TEN MINUTES FOR 4S FITNESS
We have emphasised that the benefits of fitness can easily be remembered as 4 words all beginning with the letter S
Of the four S’s of fitness stamina can be maintained and improved by walking briskly, namely walking at a rate that you know something is happening because you are having to breathe a little bit more quickly but you can still carry on a conversation. Of course briskly means different things to different people but even a person who has no disabilities and finds difficulty walking will be able to tell you if they are walking briskly or not, although objectively it may seem as though they are walking very slowly. Brisk walking will strengthen the leg muscles but you need at least ten minutes a day on the other three, probably eleven minutes if you are in the 80s and twelve minute a day if you are in the 90s
The three other aspects of fitness – suppleness, skill and strength need a different approach. Membership of a group either in a gym, fitness centre or in a class for tai chi, yoga, alexander technique or Pilates is an important means of improving all three of these aspects of fitness. However not everyone can get out to a class and even if you go to a class once a week you should regard that as a motivating time and be prepared to do something daily as well. Once a week is not enough. Once a day is what is needed and our recommendation is three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year, and three-hundred-and-sixty-six days in a leap year (Daley Thomson always trained on Christmas day partly because he knew that his rivals would not be training!)
HOW COULD YOU USE THIS KNOWLEDGE TO ACHIEVE YOUR OWN OBJECTIVES?
So what should you do in those ten minutes? Well you need to complete the checklist that will
- Increase the strength of
- lower legs,
- abdominal muscles and the spine
- the upper limbs
- Skill or coordination for example the ability to stand on one leg while doing one’s teeth or while circulating arms slowly to stretch the shoulder joints
- The suppleness of knees, hips, shoulders and the neck and spine
You will find our book Sod Sitting, Get Moving helpful, The famous Green Goddess is one of the authors
HOW COULD YOU USE THIS KNOWLEDGE IF YOU ARE SUPPORTING SOMEONE ELSE?
It is often difficult to motivate someone you know well and better motivation may come for them joining a group for exercise or having a personal trainer to visit them