January 21, 2021

Circuit Training for Every Situation

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Circuit Train!

What’s one workout mode that can be done indoors or outdoors, with or without equipment, whether you’re a beginning or advanced exerciser? Circuit training! Circuit training means moving from one exercise to the next without rest.

Set up a circuit of exercises. Choose from 3 exercises to repeat, on up to 10 or 12 exercises to perform consecutively.

Choose your format. Circuit strength exercises only, or alternate strength exercises with cardiovascular exercise in a circuit format.

Circuits are limited only by your creativity. Use whatever is around you, with safety as primary concern. Tables, chairs, benches, trees, steps, wall can all be used to assist your exercises. For example, Wall Squats, Bench Pushups, Chair Tricep Dips.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Get Extra Credit from your Walking Workout by Nicole Bryan

Looking to increase the intensity of your walking workout? Add in a few extra credit moves to burn additional calories. (Always consult your doctor before beginning exercise. The following is for those without injury or illness concerns.)

Walking Lunges. At the end of your walk, perform one to three sets of walking lunges. Step forward about three feet with your right foot. Bend your left knee and lower it about twelve inches toward the floor; bend your right knee so it is directly over your right ankle. Then transfer your weight forward onto your right foot, lift your left foot and swing your left foot to the center, then forward about three feet. Bend your right knee and lower it about twelve inches toward the floor; bend your left knee so it is directly over your ankle. Repeat ten times. For more of a challenge, increase the range of motion of lowering the knee towards the floor. Lower down until your knee is about two inches off the floor.

Standing Calf Raises. At the end of your walk, perform one to three sets of calf raises. Stand facing the curb or a step. Hang your heels off the curb. Lift and lower your heels. Perform ten to fifteen repetitions. For more of a challenge, place both arms across your chest when lifting and lowering your heels. Doing so will add a balance challenge into your calf raises.

Wall Squats. At various intervals during your walk, find a place to perform a wall squat hold. Position your feet about three-feet away from the wall and lean with your back against a wall or secure post. Slide your body down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your knees directly over your ankles. Hold this position for ten to thirty seconds. Perform two to three sets back to back with thirty seconds rest in between holds. For more of a challenge, while in the wall squat position, keep your torso upright and still and lift your right foot about six inches off the ground and hold for ten to thirty seconds. Return your right foot to the floor and then lift your left foot about six inches off the ground for a hold of ten to thirty seconds. Perform two to three sets with each foot.

Walking Pick ups. Choose different landmarks on your route, or at specific time or mileage intervals do a quick pick-up of your walking pace for two to three minutes. During the pick up interval, shorten your stride, focus on the turnover of your legs, and move your arms. For more of a challenge, decrease the rest time in between intervals to thirty seconds of walking. Then go right back into another pick up interval.

Jogging Intervals. At each mile, do a short thirty second to two minute jogging interval. Extend the duration of your intervals to increase the intensity of your workout.

Stair climb. Find a flight of stairs on your walking route and do a few quick intervals up and down. To ramp up intensity, take the steps two at a time on the ascent and jog the descent.

 

*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.

 

Hot Climate Exercise by Mathew Ireland

Training outdoors in hot temps is not all sunshine and roses; exercising in the heat can also cause problems!

Hydration

Firstly, I don’t want to bore you by telling you to stay hydrated. We all know the health risks. What I will say is why it is important to stay hydrated when training. Dehydration is not only seriously bad for your health, it also has a negative impact on your training. Studies suggest that to get the most out of your workout, your body needs to be adequately hydrated. This is the case for all types of training, from cardio to strength training.

Another risk when training in hot climates is heat cramp. Heat cramps can easily stop you exercising. They can also be prevented, by maintaining a balance of water and sodium (salt) in your diet.

Acclimatization

Many people may overlook this but your body needs to adjust to the heat. In order to acclimatize, you should increase intensity and duration in the heat over time (typically between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on the individual). Acclimatization can provide many benefits including earlier sweating to keep cool, and less sodium lost with sweat.

Clothing

You should wear loose, light-colored clothing, which is designed to promote cooling. It’s also worth thinking about your footwear. Training shoes that ‘breathe’ will help keep your feet cool.

Skin Care

Once again, using sun cream in radiant heat should be obvious. Sunburn is uncomfortable and can stop you from training. Always protect your skin.

After Exercise

Replacing any water or electrolytes after exercise is important, especially for recovery. With adequate time, electrolytes will be replaced by a balanced diet but can also be replaced with specific sports drinks. It is important to note that if you are working out for less than an hour, you shouldn’t need an electrolyte drink. They are designed for use after longer periods of exercise.

Using this advice, plan your workouts in advance to get the most out of your training.

Mathew Ireland is the founder and a regular writer for Fitness Cumbria – an online magazine delivering health and fitness information to the Cumbrian population. He trains clients over the county, and focuses on outdoor and body-weight training.

 

Is Walking Worth It? By Nicole Bryan

If you think all cardio has to be high intensity, all out, all the time, to gain health benefits, think again! Walking is a realistic, sustainable, effective and efficient cardiovascular exercise option for many. Proper walking for fitness form is important for increased efficiency. Increased efficiency means increased effectiveness, decreased risk of injury, reduced risk of falling, increased energy and sustainability of intensity during the workout.

Here are a few quality control check points to be aware of during your walking workout:

Even stride length between your right leg and your left leg. Uneven stride length could signal dysfunction of how your body is moving, which may lead to injury.

Walking in a heel to toe pattern. Walking flat-footed increases risk of falling. Walking or shuffling feet also decreases the distance covered (decreases energy expenditure) of each step.

Proper spinal alignment. Avoid the forward shoulders hunched over and head forward posture by keeping your ears lined up over your shoulders. Keep your shoulders lined up over your hips, hold your chin parallel to the floor, and keep your feet pointing forward.

Here are exercises to gain additional benefits and effectiveness in your walking for fitness workout:

Focus on increasing the turn-over of your steps. Basically shorten your stride and step faster. Moving at a faster pace will increase energy expenditure and burn more calories.

Power from your arms. Move more muscles, burn more calories.

Pull your belly button in, and pull your shoulders down and back. Why not get a core workout and strengthen your posture muscles at the same time? The result is additional benefit out of the same effort.

Practice deep breathing while walking. Slowly inhale through your nose for a count of 4, exhale out your mouth for a count of 6. The result will be an increase in energy and decrease in stress.

Does walking offer health benefits? YES! Choose to move your body aerobically, on a regular basis. Find what you enjoy, and you’ll enjoy doing it.

Learning from your Kids by Jennifer Austin

School is out! Look no further than your children to gain inspiration how to enjoy living active. Add a little “recess” into your exercise and fitness program. Here’s what kids can teach US about having fun during physical activity:

Running as fast as you can feels great! Running wildly is fun. Rather than focusing on tensing this muscle and relaxing that muscle, stride length and time splits, etc, just run! Leave your watch at home and go. Adjust your stride by how your muscles feel. When you’re tired slow down, if you have a burst of energy, run faster. Keep it simple.

Abandoning structure is fun! Structured workouts do have a place in living healthy, but so do impromptu workouts. Bring the play back into your fitness. Adopt an anything-goes attitude with your exercise. Try a crab walk contest across the living room floor with your toddler, play tag with your dog in the backyard or see who can bring in the groceries from the car the fastest, do an impromptu set of walking lunges down your hallway. No rules, anything goes. Workout clothing and set exercise location are not always required to gain healthy living benefits.

There’s always room for one more player. There’s always room for a fellow-exerciser. Meeting others with the common interest of living healthy is a great way to find a new activity or training buddy. All exercisers have a common goal of improving health. Instead of allowing ego to interfere, it’s more fun to embrace them than to resent or feel threatened by a new player.

Get excited! Ever watch kids getting ready for recess? The teacher barely has time to open the door before the children are darting outside, practically climbing over one another to reach the school yard first. What excites you about your fitness? Find something! Crank up your favorite tunes, invite friends, try a different location, bring along your dog. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it long-term.

Making up the rules as you go makes fitness fun. Diverting from your usual walking route to check out a house under construction provides extra interest and motivation. Deciding last minute to walk to lunch, instead of driving allows sunlight to boost your energy and mood. A simple walking the dog can become an interval training workout. Create a game you can play while at the park or beach with friends. Make up a scoring system, start a round-robin tournament, set up goal-posts using sticks or picnic tables. Before you know it, everyone will be chiming in to determine the game rules. Creativity with your healthy living adds spontaneity, go with it; be open to where it leads you!

Shouting, laughing and singing as you’re active is invigorating! Exercise doesn’t always have to be so serious. Having a sense of humor makes it more enjoyable…for everyone. Smiling is okay!

Full body moves are way more interesting. Climbing on a jungle-gym requires both arms, both legs and core muscles. Swinging requires arms holding on while kicking legs to create momentum. Playing handball against the backboard requires bending arms and legs, rotating our torso, running to retrieve the ball. Pulling on the ropes and bars means all of our muscles have to work together. Full body moves like Squat/Press and Lunge/Bicep Curl are great go-to total body exercises.

Exercise opportunities are everywhere. Bending, twisting, hopping, bouncing, twirling. Ever notice how a group of kids simply cannot sit still? As adults, we tend to only sit still. Stop it! Standing in line? Do heel and toe raises. Stuck in traffic? Pinch your shoulder blades together and pull your belly button in for 30 second intervals. Waiting for an appointment? Walk around the building.

Kids can teach us lots about adding the fun back into our fitness. Embrace your healthy living efforts as the one time during your day in which you can, have permission to, are able to…relax, enjoy yourself and have some fun moving, twisting, shouting, laughing, dancing, smiling, singing, running, climbing!

Take your Fitness to the Next Level!

Take your fitness to the next level…

Join #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) on Twitter. Pick up exercise tips, workout ideas and your weekly fitness motivation.

How does a Twitter Chat work?

 

1. Log onto Twitter.

2. Enter hashtag #HealthyWayMag.

3. Follow along with our conversation about all aspects of fitness.

4. Interact with fellow fitness-enthusiasts. During our Question and Answer discussion, you’ll learn about new exercise methods, top gear and best practices for success. Your motivation will soar!

5. Enjoy fitness friends, accountability and FUN!

 

 

Monday July 6, 2015 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat Sponsored by SaltStick:

Do you know that replacing electrolytes lost during a tough workout is key for top fitness performance? If you race, participate in community events or organized athletics, having an electrolyte replacement plan in place is essential. Enter SaltStick! Reduce muscle cramping and fatigue that results from electrolyte imbalance by adding SaltStick Caps into your training regime. SaltStick Caps enable you to beat the heat and the body stress that comes with max workouts in hot and humid conditions. And with their patented, cutting edge and user-friendly salt tab dispensers, you can easily carry SaltStick Caps with you while cycling, running, hiking or the like. And for more of a competitive edge check out their SaltStick Mini, weighing in at only 12g. Making SaltStick your new training may just mean your fastest workouts are yet to come! Check them out on Twitter @SaltStick , and join their Facebook community for more info!

Hands-Free Fitness with Handana Sweatband

Hands-Free Fitness with Handana Sweatband

Handana is a sweatband that is worn on your hand, not your wrist. This unique and patented design allows for a comfortable fit allowing you to be hands-free during your physical activity or sport. With Handana’s innovation, long gone are the days of dragging around a cumbersome, sweat-soaked towel. Handana is truly the only one of its kind.

Proudly made in the USA, “Handana is a high performance fashionable sweat band worn on the hand to wipe away sweat, snot or whatever you got” explains founder Katie Niemeyer. Made of SupplexTM LycraTM fabric that is soft, yet durable. So if you have allergies or sensitive skin this fabric won’t irritate or chafe. “Handana is softer being kinder to the sensitive skin of your face” Katie adds. And, it’s machine-washable!

Boasting “one continuous loop so it slips on and off easily” shares Katie. Handana comes in 5 sizes, a variety of colors and prints. For under $20.00 and free shipping on orders of 2 or more in the United States, your Handana is waiting for you. Here’s what fan Aimee K says, “just received my Handana and love it! Got here just in time for me to use this weekend for my 1st Half Marathon and it’s the perfect color. Very impressed with the fast shipping. Thanks!” Order yours here or via Amazon.

Why is Handana the #1 sweatband choice of athletes around the world?

Wraps around your hand, not your wrist. This means your wrist range of motion is not incumbered. Wear your Handana while playing Tennis, Racquetball, or any racquet sport and you’ll find you’re able to move and wipe sweat away without having to carry an extra towel.

Provides cushion. Whether you’re Obstacle Course Racing, Kayaking or Stand-Up Paddle Boarding you’ll enjoy the extra layer Handana has to offer. Protect your hands from the elements and wipe sweat as you go without breaking your rhythm. If you study Martial Arts, consider wearing your Handana to keep hands protected.

Improves traction. Exercise mats can become slippery or unstable during a sweaty workout. Now you can worry less about slipping during workouts that involve mat work such as Yoga, Pilates and calisthenics.

Increases grip. Wearing your Handana increases reliable grip tension during your strength training, such as a Cross-Fit workout. You’ll be able to do press and pull moves during your workout with confidence.

Reduces distraction.  Handana allows you to keep your eyes on the road during cycling for example, as you’ll be able to wipe sweat away without risking safety by reaching for a towel.

Fingers-free. Having your fingers free, means dexterity is unaltered. For example, wear your Handana while sailing to confidently pull and cleat lines. Do you enjoying rock climbing as your activity? Use your Handana to wipe away sweat, while still having fingers free to crimp, edge and negotiate your climb.

Gardening, yard work, fishing, playing instruments and marching band are additional activities outside of the gym during which Handana provides protection and is there to easily wipe away sweat. How will you use your Handana?

Join the movement! Handana is a product from the heart, Katie’s heart to be exact.  Her goal and Handana’s mantra is “to inspire all to cross their finish line no matter where it is in life and empower others along the way.” She has her own story to tell after all. When training for her first marathon, she needed to wipe sweat before it went into her eyes stinging badly, and so the Handana concept was born. As a teenager, she spent 3 weeks in the burn unit with 2nd and 3rd degree burns from an allergic reaction to medication called Stevens-Johnson (SJS), therefore leaving her with many sensitivities. Click on Handana’s YouTube video for more on Katie’s mission. Katie staged an inspiring comeback and now encourages others to ignite their passion for an active lifestyle.

Check out their booth at the upcoming Rock-n-Roll Dallas Half Marathon and Relay Event on Saturday March 21 and March 22, 2015, and GO! St. Louis 5K on April 11 and April 12, 2015. Follow them on Twitter and join their Facebook page to be in the Handana loop.

Ignite YOUR passion with Handana!

Essentials for Runners by Jason Saltmarsh

Reminders for Runners

1. If you have a morning race or workout, decrease your warm up time with a hot/cold/hot shower before you go. It boosts circulation and helps jump-start your day.

2. Ouch! Wrap painful blisters in band-aids and duct tape to avoid further injury when racing. Afterwards, let them air out and keep them clean so they can heal properly.

3. Grab a cup of coffee 1/2 an hour before running to boost your workout performance. It takes about 30-45 minutes to work it’s most powerful magic, but you’ll feel like you have rocket boosters strapped to your feet.

4. If you don’t have a gel or sports drink available, you can drink a flat Cola for fuel. Believe it or not, plenty of sugar, caffeine, and carbohydrates make this the drink of choice for many athletes.

5. Get two pairs of running shoes and rotate them to help prevent injury. The shoes will last longer, and your feet will be healthier. Some runners choose a fast shoe for workouts and races, and a comfortable shoe for regular mileage.

6. Gauge ‘comfortable pace’ during training with the talk test or by singing the Brady Bunch theme song. If you’re unable to talk to your friend, or sing the song, you’re going too fast.

7. Take some cash, your fully charged phone, and toilet paper on runs lasting more than 90 minutes. Better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Trust me on this one.

8. Write down your training goal, race goal, etc. and stick it on your refrigerator. It’ll keep you accountable and remind others to support you. And, it’ll make you think twice before reaching for a second helping of coffee toffee crunch ice cream.

9. When it rains, use lots of Vasoline all over everything that could chafe, blister, or rub. Water is not your friend on race day unless your drinking it.

10. Run with a friend. It makes the miles easier.

Jason Saltmarsh is a competitive masters runner at distances ranging from 5K to the half marathon. In November 2013, he raced his first 26.2 at the iconic New York City Marathon. Jason’s goal is to share with others the benefits and joys of running, fitness and healthy living. For more information, please visit saltmarshrunning.com.

Park Workouts that Work! By Gen Levrant

Park workouts that work!

A park visit can benefit the whole family. Not only is it a great opportunity for fresh air and sunlight (both essential factors of health) but the workout possibilities are endless – and FREE! (Consult your physician before beginning exercise. Perform exercises at your own risk.)

Hill sprints
This is a fantastic cardio workout and excellent example of high intensity interval training (HIIT) Most parks have a hill or steep slope. Start by running to the top as fast as you can. Walk back down slowly to reduce your heart rate. Repeat as many times as you can or set yourself a time to see how many you can complete.

Monkey bars
A great functional training tool, not just for the kids! They enable us to develop strength the way we were designed. Try hanging knee raises (bringing your knees towards chest) or toe raises (keeping your legs straight and lifting them out in front of you) to strengthen your core. Or just try swinging from one bar to the next, seeing how far you can get!

Lunge walks
You don’t necessarily need a park for this, but it’s a great leg toning exercise to do in a large open space. Lunge walk for as far as you can, going uphill to make it more challenging.

Ladder press/pull
If you struggle with press ups, the slide’s ladder rungs are a great progression tool! As they get easier, go one rung lower until you can fully press up from the floor. Lat pull ups can also be done standing on the ‘wrong’ side of the ladder and pulling yourself up towards it.

Gen Levrant
FASTER Personal Training Southampton
http://www.ptgen.co.uk

Sprint Your Way to Fitness by Tera Busker

FINALLY! Winter is over and we are enjoying warm weather, sun and beautiful days. If you spend all day indoors working, why would you want to spend more time inside working out? Take your workout outdoors with one of my favorite workouts – sprint intervals or also known as shotguns!

What is a Sprint/Exercise Interval Workout?

A sprint interval workout or shotgun is a type of workout where you establish a distance that you can sprint and at each end of the distance you perform an exercise. Choose the number of exercises and reps for each exercise you want to do and complete the sprint and exercises for time. Run back and forth from the “start line” to the “finish line” and do an exercise at each “line”. Each time your run the sprint/shotgun, try to improve your best time. Always consult your physician before beginning a workout. Perform exercises at your own risk.

Example Workout:
What you will need: a stop watch and a set of weights or a resistance band.

10 pushups
Sprint 30 yards

10 squats
Sprint 30 yards back to start

10 plank up downs
Sprint 30 yards

10 shoulder presses
Sprint 30 yards back to start

10 reverse lunges each leg
Sprint 30 yards

10 alternating bicep curls
Sprint 30 yards back to start

10 spiderman planks on each side

Rest for 2-3 minutes and repeat 2-5 times.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net