Can you believe that September is already here?
Some of you may be starting to “Fall into Fitness” by adding a new a fitness/wellness routine to your life, or you may have already one established but need a nudge to try something new.
Our September Challenge is for all of you!
I challenge you to try something new every week that isn’t in your normal health and wellness routine.
Why do we need to change it up from time to time?
When we do the same exercise routine over and over, our bodies eventually adapt to that type of exercise and hit a plateau. When we stick to routine we can also experience lack of motivation and boredom – both can test our commitments to staying healthy.
If you’re not seeing the results you are looking for but don’t change up your routine or try anything new, you could find yourself being applicable to Albert Einstein’s definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
To become fit and healthy we need to incorporate a balance of cardiovascular training, flexibility training and strength training and vary our activities and movements on a regular basis.
Don’t get me wrong, kudos to you that participate in our yoga or group fitness classes, or use our cardio machines, or come in just to hit some weights. Those all benefit your overall health and wellness. However, if you’re just doing one of these activities on a regular basis, you’re limiting yourself and your full potential.
Cardiovascular training not only helps us to change our body composition but it also helps with mental clarity, stress management and improves our heart health.
Incorporating cardiovascular training on a weekly basis of 75-150 minutes a week (depending on the intensity level) helps to maintain our heart elasticity and to make sure that we get some volume overload training for the heart.
Don’t get me wrong, resistance training has some heart benefits but cardiovascular training helps our heart muscle to not become so rigid and tight that it breaks down just like any other muscle in our body. It also helps us to have a higher stroke volume so that when our blood is ejected into our circulatory system that it encompasses the most nutrients possible to fuel our muscles during exercise. Who knew cardiovascular training could give us so many benefits!
The best ways to incorporate this at the gym is to get on a piece of cardio equipment, take a couple of classes a week, or get outside for a walk, run or bike ride.
If there are so many heart health benefits from cardiovascular training, how does resistance training come into play?
Throughout the aging process we naturally lose our muscle mass and our metabolism slows down. This is why it’s much easier to hold on to body fat later in life.
In order to increase our metabolism (or to preserve it over time) it is incredibly important to do resistance/strength training at least 2-3 times per week for 30-40 minutes.
This type of exercise helps to build or preserve our lean muscle tissue, which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body composition (and keeps our metabolism high). If we don’t maintain or increase our lean muscle tissue, we can experience a higher body fat composition, which increases our chances of developing chronic illness or diseases later in life.
Just like any other muscle, resistance training helps to strengthen the muscle walls of the heart which helps to keep our ticker working for a longer period of time.
In order to be the healthiest that we can be physically it is super important to incorporate flexibility/mobility training on a weekly basis.
This can be done by going to a yoga, pilates, BodyFlow class or by just completing 10 minutes of stretching after a workout.
Flexibility training helps to prevent injury by decreasing the rigidity of our muscles. I explain this to my clients by explaining it this way – if we don’t do some sort of flexibility training, our muscles become stiff and are at risk of becoming injured. Imaging putting a rubber band in a freezer, then stretching it after it’s cold. If you are someone that doesn’t stretch often but you lift a lot during the week, your flexibility or range of motion could be the limiting factor in your ability to increase your loads.
By going to a yoga class or stretching after the workout, that extra 10 pounds on the bar will be a piece of cake!
Try Something New Wellness Challenge
Need a little push and accountability? Download our FREE Try Something New Wellness Worksheet, print it out and display it somewhere you’ll see it daily throughout the month. Every day that you try something healthy and active that’s outside your regular routine, fill in the star and visually see how you’re accomplishing your goal!
Want to learn more about Health Coaching and/or Personal Training? Schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with our Director of Training Services and see if it’s good fit for you.