It’s okay to undulate….

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That’s a weird headline I realise.

It comes from my days of studying Sport Science and the method behind training athletes. It refers to the need to vary training load in a training cycle, so the body can recover and improve baseline performance. It is no different for the everyday person who is trying to make regular exercise their ‘go to’ thing. It is seriously okay to go a bit up and down with this. Read: You can’t always be peaking or at the top of your game.

I was out for a run the other day and it got me thinking. Just as an aside, the run is my ‘go to’, which is a legacy of the training methods pushed on me as a child tennis player trying to improve my physical performance. They didn’t really get it in those days that tennis is more a power sport requiring, speed, strength and agility over endurance. That is not to say you don’t need to have aerobic fitness (endurance) but just that there are other things that should be favoured given a finite amount of time to train. Anyway, I digress a little there…. I was thinking about how it is okay to be fitter in some parts of the year and then let it go a little (emphasis on ‘a little!’). It is not a time to panic when you realise you aren’t as fit now as you were before. The beauty of regular training is that you can tweak things and get a different result, because variety for me is paramount in keeping it interesting. You might be the same. The most important skill however, to learn is the constancy of dedication to regular movement. When you have arrived at this place you are there. This time of year might be a time where you accept a little less unless of course you are just finishing our challenge where I am thinking you are peaking right now!

Life has a habit of throwing ‘stuff’ at us. It is our reaction to it that is the ultimate variable. When you have the regular exercise gig as a non negotiable part of your life, you have a most potent weapon at your disposable for coping with that ‘stuff’. The alternatives are usually things that take away from our quality of life. Think drinking, think couch dwelling, think emotional eating, think pill taking. There is nothing like the tiredness that comes from physical exertion which improves the quality of sleep which is so important for mental calmness. In the end though, it is pretty much a matter of all good things coming from the ‘side effects’ of exercise. Read the side effects on the packet of any medication and you will see that most side effects aren’t good.

It is Best Practice Personal Training’s mission to teach that habit of exercise and be the best personal training business in Brisbane, Bowen Hills. I think this is the biggest reason that people come to us. It is not for some quick fix workout, although the discrete effects of a workout done well, means you will walk out feeling better than when you walked in and we certainly provide that. But yes, I am talking more the lifestyle that comes from that happy place where the exercise thing is simply part of your day to day. We use various methods to achieve that goal, including the all important My Zone to track what happens when your not with us and give that all important feeling of support. The Coach Catalyst App, which we have just introduced, delivers the nutrition and mindset lessons needed for gradual behaviour modification around eating in our 6 week challenges.  We also have the small group training that stands alone and as part of the challenges showing that it is easier to exercise when you have others along for the ride.

Bottom line here folks is that the fullest and most productive life available to you will come from your ability to make exercise and general health and fitness activities a part of it. The journey will be one of undulation to get back to the original theme of this article. Now is a good time to map out the coming year for different goals you might have. I know of one client who is aiming to do the City to Surf in Sydney in August. Perfect. You can be sure she will be peaking around then. You may want to peak elsewhere or maybe not even peak but just go gradually get better over the year. The goal will always depend on the starting point. The great news to remember, is that there are many facets to physical performance that you can concentrate on at various times to make your health and fitness project more interesting. You just have to use your imagination. I am thinking of ways to measure my speed and power and see if I can improve that in 2019. These are two elements of fitness that are most under pressure with an ageing body. It is in keeping with my insecure rant that I will age belligerently 🙂

Even if you come from some high level sporting background, the challenge might be to develop something you weren’t great at. If you were a great long distance runner as a teenager or young adult, I would wager that you could benefit from more of a focus on strength training. Or if you are like most of us and realise that the past is the past, there is much to focus on now to improve just about anything. Remember we are either going forward or backward, there is no standing still. Give us a yell if you want a push in the forward direction. Just know that it is okay to go up and down a bit with the whole journey, the truly important part is that you are on it!

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