5 ELEMENTS OF FITNESS

Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine – Mayo Clinic

Whether you’re a novice taking the first steps toward fitness or an exercise fanatic hoping to optimize your results, a well-rounded fitness training program is essential. Include these five elements to create a balanced routine.

Aerobic fitness

Aerobic activity, also known as cardio or endurance activity, is the cornerstone of most fitness training programs. Aerobic activity or exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply, which maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.

The better your aerobic fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels transport oxygen throughout your body — and the easier it is to complete routine physical tasks and rise to unexpected challenges, such as running to your car in the pouring rain.

Aerobic activity includes any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, water aerobics — even leaf raking, snow shoveling and vacuuming.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. You can even break up activity into shorter periods of exercise and aim to move more during the day. Any amount is better than none at all.

You can also try high-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity (around 30 seconds) with subsequent recovery periods (around three to four minutes) of lighter activity. For example, you could alternate periods of brisk walking with periods of leisurely walking, or include bursts of jogging in your brisk walks.

Strength training

Muscular fitness is another key component of a fitness training program. Strength training can help you increase bone strength and muscular fitness, and it can help you manage or lose weight. It can also improve your ability to do everyday activities. Aim to include strength training of all the major muscle groups into your fitness routine at least twice a week.

Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights and other tools for strength training. But you don’t need to invest in a gym membership or expensive equipment to reap the benefits of strength training.

Hand-held weights or homemade weights — such as plastic soft drink bottles filled with water or sand — may work just as well. Resistance bands are another inexpensive option. Your own body weight counts, too. Try pushups, pullups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

Core exercises

The muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis — known as your core muscles — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements. Core strength is a key element of a well-rounded fitness training program.

Core exercises help train your muscles to brace the spine and enable you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively. So what counts as a core exercise? A core exercise is any exercise that uses the trunk of your body without support, such as bridges, planks, situps and fitness ball exercises.

Balance training

Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance at any age. It’s generally a good idea for older adults in particular to include exercises to maintain or improve balance in their routine exercises. This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. Balance exercises can help older adults prevent falls and maintain their independence.

However, anyone can benefit from balance training, as it can help stabilize your core muscles. Try standing on one leg for increasing periods of time to improve your overall stability. Activities such as tai chi can promote balance, too.

Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness, and it’s a good idea to include stretching and flexibility activities in a fitness program. Stretching exercises can help increase flexibility, which can make it easier for you to do many everyday activities that require flexibility.

Stretching can also improve the range of motion of your joints and may promote better posture. Regular stretching can even help relieve stress and tension.

Consider stretching after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching. But if you want to stretch before a workout, warm up first by walking or exercising for five to 10 minutes before stretching.

Ideally, you’ll stretch whenever you exercise. If you don’t exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least two to three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility. Activities such as yoga promote flexibility, too.

Cover all the bases

Whether you create your own fitness training program or enlist the help of a personal trainer, your overall exercise plan should include several elements. Aim to incorporate aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching into your exercise plan. It isn’t necessary to fit each of these elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.

source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness-training/art-20044792

Why Should You Weightlift?

  1. To regulate insulin and lower inflammation. Along with keeping away chronic disease, strength training has you burning through glucose, which is good news for those grappling with Type 2 diabetes who consistently need to manage blood sugar levels.
  2. To improve posture, sleep, mood and energy levels. Besides the aesthetic, physiological and strength benefits, it affects just how we feel and how clearly we think. Weight training [has] proven to improve the quality of a person’s sleep.
  3. To protect your bones. Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults.
  4. To boost your balance. Of course, one major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Some of weightlifting’s benefit in protecting against osteoporosis may be improved strength and balance, resulting in fewer falls.
  5. To burn more calories. Simply having more muscle on your frame helps your body burn up extra calories — even when you’re sitting completely still.

How to Stay Fit at Home

  • Stay in the mood. Just wearing your workout clothes may motivate you to work harder even if you’re just doing chores around the house. Plus, you can get sweaty and you don’t have to worry about it. You’re always ready for a quick workout or walk whenever time allows.   Wearing your workout clothes is a reminder to get some kind of exercise in, no matter how short.
  • Take short fitness breaks when sitting. Whether you’re working on your computer or watching television, get up and move around for 5 to 10 minutes for every hour you sit. Pace around the room, or do 10-20     jumping jacks. It all counts!

  • Incorporate strength training all day long. Do pushups with one of your his kids on your back. Try lunges, squats and other exercises while cooking dinner.
  • Take short fitness breaks when sitting. Whether you’re working on your computer or watching television, get up and move around for 5 to 10 minutes for every hour you sit. Pace around the room, or do 10-20 jumping jacks while picking up toys or clothes.  It all counts! Don’t forget to use the stairs whenever possible

 

FITNESS TIPS TO LIVE BY DAILY

  1. Schedule your workouts like its a mandatory appointment.
  2. Try not to let more than 2 days go by without exercising.
  3. Slowly increase your routine or change up routines to keep from getting bored.
  4. Don’t expect to get in shape over night, be patient and keep going.
  5. Add muscle building exercise to your daily routine.
  6. If necessary have a workout buddy or check in with an accountability partner
  7. Reward your accomplishments with something other than food.

TOO MUCH EXERCISE??

Yes, You can over exercise. Exercise can actually become an addiction, especially when we don’t listen to our bodies telling us it’s just too much. What’s strange is once exercise is in your blood, in your regular routine, you simply feel ‘off’ when you skip it. I know how moody and irritable I become when I don’t get my daily sweat session, and that’s a good thing if it gives you motivation to keep up with a consistent and balanced routine. The problem occurs when you lose the ‘balance’ part of the equation and your workouts start consuming too much of your time, interfering with your daily life, and/or your body is not adequately recovering, and you simply don’t know how to take a break.

Here are signs you maybe over-extending your self when exercising.

Your Workout Leaves you Exhausted vs. Energized
If you finish your workout feeling like you need a nap, rather than revitalized and ready to conquer the next thing, you are likely pushing it too hard and need to assess and scale back those workouts.

You Are Irritable and Moody
If little things are setting you off, and you can’t figure out why your fuse is short or your moods are so funky, this could be a sign that your body is worn down and fatigued bodies/minds have trouble getting through even the smaller things.

You’re Sleeping Too Much or Can’t Sleep!
Are you restless and unable to sleep through the night no matter how tired you feel? Or, does it not matter how much sleep you get — you still feel tired? Both of these can be caused by over-training. When you exercise too much, your body can interpret it as a stressor, sending out stress hormones like cortisol that makes sleeping difficult.

You Get Sick Frequently or Can’t Seem To Recover
When you over-exercise you break your body and immune system down, so you are more susceptible to getting sick, or it takes you longer to recover.

Sore for Days at a Time
Rather than bouncing back from a tough workout, your body is constantly aching or sore — warning, you need to step back and allow it to repair itself.

You Feel Unmotivated and/or ‘Blue’
Workouts now seem like an obstacle you ‘have to do’ — you are unmotivated, unexcited and it’s starting to affect other areas of your life.

Sometimes you just need to cut back on days or time that you workout.

Family Fitness

Getting fit as a family does not have to be very time-consuming or complex; it can be fun and creative. Here are seven simple suggestions to help your family get fit together.

  1. Commercial-cize. Many children (as well as their parents) watch a few hours of television each night. It is important for families to reduce sedentary time. Whenever a commercial break comes on the TV, exercise as a family. Try running in place, push-ups, or jumping jacks during each commercial to keep everyone up and moving.
  2. Make an Exercise Video. Most portable cameras now have a video function. Have your family create their own exercise video where your kids are the stars. Everyone will get fitter creating the videos, and at a future time, have fun exercising along with the video over and over again.
  3. Dancing Can Be Fun. Turn on the radio or pump up some fun songs on your mp3 player to rock out together as a family. With minimal effort, you can burn some calories and have a super-fun, spirit-lifting family time.”
  4. Going the Extra Step. Parking farther away when running errands with the kids, encouraging them to take the stairs with you when shopping, and having them walk along the cart can increase their activity.
  5. Allocate Time for Family Exercise Every Day. Take a family walk after dinner and use that time to talk about your days. Invite your kids to join you during your cross-training or yoga DVD. They will not be able to do all the exercises, but they will be moving and trying! Teach them that exercise and sweat are really important, and that it can be fun!”
  6. Blend Technology With Play. Many games offer the chance to move with a partner and be scored according to your accuracy, be it dancing, boxing, bowling, I recommend checking out some of the electronic fitness programs or other technologies out there to see how you can cross generation gaps and meet somewhere in the active middle.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/food-and-fitness/sport-and-fitness/family-fitness/

 

Fitness Tips

Being Fit Over 40

1. Adopt a mindfulness practice

Whether it’s yoga, meditation or another practice that works for you, it’s thought that mindfulness practices can positively influence the plasticity of the brain. Brain health becomes increasingly important as we age, so establish a practice sooner rather than later.

2. Build muscle

This doesn’t mean that you have to lift huge amounts of weight and get bulky muscles — although if that’s what you enjoy, go for it! Muscle mass decreases as we age. If you’re physically inactive, it can decrease by three to five percent every decade after age 30. Adopting a strength training routine can be beneficial.

3. Protect your bones

Bone density decreases as we age, as well. And in particular, it decreases for women after menopause. Regular exercise and a diet rich in leafy greens can help to protect the health of your bones.

4.Stretching

Maintaining flexible muscles should be another important part of your fitness routine. The best way to stretch is in between sets when you’re exercising—this is when the body is warmed up and more flexible. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

5. Cardio

Opt for weight-bearing cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, stair climbing or dancing, over non-weight-bearing activities like swimming or biking. Moderate- or high-intensity activities help to build and strengthen bones along with burning extra fat. Shoot for 30 minutes five times per week.

6. Dietary changes

We often find that food we ate in our 20s and 30s don’t agree with our bodies like they used to.  The weight gain, mood swings, low energy and fatigue we experience at age 40 may be a sign of an unbalanced diet.

 

Sources: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/health-tips-for-women-over-40/ https://www.vitacost.com/blog/sports-and-fitness/4-fitness-secrets-for-women-over-40.html

 

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS INCORPORATE FITNESS INTO THEIR DAILY ROUTINE

1. Make Time to Play

Set aside 30 minutes three times a week to do fun exercises with your kids. Make it a part of your after-school or after-dinner routine. If your kids are young, they might like hopscotch or hide-and-seek. Kick a soccer ball around or shoot hoops with older children.

Also plan at least one family activity every weekend. It can be as simple as taking little ones to the playground– or as challenging as an all-day hike with your teenager.

A key to getting kids moving is to plan time for physical activities. You can find that time by turning off the TV, for starters. Then offer a variety of family activities, both competitive and noncompetitive. When kids explore different ways to move their bodies, they can find exercises they enjoy and want to stick with for the long run.

2. Walk or Bicycle Everywhere You Can

Use muscle power: Bike or walk to the grocery store, library, or to your child’s school or sports events. Go for a 30-minute family walk after dinner instead of heading right for the television. Track everyone’s steps with a pedometer, and try to add more distance every week. Use a family exercise log or colorful stickers to track your progress. Put your log or chart on the refrigerator as a reminder to keep up the good effort together.

3. Plan Active Family Gatherings

Serve up family fitness as well as cake at your child’s birthday party by planning active games such as tag or relay races. Older kids might enjoy throwing a dance party.

4. Sing and Dance While You Clean

Set aside time for household chores and do them together as a family. Play music as you clean, and take turns choosing favorite songs. Younger children love to help out and can pick up toys or sweep floors while dancing with the broom. Older kids can dust, vacuum, and help make beds.

5. Make Yard Work Less of a Chore

Enjoy seasonal yard work together. Younger children can help plant and tend a garden. Older kids can rake leaves into a pile — and then jump in it. Make snow shoveling fun for all by building a snow fort or creating a family of snow people.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/family-fitness-ideas#2