For most people having a healthy life style is very important. This involves the right amount of food and exercise to make that happen. Many of us know what the food pyramid looks like, there is also an exercise pyramid. Its fairly similar to the division of a food pyramid going from what we need to do the most to the least. If you want to understand the benefits of diet and exercise, you need understand both pyramids as well.
The exercise pyramid is broken up into phases. With Phase 1 being your foundation of the pyramid. Remember staying active is key to staying healthy! You will not only look better but you will feel better!
Phase 1 – Keep Moving
Phase 1 Daily Movement: This isn’t jogging, strength condition or even cross fit training. All this requires is the day to day activities we all do. Like standing, cleaning, cooking. The focus of this phase is just moving, try taking the stair, walking more often, parking farther away from the store. The goal is to take at least 10,000 steps a day. Believe me its easier than you think.
Phase 2 – Cardio
Phase 2 Cardio: Yes I know, exercise isn’t always fun but everyday we should be working out at least for 30 minutes. When you think about it that isn’t too bad, at least it isn’t 2 hours a day. Once you start making working out a part of your life, you will find doing cardio is addicting. This can be done anywhere, try swimming, bike riding, walking briskly or taking a fitness class at your local gym. The goal is not to ocerly exert yourself, but to get your heart rate up and blood pumping!
Phase 3: Strength Training
Phase 3 Strength: As we get older, the muscle mass that developed in our early teen and 20s will declines. We also become less active as well. For a longer life we have to continue to stay active. For 10 to 15 minutes a day, nothing too hard. Lifting weights for just 3 sets of 8 repetitions can make a big difference in your muscle mass. Of course doing more will help you even more!
Phase 4: Stretching
Phase 4 Stretching: For 5 to 10mintues a day everyone should stretch. Its a given that you should stretch before and after a workout but also in the mornings too. To prevent overall soreness, stiffness and injury doing a light stretch in the morning helps. I always do a bed stretch in the morning, roll over to one side stretching out both my legs and arm and far as a can. From their I lay on my back I extend my arm and leg out to each corner of my bed and reach for corner and then finally rolling over to the other side doing the same thing. Be careful if you have a spouse sleeping in bed too, may want to wait until they get up!
Phase 5 : Sitting
Phase 5 Sitting: This is the top of the pyramid because you should be be doing the least amount of this! I understand that some of our jobs are desk jobs that require up to sit all day long. But sitting for long periods of time is not good for you. Your body will start to shut down the key muscles and cells that should be burning fat, turn sluggish. If sitting for long periods of time is a part of your daily routine then try getting up every 30 minutes to stretch. Making sure that you are up and moving every 30 minutes will keep your metabolism up.