Living your best life with arthritis.

Twitter fitness chats begin this Friday

Fitness Fridays for Walk Your A.S. Off with Helgi OlafsonDo you want to get fit? Join in on #FitChatFriday, a Twitter chat that begins on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm Hawaii time.

These weekly Friday chats, organized by Helgi Olafson, are all part of the “Walk Your A.S. Off” ankylosing spondylitis (A.S.) awareness raising event.

Helgi lives with ankylosing spondylitis. To raise awareness about this type of arthritis, he takes part in Ironman competitions as a sponsored athlete.

The first session, called “The Training Plan” will be held by professional fitness coach, Rick Rubio of Kona Personal Trainer.

Challenge One: 2 hours of fitness training  to start off with a bang!! How did it feel? What type of workout did you do?  What would you change? How many “steps” did you take? Did you get together as a group? What should the global challenge be for next week? Any ideas?

Find out where you should start and learn the benefits of setting goals and the value of smart training to achieve these goals. This session will give people a great base of knowledge to train smart. It is highly recommended that everybody get the advice of a personal trainer or coach before they start new exercise routines. These points will be discussed on the first session of #FitChatFriday, March 1st. Please study these questions if you want to get some valuable advice from fitness expert, Rick Rubio, and other special guests.

Step 1. Assessment
Where are you in terms of fitness? Everyone has a unique level of fitness. It is important to pay attention to this and not overwork yourself, especially if you have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Have you had specific problems in the past that may reoccur with training? It is important to identify these problems before you start training, so you are prepared for them if they do occur. Find a comfortable starting block and build from there, while listening to your body and respecting what your body tells you.

Step 2. Goals
What are your fitness goals? Do you have a particular race coming up that you want to prepare for, or are you simply just trying to get in shape and get moving? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build muscle? Are you trying to get a hold of your eating habits? Knowledge is power. Research your goals and you will be more successful with them. Also, it is important to set goals that you are able to achieve.

Step 3. Establish a training plan
Once you have established your goals, it is time to come up with a training plan that works with your existing everyday plan. Remember that this is supposed to be fun, but you are trying to achieve goals here, so you may have to sacrifice some of your time and your previous habits in order to be successful in achieving your goals. A training plan should get more intense as your fitness level increases, but should always include recovery. Training plans will vary depending on what sports you are training for and what your individual goals are. The most important thing about a training plan is that you feel that you can stick to your plan.

Step 4. Stick to your plan
Make sure that when you make your plan, you give yourself room for error. If you feel sick or something comes up one day, that is okay because you will still be able to get the training in on your normal day of rest. Always remember that you started the training plan so that you could achieve your fitness goals. If you don’t stick to the plan, you are only cheating yourself. Find ways to make it fun and interesting. Listen to music. Incorporate adventure into your workouts. Bring a friend or join a fitness group.

Step 5. Nutrition and Fueling
You will need to pay attention to your body and what it requires to perform. Make sure that you intake at least 30 grams of lean protein within 30 minutes of the end of your workouts. Also give your body the fuel before the workout. If you are going long, make sure you pay attention to fueling the night and even days prior to your workouts. Always stay hydrated and stay away from processed foods and trans fats. Do you eat three meals every day? What kind of vitamins do you take? Any antioxidants? What other supplements do you take?

Step 6. Find out about the athletic opportunities accessible to you
Most communities will have fitness groups of all types and all sizes. These are a great place to meet people who are like minded and will offer you the support that you may need to carry on with your training plan. Does your area have any triathlon clubs, cycling, swimming, or running clubs, or even walking clubs and yoga classes? The best part is that you can find these clubs for free, or for a small fee. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg. Besides, if you are going to spend money, you want to spend your money on a good personal trainer or fitness coach so they can help guide you in the right direction, according to your goals. They should be able to help you get everything in order and give you the necessary tools to be successful. A good trainer will even help to keep you on track and monitor your progress, but the rest is up to you. How bad do you want it?

Step 7. Track your progress
These days there are many different ways to track your progress. Heart rate monitors are probably the best tool, but a good GPS watch that records altitude, distance, average pace, heart rate, etc can prove to be a very valuable addition to your arsenal. Pedometers are great for recording the amount of steps you take in a day. It doesn’t really matter how you track your progress, as long as you are consistent. Recording your workouts is equally important because you need to be able to compare your results. When analyzing data, it is important to have valid data so you can make the right adjustments to your training plan as you progress. Training Peaks and Garmin Connect are two online training platforms that give subscribers the ability to record their training in an online database that can be analyzed by professional coaches like Rick Rubio, without having to be physically in front of the person that they are training.