So how did you go? Did you do or try any of the 10 ‘Mini Steps’ to feeling super based on what you eat?
If you did at least seven of the 10 mini steps for just one week you would have already noticed how much better you feel with more energy and a stronger immune system, which takes us to our second part, ‘Move.’
It is really simple and true that workouts can be easy, fun and simple. It is just about making the movements correctly and at the right intensity. You will always feel better afterward.
It is not in the scope of this small introductory article to include a detailed work out routine and exercise programme that is suitable for all age fitness and skill levels, however what I can share with you are some key and vital tips you can include in your workout routine to enjoy lasting health, fitness and energy – especially when exercising.
To start with I recommend plain simple body weight and functional exercises. Use a combination of squats, push ups, burpees, grunts, chin ups and jogging, running and sprinting. Just by mixing these type of exercises you can create your own best cross fit type session and keep adding and changing it to suit you.
Basic full range controlled body weight movements are really all you need to enjoy long lasting results. It is literally a blessing for your physical body, just by moving and exercising with enough intensity and range of movement you set off a whole series of wonderful chemical physical and emotional reactions that generally make you feel much better.
Once again with so much information being thrown at us about eating and the ‘right kind of exercise’ it is easy to become overwhelmed and demotivated.
You don’t need to join a fancy gym with a ton of complicated equipment or perform a range of complicated movements – certainly not to get started.
All you need is enough space to make full range movements safely and preferably in a fresh, open air environment. Here in Phuket we are blessed with an abundance of clean fresh air, a wonderful climate and plenty of places where you can exercise outdoors and make new friends at the same time.
I also highly recommend training with a partner friend or trainer most of the time - it is just much better fun and automatically becomes a fun social pastime.
So once you have created your own body weight cross fit type routine and sessions add the following vital training tips and techniques to your routine:
The first and main ‘secret’ is before any workout put yourself in a mental state that is happy and peaceful and feels empowering to you. More about this in the third and final step to feeling super: ‘Train with your brain’.
Secondly, always begin your workout with a gentle warmup routine. Make sure you move and warm up all your main joints in full range gentle movements. Include your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, spine, hips knees, ankles and toes. You can use your own warmup routine and whatever works best for you, but make sure you move all main body joints in full range of motion and without any pain.
Thirdly, and possibly the most important basic rule – it is actually so obvious and easy to forget because we do it subconsciously – is breathing; breathing properly and effectively is totally crucial even more so when you exercise.
Again when you think about this it is very obvious, often you will hear comments like ‘oh but you must eat the perfect food prior to training’ or ‘drink the best drink’ (be careful with all the branded super hydration drinks by the way – most of these are loaded with hidden sugars and chemicals that are not good for you) but rarely do you hear “Make sure you breathe correctly and in the most efficient way before and during your workouts.”
Odd really when you consider you can live without food for weeks, without water for days but only for minutes without breathing – there is real food for thought.
I will share some very simple and basic breathing tips particularly effective prior to any workout but also great as a quick powerful energiser for your body, mind and soul.
Once you have warmed up, stand relaxed with your shoulders, back and chest out and head up; airway open and relaxed. This should feel very comfortable and empowering after your warmup routine.
Become aware of this natural relaxed, powerful stance and position. Close your eyes and become aware of how this feels at the same time bringing all your attention and focus to your breath.
Then notice how you are breathing. Are you breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth? Are you breathing mainly from the top part of your chest? Ideally you are diaphragm-breathing; this is as you breathe in through your nose, your diaphragm pulls down pushes the stomach out and forward creating a vacuum below your lungs and drawing in deep full lung capacity breaths (which in turn brings lots of fresh oxygen and energy to your hard working muscles) as you breathe out through your mouth relax and repeat and become aware of your breathing rhythm.
Be aware and use this breathing technique throughout your entire workout and notice the difference this makes.
The final and fourth tip is fairly obvious but also often over-looked and not always included in a workout; the cool down.
At the end of your workout it is especially important to relax gently, stretching all main muscle groups. This not only feels great but is really good for your muscle tendon and ligament tissues. The cool down routine should always be a pleasant and relaxing experience slowly bringing your heart and breathing rate back to a normal resting rate.
Always do this after your workout and again become aware of your breath and posture after the workout too, you will notice quite a big difference if you are not doing this already.
Also at the end of your workout routine just relax and do a ‘mini meditation’ to become aware of how different your body feels. Notice your thoughts and use these too during your workout time.
Have fun with this and enjoy your workouts. See you next month for the final chapter: ’Train with your Brain’