Look Within! The New Year has arrived! Many people make well-intended New Year’s resolutions with health and fitness goals. Many goals may include hardcore cardio and strength training and some incredibly disciplined diets. While these three elements are important, are they enough or are they too much? Are they flexible? Are they sustainable? Are they too intense that they eventually harm the body that requires repair and rehab?
Healthy habits you create in 2019 should be designed to carry you into 2020 and beyond. Incorporating flexibility and sustainability allows you to get in shape while also setting a better foundation for long term health.
Why Flexibility? Flexibility is an important aspect for all activities that we perform; we need to bend, twist, reach, and move for everything we do. Having good flexibility reduces the risk of injury and allows the body to continue to move as it was designed. As we age, we naturally lose the elasticity of our muscles which allows for dysfunctions to creep in and start causing problems that could have possibly been prevented. To avoid these issues, your fitness routine should also be building your body’s flexibility and mobility.
Why sustainability? All the hard work goes down the drain if your workouts are not sustainable. Many times, when setting resolutions, we research and decide on a workout that focuses on quick and fast results. It is tempting because with the right commitment many of these programs do work, but few of them can get you these results without sacrificing the body in the long-term. If the workout you choose is so tough, or above your ability, you either quit or your body quits on you and your resolution has to be postponed for another year.
Personally, as I transitioned from a Pro Athlete to an everyday Athlete, my goal now is to work out hard enough but so I can work out again the next day. If it is too intense without proper recovery then a workout the next day is out of the picture. Sometimes I get carried away, and that is ok, but that is when I adjust and instead of a workout I choose to recover. A recovery to me is a day that I engage in different activities: breath work, walking with my wife, a flexibility session, or a light resistance training. What is important is body awareness and listening to my body so that I don’t compromise my long-term goal of dead-lifting when I am 85 years old.