July 21, 2019

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.

Improve Your Fitness with a Cardio Circuit

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Cardio Circuit

Do an at-home cardio circuit to burn calories. Do 10-15 reps each. Repeat 2-3 times through:

Jump Squats. Begin by lowering down into a squat. Immediately when standing, jump straight up overhead.

Jumping Jacks. Jump both feet wide, arms together overhead. Jump both feet together, arms back down to your sides.

Jog in Place. Jog in place focusing on powering your arms and lifting your knees up high.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

 

Want to start running?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Walk/Run Intervals!

Want to start running, but don’t know where or how to begin? Walk/run intervals make the transition manageable. A common mistake is doing too much too soon. Here’s how to progress gradually reducing risk of injury and burnout:

Once you have a regular walking program 3 days a week, begin with 10 second intervals in the middle of your workout. Warm up for 8-10 minutes, perform a series of 10 second jogging or running intervals followed by 30 second or more walking intervals. Conclude your workout with a 5-10 minute cool down. Gradually, add seconds and then minutes to your jogging/running intervals and decrease your walking intervals.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Should the Stationary Bike be on your cardio list?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Stationary Bike!

Whether your new to fitness or a seasoned veteran, keep the stationary bike on your cardio option list. Here’s why:

Non-impact. The bike is non-impact, which means there’s no impact stress on your joints.

Intensity is controllable. Add resistance or decrease it. Add elevation or decrease it. Your workout is up to you.

You have options. Choose between a recumbant bike or upright bike. If you have difficulty stabilizing your torso without back support, choose a recumbant bike. If you have knee or hip concerns and a large range of motion is difficult, choose a stationary bike.

 

*Consult a physician before beginning exercise.

 

Do Star Jumps!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Add in Star Jumps!

Increase your workout intensity by adding in cardio bursts. In between every set or in between groups of exercises, doing 30 to 2 minutes of cardio will burn additional calories. Cardio bursts are also a way to mix up your workout, challenge your muscles, prevent boredom and add a fun component. Another option is to combine star jumps with burpees, jump squats or plyometrics for a challenging high-intensity cardio workout. Here’s how to get started:

Begin standing with your arms at your sides. Jump straight up and extend both arms and legs out the side creating a star shape with your body. Land gently with your arms and legs together. Bend your knees and immediately perform another star jump.

 

*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.

Try Running!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Try Running!

Running is an effective total body workout. With one exercise you’ll strengthen your cardiovascular system, as well as your muscle endurance.

Here’s how to start:

Incorporate running or jogging into your day. If you’re out taking the dog for a walk, add in a few 10-30 second jogging intervals. Watching your child’s sports baseball? Do running intervals around a neighboring field.

Hit the trails. Running on dirt provides a unique experience. If you appreciate the quiet and prefer to not navigate around cars, take your jogging or running workout off the road. Start with running intervals according to terrain.

Head to the hills. Neighborhood hills with little traffic work well for a focused jogging or running workout. Begin by performing running intervals uphill and then walk down the hill.

Treadmills work. Love them or hate them, treadmills provide a workout opportunity regardless of weather, time of day or ability. Choose your speed, choose your duration and go.

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.