So the dark nights are closing in and runner’s across the country are putting their sports attire away for the winter months. How might you change your training routine so that you tick over nicely until spring?
Contrary to popular belief, running mile after mile isn’t necessarily the best way for you to build fitness. Pro athletes across the world have learned that cross training is an excellent alternative to maintain and improve performance. The good news is, cross training is ideal to do in the house when running is no longer an option.
When the term cross training is used, you may think of that unusual machine at the gym which resembles the actions of cross country skiing. Although it can be a form of cross training, it isn’t what we mean by cross training as a whole. Cross training is any form of movement that will influence the same systems and muscle groups used in your chosen discipline.
Cross training to improve your cardio-respiratory function and, muscular strength and endurance, in the winter mean that come spring when you start running again, you won’t have to start from a clean slate. Circuit training, weight training for the lower body, core stability, torso training, and interval training can all help you maintain the gains you’ve fought hard for throughout the previous spring and summer. Also, when you do start running again cross training is an excellent way to enhance gains in fitness whilst reducing risk of injury. So you may even want to run less and cross train more throughout the summer, at the park or in your own garden.
Don’t give up on your health throughout the winter, give cross training the consideration it deserves and maintain gains in your health all year round.
We live in a society where even a common cold is tackled with pills and potions available from the local chemist. We seek medication for any minor ailment or niggle, so how might weight loss pills affect future perceptions on achieving weight loss?
It’s generally known that if you abide by the principles of healthy living, you are unlikely to become overweight or suffer from obesity. Modern foods that are calorie dense plague the shelves of local convenience stores and we’ve now arrived at the stage where we consume high quantities of fat, sugar, and salt on a daily basis.
Unfortunately by nature we manage to cause more problems than we solve. Rather than dealing with the cause and solving the problem, we often try and fix the outcome. This is exactly what may happen with many of the weight loss pills that we see cropping up in our local pharmacies.
Instead of backing healthy eating and an active lifestyle as a means to tackle our weight problems, society is in danger of coming to rely on a magic pill as a quick fix weight loss as and when needed instead of making healthy changes and experiencing long term benefits.
Pareto’s Law, or Principle, has been applied to business as a credible rule of thumb for decades. Pareto’s Law states that 80% of a company’s profit comes from 20% of it’s customers, however, as a personal trainer the 80/20 rule has an entirely different meaning.
When we talk about the 80/20 rule in terms of fitness, we accept that there must be compromise. Pro athletes conform to a concise plan to gain an advantage over their competitors, they perceive any deviance from this plan to be a chink in their armour. When integrating healthy lifestyle choices into your life, you must remember that occasionally you may deviate from your chosen path with little consequence. In fact, if a little leeway helps you to stay focused and adhere to a healthy lifestyle when you’d otherwise give up, then the occasional bad choice can be good for you.
So, if you adhere to your plan at least 80% of the time, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to achieve your goals effectively. If you occasionally stray from your plan then don’t fret, be good at least 80% of the time and let the pro athletes worry about the remainder!
We’ve all gotten to the stage where change has become a chore at some point or another. Like it or not, you won’t achieve your goals if you succumb to negative feelings. How might you overcome the feelings that threaten your positive lifestyle changes?
Many people who begin a healthy living regime give up after just a few weeks. This is usually because they’ve come to realise that change isn’t easy and results aren’t realised overnight. At some point or another when beginning a fitness plan, you will be exposed to feelings of tiredness, your body will ache, and you may feel overwhelmed by your new commitments. By understanding and accepting that you may feel some or all of the above before you see any of the benefits, you will be in a better place to make significant changes that will last long into the future.
Healthy living regimes are often initiated by our emotions. When we feel unhappy with ourselves or become excited at the thought of positive change, we spring into action. We often fail to consider the task at hand and how we may feel worse, before we feel any better. The resulting negative feelings, then become the reason why we give up.
By challenging your negative thoughts and emotions with logic, you stand a far better chance of overcoming emotional barriers concerning exercise. Is it realistic that the aches you suffer from are because exercise is bad? How long will it be until you no longer feel the aches and pains? Can you make exercise more convenient? If necessary why not lower the intensity of the exercise you’re doing. At lower intensity you’ll suffer less discomfort. Why not exercise at home and lessen the time commitment. Giving up altogether isn’t the logical thing to do, the benefits of exercise only come to those patient enough to take the rough with the smooth. Stay focused on the task in hand and challenge your negative emotions.