Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stonewall Fitness: New Year's Fitness Resolution? Here's How to Get Started!

By David Smith
It is no doubt that this time of year is a popular time to go to the gym. After gorging on holiday treats and countless gingerbread lattes, come the New Year everybody seems to come into a
renewed sense of optimism and wants to take steps to be more active and healthy. 

With that kind of gung-ho optimism people often resolve to go to the gym but end up so overwhelmed by the environment and all the options that it can be quite humbling - it’s hard to know where to start when you see all sorts of craziness happening at once. 

There are countless types of workout programs touted as “The Best Workout” or “The only workout you will ever need," blah blah blah. Not to mention the countless “miracle products” on the market. But none of the programs and products ever quite live up to the hype. 

Resistance is not futile!
That’s why it's important to find what works best for you and what you enjoy doing! Remember if you’re not having fun, what’s the point? There are many different types of exercise and a good, comprehensive training program should incorporate all of them. These include:

· Resistance Training: Not just weight lifting but any kind of load and additional resistance you can add. This can include body weight, kettlebells, TRX, Olympic Lifting. It is important to train your muscles for strength and endurance as appropriate to your goals. Strength is being able lift more weight but perform less repetitions. Endurance is lifting less weight but able to perform more repetitions. A good strength training program should include elements of both. 

· Endurance Cardio: Cardio doesn’t just mean plodding along the treadmill or elliptical for an hour. Going for a good run or bike ride, learning how to swim or taking an aerobics class. Anything that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up for a sustained period of time. It’s good to warm up with and to include intermittently throughout your workout.
Colorado SQUID Team Swim Practice
· H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training): Pretty popular and is definitely a fun, new way to challenge yourself. It involves short bursts of high intense exercise that gets your heart rate up to the max followed by extended periods of rest. This may involve plyometrics and power lifting as well. On the rest period it is definitely good to add a lower intensity exercise to do, especially if you are running short on time. 

· Core and Flexibility: Your core is essentially the center of your body. The muscles around your lower to mid torso that set the stage for your overall balance and function. This doesn’t mean abs necessarily but a combination and engagement in all the muscles within that area (abs, obliques, glutes, back muscles, transverse abdominis) in which the base of everything you do is derived. Focusing on balance and endurance to help you better hold yourself and perform other exercises and tasks as safely and efficiently as you can. This includes yoga and pilates as well as various forms of stretching, core exercises and even recovery components such as foam rolling.

David Smith is the owner of Stonewall Fitness, holds a degree in exercise science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and holds several fitness certifications including ACSM Personal Trainer and Group Fitness.

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