Fitness to me is a means to elevate our lives and to be a better version of ourselves. When we are fit, we are stronger, have more stamina, and are energized. When we work to be fit, we are also training our minds to be more focused and to concentrate better. We feel more centered. We manage stress better. And we use our time more effectively. It is an endeavor that enhances our sense of well-being and our perceptions of who we are and what we can do in life.
It is from this perspective that I encourage all of us to challenge our beliefs and thoughts about what makes us fit. Let’s think broadly. Let’s think creatively. One aspect of fitness where this new thinking is helpful is in the area of “movement.” To call it just exercise limits our options of what we make available to ourselves.
Let’s explore movement!
Move It or Lose It! – Nothing but the Facts
Our bodies are meant to move. When we become less active we create an environment ripe for disease, extra weight, muscle loss, aches and pains.
- Your metabolism decreases about 2 – 4% per decade from 25 years of age.
- You will lose 5 pounds of lean muscle per decade from 25 – 65. If you do nothing, that is 20 pounds of muscle loss by the time we are 65!
The good news is that science is finding that these losses are less about ageing and more about lifestyle changes. Which means you don’t have to suffer these losses. You can slow the decline at any age. It’s not too late. It is a matter of changing your lifestyle and moving more! Movement alone can change the rate of metabolic decline to 0.5%
Let’s Get Fit
There are four important components of movement
- Quantity of Movement
- Vigorous movement
- Rhythmic movement
- Range of motion
Quantity of Movement – what you need to do daily
If you take less than 5,000 steps (about 2.5 miles) each day, your lifestyle is considered sedentary. Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and take a 2 ½ mile walk (although that would be a great fitness option). You can accomplish these steps as you go about your daily routine. Consider walking breaks at work, take the dog for a walk, clean the house, go garden – all of these daily activities add up.
Vigorous Movement – 2 – 3 times per week depending on your goal
Vigorous movement is the type of movement that gets your heart rate up and makes your muscles burn. Vigorous movement makes you sweat! This is what most of us consider exercise. Strength training and “cardio” are the most typical forms of vigorous movement.
Strength training builds and maintains lean muscle. Most importantly as we age, it can reverse your aging trend of decreased muscle mass and muscle loss. Target at least twice a week. You need to get your heart rate up as well. Interval training is a great way to do that. It is short bursts of activity with intervals of easy to moderate activity. Plan for 2 to 3 times a week; 20 minutes each.
Combine the two activities and you are on the road to a new, fit you!
Rhythmic movement – 20 minutes a day, particularly if you are stressed – mentally and physically
An activity that is good for “clearing” the mind, rhythmic movement is movement with repeatable, regular patterns. It is a perfect example of doing what you like to do and getting fit at the same time. There are so many options. Do you like to swim, run, dance, walk, row, jump rope, rock in a chair? Choose one or mix them up! Many believe that rhythmic movement is a form of meditation – getting the mind ready for problem solving, creative thinking. And it reduces stress. Try it and see what happens.
Range of motion – 10-15 minutes a day.
Gently working limbs and muscles through a healthy range of motion helps eliminate daily aches and pains. Whether we are sitting at a desk, spending hours in the car commuting or driving the kids around, our movement is constricted for hours throughout the day. As a result, we lose our ability to twist, bend, and reach. All of which causes neck, back and hip pain. Like rhythmic movement, gentle stretching and moving the body through its range of motion helps our brains work more effectively.
Be sure to check in with your medical professional before starting an exercise program. Exercise safely for your body!
Start a new path to fitness!
If you want to change your outlook on fitness, maybe it’s time to consider a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help you incorporate all aspects of movement into a fitness program designed for YOU! That’s how we do it at Strand Fitness. Call us today!
Call Pam (630-653-8152 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation.
You can learn more about our fitness solutions here: http://strandfitnessllc.com/fitness-solutions/
Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield & Chicago Western Suburbs.