The other morning, I was on my way to meet my first client at One-to-1 Fitness and while slowly passing through a playground zone I witnessed an odd phenomenon.
A teenage boy, I’d guess he was about 14, was crossing the street in front of me on his skateboard, with another skateboard under his arm while talking on his cellphone and wearing a backpack.
If you’re like me, you instantly thought, “Yes, I would be smeared across the asphalt right about now if I tried that.”
Thinking back to those days of youth, there were plenty of precarious activities we did on a regular basis and didn’t so much as give it a second thought.
As we age, we seem to just accept we are no longer capable of these daring, albeit foolish, feats.
Last year, I watched a 75-year-old man complete the Sylvan Lake triathlon, and daily I witness individuals who against all odds have made miraculous physical change.
I’m here most certainly to tell you that we need not accept that our body is seemingly unable to perform in the same way it did in our youth.
Our lifestyle of work, stress and convenience is very effective at one thing in particular, de-conditioning our bodies.
Our body was designed to move and yet we are bent on producing ergonomic tools, chairs and everything else to ensure that we can move less or maintain a “natural” position while stationary.
Well natural and stationary don’t even belong in the same sentence — the body needs to move.
If you are like many and have back aches, hip aches, knee pain, regular upset stomach and maybe headaches, your lifestyle has likely de-conditioned your core.
It’s time for you to acknowledge that you don’t need to live with these symptoms, and if you don’t do something now, much worse is set to come.
Improving core function can be accomplished in as little as a few minutes daily, and the physical changes can be so dramatic you just might be the first of many 42-year-olds cruising across the street while talking on your cellphone this fall.
Below are four guaranteed ways to improve the health of your core. These exercise can be completed up to three days in a row before adding a day of rest.
To ensure you understand what to do, I’ll post this column and a short instructional video at www.personaltrainingreddeer.com in the “Free Info” section under “Reconditioning the Core.”
l Single Arm Shoulder Press — In either a standing or seated position, draw the belly button to the spine to engage the core then press the weight from the ear lobe up until the arm is extended.
Try to avoid any body lean to one side by supporting against the force with the core.
If you cannot prevent swaying, lighten the resistance. Complete three sets of 15 reps per side.
l Bent Over Rows — Slightly bending at the knee, then bending at the trunk, imagine sticking your butt out behind you and shifting your weight slightly to your heals.
With the eyes focused about one to two meters in front of you, again draw belly button to spine.
You will raise the resistance held in your hands by imagining lifting your elbows and squeezing them back. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
l Stationary Lunge — Begin near a wall. With one foot positioned with toes touching the wall step back with the other about two times shoulder width.
Both feet should point toward the wall while your back heel is elevated supporting yourself on your toes.
Descend by looking straight ahead at the wall and relaxing both legs at the knee joint to allow the hips to descend straight down and then return to the start position. Complete three sets of 15 reps per side.
l Standing Knee to Elbow — In a standing position, reach up high overhead with one arm, take a deep full breath.
Exhale slowly as you bring your elbow down toward your midsection and at the same time raise the opposite knee off the floor to touch the elbow.
You should have fully exhaled as your knee and elbow touch.
Now slowly inhale as you return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 reps per side.
Cabel McElderry is a local personal trainer and nutrition coach. For more information on fitness and nutrition, visit the Fitness F/X website at www.fitnessfx.com.