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.
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.
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.
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”.