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Health and Wellbeing - October 2017

04 Oct 2017

By Andrew Ward

An express workout is a short workout by time, normally 20-30 minutes long with a focus on maximising effort and work completed during the session.

This concept is a perfect match for corporate workers who have limited time before, during and after work. The express workout is an effective way to train and nowadays most exercise programs and service providers have adapted shorter formats and variations to suit the corporate worker.

Spin the clock back 10 years and a gym workout was normally an hour long, as were the fitness classes. Longer time workouts are still effective, but more for purpose and by choice.

If you have the time to enjoy a longer class, or spend 60-90 minutes in the gym then that’s fine and you should enjoy the experience. But just know, that as workout time increases, workout intensity decreases and there are real benefits with higher intensity training.

It is horses for courses though – not everyone is looking for the body smashing ultra-Spartan time torture workout. It’s just that most corporate workers don’t have the luxury of spare time, so the express workout is the best match for them.

Back to the express workouts … they are great for many reasons, including the fact that you can burn up to, and in excess of, 300 calories in 30 minutes. However, there is a downside and you need to be realistic and conscious of this.

We all learned in school sports and exercise 101 that we should warm up and cool down effectively before any activity. If we just turn up to gym straight from the desk and launch into a high intensity workout without an effective warm up, there is a real risk of injury.

On top of that, we place significant stress on the cardio vascular system (your heart and lungs) when we move too quickly from a sedentary position at our work desk, to the gym and straight into some plyometrics, sprint work or lifting weights above our head.

An express workout may (should) have a small warm up at the beginning of the class, which is a good start. My advice, though, is to arrive early for such classes and tack on a proper warm up of say five minutes on a rower, assault bike or cross trainer. Using these machines with a low to moderate intensity will warm up your muscles and kick start your heart so you are ready for the higher intensity work ahead.

As well as warming up, stretching and cooling down are important parts of any exercise routine.

Dynamic stretching and mobility exercises and movements are more effective than static stretching, especially at the beginning of your workout. Think about mobility exercises as shortening and lengthening the muscles while moving a joint or joints through their full range of motion.

Dynamic stretching helps prepare both the muscles and joints for the “good” physical stresses of exercise and will help reduce the risk of injury and muscle soreness.

Here are some express classes and workouts you might like to try, all which last for 30 minutes: BodyPump Express, CX Worx, GRIT, Core Express, Warrior, MetaFit, Stretch and Roll, Cycle Express, R30 Rowing, Boxing Express, Boot Camp and many more! Or why not just go for a 30 minute run…

It’s health and fitness prime time so grab some friends and get out there!

Fun fitness ideas in Docklands

Are you looking for some new ideas to stay active in Docklands? Whether you are a Docklands resident or Docklands worker, these five ideas will help you stay fit, active and healthy this spring and summer:

1 – Get fit and release stress by taking a boxing class or boxing session with a trainer indoors or better still outside in a local Docklands park;

2 – Train with your friends on one of the outdoor gyms in Docklands. Lendlease built an excellent facility in Victoria Harbour near the library and Development Victoria is about to open a second outdoor exercise space next to the sports courts. If you need some tips on how to use the equipment effectively, contact your local gym or trainer;

3 – Go for a pier walk or run. There are some great piers and wharfs to explore and there is no better time than now – on a fresh spring morning or sunny afternoon;

4 – Join a dragon boating team and get fit and a little bit wet! Local clubs are always looking for new members to join in the community fun and fitness; and

5 – See the other side. Get some friends together and explore a new part of Docklands each week. Pack a workout for your destination before returning to work or home.

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