5 Things People Need More Of
When we think about fitness there’s a tendency to only focus on one specific goal. Some want to be able to lift a certain amount of weight, others want a six-pack you could grate cheese on, but hardly anyone thinks about the big picture. However, it’s impossible to be healthy if you don’t take a holistic approach to your wellbeing. There are 5 key things that everyone should pay attention to and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have overlooked at least one.
Upper back: Your upper back is responsible for your posture. If this area is neglected, you can end up hunched forwards. Apart from being unattractive, slouching can lead to aches and pains because the weight of your body isn’t being properly dispersed. Office workers are at a higher risk of this because they spend all day leaning in towards a computer screen or desk.
It’s therefore important to train your back muscles. A way to do this at home is by using a resistance band. This handy piece of kit is cheap to buy, simple to use, and requires virtually no storage space. If heading to the gym, invest some time performing some pull movements to target the back muscles. Some great ones are rows, pull-ups and rope pulls.
Glutes: Your glutes – aka your bum/butt muscles – allow for the smooth movement of your hips. If this is impaired, you’ll find everyday tasks more difficult and you’ll likely experience back and knee pain too. Strong glutes also equal a pert bottom, so it really worth it spending time on this area.
Squats, deadlifts, lunges and hip thrusts are Bionic Bodies favourite lower body exercises and we think they should be a core feature of your training regime. If you’re a beginner, start by learning the correct technique for these moves before adding load. This way you will get more out of your workouts with fewer chances of injuring yourself. All of them target the lower body muscles building strength and stability. There’s a risk of injuring yourself if you do these moves incorrectly, so it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a personal trainer to make sure you stay safe.
Stretching: As your muscle mass increases from resistance training, you may notice that your flexibility decreases. By the other hand, lack of exercise can lead to muscle tightness. Whether you exercise or not, is important to practice some stretching unless you want to seize up. Stretching forces your muscles to lengthen and restores movement and flexibility. When done before a workout, it also helps to prevent against injury as your muscles will be ‘warmed up’ and ready for the stress of exercise.
A good habit is to stretch around the same time every day. A lot of people do this first thing in the morning because it gets the blood flowing and wakes you up. It’s worth attending a yoga class too – even a low intensity one – as this ancient practice is centred on improving flexibility. If you really want to mix things up, try hot yoga.
Conditioning: body conditioning is all about getting your heart rate up and putting your body through bursts of high-intensity moves instead of doing one activity such as walking on the treadmill for an hour at a low intensity. There are different ways of getting some conditioning work done. A great way is by doing a resistance whole body workout in a circuit style. Or you could use your own body weight and come up with your own circuit. Great body weight pulse raisers include burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and so on which can all be done at home. Benefits of training in this way include a metabolism boost that lasts long after you’ve left the gym, increased fat burning, and ensuring that you receive a full workout. Another perk is that it takes less time to perform body conditioning than it does a regular workout, which is good news for anyone who’s pushed for time.
HIIT is a form of body conditioning that has surged in popularity recently and you’ve likely seen classes advertised in your local gym. Because it’s such an intense experience, some people don’t feel comfortable starting out their fitness journey in a group setting. A personal trainer can provide useful guidance that is tailored to your fitness levels and goals.
Sleep: Not getting enough rest can be as detrimental to your health as neglecting the gym or eating excessive amounts of junk food. It’s not just about how many hours you spend in bed (always aim for 8), it’s also about ensuring the quality of your rest.
Good sleeping practices include going to bed at the same time every day, not having electronics in the bedroom, avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, and keeping the room relatively cool. And if you can’t drop off, the next best thing is to stay in bed and relax as this allows your body to repair itself after a hard day – even if it’s not as beneficial as actual sleep.