In my last blog I focused on the practice of doing 4 days of cardio fitness with each session being at least 30 minutes: Fitness for life . The idea being that as time goes on we can experience a graceful aging experience and actually ward off decay if we exercise with gusto, consistency and are very purposeful in the choices we make in relation to our cardio activities. In addition to that part of a fitness program it is also crucial that a strength training component be built in 2 days a week. I have found that there are many different options when it comes to strength training. A weight program with circuit type machines is one option but certainty not the only game in town. Free weight are another idea and for some of us body resistance will do the job just fine. I like to do 30 minutes of strength and mobility work twice a week using lots of upper body, lower body and core exercises. There are numerous programs available online, in a DVD format and classes that focus on this area. If your looking to really dig in here are a few ideas:
- Power Yoga,
And some forms of Hot Yoga (Bikrams)
These are a few formats that will hit all muscle groups and than some!
In addition it is key that you also do at least one day a week of purposeful stretching, yoga or anything along those lines that helps you to remain flexible. It is important to be fit and if you only focus on cardio fitness or strength/mobility you will find that over time your body becomes rigid and stiff.
Lastly, as part of your moving routine, balance training and activities that involve coordination and fine motor skills can not be left out of the mix. One of the brains bigger jobs is to dictate how your body moves. If you don’t challenge this system your brain becomes less efficient at it’s job of managing movements. This will directly affect your balance and coordination in a less than positive way. If you don’t challenge this system your brain becomes less efficient at it’s job. So what are some of the ways you can move your body to challenge your brain? I suggest movement that is three dimensional. Hip circles are an example of this as is the overhead reach (or dry backstroke.). To do this one lie on your back with one leg bent. reach over your head with your right arm, like your doing the back stroke, return the arm to your side and do the other side. I recommend at least one set of 8 building up to 2 sets of 8 each side.
I know the above is a lot of information and I hope it will make your fitness journey a bit more targeted, fun and productive. IN the end you want to be doing different things on different days in order to address all of your fitness/physical needs. It is my desire to assist in the process of sorting out what is going to work best for you!