Exercise- A Way To A Better You!

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Cross-training proves beneficial

There are many things in life that are fascinating. The capacity of the body to heal after enormous trauma and the ability of some people to accomplish great physical feats are right at the top of my list.

The Cascade Cycling Classic has once again come and gone, and one of its former racers was right here in Bend in this event only a few years ago.As we once again watch Lance Armstrong defend his Tour de France title, is his journey to the top of his sport not awe inspiring?Is it not encouraging to us all to face the challenges in our lives? And one of great many challenges many of us face will be to stay physically active, and to remain healthy.The sooner we all embrace the fact that our bodies are made to MOVE to stay healthy, the sooner we can get started on our journey to better health.OK, you may ask, so what is the best kind of exercise?

It is for you? Anything that you find interesting, and you enjoy doing is within your physical capacity to do.For example, say, you used to like to run, and now, this activity just doesn’t do it for you. So, change it.The healthiest people I know are those who cross train. They prevent injuries, and they seem to stick with the program.

The program being REGULAR EXERCISE. Yes, a program can consist of hiking, swimming, and yoga for a number of months, or years and than switch to say, biking dancing and weights. The point is variety is the spice of life!We have a wonderful natural opportunity in Bend to cross train, because we have seasons. The winter offers opportunities to ski, snowshoe, play hockey, and skate. Furthermore, muscle development is very sports specific.

Have you ever gone for a run after spending most of your exercise program biking? Does the phrase “out of shape” enter your mind? This isn’t necessarily true.To be great at a sport, practice makes perfect, at that activity.

 However, for the average person preventing injury and boredom should be goals of any exercise program.Other fitness goals should include the following: flexibility (stretching), endurance (lung capacity and heart health), and strength. It should become obvious that it is difficult to work on each one of these components at ever exercise session.So, break it up. At one session focus on strength. For example, say you have chosen biking (mountain or rode). Focus on strength by choosing a hilly route, and doing intervals. It is a little difficult to focus on flexibility when ON your bike, so stretch after. Another session of riding may be to go for a long ride, where endurance would be the focus.

The side effect of cross training, and focusing on the different aspects of fitness, strength, flexibility, and endurance yields another gem of longevity. Increase in lean body mass. (This is determined from measurement of your percent body fat). And an increase in our RMR, resting metabolic rate. (From last month). Many people may initially experience weight loss, and then weight maintenance as the road to health includes a lifestyle in which regular exercise becomes another priority.

Remember, if exercise is not in the top 3 of your daily "to do" list, the chances of it occurring is very low. On our journey to better health, let exercise lead the way.

Call 383-3424 to have your RMR &/or percent body fat measured.