Health & fitness notebook

Survival of the fittest

*Ding Dong*

“Hiya! Howdy? Let me introduce myself, Mr Workout, also known as Imgettingatit. I’m one of your 2016 resolutions, remember?”

After having uttered that sentence all through 2015 (we’re just gonna pretend for 10 seconds that nothing has been said in 2014, in 2013, in 2012 …), and after having been irregular (I have to raise my hand on that one), let us promise ourselves that in 2016, we’re gonna get serious with our workout routines. And hold on to it all through 2016.

Often, “going to the gym”, “working out” “working out regularly” are experienced as chores. Moments most of us like to avoid, preferring to unwind enjoying drinks with friends or watching TV. Yes, being lazy becomes being happy.
Yet the consequences of that idle lifestyle (feeling sloppy all the time, being exhausted while going up some stairs) has nothing to make us smile at.

Some time ago I was reading an essay on happiness that was suggesting this was all wrong. Truth be told, many of the best moments of a lifetime were to be those during one’s physical or mental limits were surpassed, and during which an individual was accomplishing something difficult but worth it.

Well, sports is one of those moments.
Difficult to do 10 pushups in a row? Yes but it is worth it.
A 12 km run by -2 ° C? Difficult, but again, worth it.
1 hour Body Attack class at 8 p.m.? Backbreaking, but still, worth it.
Plus, at the end of it all, a better self-esteem.

So, for this new year do we vow to ourselves not to give up? To be consistent and to continue getting better, stronger and fitter no matter the day, no matter the time?
Because to be honest, there is no optimum time for it. And there will be none. Fitness time does not exist. Not on my watch anyway. Office hours will not change, Tuesday or Thursday fatigue either. Nothing will drag us down to the gym. Except a strong will. One that wants us to live good times. One that is free from any excuse. One that sees sports as a lifestyle and not a tedious task.

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been to the gym for weeks now. Blame it on the Holidays or on some sort of laziness. Consequence, I’ve put on some weight. You can see it around the belly and the hips. However, it is the whole body that I’m going to work on during the recovery phase that I’ll start. Consisting in some cardio and some strength training (you will find an example of a fitness program that I like below).
Because yes, there is a myth that we must demystify, a global conspiracy that must be annihilated and which proliferates in some women’s beauty magazines: one that says that spot-reducing is possible.

Fanciful, except for the exceptions (you know, those supernatural who eat what they want, gain a little weight but still, can lose it where they want; don’t get fooled such a scenario is rare). So no, you will not have a flat belly just by doing sit-ups; like you don’t need to change your eating habits, or to activate all body muscle groups and increase the difficulty of your exercises with time.
Yeah, yeah, and Kim’s ass … is all natural. Yeah, yeah.

Actually, it’s the best way to find yourself with killer abs buried underneath a chubby belly.
You need to know that fat doesn’t disappear by activating only the muscle group it lies upon to (you can only do that with plastic surgery). The fat that accumulates in the abdomen or the hips is not that of the belly and hips only. It belongs to the whole body. After, yes, due to gender and genetics, fat will have its favorite places, where it locates itself first (thighs and hips for women). It will be more visible in these areas, but still, the cheeks, the arms or the calves will not be spared, just slightly less affected. Well there are also other exceptions, these thin and active women who fail to lose some very localized fat, but that’s another story and especially a more complex issue, I won’t be dealing with today, since as mentioned previously these girls are active, them …

For us, 2016 starts here and now.

Long sleeves T-shirt: Nike
Training tights: H&M
Sneakers: Nike

                                                                                       

                                                                                  

                                                                                             

                                                                     

 

** Getting-back in shape routine **

3x a week for 3 weeks.
For who? Beginners and confirmed athletes. Add weights to increase the difficulty of some of the exercises and add sets
15 reps per exercise.
3 sets minimum – 5 max
· 15 pumps (elbow angle 90 °)
· 15 squats (keep back straight, knees aligned with your toes)
· 15 lunges
· 1 minute plank
· 15 hip thrusts (squeeze the butt throughout the exercise)
· 15 leg pull-in knee up (contract the abs throughout the exercise, back straight)

Followed by a 20 minute run (constant speed race).

 

Photos: Yasmine Bennis
Illustrations: Pinterest

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