Written by: Zach Connell, CSCS, Pn1, Fitness Specialist
When it comes to developing an effective fitness routine, more important than what you want to achieve is the “why” behind it. As famous author and TED talk speaker, Simon Sinek, puts it, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Whether you’re trying to get into shape to keep up with your grandkids or you are preparing to run a marathon, the “why” of your exercise is the thing that’s going to get you out of bed in the morning (especially when you don’t feel like it).
Once you find your “why,” along with the motivation necessary to kick butt while working out, there are two crucial questions that present themselves:
- How do I measure progress?
- How do I move properly (and prevent my risk for injury)?
The key to making progress – in exercise and in many aspects of life – is to set objective goals. Backing up your training program with cold, hard data helps you measure which markers of health and fitness you are improving upon. While an individual’s goals dictate how one measures progress, common variables in fitness that everyone should be mindful of include: balance, body composition, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, mobility, posture, functional movement, and blood tests (cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.).
Proper movement patterns and injury prevention is another important element of any exercise program. A great way to ensure you are exercising correctly and safely is to work with a knowledgeable fitness specialist with advanced training in movement. When searching for a knowledgeable fitness specialist, look for certifications such as Functional Movement Systems (FMS), Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM- CES), and Certified in Applied Functional Science (CAFS).
Here at Raleigh Orthopaedic, our CORE program is led by fitness specialists with advanced training who work closely with physical therapists to provide you with proper care and instruction. They can take you through a functional movement screen that analyzes your risk of injury while performing every day motions such as: squatting, lunging, and bending from the waist. This process shines a light on the weak areas of your body and can help a fitness specialist create an exercise routine that places you in a safe environment.
Now that we can identify why you want to exercise, how to measure progress, and how to move properly when exercising, all that’s left is to put in the time.
About Zach Connell, CSCS, Pn:
Zach Connell is a fitness specialist with Raleigh Orthopaedic’s CORE program. He earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Nutrition and Science from UT-Austin in 2014 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. Zach’s background in sports training and nutrition has given him the opportunity to work with the baseball and basketball teams at UT and the football team at UNC. Zach spent 7 years in personal training and schooling prior to joining Raleigh Orthopaedic in 2015. Zach enjoys powerlifting, cooking, sports, and spending time with his dog, Watson.