For my 40th birthday, I took myself on an adventure to Iceland. It was beyond amazing with snow caves, glacier hiking, waterfalls, snowshoeing, connecting with like-minded adventurists, and more! Adventuring. I always want to be able to get up and go on active adventures, at any time. This is the overarching goal as I think about my February goal. The goal: stronger every day.
As we age, we need more strength than we do cardiovascular endurance. Don’t get me wrong, we need both. However, the strength we lose decade after decade is incredible. The good new is, we can do something to combat this! We have control over our strength. I have always loved cardio. In the past, it was triathlons and ultraruns. Lately, it is backpacking and hiking. In the back of my mind, I have always known that I need to work on my strength. It wasn’t until it started taking more to get up off of the floor that I took it seriously. However, never serious enough. Welcome to my February goal! I have a plan that includes daily strength.
The February calendar will have daily strength, Monday-Friday. Each day will consist of 10 min of core and 20-30 min of strength (broken up by upper, lower, body weight and full body).
I could (and will someday) have an entire blog dedicated to the core. As a physical therapist, I have learned many ways to engage our core. I have never loved having someone “tighten your core.” I have always looked for ways to use our core without it being a conscious act. If we look at how kids move, we do not have to tell them to tighten their core prior to them lifting their blocks or toys from the ground. We should automatically engage our core. At some point, we lose this automatic engagement: pain in the past, poor motor patterns, trying to avoid current pain, and many more reasons.
My 10 min of daily core will not consist of situps, crunches, or planks. These are common exercises people do for their “6 pack abs.” They are not inherently bad exercises, just not ones that I see as optimal, or functional.
Some of the core exercises I will be doing will include:
- quadruped alternate upper and lower extremity
- farmer carry
- plank with shoulder tap
- ring rows (two arms or single arm)
- pull-ups (or some variation)
- floor to overhead movement of the weight
- many, many more…..
What is your February goal? What plan do you have in place in order to be successful in achieving this goal?