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What Are Your Fitness Favorites?

What do you like to do to stay in shape?

I floated this query out to both my personal Facebook friends and to the fans of our fitness studio page this week:

"My favorite form of exercise is ____________ because _________."

Here's how they responded:

"My favorite form of exercise is cycling because on a bicycle, you are enjoying the great outdoors, and getting the same wonderful perspective as a pedestrian (as opposed to an automobile operator, who just sees everything out the window, flying by), yet you can cover a lot more territory in a single outing on bike than while on foot."

“I like the Tabata format of your TVT classes. Each station is only a few minutes long. It's easy to give your all when you can say 'this is only for two minutes!' It's fun and an awesome calorie burn.”

“My favorite form of exercise is martial arts because when I reach that kind of sweat, I get high as a kite, and it keeps my migraines away... Win/Win.”

“Walking because I can do it anywhere, anytime.”

“Swimming because it's relaxing.”

Silks because it gives me a high and my body and soul are in complete bliss.”

“Boxing because it burns tons of calories AND I feel bad***!”

“Walking because I see all my neighbors.”

“Swimming...because it is meditative and effective.”

“Yoga because it works all areas and releases stress.”

“Running/jogging because it’s one of the few moments of time I focus on my heartbeat and my breath.”

There are scores of lists on the web that reflect similar choices and a recent fitness trade magazine that covered this topic also highlighted most of the same activities.

From a training perspective, we look at four basic components of conditioning:

1. Cardiodvascular conditioning (stamina, heart and lung health)

2. Strength

3. Flexibility

4. Core stability

These form the foundation of comprehensive fitness. So, it's important to introduce elements of each into your program as they enhance and complement each other. The feedback above doesn't mention strength training, but I've found an increasing number of people who, although they may not love it, recognize its importance and include it a couple of times each week.

By far the most opportunity to improve the balance of most peoples workouts is to step up the core and flexibility aspects of their program. The recent increase in popularity of both Yoga and Pilates is because of their focus on these areas. People who add these practices to their routines feel a huge improvement in their mobility and functional capacity (the ease with which you do normal daily tasks).

But in the end, finding some aspect of enjoyment and a sense of achievement or improvement are the keys to long-term adherance.

Learn more about the wide landscape of fitness and wellness options and what might be best for you at this upcoming multi-disciplinary wellness fair on January 5th.

And take care of yourself in 2013!

 

 

Dan is a nationally certified personal fitness trainer and former continuing education faculty member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. He is the owner and head trainer at Tri Valley Trainer in Pleasanton, which provides personal training, small group fitness and nutrition guidance. He can be reached at Dan@TriValleyTrainer.com

Taylor Martin December 06, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I’ve been working out for the last 30 years (running, weight training, and yoga) and the only workouts that have combined the four elements of cardiovascular conditioning, strength, flexibility, and core stability in one workout are Jillian Michaels DVDs. She does 3 circuits combining all the elements in 20-25 minutes. She hammers on you about form so you don’t incur injuries and all you need are a mat and hand weights. I have a slow metabolism and I’m older and prone to weight gain, so I’ve had to notch up the intensity, which she provides in her DVDs, for the workouts to be effective. If you have limited time and money, like me, these are a great option or supplement to other forms of exercise.
Dan Taylor December 06, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Thanks Taylor. Our TRIAD small group classes at Tri Valley Trainer combine all those elements and are led by only nationally certified (ACE and NASM) personal trainers, so students get immediate modifications and corrections. Those who come 3x/week or more often pay less than $7/class. We offer a free (no obligations or pressure to join) week for all new members and unlimited access to 15 weekly classes at various times. The picture in the article is from our Saturday 9am class. Come check it out!
Ann Sorensen December 07, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Nice article! I know the gym is necessary, that's why they call it a 'work' out. But my biggest work outs have been off road Tandem Mtn. Biking, single track Mtn Biking and dirt biking in the off season from skiing. When snow season is on, then Nordic & Alpine Skiing are my ultimate favorite exercise. Averaging 90 to 100 days skiing and Mtn. biking at least 1,000 miles minimum during the off season from skiing has changed my life. I love fresh air and the joy of thrill sports. I'm a lucky girl to live in the Sierra Nevada for so long. BTW, Livermore, Pleasanton & East Bay has some wonderful single track Mtn. Biking too. Get on your bikes and ride... For now, I'll be skiing it up.

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