News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 6, 2014

CHRIS DAVIES: Exercising with no ‘bells and whistles’

Chris Davies
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — Recently at Fitness Solutions the joke has been “treadmills and cardio equipment are broken.” The truth is we don’t have any exercise machines that require electricity. This is for good reason.

Sure, we realize a good warmup is important prior to exercise. We do utilize rowers and bikes. But we also do a variety of calisthenics, among other things. The learning curve for all this type of warm-up is easy for all populations. Our drive is to teach people how to exercise anytime and anywhere with limited or no equipment. Health and wellness should be attainable.

Terre Haute is blessed with fantastic city and county parks, not to mention miles of running and biking paths. That, my friends, is your treadmill, ellipticals and stairclimbers. While enjoying our great outdoor venues, leave the music at home. Taking a phone for safety is smart. Taking it for entertainment value is not smart. Be comfortable with quiet time. Unplug, empty your mind, and unwind. Fresh air and an elevated heart rate are good medicine.

Now that we’ve tackled your dependence on cardio machines, your new form of resistance exercise utilizes your own body weight. Push-ups, crunches, squats, pull-ups, and a ton of other body weight exercises will get you fit, help you lose weight, and add healthy years to your life. I say that with a slight reservation. It should be done correctly to be safe and effective.

You see as we age, without strength training, we lose muscle mass at a rate of about one percent each year. We start to get lazy and try to do activities while exerting the least amount of effort. This leads to losing functional abilities since we are not fully utilizing them. The above exercises which used to be easy when we were younger, now have become more difficult for many. That’s where professionals come in.

Learning something as basic as a body weight squat is incredibly complex and challenging for some. Learning to do it correctly from a fitness professional saves you time, money and frustration from soreness and potential injury. In addition you learn to structure your own workouts and understand benefits of warming up and cooling down. Learning flexibility activities also benefits everyone in any phase of their lives.

So, you may be asking yourself, how can I endure exercising with no “bells and whistles” equipment. There is no time to be bored. Body weight workouts are fun, challenging, effective and safe. You can finally sell all your underutilized exercise equipment and learn a more effective way to get in shape.

Occasionally we’ll utilize Olympic bars, bumper plates, dueling ropes, heavy bags, kettlebells, dumbbells and other toys. But there is still an emphasis on performing exercises that can be done anywhere.

The best part of this type of training is we have members from age 18 to 76 doing similar workouts and improving their health and fitness. Of course, any workout can be tailored to match an individual’s ability.  

Body weight strength training is making our runners and other athletes faster and stronger, while performing better. Participants are losing weight and making strides to better health.

Boring? Hardly. Functional exercises are fun, effective, efficient and safe.

Chris Davies, owns Fitness Solutions, Inc. 1101 Walnut St. He can be reached at thfitnesssolutions.com or fitsolutions1@msn.com