by Dr. Parker
I don’t know about you, but I want to do it all.
Well, maybe not ALL things. But, if I see something that looks like a fun activity, I want to have the athleticism to be somewhat decent at it.
For instance, I want to keep up with my friends if they ask me to skin up Snow King tomorrow. And if I spot a pick-up game of basketball the next day, I want to run around for 40 minutes without having to worry about my sore knees.
If you’re at all like me, you just want to keep doing the activities you enjoy. And doing so will require you to maintain some amount of athleticism. After all, everyday human activities like carrying groceries or giving your kid a piggyback ride will require some amount of athletics. The question is, how do you preserve your ability to do whatever task/activity you want? How can you stop making excuses like “my body doesn’t move like that anymore,” or “I’m too out of shape for that?”
Most of you are probably expecting a long-winded answer that ends with some recommendation to exercise more and go to the gym five times a week. I’m not going to do that.
There are a lot of workouts and exercise programs out there. But the key to preserving your inner athlete comes down to a few simple guidelines. Some exercise programs and workouts are really good at addressing these guidelines, but you don’t need to join a gym to stay athletic.
Besides, many of us in Teton county are pretty active. For us, I don’t think squeezing in an extra hour at the gym will have much of an impact on our well-rounded fitness. However, we could be a little bit better at integrating more variation into our activities. I’ve seen a lot of people who are super focused on one or two activities that they perform all the time; they mountain bike in the summer and ski in the winter, and that’s it.
I understand that we all have our passions, but if you want to be a well-rounded human, it will behoove you to participate in various activities throughout your life, not just one or two.
To put it simply, if you want to do a lot of things, you should be doing a lot of things in your daily life. This does not mean you have to take more time out of your day. It just means you should mix it up a little more. Go biking one day and rollerblading the next. Lift weights another day and go hiking on your rest day. There are so many ways to move your body, and the more ways you use your body, the more versatile and well-rounded you’ll become.
If you’re trying to be the next Travis Rice, you’ll probably have to snowboard pretty often. But most of us are not interested in going pro anytime soon. So, if you want to keep up with your kids or friends during whatever activity they request, aiming for more well-rounded goals is probably best.
Below, you’ll find a few guidelines that will help you maintain your capacities as an athletic human. But remember, these are just a few examples. There are hundreds of ways to move your body. In upcoming newsletters, I will share some movement games that will help you stay athletic and mobile (because they require you to move your body in unique and interesting ways). For now, though, start by mixing a variety of activities into your week. Humans like novelty, and I think you’ll find that adding more variety to your weekly routines will make life even more exciting!
Activity Guidelines for Becoming a Well-Rounded Human
|5x/wk or 150min/wk Move and be active (moderate physical activity):||Moderate activities feel like work, but not in an unpleasant way. Your heart rate is elevated to a point where it would be challenging to sing but easy to talk (60-80% of your max heart rate).||Brisk walking/Hiking Gardening/Yardwork Household chores Jogging Cycling/Mountain biking Swimming Playing around (e.g., climb, swing, chase, jump, crawl)|
|1-2x/wk Do something heavy||Whether you do these lifts in a gym or outdoors, make sure you expose yourself to all types of movements, not just one or two. Focus on proper form. Quality and control matter more than sets and reps. And remember, have fun! Play around with different movements and make it a game or competition.||Overhead push (e.g., chest/shoulder press) Overhead Pull (e.g., pull up, cable pull-down) Horizontal Push (e.g., push up, bench press) Horizontal Pull (e.g., rows) Squats Hip Hinge (e.g., deadlift) Lunges|
|1x/wk 20 minutes Do something vigorous to max out your heart rate||Vigorous activity feels hard and requires willpower to continue. Your breathing rate is high enough that you cannot have a conversation.||Sprint a hill five times HIIT Workouts Sprint Rowing Sprint biking Lap swimming for speed|
|Periodically Practice coordination, balance, and ROM||Focus on a movement that you are not very good at and do those movements more often. After all, you are only as strong as your weakest link.||Ankle mobility exercises Walk on an unstable surface (e.g., slackline, 2×4, curb) Yoga Play sports|
by Dr. Parker
Dr. Parker Hewes
If you are dealing with some nagging issues that you just need a little help with, give Dr. Parker a call. He specializes in sports injuries throughout the arms, legs, and back.