Focus on effort, not load


Focus on effort, not load

It’s almost certain given the standard readership of the Business Supplement that most people are either running a business of varying intensity (in terms of working hours and days per week) or are retired, or very close to retirement.

These articles are not intended for those who are engaged in long-term bodybuilding; rather they are aimed at helping those who are looking to exercise from home, or on their own outdoors, to achieve positive outcomes from easily obtainable effort.

The average person is usually looking to either maintain or achieve or more healthy lifestyle within the constraints of working in the tropics or living a life of splendid retirement with all the temptations that come from inhabiting such an easy-going place as Pattaya, or even Bangkok.

There will be many readers who already engage in a fitness regime. Others may be looking to start something that not only will suit their own lifestyle, and current level of physical fitness (or unfitness as the case may be), but not be so unwieldy or onerous that they give up after a couple of weeks.

The very first thing to understand about getting fit, and maintaining fitness, is that it not as hard as it may at first appear to be. Naturally, the level of difficulty for any newcomer will indeed depend on their age and current lifestyle. If you’re 75 years old and spend most of your days sat perched on a barstool quaffing six or more beers, and have been doing this for the past 15 years or more, then it’s going to probably take some serious effort and willpower to get into reasonable shape. That said, it’s highly unlikely someone with that profile is actually reading this page.

The single most important piece of advice which can be offered to anyone looking to improve their level of physical fitness is to actually start doing something on a regular basis, and try, as much as possible, to enjoy the journey.

While something as simple as walking is one of the best activities you can do, the reality if you want to improve your muscle-to-fat ratio is that you need to engage in exercise that will either maintain or increase muscle mass while also reducing body fat. This is what researchers in the field say will translate into ‘quality weight loss.’

In a March 2014 article in the magazine Translational Behavioral Medicine simple resistance training (as in, using barbells or dumbbells, or even just your own bodyweight exercises) is a key to improving the body’s overall physique. And, most importantly, light weights can do as well as heavy weights in building and maintaining muscle, as long as the lifting is continued to the point of fatigue of the intended muscle. In other words, focus on the effort and not the load.