How has your fitness
plan been working for you so far this year? What are we doing for May? To
help your memory, I’ll take you back to some of the suggestions I made for
you in lieu of my usual annual update of columns.
So far, we should have listed and identified our own dietary and physical
activity weaknesses and constructed a plan of action considering these
weaknesses. Our portion sizes should be smaller, some of us really miss
that soda, and we have all been taking those 30 minute walks about three
times a week. Right. Hopefully your dog is not the only one who has
benefited so far.
This past April we were due to drop another vice like smoking, fast food
or over consumption of alcohol while we stayed loyal to those walks. Now
it is time to consider incorporating 20 to 30 minutes of resistance
training at least once or twice a week….if you haven’t been doing so
This does not require all the equipment you find in a gym. It is amazing
what benefits you can develop from a simple routine that includes some
dumbbells and basic calisthenics.
Be sure to include all major muscle groups (chest, shoulders, back and
legs) as well as the smaller ones (biceps and triceps of the arm).
You don’t have to overdo it either. Sometimes less equals more. Include
one or two exercises for each muscle group. Completing two or three sets
of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise is sufficient for healthy
maintenance of these muscles.
If you choose a weight that you cannot complete at least eight
repetitions, it is too heavy. If you can complete more than 12, it is too
light. Adjust (raise) your weights as your body adapts in strength.
This is the concept of overload. Muscles need to be challenged beyond what
they are used to in order for gains in strength or size to take place.
Ladies, don’t worry. Without a male’s testosterone, you will not develop
Examples of some resistance exercises are as follows: chest – pushups or
benchpress; back –pull ups, seated rows, lat pull-down, bent over rows;
shoulders –shoulder (military) press, upright rows, side lateral raises;
legs –squats, leg press, lunges; biceps –standing or seated curls; triceps
–close hands push ups, cable extensions (pushdowns), dips. Along with some
of these basics, never ignore the core.
Include some crunches, sit-ups, and leg raises to begin with. For those
unfamiliar with these exercises and no funds for a trainer, the internet
is a great place to plug in a few words and receive a picture description.
Don’t forget, next month I should start to run into a lot of you at some
of the races we are due to enter come June…..remember? Right.