Are You Getting these 3 things Each Week?
Life is full. You know exercise is important for your overall health and longevity. You probably already do some exercise. But are you getting some of everything you need?
We should all be getting a healthy dose of Strength training, Cardiovascular conditioning, and Mobility work. Chances are, one of those may have slipped out of your routine.
Here’s a quick reminder of why each is important, and how you can add in what you’re missing. Each of these programs are time-efficient and beginner friendly.
Strength training increases your lean muscle mass, which helps reduce stored body fat, and helps us look toned. But there are many health benefits to strength training too. Scientifically speaking, strength training increases testosterone production, which naturally declines as we age. Increasing testosterone has a proven role in increasing bone mass (reduces risk/progression of Osteoporosis), lowering risk of Breast Cancer & Prostate Cancer, and helping red blood cell production which lowers risk of heart attack and stroke.
Here’s how you can fit this into your busy life. You’ll want to make sure your body is warm before starting any of these. You can go for a brisk walk around the block, or hustle up and down the stairs a few times. About 3-5 minutes minimum.
Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise. Repeat this circuit for a total of 3 rounds with little to no rest. Use weights if you have them, otherwise you can fill a canvas bag with canned food and hold the handle as your weight.
One Arm Row (10 on one side and 10 on the other)
Reverse Lunges (10 on one side and 10 on the other)
Cardiovascular training has well known benefits for the heart and lungs. Good cardiovascular health shows up as something a little different for everyone. Maybe it means you can take a long walk with a friend and talk the whole time. Or it may mean you can keep up with your kids/grandkids. Or you can do that hike/run/bike without getting too winded.
Traditional cardiovascular conditioning takes a long time (30-60 minutes of steady state output). There is still a place for that, but you can use Interval Training to get heart health benefits in a much shorter time, and with less prolonged impact on your joints.
After a short warm up, perform 5 intervals (10-30 seconds) with 30-60 seconds rest in between. Add one more interval each week, up to 10. Each interval should get your heart pumping, but you should be able to recover before the next one. You can modify the intensity as needed, but make sure you’re pushing yourself enough to justify doing such a short workout.
Some ideas for your intervals:
Step Ups on bottom step of your stairs
Jumping Jacks (or variation)
Mobility training improves tissue hydration and circulation. When we move our bodies in rhythmic, controlled motion, we help nutrient-rich blood bring oxygen to all our tissues and organs. The blood cleanses the body from the inside, removing toxins and waste products (carbon dioxide) from our tissues. Maintaining mobility can help reduce muscle soreness, reduce common aches & pains, and improve movement longevity. It can also play a role in improving energy, reducing joint pain & stiffness, and injury prevention.
Here’s a quick full body Mobility drill that you can do at home. Perform the first one very slowly, taking 3 big breaths in each position. The second time through, take 2 deep breaths in each position. On your third round, take one full breath in each position. Then do it two more times, moving fluidly with your breath. Maintain core control in your movement, and breathe!
Start in a high plank, hands on a stable chair (propped against a wall) or low coffee table.
Step Right foot forward to a high lunge position, so the right foot is on the floor outside of right hand. (Breathe into hips.)
Reach Right arm up to ceiling to twist upper body. (Breathe into chest and shoulders).
Step back to High Plank and shift hips back to upside-down “V” shape, looks like downward facing dog in yoga. (Breathe into back side of body).
Repeat on Left side.
That is one round.