There are a plethora of exercise routines and trends out there to try. This can lead to a variety of questions,
- Which exercise routine(s) do you do?
- Which one will provide you the results you are looking for?
- Do you perform the exercises slow or fast?
- How much is this going to cost?
Those are a lot of questions to lead this blog off but I'm looking to take a holistic perspective to answer them.
Which exercise routine(s) do you do?
Do you have an idea of what your body is physically capable of doing at this point in time? This should be your first goal. To find out where your health lies NOW is critical to mapping out a successful journey into a healthy lifestyle. This SHOULD be part of an initial evaluation with a fitness and/or allied health professional. We reviewed this earlier this year. So to answer the initial question, "Which exercise routine(s) do you do?" The workout that challenges you but does not leave you extremely sore or with aching joints. If you feel this way, you have done too much too soon. Remember, fitness is a custom job. Without data and/or working with a qualified professional in person, it is not possible in my opinion to create an accurate, long-term plan for success. If you don't know how to start, consider hiring a qualified fitness professional to teach and guide you.
Which one will provide the results you are looking for?
Provided you are resting, recovering, coping with stress in a healthy manner, and eating appropriately for your goal, the answer is the same as the first question.
Do you perform the exercises slow or fast?
If you are under the supervision of a fitness/strength professional and IF your body has built a tolerance to withstand the forces of Olympic Lifting and/or various athletic skills that involve agility, speed, and plyometric movements, there is a metabolic benefit to the HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. The key to this is understanding that this type of workout is ADVANCED. If you are starting out, complicated movements will most likely not benefit. However, if one is determined to do this kind of a workout, do the skills slowly.
In terms of performing exercise "slowly", I believe a better description would be is with control. More times than not slow and controlled are synonymous with each other in reference to injury prevention measures for exercise. Something to note with physics, when moving with control, there is actually MORE force being applied to the musculature throughout the range of motion. In contrast, when there is more acceleration involved in the movement, momentum provides less force THROUGHOUT the range. For physics buffs, this is a result of the conservation of angular momentum. In "English", this means, for brief times in the range of motion, the musculature works LESS than if the movement was being done slower. If the goal is to perform a task such as Olympic lifting, this is a wanted effect. Otherwise the lift could not be done very well, if at all.
Another concept to be aware with acceleration is at the end range of the exercise. If momentum is involved, inertia or the resistance to motion change, will increase the amount of force involved to stop the motion vs. a slow and controlled motion. This means when accelerated, the weight/mass has more force vs a slow and controlled movement (F=MA). Therefore, there will be more force needed to decelerate and stop the motion completely. This can bring more stress to the muscle fibers, connective tissue (tendons, ligaments), bones and as well as the other muscles involved used to provide stability. Think of accelerating a high performance vehicle quickly (Fast and Furious) and suddenly slamming on the brakes. If this kind of action continues long-term, how long will it be before something needs replaced on that vehicle? (Alignment adjustments, engine parts, brakes, etc.). Our bodies are our high performance vehicles.
It is important to be aware when speed is involved, more force is involved. Do you know when to stop? Do you know the cues that tell you the muscle(s) you're working are no longer capable of doing the exercise with control. Once control is gone, there is no benefit to the exercise. It is either ego or ignorance continuing the exercise at this point. "Can this be controlled?" is the question you want to ask yourself. If so, carry on until you feel the ability to do so cease. Failure to doing so brings us back to, too much, too soon.
How much is this going to cost?
I'm going to ask you this, based on your current health and financial budget, "Can you afford your workouts? How much do we review the TOTAL financial, physical, and mental cost of healthy lifestyle. Emphasis on HEALTHY and not overzealous work that leads to injury. Even then, can you afford that kind of training?
Fixed and Potential Debits:
Exercise - Gym/Studio Membership, Professional Training Sessions
Recovery - Bodywork Sessions
Rest - Sleep (can you afford to sleep like you should?)
Nutrition - Certain Foods and Quantities, Nutritional Education (R/LD or LN)
Stress Management - Exercise, Counseling, Rest
Prevention vs. Reaction
This may look like a lot of money initially. However, compared to what a potential major surgery will cost, the time and subsequent wages lost at work, and emotional toll of the entire ordeal, the estimation likely pales in comparison. Prevention is much cheaper from both a financial and psychological perspective.
As you continue your journey of optimal health and well being, I encourage you to consistently ask yourself,
1. What is the goal? What are your physical capabilities right now? Knowing these 2 are critical for success.
2. What is the plan? If there isn't one, there is a recipe for frustration and potentially injury waiting to happen. Are you workouts helping or hurting you?
3. What is your budget for physical recovery? In the event you may over do it (we are prone to push ourselves.), how much have you budgeted for bodywork to recover? This is often an overlooked measure.
4. How can I afford this? Prevention is more cost effective than reaction. The overall cost of one major surgery alone will pale in comparison to the cost of preventive maintenance.
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