Am I doing enough?
What exercises did you do to lose weight? Exactly how many hours did you train? Is what I am doing enough? Questions I still get asked all the time and my answer is always the same - you need to find what works for you.
I have seen others over-do it. When exercising, my mate Shane used to sweat buckets and would feel ill walking at 4km per hour on the treadmill. I, on the other hand, barely broke a sweat sprinting up hills and never got sick while training. I became frustrated hearing our personal trainer taunt the group: “we are not leaving this gym until Kristie sweats." I felt like I was letting everyone down and getting nowhere, but several weeks later we both arrived at our goal weight.
The truth is, you don’t have to bust your boiler to gain important benefits. The best program is one that you can maintain life-long. The facts are that physical inactivity causes around 30% of heart disease, 27% of diabetes, 21-25% of breast and colon cancer and contributes to over 13,000 premature deaths in Australia every year. It increases the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety and falls.
The Australian National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day. When deciding what is best for you, consider your health goals, training conditions, and if you have injuries or illness see your doctor before undertaking vigorous activity.
If you have a desk job and your aim is to compete in a triathlon, then of course your program will look a little different to that of someone who performs a physically demanding job and simply wants to increase their fitness. Again, you need to find what works for you.
If you are looking for some useful tips on improving your fitness in the workplace, please check out the resources available on the Healthier Workplace WA website. You can also check out the free online fitness competition Get On Track Challenge (GOTC).
All up, it's important to remember the basics:
Plan to succeed – A good exercise program is one that is flexible and can fit into your day. Be realistic about what you can do, record your progress and review your program regularly. Fail to plan, plan to fail - you know the drill.
Mix it up – You get the best results when your program includes variety – things like weight training, walking, swimming or cardio exercises. Don’t forget to include some fun stuff too.
Be consistent – Just like regular piano practise will help you play beautiful sonatas, regular exercise will help you reach your fitness goal. Through small and simple things, great things are made possible.
Adopt a holistic approach - Consider other factors that may improve the effectiveness of your training like quitting smoking, getting enough sleep, reducing alcohol intake, wearing supportive shoes and drinking plenty of water. Oh, and remember to wear a hat when you're in the sunshine.
Your exercise program may look completely different to mine but if we keep moving forward and do what works for us, we are both likely to arrive at the same place - our goal. See you there.
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