Whether you’re a seasoned runner or someone who’s just starting out, you’ve likely experienced (or at least heard about) the elusive runner’s high.
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Trainer – check. But typically what is missing from the wellness puzzle is that piece that can take your diet and lifestyle from basic to excel. Here’s how a health coach can help you personalize, reach and then sustain your health and wellness goals with the help of PROJECT by Equinox.
We’ve all seen the headlines, where seemingly healthy office workers or college-age computer gamers have keeled over after marathon work or computer game bouts. Though rare, these stories are stunning reminders that sitting virtually motionless for extended periods is horrendous for your health. In fact, some are even calling it “the new smoking.” Behind the headlines, numerous studies indicate that hours of uninterrupted daily duff-time boosts heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer risk as well as the risk of premature death. Researchers think that the raised risks are connected to what happens in the body when sitting for long periods: circulation slows, the ability to manage glucose declines, muscles start to deteriorate, body fat starts to rise, and so on – all of which can spell tons of trouble for millions of people with sedentary jobs.
Exercising can often feel like the last priority in our hugely overburdened schedules. An hour to run? On many days that sounds totally daunting. But the truth is even starting out with 10 minutes of exercise a day is great. Instead of investing time, invest your INTENTION. Here are some of my favorite tips to fit exercise in every day:
Have you ever been to weight loss camp? This summer I got to visit the Premier Fitness Camp outside of San Diego. I showed up there thinking I was in good shape – I’m a health coach, I’ve run four marathons, I’ve climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Well, let me tell you, it was a humbling experience! There were “campers” of all shapes, sizes, strength and fitness levels. And each of us was pushed to the limit, working out from 6am to 5pm. There was a ton of variety – hiking, strength training, Zumba, yoga, water aerobics. My favorite was a class called “Full Body Attack” with 10 stations where you had to do squats, boxing, biking, lifting, push-ups and swinging this heavy medicine ball for two minutes each. I went to bed that night with my heart racing, and woke up the next day more sore than I had been since field hockey camp in high school.
One of my older buddies, a 74-year-old, fitness-conscious fellow, when asked how he’s doing, often responds, “I’m keeping it tight,” which always gives people a laugh. Amusing as it is to hear the phrase coming out of a septuagenarian’s mouth, his goal of keeping trim, with as much muscle as possible, is a serious one – and one we all should shoot for, no matter what age we are. The challenge with muscle mass is that after the age of 40, it starts to decline at roughly 1% a year. At 50, the decline picks up additional speed (yikes!).
Got 10 minutes and one kettlebell? Then you’ve got time for girevoy — one of the most effective strength-and-cardio workouts around. A half-dozen fit, determined-looking women, each holding a 53-pound kettlebell in one hand, stand side by side under the watchful eye of a panel of judges. In one powerful motion, each athlete swings her kettlebell from knee to shoulder height, pauses, explosively presses it overhead, and lowers it back to the starting position. Then, without resting or putting the weight down, she does it again. And again. For 10 minutes. Then the men go, holding a 70-pound kettlebell in each hand.
As we all know, daily exercise is absolutely critical to maintaining health — no big news here. And for those of you who are doing the daily routine, keep up the good work! Recently though, several studies have come to the disturbing conclusion that daily exercise may not be enough to combat the effects of prolonged bouts of sitting. It appears that all the sitting most of us now do (let’s hear it for the digital age) is putting us directly on the path to increased risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even early death — which is very bad news for millions of office workers.