Opinion Column

Fit for Life: Recapping some fitness tips that still ring true

By Donna Cotnam, Daily Observer

Getty images:
Stretching is an important part of not just exercise routines, but also an important daily activity in order to get the blood flowing.

Getty images: Stretching is an important part of not just exercise routines, but also an important daily activity in order to get the blood flowing.



With only two columns left before this paper ceases to exist, I thought I would just recap some of topics/tips I have shared with you over the past 14 years and more than 300 articles. One thing I have addressed multiple times is the importance of stretching. If you do no traditional exercises during the course of the day, take 10 minutes for some stretches. Stretching will stimulate the blood flow and send oxygen throughout the body. This will help in decreasing fatigue, increasing mobility and reducing the risk of injury. Stretching before and especially after, more strenuous physical activity (exercise, gardening, or a physically demanding job) is a must. Stretching will allow the blood flow to return to normal and help reduce the muscle soreness that often occurs after vigorous activity.

Preventing boredom – it’s a good idea for many reasons to vary your exercise program. Repeating the same activity over and over can cause joint or muscle soreness. When an activity becomes ‘too routine’ you won’t get the desired physical effect from it – sort of like just going through the motions. Alternating your activities challenges the body to perform at a higher level. It is also the technique most used once you have plateaued with your present program. It kind of kick starts your metabolism again. Don’t limit yourself to the gym or your basement workout room. Get outside, bike walk, golf, kayak, paddleboard, snowshoe, ski, play hokey, embrace the seasonal activity that you enjoy the most. Even better, try a new activity, you may find that it is not only fun, but it may help you with the desired results you are looking for – weight loss, increased energy and a new passion for the outdoors!

Understanding your body – certain body types will never be lean and lanky, that is just how we are made. Set realistic goals. Understand that energy input needs to be less than energy output – eat less, exercise more. It isn’t rocket science. Be conscious of where your fuel (calories) is coming from and make them count in a good way. Cardiovascular exercise is a great overall way to lose or maintain your body weight. Try light weights and lots of reps, it kind of serves the same purpose and gets results as well.

Be an informed participant – understand why you are doing what you are doing. Perform the exercise properly to avoid injury and obtain optimum results to the muscles and joints. Body posture and alignment is so very important. Be aware of weather conditions – 1 p.m. in the afternoon is not the best time for a run in 35 Celsius heat. Conversely dress in layers in the cold, so you can disrobe when you heat up. Use the proper equipment, it will make a difference in how well you perform.

Back again in two weeks and I will share my new venture with you. Until then, stay cool and workout smart!!

If you are interested in know about anything discussed in this column, or you have an idea or topic you would like to see addresses, please send your request to fitmom@hotmail.com.  

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