Some people avoid physical activity as they fear worsening their ailment or health condition; however, it is important to note that, in most cases, exercise is likely to improve their quality of life!
Consider, for instance, arthritis, many people with arthritis are afraid they may be injured during physical activity which could cause more problems given their condition. They become so focused on the worst case scenario that they don’t realize the consequences of avoiding exercise, specifically the health benefits that could not only improve their mobility but strengthen their joints and ultimately lessen their pain!
Even those who do not suffer from a health condition will find that their joints weaken over time without exercise. In most cases, and for most health conditions, avoiding exercise can have a negative impact on your quality of life. The key is to find a program and intensity that suits your needs and limitations. You should of course consult with a health professional to better understand what you can do to improve your health.
Still not sure exercise is right for you? At Body & Soul, we offer consultations to help newcomers understand how we can help them achieve their health and fitness goals. Our 30 minute consultations give you an opportunity to sit down with one of our personal trainers to discuss your questions and concerns!
The June issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness Files – came out this week! This issue covers the following:
- do what you love
- fitness tip: push-up progression
- nutrition tip: eliminate distractions to avoid overeating
- club news: client appreciation, studio closure, new staff and Father’s day
- staff spotlight: Jade Reid (personal trainer)
- Q&A: How can exercise be considered medicine?
Check it out at www.bodysoul.ca/newsletter/2017June
For many of us, it can be discouraging when, after a few months of exercise, we don’t see results or progress towards our goals. Don’t be discouraged; following are some tips to help you succeed and stay motivated.
Set realistic goals: establishing ambiguous or unrealistic goals is counterproductive as you are less likely to stick to a fitness routine long-term if you don’t see the desired results. If you want to achieve a specific goal, it is important to make sure it is measurable, specific and realistic.
Set short-term goals: establishing short-term goals will help keep you motivated as you will see progress sooner than with one in which your deadline was months or years down the road. For instance, if your main goal is to increase upper body strength, why not make your short-term goal to complete 1 proper push-up by a date you and your trainer deem appropriate? Once achieved you can establish a new goal of 5 proper push-ups, and then 10 and so on.
Recognize short-term improvements: maybe you’ve been working out twice a week for one month but you haven’t seen much of a difference physically and perhaps little to no weight lost and no noticeable ‘toning’ – what about a difference mentally or emotionally? Have you noticed a change in your stress levels, quality of sleep or level of energy? Identify how exercising makes you feel!
Set yourself up for success; introducing routines that feel chore-like aren’t routines you are likely to maintain. Remember, long-term health requires long-term commitment.
One of the best ways to determine how hard your body is working during your workout is to monitor your heart rate (HR). You can calculate your HR by using a heart rate monitor or by feeling for your pulse and calculating it manually.
Once your maximum HR has been identified (208-[0.7*age]) – the most your cardiovascular system can handle during your workout – you can identify target zones to work within depending on your individual health and fitness goals. It’s important to remember that some medications can actually lower your maximum HR so be sure to talk to your doctor to better understand what percentage of your maximum HR is appropriate for you to work within.
Your Target Heart Rate
If you want to get the most out of your workout then you should be working within your target heart rate (HR).Typically, in order to improve and not simply maintain your current level of fitness, you need to work within 70-85% of your max HR.
Talk to your trainer for more information.
Get the most out of your training by pushing your body beyond its comfort zone!
One great way to do this is to ensure you are in complete control of your body’s movement with each exercise instead of letting gravity do its work – this requires complete focus. For instance, when doing pull-ups, be sure to slowly lower your body back down (feel the control!) instead of simply falling back to a hanging position. Not only will controlling the motion ensure you are gaining all of the strength benefits, but by ensuring you are in full control you will also avoid unnecessary strains and injuries.
Consider another example: as you tire when performing push-ups, you may feel your neck pushing out, often referred to as a chicken neck, in an effort to have your chin reach the mat faster than your chest. In this case, your body may be trying to make you think you are lower than you actually are (as you appear closer to the mat) and will ultimately cause unnecessary strains to your neck and potentially the rest of your body.