Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Fitness for All: Treadmill Workouts for Everyone

Tired of your same old treadmill routine?  Why not spice things up this week and try this easy treadmill work out that will help you burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day One:

Power walk – 30 minutes

Strength train – 20 minutes

Day Two:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) – 3 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 10 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 2 minutes

Day Three:

Warm-up (walk easily) – 5 minutes

Do your favorite strength-training move – 12 reps

Power walk (4-6% incline) – 3 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 5 minutes

Day Four:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) – 3 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 3 minutes

Day Five: 

Repeat Day One’s Routine

Day Six:

Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) – 5 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 4 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 4 minutes

Day Seven:

Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week.  Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

Fitness for All: Resistance Band Workouts

If you are looking for something different to do to change your typical workout routine, pick up a set of resistance bands and give some of these exercises a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front Squat – Stand on a tube band with the feet slightly wider than your shoulders and center of the band between the feet. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, securing the band in place by crossing your arms at your chest. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Bent Over Row – Stand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.

Bench Press – Anchor a tube band on the bench legs, and lie on the bench, face up. Grabbing a handle in each hand. position them at shoulder

height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders). Extend the arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top. Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Overhead Press – Stand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps.

Russian Twist – Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 10-12 reps on each side.

Great Ways to Exercise through Swimming

With the warm weather comes the opening up of public pools and home pools and people break out the bathing suit for another season of swimming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many people, swimming is a good way to wind down after a long day.  But others are using swimming as another means of exercise and they are finding that exercise in the spring and summertime can be fun! Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and strength train all the while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Exercise experts recommend swimming as a form of exercise because of the great cardiovascular workout you get from swimming.  It is considered a great aerobic exercise because by definition it is an action that maintains an elevated heartbeat for a minimum of 20 minutes.

You can simply add swimming to your pre-existing aerobic workout to help switch things up and keep your workouts fresh.  Alternate days that you decide to use swimming as your cardio for that day, so you don’t get bored with any one workout.

Instead of staying indoors and using the treadmill or elliptical for a day, get outdoors and swim laps in the pool for the cardio portion of your workout and you will find that exercising comes much easier when you aren’t sticking to the same routine day in and day out.

Like any exercise, you should also start any swimming workout routine by stretching first. You may not realize the affect swimming has on your entire body until it is too late, so be sure to stretch appropriately before you begin.

Then start off slow by swimming strides and gradually increasing your speed in the pool.  This will help to elevate your heart rate at a safe pace and help you to last longer during your workout. Swimming, and using swimming as your key workout, is more about endurance than quickness.

New Treadmill Workouts

Looking for some new treadmill workouts to keep your routine fresh and easy?  Here are some popular ones…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Up and Cool Down- Prior to and following any treadmill workout you should always include a warm up and a cool down session.

A typical warm up session should last for about 5 minutes.  Walk slowly (1.5 to 2 mph) for one minute, increase your incline to stretch out your legs for one minute, then reduce to your speed to 1.8 for two minutes and wrap up your warm up by speeding up to 3 mph for one minute.

At the end of your walk as a cool down session, you should reduce your walk speed to 2.5 or 3.5 and walk for three minutes.  Then slow your speed down to1.5 or 2.5 mph and walk for two more minutes.

Speed Pyramid- Following your warm up session, walk for 30 seconds at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph for 30 seconds. Walk for 45 seconds at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph for 45 seconds.  Walk for one minute at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph and walk for one minute.  Continue in this fashion adding 15 seconds to each circuit until you reach 5 minutes walking at both 3.5 and 4.5 mph.  Then perform your cool down session.

Incline Pyramid- Following your warm up session, start at an incline of 4 and walk for one minute.  Elevate to 5 and walk for another minute.  Continue to increase the incline every minute up to an incline of 8, and then decrease the incline every minute, back down to 4.  Try to maintain a speed of 3 or 4 mph throughout the workout.  Finish up with your cool down session.

Easy 30-Minute- Following your warm up session, run at what you would consider your normal pace for 10 minutes.  Then walk for a minute to catch your breath. Increase the original running speed by 0.2 and run for another 10 minutes.  Walk for two minutes to catch your breath.  Crank it up by another 0.2 and run for five minutes.  Slow it down and walk for two minutes.  Finish strong with a good cool down session.

Exercise 101: Spruce Up Your Spring Workout

Now that the seasons are changing, it is the perfect time to change up some of those old worn out items and routines that you have been stuck with for so long in your exercise routine. This is a handy list of “what to ditch” to make the exercise switch:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ditch the old running shoes.  Instead opt for a new pair and keep track of how much “mileage” you get out of them.  Typically if you run/walk 10 miles per week then shoes can last for 12 months (15 miles – 8 months, 20 miles – 6 months, 30 miles – 4 months).

Throw out the old cotton workout t-shirt.  Instead invest in some shirts that are made of wicking fabrics.  Wicking fabrics (like synthetics) do a better job of keeping you drier and cooler when you are exercising.

Toss the lightweight dumbbells.  Instead try heavier dumbbells that are more challenging in your workout.

Fitness for All: Switch up Your Workout!

If you are getting tired of the same old gym workout day after day, then luckily there are plenty of other options out there to shake things up a little bit.  Here are some fun and interesting ways to add a little something different to your daily gym routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed martial arts training and conditioning – If you have even seen a mixed martial artist then you know that they are in top physical shape.  Not only are they lean, but are also very strong.  Some gyms offer MMA circuit training, but if they don’t you can perform all of your exercises in one big superset, rest and then repeat.

Resistance training – Many gyms now offer plenty of different options when it comes to resistance training and you can spot chains and bands virtually anywhere in most gyms.  You can begin using these bands and chains by putting them on the ends of barbells and dumbbells.  As you lift, the weight will get heavier.  While this is an often-overlooked technique, it is an excellent way to increase strength and size quickly.

Non-traditional implements – Not all gyms will have tractor tires, sleds and sledgehammers lying around, but if they do, then you should be using them!  Implementing these non-traditional items into your workout is a great way to increase strength, improve conditioning and increase power.

Train unilaterally – By training unilaterally, or one side at a time, you can quickly point out weak spots while eliminating the need to do other parts of your workout that you used to do to make up for these weak spots.

Rest actively – If you find that you are spending lots of time at the gym and not seeing results, you may be spending too much time resting. If you rest for two minutes in between sets, either shorten that to one minute or do another quick exercise, such as jumping rope, during one of those two minutes.

Spring Cleaning 101: Burn Calories While You Clean

With spring comes the ever popular, “Spring Cleaning.” While everyone loves to have a clean house, it’s also good to know that you can burn some decent amounts of calories (thereby losing some weight) while you are doing your Spring Cleaning this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some calorie breakdowns:

  • Window washing – 226 calories
  • Scrubbing floors – 291 calories
  • Dusting – 97 calories
  • Scrubbing toilets and tub – 246 calories
  • Vacuuming – 317 calories
  • Cleaning gutters – 258 calories
  • Sweeping – 194 calories
  • Mopping – 153 calories
  • Washing dishes – 77 calories 

Editor’s Note: The calories burned estimates listed here are based on one hour of cleaning for a 155- pound woman.

Fitness for All: Recreational Workouts… and the Calories They Burn

Tired of your typical gym routine? Day in and day out you are hitting the gym and getting bored. If you still want to be active and burn calories, without the hum drum of being indoors at the gym every day, you can try one of these recreational activities that are not only fun and exciting but great calorie burners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cycling is one of the best non-weight bearing exercises and depending upon your speed you can be burning around 300 to 400 calories in just a half hour.  Cycling provides a great cardio workout and builds your calf and leg muscles.
  • Swimming is an excellent overall body workout burning up to 360 calories in a half hour time depending upon what swimming stroke you are using.  The best swim workout is interval training – swim two lengths, take a breather, and then repeat.
  • Because rock climbing relies on quick bursts of energy to get from one rock to the next, your strength, endurance and flexibility will significantly improve, plus you will be burning about 370 calories every half hour.
  • Running is a great cardio-respiratory workout, burning about 450 calories every 30 minutes – based on an 8-minute mile.  Your leg strength and endurance will also benefit greatly from a good run.
  • Racquetball is a great recreational workout burning 300 calories in simply 30 minutes along with building your lower body strength, endurance, and back and abs flexibility.  Just be sure to warm up first to avoid twisting an ankle!
  • Because of the non-stop action of basketball, you will burn more than 285 calories every half hour that you play.  Basketball also helps to develop flexibility, cardio-respiratory health and endurance. You also need to warm up properly before an intense game of hoops, so you don’t get injured.
  • Rowing burns about 280 calories every half hour and is a great way to burn extra energy. It also builds up endurance, strength and muscle in your shoulders, thighs and biceps.  In the same vein as rowing, but not as high in calorie burning are kayaking and canoeing, which each burn about 170 calories in a half hour.

Fitness for All: Spinning Basics

Been to a gym lately that offers spinning/cycling classes and wonder what it’s all about?  Spinning classes are rising in popularity as they provide an excellent alternative to the “same old” exercise routines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to www.aboutaerobics.com, indoor cycling began in 1989 and has endured as a popular exercise routine.  Classes are usually held in the aerobics section of gyms and last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Spinning can burn 500 calories or more in a short amount of time and, believe it or not, is actually a low impact activity for all ages.

Many assume that the class is just like riding a bike – without actually going anywhere.  But spinning actually involves jumps, hills, jogs, runs and other moves that are performed on the bike by either moving your body position and/or adjusting the resistance – or tension – of the bike.

Spinning does take some getting used to. Experts and instructors will warn you that, as beginners, you will encounter soreness in various places on your body.

Many serious spinners purchase padded seats and special shoes to eliminate any discomfort that might come from the bike.

Take it easy at first – try a beginner’s class or incorporate it once or twice a week into your workout routine.  Mix in other forms of exercise such as yoga, weight training and swimming with your spinning routine.

Remember, the first few classes will be uncomfortable, but the benefits of this unique exercise are worth the adjustment!

Fitness for All: How Fit Are You?

If you are looking to “get fit” in 2018, take these three self-tests to find out how fit you are first!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are your muscles?  Do some push-ups.  A 30-year old man should be able to 35 push-ups while a 30-year old woman should be able to do 45, while her knees are on the floor.  For every decade after 30, the number of push-ups decreases by 5 for each gender.

How is your flexibility?  Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, slightly apart.  Extend your arms placing your one hand on top of your other hand, fingertips forward and reach for the space in between your feet.

Women under the age of 46 should be able to reach at least two to four inches past your feet.  Older women should be able to reach the soles of their feet.  Men under the age of 46 should be able to reach the soles of their feet.  Older men should aim to be within three to four inches of their soles.

What’s your heart rate?  Begin by exercising for 18 minutes at 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate – for men, 220 minus your age; for women, 208 minus .82 times your age.  Then exercise all out for three minutes.  Check your pulse.  Rest for two minutes and then check it again.  Your heart rate should have dropped by at least 66 beats.  The faster it drops the more fit you are.