LoveToKnow Exercise recently sat down with personal trainer, Jeff Archer, who is a dedicated blogger on health related topics, nutrition for athletes, coaching youth sports and other related sports/coaching topics. He explores ands discusses these types of topics at Nutrition-for-Athletes.com.
LoveToKnow (LTK): Hello Jeff, thank you for taking the time to talk with LoveToKnow Exercise. Tell us a little about yourself.
Jeff Archer (JA): I was very keen on sports as a child and did lots of swimming, running and cycling and was really into springboard and highboard diving. After university I started working in publishing but soon realized that office life didn't suit me. The long hours and long commute meant my exercise routine suffered. I didn't enjoy being stuck in one place all day. Others in the office seemed to be in the same position. They spent much time talking about exercise and diet, whether they'd been to the gym the night before or if they'd eaten well or badly that day. In many cases there seemed to be much more talk than action.
I decided that I'd love to know more about how people can take better care of themselves, so I left publishing to retrain as a Personal Trainer. Since then, ten years ago, I've worked in health clubs and with private clients and now I spend most of my time presenting to groups of business people about how to use fitness and food to get more out of their performance. You could say things have gone full circle as I find myself back in an office environment only now I'm in a position to help all those people who struggle.
LTK: People often have good intentions regarding exercise, but lack motivation. Do you have any tips to help motivate those who lack the drive to make exercise a routine?
JA: When it comes to getting motivated to exercise, you should first focus on the results you'll get rather than what you need to do in order to achieve those results. Getting to the gym might not get you excited, but dropping a few pounds, toning up and looking and feeling great will. Never imagine yourself struggling through another workout. Picture, instead, the energy and satisfaction you feel as you finish your exercise. Everyone feels great after a workout so use these feelings positively by calling them to mind as often as possible. Eventually they become addictive and you don't think twice about making time to exercise.
LTK: How can a sedentary lifestyle cause harm?
JA: The medical implications of a sedentary lifestyle are well known: obesity, heart disease, increased risk of some cancers and an increased tendency toward developing diabetes. What many people overlook is the everyday damage caused by being sedentary. If you don't move around, you end up feeling more sluggish and that goes for both your body and your mind. Natural bodily functions don't work as efficiently as they should if you're sedentary and, worst of all, quality of life can be poor. Movement gets the heart pumping, the blood flowing and the brain firing. Without it you might be wasting a huge percentage of your possible performance and missing out on the feel-good factor.
LTK: How often and how long should people exercise for good health?
JA: 30-minutes of activity a day, five days a week is the minimum. This can be broken down to three 10 minute sessions but you must make sure you get at least this much activity each week. For the quickest possible results with your fitness, make each burst of activity a quality one. You should always feel challenged and then satisfied by your exercise. That way you know you're making consistent progress. Too many people become frustrated by a regular routine that brings limited results. In most cases they just need to vary their exercise a little or push themselves slightly harder.
LTK: What exercises do you recommend for people who have never really exercised?
JA: Start small and work up. Walking is always the best thing to begin with because it's easily accessible. Swimming is also great and so is cycling. Once you've started with the cardio work, add in some strength training with dumbbells or resistance bands. Make sure you include some stretching to ease out tired muscles that haven't worked for a while. If you find exercising easier with company, sign up for beginners' classes or go along to some newbie sessions at local sports clubs. Whatever you do, don't be intimidated by being a beginner. Everyone started exercising somewhere.
LTK: Any other words of advice you want to leave for our readers?
JA: Enjoy your exercise. Keep trying new things until you find a routine that works for you and gets you the results you want. If you find the right exercise or activity, you'll never struggle to find time for it, and you'll always keep the shape and energy levels you want.