Honestly, after a long cold, winter and cool spring, I am so ready to be immersed in bright sunshine and heat. For me this would be golden! Today we are going to carry this warm sentiment into our workout regime and talk about what Miranda Esmonde-White, founder of Essentrics®, calls the Golden Medium.
Miranda is encouraging us to train in a way that leaves us energized instead of completely defeated and exhausted. To better explain the philosophy, I am going to refer to it as the Golden Zone of health.
What is the Golden Zone?
When it comes to our physical health, we should aim to be in a place/zone where we have energy all day long, we experience little pain, we heal rapidly, and we are able to participate fully in life.
This should be our gold standard. We should want to feel as good as gold; strong, and full of light that radiates outwards from our brilliant smile. When exercise is done well, happy hormones flood our body, and these endorphins fill us with joy and zest for living. Doesn't this sound amazing? Working out doesn't have to feel miserable or painful in order to be effective.
The fitness world is guilty of promoting the message that if there is no pain, there is no gain and while I agree that we need to feel our workouts, sometimes people think that they must push themselves to the brink of injury and exhaustion during every single workout. This is false and anyone who has been training with me for the last twenty years has heard me tout the benefits of variety and pacing.
There is a happy medium between hardly moving and pushing too hard. I once trained a gentleman who loved to tell me that he felt like throwing up after my class because to him this meant it was EXCELLENT. He was pushing himself too hard by not following my safety cues about pacing. For some this is the only way to exercise. They want to feel the burn! I am here to tell you that there is a smarter way to train.
The truth is if we are going to age well (with our knees, shoulders and backs in tact) and dare I say it become golden agers, we need to know the difference between the Never Exercising zone and the Extreme Workout zone, in order to remain injury free and capable of performing activities of daily living with ease.
The Golden Medium is a measure of both health and fitness training. We should avoid living our lives in the extremes and instead aim to find happiness somewhere in the middle.
How do we find the Golden Zone?
Ensure that there is enough variety in your weekly workout schedule. Do a stretching class the day after a challenging weight lifting session, and make sure that you are training to improve your balance and core strength as well. Work with a certified fitness professional to make sure that you are training your muscles in a balanced way, that will improve your posture and flexibility of typically tight areas. And of course, never push through pain but find innovative ways to improve the functionality of the joint in question.
Reach out with any questions. I am happy to help you find your personal Golden Zone.