Archives for : September2013

What a Summer!

The cooler weather has officially made me feel summer is coming to an end. While I enjoy the thoughts of jeans, sweatshirts, leaves changing colors, and apple picking with my daughter I’m not ready to leave the summer of 2013 behind. As we always say, it has gone by fast and what a crazy busy summer it has been. Coming from someone who never sits down I am even surprised how much I have crammed in.  I am so thankful to have spent it with so many friends and A & B Fitness participants doing some firsts like running two half marathons, triathlon relays, a 50 mile bike ride, glow run, and a few of my favorite events like the warrior dash, mud runs, 5k’s, and Color Me Rad. Running the half marathons with Bob and Shana was an experience I will never forgot, the sense of accomplishment I felt not only for them but for myself was something I hope everyone can experience. Having a goal, working hard for it, and then being able to cross it off your list is a great feeling. To think back to some of the first few workouts I did with both Bob and Shana and where they are now still makes me shake my head in amazement. Two career minded, very family focused individuals carved out time for themselves to become healthier, happier, and cross off something from their own bucket lists. Something I hope more people will realize is not a selfish act and will do the same for themselves.

Participating in these events and being surrounded by those who enjoy being active and having fun has made this summer memorable. And to be honest….a little exausting20130817_092450 20130831_104845 bob and b Glow run 1 personal 3 triathlon 3 warrior dash blog. Even those who think they are unstoppable need a little rest sometimes to rejuvenate, heal, refocus on goals, and have a little down time. It may be awhile until my next event (I’m sure there are a few taking bets on how long that really will be!). But for now I have plenty of summer memories to hold me over for a while. Thank you all for a great summer 2013!

Cardio or Strength?

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Cardio or Strength?  What are you missing in your workouts for success?

What to do and how much of it is the most common question beginner and intermediate exercisers will ask.  Time is precious for everyone, and taking time for yourself can be hard to do without feeling guilty. Not wasting time, utilizing that precious time and finding the combination of exercise that works in your schedule and geared towards your goals will be the key to your success and put you on the right track to feeling better.

Your workouts don’t need to take hours out of your day.  Effective workouts can be done in 30-45 minute sessions.  Variety, intensity, and type of exercise are incredibly important.  Incorporating both cardiovascular and strength training into your routines at a high enough intensity is a must no matter your age or exercise level. Cardiovascular exercise benefits the heart, reduces the risk of heart disease, manages high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, prevents depression, controls weight, and improves circulation. While strength training improves lean mass, increases your metabolism, and strengthens bones.  Take the guessing out your workouts and follow the guidelines below to give you the most benefit out of your workouts.

Cardiovascular

30-45 minute sessions at an intensity that you are unable to hold a constant conversation. You  may be able to chat with the person next to you, but will need to stop and take breaths between phrases.  Complete 3-5 times a week. Choose something you enjoy; elliptical, walking in a hilly neighborhood, running, biking, a group class, etc.  Can’t start with 30 minutes?  That’s okay! Work your way up, start with 5 minutes and add on 2 minutes every week.  You have to start somewhere, something is better than nothing, as long as you continue to work at it you will be amazed how fast you can gain cardiovascular endurance.

Strength Training

30-45 minutes. 2-3 times a week with one day of rest between sessions. Choosing exercises that incorporate something for every muscle is important to avoid muscles imbalances that can have a negative effect later on.  Exercises that involve as many muscles groups at one time are great for functionality, higher calorie burners, and to make your workout sessions more effective and shorter in length.  Add in push-ups, squat presses, walking lunges with bicep curls, or body weight exercises that can be done with a TRX strap or in a class. New exercises need to be incorporated in your workout routine every six to eight weeks to avoid hitting a plateau, and getting frustrated or bored with your workouts.  Personal trainers and other fitness professionals can help design a program that is fun and effective. Even one session with a trainer can make a world of difference.

We have learned a lot about strength training over the last ten years.  Programs and classes are now incorporating both cardio intervals and strength into one! This is great way to get the benefits of both cardio and strength at one time.  Try out a boot camp class, kettle bell, or High Intensity Interval Training type of program.  These classes and exercises can be higher in intensity, know your limitations and talk with the instructor or trainer beforehand to help you get the most out of the exercise and routine. Most importantly, don’t waste your time on doing one type of exercise and not adding variety into you program.  We spend our day planning our every hour to make the most out of the day, why wouldn’t we do the same when it comes to our exercise program? Goals are achieved with hard work, sweat, and a lot of determination!