Reclaim Your Inner Athlete

DSC_0005Sheryl and I have decided it’s time to dig out our running shoes and begin rebuilding what is left of the legs that carried us across the finish line at the Hood to Coast relay race with friends and family in August of 2012.

We are inspired by the fact that regardless of age, a high degree of fitness can be reclaimed with steady and determined effort.  The only thing holding us back is the willingness to commit. We know, however, that here in Eugene, Oregon, running capital of the world, birthplace of Nike, gravity is defied every day.

Here at Simple Life Reboot, we believe that our ability to care for others is related to our health.  Even if we make great strides in other areas of our life, our progress and impact on others is compromised if we neglect our health and fitness.

Now, I am not a professional athlete nor a credentialed expert, but rather a 50+ year old who has “been there – done that“.  What I offer are some suggestions to help those who want to kick off the dust and reclaim the athlete within. Maybe I can help get you to the “start line” sooner without the missteps I have made.

Rest, Exercise, and Diet:  each play a crucial role in our health.  In this post, I will focus on starting an exercise program. The following is a highly adaptable approach, setting forth the basics of a walk-to-run program which is both enjoyable and sustainable long term.

HOW TO START

SET A TIME

Walk every morning. We start early, start slow, and go short.

We have learned that walking early every morning sustains routine,  prevents schedule interference and starts our day off right.

WALK

Start by walking a short distance, a loop is preferable.

At this early stage you simply walk, not run.  Keep it short.  Distance and difficulty isn’t the goal at this point.  The goal is to establish the habit of doing it every morning without fail.  You are waking up the body by getting it used to more activity.  You are laying a foundation, strengthening ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles, and preparing the body for the next level of training.

WALK-TO-RUN

As you progress, begin to add run sections.  For instance,  a section could be from one lamppost to another.  Starting out,  the ratio could be 5:1,  five sections walked for each section run.  As your fitness improves,  the ratio shifts from walking to running, for example 1:5.   As progress is made,  walking can be a brief scheduled rest interval .

MAKE IT FUN!

With a Partner – If you have the luxury, train with a partner.  This increases enjoyment and helps with motivation and accountability.

Talk / Listen While You Walk – You may want to use your training time to talk with your partner.  It can also be a great time to listen to your favorite podcasts, TED talks, audio books, music, etc.

With Your Dog – Our furry friends need exercise too.  If “Fido” is a possible candidate,  he may be one of the most appreciative training partners out there.

Try Running Apps – There are many useful mobile apps that can make your walk/runs fun and interesting.  Consider trying out one or more of the following:

Nike+  This app tracks duration, distance, and speed and has many other bells and whistles.  It is capable of creating challenge times, goals, and interactions with remote friends.

Zombies, Run!  This app invites you to participate in your own adventure by escaping a pack of hungry zombies!  This app can be unsettling early in the morning before sunrise, but is also quite fun.

MapMyRun  This app is all about tracking your route, as well as distance, calories, elevation, and even your nutrition for the day.

REGISTER FOR AN EVENT

Commit to maintaining the program for a set period of time.  A great way to stay motivated is to register for a 5k or other athletic event scheduled to occur at the end of that period of time.  After the event,  consider committing to another training period and event.

KEEP US UPDATED ON YOUR PROGRESS!

As we train, we will update you on our progress. We encourage you to share the steps you are taking to become more fit  in our COMMENTS section.

Happy Training!

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Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com

 

 

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