#26 - Exercise HOW WHAT WHY WHERE WHEN?
A modern problem People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.
We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. I am IT Engineer and my job involves little to no physical labor. Just like most people, I work 40 hours a week, so 40 hours a week I am physically not active so I manage my time and priorities very well. This helps me ensure that I get the recommend minutes of exercise, the week in and week out. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.
What counts? To stay healthy, you should try to be active daily. Your aim should be to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities. This is the bare minimum recommended. For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to meet the minimum recommended physical exercise. To accomplish this, I encourage you to make an activity a part of everyday life. An activity could be simple as walking or cycling instead of using a car to get around. For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. This level of effort is called moderate intensity activity. One way to tell if you are working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but you can’t sing the words to a song.
If your activity requires you to work even harder, it is called vigorous intensity activity. There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. You can tell when it’s vigorous activity because you are breathing hard and fast, your heart rate goes up quite a bit. If you are working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
Types of Activities / Exercises
Different people have different preferences in life and when it comes to exercise this is very applicable. There are different ways to categorize all the different types of activities, I am going to keep my categorization very simple and small. I recommend that you engage in 3 types of exercise/activities. Below are various activities you can engage in:
Stretching Many people forget to stretch or make the excuse that they don’t have the time. Flexibility is important, so make the time! Stretching can be done every day, but stick to a minimum of three times per week in order to reap the benefits. When the body is warmed up, such as after a workout session performs five to ten stretches that target the major muscle groups. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
Cardio If you are a beginner, start off slower than you think you should. Three days per week is realistic, safe and effective. If you are experienced, do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises such as: • Walking • Jogging • Bicycling minimum of 3 hours per week.
Walking – This may seem obvious, but some people may incorporate jogging and sprinting but completely disregard walking as an excellent fat loss tool. The main reason for this is that it can be done every day as a habit, hour on end. Running or Sprinting can become very tiring. You are also always more likely to go for a walk as it’s the much easier task in comparison. Walking does not expend as much energy as running, but if you do it more often (which is likely) walking is great. Running and Sprinting are also excellent but this can be very strenuous on overweight people. Other than that there are various health benefits to walking, walking is a great way to get some fresh air and boost your mood, it boosts blood circulation making you more active and it also strengthens your heart.
Pokémon Revolution – You may or may not be aware of the ‘Pokémon Revolution’, it is a mobile game application where you walk to catch virtual Pokémon. As I write this post, I see a lot of colleagues and friends spending hours and hours of their time, walking and collecting Pokémon. I have not downloaded or tried the game. This is could be low hanging fruit you could use to initiate a commitment to exercise.
Lifting Weights The minimum recommendation for weight training is no less than three times per week. In this post, we are going to list some of the most effective exercises to gain strength and build lean muscle. Most of these exercises are compound exercises which you should do with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) for maximum results.
Barbell vs Dumbbell I recommended at the start you stick with a barbell and it will allow you lift more weight quickly and safely. This helps you stay motivated because you are getting stronger quickly. Once you have gained some strength and build a good frame, make the transition to the dumbbell. Dumbbells are great to isolate, mould, shape and define muscles. For me, Barbell vs Dumbbell, one is not better than the other as both are tools to me. It depends on what the end goal is, based on that I will choose between both tools. If I am looking add size to my frame, I will predominantly workout using barbells however if I am trying to define or get leaner I will also workout using dumbbells.
Impeccable form is a must You can google, “how to perform the exercise (X) with IMPECCABLE form and technique” I want to emphasize that in weight lifting the movement from A to B (you curling the weight or pressing the Barbell overhead) is what builds muscle.
So if the movement ensures the muscle being worked, it makes logical sense to learn and master the technique or form. The heavier the weight you lift from A to B, the bigger and stronger muscle you will build. But DO NOT forget the FACT, movement from A to B builds the muscle. The list below contains the best compounding exercises for lean muscle gain as well as strength gain. • Squat • Deadlift • Bench Press • Overhead Press • Barbell Row • Pullups • Dips