Thursday, May 1, 2014

Live Healthier: Double Your Results

In my Prevention's Total-Body Shape Up magazine, May's focus is to Double Your Results. I'm on a roll, so I decided to use the personal training appointments that I purchased... last year :).  I used a couple of them, but then had to have hip surgery.  This time I asked for a trainer that could help me with movement and balance.  They recommended Kevin, who I think is AWESOME!

Kevin taught me exercises that follow the development of a child's movement.  Sounds strange, and the exercised were pretty weird. But it helped!  I strengthened core muscles, corrected movement (AKA bad habits from protecting arthritic joints), and improved balance.  I really noticed a difference in my gait.  I don't list to one side when I walk, and I can correct my balance when I start to fall over.

Now that my walking program is done and my Personal Trainer appointments are finished, I'm going to use three suggestions from my Prevention magazine to amp up my workouts:

  • Speed up.  Step just a little livelier during your cardio workout and you'll double your benefits.  Try adding a slightly breathless 30-minute walk to each day.
  • Get bumpy.  Walking on uneven terrain, such as hiking trails or cobblestones, will force you to flex muscles you don't normally use--like in your butt and inner thighs. Treading on rough surfaces also improves you balance.
  • Focus.  If you zone out, you miss ways to challenge yourself.  Trhy shifting your gaze every couldple of minutes.  then do a quick self-check: Do you have the enerrgy to work any harder?  Are you breathing quickly but evenly?
I'm going to try it on a canal road I found near work.  It's in the city, but they've somehow hidden this pretty piece of tranquility.  Now that the weather has warmed up, I'm going to try it after work this month.