Recently on the Slim Birdy – One Ten Toned – Eating Peaty private Facebook group, I told the story of the visit with my parents who live two states away. My father was finding the whole ‘taking your temperature thing’ revelatory in terms of helping with his eating habits. (He wants to put on weight, where as our group mostly discusses weight loss, however request to join if you would like to see how it was helping him.)
During that visit too, there is another story about exercise I wanted to tell and a running joke with my father – “Dad have you been lifting your weights a little?” He always replies, “I’ll start tomorrow.” He has said this for the last 30 years!
Now I haven’t seen my parents for about a year and a half – bad daughter I know – but we do speak every week. In that time though, I have written and been following my own One Ten Toned exercise program. This involves just a little amount of weight bearing exercises every day, or skipping a day here and there when life gets a little crazy at times.
When I was writing it, I told them all about it and even sent my father a little seven-day sampler to try out as part of my research. While he did it to help me, he was convinced that I wasn’t quite on the right path and I needed to do at least 30 minutes of all different exercises. He switched to what he thought he should be doing and then after a while he stopped.
So when they saw me, they couldn’t quite believe the muscle tone! The fact that I could do my push ups without effort, squats, throwing the weights around like they were nothing and for the first time in my life, looked rock solid and fit, with muscles shaping my legs, arms and back. Where as when I lost weight before, I would just look skinny and weak.
So it comes down to a few factors:
- the minimum effective dose
- prioritising weight bearing exercise over cardio (even walking)
- doing a little something each day
- doing the things you don’t hate
- having it home-based and readily at your disposal
- understanding that exercise for health is not the same as sports performance
So my father is really active in terms of walking, shopping, practicing golf etc but prioritising this was actually contributing to his health issues. So we set up three compound exercises with weights for a minimum of 3 reps x 3 sets a day and that’s it! He can do one exercise, he can do all three, he can add more of other things and he can even skip a day. He has placed his weights in a spot in the house that he walks past often and says that it reminds him to do another set. Three weeks on and he is still going strong.
Realistically the biggest challenge is keeping it up. If it’s too difficult, goes for too long, costs too much, requires you to drive a while to get there, requires childcare, special equipment, you hate it, you already have a busy life or if the stars have to align before you can do it, then it won’t work. And I should know, as I avoided weight-bearing exercise for about 20 years, until now!
Health is about creating a relaxed, easy-to-do lifestyle. To find out how to do that with exercise, grab a copy of my book One Ten Toned and just start today.
To your health and muscles!
Image by www.adrianalfordphotography.com