Home' Aurora : Aurora September 2011 Contents 13
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FIRST UP, I need to declare a
non-pecuniary interest in this topic - I'm
a fitness fanatic, but don't be put off by
that because the following information is
about sharing my passion in order to help
you and to assist in achieving a healthy and
I know you might be thinking 'not another
fitness and exercise column' or 'when will
they invent a pill that I can take once a day
and feel fit and on top of it all?!'
That's part of the problem. There's so
much information, so many TV series and
websites all telling you what you should do
and how you should look.
But let's work together on this one and
work out what's best for you and those
First, you need to get your time
management sorted. We are all busy -
that's the nature of the world in which
we live. But if you put aside thirty
minutes a day for yourself, or to share
with family or friends, things that once
seemed insurmountable might just fall
We've all read the books that talk about
spending quality time. Simplified, that
means doing something for yourself without
the guilt that can be experienced. Now let's
start being physical.
Select an activity that you will enjoy.
Gyms aren't for everyone. You might like
to walk, jog or cycle. Perhaps you have
exercise equipment at home that can be
shared, and maybe it's easier for you to
spend time working out at home without
leaving the block. You need to choose
an activity that you can sustain for 20-30
minutes a day.
Remember, however, that variety is the
key to success. Just as you change your
clothes or what you eat each day, so
too should you change your exercise to
maintain your commitment and enthusiasm.
Here's a simple, affordable and
achievable plan that you can adapt and
adjust according to the time you have.
•WALKING -- ensure that you walk at a pace
that is a little uncomfortable -- this ensures
that your heart is under slight pressure.
•JOGGING - build up to a pace that you
can sustain. When you begin, vary the
pace. Use landmarks as a guide -- jog to
the first mark, increase your pace to the
next mark then drop back to a walk and so
on. By varying the pace you will replicate
the movements of a typical day where you
might be at your desk, then rush off, then
return to the desk. Always be mindful
of your daily routine and what you need
to do to cruise through it without that
•CIRCUIT TRAINING -- on those rainy
mornings when you don't really want to go
outside, design a circuit in the family room.
Include activities such as:
•sit-ups to work the abdominals;
•push-ups to firm up the trouble spot
at the back of the arms;
•line runs -- two lines 3 metres apart
which promote continuous jogging;
•lunges to tone the thighs and
•star jumps for that aerobic boost.
Continue each exercise for about two
minutes. Between exercises jog on the
spot for about three minutes.
One of the best things about exercising at
home is that you can wear that favourite
T-shirt, no matter how daggy it is!
•EXERCISE EQUIPMENT. If you ever go to a
garage or car boot sale, check out how many
stationary bikes, mini trampolines and weight
training home gyms are for sale. These items
can be beneficial to your training but tend to
be fads. If you think you would like to use
some of this gear, check out companies that
hire the machines and see how you go for a
month before dishing out the dollars.
If you are at a family picnic or spending some
idle time in the yard on a weekend, strike up
a game of touch footy, continuous cricket or
even volleyball. This helps bring out the child
in you as you enhance your fitness levels in
a fun way.
Also keep that water bottle on hand and eat
fresh, seasonal food. Moderation's the key
to success in the health and fitness stakes
but it must also be enjoyable if you are to
sustain good practices and healthy habits.
Catch you on the run!
By HELENE O'NEILL
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