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Sustainable fitness and wellness

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 09:00

Having spent a few hours gardening in the lovely weather recently, I was surprised at how stiff and sore I was in ‘places I forgot I had muscles’ a few days later.

Our ancestors lived far healthier (certainly harder) lives than us – working the land, in factories, raiding or defending themselves from raiders, eating naturally grown, seasonal foods in a sustainable way, walking predominantly, while carrying whatever goods or tools they required.

Fast forward to the present where we live in a world in which technology and ‘progress’ has resulted in humanity becoming a rapidly devolving species across our physical, mental-emotional and social-behavioural spheres.
The advent of everything from mobility scooters to photoshopping images, genetic modification of foods to enhance their nutritional value to jobs and recreational pursuits that force us into sedentary lifestyles have all added to the problem.

Sometimes, stripping back to basic components is the best way to get more fulfilment and health benefits in your life.

It always amazes me how people can get motivated to achieve ‘one-offs’ – fitting into a party outfit; making weight for lower insurance premiums; getting a ‘beach body’ for a holiday; passing a test or exam – but life is a marathon, not a sprint and we would be better served focusing on maintaining and sustaining good health and fitness all year round, rather than ‘emergency’ top-ups.

Being ‘fit for life’ is not a one-time thing – it’s a commitment to ensuring you maintain a good balance of physical and mental-emotional skills through a sustainable commitment to self-care, exercise, nutrition and improvement.

We can be functionally fit at all stages of life

Note, I called them skills. These health and wellness components are things we can improve, as well as sustain over a lifetime. While we can’t all be fitness cover models (not many of us want to!) we can all be functionally fit at whatever age and stage of our lives we are, thereby reducing the risks of morbidity and improving overall quality of life in an increasingly stress-filled world.

Here’s a simple home-based daily exercise program that can help keep you supple, fit and healthy no matter what age or stage of life you are at:
30 minutes of aerobic activity (intensity and exercises based on your goal/fitness level)
3 x 10 push-ups. These can be standard, on your knees or standing at 45° pushing against a wall.
3 x 10 squats. Thighs parallel to the floor, hold for 4 seconds, then rise.
3 x 10 good mornings or deadlifts
3 x 20 core exercises. Alternate each day between two abdominal exercises and one lower back exercise, and vice versa.

All of us are at different stages of life – we have different goals, fitness levels, physical abilities, emotional needs and genetic potential, but we all have the same access to information.

There are experts and businesses locally and online doing programs from toddler and mum fitness to elderly fitness classes and everything between. Do your homework, experiment and challenge yourself a little, find what resonates with you and then commit to being fit for life.

Who knows, if you keep it up, you could be hula hooping at 80!

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