When your whole goal of exercise is to live a healthier quality of life, to age gracefully and move with ease, the last thing you want to do is a complicated fitness plan. In order to follow an exercise plan, you have to know the plan is doable and without the risk of injury.
You want to feel confident you’re exercising correctly and without any doubt you’ll experience those amazing results a proper fitness program promises you.
You also need to be able to maintain it, so your fitness program has to be quick and fit easily into your lifestyle.
After all, fitness is an add-on that allows you to enjoy your life. If it starts taking over your life it would defeat the purpose – right?
I know it seems like quite a list to fill. You may be wondering if it’s even possible to create a fitness plan that checks off each and every one of those boxes,
But I promise you, it is possible! It just takes a bit of planning.
Here are 3 simple strategies you can add into a fitness plan to help you feel stronger and more toned, all while ticking off each and every one of those boxes:
Many fitness programs introduce you to complicated choreographies and new movements at such a fast pace that it makes it hard to master the exercise, let alone know if you’re doing it right. The exercises can feel intimidating and confusing.
Instead, don’t move. Isometric exercises require zero movement, zero fitness equipment and only take 10 seconds to 1 minute to complete.
While performing an isometric exercise, the muscles don’t shift in length and the joint angle remains the same. In other words, you hold a position as if you were frozen in time.
So how does Zero movement benefit you?
While you hold a position, more and more of your muscle fibres are recruited which increases your strength, not only in the muscle but also around joints. This helps alleviate pain caused by arthritis, all while toning your body. Isometric exercises also fight against muscle loss due to aging and enhance your quality of life.
More importantly, by holding a position you have the ability to check your form, to make sure you’re in proper alignment and to re-align yourself so you know you’re doing an exercise correctly.
Get Feedback From Your Environment:
Often times when you do certain exercises you wonder, “Am I doing this right? How can I be sure?” The last thing you want to do is unknowingly hurt yourself.
While hiring someone is a great way to get feedback, truthfully, many times they’re more expensive than you’re willing to pay (not to mention it’s hard to find someone that won’t push you harder than you’re ready for.)
Instead learn how to create your own personal feedback system using the props around your house and your very own body cues.
When you learn how to use the environment for feedback you will always know if your form is perfect, or if there’s a chance for injury.
Here are a few examples: If an exercise description warns you not to bring your knees over your toes, stand with your toes 2 inches away from a wall or a couch. If your knees were to pass your toes (as warned not to do) your knees would touch the wall. This is your feedback, telling you your knees have gone too far and you need to readjust.
If a plan warns you to keep your elbows tucked in, stand one inch beside a door frame so as you move you’re certain your elbow can’t pop out.
Once you understand how it feels to experience proper form, you’ll feel confident you can perform the exercises without using environmental cues…
(Although, in all honesty, I still use these cues sometimes just to check in when I’m working out alone.)
Master One Movement Before You Add On:
There’s this preconceived notion that when it comes to fitness, more is better… but this isn’t true.
Great form and mastering one or two moves teaches the body how to move more efficiently and how to move in full range of motion. When we try to learn many movements at once, form is the first thing to go.
Learning one movement with amazing form teaches the body how to move with ease and without stiffness as the joint learns how to move in its full range of motion.
You increase strength and tone more quickly because the muscle fibres are lengthening and shortening to their full potential. It also reduces body stress caused by incorrect repetitive motions that often happens by learning too much too soon.
Moreover, these movements become second nature to you, so you don’t need to think about how to move, you just move freely and with ease.
Now that you know exactly what you can do to feel confident you’re exercising correctly, you may be wondering how you can put all of these strategies together and create a program you can do.
To help you move forward, I’ve created a 5 Day Metabolic Boost and Movement Kickstart with 4 Essential Exercises For More Movement & Freedom In Your 50’s and Beyond