Ever heard the phrase “slow and steady wins the race?”
Every summer, our family goes to camp, or as my daughter likes to call it, a one-star resort.
What the camp lacks in nice showers and airconditioning, it makes up in fun activities and community.
We spend our days playing – doing yoga, tennis, swimming, canoeing, and more.
One of my favourite activities is called a slow bike race.
Many might think, what’s the point of a race if you can’t go fast?
Believe it or not, the idea is not so crazy – slow-bike races are catching on around the globe because they are fun and make people go intentionally slow.
What’s the objective?
According to cyclinguk.org, it’s to “ride your bike in the longest time from start to finish, without touching the floor, falling off, stopping or rolling backwards. The last one across the finish line wins!”*
Slow and steady wins the race!
While I’ve written about slowing down when eating in another Play of the Week article (June 26th), I think it’s essential to look at slowing down with play.
One of the most counterintuitive ways to get stronger is slowing down when we work out.
I encourage my clients to try this from time to time is; rather than pumping out your reps quickly, I challenge them to go slow.
Slowing down the pace can help you feel the muscles you are using differently than just going through the motions.
For example, after you go to the bathroom, why not do ten squats for your leg strength? Or, when in the kitchen, after you chop veggies, how about 12 push-ups at the counter?
Just go SLOWLY – it’s challenging!
Strength is a crucial component of staying healthy, mobile and flexible as we age.
Unless you are regularly playing and strengthening your muscles, you can lose as much as 3 to 5% of your muscle mass each decade after 30.
Muscle loss with ageing is known as Sarcopenia.
It’s slow and steady, but the outcome isn’t great because it reduces mobility and quality of life.
The good news is that the science shows that whether you lift weights or your body weight, strength training leads to lifelong functionality, power and neural coordination.
“What we have learned through research is that there are actions we can take to slow the loss and function of muscle as we age. Doing physical activities that increase and maintain muscle is one example. This means being consistent with activities that challenge the muscle to get stronger.”**
In my book The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit of Good Health, I address the importance of combating muscle loss and keeping strong in my chapter on FUNctional Play.
Rather than feeling like it’s a big chore, you can add some FUNctional training a couple of times a week or even into your everyday activities (like I mentioned above).
The adage “use it or lose it” is real – but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
Much like that slow bike race, keeping on top of ageing muscles by keeping them healthy.
Focusing on getting quality reps through resistance training will help you win the real race – playing for life.
Coach Jan xox
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, there are some ways I can help you get results with your health objectives:
1 – Need a coach to help you make a lasting change to your health without diets, medications, or going to the gym? Book a Discovery call here
2 – Join my free online course, 7 Days of Healthy Habits, where you can learn how to build fun, sustainable, yet simple habits in just one week, no matter how busy or stressed you are, by CLICKING HERE
3 – Grab a copy of my book, The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health HERE