It’s a new year, and some of you may be suffering from the post Christmas, cold January slog –it’s normal and happens to us all. I have the advantage, (questionable), of being pushed into a vigorous fitness regime this year with so many hours on the ice and hence skating into 2013 has done my energy and fitness levels wonders, and made me ponder a few things.
Throughout my training I have learnt a few tips that in essence I think we all probably know, just don’t realise we know or more importantly put to the test. Feeling good and fit is not all about 10 mile hill runs and sweaty workouts at the gym. All of us can make a real difference without impacting our time. After all, I am like you; there are simply not enough hours in the day to fit everything in, and I am sure for many exercise will be the first thing sacrificed.
So with a few careful tweaks and mindful, intelligent thinking, I think we could all feel better, look better and bounce into spring with a light step and happy smile.
What I have learnt most of all from skating is your pose is fundamental. I am going to talk core muscles, core muscles, and core muscles…. Our movement and fluidity is after all dependent on these being in fine working order.
None of us have the excuse to not be able to improve these. We can simply change our daily behavior, (and without really noticing too) for some fast affects. Stand up straight, (add a smile for the fun of it), hold everything in and correct. You will be amazed how different you can feel when you have proper alignment. Not only do you look taller, by pulling everything in, you are in itself doing a pretty powerful exercise.
We all lead busy lives and have all heard, ‘take the stairs not the lift’ –Such basic sentiments make sense and make the difference. Food shopping; Instead of cursing the weight of the baked beans, use them as efficient arm weights…remembering to keep your body straight in the process. Use your legs when getting up; don’t rely on furniture to help you. Long commute…. Nobody needs to know if you are doing some bottom clenches as you read the paper! Whether you are getting on a bus, ironing or simply standing up, make yourself tall, don’t slouch, don’t collapse yourself, use your muscles – they will naturally tone up by making these quick win changes…and will become second nature to you before you know it.
If you are being more conscious of everything above, why not go the full hog and start making intelligent choices with food as well. I have never been a believer in fad diets, I believe in “everything in moderation” – whoever coined that phase got it spot on. We’re all intelligent people and don’t need to be told cucumber is a better choice than crisps and a banana will do you more good than a Twix. We all know this; we just choose the naughtier options. And so we should, just not every time. Again simple, small tweaks to make you feel good. As I’m on the move a lot, I always carry water, dried fruit and nuts in the car so that I have supplies on hand…. And can easily swerve the chocolate counter at the next petrol station. And I truly love Chocolate, don’t all woman?! I have found a new love for dark chocolate though lately which is also working in my favour. As it’s slightly stronger, I am getting my cocoa fix without ravishing whole bars at once. Best of both worlds I think.
It’s baby steps but bonus steps at the same time.