Happy new week my friends,
How is your fitness program going? Are you adhering to your plan or have you gotten so busy glued to your computer, phone and work or are you just being a couch potato?
Congratulations to those of you who have made a life style change and incorporated it into your daily routine. Kudos to you! It’s really great to hear that some of you are actually benefiting by my videos which makes it really worthwhile for me since my mission is for everyone to live their best life as healthfully as possible mentally, physically and spiritually.
If you haven’t, fear not! I’ve got you covered with a short video to re-energize you and get your blood and muscles pumping. And you can do it in the convenience of your own home and move like no one is watching….because they aren’t. So, no more excuses, just get your shoes on (actually you don’t even need shoes) and scroll down and join me or read the tips below first and bookmark this for a later workout.
We all know the overwhelming information out there that encourages us to get our daily steps in, in one way or another.
Cardiovascular, strength and flexibility are essential in moving through our day which we often don’t realize until we have an injury and find ourselves in pain or limited in movement. Rarely do we plan for the future and realize what we do today has direct impact on how we live in our bodies tomorrow.
We take for granted that we will always be able do everyday activities and few of us ever entertain the fact that if we don’t use it, we will loose it but it happens, so it’s best to give some thought as to how you want to live in your body.
Nothing lasts forever
Sorry about it. While we know this cognitively, few of us take time to think about the ramifications of either doing too much or doing too little or doing nothing at all. Athletes spend their life perfecting their sport with the objective of being the best and compete to break world records.
Some push their kids to participate in 2-3 sports at a time and many times the coaches are pushing kids beyond their limits when their growth plates are vulnerable since they are still growing. There is risk that the cartilage can pull away from the bone stunting growth or creating disfiguration; so it’s important to treat breaks and injuries right away. It usually occurs with a break but overuse syndrome happens with repetitive movement that can interfere with growth plates as well, if a sound strength, cardiovascular and flexibility program is laking. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/growth-plate-fractures/
As with most problems and imbalances, It is only later when injuries start occurring when we see patterns and can trace it back to origin.
Mental health pressures can also be a real problem for young athletes and it is in later years that it emerges as can be seen by the many professionals that have suffered internally in-spite of their fame when the walls come crumbling down on them and the facade is broken. We are seeing it happening earlier and earlier as was just brought to life in the olympics.
Bodies change, we loose strength as we age which is simply age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia which is a natural part of aging. I have to say I do hate the name of this since it sounds like some kind of disease but I didn’t name it, only sharing the term. After age 30, we begin to lose as much as 3-5 % per decade. Flexibility ranges can decrease, joints wear out, injuries happen from impact, over use, declining balance or playing risky sports… you name it, it happens. But it’s important to remember we can increase strength, cardio output and increase our flexibility and balance with consistent proper training so you don’t put joints and ligaments at risk.
How many steps do we need a day
Most of us have heard we need to get our 10,000 steps in a day from health professionals or people trying to promote their products. You will hear all sorts of arguments one way or another and it’s not an exact science. What is important is that you move and many people need bench marks to motivate them and keep them honest, so it’s a great goal to reach for but high for many which risks them throwing in the towel because there is a tendency to think “that’s not enough so why do any”? Of course that’s not logical thinking but it’s what our brain does to get us out of something. DON’T BE THAT PERSON! Do what you can and increase from there. Remember walk at a perceived exertion level of about an 8 on a scale of 10. 1 being easiest and 10 being hardest.
In other words this isn’t a stroll people and if you can break a sweat, do. It depends on what your goals are. We need cardiovascular activity to strengthen our heart and help ward off illness, lower blood pressure, lose weight and the many other health benefits that come from working out and walking and less than half of the 10,000 steps recommended benefit our health.
If you are trying to loose weight, increase your steps and up your strength training. The main thing is to do it and walk instead of drive when you can, park a little further away, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Incorporate it in your day. If you work a desk job get up every hour and add a little exercise and stretch in and or go outside for a walk, fresh air and breathe.
Here’s a great link from INVERSE about how many steps a day we need to stay healthy. https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/do-we-really-need-to-walk-10000-steps-a-day
What isn’t talked about as much but is of equal importance and more important for keeping your body strong and to lose weight is strength training.
An easy way to look at it is this imagining being a jelly fish. If you were a jelly fish and just floated you wouldn’t need a structure to help keep you upright and you could float to your hearts delight but sorry, you are a human. We have a skeleton system, a nervous system, a lymph, blood and cellular system, muscular system and in order for us to stand up we need to have muscles to hold these systems together. Otherwise, we would not be able to have the strength necessary to perform everyday activities.
If we don’t work enough we become a jelly fish so to speak. if we work too intensely without stretching we can become the Incredible Hulk and compress structures creating impingement in our spinal column and on nerves or structures and suffer a mirage of physical sensations.
Strength Training and Weight Loss
Most people still think cardiovascular activity is the best way to control weight loss perhaps because we hear walking 10-12 thousand steps a day so often but it is a well known fact by health professionals that strength training builds muscle and as you develop more muscle mass, you will burn more fat. While you burn fat in a cardiovascular session, it is only during the time that you spend doing your cardio and an hour after you have finished. Remember that it generally takes about 10 minutes to start getting into your fat burning mode.
With Strength Training you burn muscle during your session and in continues working 12 hrs after your session. I am constantly educating clients on this fact but so many act surprised when I bring it up because we hear so much about the importance of cardiovascular work and most people I know want to walk outside. While it’s great for our heart and does burn calories we need to incorporate the strength piece for maximum weight loss results.
A new study was published in June in PLOS Medicine research shows that those who do strength training will stay leaner and help with weight control. The New York Times wrote a great article on it as can be seen here https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/07/well/weight-training-exercise-control.html
Flexibility and balance
Stretching in one way or another is imperative to keep subtle muscles and elongate our muscles after our contraction of them through our work outs. It always seems a bit crazy to me and I’m a health professional. My mind says “Wait so we contract our muscles to get the desired results and then have to stretch them after, why bother contracting them then?” It seems logical to me and probably you but because we aren’t jelly fish ( sorry to some of you who were wishing we were, including me at times) but it’s just how it goes and it’s a balance. We rarely give enough time for stretching so do make sure you give yourself enough time to stretch those muscles you just worked.
The rule of thumb is stretching each muscle a second per however age you are so the older you are the longer you hold. I would stretch a minimum of 30 seconds per body part no matter what age you are and a minute to a minute and a half if you’re older. Remember if you are stretching fascia which is the layer under our skin that holds muscle together and can get tightly bound from injuries you need 5 minutes per body part. Besides it feels great or will in time. Do some form of balance exercises everyday which can be as little as standing on one leg or as lengthy as a Yoga or Qui Gong or Tai Chi session since that too changes with age.
Drink up especially in the summer months as heat and dehydration is a real thing. Drink roughly half your body in ounces a day. Again there are lots of recommendations on this but making sure you start in the morning with a glass of water and continue drinking throughout the day is a really good rule of them and you’ll get your 8 glasses in if you plan and adhere to it. Water in food with the great fruits like watermelon and veggies such as cucumber also give you some added vitamins. Water moves your lymph, helps transport your lymph and blood, aides in circulation and your organs. Make it a regular part of your day.
And now here’s our quick Ground Power Strength work-out combining meditaion, yoga and strength. Please remember to go at your own pace and listen to your body making adaptations and changes however you see fit.
Hope you enjoyed the video and thanks so much for visiting today.
Stay Strong and make it a fun active day.
Blessings of Health and Love,
Copyright © 2021 Cindy Georgakas
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