April 08, 2023
In my last article, Start your day off well, I went over 7 different warm up movement styles that I tried out.
I didn’t find that any of these replaced the need for resistance or cardiovascular exercise so this week I am reporting back on my experience trialing different forms of these types of exercise.
7 minute workouts
When I was first diagnosed I walked. Going for walks kept me from losing myself to despair. It was something I could do. It was something that was universally agreed on would be good to do.
I am lucky that I live in a neighborhood that is pleasant to walk around. When I was going through my treatments I my city was in COVID lockdowns and luckily walks were still available to me.
Walking absolutely works for me as I find it helps me keep my mind from negative chatter. I can also go for walks in the native bush or beaches nearby with family and friends or by myself.
About the only things that don’t work for me with walking is the time it takes and the weather. The last summer in the city where I live has had truly awful storms and cyclones which does get in the way of a good walk at times.
I noticed that when I went for long “talking walks” with a friend in a more natural setting my head was so much clearer and my thinking so much more useful which was an added bonus to spending time with my friend.
I also have learnt that I need to push myself a little to get the endorphin benefits of walking so I try to walk where there are hills as this naturally makes me put more effort into my walking.
Walking is a must for me, and luckily I have a dog who feels the same way so walking is definitely a necessary part of moving well for me.
I learnt to swim as a child, but re-learnt as an adult so I could have a technique that was good enough to have swimming be a form of exercise for me.
I am really glad I did this as I do feel much more confident and powerful when I swim now.
The best thing about my swimming experiment is I got to share it with one of my children. We would go into the pools after his lesson and get that time and shared experience together.
Since I don’t have a pool going to the pool is the biggest barrier to swimming regularly. Also, even though I go sailing and therefore get to “swim” in the water off the boat, it’s not what I would call exercise (although it would could in the “move more and well” category of life).
I learnt that having god technique makes such a massive difference to my ability to swim.
My increasing my confidence in my ability to swim I do feel more confident when in deep water, the next step for me in the challenge myself more while I am in the water off the boat.
High Intensity Interval Training is a series of short intense exercise followed by recovery time of similar length. It’s great for the efficient use of time, as well as the purported benefits of increased fat loss and fitness.
What worked for me is the efficient use of time. I only trialed it for a week so I didn’t see any great weight loss benefits (and can I just say exercising isn’t the best option for losing weight anyway!).
In my getting-older-post-surgery body I find the exercises a bit too fast and jarring and I was concerned about injuring myself.
There are a range of workouts on youtube that fit under the HIIT method so there is scope for a lower impact workout.
I love to use of time focus so will be keen to use shorter time frame exercise routines.
There are a range of 7-10 minute workouts on youtube that can be followed. When I consider longer workouts in the past they spent a lot of time doing warm ups, and cool downs, which I have covered already in my warm up routine that I do each morning (which includes the therapeutic exercises I need to do). It’s easy enough to do a little stretching at the end of one of these short workouts.
What I loved about these workouts is that I felt better immediately after doing them. Unlike the HIIT I felt endorphin release improvement in my mood so this encourages me to continue with this type of exercise.
Me. The biggest problem I had with this exercise was just making the time to do it. It’s only a short amount of time so I can see that I am getting in my own way with this one.
For me, the morning warm up is non-negotiable and I do some form of it every day. I also really like walking so when time pressure is on I skip the toning workout and focus on the walk.
In a similar way to HIIT I like the way that time is used effectively. This is often done by combining upper and lower body exercises (i.e. bicep curls with squats). I definitely will have this as a criteria for my strength/ toning exercise.
Pilates is a commonly used toning/ strengthening workout and while there are classes for all levels and abilities I still choose to do these exercises at home as it fits my family commitments better.
I love the efficiency of pilates, while the exercises are obsessed with the core I find they are compound (like the 7 minute workouts) so I am getting more work done in a shorter time.
There are loads of options on Youtube so with a little patience you will be able to find something that is at your level.
Because I do the movements by myself at home at pilates requires a very precise application of the movements I am sure I don’t get the full benefits. Likewise I am not using the special pilates equipment which I am sure would be of even greater benefit.
The other downside is I don’t get the endorphin positive benefit that I get from the 7 minute workouts.
I found a routine that used weights which I found to be the best option for me.
I think pilates workouts being more focussed slow and deliberate are great to me as they are time efficient and feel safe to do.
As you can see I only focussed on 5 different exercise styles. I wanted to try out these options and see how they felt for me.
I realised walking is a must for me (and for my dog), and I especially like the bonus of being able to go for longer walks in nature with family or friends.
Strengthening/ resistance is the part of my exercise routine that gets sadly neglected, which is such a shame as I know that loss of muscle mass = loss of strength, and it only takes ½ - 1 ½ kg weights to maintain muscle mass.
For the moment while I continue to intend to add more toning exercise to my daily life I have added a couple of resistance exercises to my warm up routine just to make sure I am doing someone daily.
There are loads of options to move well, both for cardiovascular fitness and resistance training. I encourage you to find what works for you and make this a regular part of your schedule.
October 06, 2023
I have found with the people that I help that using minerals gives us a strong foundation to work with.
On a personal level I am extremely grateful for the support of minerals!!
September 01, 2023
August 25, 2023
When you start to think in a downward spiral, or become distracted or focussing on negative “unwanted” thoughts - of the past, the present or the future you simply tell your brain “Useful Thoughts Only”
The trick is catching yourself in the act, but I suspect you may have a few (or even many) opportunities each day to practice this technique. The great thing is, even if you realise after quite a while that you have been riding the unhelpful thought train, you can stop at any time and tell yourself - USEFUL THOUGHTS ONLY.