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

Filed under: fitness — dragonfly180 @ 9:59 pm
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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)

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Workout Nutrition September 7, 2011

Filed under: fitness,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 8:18 pm
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I really love this graphic I stumbled upon about good nutrition for a person’s cardio day versus ST day (or workout if you do both on the same day). I am a visual learner, so this was a great find for me.  This is from The Greatist.

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

 

Trying Out Bodyrock March 4, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH,running — dragonfly180 @ 11:08 pm
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So after a little nudge from a friend, I tried out my first Bodyrock workout last night. I did the On the Floor Abs Challenge. The goal was to do as many sets of 20 mountain climbers and 20 toe touch crunches as possible in 10 minutes. It was intense, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it. I ended up doing 160 mountain climbers and 160 toe touches (8 sets of each exercise) in the 10 minutes, not bad for my first try. I was already a little sore from Chalean Extreme this week, so I’m a good bit more sore today. It was actually really fun. I love trying new things, so I think I’ll like doing these Bodyrock workouts.

Someone on sparkpeople.com asked me what Bodyrock really was – cardio, bodyweight ST, what??? I really didn’t know what to tell them other than that it is some ridiculously intense HIIT (high intensity interval training) with ST moves, from what I could tell, so I roamed the site, and this is Freddy and Zuzana’s explanation of what Bodyrock is: How to Start Working Out with us at Home

Whatever you want to call it, if it can make me half as fit as that gal, I’m in! :o) I ordered a Gymboss Interval Timer, and as soon as it comes in, I’ll be all set to do some of the HIIT workouts that involve numerous intervals. No way I can keep up with it by my watch. I figure I can also use the interval timer in some of my running workouts that focus on intervals of intense and moderate to easy effort. And I feel like the intensity of the Bodyrock workouts will surely make me a stronger runner.

 

BODYROCK.tv | Fitness Advice, Workout Videos, Health & Fitness | Bodyrock.tv March 2, 2011

Filed under: fitness,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 8:22 pm
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BODYROCK.tv | Fitness Advice, Workout Videos, Health & Fitness | Bodyrock.tv.

 

The above link is from one of my favorite fitness websites. Zuzana and her husband, Freddy, started making home videos of workouts to do at the house to show everyone that you can get fit at home just as well as you can going to a gym and using lots of equipment. And fit this girl is. If I feel like I don’t want to work out on any given day, all I have to do is mosey on over to the site to see what new has been posted. Just seeing how fit this girl is makes me want to work out hard. It’s great motivation. I doubt I will ever be this fit (I love eating pizza and sweets occasionally, and I think this girl just has superior genes! haha!). But her workouts are very tough, so maybe I need to start doing them sometime. :o) For now, though, I’m still doing Chalean Extreme (i love it!!!), running, and other various cardio exercises. Bikini season is less than three months away now!

 

Running Advice September 24, 2009


runner

A couple of friends have asked what one should do to start running, so here is my advice for any of you out there who might like to start:

1. Find a couch to 5K running plan online, even if you don’t intend to run a 5K in the future. These plans advocate starting out slowly with combined walking and running to help the beginner get adjusted to running. So many people go out and try to run a mile the first day they decide to try to run, they can’t do it or they almost kill themselves trying to do it, and they give up shortly afterward. That is not a wise way to begin running.

2. Slow down! Most new runners want to run at an all out effort and then wonder why they don’t get very far. If you want to run distance, you must learn to pace yourself. The best way I found to do that is by buying a Polar heart rate monitor. I could set it to beep when my heart rate got too high, letting me know that I was pushing myself too hard and that I needed to back off. You don’t have to get a heart rate monitor, though, if you’ll just learn to listen to your body. I just found that the heart rate monitor was the easiest way, but I don’t even use it anymore for runs. I have learned what it feels like if I am going too fast.

3. When starting out, it is best to focus on time rather than mileage. Your goal should be 30 minutes of walk/run intervals 3-5 days per week. You should be challenging yourself each week to make the run intervals longer and the walk intervals shorter. A couch to 5K program will stress this.

4. Buy good shoes. The people at Hibbett’s or other sporting goods stores are usually not runners and don’t know crap about running shoes, pronation and supination, arches, how body weight affects the type of shoes you should buy, etc. The best money you will ever spend for running is to go to a specialty running shoe store, such as Fleet Feet in Jackson, and let them watch you walk and run, look at the wear of your old running shoes, etc. These people have been trained to fit runners in the best shoe for them. Also, they provide a risk-free period so that if they aren’t the best shoes for you, you can bring them back. I suffered from shin splints from wearing cheap New Balance trail shoes that I bought from The Shoe Dept. Because I didn’t know any better, I continued to run on them, thinking that shin splints were just a part of running and would go away once my legs got used to it. I could barely walk by the time that I found out differently. I headed on down to Fleet Feet soon after I could properly walk again.

5. Back to the 5K. Running a race can be a little intimidating, but if you have a goal set, it will motivate you to continue running, even when it’s hard and you want to stop. There will come a time when running becomes a great experience that you love and crave, but until then, you need to keep your motivation up. I hated running when I first began, but I was determined to lose weight and become healthier. It took a while to find my love for running. Until you find a love for it, make some goals. No one says that you cannot walk some during a 5K. In fact, lots of people take walk breaks, so don’t let that keep you from trying one. It’s a really fun experience, especially if you can share it with someone.

6. Strength train. Strong muscles equal a strong run. You will get faster if your muscles are stronger. Also, muscles burn more calories (even at rest!) than fat. Strength training can also help prevent injury from poor running form or from weak muscles, such as at the hips and knees. Strengthening your core muscles is an absolute must for runners. Every runner needs a strong back and abs.

7. Once you have built up a base and can run continuously for a mile or two, mix up the types of runs you do. One day per week should be your long run, which is the run of the farthest distance that you can run. Do not increase this distance by more than 10% of your weekly miles each week, though, or you risk injury. For instance, if you run 5 total miles per week, don’t increase your long run distance by more than half a mile for the next week (so if your long run is 2 of the 5 weekly miles, don’t run farther than 2.5 miles the next week for your long run). Another type of run is the tempo run, which is a comfortably hard effort of two to four miles with short recovery periods at a slightly slower pace. It teaches you to run faster by training you to run through the discomfort of reaching your lactate-threshold. I only do tempo runs once a week. Hill repeats also help you become a faster runner by strengthening your leg muscles. About once every two weeks, find a decent sized hill on your route (or bump up the incline on the tm), and after warming up for 10 minutes at an easy pace, run up the hill at a hard effort and run easily down it. Repeat this about 4 times, and then run easy for the rest of your route. The rest of my runs are moderately easy “fun runs,” a little faster than my long run pace, and are used to just build endurance and burn extra calories.

8. Last but not least is nutrition. Do you put garbage into your gas tank? No? Well, you should not do it to your body, then. Your body, after all, is way more precious than your car. You will run stronger and feel better if you work on your nutrition. I’ve also previously blogged about calorie counting, which is a must if you want to learn to eat smaller portions and lose weight. I eat 5 to 6 times a day, but they are small meals. I rarely feel hungry this way. It is best to stay away from fast food and restaurants in general if you are using running as a weight loss tool. I do eat out at restaurants occasionally, but I try to choose my food wisely, I don’t eat everything on my plate, and I only go out to eat every once in a while.

I am definitely not the most knowledgeable about running, and I’m sure I have probably left out some important points or left you with more questions. Read up on running at www.runnersworld.com and www.coolrunning.com These sites are where I learned most of what I know about running. The beginner’s forum at Runner’s World was indispensable help to me when I first started running. There are people on there much more knowledgeable than I am that can answer just about any question you may have.