Pete’e Blog, Issue Number 1, August 2018 - Daily Movement

Welcome to issue number one of Pete’s Blog. This will be a regular posting which will hopefully be both informative and entertaining. I will endeavour to cover a range of topics on all things to do with health and wellness.

Please feel free to contact me if there as a topic in which you are interested or  you would like explained.

You all may have noticed the following mantra – “Eat Well, Move Daily, Hydrate Often, Sleep Lots, Love Yourself, Repeat for Life”, on the top right hand corner of one of our mirrors. This is a very simple philosophy and yet for a lot of us, as an approach to life, one which is very challenging to follow. In order to gain the most benefit from your training sessions, what you do outside of the gym is just as important as how hard you exercise here in the gym. The final message from our little mantra  – ‘Repeat for Life’ reinforces the concept of practicing a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis throughout your lifecycle.

I would like to elaborate on the second part of our little mantra, which is to ‘Move Daily’. I often get asked by our clients exactly what this means; what do they need to do, for how long do they need to move and how hard do they need to exercise. Very simply, the human body is an amazing machine and was designed to move from the moment we are born to the moment we leave this mortal soil. Daily movement helps the body to function better and has been shown to have a number of very positive effects on our health. These range from improved cardiovascular health, decreased incidence of heart disease, supporting better brain and cognitive health, reducing stress, moderating the effects of inflammatory disease, helping in the fight against some cancers, keeping our bones and muscles strong (especially as we age) and helping us to maintain a higher percentage of lean muscle mass.

Training at the gym for two sessions per week is an excellent start but what about the rest of your week? Regardless of how fit a person is, if they were to only complete two training sessions per week and did very little or no extra movement each week, they would struggle to make substantial gains in their overall health and fitness.We need to get up and move daily. Ideally this could mean completing 10,000 stops per day but this is not essential. Simply getting up and doing a couple of 10 – 15 minutes walks per day, come into the gym 15 minutes before your session to do some cardio training, or doing some extra housework, walking in your lunch break, have walking meetings, get off the bus a stop earlier than normal, parking further away from the entrance to the shopping centre, take the stairs instead of the escalator, or never stand still while on the escalator or travelator; remember we were designed to move. The best thing about all of this, is that there is very little, if any, cost involved, you don’t need to break into a sweat ( unless you want to)and at the end of a week you just might find you have actually achieved an extra 2 – 3 hours of movement. This helps to burn calories, keeps your muscles in better shape, gets more blood flowing to the brain and becomes very self-affirming. The key points here are to find ways to move daily and to do so each and every week, you don’t always have to break into a sweat but training with some intensity is very beneficial from time to time. You only need to make time for  about an extra 20 – 30 minutes per day of moving and where possible vary what you do .

Whatever you decide to do, remember to always make it fun; find activities that you like to do, be it walking the dog, playing with you children at your local park, walking around the harbour, or paddling a kayak on the harbour.  Take small, incremental steps so that over time this becomes an important part of your daily exercise program. If possible find someone to join you while you walking, running, cycling, paddling, surfing or playing in the park. A good, fun way to get a cardio hit is to come to one of our HIIT classes, either on a Saturday morning or Monday – Thursday evening. Finally you don’t need to go out and do any of these activities with a high degree of intensity. However, if you are interested in knowing exactly how hard you should be training then, as a general rule of thumb, you need to keep your heart rate elevated to between 50% and 75% of your age adjusted Maximum Heart Rate (220 – Age) for a fat-burning workout and between approximately 70% - 85% of your age adjusted Maximum Heart Rate for an Aerobic Training workout. There are other, more accurate, methods to calculate your training heart rates and I am more than happy to discuss these with you, if you are interested in more precise figures on which to base your training intensity.

In my next Blog, I will discuss the importance of strength training as part of your training program.