My ideas on training revolve around ways of exercising that make you feel stronger physically, mentally and empowered emotionally. At the same time as going through routines it’s ideal at times to be able to flow and obtain a release of serotonin and dopamine – those chemicals that naturally occur in the body and can make you feel good.
There are so many facets, energy systems and styles of training the body and in each of these aspects there are hours and hours of training required in order to become proficient. So to get out of the everyday routine of going to the office or to work and fitting in your workouts, at times look at exercise as getting back to nature.
One easy way many can do so is simply by taking a walk, walking on grass in a park for instance, hiking in woodlands, breathing the air and looking at trees. Recreational walking can easily relax you and get you away from being too mentally engaged i.e. entirely zoned into work, laptops and mobile phones.
The body and mind need play, movement and release. Meditation is another activity I give clients especially highly productive ones who are MD’s and CEO’s. Again this allows for relaxation and as a means of departure to leave the regular thinking box behind. Another thing meditation provides from an exercise perspective, especially the way I teach it is very good posture.
I believe you are not getting the benefits of your full intelligence and energy pathways if you’re not breathing fully and diaphragmatically. The way to breathe diaphragmatically is deeply, slowly, in tune with your body from your abdomen all the way into your chest with an upright lower, middle and upper back. To put it simply my way of teaching meditation creates great posture, a strong back and lots of confidence.
Other ideas I have on exercise are about cardio especially running which seems rather unpopular in some quarters of the fitness world. I feel this is sad because the benefits of lymphatic and bowel movement, perspiration, blood flow, tuning into the body and activation of all muscles, joints and ligaments cannot be understated.
I firmly believe that a cardio session several times a week is hugely beneficial if you can fit it in. I cant always fit it in myself and I’m a trainer so I get that you may not be able to do it most days, but try to get in as many sessions as you can anywhere from 3 and above per week. All you need is a pair of trainers, appropriate clothing and a place to run. There are of course alternatives such as skipping, cycling or rowing etc. It can be whatever form of cardio you like but I would recommend a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 45 minutes per session.
For strength, if you want truly strong, lean, powerful and buff arms, it’s really simple… Do one arm assisted or unassisted pull ups for 5 reps and do 75-100 push ups in 5 sets either with added weight or simply using your bodyweight. In general push ups will help you get a stronger core, good shape and better endurance for many sports you play while improving general health and fitness.
I have found so many clients benefit by simply doing push ups and pull ups and you really can manipulate these two exercises for incredible arms, chest, back, shoulder and core muscles and even impact your legs by doing them.
For general health squats are absolutely essential and you can benefit from these exercises by doing very high to low reps and also by doing them from many different angles and positions as well as adding lunges in. Another thing I currently like is to mix squats and lunges using bodyweight only but transferring from as many different positions as I possibly can until it’s unbearably hard. As ability increases you will be able to find more difficult but rewarding positions to get in and out of.
Bridges and sit ups are exercises that we do on a daily basis in smaller degrees that improve our flexibility and general well being. They are difficult to do for any sustained period of time at first but once you have progressed and are able to do them more easily your joints, ligaments, musculature and flexibility will all improve. You can either make the exercises easier using supports or you can make them harder by making it one sided, using one limb instead of 2 and thats where play and seriously hard yet enjoyable and beneficial training comes in.
Exercise can be fun, playful and rewarding. It can be testing but not monotonous. Capoeira, dance, gymnastics or even just playing around can really get your body to become alive and free as well as your mind. If this has inspired you to get active, get in touch with my personal trainer Westminster team and we can put a plan in place for you.