Use it or lose it. I am not old. At least to my eyes I am not old – almost 34. And I am in better shape than I was at 32 and I think we don’t have to accept that age means more weight, less fitness and more health problems. It is possible to keep fit, stay slim and enjoy active life as we get older, we just have to put a little more effort in. The thing is, once you start, and get over the initial effort of keeping fit, it should not be so hard to maintain it. If anything it is a mental exercise at this point rather than a physical one.
One thing I never paid much attention to is flexibility. I have never been particularly flexible. And I suddenly realized last week that I am not just lacking in flexibility, I am totally and utterly inflexible. And I think it affects me more than I realized. It certainly makes me feel older than I did before because I cant move with the same degree of fluidity that I could before. So today, by chance, I had my fitness assessment at the new (well, rejoined) gym – they have in-house trainers that are affiliated with a physiotherapist practice – and I said I can work out on general fitness things myself but I am most concerned with my lack of flexibility. If I am to continue trying get fitter I need to build on a body that can move properly. I am happy enough with the way I look – although I need to loose a little more – but I really want to be as functional a person as possible.
So out came all the flexibility test. And I failed. The only upside it that I can at least say the saying ‘know thy self’ applies to me. So I am starting a slightly different regime. My general fitness, while not what you would call athletic, is good enough that I don’t need to focus on cardio at the moment (by not focusing, I don’t mean not doing!). My new plan also means forgetting about how much weight I can lift. No point lifting 100 lbs if you can only move it 5 inches. I am starting on low weigh, big range and slow movement. And it is quite hard! It should do two things. By maximizing my movement for each rep I should start improving my flexibility because in many ways it is a hybrid between weight training and stretching. It also seems – and I have done some looking into it – that this type of weight training can lead to quite a big build up of muscle. So I need to be a little careful as I don’t want too get to big. Still, a change is as good as a rest they say so let’s see how it goes.
I also bought myself a skipping rope this weekend. And it is HARD! Seriously, I can can do a fair amount of time on the cross trainer, bike and even treadmill but after a few minutes of skipping rope I am shattered. My heart is thumping and I am eating. No wonder boxers do it. I am going to try and build up my stamina doing this so I can focus on the flexibility and weight training at the gym. This might me hard. I need to buy a fitness map with some padding on it otherwise I will pop a knee doing this.
I’ll keep you posted!