How will you get fit in 2015 ?

how will you get fit in 2015

Joseph Pilates said that ‘Physical fitness is the requisite of happiness’ – do you agree?

So what does physical fitness mean to you?

According to thesaurus – Physical – relating to the body.

Fitness well this encompasses a much wider set of thesaurus results – health, strength, robustness, vigour, form, condition and also can be described as suitability, ability, capability.

When I was younger I probably thought being physically fit meant that I could do exercise and sport. I never related it to my day to day activity and how much I was sitting down watching the TV or using the car to get about or how well I might do my chores – the daily activities of living, but now as I get older I am looking at what is important and whether my fitness programme does what it needs to, not only physically but mentally, so that it becomes an easy part of my lifestyle.

What has become more important to me is my flexibility and mobility, not having aches and pains and keeping stress levels down and being much more active on a regular daily basis which does not mean I work out each day, it means instead of sitting around too long or doing one task for ages, I vary my activities. If I have to go on the iPad or laptop I will limit the time I use it so that I get up and move around instead of building up tension in my body through being fixed for too long in one place. Our bodies are amazing and were designed to be active, unfortunately science and technology is not particularly helping us be healthy.

As we age we should consider what our body needs.

During your 20s you reach your peak bone mass and should be doing a wide variety of activity -cardio, strength training, the bigger the variety the better.

In your 30s life starts getting very hectic at work, at home with children and you start to feel less fit and more tired. Your body is now losing muscle tone and gaining fat more easily so how should you be exercising? It needs to be quality workouts not quantity and really you should be aiming to workout x3 per week of at least 20 minutes duration still mixing up cardio and strength. Look also at your lifestyle and think of chores as mini workouts. Make sure if you have had children that you pay attention to those areas that have weakened – your abdominals and make sure you keep strengthening your back to deal with the fact that you are lifting more than you used to with picking up children. Be careful during your thirties that you don’t wear yourself out.

So if you are hitting the 40s, possibly things are starting to droop. If you have been exercising then great you will continue but aim for 2-3 strength training workouts to keep improving bone density. If you have decided to get into exercise as you are finally concerned about your fitness, don’t rush into it thinking you can be like a 20 year old and keep away from quick fix diets as they will cause chaos to your body and make it harder to keep weight off. Consider also just brisk walking will give you a workout that reaps huge positive benefits. Don’t keep thinking that it must be bust a gut exercise to achieve weight loss and fitness. Stress is a big cause of weight gain so if you can include activities that relax you and make you happy, this will help you have a healthier lifestyle.

The 50s don’t think you can’t exercise. You might prefer not to pound your joints as much but you still need to keep active. Aim for say half an hour a few times a week and include weights as you can still develop muscle tone.

The 60s and onwards – again no reason not to exercise. Walking is brilliant as you need to keep weight bearing and the use of flexibands to keep toning up. Try Tai Chi, Yoga or Pilates to maintain flexibility just make sure you are keeping activity, seeing people and getting out and about.

So coming back to my question what will physical fitness mean to you in 2015?

For me it is having a body/mind that is active so that I can lead a busy, mobile lifestyle where I work out a few times during the week doing the type of exercise that is good for me.

I think that ‘physical fitness is the requisite of happiness’ but that physical fitness is more than going to the gym, it is about having and maintaining a healthy lifestyle so that you can continue to carry out your daily activities with ease because if you can’t do them, you will feel older than your years.

Look at fitness as a lifestyle change – don’t work out so much your body can’t move, then you are not going to be as mobile as you need to be as you get older. Be sensible and consider what are you trying to achieve for 2015. If you have an event you are entering into then of course train towards that event – 5k, 10k, assault course, swimming, but make sure all your training deals with:-

  • the principle of overload – that you continue to challenge your body so that if it has got used to a weight or type of exercise, go heavier or do something different so that it will get stronger, bigger, faster, etc and learns to re-adapt.
  • Look at how many times a week you train, is it enough or too much. You don’t want to burnout through over training if you are doing the same thing all the time.
  • How intense is your exercise, does it push you?
  • Do you have balance in that you are doing training for flexibility as well as strength and cardio?
  • How long do you train for? Do you really need to do hours or can you achieve more in a shorter more intense workout?

One of the major problems with keeping healthy and maintaining your health is if you don’t keep setting goals.  So the first thing you will need to do for 2015 is set a goal – it might be fitting back into those skinny jeans by March, wearing that bikini by July, entering your first 5k in February. Make sure your goal has timeframes and is very specific so that you have a target and if it is weightloss give yourself leeway of a couple of pounds/kilos either side of your target as setting very rigid targets can it make it much harder to achieve.

An absolute though is to make sure in your new year programme if you are doing intense workouts, give yourself at least one day off to recover. If you are strength training you really need day on, day off.

Whatever your goal for 2015 is going to be, you have heard the term ‘use it or lose it’ make sure you keep active and keep your muscles working so that you use them rather than lose them in 2015!