On getting yourself physically active…
When starting out – whatever you decide to do – the main aim of the game is to start with the basics and then work up from there. Take time and don’t be disheartened. These measures are necessary to help set you up for a better/ longer (injury free) training future – and approaching a new activity with “too much too fast” can only increase the likely hood of injuring yourself which will only lead you to stop!
How much Exercise is actually needed?
For General Good Health?
- Exercise training cannot be hurried! The goal is to become more active and promote good health – for a lifetime. Although more exercise is recommended, just 90 minutes walking a week can make an incredible difference! This is an ‘all of body’ difference ie, sleep patterns, mental wellbeing and alertness, bowel functions etc
- Any movement is good but try to include a good mix of weight bearing/ load bearing exercise and cardiovascular conditioning
Any exercise program should involve the following basic steps to ensure that you protect your joints, tendons and muscles from injury. To go over this briefly, you should go through:
- Establishing a mind muscle connection (‘neural’ connections) and reinforce those GOOD neural pathways
- Establishing good tendon strength and preventing imbalance in strength
- Condition support systems (physiological), eg: new and/or bigger blood vessels, conditioning the heart to pump to the muscles
Also important is to :
- Ensure proper form and technique (execution of activity) very important
- Adequate rest between training sessions
- Proper nutrition for particular activity
- Promotes muscle mass increase
- Promotes good balance, especially important for the older person
- Promotes good bone health, again, especially important for the older person
- Promotes sense of empowerment and well-being – feeds into self-esteem and feeling good about one’s self
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Promotes insulin sensitivity
- Promotes fat burning when at rest
- Increases the percentage of dietary energy intake that is directed toward muscles rather than fat tissue (partitioning)
- The more intense, if you can manage it the BETTER. Don’t believe in the ‘fat burning myth’ of the Long Slow Distance (LSD). Many fitness professionals will talk of the optimum ‘fat-burning zone’ being at about 60-70% of age-predicted maximum heart rate. The truth is the rate of fat metabolism is greater during moderate-intensity exercise (70-80%) and the overall calorie impact is greatest the higher the intensity. This means – if you want more ‘bang’ for the time spent exercising – increasing your fitness so you can eventually do higher intensity cardio should be your aim!
- Light Intensity/ General ‘all of body health benefits’ / Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Light to Moderate intensity/ Increased cardio fitness / Weight loss
- Moderate Intensity/ Greater improved fitness / Cardiovascular strength / Increased fat lose
- Heavy Intensity / the Professional Athlete/ Competition Training / Anaerobic training/ Greater fat liberation, utilisation
The above on exercise can all be summed up as ‘Prehab and Rehab’, and should be part of EVERYONES exercise routine,
- ie, Start prehab to prevent rehab!
Generally speaking, a prehab program consists of warming-up, stretching to full range of motion, a cardiovascular component like walking or swimming, and resistance/strength training. This helps to avoid many common injuries (back, shoulder, ankle etc) that can occur daily in life, and during sporting activities