Most of us know that exercise is important for all aspects of our health, but the idea of getting fit, more than just taking a walk at lunch; can seem intimidating or downright unnecessary.
You might be thinking, “what kind of exercises would I need to do or how long or often would I need to exercise”? If I feel fine then do I really need to “Get Fit”?
Good questions and challenge accepted.
Do you remember the Life Call infomercial where an elderly woman utters the now infamous phrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”?
We may have a laugh over the informercial and think that could never happen to us, but could it?
Being fit isn’t the absence of injury or the ability to handle everyday tasks without assistance.
If you’re beyond the age of 20 and you’re not doing something to strengthen your body, your bones and muscles are shrinking.
To top it off, around the age of 28, your growth hormone starts declining.
With every passing year we’re aging faster, that’s why it’s important to maximize muscle mass and strength while we can.
Age may be a force to be reckoned with, but it doesn’t have to win.
The goal of this Get Fit Challenge is to be able to independently lift, pull or push your own body weight.
Level 1 – For someone who is NOT physically active.
Challenge: From a seated position, practice standing without using your hands. Do this 10x a day. Each week add another rep. This will ensure that if you were ever to fall, you would have the strength to get up on your own.
Level 2 – For someone who is physically active but doesn’t practice regular strength training.
Challenge: Do one strict pull-up and one strict push-up. Place your hands in a palms-forward position on the bar, pull your body weight up until your chin is over the bar. You can use bands until you’re able to do a strict pull up on your own. Here’s a pull-up bar you can put up in a doorway if you don’t want to go to the gym or bands for an assisted pull-up.
For a push-up, place your hands and feet on the floor and lower your body until your chest touches the floor, then push yourself back up. You want to have enough strength that you could push or pull your own body weight out of a ditch or some other unexpected situation or help someone else out.
Level 3 – For someone who is physically active and practices regular strength training.
Challenge: Stand with your legs crossed and lower your body into a squat position until your rear touches the floor and you’re in a seated position then stand back up. Switch legs. Do 5 reps on each side. This helps develop balance and flexibility without being dependent upon our hands for support.
Get Fit for Life
Did you know that lifelong exercisers have a cardiovascular system that acts 30 years younger than their counterparts who do not exercise regularly?
In fact, muscle mass is the #1 biological marker of aging. All cause mortality increases as muscle strength decreases.
That’s why over 40% of a person’s muscle mass will be lost by age 70 without regular resistance training.
What is the most efficient way to build muscle?
Perform movements to failure or very near failure on a consistent basis.
The body is insanely good at adapting to the stress applied to it. If we perform the same activity over and over without changing anything, we will start losing muscle and overall fitness.
When you’re building muscle, you’re also building strong bones. This will allow us to freely move about without worrying about fracturing a bone!
Besides strength training, try incorporating simple habits like, putting your shoes on or taking your shoes off while standing instead of sitting. Sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve lost some of your balance or strength until you change an aspect of your routine.
These habits can add up and serve as guardrails to make sure you don’t lose your independence later in life.
For more tips on how to get fit and increase fat loss read the post, Protein for Fat Loss.