• Ash Radford

Overwhelmed by the task of getting fit? You're not alone, here's 3 simple solutions

A whopping 68% of Americans feel so overwhelmed by the task of getting fit that they don’t bother. Who can blame them. There are so many methods, options, fads and much of the information seems contradictory. We know more about fitness than ever before, yet we’ve also made it very confusing. To cut through the confusion and to get you going here’s 3 simple options;

1. Take 10000 steps a day

There’s some real beauty in this method; * It’s a simple, clear measure of the simplest form of exercise * Injury risk is low * You can get a pedometer app on your smart phone or use a basic fitness tracking device on your wrist * It’s essentially free, and you can do it just about anywhere, at any time. * If you’re busy and have a couple of low activity days, you can always make up for it on the weekend to get a total of over 70 000 for the week Admittedly you don’t get all the benefits unique to more vigorous exercise but walking is the most sustainable type of exercise. Besides which, there are ways of getting more from regular walks so results don’t plateau. While there is no great science around the figure of 10 000 steps, those who do monitor steps tend to take more, Put simply, people need to move more and this is a good way of making it happen. It’s a nice sense of achievement when you reach that 10 000 mark. Over months you may find that 11, 12 or even 15 thousand steps becomes a more suitable daily goal. Add progress to consistency like that and you’re onto a winner!

2. Do 5 resistance exercises in circuit style

As we’re learning, there’s many benefits from resistance training for both brain and body. With all the equipment, exercises and jargon, it can be a strange, overwhelming and even intimidating activity to start. While you could justify more detail and explanation, here’s 5 movements you can do in 3 non-stop circuits. Do it 3 times a week, with 48 hours recovery between each workout, and you’ll achieve plenty in a month or 2. Choose a number of repetitions, and a version of each, that results in a moderate level of intensity for you. A. Push ups, 8-15 reps. If on toes is too much, try on your knees. If that’s too hard, stand and put hands on a table. Even easier is standing up straight with hands on wall and pushing your body away. B. Squats, 8-15 reps. Feet hip width apart and angled out slightly. Bend knees and sit back till backside touches chair and come back up to standing straight and tall. If you need more of a challenge, try with a jump at the top or do a single leg squat. C. Lying leg lower, 8-15 reps. Lie on back with legs off ground and knees bent @ 90 degrees. Shins will be horizontal & thighs vertical. Draw navel in toward spine. Lower 1 leg to floor. Ensure lower back doesn’t arch. The idea is to fell strain in the abdominals. return leg back up to starting position. To make harder lower both legs at same time and/or straighten them as you lower. D. Band row, 8-15 reps.

You can buy a decent resistance band for $20-$35. There’s an abundance of exercises you can use it for. Anyway, this one is pretty simple. Wrap it around a pole (or similar) at navel height. Pull back so elbows brush up against lower ribs, return to straight arm position with control. Stand further away from pole to increase difficulty.

E. Lying bridge lifts, 8-15 reps. Lie on back with knees bent at about 90 degrees, so feet are flat on ground. Gradually lift butt up till torso and thighs are in a straight line. Keep back as relaxed as possible. Use butt and hamstring muscles. Pause at top for a moment and lower with control.

3. Run 3 times a week

Like walking, running is simple and accessible. It’s probably also the most time effective form of exercise. You burn more calories per minute than just about anything else. You need to weigh up those benefits with the undeniable injury risk. It’s not for everyone. The predictable, sensible advice applies- start conservatively and within your limits. Build up intensity and duration gradually. Alternating running and walking is a good way to start. The Beggining Runner’s Handbook and the Couch to 5k program are 2 popular methods that use that approach. If you do have a level of fitness, and are capable of jogging for more than a few minutes, then below is an easy-to-follow running program. I followed it when I was 20 and it really was transformative. *3 Runs a week, ideally with a day off between runs: A. 30 minutes @ moderate intensity B. 45 minutes @ easy intensity C. 15 minutes @ high intensity (fast!) No fancy equipment needed. There’s some variety and it can give you great results. You just need to supply the consistency.

Not just simple but practical & doable

Every fitness modality has pros and cons. A big positive of all 3 options mentioned is there’s little equipment or facilities needed. That matters. It makes your workouts easy to get started on. That can be the hardest part, we’re all naturally inclined to laziness. Take away complexity and reduce steps in getting started and you enhance the chances of getting exercise done, and done often. Walking is the most popular mode of exercise and it’s no co-incidence it’s the simplest. Jogging is similarly simple. All you need is a resistance band, and you can get underway with the resistance circuit. You’ve no excuse! Your fitness goals await! Note: If you have any medical conditions it is important to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. In addition to acknowledging this advice is general only and doesn’t account for your fitness level or injury history. Put simply- take full responsibility for your own well-being.


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