In recognition of Men’s Health Week, Tasman shares his experiences of ‘ISO’ – both as an Exercise Physiologist, and as a competitive mountain biker.
He regularly publishes articles on his website about his greatest passions – racing and coaching. You can find out more by visiting Tasman's website.
This is my first article which is not about racing, which is uncharted territory for me.
As an Exercise Physiologist, 90% of our job is behavioural change. We prescribe specific exercise to those with chronic disease and injuries to illicit a positive outcome or an adaptation. The thing about exercise is that no one can do it for you, and so selling on the hows and whys is where things get tricky. You can discuss statistics all you like, but 99% of the time it won’t translate to movement. You’ve got understand an individual’s behaviours and motivators, because everyone has something that gets them out of bed each morning.
Human behaviours have always been an interest of mine and I love trying to learn and understand how people ‘tick’.
This is why I think during this global pandemic, there is a lot to learn about ourselves. The majority of the population have had the comfort rug of structure and direction pulled from beneath them and is why I believe there has never been a better time to gain some life perspective.
For 99% of the population there has never been a better time to exercise. Number one point being the relationship to mental wellbeing and exercise. Exercise releases mood enhancing endorphins and is a known stress reliever. Significantly enough, that it is classified as class one prevention and treatment tool for anxiety and depression, known to produce outcomes at the same level if not better than pharmacological interventions. This time of unknown, can rightfully draw out feelings of anxiety and stress and is why exercise has never been more important.
Number two is time, the number one limiting factor for most people and now potentially for good or bad reasons you may have more of it! Make your new day structured by including exercise and set about new physical challenges. Healthy habits formed now may be come healthy habits later. Identify your strength and weakness just like the athletes would, then write down some goals and challenges you’d like to achieve.
Just around my local town in Bendigo I’ve been super impressed with the amount of people getting out and exercising, with bike paths and trails as busy as ever. Also cool to see families out together and I grant a few bikes have had the cobwebs blown off them this Autumn. By all means I’m endorsing meeting the isolation laws and avoiding taking risks. But also recommend concentrating on what you CAN DO at the moment and go out and get your daily dose of medicine (exercise). The Australian Activity Guidelines recommends at least 30mins a day for adults of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But by all means, some exercise is better than nothing and can be broken up into smaller blocks to make more achievable.
I hope this article provides you with some ideas whatever level of fitness you may have, or perhaps got you thinking of your own choices during this period.
Feel free to get in contact via email if you have questions on how you can be active during this period and I’ll be happy to advise.
Useful training tools
Strava App - Free tracking of your running, cycling or swimming. Simple to use and great for tracking progress, can also rank yourself against other users via segments.
Nike Training App - Free app for cardio and floor-based exercises. Good variety of workouts and can be tailored to fitness level and time constraints easily.
Head Space App - Super popular mediation and mental wellbeing app. Including specific mindfulness workouts for general wellbeing such as unwinding, sleep, gratitude, focus and mental strength. Can also be useful for more clinical conditions providing support for those with depression and anxiety symptoms.
Exercise Right Website - Created by Exercise Sports Science Australia, this webpage has several great home exercise videos tailor towards specific needs and for those just starting out.