Just as I eliminated the word, diet from my vocabulary because of its common association with self deprivation, I also refuse to use the word, exercise because it has become synonymous with the word, torture. Rather, I refer to it as physical activity and liken it to an essential nutrient which for our optimal health and performance we need to get our recommended daily requirement. Just as we must eat first to live and function (not to lose weight), similarly we must get regular physical activity. In order to make sure we meet our physical activity requirements we must first overcome our own inertia.
- Drop the all or nothing approach to fitness. Not having the time to get to the gym for an hour is no reason not to do any physical activity at all.
- Get at least 10 minutes of moderate physical activity such as calisthenics within the first 60 minutes of waking up in the morning.
- Incorporate more physical activity into you activities of daily living such as making shower time into fitness time.
- Throughout the day, for every hour that you are sedentary get 3 to 5 minutes of physical activity.
- When you can get to the health club for an exercise class or a work out, that’s terrific but you should not rely on this as the only way to get your daily dosage of Physical Activity.
My fitness formula
From a rest, start your physical activity at a low intensity level and gradually increase it so you are at your target heart rate after 5 minutes; keep up your target heart rate for 10 to 30 minutes and then cool down so that you return back at your resting heart rate after 5 minutes. Try to do this 3 to 5 times per week. There are many ways to get your cardio fitness with equipment or without it.
The core is our body’s center of gravity and is the area from the bottom of our rib cages to the top of our hips. The benefits of strengthening the core is to improve our balance and prevent common injuries such as low back pain. As little as 5 minutes per day of core strengthening has significant health benefits. To begin strengthening your core, you simply need to get on the ball.
This is the most important yet most neglected part of fitness especially in the western world. After all, it is the cerebral cortex that distinguishes humans from all other animals on the planet. It is our seat of reason and creativity and it is the part of our brain that most influences what we actually do in the course of our lives. Without cortical fitness, the lower centers of our Central Nervous Systems will have undue influence on our behaviors and place limitations on our reaching our personal potential and leading fulfilling lives. It is my professional opinion that cortical fitness is the missing link to achieving and maintaining our optimal levels of health and performance.
Now that you have the formula, apply it to your life for just 30 minutes per day and I am certain that you will see that this small investment of time will pay you significant dividends.