October 19, 2020

The Fountain of Youth by Daphne Haddock

3 Steps to Optimizing Your Exercise Program

Optimize your fitness program and incorporate the following 3 types of training to continue to look and feel young:
• Strength Training
• Interval Training
• Flexibility Training through Yoga

Strength Training:

Prevent the age related decline in muscle mass through strength training. If you are inexperienced, incorporate weight training with a personal trainer to insure proper form and to avoid injury. Strength training will increase muscle mass and boost metabolic rate. By boosting your metabolic rate, you will also be burning more calories at rest or sleeping. Incorporating strength training 2-3 times per week is ideal.

Interval training:

Interval training is the most efficient type of aerobic training. It is a short burst of a high intensity exercise followed by a longer period of a lower intensity exercise. Interval training forces your body to use more oxygen and burn more calories. The increase use of oxygen will also boost detoxification in your body.  Combine interval training with your 2-3 strength workouts per week.

Here is an example of a simple interval workout:

Step 1:

Start by jogging or cycling for 5 minutes at a 50% effort.

Step 2:

Run or cycle for 60 seconds at about 90% of your all out effort.

Step 3:

Finish the steps by slowing down to 60% effort for 90 seconds.

Repeat Step 2 and 3 –5 times then finish with a 5 minute cool down at a 50% effort rate.

Flexibility training:

Flexibility training is often overlooked in one’s exercise program, but integrating it will help improve your overall performance. A great way to add flexibility training to your program is to incorporate an hour of yoga a week into your exercise routine. This will help your body remain flexible and agile. Staying flexible will reduce your potential for injury. Yoga is also great for reducing stress and boosting relaxation.

Incorporate those 3 steps into your workout routine to keep looking and feeling young! Be sure to obtain medical clearance before beginning any exercise program.

Written by Daphne Haddock / Nutrition and Yoga coach with www.PersonalPepper.Com.

Ask A Pro by Tera Busker

Question: What is a “Bosu Ball?” What’s the benefit of a Bosu Ball and how can I utilize it in my gym workout?  -Chad in Boise, ID.

Answer: The BOSU ball, which stands for” Both Sides Up”, is an extremely effective fitness tool that can be utilized for a wide range of training purposes. It’s essential to seek guidance from a Fitness Professional to learn how to use this fitness tool safely. When used correctly, the BOSU ball can be used to increase flexibility, enhance balance, boost speed and take your strength to the next level. Because you can use both sides of the BOSU (rounded side facing up or rounded side facing the floor), your exercise and fitness options are endless.

When incorporating the BOSU into your routine, take things slowly and perform all exercises with purpose and good form. Because the BOSU really challenges your balance, your muscles, especially the core, will be working overtime. Start off with incorporating the BOSU into standard exercises like squats, pushups and planks. Stand on the rounded side of the BOSU when you do squats and place the BOSU flat side up and hold onto the sides while doing pushups and planks. If you are a beginner to incorporating stability challenges into your workout or you have balance issues, try standing on the BOSU (always round side up) while performing exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls and side raises. As always, obtain medical clearance before beginning an exercise program.

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

Ask A Pro by Mollie Millington

Question: I’m 65 years young. How do you recommend I start lifting weights? I’m brand new to working out and plan to purchase dumbbells to workout at home. -Carol, Nashville TN

Answer:  Begin with two initial steps to determine the best course of action for your individual goals. Firstly, consider enlisting assistance from a Professional Fitness Trainer in the beginning, as s/he can help you create good habits with proper form and technique, while avoiding injury. Secondly, look into local gyms or community centers, as they may offer group exercise classes that involve weights. Both of these initial steps will help you learn the how-to’s of strength training to then safely and effectively transfer these principles to a home workout.

Here are a few additional points to keep in mind when starting out on an at-home strength training routine:

Purchase 2-3 sets of dumbbells at different weights. A good starting selection is 3, 5, and 8 lb weights. Remember that water bottles and soup cans are also good light weights to start.  
Invest in a strength training DVD.  Or research if your cable company provides on demand fitness shows for guidance as to the best exercise selection.

Be mindful of proper footwear. Be sure to wear athletic shoes when lifting weights to help your body maintain stability and to protect your feet in case one of the dumbbells is dropped.

Hydrate.  Have water on hand. Hydrate before, during, and after your strength workout.

Always warm up prior to your strength training workout. An appropriate warm up consists of walking, jogging, or going up and down the stairs. Once you break into a light sweat, you are sufficiently warm.

Keep it simple. Remember to keep the exercises simple at first and take a day off (a rest day) after completing a weights session. Your muscles will need a day to recover. One this day off (or even the day after) you might experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS.) This is normal and means your muscles are healing. It is perfectly fine to perform cardio on your rest days. 

London-based personal trainer Mollie Millington may be reached at www.ptmollie.com, as well as via @PTMollie on Twitter.