Wow, how great was 2018!?! Looking at the year in review, we have a lot to be excited about.
But we are even MORE EXCITED to bring in 2019 and we think it’s going to be the best one yet. Why? Because this year, we are on a mission to help you ‘Reach your Resolution.’
New Years Resolutions are an annual promise to accomplish a personal goal or change a specific behavior to help improve ones life.
Did you know that a 2018 poll showed that ‘exercising more’ was at the top of the list of most common resolutions? ¹
I guess you could say It’s become a way to start each year on the right foot [yes, pun intended].
Is “Exercising More” a part of your New Years Resolution?
If so, we have a few tips to help you keep your eyes on the prize…and it all starts with answering the simple question: Why do you want to exercise more? Is it weight loss? Toning up? Improving your cardiovascular endurance? Gaining more muscle mass (what the young kids are calling “swole’’)?
Answering the WHY creates the foundation for HOW you should exercise. By simply changing the way you are dosing your resistance-based exercise program, the musculoskeletal system adapts with slightly different responses; therefore by designing your program to meet your specific goal, you will already give your body the chance to maximize your results.
No matter the reason for your goal, we have listed below a few recommendations for how you should design your exercise program [along with general nutritional guidance] to help you reach yours!
Increasing Muscle Mass:
This exercise program should isolate a grouping of similar acting muscles each day and your daily routine should only focus on these muscles for that given day. Pick 2-3 muscle groups to rotate through each week (for instance, Back/shoulders for one day, legs for the second day, and chest/arms for a third day). Make sure that you give these muscle groups roughly 1-2 days of rest before working on them again.
–Dosage: Perform anywhere between 3 to 8 repetitions only, using high levels of resistance/weight. Each set should be difficult and hard to reach the 8th repetition for each set (even if that means going up or down in weights between sets). Perform 2-3 sets for each exercise and perform upwards of 5-10 exercises on the same muscle group each day.
–Nutrition: increase your daily intake with more frequent meals adding in a wide variety of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
Increasing Muscle Tone:
This exercise program should also isolate a grouping of similar acting muscles each day and your daily routine should only focus on these muscles for that given day. Using the same guidelines: pick 2-3 muscle groups to rotate through each week (for instance, Back/shoulders for one day, legs for the second day, and chest/arms for a third day) and make sure that you give these muscle groups roughly 1-2 days of rest before working on them again.
-Dosage: Perform anywhere between 15 to 25 repetitions for each set, using lower levels of resistance/weight. Although the weight is probably lighter at first than you’re use to, each set should still be equally difficult and hard to reach the last 5 repetition for each set (even if that means going up or down in weights between sets). Perform 2-3 sets for each exercise and perform upwards of 5-10 exercises on the same muscle group each day.
-Nutrition: Regulate your daily intake, concentrating on taking in lean proteins, healthy fats, and items with low carbohydrate content
Increasing your Cardiovascular Endurance:
Dosage: Choose a cardio-based activity that is appealing to you and is readily accessible. This can include walking/jogging/running outside or inside on a treadmill, biking/cycling, swimming, rowing, elliptical, or any other cross trainers. At a minimum of 3 days per week, perform this activity at an intensity of which you can complete 30 total minutes each day. Especially when initially starting, take as much rest breaks as you need and track your daily intensities, time spent doing the activity, and the amount of rest times needed. Whether you choose to do so every day vs every week, begin to progress by keeping your activity level the same and decrease the amount of time needed to rest in the middle of the exercise. Once you are able to complete the activity at a comfortable pace/distance where you no longer need a rest, slowly begin to increase your intensity and length of time performing the activity. We’ve found a 10% weekly increase in either time or intensity to be a good starting point! We recommend keeping a log or diary that can help you track your workouts. Some simple metrics to track include: heart rate, blood pressure, pain levels (if any), body weight, distance of activity performed, time of activity performed, amount of rest time needed, or whatever other goal is important to you!
Maximizing Weight loss:
To maximize weight loss, Your nutrition and exercise goals should be interconnected. Get into a habit of tracking your daily food intake at first to understand what things you can cut out and what things you don’t want to budge on. Also start to measure your daily amount of exercise. Once you’ve tracked this for about a week, then begin to start increasing your exercise program by 10% more each week and decreasing your food intake by 10 % (# of calories) each week. To reach max results, by the end of your second week your energy expenditure (calories burned through activity) should be greater than your food intake (calories consumed through food). Your activity/exercises aren’t dependent on specific exercises and aren’t necessarily dose specific but should predominantly include a variety of cardio-based activities (swimming, biking, running, etc) alongside strength training (see items above).
No matter the goal, your exercises should typically include a combination of single-muscle and multiple-muscle group activities. Appropriate rest should be taken in days between your workouts and all exercises should all be relatively pain-free. If you are experiencing pain, are unsure of what exercises or frequency of workouts is right for you, feel free to stop in to Action Potential or contact your trusted Physical Therapist for advice.