Getting fit with enjoyment
What good is an exercise program if you won't stick with it? Some people will tell you the key to completing something is simple discipline but how much discipline is required to finish an ice cream sundae? Here are some exercises that may not be as easy to complete as an ice cream sundae but won't require a drill sergeant to get you motivated.
By Eli Zwillenberg
When thinking of retiring to Thailand most expats picture themselves relaxing. Whether on a boat, a golf course, a sidewalk cafe table, bellying up to the bar or stretching out on the beach with a copy of Pattaya Trader, the expat ideal is one of idle luxury. But such sloth can cut your retirement short, and who wants an early end to the vacation they spent their lives working toward? Better physical fitness is the key to greater satisfaction, happiness, mental acuity and longevity. And the key to better fitness? Physical activity. And, no, lifting a beer bottle to your lips does not count as working your arms.
Impress your amour carrying the groceries
Of course, just as everyone would like to be a tad fitter, no one retires to Thailand to work themselves to the bone. So how to achieve that blissful balance of health and relaxation? By setting realistic fitness goals and meeting them in an enjoyable manner. No matter your age or fitness level one excellent and achievable goal is to moderately increase your activity level. So, while you may not have the goal of climbing the mountains of Chiang Mai you might like to be able to take the stairs to your penthouse if the elevator should break down, or maybe just impress your paramour with how many bags of groceries you can carry at once.
How fit are you?
Ask yourself, when was the last time I moved for the sake of moving? What was the last time you intentionally exercised? For many of my readers the answer will be a dauntingly long time ago. That may be bad news for the years between then and now but the good news is that any amount of exercise will be an improvement and you'll see and feel the results very quickly. The glowing feeling you can get from something as simple as a vigorous walk is truly wonderful. And that is better news than you think because as you get older an active lifestyle becomes more and more important to your physical well being. Do not make the mistake of believing that exercise is dangerous or detrimental in reality, it's essential to slowing your ageing and preventing physical and mental deterioration.
Exercise also improves your mood
Regular exercise lowers your risk for all kinds of maladies from Alzheimer's to colon cancer and everything in between. Not only that but it improves your mood, makes you feel younger and helps you maintain an active lifestyle for much longer. Simply put, if you want to be able to keep moving for years to come, start moving more now. Afraid you're too out of shape or practice to get started? Trader brings you some exercises you can do that are not only good for you but will recharge your joie de vivre batteries.
6 tips to easy exercise
1. Always consult a medical professional before starting any exercise regimen. When it comes to your body you don't know what you don't know.
2. Drink lots of water. You can be chronically dehydrated and not realize it. As people age their thirst awareness declines drink more water than you think you need. Sweat is your friend.
3. Start slow. You may think you're fit. You may think the workout you're getting isn't much. But you know you don't want to wake up too sore to continue on the third day of your new program. Any increase in activity is good, there's no need to punish yourself. Don't jump right back into lifting the same weights you put down when you were twenty.
4. Listen to your body. The young bucks at the gym trying to pack on ten kilos of muscle might want to work through the pain - let them. If you feel pain stop.
5. Rest. Finally some advice you can really thank science for! Rest is as important to your exercise program as activity is. Getting the proper amount of rest after exercising is essential for your muscles to recover and grow.
6. Consider getting a personal trainer. The benefits of expert fitness advice are obvious if you have the means, a personal trainer can really boost your workout's return on investment, as well as helping you avoid injury. And that's not considering the extra motivation a good trainer brings to the table.
Everyday exercises you can love
This simple yoga pose is deceptively strenuous. It will warm your whole body,
strengthen your legs and shoulders and requires very little movement. Start by standing with your legs shoulder width apart. Raise your hands above your head at a forty five degree angle and lower your body by bending at the knees. Keep your torso vertical and breathe slowly. If you do this right you'll feel it in your thighs, lower back and chest. The lower your butt, the better the burn. Hold the pose until it is hard to do so and repeat four to five times. Easy!
Beach Power Walking
Walking is a full body, cardiovascular workout. Power walking is simple walking with a little bit of oomph. Power walking on the beach adds the extra stressor of digging into the sand with the beautiful Pattayan coastal backdrop you came here to enjoy. Start power walking by strolling at your normal pace, and then simply increase your speed. Elongate your stride and swing your arms longer than normal and keep up the pace until it is stressful then continue. The goal is to get your heart pumping. You don't need to work hard enough to get yourself panting, just hard enough to know you're working. Want to work your arms at the same time? Add some light weights to your routine and keep your elbows bent. Your biceps will thank you.
You already know that swimming is a great workout, but you may not know that you don't have to swim laps like an Olympian to get the benefits of a dip in the pool. Try treading water just enough to remain stationary in the water, alternating with lifting yourself as high in the water as you can for thirty seconds at a time. The effort of treading water will keep you from relaxing too much between intervals of extra lift. Properly treading water is achieved by scissoring your legs while moving your arms in figure eights to generate lift.
Another yoga pose that has great strength building benefits is plank pose. There are many variations of plank pose, but the one we'll be focusing on is much harder than it looks. The good news is that it takes only a few seconds of this asana to tighten up your tummy, and you'll definitely feel it right away. Lay on your stomach and bring your elbows even with your chest so your hands are on either side of your head. Put your toes on the floor and flex your stomach muscles just enough to lift your belly off the ground but not enough to engage your lower back and hip muscles. Hold the pose as long as you can, then relax and let your stomach back to the ground. Repeat as many times as you want. You will feel it and your core will thank you.
Power walking on the beach is great for the morning and early evening hours when there is plenty of light and not too much heat, but what to do on a rainy day or after the sun has fallen? How about spending the night working up a sweat in the arms of your beloved, or at least your be-liked? Dancing is a great cardiovascular routine that will also build your coordination and concentration. You may be past the age when you're working out in order to look good but, let's face it, it still feels good to be desired and few things achieve that goal like dancing well. Truly, dancing is a gentle workout you won't realize is actually exercise. Dance enough to feel it.
You might not be able to tell by watching it but Tai Chi, when practiced properly, is a serious strength and flexibility enhancing workout routine. This ancient discipline revolves around moving as slowly as possible through a series of poses without stopping. While not as hard as lifting weights Tai Chi is quite difficult to do perfectly and allows the practitioner to advance at their own rate, challenging themselves as they achieve greater levels of mastery. Reciting an entire Tai Chi form is incredibly rewarding and a fantastic way to greet any day.
Remember, your goal should be to become just a little more active every day than the day before