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Why exercise SHOULD be part of your lifestyle

Everyone needs to organise and prioritise daily activities in their personal lives. What most people DON’T do is put their health first by making the time for regular exercise. Pressures of work and family often take a front seat and your health is left by the way side. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore but more of a nonnegotiable. When I talk about exercise I don’t necessarily mean vigorous weight training or high intensity workouts, exercise can be any form of physical activity from walking and running to Yoga and Tai Chi.

What we need to understand is that no matter how busy our lives get or how mentally drained we may feel, exercise will always make you feel better – you’ll feel fit, healthy, reenergised and positive.

Here are 6 great reasons you should exercise regularly:

1. ENERGY

It may seem counterintuitive but researchers say expending energy by engaging in regular exercise may pay off with increased energy in the long run. Exercise improves circulation and strengthens your heart which in return will improve energy levels. Exercise supports the physical and mental demands of everyday life. And, if that’s not enough it will help you dance longer, play harder and live longer.

2. REDUCTION IN STRESS

Regular exercise helps alleviate stress by releasing “feel good” endorphins, leaving you calm, happy, and peaceful but with increased energy levels.

3. IMPROVED QUALITY OF SLEEP

Working out helps you fall asleep more easily, wake up feeling more reenergised, and feel the benefits of a quality night’s sleep. Exercise can strengthen circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and helping bring on sleepiness at night.

4. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

Over time flexibility can decrease up to 50% which restricts your mobility. Regular exercise not only keeps you strong, youthful and feeling great, regular stretching and myofascia release will leave your muscles long and lean.

5. BURNS BODY FAT

Exercise speeds up your metabolism by creating more lean muscle. More muscle means burning more calories and in turn reducing body fat.

6. BOOSTS SELF-ESTEEM AND FIGHTS DEPRESSION

The simple act of exercise and the “feel good” factor it generates leaves you happier in your own body, boosting your self esteem and reducing symptoms of depression.

WHAT’S STOPPING US?

So if exercise is so good for us and makes us feel so good, why are so many people inactive? The hardest part for sure is getting started. The idea of change terrifies many of us, but once you get into a regular routine, you wont want to stop. I’m not talking about a quick fix here. There is no magic pill or superfood that’s going to make this happen over night. I’m talking about long lasting sustainable change to reap the lifelong physical and mental benefits of exercise.

First ask yourself why. Why should you exercise? It will most likely be to gain one or even all of the benefits stated above.  Work out what motivates you and ease into it slowly and gradually build up to a regular exercise habit until it becomes part of your lifestyle.

Why not purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and allow me to provide you with a monthly exercise routine that is structured enough to reach your goals but flexible enough to allow you to have a perfect “work hard, play hard” balance.

 

 

 

 

 

SupaChick

*GUEST BLOG* – Matthew Wallden: The benefits of wearing Vibram FiveFingers

Matthew Wallden is the Founder and Managing Director at Primal Lifestyle Ltd and the sole distributor of Vibram FiveFingers in the UK. Today he has joined us here on SupaChick to discuss the fantastic benefits of wearing Vibram Fivefingers during exercise…ENJOY!

Have you ever wondered what those shoes are that you often see at the gym which look like foot gloves are for?  How is it that people can run in little more than a  strip of rubber contoured to their sole?  Surely there has to be a reason all the fitness professionals seem to be wearing them?  Why the Special Forces are using them, and why many elite sports teams from Premiership football, rugby and cricket, to International sprinters and World Championship Ironmen using them?

The story behind the Vibram Fivefingers footwear is an unusual one; where the product was designed by a young lumberjack who simply enjoyed the sensation of walking the mountain trails barefoot, but found it a little treacherous and uncomfortable.  He reasoned that if he could develop a shoe that just acted like a second skin, it would offer a little additional grip and make the sensation just perfect.  Little did he (or Vibram, the eventual manufacturers) know that as soon as their product was launched to market, that it would be the consumer to tell them what the shoe was good for.

Within months of launch, Vibram were inundated with communications from runners and from fitness professionals explaining how great their product was for conditioning.  The rationale?  For many years runners at the elite level have used barefoot running as a staple component of their training to keep their feet strong, prevent injury and optimise technique.  Unfortunately for most of us “not quite elite” runners, access to smooth debris free running tracks can be limited, so the option to run barefoot poses a series of other challenges.  In the fitness world the notion of “functional training” has been the core focus of the last 15 years; finding ways to strengthen the entire kinetic chain from neck to toe… The issue being that, for some strange reason, we have been under the impression from sports shoe manufacturers that the only part of our body that is not able to support itself is the foot…

The foot, just like any other part of the body, only gets weaker if you support it.  If you allow the foot to work (under sensible loading levels) then it will get strong – in exactly the same way that if you work your biceps under sensible loading levels they, too, will get stronger.  However, if you pick weights that are too heavy or you do not allow yourself enough time to recover and repair, you can eventually damage or injure your biceps; as any training is essentially a form of intelligent and controlled damage and repair. The same is true of the foot.  Ramp up the mileage too quickly in a pair of Vibram Fivefingers or barefoot, and you might find your foot or Achilles getting sore… but rest it and it will recover and get stronger.  If you keep pushing through the pain, this is where injury can occur.  Counterintuitively, though, research shows that running barefoot with good technique actually halves the loads going through the body compared to running in a cushioned shoe!

If you are going barefoot or using Vibram Fivefingers in the gym environment for more functional training the transition is typically quicker and smoother (as when you run you have multiples of bodyweight going through one foot at a time with every step), but you still need to take it easy in the first few weeks and allow up to a few months for full adaptation if your training is heavy and intensive.  Power generation starts at the foot in almost all sports and activities of daily living, so you need to ensure that you don’t “stumble at the first block” by having a weak foot.

So, if you want to train like the elites, to ensure your are strong, stable and able to transfer power from the ground upward into your body, to run with optimal technique and minimise injury through strengthening the foot and minimising impact, there’s no better time to start barefoot or minimalist conditioning.

Why not CLICK HERE to purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programmes available on the SupaChick shop, and try out these workouts wearing a pair of Vibram Fivefingers to feel the amazing benefits of barefoot training today!

Matthew Wallden

www.primallifestyle.com

@PrimalLifestyle (Twitter)

/primal-lifestyle (Facebook)