“Earn the right to progress.”
Progress is not perfection – but rather constant learning and taking little steps towards the life you want in the presence of stumbles.
How aware are you of what your body is capable of doing? Or do you take you movement for granted? Are you ensuring that you move your body in an aerobic way that strengthens your cardiovascular system? Are you honoring your life’s vehicle by ensuring that you keep supple? Do you challenge the muscles in your body and brain to maintain strength, keep your skeleton healthy and upright and your brain alert?
WHY IS MOVEMENT SO IMPORTANT?
- It releases feel good hormones: You feel more happy with some perspiration gleaming on your body (aka sweat dripping off you like a cloudburst), or the ability to inhale the freshness of nature whilst hiking outdoors, or the sense of accomplishment when you ace a workout of whatever kind, that you thought would absolutely “kill” you!
- It keeps us youthful: It is not uncommon these days to see over 70 year old athletes competing in events that seemed impossible but a few years ago. Being that a full Ironman Race, a sub 4-hour marathon, insane body weight training regimes to setting world records in sprint events. It is never too late to start!
- It instills healthier habits: It’s proven that you are more likely to eat healthier if you do some movement early in the morning. It also sets the tone for an overall healthier habits kind of day!
- It creates me-time!: Training enables us to make an appointment with ourselves that keeps us accountable in moving towards our goals and to make you a priority – Remember you can give back if you are empty! It is also a great time to switch off the world and connect with our inner-self – to feel the blood move through our veins, the air filling our lungs. To be mindful and aware at the brilliance of what our bodies are capable off!
- Stronger Muscles = Strong Bones: It helps to release hormones that promotes the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. Furthermore as people age they tend to loose muscle mass and function which can lead to injuries and disabilities. It also helps in building bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis. So strength training is a must!
Bringing awareness and being mindful during which ever form of movement we pursue is just as critical and important as sitting quietly during say the box breathing exercises. We have a whole world on the inside that we need to connect with and by being aware, you will be able to pick up if your body issues warnings of things like “over-training/over-stretching” or training say outside your aerobic threshold.
We recommend that the following movement practices are incorporated into your training regime. The gusto with which you set goals for movement is all individual.
My favourite is Yoga.
It not only works on flexibility, but it also quietens your mind. It connects you with the energies inside and outside of you. Flexibility brings balance and strengthens your mind, body and soul. And of course it brings awareness to your breathing and the movement of your body in the space you occupy.
Incorporate this in your morning routine – 10-15 minutes and if you can attend a yoga class at least once a week, especially in the beginning to ensure your posture and alignment is correct.
There is nothing quite like toning your body (for the ladies) or building muscle (for the guys) or ladies and gents to be able to do pushups military style.
Just a note here ladies, lifting heavy weights transforms you into a lean body and not into a dude!! Taking steroids and crap like that will turn you into a dude though.
2.1 Calisthenics – It is an amazing way in how you can use your body weight. Calisthenics is gymnastic exercises that helps to achieve bodily fitness and strength together with grace of movement
Have a look at our resource page for a beginners introduction manual https://zenfit.co.za/resources/#docs
2.2 Stronglifts 5×5 – This is one of the most popular muscle mass building programs being used right now. It gives your body time to recover, get stronger and build muscle (lean muscle ladies – not popeye-look-a-likes).
I have designed a 3-day programme incorporating this principles coupled with full body exercises. Download your 3 day full body program plus additional core workouts https://zenfit.co.za/resources/#docs
NOTE: All movement standards are explained in the document via hyperlinks.
3. Aerobic Fitness
The program that both Daniel and I have been following for a few years now and that we keep on coming back during our base building phase, is called the MAF Method or Maximum Aerobic Fitness.
Not only will this method (which is as slow as snail’s pace to start off with) increase your ability to run faster at lower perceived effort, but it is also crucial in turning your body into a fat burning engine.
Dr Phil Maffetone has designed this system and greats like Multi Ironman World Champion, Mark Allen trained this way and the results clearly speaks for themselves.
Bottom line – whilst doing aerobic training you want to be able to talk or whistle for it to be most beneficial. Also another sure way to be aware of what your body is doing and how it is feeling during your training.
To get your aerobic HR base we work on the following formula:
180 – your age = Aerobic HR Threshold
To read up more, clink on the link for our list of reference material