Moderation can be exercised in all areas of life. Doing so has a positive effect on all of our senses, as well as our notion of things such as enjoyment, joy, worth and well-being.
It is often possible to achieve higher quality output with less effort. Cardio training is an exception. This has become even more clear to me after going through a less active period which was partly brought about by Covid-19. On this blog (in videos and a previous article) I have discussed how it might be possible to get back into a more active lifestyle in such a situation.
After completing a short workout early in the morning, my days go significantly better. Even as little as 30 minutes of fast walking or light jogging can promote brain cell regeneration. A morning cardio session can be combined well with anything from an audiobook to exam revision in audio form.
Engaging in short cardiovascular activities in your everyday life, such as climbing stairs, can be very beneficial and can help to ease tension. After experiencing some form of conflict – whether job-related or in your private life – it can be particularly worthwhile to complete an additional cardio session. This helps to overcome any negative thought patterns you may be experiencing. Short strength-based or stretching sessions can be carried out almost anywhere or anytime, although there are admittedly situations where well-meaning exercise might be less effective. It is best not to let the thoughts of others weigh on you or inhibit your personal expression. Your health comes first. When carried out consistently, even short training sessions can lead to significant progress within a short period of time. From my own experience of quitting smoking, I can say that the improvement in my quality of life was almost indescribable. Adding regular exercise to your day is beneficial all-round when it comes to improving your energy levels – this is particularly true for those with occupations which involve a lot of sitting.
I complete my cardio training almost like clockwork every morning and evening. It feels like something is missing when I am unable to carry out this routine for whatever reason. What a comfort it can be to use a relaxing run to process a difficult workday. Early in the morning when I look at my sleep app, it confirms what a huge influence regular movement has on sleep patterns and quality. Even when sleeping conditions are not optimal, with enough movement you will usually get a good sleep.
At this level of intensity it is crucial to vary your training sessions. There are countless possibilities. Introducing runs, walks and a variety of exercises into your workouts results in more motivation, creativity and progress. Breathing and mindfulness exercises are an important and interesting accompaniment.
It is not necessary to always make full use of your time. However, it is worth reiterating that audiobooks and music can lead to more motivation and enjoyment when exercising. Naturally, you should always respect your environment. Aspirational ideas and plans are also key. Music is inspiring and can help to improve your performance. It is imperative to listen to your body. Stretching is a must after any sort of exercise as it prevents injuries which always end up hindering your progress.
What should you do if your days remain arduous and tense? Could gradual progression or an increase in intensity be the solution? Not by themselves. It is likely effective to completely exhaust yourself from time to time (except in old age). For example, you might set up a competition with friends. For me, this takes the form of interval training twice a week.
If you have the opportunity and the time to go to the gym, within a short period of time you will be able to train in a varied and focused manner. Exchanging ideas with experts and those interested in fitness can also help you to realise your goals. If you have reservations due to Covid-19 or for any other reason, that does not mean that you must neglect your physical health. Many small exercises can be done without the aid of any equipment. Nevertheless, my advice is to use as many aids as possible. This also applies to quitting smoking (more information about this can be found in the corresponding blog article). Without spending much money, it is possible to acquire pull-up bars (to attach to, for example, your bathroom door), a yoga mat, a kettlebell, a range of weights, push-up grips etc. Even if you are not currently able to do a pull up, walking past the pull-up bars when on your way to the bathroom will not fail to have an effect.
Here is a summary of my personal go-to tips:
- Move at least twice each day
- Prioritise convenience
- Incorporate as many small exercises as possible into each day
- Keep things varied and playful
- Carry out activities with others
- Use as many helpful resources as possible. Provided that they do not consume too much time, apps are useful
- Taking measurements and recording your progress can be helpful, not just when attempting to gain control over your weight
- The question, “why is exercise important?”, is critical. It may well be worthwhile to note down your thoughts and regularly update them. In my view, this is one of the most important things to consider in the long-term. Coaches and mentors come highly recommended.