By: Dr. Beth Templin
If you've been following me for awhile, you know how much I think exercise should be a top priority in everyone's lives. The benefits are endless. From being able to take care of yourself, your home, your loved ones, to being able to get out and fully enjoy life.
Not to mention the health benefits of better blood pressure, improved blood sugars, more energy, a sharp memory, and restful sleep!
The #1 barrier to prioritizing fitness in your daily routine always seems to be not having enough time. It's easy to get busy in life with all the daily tasks and chores. Not to mention all the unexpected things that seem to always pop up. So how can you make sure you're able to fit it all in?
First, we recommend creating a schedule and sticking to it. If exercise is part of your daily routine, like eating breakfast and taking a shower, it's easier to make sure it doesn't get skipped or pushed off. The second is to use your time wisely, by maximizing your routine. At HouseFit, we maximize workouts with 3 key principles.
Focus on more than one joint.
This simply means that you should choose exercises that will work on more than one area of the body at a time. For example, a bicep curl will work only on your biceps and the ability to bend your elbow. This is opposed to a push-up, that strengthens your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, and abdominal muscles all at the same time.
Both exercises are designed to improve your upper body strength. By choosing an exercises that addresses more than one area of your body, you can be more efficient, and get a complete workout, with fewer exercises.
Cover two or more areas of fitness.
When we break down your overall fitness, it can be easily divided into 5 categories: strength, balance and coordination, endurance, flexibility, and posture. Choosing an exercise like walking, which primarily improves your endurance, is not as effective as choosing an exercise like a weighted carry, where you carry a heavy weight for a given distance or time and then repeat. This exercise will tackle strength, endurance, and balance. Plus, you will get added bonuses of improving your bone health with an exercise like this.
High intensity is best.
The research shows that high intensity is not only safe, but very beneficial for aging adults. You can exercise for a much shorter amount of time and still get all the benefits, if you focus on high intensity. High intensity exercise is safe for aging adults and has no increased incidence of cardiac events or injury, compared to moderate exercise.
The studies have shown that people get better and quicker results with this approach to exercise. If you haven't exercised in awhile, it may be beneficial to have supervision from a Physical Therapist to get started.
With these 3 principles in mind, it's no surprise that one of our favorite exercises is a Burpee. It has been said that “a burpee a day keeps the nursing home away”. While this might be an overstatement, it’s interesting to think about how being consistent everyday with an exercise, such as a Burpee, might be hugely impactful in your aging process and physical abilities.
-? Dr. Beth
Check out Dr. Kim's Exercise of the Month to see several options on how to perform this exercise.
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Dr. Beth helps adults 55+ maximize their independence and fitness, so they can continue to enjoy a full and active life.