December 14, 2018

How Creative Is Your Cardio?

Fit Body:

How creative is your cardio?

To qualify as cardiovascular exercise your movement must be continuous, moving many muscle groups at once, and sustained long enough to elevate your heart rate. What does this mean? Just about anything goes! Get creative by creating your own cardio. Look no farther than your own living room, backyard, local park, community track or walking path. Where can you step up and down? What can you use to hold and squat? On what hill can you jog repeats? What provides a unique balance or agility challenge? Look at your surroundings with an eye for fitness!

 

Small-Space Cardio

Fit Body:

Small-Space or Stationary Cardio!

Not all cardio has to cover miles, use expensive equipment and take up lots of time, to contribute towards a healthier cardiovascular system. Stack stationary moves to power up your heart and lungs, burn calories and even reduce stress and muscle tension. For example:

Jumping Jacks.

Jump Rope.

Jog in place.

Plyometrics or hopping in various patterns.

Body Weight moves performed at a faster pace and in succession without a rest period.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Add Function to your Fitness with Stairs

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get Functional with Stairs!

Stair climbing is one of the most functional exercises. Think of how many times you may step up or step down during the day. Stair climbing strengthens your heart and lungs, your muscles, your balance, your agility and coordination.  Start slow and easy after a proper walking or range of motion warm up of 8-10 minutes. Form is important when climbing stairs for exercise. Keep your upper body straight up, with your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Even though you’ll be looking down to insure safe stepping, focus on looking down with your eyes only rather than slouching your entire upper body forward and down. Ten stairs is a great repetition range to begin, followed by walking or marching in place to keep heart rate moderate during rest periods. Then, climb the next set of 10, and so on.  So whether you revisit the classic stair climber machine at your gym or find a flight of stairs in your community, consider adding function to your fitness with this exercise.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Make your workout WORK!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Make your workout WORK!

Want results from your exercise? You’re going to have to WORK! Your cardio workout should be challenging, that’s the point. So, ditch the workouts leaning on the bars of the cardio machine, forgot the exercise when you’re checking your email the entire time, get rid of workouts when you’re chatting it up, distracted and putting forth half-effort! Your fitness= you get out of it, what you put into it. If you’re cruising through your exercise, check yourself:

1. You should be breathing harder than normal.

2. Your perceived exertion (how hard you gauge you’re working) should be somewhat hard.

3. You should have to focus on proper execution of your exercise.

4. You may be sweating.

5. You should feel fatigue for about 30 minutes post workout.

For Core and Cardio- Meet Mountain Climbers!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Mountain Climbers!

If you’re looking for a multi-beneficial exercise to add into your routine, meet Mountain Climbers! With core and cardio benefits, mountain climbers challenge the stabilizing muscles of your abdominals as well as require many muscles to work together at the same time resulting in elevated heart rate. Begin with 10-20 repetitions, adjusting the technique to your desired intensity. Mountain climbers are for intermediate exercisers, without injury.

Here’s how to get started:

Begin in a plank position on the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders. Place your toes on the floor, with your body straight and parallel to the floor. Maintaining proper spinal alignment, hop your right foot up toward your right hand, briefly touch your right foot (toes only) to the floor. Next at the same time, return your right foot to starting position and hop your left foot up toward your left hand, briefly touch your left foot to the floor, then return to your starting position. Repeat alternating until all reps are completed.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Burpees: Love to Hate Them?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Try Burpees for high-energy cardio fitness!

Consider adding burpee intervals into your fitness routine for a cardio-burst and total body challenge. Simply mention the word, burpee, and you’re sure to be greeted with a few moans and groans. However, here’s the bottom line: They work for cardio conditioning and strength building for just about every muscle. There are many variations and modifications. Here’s how to begin:

Begin standing. Squat down and place both hands flat on the floor in front of your body. Kick or step out both legs behind you into a pushup position. Perform one pushup. Hop or step both feet in to a squat position. Immediately jump straight up with both arms overhead, and with both feet up off the floor or stand up straight to complete one rep.

 

*Consult a physician before performing exercise.

High Knees Cardio

Get Fit Quick Tip:

High Knees for Cardio!

If you’re looking to add a cardio component to your workout, consider High Knees. Great for runners, walkers and those looking for fast calorie burning, high knees provide a challenging and energizing interval option.

Begin standing. Lift your right knee straight up, adding a hop to the top of the range of motion if desired. Immediately return your right foot to the floor, and lift your left knee straight up, adding a hop to the top of the range of motion. Begin with a ten second interval and build from there. This exercise is for intermediate or advanced exercisers, without injury or illness concerns.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Should you add a hill workout to your fitness routine?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Hill Repeats!

Hill workouts via repeats are great for cardio! Walk, run, power hike or even sprint up the hill, and you’ll burn mega calories and strengthen your legs. Choosing a hill of moderate incline, and about a quarter mile long is a great starting point. Begin with a warm up of walking on a flat surface for at least 10 minutes. Then do your hill repeat up, followed by a gentle jog or walk down. Turn around and head up again. Repeat 2-4 times. Perform your cool down for at least 10 minutes on a flat surface.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise. Hill repeats are for intermediate or advanced exercisers without injury or illness concerns.

Do Jumping Jacks!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Do Jumping Jacks!

Jumping jacks are a great high intensity cardio option if you’re short on time, short on equipment and short on space. Perform your desired number of jumping jacks, followed by jogging or walking in place for recovery. Repeat until your desired workout time is complete.

Vary the motion by adding a squat, moving only one arm at a time, moving forward, crossing your legs during the in-step, lowering your arms only half way, just to name a few. This workout is limited only by your creativity.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

High Intensity Jump Rope for Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Jump Rope!

Jumping rope has total body fitness benefits all in one workout. You’ll strengthen your heart and your muscles. Jump ropes are economical and portable. Jumping rope is also useful for coordination and agility. Begin with ten to twenty seconds of jumping, followed by twenty seconds of rest, and build from there by adding ten seconds.

A few reminders:

Every workout should begin with an 8-10 minute warm up and conclude with a 10 minute cool down.

Wear proper athletic footwear.

Be mindful of jumping on a suitable surface.

Choose a jump rope length based on your height.

Proper postural alignment is important when performing high impact activity.

Adjust your jumping style and rhythm based on sustainable intensity. For higher intensity, jump the rope on every hop and turn of the rope. For lower intensity, jump the rope on every other hop and turn the rope slower.

Requires a base level of fitness. Jumping rope is high impact and high intensity and may not be suitable for beginning exercisers.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.