We all look to improving our heath and emotional well being in our lifetime. Most of us understand that physical fitness and good nutrition is the key for optimal health.
With summer here and with the warm weather reaching all time record high, we need to take some precautions as we head outdoors for our physical activity adventures. When taking your training outdoors, early mornings or late evenings are advised. Try to avoid your running and walking in the middle of the day. Take your cardio and workouts indoors, to your favourite gym, recreation centre or fitness studio. We want to avoid becoming dehydrated or exposing ourselves to heat related illness, such as heat stroke. Make sure you are maintaining your hydration throughout the day, drinking at least 1 litre of water, even if you are not physically training. Physical activity helps us reduce stress, strengthen our hearts and lungs, increase our energy levels; and this helps us maintain and achieve healthy body weight and improve our outlook on life.
Strength training is the best way to burn more calories even after you have worked out. The affects of muscle stimulation lasts 36-48 hours after each workout; this is dependent on the intensity of your training. Let us begin with teaching you 3 foundational strength training exercises. Foundational strength training exercises are the exercises that we build from. Please note that you need little to NO equipment to start exercising. Once you have mastered the foundational exercises, it becomes easy to add the use of equipment. These exercises can be done anywhere. We always begin training our large muscle groups first; as this will allow us to do a complete, and full body workout.
Our first exercise is the basic Squat. The squat is literally performing a sitting motion in action. Stand in front of a chair, facing away from the seat as you see in this picture. Our model is standing with her feet hip distance apart, and pressing her weight into her heels, as she lowers her bottom/gluts to the bench. While she presses herself back, she is keeping the integrity of her core (midsection, abdomen) tight, by keeping her spine in a straight line from the top of her head to the base of her tailbone. She lowers herself down, but does not actually sit down, she pulls herself upright to standing and performs this motion and movement for 8 to 10 repetitions, 2-3 sets.
Our second exercise is the push up from the bench. Please notice our model, once again holds the integrity of her core/abdomen in tight and her hands are placed slightly wider than her shoulders. Her palms are parallel to breast level, and her feet are hip width apart. For more stability please place your feet wider than your shoulders. Bring your chest down between your hands. With your palms facing in your thumbs should be parallel at breast level. Press yourself down, your arms should be at 90 degree angles and push yourself back up to extending your arms until they are straight, (keeping your elbow joint soft). Please note no sagging hips, nice and tight through the midsection, pushing through the feet you will feel the engagement of your quadriceps muscles as well igniting your core to join the workout. Again perform the exercise 8 to 10 repetitions, 2-3 sets.
Our third exercise is the stationary lunge. Lunge exercises we begin with both feet together hip width apart; we take a step back with one foot. Both legs will come to having a 90 degree bend at the knees. The leg that is in front of you, you will align the knee over the ankle. Do not push the knee past the toes. The leg that you stepped back with you will curl the toes to bring the knee closer to the ground; all while maintaining length in the torso. Your shoulders are placed back and your chest is held up proud, thus we engage our core/abdominal muscles. Perform this exercise by straightening the legs and bending to come back down.
*Please note, do not bring your arms over your head if you have high blood pressure, place your hands on your hips instead. You will do this motion for 8-10 repetitions, and 2-3 sets.
Fitness is Fun! Always check with your family physician to get a clean bill of health before you embark on any new fitness program. Personal Fitness Coaches are one of the best investments that you can make for your health care. Learn how to do execute the exercises properly and you are on your way to feeling, looking and being your best.
Ranj Heer, Personal Fitness Coach, Yoga Practitioner 200HR RYT, Owner, Studio 64 Personal Training located in Delta, BC. She can be found on Facebook as well [email protected] or contact her directly as [email protected]