscles help to increase the body’s metabolism (hello MORE FOOD. #jokes) as they need a lot of “food” for growth and maintanence. For older adults, you’ll tend to accumulate more fat and lose muscle mass more easily. You need a good amount of lean muscle mass to maintain metabolism and with stronger muscles and bones, you can prevent falls and broken bones!
What to do: You can start off with body weight exercises (decline push ups, squats, lunges etc) before adding weights. As you become stronger, you will need to add external loads to continue to GROW!
Stability and Mobility
This is the core of movement. We need to be able to MOVE within our full range of movement and maintain stability when we need to. If you lack this component, throwing in cardio and strength training will cause MORE problems such as lower back pain and unwanted injuries.
From the bottom up, our joints are arranged such that it is alternating between stable and mobile:
Foot – Stable
Ankle – Mobile
Knee – Stable
Hips – Mobile
Lumbar (Lower Back) – Stable
Thorax – Mobile
Scapula – Stable
Neck – Mobile
The lack of stability and mobility in any of the joints will affect your ability to move about comfortably. Even getting out of bed would be a chore!
What to do: STRETCH every other day! Tight muscles hinder mobility! You can do it either when you wake up, post workout, while watching tv or just before bed! A little goes a long way. If you are pressed for time, hit the neck, chest, hips, hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back. You can also do some balancing workouts to improve stability across your joints.
I always stretch for about 1 hour after my workouts while I’m reading articles/on social media. For me, it is a great way to CHILL! And then I plank for 2 mins front, left and right side!
With this in mind, I hope that you will be able to choose a program (or programs) that will cover all of the above.
With a well rounded fitness routine, you are more likely to maximise results while staying injury free! Go for the ones that YOU ENJOY and COMMIT to them. Everyone starts off as an amateur, not being “fit” or “good” enough (exactly WHY you shld get started, NOW!) is not an excuse!
Believe in yourself. Have a little confidence. 🙂