Lifestyle

HEALTHY YOU: Staying fit takes bit of planning

Robin Lang makes the ascent toward the top of the rock bluff during her run around Westwood Lake. The trail is a popular route for runners, hikers and cyclists who head outdoors to get some exercise and fresh air. - Chris Bush photo
Robin Lang makes the ascent toward the top of the rock bluff during her run around Westwood Lake. The trail is a popular route for runners, hikers and cyclists who head outdoors to get some exercise and fresh air.
— image credit: Chris Bush photo

Life can get hectic and finding the time to exercise can be tough.

But with a little planning, there is always a way to stay physical, say local fitness trainers.

Jon Wengel, owner of Full On Fitness, has developed a strength training routine people can do when walking their dog – he recognizes that people busy with work and families sometimes have just that hour out with the dog to exercise. For those with just 20 minutes to spare who work at a desk job all day, Wengel suggests starting with some dynamic stretching exercises such as walking and bringing your knee to your chest every three steps because muscles get short and tight from sitting all day.

“The best thing to do is work on flexibility and mobility first,” he said. “You can do this walking down the hall.”

After that, add in some strength training – do five squats then walk five steps and then eventually add in five pushups to that routine, ending up with five squats, five push-ups and five steps. He recommends ending with some more stretching.

“Your muscles want to be lengthened again, especially if you’re going back into a sitting position,” said Wengel.

He said ideally, people should set aside more time than 20 or 30 minutes for a workout, but a quick routine like the one suggested above is one good way of getting some exercise in.

David Gilks, owner of Core Essentials fitness studio, said an hour of exercise per day is ideal, but a lot can be accomplished in 20 or 30 minutes with a little planning.

He said one solution is taking your running shoes to work and doing a walk or run on your lunch break.

“I like power walking because it’s easier on the joints, but it’s harder than it looks,” said Gilks.

The basic rule is the shorter the workout, the higher the intensity, and circuit training is one activity well suited to people pressed for time, he said.

“In 30 minutes, you can do more than most people do in two days,” said Gilks. “Everything can be done at home if you’re motivated.”

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