As a fitness enthusiast and professional, I greatly enjoy maintaining and developing my own personal fitness and flexibility to a high level, across a range of fitness activities. Some of you may ask, therefore, “So, what do you do to stay healthy and fit?” My answer is a combination of what I eat, and the exercise that I do throughout each week within my own home.
Over the years my partner and I have travelled the road from healthy eating (eliminating processed foods and red meat, then concentrating on eating fish and chicken with fresh vegetables and fruit), to organic (wherever possible) wholefood vegetarians (with only an occasional ice cream treat!), to fully organic wholefood vegetarians, then finally to organic wholefood vegans.
We both believe very strongly that what you eat is as important as what physical exercise you do and neither of us would change our eating choices.
A life-long exercise and fitness enthusiast, I train each and every day. I use a combination of both linear and non-linear movements in everything that I personally do, and in everything I teach. My regime is underpinned by two absolutely crucial elements: (i) cardio training, and, (ii) Functional Movement combinations, including Pilates, flow yoga variations, and Sports Yoga, which I regard as the absolute staples of all fitness and health training!
My main cardio exercise passion is highly intensive indoor aerobic dance and functional interval training to music. My indoor cardio involves using Reebok Steps and small hand weights, plus performing mountain climbers, jump squats or lunges, leg kicks, and many, many aerobic dance and Functional Movements which I have learned and practised over many decades. I do this at vigorous to athletic cardio intensity for 60 minutes four times per week.
My combined Functional Movement (mainly Pilates, flow yoga and Sports Yoga training) is for a minimum of 40 minutes every day.
My choice of exercises and sequences are not the same each day. There is a core of Pilates exercises, Sports Yoga and other Functional Movement sequences that I always do, but others are determined by how my body feels on that particular day - where do I feel the tightest! No matter what I choose to do each day, my session sets me up mentally and physically for the rest of the day.
Additionally, for upper body strength, several times per week I do brief climbing and strengthening exercises, and the occasional pole dance trick, on our dance and fitness pole at home.
On occasion, perhaps not so wisely, I have also turned to heavy weight training to attain strength and muscle-building goals. At my peak, in my mid-sixties, I could deadlift exactly twice my body weight. However, my decades of exercise experience, and exercise qualifications and certifications gained since my BA physical education training in 1972, have reinforced my belief that there are other far superior ways to achieve muscular mass increases and strength development than lifting heavy weights. These newer approaches, often based around a Tabata component, will - when done correctly - remove the risks of the bodily stiffening and physical damage that heavy weight training can (and almost always will) result in.
For example, professional trainers and international fitness celebrities, such as - most notably - Zuzka Light, have developed well-proven alternatives based on using self body weight/mass, repetition and variety to develop increased muscle and strength, including no engagement with heavy weights whatsoever.