Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

Beginner’s Cardio and Strength Training Program January 24, 2013

Filed under: fitness — dragonfly180 @ 9:59 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Beginner’s Cardio and Strength Training Program

This program is best suited for the beginner who has little or no fitness base, no weight training equipment, and who may have knee/joint issues. The only equipment needed is an exercise mat and an exercise ball. Always use caution when beginning an exercise program, talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program, listen to your body, back off if anything hurts (pain, not discomfort from working hard!), and remember that this is advice. I am not a trained certified personal trainer (ok, so I trained for it, but I didn‘t take the test, so maybe call me uncertified!). I just like helping others with fitness.

Time: 15-30 minutes per day 5-7 days per week, 2 days of strength training are included, but another day could safely be added as fitness increases.

Begin EVERY workout with a warm-up of 2-5 minutes of walking, jumping rope (you can do this without the rope and low impact by mimicking the rope action with your hands, not jumping high, and switching feet each jump), side toe taps (move side-to-side while tapping right toe out to right and then left toe out to left), arm circles (alternate small, controlled circles using both arms with wide circles). This may seem pointless, but if you begin exercising with cold muscles, you can injure yourself!

Day 1: Strength Training (15 minutes) and Cardio (15 minutes)

Warm-up (2-5 mins) – take the time to do it! :o)

Strength training (10-12 mins)– do three sets of the following exercises in order for 10-15 reps each (meaning start with the first exercise and complete it 10-15 times, go to the next exercise and complete it 10-15 times until you finish the list, start over again, run through it, and then do it a third time)

* Wall pushups – http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/BWCloseGripInclinePushupBar.html

(Basically this exercise, but use a wall. Put your palms flat against the wall and your feet should only be about 1 ½ to 2 feet away from wall. To vary this exercise, one set can be done with hands shoulder-width apart on wall, The next set can be done with hands very close together making a diamond. Still another variation is to stagger one hand up and one hand down so that they‘re about 8-12 inches apart and then switch halfway through the set.)

*Squatshttp://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWSquat.html (Beginners do not have to do as deep a squat as this guy is doing. Make sure your knees do NOT go past your toes when you do down into the squat, or you WILL injure yourself! If you can see you shoe laces when you look down during the squat, you’re good.)

*Calf raises – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/calf-raises-with-bands (You can does these without the bands.)

*Lunges (Split Squats)http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWSplitSquat.html (Notice that in this exercise, too, she is not allowing her knee to go past her toe. It can cause injury of you do allow it to go past the toe!) Do an entire set on one leg and then switch to the other leg before moving on.

*Bridgeshttp://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/butt-lift-bridge (Focus on pushing from the heels of your foot and contracting -squeezing- the muscles of the butt -glutes- as you raise your butt up.)

*Cruncheshttp://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/BWCrunch.html (Notice that she is keeping her neck straight and that there is a space about the size of her fist always between her chin and chest while she crunches her abs. Don’t strain your neck. Also, it is fine to put your feet flat on the floor with a bend at the knee.)

Cardio (15 mins) – Choose cardio that you like to do: walking, riding a bike, elliptical, boxing, swimming, etc.

Day 2: Cardio (20 minutes)
Choose cardio that you like to do: walking, riding a bike, elliptical, boxing, swimming, etc.

Day 3: Rest or Cardio (20 minutes)

Day 4: Strength Training (25 minutes)

Warm-up (2-5 mins) – take the time to do it! :o)

Strength training (18-22 mins)– do three sets of the following exercises in order for 10-15 reps each (meaning start with the first exercise and complete it 10-15 times, go to the next exercise and complete it 10-15 times until you finish the list, start over again, run through it, and then do it a third time)

*Rear Leg Raises – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/rear-leg-raises (Do 10-15 reps on one side and then switch to the other side before moving on. If this exercise hurts your wrists, you can place a rolled up towel underneath your wrists from added cushion and support.)

*Alternate Hill Touchers – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/alternate-heel-touchers (Be careful not to strain the neck by keeping it straight throughout the exercise.)

*Supermans – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/superman (An easier variation may be to alternate lifting the right arm and left leg up, lowering them, and lifting the left arm and right leg up, and lowering them.

*Ball Leg Curl – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/ball-leg-curl (Squeeze the back of the leg as you raise your butt up and dig your heels into the ball.)

* Ball Crunches – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/exercise-ball-crunch (You can vary this exercise by moving your arms behind your head like a floor crunch and twisting your torso when you raise up so that your right elbow goes up toward the left side of your body, lower back down, and when your raise up again, your left elbow goes up toward the right side of your body.)

*Side Leg Raises – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/side-leg-raises (I suggest doing this exercise with more control than what this video appears to show. You do not have to do this exercise fast.)

*Plie Squat – http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/plie-dumbbell-squat (This exercise can be done without the dumbbell. Just put your hands on your hips instead.)

* Wall pushups – http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/BWCloseGripInclinePushupBar.html
(Basically this exercise, but use a wall. Put your palms flat against the wall and your feet should only be about 1 ½ to 2 feet away from wall. To vary this exercise, one set can be done with hands shoulder-width apart on wall, The next set can be done with hands very close together making a diamond. Still another variation is to stagger one hand up and one hand down so that they‘re about 8-12 inches apart and then switch halfway through the set.)

Day 5: Cardio (30 minutes)

Day 6: Cardio (30 minutes)

Day 7: Rest or do a light yoga/stretching routine (you can find these online)

 

When the thrill is gone… June 30, 2010

Filed under: my travels — dragonfly180 @ 12:21 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

We just got back from our 8 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We visited San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola (and Virgin Gorda while we were there), and Nassau. I think about the islands daily. I crave the delicious food we ate and the fun we had. Ever gone on vacation and felt that icky feeling afterward that all the fun is over and you have to now put your nose back to the grindstone? I sometimes get downright depressed after a great vacation. I remember once going to Florida for Spring Break, and when I got back, I was moody and irritable for days! Why? My daily life seems so boring in contrast to what I experience on vacation.

Vacation makes me realize what a waste of time most of the rest of my life is. On vacation, you try to live every second to the fullest because you know you have a limited amount of time. You try out things you probably wouldn’t have otherwise. You barely sit down to eat and then you’re off on another adventure. Sure, there are moments of relaxation while on vacation, but I bet most of us “relax” more at home than on a journey to some other place. I sit in front of my computer or the t.v. or a book for sometimes hours on end at home. That’s relaxation. It may not be lying on a beach listening to waves crash in, but it’s still rest. The appeal of lying on the beach is resting in a place that you don’t normally do it, of seeing and hearing things you don’t normally while you lay down. And while resting at home, I’m certainly not taking some new road, seeing some new sight, tasting some new food, or trying some new activity. I go about my same old routine day in and day out, occasionally throwing in a movie or dinner with friends or a shopping trip to add in some vitality to my otherwise mundane daily existence. Because of the nature of work, I realize that I can’t go off on a daily adventure, and I certainly wouldn’t have the money to try new things if I didn’t hit the 9 to 5. I get that some routine is necessary in life. But I think that too much of the thrill is gone.

Some people say that they need a vacation from vacation and that they’re worn out by the time it’s over. But maybe it’s just that they’ve become so accustomed to NOT living to the fullest and getting lazy in their daily lives that a vacation becomes tedious to them. What if we took just some of that vitality we find on vacation and move it back into our home lives? What would our lives look like then?

Perhaps the nature of our lives (work, eat, sleep) denies the possibility of carpe diem. Maybe we can’t seize the day because it already has such a hold on us. I sound like I despise my life, but that’s not it. I guess I wonder what I can do at home to make it more like vacation. Here are some ideas that I might try:
________________________________________________________________________________________

Play – This is something we do on vacation but rarely do at home. The guys have a better approach to this than the girls, I think. Jamie has his four-wheeler, his hunting accouterments and buddies,  his favorite computer games (which, by the way, can become vitality suckers if not careful), his fishing stuff. What play things do I have? I paint. I occasionally get to go camping, which I love to do. I have a bike that I ride (on a predetermined course that never changes). I run (almost always on a predetermined course that never changes and usually with health rather than play in mind). I guess that’s about it. Hmmm…Definitely room for improvement.

snorkeling at Paradise Beach in Nassau

Cook new dishes –  Once or twice a week, make something that doesn’t seem like work. Make something you want to try that you’ve never had or that you’ve never made yourself. This includes trying out new ingredients. Give coconut oil a try or couscous or veal or just some herbs you’ve never used to flavor something you usually eat.

sampling a spice cake we ordered for dessert

Get dressed up – Maybe to eat those new dishes from above. This is where the girls have a better handle than the guys. Girls love to dress up, but I don’t think we do it often enough. Of course, I guess if we did it too much, it’d lose its appeal.

first formal night on the Carnival Freedom

Spend less time on the Vitality-Suckers – The vitality-suckers are those things that take up most of your non-working time but don’t give you much positive gains, like online social networking, television, computer games, etc. How can you tell that something has slipped from quality entertainment into the vitality-sucking realm? First, there’s that feeling of VS#1 (which stands for vitality-sucker #1) becoming so time-consuming that you begin to feel a slave to it. You know that icky feeling in the pit of your stomach, right? Second, VS#1 becomes so important that the necessary stuff in our daily lives (getting enough sleep, spending time with our loved ones, exercise, learning, housework, etc.) gets pushed to the side because we are a slave to VS#1.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Will these things make you feel like you’re in paradise on a Tuesday after a hard day at work? Probably not. Nothing is perfect. Even vacation has its ugly moments. But adding some of the fun vacation moments into my daily life can’t be a bad idea. What do you think? Are there other ways to make your daily routine seem more exciting and fulfilling?