Health Topic of the Month June 2016

Free Exercise Advice & Tips

If you’re not already an avid exerciser, it can be really hard to get into a routine or figure out where to start. And even if you are an avid exerciser, you may have found yourself at a plateau in your fitness regimen. If that’s the case, you might not be seeing the results you want.

exercise adviceFind Your Groove

Our personal health is a never-ending journey. Our fitness expert, Jamie Atlas, offers these great resources, such as guides, blogs, recommendations on health screenings and apps to help you manage your exercise routine.

Atlas is a Denver-based personal trainer. He describes his style as that of “blending a mixture of study under-recognized bodyworkers, physical therapists and athletic coaches.” He recognizes that each person is different, which is why he’ll find the right tools for you so you can get the results you’re looking for.

If you’ve never really been in the habit of exercising, Atlas says, “Think about what motivates you and how you’re going to get back in shape again.  Write down some options and choose whichever one seems like the most fun and most likely for you to stick to.  Results matter less than blocking out the time and making yourself get started.” He says you can always change the activities later, “Blocking out the time is what’s most important at this stage.”

For those of you who may have had a good routine going and then let it go, Atlas says the important thing is to start somewhere and keep going. “Even a small amount helps to get your body and mind back in the game.” He says not to beat yourself up if you fall off track. “What matters most is that you get started today. Make small steps in the right direction and you’ll be back in your old shape before you know it.”

If you do exercise regularly, at some point you might find yourself start to plateau. Atlas suggests you change it up. “Your exercise and also your nutrition.  Ask yourself what the top two changes would be that you could make that would be the easiest to do but have the greatest impact.  Perhaps it’s the innocent snack you have every morning or the double latte instead of green tea.  Small things put together in unison can make big change.”

On that same page, you will also find some of Atlas’ exercise videos. Again, no matter what fitness level you are at, there is a workout video for you. These are short videos that may be a great way for you to fit in a workout before or after work, or even during your lunch break!

Exercise FAQ’s

Atlas is asked a lot of questions when it comes to fitness. Most likely, you have the same questions as many others out there. Here are Atlas’ Frequently Asked Questions and his answers.

How do I get a flat stomach?

If you think about the stomach muscles as being the bottom of a pool, you can do all the ab workouts you’d like to make that be the best-looking pool floor in the neighborhood. But unless you take care of the other parts of your health, i.e. nutrition, stress reduction and sleep, then you’ll never get to see that hard work because there will always be water (i.e. extra body fat) covering up your muscles.

How long does it take to lose weight?

That depends on multiple factors – if you’re stressed, your metabolism might slow down or speed up depending on how you react to that stress.  If you eat right but are eating foods your body doesn’t agree with, you might find yourself feeling sluggish or tired throughout the day, which makes it harder to make good food decisions at the end of the day.  My advice is to find what works for you. Your body is individual and has its own chemistry.  Research to find the logic in what diet or food plan might work best for you and then begin your research in earnest.  Don’t just copy other people. Take the time to understand the WHY.  When you know your WHY, you’ll be most likely to keep going through when the going gets tough.

How can I keep my current state of fitness?

If I draw the analogy of the body being like a finely tuned car, the more vintage it gets, the more the parts get worn down.  To prevent your body parts getting worn down, mix up your activities. Try new things and never focus on the same thing repeatedly.  You’ll find that your body will become more resilient, move better and have fewer injuries over time due to you learning different movements that work different muscles and joints, preserving them for as long as possible.

If you’re looking for more personalized support, not just with exercise but with your overall health, head over to our 9Health eTools page. When you sign up for one of our digital programs, you’ll have your very own health coach supporting you every step of the way. Check it out!