Spring it’s the time for renewal, a time for regenerating and a time to come out of hibernation, the cold is behind us and the long hot summer is just ahead. Now is the time to jump in and do something a little different with a “spring in your step” It is very fascinating that people get this sense of energy around this time of year. I have heard a number of times “I might do some spring cleaning this weekend” Is it the birds chirping or the flowers coming into bloom or that the cold is finally gone. Whatever it is there is something kinda special at this time of year.
So on the 23rd of September it is official spring arrives, that’s when the sun crosses the equator into the southern hemisphere and it becomes spring. It’s a good time to clear out some clutter, maybe do some spring cleaning and it’s a perfect time to start moving your body.
This weather gives us motivation to start a fitness program or maybe step it up a level in your current one. Whatever your desire is it’s a great time to move forward and progress towards getting fit for summer. Committing to a regime does not have to be strict or time consuming, you can get benefits from many different types of exercise. Making it a habit and incorporating 30 minutes most days will increase your lifespan enormously.
The key to finding a fitness regime is to find something you love to do. We are driven by pleasure and finding something you like helps you get up when the alarm goes off in the morning.
The other big key is to find a buddy, someone to make you accountable to meet you someplace to start walking or meet at the gym, whatever it is finding someone to help motivate you really helps you when you first start, it is a mental thing just as much as a fitness thing.
Rewarding yourself at the end of your workout is also a major key, go for a healthy breakfast or lunch. Just knowing you have managed more than you have previously is a huge effort and to keep going and improving will make a huge impact on your health and wellbeing.
Set your goals, make them clear, concise and consistent. Make a dream or goal board, put it somewhere you can see it every day so it inspires you to get you butt out of bed. Start Low and go slow. Starting too aggressive can make you sore and tired and you will get quickly discouraged by doing that.
There is no argument that exercise helps you lose weight, but the science is out it also helps cure some forms of heart disease, arthritis and depression. Keeping you toned and trim is a bonus.
Measure the intensity of your workout, keeping an eye on your heart rate and making sure it is working at the capacity you can cope with. The rule of thumb for moderate intensity to have your target heart rate at 50 – 70% of your maximum heart rate.
There are three different types of exercise for overall physical fitness: cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning, and flexibility training. These don’t all have to be done at once, but doing each on a regular basis will result in balanced fitness. Be sure to warm up first.
Cardiovascular activity. Start by doing an aerobic activity, like walking or running, for a sustained 20-30 minutes, four to five times a week. To ensure you’re working at an optimum level, try the “talk test”: Make sure you can carry on a basic level of conversation without being too winded. But if you can easily sing a song, you’re not working hard enough.
Strength conditioning. Start by doing one set of exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups. Use a weight at which you can comfortably perform the exercise eight to 12 times in a set. When you think you can handle more, gradually increase either the weight, the number of repetitions, or number of sets. To maximize the benefits, do strength training at least twice a week. Never work the same body part two days in a row.
Flexibility training. Do slow, sustained static stretches three to seven days per week. Each stretch should last 10-30 seconds. Yoga is the perfect solution for stretching is also very powerful for the mind.
To learn how to perform certain exercises, consider hiring a personal trainer for a session or two, or take advantage of all sessions offered when you join a gym.
Home Exercise Equipment
Exercise doesn’t have to be done at the gym. You can work out in the comfort of your own home. And with callisthenic-type exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, and sit-ups, you can use the resistance of your own weight to condition your body. To boost your strength and aerobic capacity, you may also want to invest in some home exercise equipment.
My thoughts on some popular home exercise items:
Treadmill. This is great for cardiovascular exercise, start out walking at a low intensity for 30 minutes and applying the talk test. Depending on how you do, adjust the intensity, incline, and/or time accordingly. This will also give you no Excuses when it comes to being too HOT to exercise, pop the air con on and go.
Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells make up this category of strength-training equipment. Dumbbells recommended for beginners. 1-5kg dumbbells are perfect for beginners you can increase with fitness and strength
Other strength training equipment. Flexible bands, and flexible rods are good for beginners, especially since they come with instructions.
Exercise ball. This can be a great workout, you can get a variety of videos on YouTube for some great workouts, but be sure to be careful as it can cause injuries if you don’t use it properly.
Exercise videos and DVDs. Before working out with a home exercise video or DVD, watch through it at least once to observe the structure and proper form of the workout.
It doesn’t have to be daunting starting out all you have to do is commit and be consistent and your body, mind and soul will thank you for it in the long run.
I have enlisted help from a friend to is a well-known Personal Trainer in Perth, she has put together a a 20 minute workout you can do at home that provides you with an all over body workout and will produce results quickly.
Set your timer to 25 sec of work and 10 sec of rest for 8 rounds. This workout will include 4 different sets.
Set: knee-push-up to plank + 1 arm comes off and drives elbow in body-weighted row up, back into knee push-up repeat on other side
Set: static lunge + overhead press to front kick + triceps kickback
Set: 1 leg dead-lift + front punch out and leg kick-back to come back up on 1 leg bicep curl + side leg raise
5 x squat jumps + 6 x mountain climbers repeat
Take at least 5 min to stretch down your back, legs, glutes, chest, shoulder, arm and neck muscles.