Tagged: CARDIO

Adding Variety To Your Workout

This is part 1 of a five part series. You can read more here to find out more about this series: Introduction

Today we will focus on Aerobic exercise or otherwise known as Cardio. 

I am sharing a brief memory of how my love for running started before I get to the nuts and bolts of why aerobic exercise is so important for our health.

I can remember being a kid. My father owned a tree farming business and still does and we lined our back fields with rows upon rows of tree’s. I loved nature and the great outdoors. I especially loved riding my bike to the highest hill and taking my feet off the pedals and coasting all the way down to the bottom. My mom told me after I flew down the hill I would ride around the house anther fifteen times before doing it all over again.


Seifert’s Tree Farm October 2013

It was in grade school that I remember my best friend who was a year older then me asking me to try to go on a run with her. While I chuckled and thought basketball is the only sport for me. I decided to join her. She assured me running to the stop sign and back was easy and that I could do it.

I remember in that moment a little seventh grader thinking, sheesh… this girls nuts. Huffing and puffing along I made it to the stop sign and back. I’m pretty sure my best friend ran five miles before I finished my two. I ended up running track that year and have been hooked ever since. I went on to run in college and coach 400 and 800 runners shortly after I graduated college.

My best friend and I still run when we can get together and I can’t explain to you how thankful I am that she encouraged me that day. There are special people in our lives that have the ability to encourage us and help you feel empowered. She is defiantly one of those people.She believed in me and in turn it helped me believe in myself. Running has been an outlet for me as I have gone through the grief of loosing my daughter and battled through depression over the last two and a half years.

My dad used to tell me growing up to train and surround myself with people who were better. It pushed me and continues to grow me. What a wonderful training slogan for life.

It has allowed me to understand that with change comes growth. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and learning new ways to add variety to your workout help you from becoming stagnant in your workout routine. Aerobic exercise is one of the five ways to add variety to your workout.

The information below on aerobic exercise has been taken from an article from Everydayhealth.com . There are many benefits of aerobic exercise.  Mental benefits include an increase in confidence, emotional stability, memory and brain function. 19 million Americans experience depression every year and is is believed that aerobic exercise helps improve the symptoms of depression. Health benefits include strengthening your heart and lungs, lowers your cholesterol, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve your immune function and lower blood pressure. Physical benefits include burning calories, which helps shed excess weight. Aerobic exercise tones the muscles and improves posture. It helps you look and feel better while increasing your stamina. Providing more energy for work and play. You will sleep and handle stress better.

My clients say this often: “I just all around feel better”. 

Now that you see the benefits of adding aerobic activity to your workouts. You might be wondering how much and how often?

The most recent guidelines published from the American Heart Association and the American College of sports medicine recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise 3 days a week to maintain good health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

If you are just starting out slowly increase your intensity with the help of a trainer. Maybe start with first deciding what type of aerobic activity you enjoy most. Options are and not limited to: biking, running, hiking, dancing, and swimming.


Photo Credit: Easterday Creative

Below is a quick and effective running circuit I do if I am short on time. If you are new to exercise check with your doctor before beginning any new training program. Use the FITT principe to slowly increase in Time, Intensity, Type, and Frequency.

Warm-up 5-7 minutes by jogging. Perform 4-6 short bursts sprints between 30-60 seconds at a time. Take a 1-2 minute break or until you feel recovered enough to perform your next short burst sprint. Cool-down 5-7 minutes

You can use this same workout on a bike, swimming, on an elliptical and while walking.

Next week we will talk about why adding variety with strength training is such an important component to your workout regimen.


Adding Variety To Your Workout

What should I do for my workout? It’s a question that used to haunt me and circle in my thoughts each morning as I climbed out of bed.

It usually ended in a 4-6 mile run and maybe a few crunches. It wasn’t until I became a personal trainer that I began lifting heavier and incorporating a variety of different types of training into my workouts.

If you asked me if I would ever attempted power yoga or swinging around a kettle bell I would have told you, your crazy. I felt the biggest burn from pounding the pavement. There really is noting more euphoric than a runners high.


However after the birth of my first daughter the weight seemed hard to drop and just running wasn’t cutting it anymore. What should I do for my workout?

I was at this question yet again and I slowly started to incorporate lifting. I wasn’t really consistent and did it sporadically but slowly I started to feel a little bit stronger and the weight started to budge on the scale.

The more I started to read the more I learned that incorporating variety into your workout helps prevent plateaus and with building strength. When we re-challenge the body and overload it in different ways our body has to work harder, which breaks plateaus. Changing up your routine is important to do every 6-8 weeks.

Over the next five weeks I am going to expand on these five ways you can add variety to your workout. With each element you will find a free workout incorporated in its post.

The five ways to add variety to your workout are: strength training, core exercises, balance training, stretching, and aerobic exercise.

Next week I’ll be talking about the importance of aerobic exercise and will be posting a cardio workout.

If you are at a place where you think you reached a plateau,maybe you are unsure or how to add variety, or need the support of a certified trainer to take your workout routine to the next level, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

I am kicking off an online boot camp on November 21, 2016 and this might be the perfect opportunity for you to try something new and add variety to your workout. I like to work closely with my clients and only have a few spots left open. 

I have ran this boot-camp in the past and women have said, “…what they enjoyed most is the sense of community and knowing that other people are doing the same workouts as them. They love the accountability of checking in and not having to worry about what to do for a workout. It’s simply laid out for them”.

Half Marathon Training

Greetings Friends, These first four weeks of training have flown by so quick and I am coming up on my 6 mile long run this week. I am excited as I have forgotten how much of an outlet running is for me and how it gives me time to unplug and process. If you are behind on reading you can catch up on my first 3 weeks of Half marathon training here:https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2015/02/21/half-marathon-training-2/ I have been trying to perfect my head stand which is one of my 2015 goals. I have just really been amazed at with time, consistency and a weight lifting plan how strong I have become. I love weights and the many benefits of weight lifting. I have written about it before which you can read here: https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2013/08/13/why-weights-part-1/


Practicing my head stand

Over the years I have really realized that health isn’t being bone thin. I ran throughout high school and college and my goals mainly focused on being fast and very skinny. After the birth of my children I really came to a cross roads. I couldn’t run 4-6 miles a day and losing weight seemed hard. When I became a personal trainer I realized that my idea of healthy body composition had been completely off. I needed to find workouts that fit into life with kids. I started incorporating weights and have been amazed at how much better and stronger I feel. I feel so much stronger while running and have realized that strength is not only power but the new healthy. Making slow progress on that head stand. My hubby bought me these lululemon spandex for Christmas and I may be in love. I am wearing them in the picture. I have a workout clothes addiction and these may be the most comfortable spandex I have ever worn! They don’t slide around, are made of such high quality fabric, and are so comfortable! You can find them here:http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp?k_clickid=cd3cc474-737f-422c-98c2-8fb10af55ee5&k_trackingid=11×20422&cid=Google&gclid=CjwKEAjwxKSoBRCZ5oyy87DimEcSJADiWsvgz_K2O_xFDpMMxSoC69GGDwSihWjjEhov3ScyIjcVuRoC2MTw_wcB The first few weeks of my training I have been extremely sore and week four I finally was finding some relief. My body has started to readjust to running more and I was able to get outside for a run last Sunday and hit my four mile mark in around 30 minutes. I love using the treadmill in the winter as a training tool. It helps me learn my pace and I often try to power through long runs at my desired mile pace on the treadmill. My goals are an 8:30-8:45 mile pace for the race. Here is weeks 4-5 training plans:

Training Weeks 4-5

Training Weeks 4-5

After my long run on Sunday I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my hip flexor and IT band. Which led me to do a lot of reading and I have spent a lot of time on my foam roller. I think I have really neglected a huge component in my routine which is stretching. Maybe be on the look out for a foam roller post in the near future!! I have listed 5 reasons why stretching is so important:

Don't forget to stretch!

Don’t forget to stretch! This photo is vintage. My oldest was helping me touch my toe!

1. Reduces risk of injury 2. Enhances muscle performance (allowing you to get a better workout in the next time you workout because your muscles aren’t tight) 3. improves your posture and prevents back pain 4. Helps keep joints healthy 5. Provides physical and mental relaxation I took it easy today and plan to stretch more tonight. Circuiting through my stretches 3-4x holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds. I always listen to my body and rearrange my running schedule to allow my body more rest if I feel it needs it. I often tell my clients this. I swapped days and will be doing my repeat day tomorrow. Hopefully fingers crossed my hips and IT band will feel better after being more intentional and consistent with my stretches! Here are weeks 6-7 training plans: IMG_3261 Are you training for any race this spring? Comment below on how training is going!? I really need to register for my race!! Blessings, Happy Running If you are looking for accountability, help with your fitness goals or a weight training program tailored to your needs lets connect!

Monday Morning workout Circuit with Michelle:Full Body strength and Cardio

Monday Morning workout Circuit With Michelle : Full Body strength and cardio workout


Welcome to the Live Fit Community! I’m Michelle the creator and owner of Live Fit Fitness Personal training.

 For those who don’t know me I am reintroducing myself to the fitness industry. I have been away from Live Fit’s site for awhile. I am firstly a woman chasing after God’s heart, a wife to a wonderful man, a mother to three beautiful girls two on earth and to one beautiful Angel who is shining down on us from heaven.  In high school I ran Cross country, played basketball, and ran track. In college I ran cross country and track. I eventually went on to coach 400 and 800 runners. I have a bachelor’s in communications and worked in college admissions after graduating from college. Six years ago after the birth of my first baby I became extremely passionate about my health journey. I gained a lot of extra weight and was having trouble losing it. I never had trouble in the past being a avid runner and was feeling extremely discouraged. My clothes didn’t fit, at the time in our lives we had a treadmill and a few free weights, and I was at a cross roads. I made a decision to lose the extra weight I had gained. I didn’t buy a gym membership, or buy expensive equipment, I just researched workout plans and changed up my eating habits. Experiencing this low point made me feel such compassion for women who are struggling on their health journeys and motivated me to want to be able to help them. I started a fitness group at our local church, became a certified trainer and teach group aerobics. Over the last six years I have talked and encouraged countless women on their health journeys and am passionate about helping them meet their health and wellness goals. As a trainer I am extremely passionate about meeting women where they are at in life with whatever equipment I or they have to utilize.  I always say all it takes is short and long term goals, small steps, setting your mind to start (because that is the hardest part), a solid 6-8 week workout plan created that changes to meet your fitness needs, someone to hold you accountable, and to help you be consistent.

Join me on the Monday Morning Workout circuit with Michelle for a full body strength and cardio workout.  Abs are included! If you are looking for fit tips, daily encouragement, motivation, clean eating idea’s, and new exercise idea’s join the Live Fit Community. You can find us here on the blog by subscribing to get the latest post (entering your e-mail in the upper right hand corner), on instagram: @livefitfitness and on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LiveFitWomensFitnessGroup

This Workout Circuit will include a full body strength routine, cardio drills , and abs to do in between each weight lifting circuit. Circuits are a great way to get cardio and strength training completed together to save time.

equipment needed: free weights, elastic band, timer.

If you don’t have weights, get creative. Use canned goods or water bottles. If you don’t have an elastic band you could use a scarf for resistance. Use the timer on your stove, iPhone, use music, or count to yourself.

Warm-up ( jog in place 3-5 minutes, or whatever you do to get your muscles nice and warm)

Once you are warm Perform the Bicep/triceps exercise. 8-15 reps depending on fitness level 3-4 sets. Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover if you are training for endurance or 1:30-2:00 minutes recovery if you are looking to build lean muscle mass. Performing each exercise back to back in this circuit. Make sure you are exhaling on the up phase of the bicep curl to get oxygen to those working muscles and inhale as you relax. The same goes for the triceps kickbacks featured under the bicep curls. Exhale as you extend the weights back and inhale as you release the weights back to starting position. (During the tricep kickback make sure your back is flat and core tight. You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine).



 Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s 

Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (all the way at the bottom of the page) Plank Tips-lift those abdominal to prevent low back from sagging, keep head, neck, and spine aligned, anchor shoulder blades to avoid from hunching , Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds.  Keep your core tight, your shoulders over your hands, and go at your own pace. You can go all out with the mountain climbers or step and tap. Focus on form and technique if you are a novice exerciser. When twisting the knee to opposite elbow keep your shoulders over your hands and really focus on your obliques (sides of your abdominal muscles twisting across) Make sure to breathe and not hold your breath during abs.  



Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Lat row working the back muscles 8-15 reps of 3-4 sets. make sure your back is flat and core tight. You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine. Squeezing the shoulder blades together exhaling as you come up and inhaling as you release the arms back down in front of your body. Push-up’s you can modify on you knee’s and over time work yourself up to a full body push-up. Listen to your body and push yourself as you get stronger. Make sure to engage your belly button keeping the core tight, not allowing the hips to sag and keeping a straight line from the head to the toes.



Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (don’t let those hips sag and keep a nice straight line from head to toe. You can also modify here on your knee’s and build yourself up, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Shoulders. Perform this with most likely a lighter weight then the back/Bicep/and legs. 8-12 reps of 3-4 sets. Performing a lateral raise. Keep in mind to keep those hands in line with your shoulders and keep the neck in neutral (not squeezing your upper back when you raise up your weights here and staying nice and controlled when raising the weights). Shoulder fly You don’t want to be all the way standing up or all the way bent over.To engage your core muscles focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine. Slight bend in the arm squeezing your shoulder blades as you raise the weights up exhaling and inhaling as the weights come back down in front of you palms facing each other. Shoulder press. Keep your arms in a nice and controlled motion as you press up.



Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds (don’t let those hips sag and keep a nice straight line from head to toe. You can also modify here on your knee’s and build yourself up, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and move to the next weight lifting circuit.

Legs. Perform each exercise 8-15 reps/3-4 times total. Weights are optional here. They bring up the intensity of the exercise. Squat, belly button is pulled in, driving the hips back, weight is in the heels and slowly come up slight bend in the supporting knee and perform a leg lift. Pile squat. Toes at a 45 degree angle pointing out and not forward. You can also perform bridges here. Working the glute muscle. Keep your hips square as you raise up to the ceiling, using a scarf, elastic band or resistance band is optional. It will bring up the intensity of the exercise





Perform these three drills for 30 seconds: Butt Kicks, Jumping Jack, High knee’s Followed by abs (abs exercises are featured below): Start in Plank 30-60 seconds, Mountain Climb 30-60 seconds and Twist your opposite elbow to your opposite knee while in plank position 30-60 seconds. 

Grab water, Give yourself 30-60 seconds to recover while sitting in extended child and Stretch 3-5 minutes. Make sure to hit all the large muscles that we utilized during this workout. Chest, Back, Tricep, Bicep,core, Hamstrings, quads, Inner and outer thigh and shoulders! Way To Go You just finished your workout and are one step closer to your health and wellness goals.

What are your favorite exercises to circuit? Thank you for joining me on the Monday Morning workout Circuit with Michelle:Full body Strength and cardio Workout!

 Blessings, Michelle

(Remember it’s always crucial to warm-up your body prior to working out and cool down the body, stretch once you have completed your workout. I am not liable to any injuries/health issues that result from exercises from this site. Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any workout regimen. If you feel pain or any discomfort while exercising stop immediately. )

If you are looking for workout plans to specifically meet your goals and hectic lifestyle. Please fill out the form below and we can connect during a free 30 minute consultation. I train both Locally and online.



30 Minute treadmill workout – four ways to spice up your running routine

Here I am getting ready to hit the mill

Once the middle of March hits the excitement that my treadmill brought me at the beginning of January usually begins to slowly loose it’s luster. At first it’s exciting to start back into a new training plan and over time things start to get a little mundane. This is when I like to spice things up in my running routine. It depends exactly what my goals are during the specific season of life I am in, but over the years these four ways to spice up your running routine listed below have always left me continuing to love my treadmill instead of dreading it after my 30 minute treadmill workout is completed.

I love to use the treadmill to help train for competing in local road races, to loose baby weight from pregnancy,  to stay in shape, and to fit in my summer bikini. I have often used the 30 minute treadmill workout as a way to get a quick burst of cardio in to accompany my lifting and flexibility routine. I try to have a lot of balance when it comes to my training program incorporating cardio, weight and flexibility training spread through out the week. 30 minute treadmill workouts help me get my cardio in when I can’t get to the gym to participate and teach  group exercise classes or outside to run at local trails. Our cardiovascular health is important and here are a few reasons why:

The 2011 American college of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend either doing 30 minutes moderate-to-intense cardio workout at a pace that works up a light sweat, fives days a week or a 20 minute vigorously intense cardio workout three days a week.  If you are looking to loose weight and improve your fitness level 30-60 minutes of moderate-to-physical activity five times a week is necessary. Benefits of a 30 minute treadmill workout is boosting the health of your heart, increasing your all around cardio fitness, burns calories and fat (helping you loose or manage your weight), increases energy levels, and helps with stress.

This past winter I have been trying to ease back into my workout plan and shed around 25 pounds I gained from the birth of my third child. I have slowly worked my way back into running and started walking 15 minutes and jogging for a few minutes and gradually have worked myself back up to 30 minutes. You can adjust your speed to where you feel comfortable using each of the four ways to spice up your running routine listed below (listen to your body and start gradually).

Over time make sure that these four ways to spice up your running routine seem challenging. What happens as we begin to get stronger and more fit our bodies begin to adapt to our training program. This often leaves us not seeing the results that we are hoping  and decreases our perseverance in our training  plan. This is when you can adjust that speed dial to a  faster and more challenging speed (I look at is as graduating to the next level, which is a huge deal showing consistency and hard work!).

It’s important to apply the overload principle and change up your workouts every 6-8 weeks. When exposing our body to the overload it makes it work harder then it normally would have to work, improving our fitness level and helping to prevent our bodies from plateau. Plateau happens when we constantly do the exact same workout for weeks at a time. Over time our bodies start to adapt to our workouts and we won’t see the results we once saw in the beginning. Changing up your workouts help you challenge your body in different ways, reduces chance of over-use, and injury.

30 Minute Treadmill Workout – Four ways to Spice up your Running Routine:

1.15 Minutes- moderately hard in which you could have conversation if you were running with someone and the last 15 minutes pick up the pace to were you are unable to hold that conversation. I do this often on Monday morning after the weekend  when I feel tired and unmotivated. I give my body about 15 minutes of getting back into the groove for the week and then the last 15 minutes I hit it hard. This is also a great way to train your body to become stronger at the end of the race or workout, really burn some calories fast, and to help change over foot speed and pace if your training for road races .

2. Circuit your running. I use this midweek when a 30 minute treadmill workout just seems like to long to be on my treadmill. I’ll do 5 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute explosive plyo-metric drill (jumping jacks, box jumps, high knee’s) followed by a set of lifting (depending on the day back and biceps, chest and tricep or legs and shoulders), followed by 2-3 minutes of lifting. I will circuit this until I have completed 30 minutes on my treadmill.

3. Interval using a 3:1 ratio. I will run three minutes hard and run comfortably hard for a minute to allow some recovery time. Repeat until you’ve reached 30 minutes.

4. Hill repeats. I will use the incline and run a pretend hill every 5 minutes for a minute or instead of hills just run quick bursts of sprints throughout the duration of the workout. doing this for 30 seconds at a time.

Each of these 30 minute treadmill workouts have really helped me beat boredom and make those thirty minutes of cardio conditioning fly by!

What’s your favorite thirty minute treadmill workout?

Blessings, Michelle

New Move Monday:Cross Jacks


A few reasons why I love Jumping Jacks:

1. Works your cardiovascular system
2. Builds Stamina
3. Working muscles in your: quads, shoulders, buttocks and calves.

How to perform a Cross Jack:

1. Jump into a wide squat, open arms to shoulder height, elbows bent. Your arms should look like a football field goalpost. (Looking at this picture this morning my arms need to be higher and in line with my shoulder. I lost my photographer to retake this picture:)

2. Jump to center, lowering arms and crisscrossing your right arm and left arm.

3. continue back to start, wide squat, goal post arms and alternate for 1 minute.

Great new exercise to incorporate in with circuit training, tabata, and intervals.

Blessings, Michelle

My Blog Vacation

Greetings friends,

I have been away and I am ready to get my blog in order and start sharing with you again! Some exciting things have kept me from keeping up over the last four months!

My husband and I are expecting our 3 baby GIRL!

I have been studying to obtain my personal trainers certification and hopefully passed my test yesterday!

I have been in constant prayer about the direction of my blog, Live Fit’s Local fitness ministry and exactly how I will utilize my training certification when I become certified.

In the meantime here is what you can look for on Live Fit’s Blog in the upcoming months:

The strength training post I never got around to posting:P

New exercise moves to integrate into your routine, fitness tips

Workouts: strength training, cardio and the importance of flexibility

Tips on having a fit and healthy pregnancy

Healthy recipes, tips on eating

Canning 101 – How to effectively can and put clean food away to eat all year long

Money saving tips in fitness and on groceries

Random posts on life as a real life mom and wife

The direction of Live Fit’s Ministry, this blog, and how I will use my training certification

I am looking forward to training our bodies in both the physical and the spiritual together! Here is some encouragement as I have been anxious and nervous over these last few months:

” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 4:6-7

Blessings, Michelle

A post Dedicated to Cardio

Mighty March, OH YA. Bring on Spring baby! So, it’s that time of year right when we start to freak a little and think oh boy gonna have to get those shorts out soon and oh dear, my bathing Suit.

That’s why I have dedicated the next few posts to be more informational. I am giving you the facts.  When we really begin to understand the facts behind all the weight, machines and sweat. Grabbing our gym bag and throwing on our tennis shoes brings a whole new meaning to ” I WORKOUT”.

Today we are going to talk about cardio.

Cardio involves continuous rhythmic contractions of large muscle groups. Cardio helps us manage our weight by burning calories and fat. It helps keep stress at manageable level, helps anxiety and depression, increases circulation and complexion and keeps you feeling younger in body and mind. It reduces high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol.Our heart muscle is strengthened which increases its ability to supply oxygen to the rest of the body, clean out waste products and carry vital nutrients to organs.

2011 American College of Sports Medicine recommends that if you are trying lose weight and improve fitness 30-60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity 5 times a week. Other options could include: Doing a 30 minute moderate-intense cardio workout at a pace that works up a light sweat 5 days a week, or a 20 minute vigorously intense cardio workout three days a week. If you are running low on time these sessions can be broken down into three 10 minute blocks throughout your day.

High Impact vs Low Impact: Anytime you are jumping off the floor, jogging, running, performing pylyometric exercises this is considered high impact. It’s great for building up the legs and glutes and pushes you into an intense cardio zone. The high impact is good for your bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Low-Impact activities include walking, swimming, cycling, when the jump is taken out and replaced with a tap, resistance, stretching, Pilates, and yoga exercises. They still provide a good workout depending on what suits your workout personality and likes best and are helpful when starting a new exercise program, for the older active adult, women who are pregnant or postpartum, or those recovering from injury.

YOU WILL HEAR ME SAY THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN. It is always essential to warm-up and cool-down the body before and after exercise. It is crucial to gradually bring up your core temperature and prepare your muscles and heart for your exercise. You could march in place and perform small movement with smaller muscles groups and start to gradually use your larger muscle groups by adding a step tap,high knee’s,squats,front kicks, and ending with jacks. If you are on an elliptical or treadmill most programs have a warm-up and cool-down time period. Your cool down gives your body the chance to bring your heart rate down and prevents post exercise stiffness and helps enhance flexibility.

What intensity should I work at?

The Rate of Perceived Exertion is a scale that uses a number to rate the intensity of any exercise you perform and it is based on how you feel while performing the exercise. 0 is inactive and 10 is the hardest. Listed below is the scale broken down.

0-4 gentle zone appropriate for those new to exercise or recovering from injury

4-8 exercise requires moderate to intense effort and makes you sweat and breathe heavy! For most it is the appropriate zone to work in when performing cardio.

4-5 effectively works the entire body
5-7 gives you toning and good fat-burning
7-8 challenges your body’s systems more strongly

8-9 this type of exercise requires intense focus and effort. professional athletes perform exercise at this level and it’s good for us to visit this level once in a while

9-10 Maximal effort here. Performing as hard as you can. The zone that professionals work in when competing

One Last Way you can see if you are working out at a high enough intensity is to take your heart rate:

Step 1: Establish your maximum Heart Rat(MHR) by subtracting your age from 220. I will just use mine. 220-27=193

Step 2: Take your pulse while you’re exercising at wrist or neck. by counting the number of heart beats during a 15 second period and multiplying by 4. I’ll use 140 ( i just worked out I should have done this:)

Step 3: Workout what percentage of your maximum heart rate you are working at by dividing your heart rate while
you’re exercising by your maximum heart rate and multiplying by 100. Here we go: 140 divided by 193=73%

Step 4: Familiarize yourself with recommended heart rate training zones and see which of the four RPE categories you fall into. If you are looking to lose weight and improve fitness they should be done at 60-85% of maximum heart rate.

60-65% of max HR is 4-5 on RPE on the scale
65-80% of max HR is 5-7 on RPE on the scale
80-85% of max HR is 7-8 on RPE on the scale
above 90% of max heart rate is 8-10 on the RPE scale

A lot of the above information is taken from The Women’s Fitness Book, by: Kelly Thompson. I love this book and recommend it to anyone who is trying to really grasp and understand all the in’s and out’s of working out and effects on the body in response to exercise. THe book breaks it down and makes it very easy to understand.

My advice to you Live Fit:
1. Pick a type of cardio you feel passionate about. A workout partner to hold you accountable. That way you have someone to workout with and are looking forward to and enjoying the type of cardio you have selected.

2. pick your comfort zone. What I mean by this is are you are high-impact or low-impact girl. If you like taking cross training classes that have you doing exercises like burpies and sumo squats you probably are the high-impact type. If you would rather prefer a walk on a nature trail and some light resistance training, you may be more the low impact type. Whatever the case make up your cardio schedule on Sunday that way you can have your workouts penciled in and this will help make them a priority in your daily routine.

3. Take that heart rate. Maybe you have been working out for a while and are unaware that you are ready to move to the next level or you just realized you aren’t taking enough days of rest in between and need to back off a little bit to give your body some time to recover. If you are looking to improve fitness work your way up to 65%-80% of max heart rate=5-7 on the RPE scale.

Enjoy that cardio. I would have to say some days it depends on my mood I can go from high, medium, to low impact and I prefer running, cardio kickboxing resistance training, interval training, circuits, and fusion classes. Find your nitch in the fitness world and load up your gym bag the elliptical is calling your name ladies!

Blessings, Michelle