Sedentary lifestyles, desk jobs and lack of exercise can cause our muscles to become weak, unbalanced, and inflexible. One result of this can be poor posture caused by weakened back muscles which in turn can bring on back pain and stiffness that exacerbates the situation and often makes it worse. One remedy for this debilitating cycle is to strengthen your core. By incorporating full body, functional resistance training a couple of times per week you will begin to see improvements in all these areas. When your body is strong and balanced even every day tasks like carrying groceries, housework, yard work or even just going about your daily routine tend to become much easier. One of my favorite benefits of this type of fitness training is the improvement in your over all coordination and balance. A good example of this is when you trip up a step or on an uneven surface, when your body is strong and balanced, it will automatically compensate and help keep you from falling.
To really see improvements in your flexibility add a minimum of 20 to 40 minutes of easy Yoga postures and / or specific flexibility training 3 to 5 times per week and always incorporate a full body stretch at the end of your workout whether it is a cardio or strength training workout. Remember to incorporate cardiovascular exercise 5 to 6 days per week for at least 30 minutes.
When strength training follow these exercise specifics and you will be amazed at the improvement in your flexibility, balance and coordination.
- 2 to 3 full body strength training workouts per week (non consecutive days)
- 1 to 3 sets, 10 to 15 reps of each exercise and 30 to 45 seconds rest between sets
- Moderate weight and light to moderate intensity
Not sure where to start, here is an easy fitness schedule to follow.
- Monday – Cardio exercise
- Tuesday – Strength training followed by flexibility & stretching
- Wednesday – Cardio exercise followed by flexibility training
- Thursday – Cardio exercise followed by flexibility training
- Friday – Strength training followed by flexibility & stretching
- Saturday – Cardio exercise
- Sunday – Rest day
As you begin to have success and start to see results and improvements add another flexibility day and then another day of strength training. Remember to start slowly, new habits such as exercise take time to develop and can be challenging at first. Keep it fun and if possible exercise with a buddy – you will be less likely to skip a day! Before you know it you will be feeling strong, balanced and flexible.
Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy! ~ Tanya