1. Here are the final 3 keys to Moving More.
2. Key 5: Move in nature. Exercising in nature has been shown to improve measures of revitalization, self-esteem, energy, pleasure, and decreases frustration, worry, confusion, depression, tension, and tiredness more than exercising indoors.
3. Key 6: Be a 24-hour athlete. Your body will adapt faster, you will have fewer injuries, and you'll be healthier if you follow the 4 steps of recovery and regeneration: Active Recovery, Rehydrate, Refuel, and Regenerate.
4. Key 7: Use it or lose it. We are designed to change and grow, for better or worse, depending on what sort of stimulus we put on the body. If we exercise consistently, our bodies will become stronger, fitter, and healthier. However, if we don't put our bodies through regular stress, our structures and systems start to break down.
Here are the final 3 keys to Moving More.
Key #5: Move in nature
One of the challenges that we are faced with is staying motivated to exercise. About half of people who join a gym don’t stick with it beyond the first year. But people who exercise outside tend to stick with their exercise programs more consistently than those who train indoors. So if you’re having trouble being consistent consider adding an outdoor workout to your routine. What’s amazing is that simply looking at pictures of nature can lower your blood pressure, stress and mental fatigue. That’s how powerful nature can be.
It also turns out that if you prefer walking and light activity to running or more intense activities you’re in luck. It appears that walking in nature improves measures of revitalization, self-esteem, energy, pleasure, and decreases frustration, worry, confusion, depression, tension and tiredness far more than light activity indoors does. Running outdoors does not seem to have a greater impact on emotions or mood than running inside. This might be because running and more intense activities cause the release of endorphins that can cause feelings of elation and exhilaration regardless of where you run. So if you want to feel better – get outside and don’t worry about whether or not you walk or run.
Key #6: Be a 24-hour athlete
The healing and repair process is as important, if not more important, than the actual exercise or training. To raise your endurance, increase your muscle mass, develop stronger bones, and even build a better brain, you need time to rest and recover. Your body will adapt faster, you’ll have fewer injuries and you’ll be healthier. Here are my steps to getting the most out of your workouts – after your workouts.
Step 1: Active Recovery
Warm down slowly and properly to clear your body of waste products that accumulate when you exercise. Help your muscles out by taking 5-15 minutes of active recovery: moving your body at about 55% of your maximum heart rate rather than stopping completely and resting. You shouldn’t feel a burn, but you should be moving more than you do when not working out.
Step 2: Rehydrate
Rehydrate with water. If you’ve been working out for longer than 90 minutes or in hot, humid conditions, you can add some carbohydrates and electrolytes to your drink. But most of all, focus on water. You need a lot of it to properly heal and grow.
Step 3: Refuel
It’s time to get nutrients back into your system. Stick to complex carbohydrates and high-quality proteins and fats. If your workout is more aerobic, try a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. If you’re doing strength training or higher-intensity intervals, eat closer to a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein.
Step 4: Regenerate
When muscle fibres are damaged, inflammatory cells move to the area and help break down and remove damaged tissue. Inflammation after exercise is a critical healing process. Your body needs the process of breaking down, experiencing inflammation, and making the repairs in order to develop and improve!
This whole inflammatory process can take up to 72 hours to complete after an intense workout, which is why mixing hard and easy days gives your body the time it needs for the inflammatory response to work its magic. Here are some basic regeneration times to hold in mind: for light workouts, 8-12 hours is enough. Strength or interval workouts that make you sore normally require about 48 hours. Long cardio sessions that drain your glycogen stores require about 24-48 hours. Pure speed and sprint training sessions take 48-72 hours to recover from.
Key #7: Use it or lose it
Exercising consistently leads to better body composition, healthier bones, stronger muscles, and a powerful immune system. Slowly but steadily, the body will change. You will grow new blood vessels. Your muscles will add proteins to their fibres. Your immune system will create while blood cells with more potent weapons to fight off disease. Consistency is the key.
The body does not maintain structures it does not use. Every tissue in your body requires energy to keep it going. Unless you use that structure—your muscles, your blood vessels, your bones, your brain—the body simply allows the structure to break down and dissolve. The key to long-term health and performance is therefore to stay active, consistently, forever.
Bonus Workout of the Day: 7-minute blast #2
Today's New Habit: Craft your physical activity routine
By now you have discovered which activities you enjoy and which you might not like as much. Hopefully you’ve tried out some of these activities as well!
The key to maintaining a physically active lifestyle is to stick with what you like and to make it part of your routine. For the next two weeks, craft a workout schedule that is realistic and one that you will enjoy doing. For example, if you’re very busy, don’t schedule a workout in for every day of the week. Maybe with your schedule it’s only realistic to do a 15-minute walk on weekdays, but on weekends you have time to do a workout class or go for a family hike. That’s great! Put this activity in your calendar. If you make a weekly schedule and write it down you are much more likely to stick to it.
Good luck and have fun!