Autumn is harvest season and for our ancient ancestors a good harvest was important to see them through winter. A time of sacrifice, the ancients differed in how they made a case for God’s favourable treatment. The Aztecs thought a human sacrifice was best, while the Pueblo Indians thought a good old dance would do the trick. Nevertheless their aims were the same; a plentiful harvest that would help ensure good health and see them through winter. Not much has changed. We all hope for good health, but in a sedentary world it takes more than a prayer to achieve it. We need to move, regularly.
The period after summer is a good time to reflect and prioritise the things you value. In relation to health, autumn is a perfect time to improve it. As temperatures drop and days shorten our reflex is to spend more time indoors, to hide from nature. This is the opposite of what we should do. Illness and mortality are higher in winter. The reasons for this are multiple, but one relates to a change in our physiology; we become more sedentary and suffer a decline in cardiorespiratory fitness, lowering our resilience to the effects of illness and injury.
So, autumn is the time to sow the seeds of good health by building your fitness base. Consider fitness like a pyramid. The higher the peak the more resilient you are to the inevitable illness or injury that comes our way. But the higher the peak the broader the base needs to be. Building a fitness base requires us to do something regularly that is effortful and gets us a little out of breath. No difficulty = no improvement.
Requirements differ according to your current level but the simplest rule to follow is to do something moderately demanding each day for about 30 minutes. For some that will be a brisk walk, for others a jog or a cycle, for others a work out in the gym. Whichever it is we should look to sacrifice some comfort each day. (The WHO guidelines are worth reading for those after age specific advice.)
This autumn get active, get outdoors, and prepare for a healthy winter. We reap what we sow.
Get fit to Ski: With the ski season only 3 months away now is the time get in shape. The more conditioned you are the less likely you are to sustain injury and the more you’ll enjoy your skiing. This year we have two options for patients.
For those looking for a comprehensive ‘at-home’ program or guidance on how to get fit to ski and prevent injury, book in for a session with Alessandro our alpine injuries expert. A native of the Dolomites there are few others that understand the physical demands of the mountains as well as he does.
For those looking for 1:1 training, then book a course of weekly sessions with George. With over 30 years in the fitness industry along with being a qualified ski instructor he is the perfect person to help get you ski ready. He only has 1-2 slots remaining so be quick.