Walking InfographicStepping up the movement

Now is a good time to take stock of your daily movment habits. To the right is a reminder of the walking advice from The De-Stress Effect to motivate you to continue walking those basic 10,000 steps we need for normal body function.

If you’ve been building up your exercise quota, you’ll be ready for this increase at this point as your body will be stronger. Walk that extra block, swim those extra laps – you may be surprised at how easily you have adapted but also be mindful not to let ambition take you to a level where you don’t feel rejuvenated after a session.

The body physically adjusts quickly to stimulus so you need change to continue improving. This can also keep you aware if the activities you have been doing are not challenging you in that ‘good stress’ way enough to keep your body responding in the optimum way.

Extra weight for your strengthening fitness

One way is to add extra sets to The De-Stress Strength-training Routine as you’ll see in the pdf and also add in more weight as feels right.

If you were using 4kg dumbbells then take yourself up to 5kg. If you were using 500ml water bottles then increase to either 750ml or 1 litre, as long as you can hold those in your hands. You get the idea, it’s the new point where you can feel the resistance as your old weight level has probably stopped challenging your muscles by now.

You can now keep the sets and weight like this for the next 4-5 weeks.  At that point you’ll need another stimulus.  Perhaps a new activity, different exercises, a different type of routine, so explore what’s available in your area.

Keep pacing yourself with your workouts

You’ll find while following The De-Stress Effect that your energy levels will be swinging back up at this point. It’s important to stick with the plan and keep the recovery days in your programme. Follow the guidelines in book on rest and recovery, truly listening and responding to your energy needs through daily mindfulness.

Also check in with the table Listening To Your Body on page 248 when you stress levels get high and you may need to adapt your exercise regime to ensure you are not wearing yourself down.

Intelligent rest as part of fitness

Research and years of athlete experience proves that recovery days are just as important as your workout days; even elite Olympic athletes have days off and so should you.  Just because you are feeling much better doesn’t mean you fall back in to pushing to your absolute limits if thats your tendency – especially if it contributed to burnout. You’ll end up back where you started when you are working on keeping the good energy on a regular basis. For example, you can move to walking on days where your body is telling you a run would be exhausting

Keeping yourself motivated to move

Come back to these considerations any time you feel your exercise and movement habits slipping away:

  • Choose an activity you love, so pleasure keeps up the motivation
  • Workout at a time of day that works for you – you’ll know what it is
  • Participate in group activities if you enjoy company and support
  • Pick a venue which is close to you, this helps you keep going
  • Have one or two workout buddies who you can schedule workouts with or even call on with short notice to go for a session
  • Have workout clothes and shoes in the office in case the mood takes you to workout in the office or go out for a walk at lunch

Most items listed above take a little planning, so make as easy as possible by taking the clothes in to work and having kits ready to go. Schedule them in your diary as definite plans that everything else can work around – this is vital for your quality of life!

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