Everyone knows the importance and benefits of physical activities, especially as you get older, so why isn’t everyone doing something about it? To encourage you to start exercising we are presenting a monthly program called Fit Break with Natallia Pellew – a professional personal trainer with over 20 years in the sport and fitness industry. She holds a degree in sport science and is a certified master personal trainer and boot camp instructor.
Now, if you need any convincing, lets recap some benefits of being physically active.
Regular physical activity can:
- Slow down the changing physiology that occurs with ageing.
- Help prevent heart disease, stroke, and reduce high blood pressure.
- Reduce the risk of developing Type II diabetes and some cancers.
- Promote psychological well-being, quality of life and reduced depression.
- Help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, effectively reducing the risk of injuries from falls.
You don’t have to go to a gym, which can be intimidating for some people, or spend a lot of money. You can exercise anywhere – even outside in your local park. It can be as simple as following a short programme combining cardiovascular and muscle resistance training, using your own bodyweight or simple outdoor equipment such as benches or stairs.
Before you start any new programme get clearance from the doctor to exercise, you can take this short programme with you to the assessment. If everything is alright, you can start to exercise at low intensity and duration and slowly progress to moderate intensity.
For each of the following exercises perform 1-2 sets with 8-15 repetitions. In the beginning of each session start with progressive warm up for 5-10 minutes, and finish with cool down and stretching for another 5-10 minutes. Longer warm up and cool down is advised for beginners and de-conditioned participants.
Step ups. Target muscles: calves, quadriceps, glutes
- Start position: Standing facing the bench, neutral spine, abdominal muscles activated.
- Face the step and step up onto bench with lead leg followed by second leg, ensuring whole of foot is on the step.
- Step down from bench with lead leg followed by second leg to return to starting position.
- Repeat this process with the same leg for a number of repetitions before swapping to other leg.
Note: This activity perform quickly can be used in cardiovascular training. At a challenging height and slower pace, it can be used more for strength training
- Start position: Hands on the wall slightly wider then shoulder width, neutral spine, abdominals activated.
- Lower body towards the wall as low as good form allows, maintaining a stable body, mid chest directly in line with hands.
- Lift the body keeping the elbows soft on extension (ie not locked straight).
Caution: This exercise can cause an upward or downward shift in blood pressure and may not be suitable for those with pre-existing blood pressure conditions.
- Start position: Lying down on your back, knee bent to 90 degrees with feet on the floor, arms crossing chest.
- Raise the head and shoulders and lift the upper body off the ground by flexing the trunk (think ribs to hips). Highest point of the curl is 30 – 40 degrees.
- Slowly lower the body to return to the starting position.
If you experience any discomfort or pain stop exercising and consult your doctor.
TDA would like to thank our personal trainer Natallia Pellew for taking us on a healthy journey.You can check out her company Fit n Fun and join one of her personal training sessions which are all about having fun and achieving your fitness goals.