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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Exercise - What is the Perfect One?

I would like to thank Freakonomics for the inspiration for this article and for Dr. David Geier for introducing me to the Three I's.

For many the desire to improve their health via exercise can be a long, tiresome journey.  One of the reasons is the need to try and find the perfect exercise.  Walk into any gym and you will see line ups for treadmills, ellipticals and bikes, yet not everyone is seeing the same results.

Intensity High intensity work outs are all the rage right now and for good reason.  By increasing the intensity of each individual work out you can decrease the time needed to work out and lets face it the majority of us do not have the time or desire to spend hours of each day in the gym.  A good example of intensity training would be to run for a minute as hard as you can, then rest (key here is active) for a minute.  You complete more work in 15 minutes than you would in double that time by doing continual exercise.

Indvidualized We all move in our own way.  Not everyone is a runner or a swimmer.  Some people have the ability to move gracefully in dance or yoga, were others feel more comfortable hitting a heavy bag.  Due to injury, physiology, anatomy or access to equipment can effect how well an activity works for you.  High intensity training works great for those who do not have access to much more than their running shoes and a pair of shorts.  Exercises such as high knees, bear crawls and jumping jacks can all be done in your living room.  Even those who enjoy running can employ the principals of intensity.  For some traditional exercises such as running, swimming and biking work well for them and produce ideal fitness gains.

I Like to Do It The best exercise for anybody is the one they will do.  If you don't like to run, don't.  Sink like a rock, don't enter the pool.  I quite enjoy Zumba, while my husband has recently discovered DDP Yoga.  Within a 30 minute Zumba session I work more muscles, burn more calories  than I do in a 30 minute jog.

I am adding Inspire even if you love the exercise if it does not inspire you to get off the coach, push your chair away from your desk then it still won't do you any good.  I love swimming but I have no desire to find a babysitter just to go workout for an hour, plus it's hard to get inspired to go into a cold pool during our Alberta winters.  A good test as to whether an activity is inspiring would be this.  If you see someone doing it, and you want to join, I suggest you do.

Not everyone has to start competing in triathlons once they start their journey to better health like TriFattyTri but you may enjoy it.  If you are starting your own journey to better health and incorporating exercise follow the Three I's, remembering that the most important is do you like it.

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