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Variety is the spice of life

Fitness expert Sarah Cowley adds more variety to your Kick-start Plan, plus there are three new resistance band exercises.

When it comes to exercise, I need variety. Changing the type of workout, environment or the people you exercise with will help you stay interested in and progressing on your Kick-start Plan.

Type of exercise

In the Kick-start Plan, we have included different ways to move. These include aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise and strength training. Mixing up the type of training you do is good for you because different types of exercise have different effects on your body and mind. Take aerobic exercise, for example. This elevates your heart rate for periods of time, such as in the ‘power half hour’. During aerobic exercise, your cardiovascular system is put under much more physical stress compared with doing strength training, such as the resistance band circuit.

Mix up the activity

There are different ways to move within each category of exercise. For example, when you are doing resistance training, changing the exercises and altering the way you do your sets and repetitions helps avoid boredom.

Change of scenery

Another great way to avoid a plateau in your exercise routine is to change where you exercise. Exercise is an opportunity to explore new environments, either outdoors or indoors. I love having a walk with my family outdoors and being able to see different places through movement, either on foot or by bike.

Fitness with a friend

An exercise buddy can bring fresh ideas for training and new places to do it at. Together you can bring others into your fold. Figure out what makes you tick best when it comes to exercise, in terms of the group size, and get into it.

Stepping outside your comfort zone by changing your exercise routine is refreshing and motivating, and stimulates your body and mind. Go for it!

Squat pulls

     

  1. With outstretched arms at shoulder height, hold the resistance band near the ends. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  2. With a strong torso, bend at the knees and hips to go into a squat position. Think about pushing your bottom backwards, like you’re sitting on a chair. As you do this, move your arms outwards, squeezing your shoulder blades and increasing tension on the band. Return to the starting position by straightening your knees and hips and bringing your hands back to the centre, relaxing the band.

Front arm raise

     

  1. Stand on one end of the band with your right foot. Hold the other end of the band with your right hand at your side.
  2. Raise your right hand straight out in front of you to shoulder height, creating tension on the band. Lower back to starting position in a controlled manner.

Calf points

     

  1. Hold the ends of the band and place the middle of your foot in the middle of the band. Your toes should be dorsi-flexed (pointing upwards). If balance is not one of your strengths, you can do this exercise while sitting. If standing, engage your core to maintain your balance.
  2. Point your toes away from you (plantar-flexed), activating your calf muscles. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner.

No resistance band? Pick one up from The Warehouse for $5.

 

Look out for this icon on recipes you can use for the Kick-start Plan.
Read more about the HFG Reset & Restore Kick-start 12-week Programme.

First published: Nov 2017



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