Keeping our IDEA (Inspiration, Diet, Exercise, and Attitude) program for fitness in mind, Karen, the photogenic half of the Fitness Afloat team, is testing tips for you between issues. Taking a page from the inspiration handbook, she built a boaty barbell from an oar and two water-filled gas cans. This technique didn’t make the cut, but we have plenty of other creative ideas in the works.
This month, we’re shifting gears slightly and focusing on diet. For starters, try adding 30 grams of fiber to your everyday diet. Continue to eat what you like, but adding this much fiber from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is easy to achieve. In a recent National Institute of Health study, those who added 30 grams of fiber lost as much weight in a year as those who followed a complex diet. Those tested also significantly lowered their blood pressure and blood sugar!
Since we started this column, we’ve received plenty of questions from older cruisers, folks with limitations, injuries, or those who are simply out of shape. If these posted exercises are too strenuous to start, try half positions and partial poses. The objective is to focus on doing what you can do, instead of what others can do, and build up from there. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.
Together, Karen and I have suffered countless injuries. We hurt, too, and often don’t want to exercise. But the point is to commit to a program of focused—even if limited—movement every day. If you base what you do on sound body mechanics with the goal of improving core strength, you should gradually improve your limitations.
The plank exercise is a perfect starting point. Lie down and rise up on your elbows and knees for 10 seconds. A push-up? Hold yourself up on your arms and knees for 10 seconds. A lunge? Take one step forward and then back. Repeat the exercises in sets and you will gradually improve your strength and flexibility. Give them a try. If you need a reference point, see the Fitness Afloat section at www.passagemaker.com where Karen has modeled these and other moves.