August 4, 2020

Break Up Your Day with Fitness!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Add in Fitness Breaks!

Add fitness breaks into your day and decrease tension and stress. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Wall the hallway.

Stretch at your desk.

Drink water.

Grab a fruit snack.

Do a set of pushups, wall squats or planks.

Take 5 deep breaths.

Instead of sending an email, walk to your co-workers office.

Perform a cardio burst of jumping jacks, jog in place or squat jumps.

Lunch time walk outdoors.

Exercise Gear Matters

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Wear Proper Exercise Gear!

It’s true that often the top, most expensive, new, latest and greatest exercise gear is not urgently required for workouts. However, appropriate and proper gear is! And shoes is where most exercisers miss the mark. For example, wearing flip flops on the treadmill may not be the safest approach. (Yes, this really happens!) Or wearing jeans or work pants for an outdoor boot camp style workout will slow your fitness. (Yes, people do this!)  Ask yourself a few questions to determine proper exercise gear for your workout:

Is it outdoors or indoors? Dressing in layers, appropriate for the expected climate, which means you should be aware of forecast conditions! Outdoor workouts may also require shoes to provide traction. Sunblock, hat and sunglasses versus no need.

On what surface does the workout take place? If the workout occurs on sand, dirt or gravel trail or grass, your gear will vary. High socks versus low socks that allow pebbles into your shoes. Pants versus shorts in the event of a fall.

Is the workout high-impact, low-impact or non-impact? The mode of exercise will call for different foot and ankle support and cushion. High impact and high-intensity may require different hydration and caloric needs than to which you’re accustomed.

Does the workout require quick pick-ups, rapid change in direction or moving quickly from one exercise to the other? Shoes that support quick change in direction, but that are light-weight will be important. Wearing clothes that allow you to move easily will help.

Know what the workout entails AHEAD OF TIME. When in doubt, ask the instructor!

 

Isometric Ab Challenge

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Isometric Abs!

Isometrics hold muscles under tension for a set period of time. Try this V-Sit for an isometric abdominal challenge. Here’s how:

Sit on the floor in proper spinal alignment. Pull your belly button in and keep your shoulders back and down. Extend both legs straight out on the floor in front of you. With a straight back, lean back slightly and lift both legs up off the floor about 6 inches to start. Extend both arms straight out in front of you. Hold this position for 10 seconds, breathing in your natural rhythm. Lower your legs and rest. Repeat 2-5 times.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is for intermediate/advanced exercises, and is not for those with injury concerns.

Master Exercise Form

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Form matters!

Master proper exercise form for an effective workout. Learning how to execute an exercise safely is paramount, and that means learning proper form. This means you should know what muscles you’re working with the exercise and why it’s important to your fitness program.  Here’s how to begin:

Maintain proper spinal alignment during the entire set.

Stabilize your core throughout the range of motion.

Master the exercise without weight first.

Control the entire range of motion on each rep.

 

Group Motivation Solution

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Join a Group!

Is your exercise motivation lacking? Join an exercise group! The energy of a group is contagious:

A group will challenge you to try new exercises.

A group will feed your enthusiasm and drive to log a maximum-effort workout.

A group will renew your commitment to exercise because you’ll hear of others reaching goals.

A group will energize your dedication if you engage in friendly competition with other participants.

 

 

 

Set Weekly Goals

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Set Weekly Goals!

Short term goals of 3-6 months are important, as are long term goals of 6 months or longer to keep our focus. However, setting weekly goals keeps motivation high day in and day out. Write down your weekly goals and check off your progress as you go. 

Here’s how to get started:

Break it down. Set a weekly mileage goal or weight training goal by workouts logged, or even number of exercises, sets or weight mastered.

Reward small steps. Every workout counts and should be acknowledged as important.

Adjust as soon as possible. Weekly goals allows feedback sooner than short term goals. This means less time wasted moving in a direction not supportive of our goals.

Squats on the go!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Wall Squat!

Wall Squats or Wall Sits make a great go-to lower body exercise to be completed when traveling, at the office or at home. Simply find a space along the wall or door frame. Lean your body against the wall. Place your feet about 18 inches away from the wall. Keeping your torso straight, slide your body down the wall about 12 inches. Line your knees up over your ankles. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Slide up the wall and return to your starting position.

 

*Always consult your physician before performing exercise.

Get Motivated by Voluteering

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Volunteer!

What’s one sure fire way to ramp up your workout motivation instantly? Volunteer at a local athletic event or race. As each athlete passes, you’ll be inspired to reach your own fitness goals. Get motivated by giving back to your community where you train and race.

Here’s how to get started:

Research. Look in your local newspaper for a listing of events or do a simple online search of your community events. You’ll truly find a volunteer niche for everyone from walking, running, cycling, track competitions, weight lifting events, swimming, triathlon, and many supporting many charitable organizations.

Reach out. Call or email the event director or volunteer contact and ask where you may be most helpful. So many volunteer duties exist from a few days prior to the event to the event day itself such as from working the check-in tables, timing,  manning a water stop, to crowd control at the finish line.

Invite friends to join you. Send out a quick email or group text with time, day and details encouraging others to join in.

Be cheerful. Athlete volunteers have an extra special understanding of the details needed for competition. You’ll be able to make the athlete’s experience extra special by anticipating what they need, when they need assistance and how they need your support. Draw from your athletic experience and pay it forward.

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve Committed, Now What…

Congratulations on committing to re-enter the fitness world! It’s been awhile, so where to start? When your workout has taken a back seat to life, try these easy tips to get moving again. You’ll super-charge your motivation with super-results!

Scenario: Injury. Just because you’re unable to continue your current mode of exercise doesn’t mean giving it up all together. Most training plans can be adjusted to work around injury. Be smart, use common sense to not exercise through pain, enlist aid from a professional, but keep moving. Moving often helps the physical healing process, and will do wonders mentally and emotionally as well.
Expert strategy: Try cross-training! Cross-training provides an unaccustomed effect and burns more calories allowing you to work around your injury. If you have an injured upper body, try a stationary bicycle cardio workout. If you have an injured lower body, try an upper body ergometer. Unable to do high impact exercise as you’re used to? Jump in the pool for a non impact workout.  Unable to lift heavy weights for awhile? Try a challenging exercise band or body weight circuit workout.

Scenario: Poor performance. Every once in awhile regardless of training efforts, our performance will be less than par. While it’s hard to mentally accept the outcome, quitting will only lead to regrets and wondering what could have been. For example, you trained so hard for the 5K, but an unexpected sinus infection caused your performance to slip.
Expert strategy: Reset your mental focus! For example, write down what was a controllable-factor contributing to your poor performance (hydration, food the night before and during the race, sleep), and what was uncontrollable (sinus infection.) Let go of the un-controllables, and then sign up for a new event or goal.

Scenario: Time away from working out. In everyone’s journey to healthy living, there will be times when exercise must wait or be modified.
Expert strategy: Focus on consistency! Remember that living healthy is cumulative, every little bit counts. Take what time and energy is available and make healthy choices. For example, set a goal to workout 3 days a week to start. Use a calendar to mark your progress.

Scenario: Travel. Tending to obligations out of town can be time consuming and tiring. For example, the unexpected travel your boss required last quarter meant you had to forego your favorite spin classes for several weeks.
Expert strategy: Plan ahead! Next time you have to travel, research your visiting town beforehand.  Find a gym where you may purchase a guest pass to attend their spin class, or pack your running shoes and head out for a jog after your meetings.

By Nicole Clancy