For most of us preoccupied with our daily routine, we are healthy as long as we do not have pain and do not need to visit the doctor. The question that we do not ask ourselves is about what state do we want to be in the long run. The answer cannot just be pain free because you also want to be able to do bigger and better things. Many people equate going to Gym to be the final solution. We are more than a bundle of muscles.
When you hit the gym, you work on your physiology. When you exercise you work on your muscles. Muscle fibers in the body group together to form muscle groups. Muscle groups consist of hundreds of thousands of muscles. Our muscles contract and relax to produce force or perform work. The motor neuron carries the instruction from the brain via the spinal cord to the muscle group. Each motor neuron controls around a couple of thousand muscle fibers and together they are called a motor unit.
Muscle fibers are of two types. Fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch muscles provide quick burst of power and do not have staying power. The slow twitch muscles provide moderate but sustained power. Athletes in endurance sports will have to develop slow twitch muscles while athletes in sports like sprinting or body building.
Remember, when you start off, you don’t have that many muscle fibers or motor units. The workout routine will first aim to train the motor units and recruit existing muscle groups. Next step of the workout routine would look at stimulating muscle growth. Growth of the right type of muscle fibers to meet your objectives.
This is where it becomes very important to answer the question “What is your objective?” as it pertains to getting started with a personal trainer. Depending on your answer, the trainer will be able to organize exercises that will enable you target either the fast twitch or slow twitch muscles.
Now let us zoom out and look at the components of fitness and wellness. We will later tie it all up together with an action plan for a healthy lifestyle.
Fitness can broadly be defined as consisting of:
- Cardio-vascular capacity
- Muscular Capacity
- Body composition (Fat/Water/Muscles/Tissues)
Health and wellness can be conceptualized as:
When you are looking for health and fitness, you need to target all the above aspects. To conclude, before you seek help from a trainer, you need to decide what your goals are. Do you just want to do your daily work effortlessly? Are you looking to strengthen your joints? Are you planning to play a sport and want to prepare? Do you want to just build your body? Whatever your objective, there is an exercise plan for it and a good personal trainer will help.
However, when it comes to wellness, you need to take charge. The challenges to wellness in modern day is from environmental factors that cause stress. It could be your job, social media, peer group etc. You need to take stock of things that effect your mind and spirit and try to come up with coping strategies. There are several resources and self help books that can help.
In the next post, we will discuss the components of a good workout plan. Feel free to drop me a note, follow me on twitter or follow this blog for daily updates. Start now to be ready to capitalize on your motivation for the new year!
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