Babyface, I never had to follow a structured workout regimen. When I was young I was as strong as anyone on my football team because I lived on a farm and life was a natural workout.
Later, I was fortunate to fall into a healthy diet and taking things in moderation. That helped me maintain decent physical condition.
I'm older now, and I had a major health scare last year. Now I find myself needing to step up the effort to stay fit. I just finished a 3 mile brisk walk; I walk 3 to 4 miles/day about 5 times/week.
I want to work in some resistance training. (I stay active and can move anything lighter than a cow.) But as noted, I'm older and can no longer rely solely on "natural workouts". Do you have any recommendations for resistance training?
Your farm training reminds me of how Bww trained when he was younger because he lived on a farm too. What's better than a 'training' which is actually just you getting chores done like throwing bales of hay, mucking out stalls all day etc ...
3 miles is an excellent way to push your cardio up. As long as you can still talk through your walk you're not over-exceeding your limits.
Resistance or strength-training is my forte. I have a yoga program that incorporates tons of strength-training as you're working with your own weight. A full yoga practice should challenge all of your muscles groups and help build muscle faster. That means that when you're doing your cardio it's more effective because your muscles are toned and lean. We don't want to exclude your tendons and ligaments either ... stretching benefits everything and you will notice the difference immediately.
In yoga, the repetition of isolated poses puts a demand on your stabilizer muscles as well as all the muscles that connect through the pose. So say, for instance, you're doing Warrior 3
I ask my clients to hold that pose (the stabilizer muscles in your right (standing) leg will go crazy trying to balance and ground you) and then to bring their hands to their hearts in prayer. When ready we do 5 very slow knee bends keeping a straight line from the back of your head to your extended heel. That's just one of the ways that I incorporate yoga into my strength-training. One of the good things about this (like your walking) is it's free and you can do it at home without any additional equipment. Using a mat is a good idea because it helps you from slipping on a floor.
Another way that I bring strength-training into my program is when we're doing a high plank (there is a sequence of poses in the middle of the Sun Salutation which are high plank, low plank, Upward Dog and Downward Dog) I will get my clients to turn onto one hand for side plank on both sides and then Wild Thing. From high plank we'll go into low plank and hold .... for whatever torturous number of minutes that I decide on and then back up to high plank and repeat and repeat ad nauseum ... ad infinitum ...
It's a really hard program (which lots of modifications for people who aren't ready to challenge themselves that much) but the outcome is very evident. I have clients whose bodies have changed radically in 1-2 years.
For me, yoga is about getting stronger and feeling healthier. Some of the 'side effects' of yoga are the ability to deal and cope with stress and anxiety in a more functional way. Yoga leaves you feeling physically exhausted but replete and happy at the same time. Just by focusing on your breath as you move through the poses you create a healthy distance from all of your worries.
I could write forever on this stuff.
Dan, are you interested in doing my yoga program at home too?
Blow up the McCaskeys!