Health + WellnessLifestyle

Wellbeing for Busy Schedules with Jessie Pavelka

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How often do we use the excuse of lack of time for our lack of exercise? Shorter days and dark evenings tend to accentuate this dilemma and weeks can go by before we realise that we have been coddled up on the sofa promising to make more of an effort ‘tomorrow’. Sound familiar?

Fitness expert Jessie Pavelka is here to tell us that lack of time is not a valid excuse, and in fact he advocates a variety of strategies which if practiced can improve fitness, general wellbeing and overall emotional health.

Later this year, Jessie is publishing his first book in the UK, The Programme (published by Little Brown) which outlines the first few weeks required to achieve a new approach to lifelong health and wellness. He is also spreading his message of health and vitality at a variety of locations on his UK tour, including Maidstone, Kent on the 15th February.

Jessie tells us:

Time is something that many of the people I talk to see as an obstacle to keeping fit. I understand that. I probably use it myself in other areas of my life. But to me, keeping myself and my family fit and healthy comes at the top of my list. After all, what have you got in life if you don’t have your health? My view is that it has to come at the very top of list.

However, I also understand that people lead busy, stressful lives, so here are some ideas to overcome the excuses and put a strategic plan in place.

PLAN AHEAD – GET ACTIVE

The key to looking after yourself is to plan ahead. We meticulously plan our holidays, our working day, a trip to the theatre… so why don’t we plan for health? That needs to change and what better time than now?

Busy people need a routine that is quick and effective. For those days when time is short, I would suggest HIIT sessions (High Intensity Interval Training). These sessions are explosive, they get the heart and lungs working and muscles pumping. They are ideal for those who only have maybe 10-15 minutes a day. But I would also suggest that those people also look at adding some more endurance-based training into their week, maybe on their days off. Walking, swimming, lifting some weights – something for when time allows.

HIIT training consists of short periods of high explosive moves followed by short periods of active recovery. The benefits are that it is quick, you burn calories during and then for several hours after exercise, and most importantly for the people I work with, anyone can do it. Also, you don’t need complex equipment – just your body, water and some killer tunes to get you going.

I thought it would be a good idea to suggest a HIIT workout that can be done quickly and easily and fit in with most lifestyles. I have given you three levels of ability – choose yours and don’t forget to challenge yourself.

Wake Up Workout

7-10 minutes – let’s get fired up and ready for the day. This has been designed to be progressive in movement and escalating in timescales to make each level a little more challenging.

 

Easy Moderate Expert
Marching on the Spot Marching High Knee Marching Big Arms
Squats Squat Jump Squat Jump Reach
Reverse Lunges Reverse Lunge with Hop Reverse Lunges Hop and a Reach
Plank on Knees Plank Full Plank and Alt Arm Raises
Press-up on Knees Full Press-up Power Press-up
30 on 30 off 10 on 20 off 50 on 10 off

 

EASY

Marching on the Spot
• Start standing and march on the spot nice and gently.

Squats
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, head up and chest proud throughout the exercise.
• Bend at the knees and push your butt backwards.
• Lower to 90 degrees at the knees, keeping your knees in line with your toes. Push through your heels to return to the start position.

Reverse Lunges
• The start position for this is with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
• Take a long stride backwards with one leg, lowering that knee to the floor.
• Push off the same foot and as you bring that same leg back to the start position.
• Repeat alternating legs.

Plank on Knees
• Start on the floor with your elbows bent, ensuring these are under your shoulders.
• Hand flat on the floor.
• Pull your belly button in up towards your spine.
• Come up onto your toes and then drop your knees to the floor.
• Keep a straight line from our head to your hips.
• Hold this position for 10 seconds, rest and then repeat.

Press-up on Knees

  • Start position is hands under shoulders and knees under your hips.
    • Keep your abs tight so you create a flat back.
    • Fingers facing forward.
    • Slowly lower chest to floor, pause at the bottom the drive hands into the floor to return to the start position.

 

MODERATE

Marching High Knee
• Start standing and march on the spot nice and gently.
• Ensure that you lift your knees so they are in line with your hips.

Squat Jump
• Start by lowering yourself to a squat position with water bottles in both hands.
• Then explode up driving through your feet and legs to propel you up into the air on the way up.
• Jump up and land with soft knees and repeat.

Reverse Lunge with Hop
• The start position for this is with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
• Hold water bottles in either hands.
• Take a long stride backwards with one leg, lowering that knee to the floor.
• Push off the same foot and as you bring back leg though drive it up high in front of you and do a little hop on the standing leg before you place the your leg down foot down.
• Repeat alternating legs.

Full Plank
• Lie face down on the floor legs out behind you.
• Support you body weight on your elbow.
• Pull your belly button up towards your spine.
• Keep a straight line from your head to your feet.

Full Press-up
• Start position is hands under shoulders, feet out behind you,
• Keep abs tight so you create a straight line from shoulders to feet.
• Fingers facing forward.
• Slowly lower chest to floor, pause at the bottom the drive hands into the floor to return to the start position.

 

EXPERT

Marching Big Arms
• Start standing and march on the spot nice and gently.
• Ensure that you lift your knees so they are in line with your hips.
• With your arms bent to a 90-degree angle, pump your arms making big movements back and forth.

Squat Jump Reach
• Start by lowering yourself to a squat position with water bottles in both hands.
• Then explode up driving through your feet and legs to propel you up into the air on the way up.
• As you excel upwards at the same time reach your arms high in the air.
• Jump up and land with soft knees; repeat.

Reverse Lunge Hop and Reach
• The start position for this is with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
• Hold water bottles in either hands.
• Take a long stride backwards with one leg, lowering that knee to the floor.
• Push off the same foot and as you bring back leg through, drive it up high in front of you and do a little hop and reach your hands up high in the air.
• Repeat alternating legs.

Plank and Alt Arm Raises
• Lie face down on the floor legs out behind you.
• Support you body weight on your elbows.
• Pull your belly button up towards your spine.
• Keep a straight line from your head to your feet.
• Now alternate stretching your arms out in front of you.
• Ensure that you balance your weight equally as you do so and keep your body flat.
• Hold your arm out for up to 5 seconds each time.

Power Press-up
• Start position is hands under shoulders feet out behind you.
• Keep abs tight so you create a straight line from shoulders to feet.
• Fingers facing forward.
• Slowly lower chest to floor, pause at the bottom then explode your body off of the floor as you push up.

 

EAT RIGHT

Getting active is a huge part of good health, but there are other areas that need to be taken care of too. It’s no good to expect great results from exercise if your diet is sub-par. I talk to people about a balanced PCF ratio – Protein, Carbs, Fats. Focussing on food can cause issues when you are busy and you forget to plan ahead or when you’re away from home. I spend a lot of time on the road, especially when I am in the UK, and I know how easy it is easy to eat the wrong foods.

So I encourage people to see food as fuel. You wouldn’t put sub-standard gas in your car, right? So why put it in your body? Eating well is not difficult and the best way to get it right is to make changes and create healthy habits so that you don’t have to think twice when looking at menus. It comes naturally.

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5 tips to help you along the way:

  1. Eat enough. So many people starve themselves all day and then binge in the evening. Think about it. Does that make sense? Eat 5 times a day. Three healthy balanced meals and then two healthy snacks.
  2. Watch your potion size. Get used to leaving food on your plate if you have had enough fuel for your body at that sitting.
  3. Have protein, carbs and healthy fats in each meal. Your body will thank you, provide you with more energy and generally become more balanced.
  4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink water throughout the day. You’ll notice the difference in your mind as well as your body.
  5. Keep away from processed foods that contain hidden sugars. Fresh is best. It’s that simple.

 

ALL IN THE MIND

Looking after your mind is as much of an important part of wellbeing as exercising and eating right. I like to spend the first minutes of each day running through what I am grateful for and breathing deeply before I get on with my day. Try it! It takes just minutes.

Stress not only damages your body and can make you feel generally unwell, but it can also cause you to retain unwanted fat. I would advise you to take some time each day to sit calmly, go for a relaxing walk in the fresh air, or simply spend a few minutes breathing and relaxing all parts of your body. Once again, your body will thank you.

BUDDY UP

Lastly, do you have an accountability partner? Find someone, or a group of likeminded people, who you spend time with and who encourage and support your health journey. Spending time with the right people will help you with the changes you need to make in order to live right and feel good. Being clear in your own mind regarding those who help you and those who are in fact toxic to you, is key.

If you want to make some changes for the year ahead, stop using time as an excuse. I tell people to trim the fat out of their schedule to give them those all-important minutes which can make all the difference. You owe it yourself.

Jessie Pavelka 2016 Tour is 15th to 19th February in Maidstone and 3 other locations across the country. Full details www.pavelka.co.uk/events.

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