Sometimes when we think about what to do in our exercise programs, we go into what we know best, even if that hasn't been very successful for us. For me, working different muscle groups, and making sure to fit each one in during the week was something that made sense for what I wanted to accomplish for years. Sometimes we think about, doing cardio, or weights, and stretching each week (another direction I went in for quite some time) in order to have a more rounded and pain free body. I think your fitness needs determine what you do for exercise.
What you want to get from the exercise is important and it's a good place to start when you are creating a new routine, or adjusting your current routine. That way you can still have the outcome you want from the exercises even though the equipment or actual exercises you do may change. For instance we changed one of my clients programs today to include lateral and linear power exercises each week, because he wants to function better getting in and out of streams as a fisherman. Power training and upper-body flexibility are the types of exercise that we will work on to meet his fitness needs. What physical needs can be met from your fitness program?
I think we all need to do some type of exercise outside. For most of us it's not possible year round. It gets hot in the summer and it get's cold and wet other times of the year. Exercising outside at those times can take more planning and be less comfortable. So, why not get out and go for a hike or a jog, or do some stretching and pushups or lunges in your back yard. If you get in the habit now, it will be easier to continue when it starts to get hot this summer.
Start living now!
When you think about what you are doing this weekend, or asking someone what they are doing this weekend. Is it active? What do you consider active? Is it gardening, housework, washing the car? Or are you taking a hike, playing catch, helping someone move? (great exercise by the way), how about doing a workout with your partner, spouse or friend? Maybe a 20 minute rejuvination stretching session is in order. I think all of those things could be considered active, and there's no wrong answer. Be active this weekend and let activity become the habit that you use to keep your mind and body fresh and engaged.
I was talking to a client this morning about getting the body they want and we discussed the 5 components of fitness. She did not know what they were and that each area should be considered in a well rounded fitness program for the general apparently-healthy population. So I decided to list them and let you consider how each plays a role in your own exercise programming.
1. Cardiovascular Fitness
2. Muscular Strength
3. Muscular Endurance
5. Body Composition
A side note: Adults age 55 and over need to consider mobility, agility, flexibility, and power as major components of functional daily living program to fight off disability as you age! I will talk more about gracefull aging in my next blog post. Thank You!
We all get tired and we all have lots of responsibilities, yet we all need to exercise our bodies. When you are tired and not feeling like you can make it through a whole workout. Don't. Do something but don't do the whole thing. Try doing the first half or the last half of your workout. If you just feel like stretching, do that. But don't skip it all together. If you pick one thing to do you will keep moving in the right direction and feel better about yourself at the same time. Don't be hard on yourself, just do something and feel better. That's what life long fitness and good living is all about.
Take a minute to look at the big picture of your fitness life. If you are just starting look at how you can make your "me time" your "exercise time". For the rest of us who deliberately exercise more frequently, revisit what it is that you want most or need most from your body. Here's the different part, don't think about it, feel it. Pay attention to your body when you are sitting, standing, and moving, Do you need flexibility, or to get some energy out? What if you feel your legs getting tired while you do stairs, or your arms and neck getting tired, when you do dishes, or work at a desk. Listen to your body this week and see what your body needs to feel it's best. Then see if you can work on that area during your next "me time" opportunity.
I think November is the toughest month for most people to stay healthy. There's the candy hangover from Halloween, the time change, the weather changes, Thanksgiving and travel looms while we try to fit in our regular responsibilities to ourselves and families. One thing that helps us stay ourselves at this time of year is exercise. I think the biggest mistake people make is being too hard on themselves for not exercising enough. Do some type of exercise each week in November, it's ok if you have a lot of other things on your plate. Do something and think outside the box.
I just wanted to pose the question. Why do you exercise? What is your motivation? If it's not to improve your health or your ability to do something you love, you are not likely to succeed. Studies show that most people who exercise for appearance related reasons are likely to fail to reach their goal. My experience tells me that to make a positive change in your life, there has to be something powerfull driving it. So what's driving you?
Does Willpower really exist? How come sometimes we have it and sometimes we don't? I recently read a good book on the topic of willpower and found it to be inspiring. One strategy I learned, that you can use to improve your own willpower is to impose small hardships on yourself. It could be something like brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand or waking up 5 minutes earlier than you need to. It should be out of the ordinary but achievable. These self imposed acts seem to help build willpower. When it comes time to use some willpower during the day, (like choosing to exercise or something else that might be easier) you will already have a little willpower momentum going that you can draw upon to help. I would love to hear your thoughts