Fitness and wellness travel: Budva, Montenegro

Af Marina Aagaard, MFT

Summertime is holiday time. Holiday travel dreams are plentiful, however, in order for them to come to life, the travels dream should be affordable; research is needed.
Earlier this year I attended a holiday and travel show and got a tip.
Montenegro is becoming a ‘new’ European destination for summer holidays and this year the travel agencies have bargain introduction offers.

Montenegro Budva klippe Foto Henrik Elstrup

So recently my husband and I found an interesting offer; one week in Montenegro including plane trip (at a cost corresponding to roughly the price of one night in an average Danish hotel), so off we went to a new destination.

According to the author of a Montenegro tour guide, author and speaker Tom Noergaard:

”I have travelled all over Europa, and there is no doubt in my mind, that Montenegro is one of the most beautiful countries. Here you have mountains, which are comparable to the Alps in France, Switzerland and Austria, and at the same time you are at a destination, where you can count on sun, warmth and good weather during all of the summer season. Apart form 300 km coastline, there are many interesting sights in the back country as well as some really beautiful cities like Kotor on UNESCOs World Heritage Site list”.

M Biogradska

Montenegro, Crna Gora, Црна Гора, “Black Mountain”
Montenegro is situated south of Croatia, west of Bosnia i Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, and north of Albania. To the west is the Adriatic Sea.
The capital is Podgorica, which is situated in the middle of the country (below Milenijum bridge).

Montenegro Podgorica Milenijum bridge Henrik Elstrup

Montenegro has a population of approx. 620.000 and the language is Montenegrin. Luckily most people you meet speak English. Every once in a while though you need a phrasebook, a map and some sign language …

Holiday time
Montenegro looks a bit like Croatia, which is a favourite Danish holiday destination:
Big beaches and beautiful national parks with mountains, forests and lakes.

Montenegro Tara canyon view Marina Aagaard fitness blogMontenegro Tara canyon Marina Aagaard fitness blog

And it is great for those loving activity-packed holidays with sailing, rafting, diving, cycling, running, hiking etc. (photo: Tara river, 144 km long; running through Tara River Gorge, 82 km, the deepest river canyon in Europa, 1300 m, number two in the world after Colorado Canyon, USA.

For those interested in history, culture and architecture, there are many interesting old cities and monasteries, e.g. in Cetinje, the former capital. The sign on the square shows number of kilometers to the great museums around the world.

M Cetinje museumsskiltMontenegro Cetinje Monestary photo Henrik Elstrup     Montenegro Cetinje foto Marina Aagaard fitness blog

Pre season advantages: Weather not too hot, 20-25 degr. C; nice. Not too many other tourists. The travel is very cheap.

Pre season disadvantages: The beaches are a bit dirty at places (‘summer cleaning’ is ongoing). Some restaurants and bars are still closed. Weather is somewhat unstable.

Our trip in May went to Budva.
Budva is situated at the Montenegrin Riviera. It is a cozy small town with a marina and a beautiful old town, stari grad. At the same time Budva Riviera is a festival-centre with more than 10 festivals and concerts during summer.

M strand by
A nice town for either a family holiday or partying. Also a nice base for trips around Montenegro.

You should check the Budva calendar. We accidentally landed in Budva in the middle of The Great Carnival of Budva with participants from 12 lande countries.
That spelt three days with lots of colours, dancing and entertainment. One big free party.

Montenegro Budva Carnival og bymur Foto Henrik Elstrup

However, like all popular tourist destinations, the town adapts to ‘popular demand’, so the hotels and restaurants are fairly international and touristic.
You pay in euro in Montenegro and prices are fairly cheap, however, surprisingly, as Budva and neighbouring cities, including Tivat, are becoming increasingly popular with the rich and famous, there are many hotels, shops and restaurants with very high prices.

Visit Montenegro Top 5 Must Visit places

  • Durmitor; national park); nice, even in rainy weather.
  • Tivat; small town, big marina for multi-million dollar yachts.
  • Perast by Boka Bay, the entire bay area is a ‘must visit’.
  • Skadar Lake; large, beautiful popular lake (area).
  • Sveti Stefan (hotel-island); residence of many superstars. Earlier you could visit the island, now it is closed to the public and controlled by guards …; you have to watch from a distance, unless you book a room at five star plus prices.

Aagaards Top 5 Must Visit places

An absolute must-see and you need a day for this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A small town with a very big and beautiful medieval town boasting some of the worlds narrowest alleys. Kotor comes with an interesting challenge:
On the mountain behind the town, there is a fortress and the ancient walls. From an alley in the back part of town you can take a walk to the top (cost 3-4 euro), or rather a stair walk of approx. 1350 steps (and they are oversized). Not for the weakly, but a to-do trip for everyone else, for the exercise and a fantastic view of Kotor and Boka Bay.

M Kotor bymur   M Kotor streetM Kotor stairsM Kotor udsigt fra bjerg

Budva and the Riviera
A 3-4 hour walk of mixed views; past due, worn-out, ugly and new, beautiful, stylish.
We took a walk along the beaches from Budva to Sveti Stefan. A free ride and one of the highlights of our tour. Exercise the easy way combined with some very diverse nature and culture experiences. You cannot walk by the beach all the way, though, as some are private hotel beaches; you need to go up to the street a couple of times.

Montenegro klipper i vandM Zoffs fish bar

Lovcen National Park
A low-budget busride to Lovcen National Park, from the heat by the water to the mountains with snow in may. Cool in every sense of the word. On the top of Jezerski, 1749 a.s.l., there is a mausoleum for Petar II Petrovic Njegos. First walk the 461 steps, then walk via the path (with no railings) to the mausoleum.

It is worth the 5 Euro to enter. It is an impressive structure with lots of cool marble.

M Lovcen mausoleumMontenegro Lovcen Mausoleum foto Henrik Elstrup   Montenegro Lovcen Mausoleum foto Henrik Elstrup   Montenegro Lovcen Mausoleum

You can (and should) eat in the small restaurant right by the stairs. The restaurant is nice, the view is awesome and the food is very good … but bring your own toilet paper (scarce in many small Montenegrin restaurants).

Tivat is a small town without major attractions … apart from the harbour, which is well worth a visit. Formerly a naval harbour, now a luxury marina for mega-yachts …
and you can buy your own yacht there, e.g. 30-40 mio. USD.

Montenegro Tivat yacht  Marina Aagaard fitness blogM Tivat mega yachts

If you don’t want a boat, but just want to part with your money, you can visit a casino, which there are quite a few of. Local guides claim that part of Casino Royale was filmed in Montenegro, while internet sources state, that it was in the Czech Republic.

Durmitor National Park
Montenegros first and biggest national park from 1952, 39.000 acres, with Durmitor mountain, 2522 m, a 898 m deep cave and many lakes; the biggest is the Black Lake, Crno Jezero, which really is tow lakes, Little Lake and Big Lake, connected by a small stream. The Black Lake is a popular vacation spot (here on a rainy day).

M Black lake Crno Jedarska

Much more Montenegro
A week is not enough, there are so many places to visit; like Herceg Novi up north, Bar down south (with thousand year old olive trees), Podgorica and rather a long way from there; the monestary built into a mountain, Manastir Ostrog, from 1650, which is visited every year by many believers from different faiths.

M Ostrog monestary

Holiday fitness
A holiday is a wellness experience in itself and on this little holiday it was topped by a few days with two days with spa and fitness. Our budget hotel Lucic was very nice, next to the city centre and a super room, but without any amenities apart from a small breakfast buffet with pancakes and omelet, but no vegetables or fruit at all (so buy your own).

But for wellness, within walking distance (5-10 minutes) you could visit the spa at the luxury hotel Avala, which has a super nice pool and an o.k. sauna and steam bath.
And a fully equipped fitness centre with free weights, machines and even Kinesis (advanced pulley system).

M Avala wellness ude og inde poolM Avala wellness infinity pool aftenM Avala fitness kinesisM Avala fitness jog

This is probably not the last time I will visit Montenegro. There is still a lot to see. And it is very easy and cheap to get around in their small mini-busses.
You can also rent a car, if you are fearless that is; the Montenegrins drive quite fast and without a care, so along all the roads, you will see the word ‘Autoslep’ (towing) and contact numbers on rocks, buildings and signs.

M Autoslep sten

More about Montenegro

Visit Montenegro
Montenegro Wikipedia
Branislav Strugar: Montenegro
All about Montenegro

More photos by husband; Montenegro, Henrik Elstrup 500 px

3 Excellent Exercises: For Ski Fitness or Slimming and Six-Pack

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

On your way out of the door for a skiing holiday and have given up on getting in shape, because you think it is too late … or you are getting annoyed with your January fitness program, because your six-pack is nowhere in sight?
Either way, these three super exercises are for you. Know this: It is never too late and they will work (also for busy travellers).

The three bodyweight exercises are intermediate level – a dose of basic training beforehand is a good idea – and they can be progressed with weights.
Fantastic fitness exercises, that boost performance, fatburning and fun; a 3-in-1 workout:
1) strength and power, 2) stability and 3) mobility (flexibility and agility).

1. Jumps (squat jump)
 on the spot (with or without weight) and travelling in several directions. Take-off from entire foot. Use the arms. Land with soft knees.

2. Multi-lunges. Progress traditional lunges with movements in more directions.
Train with varied amplitude, small and large range of motion. Check, that the space around you is free of obstacles (especially behind you). Keep knees and feet aligned.

3. Planks with movement. Bored with planks? Make a move! Get more out of your workout by adding various movements; e.g. mountainclimber or plank lunge. Stabilize; contract your core, keep the torso and lower back stable. Body in a straight line.

Workout: 1-3 (4) sets of 8-16 repetitions. 1 minute rest-pause between sets.

Enjoy (below for inspiration; skiing holiday snapshots; Sauze d’Oulx/Sestriere, Italy).

Sestriere skiing holiday Marina Aagaard is high photo Henrik Elstrup

Sestriere skiing trip off-piste tracks photo Henrik Elstrup

Winter snow on trees around Sauze d'Oulx and Sestriere Photo Henrik Elstrup

Holiday on Snow Ski lift and mountains Sauze d'Oulx Sestriere Photo Henrik Elstrup

Sestriere skiing tour with light snow photo Henrik Elstrup

How to Get Fit? Take Your Pick: Top 20 Fitness Trends 2014

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Every year newspapers, magazines and blogs forecast the fitness trends for the coming year. Almost all quote ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine, who conduct an international survey and publish a Fitness Trend Top 20.
On the basis of their survey ACSM determines, what is trending right now, and also what are real trends – what has come to stay – og and what are fads and on their way out. This year Zumba went out and HIIT made it straight to number one!

Fitness trends top 20 list and photo of kettlebells Photo Henrik Elstrup

Here is the ACSM list. I have added the rank of last year and below are my comments along with select ACSM comments.

TOP 20 Fitness Trends 2014

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (new on the list)
  2. Body Weight Training (3.)
  3. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals (1.)
  4. Strength Training (2.)
  5. Training and Weight Loss (5.)
  6. Personal training (7.)
  7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults (6.)
  8. Functional Fitness (8.)
  9. Group Personal Training (10.)
  10. Yoga (14.)
  11. Children and Exercise for the Treatment/Prevention of Obesity (4.)
  12. Worksite Health Promotion (11.)
  13. Core Training (9.)
  14. Outdoor Activities (13.)
  15. Circuit Training (18.)
  16. Outcome Measurements (17.)
  17. Wellness Coaching (20.)
  18. Sports-Specific Training (back on list, 17. in 2012)
  19. Worker Incentive Programs (15.)
  20. Boot Camp (16.)

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Intensive training with short bursts of high-intensity work periods followed by a short period of rest, typically with a total training time of less than 30 minutes. Not a new trend, on the contrary, HIIT has been part of classic sports training for many years and lately also part of many CrossFit workouts. HIIT has been suggested as a trend earlier on, but has only just entered the Top 20 list this year. Until now, though, it has most certainly been part of many boot camp programs, which have been on the list for some years.

According to ACSM HIIT is very popular, despite warnings from some fitness professionals: ”“Very, very popular. However, high injury rates. We need more highly trained professionals working this area.”

2. Body Weight Training (3.)

Working out with body weight entered the list last year as number 3 and is now number 2. Has body weight training not been popular previously? Yes, almost since the dawn of time and it has been one of the most popular group exercise formats since fitness started in the 70′s with Jane Fonda’s Workout a.o. This indicates, that is not the training as such, but the way it is named and marketed, that puts it on the hit list.

3. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals (1.)

This trend has occupied the number one spot for six years consecutively and for the first time it has been overtaken.
This does not mean, that it is not still a top priority. Rather the growing popularity of high-intensity training and (complex) body weight training means, that educated instructors are needed even more than before.

4. Strength Training (2.)

Strength training is no new phenomena. It has been popular since antiquity. What is new, is that today many do strength training for its own sake and not just as a means to an end, e.g. improving sports performance.

Strength training is also growing in popularity in all sectors, not just in the fitness sector, but also in the health sector and for all target groups including children, seniors and people with lifestyle diseases.

5. Training and Weight Loss (5.)

Training for weight loss has become more and more popular since these surveys started, maybe as a result of the growing need for this kind of workouts and as a result of still more research showing, that the combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight maintenance and can improve compliance with diet and weight loss programs.

6. Personal training (7.)

Personal training, one-on-one training with various fitness modalities, especially strength training, is ever increasing in popularity. Partly because of exercisers wanting better results faster, and partly because more and more personal trainers are being certified.
Also more marketing means, that more people are becoming aware of this option.

7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults (6.)

Training for older adults has been on the Top 20 list since its appearance in 2006. Only natural as the number of people over 60 has tripled for the past 50 years. And this number is estimated to triple in the next decades, so by 2050 close to 2 billion people will be over 60 (!

This trend is supported by a multitude of research on seniors and exercise with overwhelming evidence, that exercise for seniors is not only beneficial, but essential for function, health and wellness late in life. ACSM recommends, that fitness centers offers more programs for seniors, e.g. during the daytime.

8. Functional Fitness (8.)

Functional Fitness, which has been on the list since 2007, is defined by ACSM as ‘using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to improve someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living’.
It is mentioned, that functional fitness programs replicate actual activities you might do as a function of daily living, hence they are recommend for older adults.

Note, that the term functional fitness is often used to describe other types of fitness programs and modalities with a specific function or purpose related to either every day living or sports.

9. Group Personal Training (10.)

Personal training for small groups, on the list since 2007, continues to be a popular trend. The training is for 2-3 exercisers at the same time (up to 5) and is not only reasonably ‘personal’ and goal-oriented, but also economically sensible for both the trainer and clients.

10. Yoga (14.)

Yoga entered the Top 20 list in 2008, fell out in 2009, but made back and has been on the list since 2010. However, yoga has been popular for thousands of years and will continue to be so, whether on the Top 20 list or not. Not strange, since there are many types of yoga for different target groups and from easy to advanced level. Also there is a huge number of yoga teachers, books and films making yoga accessible to everyone. 

11. Children and Exercise for the Treatment/Prevention of Obesity (4.)

Children and obesity, as this trend was named, when it entered the list in 2007, has dropped a few spots, but is still increasingly important, as obesity among children and juniors is a major problem internationally. There is a continued need for both national and local initiatives and specific fitness exercise targeted at stopping and reversing this.

12. Worksite Health Promotion (13.)

An obvious place to implement fitness and health initiatives is on the worksite and luckily this is a trend, that continues to grow, both within companies and corporations or in collaboration with independent commercial or community-based programs.

13. Core Training (9.)

Core training are exercises, which focus on strength and stability for the core muscles, inner and outer unit muscles from the pelvic floor to the diaphragm: “Strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back, and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax” (ACSM).

Core training is no new trend. This kind of training has been used by gymnasts for ages. What is new, is that it is a fairly new trend within fitness and in fitness settings you often use equipment such as exercise balls, BOSU balls, wobble boards, foam rollers, etc.

Even though core training has lost ground and has dropped from a steady top 5 position from 2007-2010, it is still popular. In the future maybe more so as an integral part of other programs such as Functional Fitness.

14. Outdoor Activities (13.)

Outdoor activities not only include running, walking and cycling, but according to the ACSM survey also hiking, canoeing, kayaking, games, sports – and even overnight camping trips.
Even if the weather in certain countries makes this a ‘seasonal’ activity, outdoor training in many forms is becoming increasingly popular, partly because more countries, states, and cities are starting to offer designated fitness facilities, e.g. outdoor training pavilions.
Fresh air and better overall health is a superior bonus of this fitness trend.

15. Circuit training) (18.)

Circuit training appeared on the list for the first time in 2013 and has increased in popularity since then. According to ACSM survey circuit training is “a group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed one after another and in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set period before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise”.

Circuit training, though, has been fairly popular since the 60′s and the classic definition is a series of 9-12 consecutive exercises with no rest-pause or only a short rest-pause between exercises.
As part of the increasing popularity of short duration high-intensity workouts, circuit training has been marketed and implemented vigorously and is now super popular, e.g. in HICT termed ‘the 7-minute workout (partly wrong) by many fitness blogs and magazines’.

16. Outcome Measurements (17.)

ACSM defines this, outcome measurements, as “a trend that addresses accountability, the efforts to define and track outcomes to prove a selected program actually works. (…).
New technology has aided in data collection to support these efforts”.
Tracking outcomes not only has to do with compliance, but can also include fitness testing, the physical results (leading to succesful change of negative lifestyle habits).
Outcome measurements was on the list previously, fell out, but returned last year.

17. Wellness Coaching (20.)

Wellness coaching, which came on the list in 2010, is similar to coaching, but integrates behavioural science into health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation programs.
According to ACSM “Wellness Coaching often uses a one-on-one approach, similar to a personal trainer, with the coach providing support, guidance, and encouragement. The wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, and goals”.
This is really what a competent personal trainer does, but perhaps with an increased focus on total lifestyle; diet, sleep and activities of daily living.

18. Sports-Specific Training (back on the list)

Sports-specific training was on the list from 2010, fell out in 2013, but is now back again. According to ACSM this trend includes sports-specific training for sports like baseball and tennis and is designed especially for young athletes.
With this definition it is no wonder, that the trend is not higher on the list. If the definition included sports-specific training for all age groups and all sports, e.g. skiing, golf, soccer, basketball, etc. and even running and cycling, which are sports, too, sports-specific training probably would be higher on the list and permanently, too.

19. Worker Incentive Programs (15.)

This trend came on the list in 2011 and has been on it since then. This trend is about incentive programs “to stimulate positive healthy behavior change as part of employer-based health promotion programming and health care benefits”.
“Worker Incentive Programs are associated with the trend to provide worksite health promotion programs in an attempt to reduce health care costs”
As worksite health promotions affect a huge number of the population, they are essential to public health.

20. Boot Camp (16.)

Boot camp training appeared on the list in 2010, after having been just outside the Top 20 for the previous two years. ACSM defines Boot Camp, as a ‘high-intensity structured activity patterned after military-style training. Boot Camp includes cardiovascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility drills and usually involves both indoor and outdoor exercises typically led by an enthusiastic instructor. Boot Camps also can combine sports-type drills and calisthenics’.

The name Boot Camp is also used to market various 8-10 week fitness programs in which the workouts often match the above description, they can, however, also come in other formats of lower intensity.

The Top 20 Fitness Trends Survey
The Top 20 list covers the results of a Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends based on a list of 38 possible trends. 25 from the previous year as well as 13 new trends proposed by the staff of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Survey participants must give a score of 1 to 10 and are invited to comment.

The survey was sent to 28.924 fitness professionals, 3.815 responded, a return rate of 13 %, which is an excellent return rate.

On this years list, Top 20 2014, Zumba is out, and Pilates, Spinning, Balance training and stability (exercise) ball training are out for the second time, which by ACSM standards indicate, that they are just fads. ACSM recognize though, that these activities still exist in the fitness industry.

It is not strange, that certain activities disappear from the list. This is bound to happen, not necessarily because they become unpopular, but to make room for new fitness modalities, either trends or fads.

As seen previously, also in ACSM surveys, certain fitness activities fall out and then enter again or enter again under a new name or as part of another trend.

This is the ACSM Top 20. Is something missing from the list? Some would say CrossFit a.o., however, this and some other popular fitness modalities are related to some of the above mentioned trends for instance HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, strength training or functional fitness and hence are covered for now.

The Top 20 list gives an exciting overview of the fitness trends of 2014. At the same time, take a peek at Google’s list of the most popular workout search terms, keywords:

Google Top 10 Most-Googled Workouts 2013

  1. Insanity Workout (US concept, intense cardio/strength workout)
  2. CrossFit Workout (international concept with high-intensity workouts)
  3. Ab Workouts (abdominal exercise in all forms is always a hit)
  4. Bicep Workouts (workouts for the arms are a male thing)
  5. 7-Minute Workout (a media name for circuit workouts with a 7 minute base)
  6. Kettlebell Workout (maybe this will be on the list soon)
  7. Shoulder Workouts (ever popular, ever overworked …)
  8. Back Workouts (back and lower back area; numerous exercises)
  9. Plank Exercises (planks, a core exercise stable, are still popular)
  10. TRX Workout (suspension training, e.g. TRX’s, is increasing in popularity)

You can read more about the different fitness modalities in books, at fitness sites and blogs, including this one. Furthermore there are millions of exercise videos and a growing number of apps for most of the above workouts.

Happy workout!


ACSM: Now Trending: Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2014 

ACSM: Worldwide survey reveals fitness trends for 2013.

High-Intensity Training, CrossFit Top Google’s List of Most Searched Exercises

Airport Wellness

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

An airport is a special place; either you see just a glimpse of it rushing through or you have plenty of time, no rush, because your itinerary dictates a longer stay.
In that case, apart from plenty of shops, normally there is an abundance of cafes or restaurants, where you can pass time: When visiting; make smarter choices, so this part of your journey does not undermine your well-being and performance.
Avoid nausea, discomfort and fatigue and maintain health and wellness during your travelling by making some small adjustments.

Wellness on your journey coffee for two Marina Aagaard

Maybe just one cup of coffee and some almonds instead of croissants and cappuccinos?!

Do you (frequently) spend hours at the airport? Improve your airport ‘stay’ and stay healthy using these simple strategies, which also work at home.

Airport wellness

  • Drink plenty of water; so you avoid 1) dehydration and 2) liquid sugar (calories).
    Reduce or avoid or minimize coffee and tea. Avoid alcohol entirely.
  • Eat healthy, wholegrain and vegetables (÷ white bread/+ wholegrain, ÷ candy/+ nuts, etc.). “You must choose, but choose wisely.”
  • Eat in moderation. Choose a small or medium size portion.
    Find something else to do than eating, while you wait for your plane.

You do not have to be fanatic. If you are on holiday, there should be room for less healthy snacks (if so desired). But if you are a frequent traveller, e.g. jobrelated, it is wise to make some healthier choices in order to stay fit and healthy.

Example of a gradual habit change (‘detox’):

Large chai latte > small chai latte > green tea > water
Two croissants > one croissant > a small croissant > some almonds
A chocolate bar > half a chocolate bar > grapes > carrots

Happy and healthy travelling!

Airport Fitness

An airport is an interesting place to be, though it is a time stealer.

To me to travel is not just about the final destination, but very much the sensations of the journey itself; the hustle and bustle of airports, ports and stations, to watch people of many nationalities with very different looks and attitudes pass by, and to listen to the sounds and to feel the movements of cars, busses, trains, planes, ships, while watching the ever-changing sky, landscapes and seascapes.

Kastrup lufthavn 2Excitement is building … check-in information at Copenhagen Airport, May, 2013 (iPhone snapsnot for true ‘being-on-the move-not-paying-too-much-attention-to-quality-look’).

Back at the airport: If you often spend time there, waiting or moving from terminal to terminal, why not optimize your journey and your health?
These strategies work ‘at home’, too.

Airport fitness

  • Stay on your feet, e.g. stand, as much as possible. Do not sit too much, as it is true: It is a killer. And apart from being very bad news health-wise, the buttocks will take the shape of chair seats!
  • Walk, don’t stand, on the airport conveyor belts and escalators. You will improve metabolic fitness and maintain weight even with small positive changes, e.g. walking instead of standing.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator (when you have dropped off heavy suitcases); take the stairs as often as possible. It is great for fitness. Extended stair stepping improves muscle strength-endurance and cardiovascular fitness. 

Happy feet … (and legs and core and heart).

Dear F W World follower, a personal message for you

Dear Fitness Wellness World follower,

My first ‘personal post’ with some information for you.

First of all a sincere thank you for your interest and your connecting with me and this blog.
As a blogger newbie it is great to meet other bloggers. And I strive to find the very best pieces of information about fitness, wellness and motivation – reliable research or test based methods and ideas.

However, I do apologize for not being superactive post wise and also being almost invisible in cyberspace. I am out there every once in a while, but mostly I am (too) busy researching/lecturing as a professor of sports (and fitness) and travelling doing workshops. I hope to be more active and supportive in the future.

In the meantime I have a project. As I am fairly new to this media and slow to catch up, I have not found the optimal rhythm and style yet. But I have been thinking about something for a while:

I would like to move my fitness scriblings to a new blog (under construction – will notify when ready): Fitness Wellness Forum – because I invite more comments and questions.
Same post set up, with state-of-the-art fitness tips, not too frequently, but more regularly.

And I would like to test this page as a Fitness Wellness World page with more posts with fitness wellness travel information – as I would like to share some extra photos and tips.

However, as English/American is not my first language and I am a bit slow, when translating, I will start writing in Danish and hope that Google translate will do a good job and the photos will say more than words … (if it is not working, I am all ears …).

I realize that this was not exactly, what you signed up for – however, the plan is that the posts will be about fitness and wellness, but also quite a lot about wellness travelling etc.
So in the very near future I will test this and your response is most wellcome.

I hope this works well, I am giving it a go.
In any case I will be back with a little more info shortly.

See you 🙂


m1Me today. Hair growing. Growing up.

111 Excellent Reasons for Exercising: Choose Life and Fitness

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

You already know, that fitness is good for you. But not just that. Fitness exercise is fun and it works:
There are all kinds of fitness exercise for both sexes, all ages, all levels and in  many forms; one and one fitness, two and two fitness, group fitness, soft fitness, hard fitness, indoor fitness, outdoor fitness, land fitness, water fitness, cold fitness, hot fitness, bodyweight fitness, equipment fitness, machine fitness.
There are no limits. So there should be no lack of motivation?
However, just in case, here are (not just the usual 10) 111 excellent reasons for doing fitness exercise. 

Fitness and exercise for health, performance and wellness

  1. Improves mood; increases happiness level.
  2. Increases energy level, more mental and physical strength.
  3. Improves sex; increases desire, agility and stamina.
  4. Reduces stress, eases tension short-term and long-term.
  5. Relaxes and calms you.
  6. Energizes you, reduces general fatigue.
  7. Fights depression.
  8. Trains your brain, creates new synapses, ‘nerve cell junctions’.
  9. Prevents cognitive deterioration, e.g. dementia.
  10. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease (loss of brain function and memory a.o.).
  11. Reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease (slow movements, stiffness and shaking, because of lack of dopamine in the brain).
  12. Reduces neck pain, headaches and migraine.
  13. Improves concentration.
  14. Improves the ability to relax (mind and muscles).
  15. Sharpens your senses.
  16. Increases self-confidence.
  17. Improves self-worth.
  18. Improves creativity, because of more oxygen and clarity.
  19. Increases wellness.
  20. Increases longevity, e.g. strength training is superior for anti-aging.
  21. Prevents age related loss of muscles, maintains muscle mass.
  22. Helps maintain function in old age.
  23. Prevents overweight and obesity.
  24. Helps slimming in the right way; promotes fat loss.
  25. Assists weight maintenance; life long healthy weight.
  26. Improves body composition; better muscle to fat ratio.
  27. Shapes, tones and builds muscles for a better-looking body.
  28. Improves you skin; improved blood circulation and elasticity.
  29. Improves general stamina, mentally and physically.
  30. Improves immune defence (is, however, weakened after exercise, from 8 hours to 3 days, depending on intensity and duration).
  31. Prevents metabolic syndrome; Abdominal fat, insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels).
  32. Prevents and improves hyperlipidemia, too high concentration of cholesterol and triglycerides (fat) in your blood.
  33. Prevents atherosclerosis.
  34. Lowers ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol.
  35. Increases ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol.
  36. Increases blood vessel elasticity.
  37. Reduces the risk of blood clots.
  38. Strengthens your heart; a stronger heart pumps more blood.
  39. Lowers resting heart rate; less wear on the heart and arteries.
  40. Increases the number of capillaries (small blood vessels) resulting in better oxygen supply.
  41. Increases the number of mitochondria (small ‘energy factories in the muscle cells).
  42. Increases work capacity; increased capacity, when the body is under pressure, stress.
  43. Improves metabolic fitness.
  44. Improves cardiovascular fitness.
  45. Increases caloric expenditure during exercise.
  46. Increases caloric expenditure after exercise, afterburn (EPOC).
  47. Increases caloric expenditure during rest.
  48. Increases fat burning during endurance training and improves the ability to conserve energy, glucose, during endurance training.
  49. Improves insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake.
  50. Reduces lactic acid build up during submaximal training.
  51. Improves oxygen uptake.
  52. Strengthens the respiratory muscles; stronger breathing.
  53. Lowers blood pressure (reduces hypertension), which limits wear to the heart and vessels and reduces risk of disease.
  54. Strengthens your muscles.
  55. Improves power (explosive strength).
  56. Improves muscle endurance.
  57. Increases body awareness.
  58. Improves fine and gross motor skills.
  59. Improves coordination, control of arms, legs and core.
  60. Improves coordination of balls and equipment.
  61. Improves timing.
  62. Improves reaction (time).
  63. Improves rhythm.
  64. Improves spacial awareness.
  65. Improves general stability.
  66. Improves static balancing; e.g. standing on your toes.
  67. Improves dynamic balancing; e.g. stair walking or hopping.
  68. Reduces the risk of falling and having an accident, e.g. a fracture.
  69. Improves agility, reaction and quickness.
  70. Improves performance in all sports.
  71. Increases the enjoyment of all recreational activities.
  72. Increases the suppleness of the muscles.
  73. Prevents tightness and limited mobility.
  74. Increases range of motion, ROM, making all movements easier.
  75. Reduces pain, discomfort and disease due to limited ROM.
  76. Improves posture, gives a healthier, stronger, slender look.
  77. Improves sleep quality.
  78. Improves vision; not the lens, but the ability to use the eyes better; focus on things up close and at a distance and peripheral vision.
  79. Provides fresh air (during outdoor activity; preferably in clean air).
  80. Provides time and opportunity for self-development.
  81. Gives new experiences and variety.
  82. Gives something else to talk about than the weather and tv.
  83. You see, hear, feel (touch), smell (and maybe taste) something new.
  84. You have a good time with family and friends.
  85. You meet new friends.
  86. You find a boyfriend or a girlfriend (spouse).
  87. Prevent, cure or relieve type 2-diabetes.
  88. Improve general health and insulin sensitivity in type 1-diabetes.
  89. Prevent certain forms of cancer, fx colon, breast, prostate.
  90. Improves health and resilience during cancer disease.
  91. Prevents and relieves many cardiovascular diseases.
  92. Prevents, cures and improves chance of surviving ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis.
  93. Prevents and reduces atherosclerosis of the legs (claudicatio intermittens).
  94. Improves the chance of survival and reduces fatigue following heart failure (various conditions).
  95. Improves function, gait, motor skills and tactile function following stroke.
  96. Prevents and cures osteoporosis.
  97. Prevents, cures or relieves many musculoskeletal disorders.
  98. Prevents, cures or relieves back aches or back pain (strengthens, stabilises and moves).
  99. Prevents, reduces or relieves many hip problems.
  100. Prevent, reduces or relieves many knee problems.
  101. Improves resilience and reduces pain of fibromyalgia, diffuse tendon and muscle pain of minimum 3 months duration.
  102. Prevent, reduces or relieves osteoarthritis.
  103. Improves resilience and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
  104. Improves strength, stamina and insulin sensitivity, health (some evidence), of women with PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (multiple cysts in the ovaries), and related conditions.
  105. Improves function, gait, resilience and quality of life of sclerosis sufferers (disseminated or multiple sclerosis), an autoimmune disease affecting the the brain and nervous system; lack of muscle control, numbness and fatique.
  106. Improves resilience and relieves hypersensitivity (e.g. allergy).
  107. Improves resilience and and quality of life of HIV-infected (no impact on virus or immune system).
  108. Improves stamina, ventilation and quality of life of asthma sufferers.
  109. Prevents, cures or relieves certain mental disorders in different ways, e.g. anxiety and schizophrenia.
  110. Improves stamina and reduces fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome, persistent exhaustion and various symptoms, e.g. fever, muscle pain, headache a.o.
  111. Improves resilience and ventilation, and relieves and reduces fatigue of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sufferers.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but it is true.

Requirements: It is dream fitness, according to needs and desires (possible following ‘basic training’) and healthy fitness, individually adapted to health, form, physique and goals, e.g. specific in relation to frequency, intensity, time (duration) and type in order to elicit the expected results.

Fitness for all.


Fysisk aktivitet – haandbog om forebyggelse og behandling
Sundhedsstyrelsen (2011)

Pedersen, Bente Klarlund (2003): Recept paa motion – motion som forebyggelse. NNF.

Pedersen, Bente Klarlund (2005): Motion paa recept – motion som behandling. NNF.

Aagaard, Marina (2006): Fitness – i bedre form på kortere tid.

Aagaard, Marina (2012): Fitness og styrketraening – oevelser, programmer og metoder.