So what is the best way to get fit for a big surf holiday while you are busy back at home, with all the pressures and distraction every day living brings? We believe there are 3 things you should do. The first 2 should be part of your long term commitment to personal health and fitness and the last is aimed at giving you a real fitness boost before you go on holiday.
The first thing you need to take care of is your general level of endurance. You need to be fit enough to go hard for 10 – 15 minutes minimum as often this is the minimum paddling requirement for getting through the breakers and out the back. I believe this fitness requirement needs to be a little more specific than “general endurance”. I believe you need to have a base level of “water endurance” or water fitness. Surfers and swimmers have an inate feel for the water. It is very different to exercising on land. It has a different type of co-ordination and efficiency. The fittest runner can be a disaster in the water, burning up all their energy and getting nowhere.
So to cover off this requirement, you should be swimming or surfing at least twice a week, every week of the year. Do not leave it till a month before your holidays, it is impossible to develop water fitness in such a small span of time. If you love surfing, you will love the water. Make it a part of your life. Then, in the month leading up to your holiday, increase you workload by 1 or 2 sessions a week and make your sessions much more intensive. This will give you a little fitness boost pre-arrival.
The second key to surfing fitness is flexibility, balance and core strength. Once again, this is not something you want to leave till the last minute, rather something you want to develop over time as part of your commitment to surfing, health and fitness. Yoga is the answer here. Yoga is so good for surfing fitness, it is almost as if it was invented purely with the surfer in mind. Not only does yoga help you improve your flexibility, balance and core strength, it also re-aligns and re-balances your body back into its natural and healthy position, away from the imbalanced position which surfing causes. For example, even the simple act of paddling requires you to over-arch your back, creating a distortion in the development of your back muscles. Yoga sorts all these types of issues out, as well as conditioning your body. My advice, get yourself a surf specific yoga DVD and do it 2 or 3 times a week.
The human body is considered fit if its mental and physical health are good, it strictly follows proper habits, diets, and exercises, and can handle and deal with everyday stresses.
You should nurture your body with proper nutrition to function well and stay healthy. Important minerals, vitamins, and foods must be provided to achieve overall fitness. Keep in mind that good spiritual, mental, and physical health is the real meaning of fitness.
Body fitness occurs if all the processes of the body associated with mental and physical state are functioning at its peak levels. However, this is not only a one day task. It does not necessarily mean going to a gym or simply taking a walk in a park.
There are several factors that must be considered when talking about body fitness. Daily necessities as well as body conditioning are needed.
Physical exercises absolutely help the body to become strong. All parts of your body need to function as a whole. Therefore, the absence of one factor can fail your entire fitness needs. Take for instance; you only focus on maintaining your weight and meeting cardiovascular needs. You forgot that your body is not only composed of your heart. All your other organs should also be functioning well. Body fitness is not only achieving a beautiful figure but replenishing what was depleted from the body due to daily activities. Physical exercises should benefit your entire body.
I’m sure a lot of overweight individuals would like to know whether exercising alone or dieting alone is more effective for weight loss. After all, doing just one thing is easier than doing two, right? Here are the advantages of exercising alone and dieting alone — as well as their respective drawbacks in losing weight.
Let’s start with a study published by the Public Library of Science. In the study, 464 overweight women were divided into four groups. The first group exercised for 72 minutes a week, the second for 136 minutes, and the third for 194 minutes a week. The fourth group were asked to maintain their usual activity levels. (All women were asked not to change their diets — just to write down the things they ate.)
The results were surprising — many lost weight, but the differences between the groups were so small it could almost be negligible. What’s more, many women actually GAINED weight!
So does this mean dieting alone is the better way to lose weight?
It would seem so — other studies suggest that people who only diet lose more weight than those who only exercise. But the research is pretty clear on one point — you’ll lose even more weight when you combine dieting and exercise.
So don’t ignore exercise — while it may not be the best way to lose weight, it’s still the best way to keep your muscles toned, your organs healthy, and your immune system performing at its peak. People who work out more often are less susceptible to disease, especially the life-threatening kinds.
Exercise can lower blood pressure. The number of capillaries surrounding each leg muscle fiber increases by 5-10% following endurance training. This not only makes exercise easier but also lowers blood pressure. Numerous studies support that exercise training does indeed lower blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.
Exercise improves heart function. When you start an endurance based exercise program, expect your resting heart rate to decrease by about 1 beat per minute every week during the initial weeks. This is an indication that your heart is becoming more efficient and pumping more blood each beat. Highly trained endurance athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute or even less.
Exercise can prevent muscle loss. Sedentary adults lose 6-10 percent of their muscle mass per decade after age 30, leading to a condition called sarcopenia. Regular strength training can delay or in some cases reverse this trend. When it comes to muscle, you must use it or you will lose it!
Exercise can help you live longer. Studies on large populations have discovered the highest death rates in those who are the least fit. Those who are the most fit have the lowest death rates.
Exercise can improve sex life. A study published by the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who exercised vigerously were half as likely to experience sexual dysfunction when compared to men who did no exercise.
Exercise can improve brain function. Research has discovered that the fittest kids generally score the highest on test scores. Older adults who are fit show less cognitive decline compared to their sedentary counterparts.
Exercise can speed up wound healing. A study out of Ohio State found that skin wounds healed an average of 10 days faster in the exercise group compared to the non exercise group.
Exercise can help the elderly. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported gains in leg strength of 374 percent over baseline in men over 90 years of age who began strength training in as little as 8 weeks! Other research has found a reversal in normal age related characteristics in the muscle of seniors who took up weight lifting.
Understand your Goals
The most common goal is to lose weight but other motivators can be to improve self confidence, kick start a fitness routine or meet new people. Whatever your personal motivation, it is important to keep this in mind when you are choosing your fitness provider. If you don’t get the impression that it will be a fun and positive experience for you, then it is probably worth looking at other options.
Timing & Location
Make it easy on yourself. If it is too hard to get there or creates stress in other parts of your life, then it is probably not the right program for you. By choosing a time and location that can easily fit into your routine, you immediately eliminate your barriers to regular exercise. After all, exercise is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not another source of stress in your life.
Choose your Preferred Training Technique
As I mentioned in the introduction, group fitness is not all about being yelled at. The new direction in group fitness means that:
• Not all group fitness providers will yell at you to ‘motivate’ you
• There are alternatives to running around at the crack of dawn
• Not all group fitness classes are the same
The important thing is to take a good look at your trainers qualifications, experience and fitness philosophy. If you think that it will work for you then go for it. Group fitness can be a really positive experience in a great social environment, so take the time to find a provider that fits your needs.
If you are interested in working out in a group, there are a variety of methods to help you find the group that is right for you. First, you must determine what kind of exercise you prefer the most. If you do not have a preference, then try several different types and select one or two that make you feel particularly enthusiastic about working out.
Next, contact an organization that supplies the type of activity that you seek. If you are a body-builder, then you will want to contact local gyms. If you wrestle, contact local wrestling studios. Yoga practitioners can contact local yoga studios and so on.
Before you commit to an extended membership at a gym or studio, ask to schedule a visit and sample work-out session. During your visit, go through a simple routine or follow along with the class. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable and stimulated in the environment and if the other participants will motivate and inspire you to achieve your physical goals.
Once you have settled on the facility that feels right for you, make a commitment to spend at least one hour three days a week there. Get to know the staff – they will keep track of you and, surprisingly, motivate you to return if you feel you are faltering. Make friends in your class or gym so that you can have casual camaraderie during your session. Feeling social connected and motivated can help you stick to your work out goals, especially when the hustle and bustle of life compels you elsewhere.