Fitness Friday: Push it to the Limit...

First an announcement: my precious doodlebug gal made the 'A' basketball team out of about 55 girls trying out. Woo-hoo! Remember the scene in Forrest Gump (man, I'm tearing up just thinking about it) when Forrest meets little Forrest and asks Jenny, "Is he smart... or... is he like me?" And he weeps when Jenny tells him, "Oh, he's very smart Forrest..." That's how I feel about having a child who can dribble a basketball and move in a forward motion at the same time. I weep. She is not like me, bless her sweet soul.

So, Fitness Friday. If you live anywhere close to me and are enjoying this AMAZING weather, I do hope you are being active and enjoying it. Walk, bike, roller blade, hopscotch, you name it, GET OUT IN IT!! If, of course, you live north of here where they got a few feet of snow yesterday -- find a treadmill! :-) I wouldn't survive snowy runs too well!

If you are already a regular exerciser, go you! However, don't fall into a rut. It's VERY easy to let your walks turn into strolls, your bike ride turn into a cruise, and your swim can become a sweet little float. Your body quickly adapts to an exercise routine making your muscles more efficient. This means that you are getting stronger, but it also means you will burn fewer calories per workout.

There are several ways to challenge yourself. I think I've said it before, but I think a heart rate monitor is the best tool you can use to be aware of the intensity you are maintaining. Do you know of anyone who has been walking the same route, the same distance for years, and can't figure out why they are gaining weight? It's because the body has adjusted. That is no longer a workout, just a thing your body does.

To make it a challenge, try to improve your time. Even varying your route can keep you from falling into the same speed routine. I had a doctor encourage me to get my mile (WALKING) to 12 minutes. That's why I started running -- I would rather run a mile than try to walk one as fast as I possibly can. Improve your time. Challenge your heart rate. Change your route.

To keep from hitting a wall, one technique I've learned about is the 3/1 method: spend 3 weeks REALLY pushing your intensity in your workouts. Challenge how much weight you're lifting, how fast you can walk or run or bike a mile, push yourself with each workout. On the fourth week, take a break. Don't stop exercising, but lower your intensity. Leave the watch and/ or heart-rate monitor at home. Walk the dog, play with the kids, whatever. Make it an 'active recovery' week.

Besides constantly challenging your workout intensity, vary your 'exercise of choice' every once in a while. Maybe on your 'easy week' switch your runs to swims or your bike rides to walks. Change things around. Find a fun way to move. Just keep moving!

1 comment:

Roxanne said...

Go Ashley. . .Go Ashley. . .it's your B-ball day. . .it's your B-ball day.


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