Whether it be a dynamic session of cardio sprints or a simple stretch to lengthen your hamstrings…the intensity of your training needs to match your body.

Your body is the best instructor you’ll ever have and if you listen well, it will guide you wisely.

A while back I wrote a blog about body presence. Being aware of your body is vital for safe and appropriate training. If your mind is elsewhere when you exercise you increase the risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of that session.

Before you read the rest of this blog, why not connect with your body by playing the video below?



No Pain No Gain

Even at college 25 years ago we were taught that the ‘no pain – no gain’ mentality is inappropriate but will die hard. Do you still believe this…that you need to go for the burn in order to get fit/strong?

Good news…exercise does not need to be painful to be effective.

At the very least, pain just leads to tension and at worst serious injury.

And if you’re injured you will be forced to rest.

It’s all about balanced fitness. If you include all aspects of the Restore Your Body Programme, you will develop a strong, supple and energised body.

Your sensitivity of how hard to train will also be refined and you will enjoy great workouts and smooth recovery.

Before long, your relationship with your body will become harmonious and you’ll really enjoy inhabiting this amazing machine!


Cardio blog


How Hard Should You Train

Your workouts should challenge your body but at the same time leave you relaxed and later that day and beyond you should feel calm yet energised.

Of course, this also depends on what you eat after exercise. More about that in a future blog, but basically avoid all sugars after training.

Remember, there are 3 exercise categories to this programme:

Cardio, strength and flexibility. Let’s take each in turn:

1 Cardio

When doing cardio training (short bursts of exercise), you are looking to reach your maximum target heart rate. You can calculate this by subtracting your age from 220. So somebody who is 55 years old will be looking to reach a heart rate of 165 beats per minute.

This is only a theoretical maximum as people of the same age can have a vast difference in fitness levels. A beginner will only be doing 2 or 3 cardio bursts and unlikely to reach even 75% of their target. Somebody who has been practising sprints for some time will be doing 6 to 8 cardio bursts and will be more likely to reach or at least get closer to their ideal max.

As will all training, start easy and build gradually – there is no rush to get fit. Think long term. Take your time and enjoy the journey…

…picture yourself in 1 years time being in great shape!

You can review all cardio blogs here – It’s a once a week commitment and even with warm up and warm down your workout is over in under 30 minutes.


Medicine Ball Squat


2 Strength

This is about moving slowly to build joint and muscle strength. There is usually a particular body part in focus. e.g. quads and glutes when squatting, pecs and triceps with press ups or abs with sit ups.

Good form and appropriate fatigue are key focuses during the movement. 

I have a saying in my Dojiva Pilates classes…”feel fatigue (a strong discomfort)…then do one more”! Beginners however should experience a mild discomfort in the area of focus.

If you feel tension in a different area of your focus or you have localised pain, then you need to stop. Check you have good technique. You might need a modification, or even to leave that exercise out for a while.

After a few strength sessions you will get to know how your body responds. Sore muscles the next day and you over did it. However, a pleasant ache that soon fades is fine and a nice reminder that you hit the spot!


ab rolling scissors


3 Restorative – Flexibility & Supplenss

When working on the suppleness of your muscles or the flexibility of your joints, you need a whole different mental focus. This is time to soften into flexibility!

Stretching is always most effective with warm muscles. So do these after your session. You should aim to feel a pleasant stretch in the area of focus.

To help relax the nerves around the muscles you are trying to stretch, be sire to regular release the stretch sensation. Gradually you will be able to go further.

Please be patient…I have found that flexibility takes longer to notice change than strength work and cardio training.

Lots of flexibility blogs on the restorative section here.

Time to chill

One more thing. After your session, why not allow some time for relaxation? Post workout, your body is primed to relax.

To help your mind stay aware with relaxation (and not get busy with your ‘to do’ list)…simply let your mind focus on something that is present – e.g. your breath, your body, contact points to the ground, sounds around you, etc.

Review all relaxation blogs here

Enjoy your body. Take care

Thanks Danny