We know that putting time and energy into our workouts is necessary to reach our goals. But research shows we may not get the full benefit from our workouts if we’re sitting too much. Many jobs require us to sit, and it can be easy to fall into a more sedentary lifestyle despite exercising on a consistent basis.
By being a little more intentional, we can increase our daily steps, add in extra movement and reap all the benefits of a more active lifestyle!
Studies show that increasing our step count and movement throughout the day has so many amazing health benefits. Getting more steps:
Decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke. When we move, our muscles are able to pump blood throughout our bodies more efficiently.
Improves blood pressure-more movement means a stronger heart, so it can pump blood with less effort.
Strengthens our bone health. Weight bearing movements increases bone density.
Can increase our longevity.
Can improve the quality of our sleep.
Can decrease stress levels-movement helps clear the head and produces “feel good” hormones.
How to Get More Steps
Park farther way from an entrance.
Take the stairs whenever possible.
Move around when talking on the phone.
Take walk breaks at work and throughout the day.
Go for a walk outside: enjoy nature or listen to a podcast, an audible, or some fun music!
Grab a buddy (and your dog!) and go for a walk in your neighborhood.
Go for a hike on the weekend and choose recreational activities that require movement.
Our bodies were MADE to move! Increasing our steps gradually and getting in a little more movement each day adds up to great benefits. Think about how many steps you will accumulate each week, month, and year if you just do a little bit more every day. Be intentional, get creative and remember: Consistency is key. So let’s get stepping, even a little bit more, every day!
Here’s to your best results! Tina, Deborah, Jenna, Thomas and Nicole
Whether your goal is to move better, feel better or look better, one thing that needs to happen in your workouts is a process called Progressive Overload.
Progressive overload is the technical term for “overloading your muscles”, and simply means gradually increasing requirements in your strength training routine.
When we strength train, our bodies adapt to what we are doing. We know this is happening when the bicep curls we used to perform with 10-pound weights starts to feel easier to perform. Our muscles have adapted to that weight, that number of repetitions and that load. When this happens, it’s time to change SOMETHING to add a more challenging stimulus to the muscle. Otherwise, muscle growth plateaus and our progress slows down, and eventually stalls.
There are many ways to make our workouts more challenging. Here are some variables you can use to promote progressive overloading and to keep making gains!
Increase the Weight If doing 10 bicep curls with a 10-pound weight used to require effort all the way through, but now feels easy, try using 12 or 15 pound weights. This added stimulus and increased demand makes your muscles work harder, allowing for continued development of strength.
Increase the Repetitions Not ready to increase weight? Simply increase the number of reps you are doing. Continue curling with the 10- pound weights, but now do 12-15 reps. This will add more volume, which is another way to add stimulus to your muscle.
Increase the Sets If you were doing 3 sets of bicep curls, try to do 4. This will also add more volume to your muscle requirement, and thus continue to challenge your body in a productive way.
Increase the Intensity
You can increase the intensity of many exercises by altering your body position while performing the movement (like kneeling vs. standing or using one leg instead of both) or by adding an unstable surface to the movement (like using a BOSU or stability ball). Making a movement more dynamic (like turning a squat into a jumping squat) or changing the time or tempo (such as holding a plank longer) are two more ways to increase the demands and require your body to make new adjustments.
Progressive overload must be careful and GRADUAL. You shouldn’t add weight, reps, sets, or intensity in every workout. Instead, pick one or two variables to increase, then give your body time to work and adapt! As a rule, the last 2-3 reps of your set should be a productive struggle, meaning you’re able to perform them with good form, but it’s challenging. You will know it’s time to change things up when most of your reps start to get easy again.
Your muscles are not the only thing that benefits from progressive overload: your bones, ligaments and tendons also get stronger as you increase stimulus! With time, hard work, and being intentional in your workout, you will get stronger and your muscles will need to be progressively overloaded so you can continue to reap the benefits of all your hard work!
We all know we need to exercise. The benefits are well-documented; decreased risk of some cancers, lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease, improved mood and cognitive function, and even better sleep and increased energy.
But for many of us, time is not on our side when it comes to exercise. For the best health benefits, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is the goal. So, how do we make it happen when we have so many other things vying for our time? Here are some simple, yet effective ways to add it up!
1- Use a device. Track your steps and activity. 10,000 steps a day is a general recommendation for health benefits, including weight loss.
2- Take the stairs. Just skip the elevator and climb. If you are carrying groceries or a briefcase or a baby, you get extra points!
3- Add it up. Can’t find 30 minutes to work out? How about 10 minutes at 3 different times each day? Waiting for dinner to cook, or the minute you walk in your front door, or while you are getting ready for bed…grab that 10 minutes and do some kind of movement that is appropriate for you. My favorites are squats, lunges, push-ups and planks…you can do them just about anywhere, and you can do a bunch of them in 10 minutes!
If you need help assessing appropriate exercises and program-designs, could use some accountability, or just need some motivation, let us help you. Check out our services at www.elitepersonaltrainingstudio.com or call 803-749-4279. Don’t let time tick away on your health; start taking care of yourself today!
Elite Personal Training Studio is located in Irmo, SC. We offer personalized, comprehensive, and results-driven programs for results-driven people, serving clients in Richland and Lexington Counties, including: Columbia, Lexington, Ballentine, Chapin, Irmo, St. Andrews, Cayce and the surrounding areas for over 13 years.