Do these 9 exercises to stay strong and fit
With the restrictions on crowds, and in some places of the world on being within 1m of other people, it's likely you might not have access to your gym.
You can do these bodyweight exercises at home, and they will keep you fit.
You'll find them a good challenge, and at the same time feel good they work across your whole body.
80% of the value is in the last 30% of the proper form
I was hooked on Russian Twists for a long time - over a decade. One day an instructor at the gym told me that at my age, it was a poor choice of exercise—too much tension on the lower back.
The answer was to move to exercises which extend our spine, not contract it. This is especially more beneficial as we get older.
It makes sense when you think about it. Being hunched over a desk and learning towards a computer screen all day compresses the lower spine (and pulls a whole lot of other things out of shape).
You Need To Do More Pull Exercises. Here's How To Condition Your Pull Posture To Make Them More Comfortable.
I hated doing them also, until now
For me, and others I see at the gym, doing "pull" exercises is not common. Not as common as "push" exercises.
The "pull" that I don't look forward to is bent-over rows - in whatever form. They pull at my hamstrings.
A simple "natural movement" has helped me be more willing to do more bent-over rows. That's important because we all need more balance between push and pull.
Here's what I learned, and now do daily.
No machines, no mirrors, no worries, not just running
I go to gym 3 times a week, but I also like training outdoors. Running 5km twice a week adds more than just fitness; it also gets me out into the weather and nature.
A little little bit of rain; a hot, sweaty day; wind pushing into your face; a new sandtrap on the trail; a family with a dog that you have to navigate safely past - all make you feel as if you are alive.
But it is not running that will give your fitness a big boost.
Most people outdoors are walking or jogging. There are a few runners, and also, rarely, someone adding in a bit extra - perhaps running up a ramp.
With a little bit of imagination, you can add in some training that will significantly boost your fitness.
It is free pure no-equipment exercise available to everyone.
You'll be doing 20 and feeling strong
We've all seen it. The instructor announces "20 push-ups everyone", and a groan rolls through the class.
"If you can't do 20 then start properly and then go to your knees!", she yells in vain—Eighty-percent of the class to straight to their knees.
Frustrated, the instructor yells "if you always start in the easiest position you'll never get to the hard position". Everyone pretends that they didn't hear.
That's the point. If you always start in the easiest position, you WILL never get to the hard position. And you'll never get the full benefits of the exercise.
I'll show you how to get from knees to full push-ups, and it will be worth your while.
Adjust your expectations and get back on track
The most common reason that you are not losing weight is down to the way we think about our effort and the expected results.
At the gym, the average level of energy in cardio classes is modest, but the expectations are high.
When the outcomes fall short of the expectations, then we are likely to give up. That applies to all of our endeavours - writing on Medium, learning a language, exercising, or losing weight.
We'd be better off to do a reality check on our expectations before quitting. If we can reconcile a less ambitious set of expectations, and then keep putting in the effort, success is much more likely.
The truth about calorie counters
It's human nature that when we are focused on a goal, such as losing weight, that we underestimate the effort and overestimate the potential outcomes.
Case in point - calories. We have ready access to calorie counters - on our personal devices and on the machinery at gym.
But are they telling you the truth?
Unfortunately, the answer is "mostly not".
These devices are most likely to be overestimating your calorie burn. After all, who wants to sell a gadget that delivers bad news?
Even worse, they make no allowance for your body's ability to exercise more efficiently as you train. That's really bad news, as you could be burning far fewer calories than you imagined.
Here's a better way to estimate your calories, based on what you know but what your devices do not know - your exercise exertion.
Boost your power and muscular endurance
Passive recovery - where you do nothing between bursts of activity - is the most common phenomenon at the gym.
Research shows that you'll be able to generate more power from your intervals, or more endurance, by using an active recovery protocol.
As I move about my local gym, I'm always surprised at the number of people doing very little. A lot are hooked on the myth of needing "3 minutes between sets". A lot are just idle sitting on machines.
The reason this catches my attention is that I follow the principle of getting the best Return On Exercise (ROE). I don't really want to be at the gym, and when I'm there, I want the most bang for my buck in terms of my objective of living longer better.
Knowing the difference is the first step
As we get older, we need to start reducing the intense exercise days and taking our rest and recovery more seriously.
That doesn't mean that you should not go to the gym every day or exercise every day. You should, as long as you are doing a mixture of more intense days and recovery days.
How do we take rest and recovery more seriously, and what's the difference anyway?
Luckily, it's simple.
Learn the definitive biological answer
More than once, I've read articles claiming that walking burns as many calories as running. By observation, that's "obviously" untrue. If you're breathing harder when exercising, then you are burning more calories. We breath harder when we run.
But all is not lost! You CAN burn more calories walking than running. You just have to make sure that you are not comparing apples with oranges.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter