COLUMN: Let’s get a workout in (VIDEO)
Working out is a year round activity that is truly personalized to your needs and what you can do. Check out the video in the column.
COLUMN: Let’s get a workout in (VIDEO)
Working out is a year round activity that is truly personalized to your needs and what you can do.
I have a room in my home devoted to weights and the equipment necessary to do a good workout at home, and it came in handy a couple years ago. But I am a strong believer that going to a gym, YMCA, or fitness center is a better activity all around.
I go every morning, Monday through Friday. I have made it a part of my lifestyle and schedule other things such as doctor’s appointments, errands, martial arts training, and meeting up with friends around it. In other words, I prioritize it. You must feel it is important and then make it important.
Before you even get inside your workout space, you have already begun the activity. You get up, get cleaned up, and get dressed to leave your home. This is step one and is very important – don’t let small excuses stop you from even starting step one.
Next, you arrive at the facility and begin your workout. This is different for everyone. For some, it starts with saying “Hi” to everyone, walking around and finding one or two friends that you wish to talk to, and then maybe walking the track or getting on a treadmill or stationary bike, and spending some time watching TV or people in general. You ask, “Is that an activity?” Yes, it is. You got up, out and active. In the process, you worked some leg muscles, challenged your mind, and interacted with others, which most likely put a smile on your face.
Can you do more? Of course, taking it in small steps will allow you to grow and stay healthy. Be sure to talk to your doctor and use good judgement. Don’t overwork yourself in the beginning and pace yourself for success. Some suggestions: the cardio is a good start, but you should change it up. Doing the same for 15 or 30 minutes every day is not going to make a big difference.
Check out this workout video:
Choose a length of time and don’t let yourself stop until you have finished the time you set. An example is 30 minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with 45 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday. Also, pick a muscle group for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, such as biceps or triceps, and on Tuesday and Thursday, work on calf or quad muscles. Alternate an upper body muscle group with a lower body muscle group the next day.
You can go every day of the week, although I take Saturdays and Sundays off. There are plenty of good books available and the internet is full of sites to help you choose specific free-weight or machine exercises to target specific muscle groups in your workout. Yes, there are correct ways to do the exercise, and you should use light weights when you start so you do not hurt yourself. However, even doing the technique poorly as you learn the basics and gain muscle strength will give you growth and change.
Another suggestion is that if you are using a machine, try not to sit there texting or talking to someone on your phone. Get off the machine so that someone else can use it. I go to get a workout in and keep my daily schedule moving. Therefore, I do little if any socializing and aim to get my full workout done in the hour and a half I have set aside to do it.
If you have not tried a workout routine, I want to say that you will be surprised at how good you feel afterwards. Some of the young people spend time looking at how pumped up they are and how big their muscles are getting. For me and maybe you, we should simply look in the mirror and be pleased we showed up. Go ahead and break a sweat if you can, knowing that getting a workout in has many parts — all of which help you stay healthy and alert, adding to your quality of life.
Keep in mind: “When you have got an elephant by the hind leg and he’s trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.” — Abraham Lincoln
Clifford Crandall Jr., 75, is the founder and grandmaster of the American Martial Arts Institute, 8382 Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford. He has produced a monthly column and video series, “Still Alive and Kicking,” promoting life-enhancing activities for seniors.
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