The myth of the 6 pack

It’s the new year, and thoughts of what we want to achieve 2013 dance in our heads … When it comes to setting fitness goals though, it’s important to look at some of the facts and myths that are out there in the world of health and fitness. What is really achievable?

If you are looking to develop the “six pack” – don’t despair, we already all have one! Yay!… it’s unfortunate that most of us have “stuff” sitting on top of it.

By making use of some of the knowledge and research that’s out there we can get closer to our goals.

a/ Cardiovascular training burns calories – whether it’s long slow distance or interval based, it all burns calories.  So run, walk, use the elliptical, bike, play, swim – you choose, just do it.

b/ We know that strength training increases metabolism, bone density and much more. It makes sense then that we add some sort of strength based activity to our programs.

c/ Flexibility training is important too. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of relaxation for dealing with stress. Seems sensible then that we add something that is lengthens our muscles as well as relaxes, like yoga or Fusion.

d/ Don’t forget, no matter how much of exercise you do, you won’t see the changes you want in your waistline without eating a healthy diet. Minimize the high fat foods and maximize healthy choices.

Health Canada recommends

  1. Be active at least 2.5 hours a week to achieve health benefits. (If you are looking to lose weight, you will need to increase that number….)
  2. Focus on moderate to vigorous aerobic activity throughout each week, broken into sessions of 10 minutes or more.
  3. Get stronger by adding activities that target your muscles and bones at least two days per week.

A Body in motion is always headed in the right direction!

Check back tomorrow for examples of core exercises that will help keep you strong and functional throughout life.

Eau Claire YMCA Staff