A QUICK GUIDE TO EXERCISE READINESS

A Personal Trainer’s perspective…
There are a myriad of checks to make sure you’re ready to exercise and a few more to make sure you’re going to do the right kind. Whilst it’s important to ultimately drill down to the specifics, it’s useful to have a rough overview of the most important aspects:
1. BALANCE
There is not a day that passes when I am not confronted by someone who is stressed out. People come to me to get healthy and look good but I know from experience that if you’re stressed, it’s not going to work. Exercise is a stress on the body and if your levels are already high, exercise is going to be detrimental and counter-productive. If you’re thinking about getting into exercise, stress will prevent you.
There is no way to reach your potential without dealing with stress and for something that we all experience much of the time, ‘stress’ is a very under-understood phenomenon. Almost every moment we’re awake is a stress! In Yin and Yang terms, we’re Yang most of the time.ben Most of our time is Energy OUT. Most everything in today’s stimulus-packed world is geared-up to get you to spend. If you spend it all, you’ve got nothing saved up. How many of you are tired, or on the verge of exhaustion? The key is balance. Most people’s lives are run at a thousand miles an hour and there’s not much to be done about that. There’s so much to do and only so much time in the day.
There are a million methods but the quickest, easiest way I’ve found to de-stress is to use this powerful breathing technique that a wise old yogi once taught me: Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”:
Through the nose take a leisurely inhale, then exhale powerfully from the belly. Perform about 10 times as a beginner, then as you start to feel the effects, you can get the same benefits from doing it fewer times. After only a little practice, you can gain enormous relieve from just a single breathe.2. PURPOSE
Most people forget that they’re human! Beings that are designed to move and function in the world. There’s a fundamental disconnect between how we live and what we’re designed to do. We’re built to run, jump, move with agility, be powerful, crawl, climb and throw. Watch any child and you’ll see a perfect demonstration of our physicality. Throughout childhood, we’re gradually moulded into a more ‘socialised’ form: “Put that down”, “don’t run in here”, “sit down”, “calm down!”

Regaining a more natural state of being is essential for getting exercise ready. Exercise shouldn’t be an effort. You shouldn’t need to force yourself, or need anyone else to motivate you. It should come naturally. Movement and the desire to perform (enjoy!) it is intricately linked to our love and lust for life and all things real.

The trick is to turn your attention inward. Most of the time we’re looking outwards, at our phones, screens, other people and situations and give little attention to our internal world. With so much credence given to external technology, there’s so little attention given to our internal technology. We distract ourselves all the time.

Willingly? Maybe we’re always looking for distractions because there’s so much that we want to be distracted from. Are we living a life worth living? Are we becoming our best selves? Are we making a difference?

Our purpose is discovered inside of us, buried beneath all the schedules, planning, reasoning and actions. There’s a lot of noise to get through… We must release and resolve programs, patterns and identities, that prevent us from living the fullest life possible.adv_st_2

Deep within us is a subdued desire. When all else is made quiet, we discover that our nature and purpose are one and we can regain our child-like lust for life, for being human. The goal amongst all else is to enliven our desire for experiencing energy and movement.

The heart is the body’s energy engine. Having it work optimally will re-invigorate the entire energy system. Here follows a powerful technique to re-enliven your heart and bring it back to full power.

“The Heart Dance”
It starts with being PRESENT. Be in the now and be with what is going on within you. Focus attention on breathing in towards the heart. Filling up the heart area with air with every deep inhale. Exhale slowly making the sound “err”.
The more ‘noise’ there is, the harder this will be to perfect, but the more you do it the better it’s effects will get.

 

3. PRACTICE
There are thousands of physical practices, each with a different approach and set of outcomes. Choosing the right practice or combination of practices is tricky and the aspect of readiness that a lot people get stuck on.

The developed world isn’t set up to facilitate our physical prowess. Running along crowded paved streets, or swimming in the Thames isn’t the most appealing of propositions! Gym’s really don’t fulfil our requirements – Weights machines that isolate body areas and cardio-machines that are screwed to floor have very little functional carry over.

There’s sport, martial arts, dancing and a host of other stuff. If you look at it all, you’ll find they all embody the same core aspects.

  • Conventional exercise (aerobic, power, strength, etc)
  • Challenge and Success
  • Enjoyment

Each of them however, share the same failing: They are not holistic. Humans are complex beings, with a myriad of requirements that when referring to exercise can be summarised into 2 camps: Working-IN and Working-OUT. People who are ‘exercise-engaged’ tend only to work-OUT without even 5-10% of the time devoted to working-IN. Most people exercising don’t even stretch!iStock_000030446718Medium

It’s possible to merge Working-IN and OUT into a single discipline. At SkyLimit we have a functional, energy based exercise system we call ‘Chi PT’. This carefully crafted, prescription discipline is tailored bespoke to each individual. It requires knowing the individual’s personal make up and the movements and practices that would benefit that. You can get a little taste for it here:

Answer these 2 questions:

  • How stressed are you out of 10 (10 is most stressed)?
  • How unfit are you out of 10 (10 is most unfit)?

Add the total of the 2 values together.

Try the following if you scored: –

Less than 10:
“Scoop and reach”
Squat down as if scooping something off the floor by your feet. Raise it up as you stand all the way above your head and separate your hands away and back down to your sides. Repeat 10 times, or for around 90 seconds.

10 or more:
“The Squat”
Sit down on your haunches in a deep squat, keeping your heels on the ground. Here, relax down into the position, keeping your chest and back as upright as possible. Hold the position for as long as you comfortably can, aiming for 30 seconds. Come back up to standing. Repeat 3 times.

This is a very basic example. The real assessments number in the 100s and of course the exercise prescription would be far more elaborate but the principle is there and you should get some great benefits from doing the single exercise above that is appropriate for you.

 

SUMMARY
We see ‘Fitspiration’ imagery online, get our expectations up and do some exercise program that hasn’t been tailored specifically for us. We wake up in the morning aching, that layer of belly fat persisting, wondering if it’s all worth the effort!

Each of us have very specific requirements, but we all share the same core desires and drives. If we can get in touch with that, and re-enliven our passions for movement, while always maintaining balance, we can be ready to perform any exercise we like.

Doing the exercise that keeps us enlivened and passionate for movement is the aim. A tailor-made approach is the key but it doesn’t require a bunch of assessments, you can silence your ‘already knowing’ mind and look within to see what your body needs.

For some assistance on the path, keep up to date on our Blogs and get in touch whenever you like.