Mall Walking

2020 is definitely making it difficult to stay focused on your health and fitness. Between a global pandemic and now forest fires making the air quality hazardous, it’s challenging to figure out where to go and what to do to get your workout in. Running, biking, hiking and walking outdoors have not been recommended for the last week. If you don’t have access to fitness equipment, are you out of luck? If there’s a will, there’s always a way and mall walking could be your answer when outdoors is not an option.

Depending on the mall in your community, a lap around the mall is easily equivalent to a lap around the track. If your mall is larger, you might be able to get a half to full mile per lap. At the Vancouver Mall, a lap including all the exit halls will get you close to a ½ mile.

To make your workout more challenging, you can include the stairs. For example, you could do the stairs at the start of each lap or to make it even more challenging, you could run the stairs every time you pass a set. Multiple repeats of stairs will drive up the intensity.

To make your workout more interesting, you could add shuffles and agility drills in between poles.

You could even add strength exercises to your workout. For example, you might do walking lunges down one exit lane. You could perform squats at each end. You could do bench pushups or tricep dips.

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20/20/20 Challenge

It is disheartening that only 5% of Americans get 30 minutes of exercise every day. That means 95% of us are not getting enough exercise to ward off obesity and other health issues.

So on August 20, 2020, after seeing all those 20s, we were inspired to start a 20/20/20 challenge at our NW Personal Training studio.

The goal was to do 20 workouts for 20 minutes for 20 days in a row. Any type of movement counted. We posted an inspirational message every day on our NWPT page and we had clients post photos everyday to hold each other accountable.

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Workplace Wellness

The CDC reports that 90% of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions. People who don’t exercise, eat poorly and practice unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and suffer the associated health consequences cost the USA a lot of money.

The CDC quantifies exactly how much greater the annual health care costs are for people with certain risk factors and the results are startling and should convince employers and insurance companies to immediately initiate and reward Corporate Workplace Wellness programs.

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Workout Smarter, Not Harder!

Lack of time is the number one reason people report for struggling with sticking to an exercise program. Add in COVID-19 safety protocols that require additional time and effort to enforce, business owners working harder than they ever have to survive, and virtual, online learning, and it’s not hard to understand that people are having an even harder time finding the time to fit in workouts. The problem though, is that during a global health crisis, the importance of our overall fitness is even more critical. We need our physical strength, mental health, stress relief and a strong immune system to help us get through this!

So in order to fit workouts in to your already busy life, you’re going to have to work smarter!

Full Body Exercises are the answer to this issue. Incorporating exercises that combine lower body, upper body, core conditioning and balance training all into one exercise accomplish three times as much training in the same amount of time. Training in an integrated way is effective, time efficient and functional.

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Where’s The Disconnect? We All Know We Should Be Exercising But Don’t…

The evidence is clear and conclusive. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, are among the most common and often preventable of all health problems in the United States. Each year, chronic diseases cause 7 of 10 deaths among Americans. The CDC also reports that over 40% of Americans are categorized as obese, not only causing premature deaths due to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, but also costing nearly $150 billion annually in medical costs.

 

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How Will You Do PE This Fall?

Most parents are struggling to figure out how they are going to manage online, home schooling for the fall and some, in addition, must juggle this with work responsibilities. Some parents are getting creative and arranging study pods where a small group of kids will work through their schoolwork with parents rotating as teachers and/or hiring a tutor and splitting the costs.

As parents make their plans to assure their children’s academics don’t backslide, it’s a good time to also consider what steps we can take to assure our kids also have some opportunities to work on their physical health, which also translates to their mental health. It’s important to note that many kids are struggling through Covid-19. They are missing their friends, teachers, sports, recreation activities and social life. Many are anxious, may be struggling with depression and experiencing stress at a high level whether they understand that or not. Movement and exercise can help combat these feelings. Kids, just like adults, need a positive, outlet to manage their emotions and to participate in things that make them feel good. The importance of physical strength, mental health, stress relief and strengthening our immune system is critical, now more than ever, for adults and our youth!

 

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Strengthening Your Immune System

As we learn more about Covid-19, more literature is pointing to the fact that obesity and poor health are the key risk factors for how severe conditions are if one is exposed to the virus.

One recent report suggested that a vaccine may not be effective if someone is obese. So if you have existing weight issues and your only strategy to fight Covid-19 for the long-term is waiting for a vaccine, you may want to start addressing your current exercise and nutrition plan.

Another report suggested that boosting immune system is a key strategy for treating those exposed to Covid-19.

Your approach to all of this should be to assume that you will get exposed to the corona virus at some point and to assure that your body is strong enough to fight it. So keep washing your hands, wearing a mask and keeping your physical distance AND……

…..follow these tips to boost your overall immune system:

 

Exercise is key

Workout aerobically 3-6 days each week for 20-60 minutes each session at various levels of intensity.  Walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, stair-climbing, hiking, bootcamps, dancing will all do the trick. We shower everyday to clean the outside of our bodies – cardio exercise is like an internal shower! Try to sweat a bit everyday!

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2020 – Close Out The Year on a Positive Note

We can all agree that 2020 is not at all how any of us planned. Everything feels out of our individual control and it’s easy to just coast and see what happens or fall into a depressed state. It can be an emotional roller coaster with cancelled plans, inability to follow through on our intentions and the lack of physical connection with those who inspire, challenge and support us.

We’re seven months into 2020 and five months into the pandemic. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the year so far and adjust as needed to assure our final five months of the year are as good as possible.

Recap – It’s a great drill to grab a piece of paper and answer the following questions:

  1. What are the highlights, accomplishments, and positives of 2020 so far

  2. What were the struggles of 2020 so far?

  3. What do you wish you would have done that you did not? What opportunities did you not act on that you wish you would have?

As you examine your answers above, do you notice any trends? For example, if your highlights are of a certain type, can you include more of the same in the next five months?  If there are certain things you wish you would have done, can you add that to your plans for the next five months?

 

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Bedtime Exercise

People’s cortisol levels, the stress hormone, are off the charts. Everyone is stressed due to Covid-19 for different reasons. Are the kids going back to school or at they not? If they are, what does that look like? If they aren’t, how are we going to manage that? Am I going back to work? If so, am I safe? If not, am I ok financially? Am I going to get sick? Is someone I love going to get sick? Could someone I love actually die? Is my business going to make it through this? Am I going to have to shut down for good? How can I keep my staff and customers safe?

It is a lot to manage and an emotional roller-coaster.

Last week, we discussed exercises you can do from your chair throughout your day to help manage some of the aches and pains from extended sitting that many are experiencing due to our current scenarios. Today, we’ll review exercises you can do from your bed at the end of a long day or to start your day. We need to take the time to stop, breath and reset – our health depends on it.

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Chair Exercise

With so many of us working from home in less-than-ideal ergonomics and many feeling a sense of stress and anxiety due to Covid-19, a quick and easy movement routine that you can do at your desk can be a life-changer.

This 10-minute plan can help minimize aches and pains, reduce tightness, improve circulation, get your blood flowing, reduce stress and calm your mind.

Perform this routine mid-way through your day or whenever you are feeling tight and/or stressed. Focus on slow, deep breathing while performing each movement. You will instantly start to feel better.

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