Exercise, but how? Part 4
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Exercise, but how? Part 4
We have currently discussed 3 of the 4 essentials before starting to exercise and improve your health. The first thing is to create a baseline. This is important because you need to properly track how far you have come along. Using an analogy, if you go for a run and stop when you are tired, you do not really know how far you have gone. But if you start running from the Wasaga Beach sign and stop when you are tired at the river, you now know how far you have run and have a baseline. The next step is to know your restrictions. It is important in determining what you should and shouldn’t do. If you have low back problems, you will be restricted to stop doing sit ups, but if you didn’t have this assessed you might not know. The next step was to know your goal. You need to you what you want to accomplish in order to know if you are doing things correct.
The last part is to have a plan. Exercising to improve health without a plan is like a contractor without a blueprint. Sure things are getting done but are they the right things? This happens quite often and although each plan should be individualized to that person, I will review a few roadblocks or misconceptions that ruin or stop the plan completely.
The first thing is to work with a trainer. These are trained individuals who know how to design a proper plan for your goal. They can assess your strengths and weaknesses and individualize exercises for your needs.
However some people choose not to work with a trainer and will have some other questions. A common question heard in the health field is whether to start or finish with conditioning. When designing your exercise plan, finish with conditioning. An aerobic warm up is excellent for injury prevention, but you are more likely to be injured lifting weights than running on a treadmill or riding a bike. Save this for the end.
The second common question I hear when people want to plan their workout is what muscles to start with? A great rule to follow is to start big then go small. Start with your biggest muscles (thighs, gluts, back, chest) and work out towards the smaller muscles (calves, forearms). You do not want to exhaust the smaller muscles because they will help the bigger muscles when doing bigger movements.
The third common question is whether to use the cables, free weights, barbells, or machines. When designing a plan, I recommend free weights. These are excellent because your body relies on the stabilizers to help move in comparison the machines that are on a track. Having strong stabilizing muscles from free weight will be more helpful when you have to use these muscles outside the gym (carrying that heavy bag of leaves to the curb).
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