In my last article I promised to show you what exercises you can do easily from home with no or minimal equipment. But, before we come to that, I think it is important to have you mentally ready for the task. First with the head, then with the heart!
As a health and fitness professional the single biggest ‘reason’ (ahem, excuse) I hear for not exercising is, “I don’t have time”.
The truth of that statement is that it just simply hasn’t been made a priority. Now, just before you rail against that statement, consider this scenario. If I promised you that I would pay you $1 million this time next year but only if you put aside 30 minutes a day, every day, in the pursuit of health and fitness, would you do it? I am guessing you would somehow find the time. I would like to propose that all the money in the world is not worth losing your health over.
There is a lot of research about a lot of things out there, but the idea that consistent exercise and a diet of quality proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables has positive and measurable effects on our health is as close to 'proven' in the scientific world as something comes. This statement of fact is important because, when you really dwell on it, the 'why' of exercise becomes very motivational and is not to be underestimated.
Okay …. Now we are on the same page and we agree that both exercise and nutrition are a critical part of a healthy existence, then how do we practically get the exercise part in to our busy lives?
I am going to focus on just the exercise part today but, more specifically, the movement part. The actual exercises will be part B of this second in the series.
Before I get into specifics, I would like to put forward the idea that a membership of a local 24-hour gym is usually no more than pocket change and is well worth considering, especially if it is quick and easy to travel to. The biggest issue with these memberships, however, is that plenty are sold but very few are used. That won’t be a problem for you because you are motivated now :) and pretty soon I am going to tell you what movements I think you should be building your exercise routine around. Once you establish an exercise routine in which you are confident, you will have the best return on your valuable time doing really useful exercises in what is usually a pretty neat space with great equipment. The equipment stays great because very few people who have these memberships actually turn up, so there is very little wear and tear!
Okay, regardless of whether you are going to work out in a 24-hour gym or at home, there is a general way I would do any workout and a choice of exercises that make sense for just about everyone. Of course there are specific issues in individuals that should be addressed to be completely safe. You will know who you are, and anything I am about to say shouldn’t be taken as me telling you what to do precisely for you personally because everyone’s circumstances are different. The most sensible thing to do is to visit your doctor and get the all clear before beginning any exercise program. These comments are more targeted towards adults reading this, but again any issues that you may be unsure of in regards to the safety of the exercise for you as and adult or a young female, given your own physical history, should be addressed by a health professional before commencement.
Phew, with disclaimers out of the way, here are the eight movements I believe you should incorporate into an exercise routine that you could all do as a family. The goal is for the habit to be formed such that they could be part of what you do for the rest of your life. A big ask? Well, the power of habits tells us that maybe it isn’t that big. If you are still cleaning your teeth nightly you will know what I mean.
At our studio we always start a workout with foam rolling/trigger pointing, core, and glute activation and then a general whole body aerobic style warm-up. Stay tuned for the next article in the series for more detail on this part of every workout. In the meantime, however, If you would like to know any specifics about that warm-up process, please feel free to reach out directly to me. My contact details are at the bottom of this article.
Once you have warmed up the body and are prepared for action, we generally like to see our programs built on the following movements that have been dubbed the primal movement patterns (Paul Chek). The movements listed below are what are usually required for competent interaction with the world on a daily basis. We at my studio call this “useful fitness”. We believe that, if the exercises don’t help you in your day-to-day life, then they are pretty much for ‘show and not go’. We prefer go!
- Squat movement - hips down. Day-to-day use. Sitting to standing.
- Hinge movement - hips back. Day-to-day use. Picking up something heavy off the ground as long as back is straight.
- Lunge type movement - single leg strength/balance. Day-to-day use. Being balanced when you get in to and out of your car.
- Push movement - vertical and horizontal. Day-to-day use. Putting a box up on a shelf or pushing a piece of furniture to vacuum behind it. Good one for the kids!
- Pull movement - vertical and horizontal. Day-to-day use. Pulling an object towards you in the house or garage. Or trying to climb up a ladder.
- Rotating movement - day-to-day use. When picking up groceries in a bag and horizontally putting them across in to a trolley. Or putting an infant in to a car seat.
- Gait - walking - day-to-day use. Goes without saying!
Look out for the next article on actual exercises that you can do that incorporate all these movements. I will show you ones that you can do without any, or with minimal, equipment at home.
Obviously there is advanced movement training for various sports but starting with the basics is a great ‘build from’ or ‘go back to’ structure that everyone would do well to have in their kit bag of managing life.
Until next time, keep moving folks. We are built for it.
Anthony Gillespie, BSp Sc, BSc Psych Hons
Ph 3854 0386