In the fourth and final installment of our New Year - New You series, we want to tackle a subject that is usually at the top of most resolution lists: Fitness & Exercise.
Everyone has their own ideas and opinions about staying fit. Some say running every day is the best form of exercise - some say its the absolute worst. Some say you should lift heavy weights, others say Cross-Fit is the best. Others swear by daily doses of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or Hot Yoga. Still others say outdoor activities - where you’re getting Vitamin D from the sun - is the only way to go.
Well, the truth is, all these forms of exercise are worthwhile. But it’s up to you to determine what works best for your body type, physical attributes, and fitness level! Rather than providing you with a ‘one size fits all’ solution to elevate your fitness and health goals for the New Year, Steph and I wanted to share what we’ll be working on in 2018.
Yoga & PilatesFlexibility and core strength are important to everyone. Especially to those of us who sit at desks for hours on end. Steph has been doing Pilates and Yoga off and on for several years now, and it has had a very positive impact on her overall wellness, in addition to greatly increasing her muscle strength. We’re both going to spend more time doing these types of workouts this year. Whether you attend in person classes at a community studio near you, or find online instruction on YouTube, we encourage you to give this form of exercise consideration. Not only is it low-impact (for those who have knee, hip, or alignment issues) but the mindfulness aspects of Yoga are refreshing & motivating, and help start the day off on a positive note.
Studies are increasingly showing that walking is likely the best exercise of all. How many of us have a Grandma that lived to her 90's and never went to the gym a day in her life but walked every where. In addition, getting outside is important. Weather permitting, if you can go out in nature for exercise, it’s not only great for your body, but elevates your mood as well. Rucking is a great excuse to do exactly that! Jimmy has been rucking for a few years now, and loves it. If you haven’t heard the term, all you need is a backpack, 10-30 lbs of weight in it, and a nice path to hike. It’s an easy & fun way to burn extra calories while walking the dog or catching up with friends. Get outside and enjoy nature - you’ll get a solid workout as well! (image courtesy of Goruck - Steph rucking through Japan)
Whether you do this in a gym class, on your own terms, or outside on a lawn, these improvised, varied workouts provide a versatile way to work on all areas of your body. Typically, they involve a light warm-up on a treadmill or bike. Followed by a mix of planks, push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, kettlebell swings, and burpees. We primarily do body weight exercises, though Jimmy will occasionally hit the squat rack. We work up a great sweat for about 45 minutes, then spend 5-10 minutes stretching it out before we start our day. (image courtesy of National Fitness Campaign)
Scheduling your workouts
The most important thing to remember when working out is to schedule it! Put it in your calendar each week so you can make it a part of your daily routine. We prefer to get up early and workout first thing in the morning. It’s the only time of day you can control - before the chaos of life begins! It gets you motivated and energized for what’s ahead, and you get to start your day knowing you accomplished your workout already. Now you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day, and you can tackle everything else on your to-do list! (image courtesy of Anytime Fitness)
Don't forget to SLEEP! In the words of Kelly Starrett, Cross-fit expert and Founder of Mobility WOD:
"You can eat like a ninja, you can train hard, but if you don't sleep I can guarantee you you're going to fall apart."
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