Fit for Life – A Monthly Based Column with the Best Exercises of the Month
Text: Outi Autere
New haircut, new motivation to school or work, new hobby? You are finally ready to cut your hair (which either no one even notices or you regret it a month later), you boost your energy to all the books you needed to read already last year (and after 80 pages you are done with that motivation) and you excitedly find out new sport centres with some alternative sports (that you soon realise you cannot afford and you do not have time to travel to the other side of the town twice a week). Luckily this happens to most of us – every year.
After the year’s shortest day in the end of the year we are lighting the new fire in us and we want to get rid of all the old and welcome anything that is new into our lives. We relate the new to success, excitement and possibilities we have not yet screwed up. We are human and we make mistakes. When a new year arrives, we have a new chance to make ourselves believe we can change the world little by little, starting with ourselves. And we kindly accept that for others as well. We will rise from the ashes once again. It is an energy boost.
The funny thing about new year’s resolutions is that they do not seem to last for too long. It is not that we would think any less of the resolutions themselves but they just fade away from our active minds, little by little. After the nice and perky new haircut, we realise it so much more convenient to wear a pony tail; we remember that the best result in our work comes under the pressure (previous night) and we still have months before it is time to show a bikini (or speedo) body. All is understandable, this is how we roll.
Well, what if we did not? What if the problem is not in us when we cannot carry on with the same unrealistic goals we always set to ourselves, year after year? What if we would just need to change the goals and not ourselves?
A ponytail is a perfect way of wearing your new haircut, it is moreover super sporty! And after all, if the working system is so well proven and it works, just schedule the previous day free from all the other events and focus fully on the last night panic. It is cool, no worries. And even if the new hobbies sound so exciting, why not to create a strong foundation to your health with tiny steps over the heavy start for 24/7 gym memberships?
Long lasting bikini and speedo bodies are created with patience and time, not with a rush. It is a combo of heathy manners; a proper amount of sleep, nutritious food and physics. I will not write about the meaning of reducing sugar, carbohydrates and adding protein to your diet, or preach the meaning of stress free life (not this time at least). I will simply give out the best simple exercises for your body that can be made anytime, anywhere, with only the weight of your own body. Start with these, and you will see and feel the changes before the next issue comes out. Boom, as easy as that!
Primary muscles: gluteus maximus and quadriceps
Few main rules are to keep feet about shoulder width apart, hips back, back straight, and while squatting down, knees in line with the feet and look straight ahead. The deeper you go, the harder (better) it is. There are multiple variants, one really good to name is “a sumo squat”, same movement but feet wider apart, toes pointing a V-shape.
Primary muscles: gluteus maximus, quadriceps and hamstrings
The same starting position than with squats, then take a large step forward with one leg, bend your knees until they both form 90 degree angles so that your front knee should not extend over your toes. (Hint: a must exercise for telemark skiers!)
Primary muscles: Pectoralis major, deltoids
Place palms on the floor, about shoulder width apart, next to your shoulders, with your elbows pointed towards your toes. Raise yourself using your arms, either knees on the floor (lighter version) or on your toes (heavier version). HOX! Your core muscles are needed to prevent your hips from sagging!
Primary muscles: Abdominal muscles
Basically the upward position when doing push ups but your elbows are on the floor. Hips down, back straight and elbows right below your shoulders. Now the pressure should feel in your core, keep it tight and do not forget to breath!
Tabata is a high intensive workout model, with a 20/10 second session repeated eight times. 20/10 means 20 seconds of all-out exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This adds up to four minutes total. Try all of the four above mentioned exercises by using the Tabata model. You make the exercise as easy or as hard as you like. 16 minutes per day can be more than enough, it is entirely up to you. Good luck!