Post Holiday Fitness

Okay, so who put on a couple of centimetres around their waist over the holiday season?
There's really no excuse - along with all the good food and a little indulgence there would have been plenty of fun and rest to be had as well - your weight, more importantly your girth measurements, should have stayed the same.
Sound weight management: Eating right; getting at least 5 hours of deep solid sleep in one hit and; a variety of physical activity.
Following those three simple principles will keep your weight constant - no sudden gains or sudden losses - even when there are feasts and celebrations to enjoy.
What did I do? Of course I overindulged with some wonderful feasting on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I also caught a fish (which became part of the Christmas feast), bathed in warm tropical waters, snorkelled, did a reef walk, went to a few parties (drank lots of water), did a 4km run, stretched every and did a bit of resistance training (just 10 minutes of push ups, pull ups and bicycle crunches).

New YMCA of Canberra Running Club

News that the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club is ‘up and running’.
"The new club has been formed to encourage and promote cross-country and road running into the future.
From January 2011, it will conduct cross country, road running, jogalong and training events for Canberra's distance running community. The program of events will be similar to that offered until December 2010 by the ACT Cross Country Club. Event details will appear as soon as possible on the Canberra Runner website http://www.canberrarunner.com.au, now owned by the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club. News items on the website already contain information about the new club."

Cardio-Vascular (aerobic) Training


A couple of posts ago was about getting back to basics with weight training. Now I'd like to get back to basics with CV (aerobic) Training.
CV Training is about getting your heart (cardio) and circulatory (vascular) systems working efficiently; it's any activity that involves big muscle groups working rhythmically in a continuous effort. Walking, cycling and swimming are great CV exercises that are easy on the joints and which are accessible to most people. Other exercises that fit the bill are jogging, running, rowing, kayaking, skipping, walking/running up and down stairs...
I think the best CV activity at this time of year is shopping. The other day I found myself carrying a bag of groceries in each hand walking from one end of the Canberra Centre to the other and it occurred to me that this is what the gym exercise 'farmer's walk' replicates. If you are buying gifts try to load up your bags evenly and be mindful of your posture as you carry your bags from store to store. There's a natural warm up as you start with no bags and load up as you move from one shop to another. The cool down is unloading the shopping and putting your feet up!

To increase your CV fitness you need to do more than you're doing now. A small increment can have big effects. Some examples:
  • Just starting out, rather sedentary and working in an office - look at incidental exercises like taking the stairs instead of the lift, taking a 10 minute walk during your lunch break.
  • A little active - build up to 30 minutes every day. Easy if you have a dog or can walk to your local shops.
  • Reasonably active - make sure you do one 30 minute session a week at a higher intensity than your regular activity.
  • Very fit and active - the fitter you get the harder you have to work to not only get fitter but also to maintain your fitness. Events are a great way to shake up routines and to focus your training regime - fun runs, cycling events, sports, triathlons...
Listen to your heart and your breathing and adjust the level of intensity for the duration of your session and to your individual health concerns.

When was your last medical check-up?

When you join a gym or start a personal training program you'll be asked when you had your last health check with your GP. Take this as a cue to go and get yourself checked over from top to toe if you don't already do this regularly.
You may even be assessed as moderate or high risk by your fitness professional - do not be alarmed. Again this is best seen as an opportunity to get a check up with your GP and get their input into your fitness program. I present as moderate risk and my GP has cleared me to do high intenstity training with no restrictions.

The benefits of having regular health checks are
  • building rapport with your GP (or finding a GP who you're happy with)
  • finding out what your cholesterol levels are (both the good fats and bad fats)
  • finding out if you're deplete in any vitamins or minerals (so you take only the supplements you need - no more self diagnosis/self medication)
  • checking for diabetes (often diagnosed years late)
  • checking for skin cancers
  • keeping tabs on your blood pressure (a good indication of your cardiovascular health)
  • early diagnosis of any underlying health problems
  • referrals to specialists and allied health professionals
  • access to subsidised professional services you wouldn't know of otherwise
  • fitness program health insurance claims

If you think about it your car gets regular servicing, pets get annual shots and check ups, gardens get tended, so why not you?