The Exercise Prescription – Part 1 – Mindset Shift

Exercise Principles and Mindset

If you would like to live a long time, stay moving. Exercise. Stay strong. It is that simple.

Our window of opportunity narrows as we age. Each year as we age and move towards frailty, we decrease our chances for survival; however, the window never fully closes. The body, no matter what age, has the ability to adapt to stress, and strength gains can be made through exercise prescription.

Proper mindset along with mastering these 5 principals are needed to develop a successful exercise program:

  1. Build systems, not goals

In Scott Adams’ bestselling book, he addresses that goals are for losers, winners build systems. Have you ever set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a given time period? Instead of setting that goal, develop a system of healthy exercise and eating. The most powerful part of this concept is the shift in perceptions that occurs within the human mind. When we set a goal, there is a constant inner critic reminding us that until that goal is achieved, we are failing. When you have a system in place, every day you accomplish the system a sense of positivity is injected in oneself. Each day you follow the system becomes a win.

  1. You cannot exercise yourself to a six pack

As the adage goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” To achieve fat loss, calorie restriction is needed relative to daily calories processed. You must incorporate a healthy diet while following a structured exercise routine to achieve a lean body and fulfilled mind.

  1. Exercise intensity is more important than exercise duration

Have you started your workout with 20 minutes on the treadmill going extra slow to “warm-up?” If you are saying yes you are not alone and although many will debate this point, exercise intensity is an important principle to keep in mind as it makes exercise time more efficient. You are already doing the work, just take it a step further and intensify your workout. Although our busy lives give us an excuse to slack, I encourage you to be part of the small percent who do not fall into this trap and consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT has proven in many ways to be superior to traditional prolonged aerobic exercise in terms of health benefits and can be performed in as little as 20-30 minutes per day. Another thing to consider is the contrast with HIIT trainers vs marathon runners who may have an increased risk of heart disease.

  1. Anaerobic training is important in fitness

How much oxygen one can consume during exercise and how much can be consumed above a resting heart rate are correlated with longevity. HIIT training improves these measurable functions.

  1. Remember to add resistance training

Did you know maintaining an ability for independent self-care has been correlated with leg strength? Resistance training prevents muscle weakening and bone weakening (osteoporosis). It can improve function and improve old injuries when done correctly. The latter point is important, because when a good resistance training program has been added it can drastically improve pain and function.

A firmly structured exercise program can significantly increase value in day-to-day life and even survival.