Why should I work out?
Why don’t you work out, is it because:
- I don’t have time
- I don’t have space
- I don’t have the money
- I don’t like to workout
- Why do I need to work out? I’m healthy like others
- I move around enough at work already, I don’t need to work out
As our bodies continue to grow, we will see the effect of not taking a focused approach to working out. As a fitness teacher, who teaches up to 9 classes a day, I still need to do my own workout to stay healthy and balanced.
In my pilates classes I have a lot of construction workers who attend at least 2 times in the week. These are people who are on their feet 10 – 12 hours a day, lifting, walking pushing, pulling all day long. Most would say they don’t need a workout but in fact if you have a physical job, you need to work out just as much as office workers. Why? Physical jobs require us to do similar movements from day to day, relying on the same muscles and motions throughout. So we are often working the same muscles and can begin to develop bad movement habits, where our body begins to use dominant muscles rather than the right muscles. This is why we have a lot of construction workers with ‘builders back’ as they use their quads and hamstrings instead of abs and butt, and office workers with lower back and posture issues as they don’t use their butt or core muscles when sitting, or even standing at their desks.
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important, but to complement a healthy inside we need a healthy outside. A balanced body composition is what we should all be working towards, unless we are competing in weightlifting or some sport that requires focused strength.
For those of us with the normal day to day needs, I urge you to implement an exercise regime into your lifestyle from now until forever. This regime should include a mix of workout styles to ensure you have a balanced fitness make up.
That means doing 10 – 45 minutes of physical movement per day in the form of:
- cardio, making sure you break a sweat
- weight training, making sure you increase the weight and reps progressively
- control, making sure you focus on core stability and using smaller muscles.
So here are a few top tips on how to get started.
1. You don’t need to work out for a long time to stay healthy
Short workouts are just as good as long ones. Just increase the intensity, try to break that sweat and get moving.
Moving your body really does help to generate endorphins for energy and circulate toxins throughout the body, releasing stagnant energy and rebalancing your body.
Moving gives you energy.
2. A small space is all you need
One thing the 2020 – 2022 epidemic has showed us is that we don’t need a lot of space to work out. So many workout styles can be adapted for limited space, even the cardio heavy Zumba.
Often long stride exercises can be adapted for shorter deeper strides which tones a little more with a slower pace.
And if you are longing for a distance reliant exercise, parks are everywhere! No one is watching you work out, they are too busy with their own lives, go out into the sun, and work out there.
3. Working out can be as cheap as a coffee a day
There is no need to buy a heap of exercise accessories. Need dumbbells? 2 bottles of water, filled or 2 bags of flour will do. No strap for yoga? Use a belt, scarf or bathrobe belt. No yoga mat? Use a towel. No loop band? Cut the top of an old pair of elastic waisted trackies off and voila, cheap loop band.
Using with your body weight to work out is so effective and pragmatic. I mean don’t we want to be able to hold our own weight if we fall? Don’t we want to be able to break our fall correctly, reducing injury and impact? Yes, yes and yes!
Classes online should be quite affordable. Look for workouts that are progressive, and engaging. While videos with voice overs can be good, they often lack the energy of a real class. Find workouts where the teacher is working out with you. There is nothing more motivating than realising the instructor also getting tired or puffed, then you know you are doing well too – it’s not easy for anyone, but it certainly is achievable.
4. Move the way you want to
Don’t like working out? Don’t!
Find moving activities that you enjoy – dance, play soccer, go for walks and incorporate weights or little sprints to the corner. There are so many opportunities to turn your workout into something that you just enjoy doing.
Rope in a friend or a neighbour to go with you.
Buy a new workout outfit that you feel good in to get you started if you need to.
5. Moving when you are tired helps you build more energy for tomorrow
As a fitness teacher I have learnt that on my tired days, moving my body is always the best way to bring up my energy. Of course I listen to my body and only move as much as I need. But I try not to just sit and lay all day. Even just an easy walk, a 10 minute weighted pilates session, 20 minute yoga stretch or 30 minutes of dancing around the house. I do this when I’m tired as sometimes we are tired from our mind not our bodies.
Have some caution here though. If you really pushing hard to move, stop and take the rest of the day to relax. Make sure you’re breathing right, and if you are still pushing through, please relax. We want to avoid challenging our adrenals too much, take care to not push too much. You’ll know when it is too much. It’s that head spinning tired, that can’t lift my arm but it doesn’t hurt tired. So get to know your body.