The most engaging and satisfying workouts are full or total body workouts. At least that is what I have discovered in my 14+ years as a personal trainer. And since an engaging and satisfying workout is one that will keep you coming back; a total body workout means SUCCESS!!!
For me a full body workout (or workout program) is more than exercising all the body parts, it is a full body experience. In a full body program, you are working all of the key muscles and joints, challenging the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, tapping the nervous system, and engaging the mind.
If you want to stay engaged with your fitness program, give Pam a call (630-653-8152).
Our Muscles & Joints
It’s easy to think of a full body program as one where you do a strength exercise for each of the major muscle groups and joints. While that is true, it goes beyond that. In a total body workout, you are also working the stabilizer muscles. These are typically the smaller and very important muscles that keep our joints strong and healthy. For example, the rotator cuff muscles are the key stabilizers for our shoulders. For our hips, activating the glute muscles is a priority so the hips can do their job and not tax our lower backs and knees.
Mobility (the combination of range of motion and flexibility) is also a major component of a total body workout program. Gently working the shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles through their natural range of motion keeps our bodies moving the way they were designed. The icing on the cake is also incorporating regular stretching and flexibility work. This type of mobility work (range of motion and stretching) can keep chronic pains and stiffness at bay.
Most people wish they spent more time on mobility because they feel so good after a mobility and stretching session. We can help you experience that great feeling too. Give us a call at 630-653-8152.
Our Heart and Lungs
Getting the heart beating and the lungs working hard (as long as they are healthy and can withstand the challenge) is so important. Your heart, circulatory system, and breathing apparatus need to be in shape so they can carry the oxygen, nutrients, and blood to your muscles. And when you are exercising these, your body is creating new capability so it can physically create more energy – the energy that makes you look and feel better. But also the energy that makes it easier and more fun to do things like walk up the stairs, do gardening or yard work, ride a bike, play golf, and hike.
I love seeing the growing awareness around getting 10,000 steps in each day. While that movement is healthy and important, augmenting it with cardio intervals will improve your fitness and the way the body produces energy. You are going to feel great.
Many people shy away from cardio intervals as they age. They are partly concerned with the high impact nature of intervals and partly resisting intervals because it isn’t the most comfortable exercise. But if your heart and lungs are healthy, start slow and build your pace. And don’t worry, all you need is a 20 minute bout of intervals, two to three times a week to make it pay off.
It is also important to know that Intervals don’t have to be high impact (a concern of many with arthritic and injured joints and of those who have not been active in awhile or at all). A knowledgeable and creative personal trainer can put together a simple series of interval workouts for you that pumps your heart and lungs AND is easy on your joints. We are here ready to help guide you with interval training. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.
As we get older, it is vitally important to work the parts of the nervous system responsible for balance and coordination. The goal is to stay upright (and not fall), to recover your balance if you trip, and to move with confidence. With our sedentary or limited movement lifestyles, we can quickly lose our balance and coordination. The good news is we can train our nervous system to recover our balance and coordination.
And it is pretty easy to do. Stand on one leg when brushing your teeth, move your feet fast or in quick patterns across the floor, and perform exercises that have you moving the opposite arm and leg together and across the midline of the body. Go dancing or take dance lessons, practice yoga, and take a hike on uneven terrain. All of these are great ways to work on balance and coordination in addition to workouts in the gym.
Our Mental Game
To me this is one of the most fulfilling parts of a full body workout program. When you are engaging your full body, your mind is engaged as well. Not only will you have ample opportunity to observe your thoughts and feelings, you may be finding your edge, feeling your resistance, and challenging assumptions you have about yourself and your life. And then you can take action on those insights to grow and expand your life.
Many people report a sense of calm after a full body workout and often discover new creative thoughts and ideas to solve a problem at work or at home.
Because a full body workout experience is so engaging, you may find your mind motivated to workout when your body is not. That’s more than half the battle to stay consistent with a fitness program.
Exercise is a great activity to have in your life; making it a full body experience is even better!