At the beginning of this program, we talked about inner baggage, guilt, and things that weigh us down. I’ve kept my posts here to a minimum and allowed time and space for thoughtfulness. After all, anyone can give advice, pontificate, and wax eloquent. But really, the DOING is up to you. So how have you done on the internal part of this program? Have you let the mental chatter slow you down and prevent you from tackling the physical parts of this journey?
I’d like to come full circle for this final post of the SFLP. Have you uncovered those hidden things which hold you back from being truly and simply fit? Are you finding that your motivation to exercise or eat right is REDEMPTION rather than FOR JOY?
For the rest of this week, keep your notebook close by, and write down your thoughts on “doing for joy rather than for redemption.” See if you can find the source of your need for redemption in there. You might just find that you aren’t so bad after all, and not really in need of “fixing.” And then, maybe, just maybe, you might find yourself free to enjoy exercise and wellness because you want to!
For this part of the Simply Fit Lifestyle Program, I’d like to give you an easy, at-home strength training routine. Of course, you need to make sure you are healthy enough for an exercise program. You need to make sure that you have a doctor’s okay, especially if you have a heart condition, are pregnant, or are at risk in some way. And you need to make sure that you understand that sometimes you can drop a dumbbell on your foot, pull a hammie, or otherwise hurt yourself. Consider yourself waivered and informed. . . .
To do this routine, you will need a few pieces of inexpensive equipment: dumbbells, ankle weights, and a stability ball. It’s a quick and easy program that you can even do in front of the television.
I do not list an amount of weight to use because that will vary with each person. I am suggesting that you do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise; therefore, you will want to choose a weight where you are able to complete the 10 reps and are glad you don’t have to do any more.
This routine suits the individual who is “just getting back into it.” It is also a nice workout for those who have progressed past the beginner stage and are ready to mix it up a little. It may be too easy for some, and too difficult for others. But it’s free and it’s simple and it’s convenient to do at home when you are short on time.
I suggest trying this routine for four weeks. Do the routine twice a week. (I have Tuesday & Thursday listed, but do whatever two days suit your schedule…. just don’t do back-to-back days.)
Please feel free to ask questions in the Comment Box below! Happy strength training!
Full Body Home Workout
As a personal trainer and coach, I often hear people say they are hurt, bored, or plateauing in their workouts. These conditions can all be signs of over-training or improper training. Changing up your routine can make all the difference. After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is, well, you know. . . .
Simply adding more weight or increasing reps is not the answer. Variety is. Choosing different exercises to challenge different body parts is much more effective. Resist the temptation to work only on your strengths.
Here are three exercises to try. You will need a stability ball and a medicine ball.
MEDICINE BALL SQUAT TWIST
- Hold medicine ball at chest height.
- Lower down to squat position.
- As you return to standing position, twist at core and lift ball over right shoulder.
- Squat down again; repeat stand and twist to left side.
STABILITY BALL LEG RAISE
- Lie on stability ball, with hip bones on ball. Support upper body by keeping shoulders directly over hands.
- Lift both legs together to height of stability ball.
- Hold briefly at this position.
- Lower legs together.
PLANK SIDE RAISE
- Get into side plank position (either resting on elbow or hand). Keep hips stacked over each other; don’t let yourself roll forward or backward.
- Maintaining a straight body, lift hip from the floor until body is in a straight line.
- Lower hip back to ground; lightly touch floor with hip but do not rest here.
Try 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. Enjoy the variety of adding new exercises!
You might have seen a recent article about endurance athletes and heart damage. The article referred to research that showed excessive exercise could damage the heart in ways similar to a minor heart attack.
Luckily, one needn’t exercise for three hours a day in order to be fit. Of course a professional athlete will have different requirements, but for those of us just looking to improve our quality of life, or even to compete in local events, we can be more balanced in our approach.
So what does it mean to be fit? What would you need to do to improve your fitness level? You might be thinking, “I run every day, so I’m fit.” Well, according to the definition, you would not be completely fit if you only ran. Fitness has five basic components:
- CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE. This term refers to how efficient your lungs and heart are over the long run. To improve your cardiovascular endurance, you might try a spin class or running or swimming–any activity that keeps you moving for an extended period of time.
- MUSCULAR ENDURANCE. This term refers to how efficient your muscles are over the long run. In other words, how many times could you lift a moderate weight? Pushups would be a good example.
- MUSCULAR STRENGTH. Your muscular strength is a measure of how much weight you can lift once. Think of those large Russian men in the Olympics who clean and jerk obscene amounts of weight; they only lift it one time, but it’s a LOT of weight.
- FLEXIBILITY. An often neglected area, flexibility is the range of motion that is possible around a joint. You don’t need to take a yoga class; just try adding a couple of simple stretches after your workout.
- BODY COMPOSITION. This term refers to the ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat. A certain amount of body fat is essential for proper body function.
So how do you measure up now? Are you neglecting some areas? Remember, you should expect, even demand, that your body be able to walk up and down stairs without getting winded, to shovel snow without straining a muscle, to put lotion on your own back and not miss any spots. Your body was made to be used in a variety of ways, so in order for you to be fit, make sure you consider all five areas in your exercise routine.