Fit fit­ness into your life

Put the ex­cuses away and make time for you

Central and North Burnett Times - - WELLBEING - HE­LEN HAWKES Try the ifit­ness app, $249, that has more than 300 ex­er­cises and 20 rou­tines.

ARE you a fit­ness devo­tee or a re­luc­tant ex­er­ciser?

The first is the person who gets up at 6am, puts on their work­out gear on and sweats it out be­fore break­fast.

The sec­ond is the rest of us. Yes, we’d like to ex­er­cise more … if only we could find the time, or even com­mit to be in the one place – step class at 6pm Tues­days – reg­u­larly.

But how likely does ei­ther seem when we there’s con­stant mo­bile calls or emails to re­turn and our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at work or home aren’t ex­actly de­creas­ing?

“One of the most com­mon ex­cuses for in­ac­tiv­ity is lack of time,” con­firms celebrity trainer and au­thor Donna Aston.

Un­for­tu­nately for those of us who moan that there never seems to be a mo­ment to run in the park or do 10km on the Stairmaster, it is just that – an ex­cuse, says Aston.

One of the most com­mon ex­cuses for in­ac­tiv­ity is lack of time

“What you need is greater time man­age­ment skills to pri­ori­tise the things that are im­por­tant,” she says.

“If you wait un­til you have some spare time to ex­er­cise… I think we all know time is never that spare!”

Make time

Aston, who her­self used to be over­weight and un­fit, be­lieves we must sim­ply make time to ex­er­cise, but she also sym­pa­thises with the de­mands of high-pres­sure life­styles.

The se­cret, she says, is to max­imise the time we do have to work­out and Mark McKeon, a Mel­bourne-based mo­ti­va­tional speaker and au­thor of Work a Lit­tle Less, Live a Lit­tle More, agrees.

For this rea­son, all-round work­outs, such as power ver­sions of Pi­lates like Body Bal­ance classes, that com­bine core ex­er­cises with more dy­namic fit­ness to mu­sic, or Body At­tack classes that com­bine aer­o­bics with strength and sta­bil­i­sa­tion ex­er­cises, are a grow­ing trend at gyms.

Mind mus­cles

Learn­ing how to de­velop the mind-mus­cle con­nec­tion is another way to get max­i­mum re­sults with the min­i­mum amount of time, says Aston.

Sim­ply put, this means fo­cus­ing on the mus­cle you are work­ing in­stead of the guy on the weights ma­chine who re­sem­bles Brad Pitt or the An­gelina Jolie look-alike be­side him.

“It’s all about qual­ity, not quan­tity,” Aston says.

For clients who are de­ter­mined to stay busy, McKeon de­signs pro­grammes that work the whole body in just two 30-minute ses­sions a week.

“If this is you, you must train your up­per body, lower body, heart and lungs in the same ses­sion,” he says.

“Don’t only ride a bike. Don’t just lift weights. You need a com­bi­na­tion work­out to stretch and tone your mus­cles while in­clud­ing a car­dio or aer­o­bic sec­tion to flush and train your cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem.”

Start with stretch­ing and light jog­ging and move on to row­ing, climb­ing, or step­ping be­fore launch­ing into re­sis­tance ex­er­cises such as step-ups, dips, squats, push-ups and ab­dom­i­nal crunches, then warm­ing down.

Com­mit

McKeon also ad­vises the chron­i­cally busy: “Morn­ing work­outs are one of the great­est time-man­age­ment tech­niques of them all. Your ex­er­cise is done for the day and the only time you’ve used has been traded off from ex­cess sleep.”

Of course there are other ways to out­smart sloth.

Try get­ting in­volved in a team sport, where you have to show up.

Or ex­er­cise sneak­ily e.g. rollerblad­ing, danc­ing, bike rid­ing, or do­ing some­thing you would con­sider pure fun.

And for those who are al­ways on the run and want to ex­er­cise as they go, or on a whim, the lat­est trend – fit­ness pro­grammes you can down­load to your MP3 player – are ideal.

It’s a bit like hav­ing a per­sonal trainer on tap so, even if you sud­denly find your­self with 30 min­utes of spare time, you can press play and start get­ting fit­ter.

Ex­cuses not to ex­er­cise? Not any more.

PHOTO: FRANCK CAMHI

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