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January 17, 2022

How is your Current Health?

The normal rhythm of our lives has been shattered these past 18 months. Many of us feel stuck in an unending holding pattern of challenges, with our supportive routines and habits disrupted or made impossible.

This has left us in varying shades of fear, overwhelm, stress, depression, low motivation, isolation, comfort eating, and increasingly sedentary activities. Not to mention the business and financial pressures that most of us are enduring. How much does this describe you at the moment?


Fitness is essential

The impact of all this on your health is significant. Thankfully, you have access to an evidence based, government approved, FREE treatment to support you through this time.. EXERCISE! More specifically, cardio exercise and improving your fitness.

The benefits of being fitter include improving your mood and energy, managing your weight, improving your cognition and memory, reducing stress and risk of disease, and so much more!

Did you know - low cardio respiratory fitness is associated with the highest risk of mortality, exceeding the mortality risks of smoking, diabetes and hypertension? Or that cardio exercise is as effective as antidepressants in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate depression?


Get started to get results!

You can’t get fitter without moving your body just like a book can’t read itself, but even the most time-poor amongst us can make the time to improve their fitness. Here are a few suggestions of where you can start:

Go for a walk

Most people start here, one step after another, getting the body moving. You could go alone, with the dog, or with friends. Just focus on getting out the door, and doing a little more each walk and each week.

Attend a class

You may be one of the lucky few whose local gym is open and still offering classes, so get in there are work up a sweat! Otherwise, there are a LOT of online classes or workouts out there. Some free options I recommend to my clients are Fitness Blender and Self Fitness

Dance!

This is a great way to do some cardio and not feel like you’re exercising, just focus on having fun. This is partly why Zumba classes are so popular. Turn up the tunes and dance like no-ones watching!

Increase the intensity

If you’re already working out but focusing more on strength or mobility training, you can build your fitness by just moving a bit faster or reducing your rest time between sets.

Go for a run

The easiest way to get fit is go for a jog or run. Start simple with 1 session a week or 5 minutes a day, and build on the success of achieving that. Over time increase the intensity from mild and manageable, to more moderate or vigorous. Play the long game, and before you realise it you’ll feel more vitalised and centred in the mind than you have for a while.


Do what you love to do

The most important takeaway is that any exercise is good exercise, so make sure you LOVE what you do. It’s counterproductive to force yourself to do something you hate, you’ll come to resent it or it will feel a chore. If you really enjoy the activity, you’ll find ways to work past any barrier.

So, what do YOU love to do to get your heart rate up? 

References
  • American College of Sports Medicine, Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (Tenth edition.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Krishnan, S. (2019, Feb 26), Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Long-Term Mortality, American College of Cardiology, https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2019/02/20/08/11/cardiorespiratory-fitness-and-long-term-mortality
  • Cooney, G.M., Dwan,  K., Greig, C.A., Lawlor,  D.A., Rimer,  J., Waugh,  F.R., McMurdo,  M., Mead,  G.E., Exercise for depression, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2013), Issue 9. Art. No.: CD004366. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6. Accessed 17 September 2021

About the Author

Michael Keogh is a Health Coach and Exercise Physiologist with 7 years experience in clinical and corporate settings. He is also the co-author of upcoming book “Thrive: How to 10X your Health, Wealth and Happiness”. He uses exercise as medicine to treat chronic disease and ensure healthy ageing, whilst guiding his clients towards sustainable health behaviours that result in improved performance and greater satisfaction in work and life.

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