2017 – Keep moving and be good to your body
ARTICLE BY MAR, International Coolhunter.
Now that we’ve entered 2017, you probably want to go back to working out, getting fitter, eating better, and other common New Year resolutions. Are they a drag? Absolutely not. Will they fall into the category of ‘not followed-through, again’? Not really, once you’ve understood and experienced that a bit of exercise every day makes you feel better, which is opposed to seeing working out as a chore. Once you reap the benefits, you’ll want to do more and happily. This is something I thank Millennials for: they embraced kale with a feverish passion, healthy nutrition, working out and being fit. While at the beginning this is easy to criticise or ridicule, Gen X peeps should do better than this and get on board, ‘cos, you know, some of your views and customs are not cool anymore. Also, the goal is to keep moving, so choose something fun, like taking up a dance class – what better way to do cardio?!
Because we want to treat our precious bodies better, we shouldn’t just jump into an aggressive workout session that promises a perfect, lean and strong body in just a few weeks. You don’t want to get injured, right?! So this year, let’s all be friendly to our joints and knees, as well as our back. It’s better to do just a bit of gentle exercise everyday, than be sorry for too much of an aggressive workout. And even if you feel great running and doing lunges, jumping jacks, and whatnot, ask any physiotherapist: your body will protest at some point. So let’s all treat our bodies with love 🙂
Health institutions recommend cardio, stretching and strength training weekly. Cardio boosts immunity, enhances your breathing capacity and gives you more energy, so squeeze cardio into your life and you’ll be healthier and stronger! Some cardio workouts that are gentle on your knees, joints and body, in general, are the elliptical, walking, power walking, swimming and aquagym / water fitness / water aerobics.
- Go HIIT
HIIT is on the list of top ways of exercising this year, with the many benefits it yields, compared to constant intensity cardio. It doesn’t need to be fancy or require a gym membership. HIIT walking is a great way to do cardio without straining your body – and believe me, you will sweat (oh yes, you will). My best recommendation is to do it somewhere steep, where you can go uphill, since walking on a flat surface won’t make you sweat much or pump your heart to the intensity you’re aiming for. I started with 30 seconds walking as fast as I could – 30 seconds walking slowly, for a total of 30 minutes, and it’s really a full workout. Since the point of HIIT is to ‘start’ your heart again and again (hence the training intervals), you need to monitor your heart rate, apart from the time intervals. Fitbits are very nice, but so daaamn expensive. Thankfully, Oysho has just come out with a stopwatch that monitors your heart rate, as well as exercise calories, for an unbeatable price:
- Open air in the city? Wear a filtering mask.
Are you doing exercise open air? If the answer is yes and you live in the city, you need to protect your lungs from all the sh¡t that, unfortunately, we bathe in every day. In the city where I live, it’s become customary for people to run in one of the most polluted streets (Diagonal, Barcelona), which is really bad for your health. You might not feel it now, but you’re definitely buying tickets for getting or worsening respiratory illnesses, getting weaker immunity and not to mention cancer from air-borne pollutants (diesel particles, anyone?!).
Fortunately, there are ways to protect ourselves while working out outdoors – try a filtering mask! Nowadays this has become a staple and a must for so many cyclists, and it’s for a reason. Vogmask is a company that makes filtering masks and you don’t want to hide under a rock when wearing one, since apart from protecting you from fumes and particles, they look beyond cool. You will also be protected from the cold air (hello, asthmatic community), since breathing through the mask will warm up the air, and you can keep going so much longer than usual without getting tired, an added bonus! Vogmasks are reusable, so you can wash them and use them again, until the filter is exhausted. The only thing you should keep in mind is that Vogmasks might need some time getting used to, since it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do to breathe in them and exercise at the same time: you have to overcome a resistance.
- Drink clean
You’re not making the effort of working out and eating better to then reach for your water bottle and drink nice sh¡t released from plastic, are you? Ditch that plastic bottle and get yourself one made of steel. This one here can go in the dishwasher.