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Go The Extra Mile… Literally

Go The Extra Mile… Literally

Go the Extra Mile… Literally

The United States Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of combined physical activity each week for adults, especially seniors. This regular physical exercise staves off obesity, regulates heart rate and prevents chronic disease. But people hear “get active,” and they imagine struggling at the gym or running around the neighborhood before a sweaty collapse.

Physical activity is so much easier and more enjoyable than that. The most inexpensive and easily-accessible way to get started is with a regular walking plan. It would seem to defy logic that one of the first things people learn to do can be the secret to lifelong health, but it can be. Aim to get walking now, and see how fast the miles add up.

Get a Checkup Before Starting

A check-up screens for conditions that exercisers need to be aware of, including anemia, high blood pressure and high or low blood sugar levels. If left untreated, these conditions could cause walkers to become dizzy or faint. A doctor or nurse practitioner can also help you set reasonable milestones, such as measurable weight loss and distance goals.

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Good Shoes

No walking plan will succeed without strong, stable and supportive footwear. Do not walk for exercise in sandals, flip-flops or heels. These shoes do not offer the proper arch support or balance. Trying to exercise in them can lead to falls and even injuries.

The average walker can visit a department store or footwear chain to purchase a basic pair of athletic shoes. Try them on for the best fit. Most senior citizens will want to wear orthopedic shoes for their superior, podiatrist-approved arch and heel support.

Don’t Just Burn Fuel… Consume It

Exercising on an empty stomach is not recommended under any circumstances. Walking without a proper meal first can lead to headaches, dizziness and fainting. Walking in extreme heat without water or while dehydrated can lead to mild heat stroke.

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When consumed ahead of time, nutrient-dense and iron-rich foods provide good energy to sustain workouts. Drinking water while walking increases energy and hydration. Enjoying a light, protein-rich snack after a workout replaces vitamins and minerals lost from sweat.

It is so critical to fuel, refuel and replenish ahead of time that there must be a plan for it.

  • Invest in a non-plastic, stainless steel, high-grade water bottle.
  • Carry fruit and all-natural, organic trail mixes during a walk.
  • Save dinner leftovers, then eat a portion of them as lean meals prior to or after a workout.
  • Avoid artificially-flavored and colored energy bars, energy drinks and energy powders.

Proper Positioning

Walking is not the same as jogging or aerobics. It is intended to produce a light sweat at most. According to the Mayo Clinic, the proper walking technique is:

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  • Hold head high.
  • Look forward.
  • Keep chin parallel to the ground.
  • Tighten stomach muscles slightly.
  • Walk smoothly- don’t stomp.
  • Swing arms freely with slight bend in the elbow.
  • Keep a straight back.

Improper positioning can lead to too much exertion and even falls or injuries. These small adjustments burn more calories, ease joint stress and target the right muscles.

Track Progress

The benefits of walking never wear off, but the excitement can wear down. Motivation and new goals are the keys to continue to go the extra mile. People who are committed to walking can explore the CDC’s Mall Walking program, a walking buddy or a pedometer.

A pedometer is a small device which counts the number of steps wearers make each day. The Journal of American Medicine reported that pedometer users gained 2,000 additional steps a day compared with non-users, and users’ overall physical activity level increased by about a third more than non-users. An exact figure is a powerful point of reference to measure progress and form new goals in a life of walking.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Published on December 12, 2019

30-Minute Morning Workout Routine for Maximum Fitness

30-Minute Morning Workout Routine for Maximum Fitness

Thirty minutes in the morning is about the usual time people can comfortably set aside nearly every day to dedicate towards something to better themselves. What can we really do in such a short amount of time? Is it good to start working out in the morning and how do I start?

These are all the usual questions I hear when people ask me this question. My simple reply is always yes.

Any movement is better than no movement at all. Since it is the very minimal time, it would be better than you do it way more often, maybe around 5-6 times a week.

The Best Morning Workout Routine

The best workout regardless of the time of the day is going to be something that you can ultimately stick to time and time again. If you’re starting out, this might mean just walking for 15 minutes until you are sure that you can keep this routine then add something more challenging.

Making a habit is number one. Remember, any movement is good movement.

Here’s a short routine I designed to focus on hitting major muscle groups with the least amount of time.

Warm-Up

Every workout requires a good warmup that will increase the heart rate, body temperature and help all the muscles, tendons and ligaments be prepped for movement. This can take different forms for varying fitness levels, ranging from a brisk walk, jog or light run.

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Ideally, we would do this for about 5 minutes, for the sake of time, we will reduce it to about 2.5 minutes.

Dynamic Warm-Ups / Movement Prep

Another very important part of a workout. Helping “unlock” that range of motion in a joint to help tolerate movement under load. This a very important part of a workout as it may help prevent injuries during a workout.

Here is a list of dynamic stretches with videos and tutorials.

Sample Routine:

Muscle Release & Activation

Another optional warm-up is releasing and activating your muscles. You can choose tools such as a lacrosse ball and a foam roller.

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Here is a list of muscle release and activation exercises.

These you could do for 1 set of 15 – 45 seconds each.

Sample Routine:

  • Chest (1 Set of 15 – 45 seconds each)
  • Back (1 Set of 15 – 45 seconds each.

This workout should take over 15-30 mins long.

Goblet Squat to Dumbbell Chest Press (Back to Back)

2-3 sets of 12 reps(per exercise), 30 seconds rest.

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Romanian Deadlift to Dumbbell Row (Back to Back)

2-3 sets of 12 reps (per exercise), 30 seconds rest.

Plank

2 sets of 1 min, 30 seconds rest. Pick any variation you want!

Stretching

Post-workout stretching is so important and many times ignored. After your workout you are tired and just want to get out of the gym and just go home and go to sleep. We have all been there. But taking those few extra minutes to stretch and relax can be very beneficial. It can help improve our flexibility as long as we are consistent with it, helping reduce that post-workout tension, tight legs, tight back which can all be pretty nagging the day after or two days post-workout. Stretching can also be very therapeutic when it comes to mental clarity and help us feel a lot better.

Stretching Routine (15 seconds per side)

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Bonus: How to Start Working Out in the Morning

Sometimes morning workouts don’t feel good. This is totally normal if you aren’t used to waking up early in the morning. Movement is good at any time of the day especially if you only have time in the morning.

Keeping the same old sleep routine and expecting to feel different isn’t the answer. When you wake up in the morning, you want to feel ready to go and energized, not sleep deprived and hitting snooze.

Getting to bed hours earlier is very important. Ideally about 7-8 hours of solid sleep, this is not including the time it takes you to fall asleep. About 2 hours before bed, turning off all the lights, televisions and cellphones may just help you be able to fall asleep quicker.

If you want to be fitter and stay energized, simply make as little time as 30 minutes a day to workout!

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Featured photo credit: Julia Ballew via unsplash.com

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