When I started ‘Getting Fit & Fabulous for Business in 2015’ I got a great response from family and friends who also wanted to be more active and also from fitness instructors. I decided I would offer people chance to show their expertise or views in guest blogs to encourage myself and others to make the most of ourselves. The first of our guest bloggers is Qualified Fitness Instructor Susan Wilkinson of bodySHAPE whose blog will be split into instalments. Here’s the first instalment. When people decide to get fit, they often jump in at the deep end and follow an exercise programme that they find strenuous and uncomfortable. This approach has been greatly encouraged by the fitness industry over the last two years, with the promotion of high intensity programs. Of course, it’s understandable that people are keen to see results as soon as possible, but this enthusiasm rarely results in long-term success. There are 3 main reasons for this:
- Trying to do too much too soon can have an adverse effect on motivation – if the workout is so hard that people dread it, they will soon become de-motivated.
- A person who has been inactive for some time will probably have poor posture and movement control. Doing strenuous workouts without correcting this can lead to injury.
- To get the most out of exercise, you need to have good exercise technique – smooth, controlled movement supported by a strong core. Runners, for example, should hold their upper body upright and use the muscles at the backs of their legs to propel them forward and give them a good stride length. But if you watch people running they often lean forward or round their shoulders and take small steps with most of the work being done by the calf muscles. These muscles get trained, but the tops of the legs stay flabby. When people exercise with poor technique, they don’t get the results they are hoping for and get disillusioned.
So, if you are about to start a fitness program, it’s better to take it slowly and build some foundations. This will pay off in the long run, because you are more likely to stick at your program, stay injury free and get better long-term results. A good beginners’ program should improve posture and movement control and develop aerobic endurance, before moving on to higher intensity workouts. Getting good posture and movement control All of the following common lifestyle factors can lead to bad posture developing:
- hours sitting every day, especially at a desk or driving
- pregnancy – women often never fully correct postural problems developed during pregnancy
- being overweight
- wearing high heeled shoes
- inactive lifestyle
- carrying a bag on one shoulder
- confidence issues
Posture correction programmes gradually correct muscle imbalances, stretching over-tight muscles and strengthening those that have stopped working properly. Ideally, posture should be corrected before other exercise begins, but it can take months to correct bad habits and most people won’t want to put off starting their fitness campaign. So, the best compromise is to start a moderate intensity programme combined with postural exercises. BY SUSAN WILKINSON of bodySHAPE. www.bodyshapeprogram.co.uk