Getting through the first 10 minutes is the toughest, once you are through that you are on “easy” street. But why?

OK, you have your kit on, you are out the door, or you are poised ready for the instructor to start dealing the death squats. But everyone, when they start a session or run feels sluggish and slow, niggles are apparent, breathing more laboured than it should be. Sometimes you just think this is going to be an hour of hell! OK, sometimes you are right, but most of the time, 10 minutes in and you have found your stride.

If you are in a well managed group class, like we have at ODFC Fitness, this 10 minutes should be the structured class warm up. If you are out running, this 10 minutes should be slightly off the pace. Although not always apparent, there is a reason for this most of the time, where you’re not really feeling the vibe.

The human body as a whole is made up of many different systems, all intertwined and serving each other, 11 to be precise. ALL of these systems demand energy, oxygen and blood. The human set up is a balance of distribution of energy and at different events the body shifts focus to whatever system requires the most focus.

So when we get off the sofa and put our training gear on, a shift in distribution occurs as soon as we start to exercise, the circulatory system starts to pump harder, the muscular system starts to ask for more reserves, the respiratory system starts to pick up the slack to deliver oxygen to the muscles that are being used.

This is nigh on immediately as soon as you start to get more “physical” The reason for his is the body as a unit actually thinks, when you are exercising, that you are under attack. So your fight or flight system of old is “en point” to ensure you don’t get eaten by a pterodactyl, or as it is today, shouted at by your bootcamp instructor.

So, in your warm up or early in your trot, the body is actually shutting down non essential systems that won’t be required to sustain life, or in this case complete an hours exercise class with Gary Nash. It’s doubtful in the hour class that your digestive system will be of any great use, so some energy normally utilised here will be redirected from here to elsewhere, where it is required. High intensity exercise will cause your immune system to shut down or in the least reduce down its capacity. A point to note on this is that it will take 24 hours for it to be fully back up to full spec. Exercise does improve your immune system though , so this isn’t an excuse to avoid it. Not sure what classes you go to, but at ODFC Fitness, your reproductive system isn’t ever required, so the energy from there will be put to good use elsewhere.

So although immediate, the shift in services can leave you feeling “off pace” to start with, 10 minutes in, and you are all over it again and pleased you started. That warm the instructor does, although hideous at times, is done for a very important reason. It helps to warm the muscles, lubricate the joints, focus the mind and importantly help the body workout what is required where and at what quantity.

You’ll be pleased to hear the digestive and reproductive systems are back up and running as quickly as they shut down.