Whether a staycation or a vacation awaits, why not use this relaxing time to kick start a positive 2020?
Heat up your holidays!
With the holidays and maybe some time off work approaching, how prepared do you feel to keep fit?
What should I be doing?
According to the World Health Organisation, in addition to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week we should also be doing muscle strengthening exercise 2 or more days a week. (For adults aged 18-64). For all our preggi’s and post preggi’s, it really depends on a few factors so have a chat to your GP or physio in session.
What is the difference between aerobic and strength exercise?
Aerobic exercise can include walking, swimming, cycling, running… it strengthens your heart as well as gives a variety of other health benefits. Strength exercise uses resistance (in the form of weights, your own body weight or exercise bands) and helps to build skeletal muscles, and fight bone loss.
If I don’t use it will I lose it?
Yes! Studies show that even within two weeks of reduced activity, lean muscle mass and aerobic fitness can be reduced significantly!
How can I ensure I carry my efforts from 2019 into the new year?
- Set some achievable goals
Leading into or at the start of the holidays, set yourself one or a few goals. For example; “Walk around the block at least once a day” or “Play tennis with friends/ family for an hour, twice per week”. Setting goals that are achievable, measurable and have a time frame will keep you in check. Also, studies show that people with goals are more likely to achieve their desired outcomes (hence why at Core we are always setting goals with you!).
- Keep up your aerobic fitness
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity brisk walking, dancing, tennis, jogging, cycling… remembering that moderate intensity is not just a casual stroll (it requires a bit of puffing and panting). This can be thought of as 20-30 minutes most days of the week and can be broken up into smaller lots of 10 minutes at a time if preferred.
- Do strength exercises at least 2 x week
Below is a short home exercise program of 4 exercises to target 4 major muscle groups. Aim to do at least this sequence for 2-3 sets, twice per week. Add in, or change to your own strength program if desired. These should not cause you pain.
Laying on the floor or a mat. Neutral spine. Shoulders relaxed. Chin tucked. Hips and knees bent. Tuck the tail bone and start to lift from the lower spine, bone by bone up into a bridge for the count of 2-3. Hold for 2 and roll down, bone by bone for 3 until neutral spine is reached. Repeat 10 times.
You should feel this in the back of your thighs, bottom, deep in your stomach and it should feel nice for your back.
On hands or elbows, knees or toes, hold a plank position for 20-60 seconds. Ensure you maintain a neutral spine, lengthen your neck, tighten your tummy, and keep a straight line from head to toes.
You should feel this mostly deep in your stomach (and maybe a little in your shoulders and bottom).
Laying on your side, neutral spine, head rested on upper arm or pillow and hips and knees bent to approximately 80 degrees. Open and close your top knee. You may want to do this with your exercise band tied around your thighs, or with your heels hovered off the floor. Repeat 10 – 20 times.
You should feel this in your top leg’s bottom cheek.
Lying on your tummy with your forehead on a folded towel, squeeze the shoulder blades together. You can also lift the hands to make this harder. Repeat 10 times. You should feel this between your shoulder blades.
- No excuses!
Even when travelling, our exercise bands and balls are lightweight for packing. If time seems to be an issue, acknowledge how many extra hours you have in the day when not at work! In saying that – don’t let the need to exercise ruin your holiday. Life is all about balance! Try to keep motivated by doing exercise with friends and family.
- Ask us!
Still not sure about exactly what to do? Have an injury or are pregnant and not sure what is safe for you? Your regular sessions at Core with our physiotherapy team should allow us to guide you safely into the holidays or you can book a private session.
- Kick start 2020!
Written by Lauren Charlton
We look forward to seeing you in 2020 to set some new goals for a healthier you.
Wishing you a safe and happy new year,