KNOW HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN MOVEMENT PRACTICE
Know how to build your own movement practice, easily! What is a movement practice? Why not just say exercise or workout?
You know people who enjoy yoga practice, yes? There are people who “work out” regularly too. Perhaps people talk about “exercise.” Live Fat and Fit wants us all to think about practical fitness. Practical fitness is about MOVEMENT. Movement includes ANY type of activity you would like to do, to be active and GET YOUR BODY MOVING and is one of the most important things you can do to INCREASE health, maintain health or change health!
To know how to build your own movement practice, includes research into the never-ending list of options! I am going to specifically build a strength training workout here, with endurance, using your body ONLY, for teaching purposes. NO EQUIPMENT NECESSARY. However, you can go to a gym and build your own workout. You can add free weights and/or props to your workout at home, buy a stability ball or kettle bells, teach yourself yoga or pilates. Walking, jogging, stretching, dancing, sports, hiking, cycling and indeed housework, can be part or all of your movement practice, while you focus on improving strength and/or endurance. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.
For our purposes in this post, I will assume you have done or will do the Simple Self Assessment provided in the last article and you have read How To Be Your Own Personal Trainer, too. This is important, because all of the safety issues are covered in that article. You can then follow this outline (3 major muscle groups) and substitute exercise/movements of your choice either to start, or as you become stronger.
REPS, SETS, INTERVALS AND HIIT WORKOUTS
Repitions (Reps) – one completed strength training action e.g. 1 biceps curl.
Sets – How many reps you do in a row, before taking a rest e.g. 8 biceps curls in a row.
Intervals – a longer period of time doing the same exercise e.g. a minute of running on the spot or 2 minutes of biceps curls.
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – A workout that alternates intervals of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, at a high level of intensity (not much rest), designed to build strength, endurance and boost metabolism. Remember, HIGH intensity can vary depending on the fitness level of the person carrying out the movement.
WHERE TO START – RESEARCH
To know how to build your own movement practice, start by spending some time looking at various ideas regarding movement. Read about a sport you may want to learn to play, find parks for walks, figure out how far you want to be able to walk, find a walking buddy, watch videos online etc. YouTube is a learning outlet for everything, including any type of movement you may want to try. You can learn how to salsa dance online or how to build a jogging practice online, everything can be learned online.
I often dance throughout the winter when I am not walking, no particular style, I throw on music, nice and loud and dance around my house. Also, I do a lot of practical exercise as I house clean. I love to clean house and it is great activity, with a ton of opportunities to add stretches and lunges and squats, to get and stay fit. There are videos on the Movement on Video page. They are excellent if you want to start with a stretching practice and adding movement to your day in a practical fitness way. My next post will build aerobic movement specifically!
BEWARE OF THE DIET PUSH!
If you come across a particular site that you feel is reliable and believable, go with your gut and your research and learn from them. You will find many sites that promote diet and weight loss, along with very good workout information. I do not support dieting per se, and prefer healthy eating and moderation, but I do not make your choices. You can use their excellent workout/movement information, while ignoring the push to lose weight! SparkPeople has great, simple exercise demos; however, they too push food tracking etc.
If you decide to walk, you need a good pair of shoes (which you may already have), to dance, you need nothing! To follow the plan I am putting together below, you will need nothing other than a little space, but can add free weights to the exercises after a while if you choose. They are really cheap to buy at Walmart for example, but unnecessary for practical fitness purposes.
Lateral arm raises. Bicep curls. Triceps extension. Push ups (modified if necessary).
Start with 2 sets of 8 reps of each, and build to 3 sets of 12 reps of each.
Lying leg raises, side-lying leg lifts, squats, lunges (modified if necessary).
Start with 2 sets of 8 reps each, and build to 3 sets of 12 reps of each.
BASIC CORE AND BACK
Basic crunch, basic double leg lift, plank and T raises.
Start with 2 sets of 8 reps, and build to 3 sets of 12 reps. Build you plank slowly, to 2 minutes.
The reps and sets I propose are for an able-bodied, beginner or someone who had not worked out in a long time. I would add 2 – 4 reps a set, at a time and eventually, another set! When you are doing 3 sets x 12 reps you can choose to add weights or change your exercise to something more strenuous for the muscle group. If you choose to add weight, start very low. You can use soup cans or other items from home, rather than spending money to buy weights. Please read Control Your Muscles With Your Mind, to learn about resistance, as you can create on your own.
5-MOVE BUILD YOUR OWN WORKOUT
This includes 5 exercises that work your entire body. If you do NOT want to do reps and sets of standard, simple muscle group, strength and endurance training, this is a great OPTION!
No jumping jacks, original burpee, plank, push up and crunches. Start from easiest positions and increase resistance using your own body and building more reps. Each exercise is shown in various ways, to make them easy and to progress as you get stronger! The video for this is on the Movement On Video page (links to YouTube, where I have started a channel).
HOW TO ADD/USE INTERVALS
When you have learned all the movements and have built up to 3 x 12 reps, the natural progression is to interval training. To do this, you would alternate intervals of aerobic movement (easy side-to-side movements, stairs, marching on the spot, running on the spot), with intervals of the anaerobic movements you have been doing. Two-minute interval sets work really well, you can start with longer ones and shorten as you go or pick a time and stick with it. Do not push too hard at the beginning of interval training. Get used to the switching between aerobic and anaerobic movement first. Later, you can intensify the intervals and the movements and create a HIIT workout. You should NOT DO HIIT training every day. In fact, in general, you should not do anaerobic movement every day, but can do aerobic movement every day (aerobic movement ideas in next post). Aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity are defined in Know How Fit You Are – Simple Self Assessment.
In previous posts, I outlined the 6-step process needed to be your own personal trainer. General guidelines are available online too! Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity daily is recommended, as a general goal. Please be safe, learn about your muscles and movement, set SMART goals, know your baseline level of fitness, research and plan carefully and assess yourself by comparison and knowing that you are feeling better.
You WILL improve your overall wellness (including mental health) and you WILL feel better. As your own personal trainer, you get to make all the choices, but you are also responsible for the RESULTS. Know how to build your own movement practice and understand your body, know how it feels, how it moves and how it shows up for you every day! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, for any help you may need … just ASK!!
Always consult with your primary care provider before starting to exercise, preferably before self assessment. I do not know your personal circumstances and have put forth all of this information for reference purposes only. Please understand your current health, before seeking to improve it.
This article is part of a 4-part series.