Monday, July 18, 2011

Workout Mix-Up

This week’s article is for those who are looking to mix up their workouts, those who have hit a training or fitness plateau, those who don’t have a gym membership or can’t find time to hit the gym, and for those who think fitness has to be hour-long, grueling workouts. Below are three not-so novel ideas, but can lead to a new outlook on fitness and a newer, healthier you!

10-minute Blasts:
Find your inner kid, grab a jump rope, and incorporate 10minutes of fast jump rope three times per day to burn over 400 calories (based on 150 lb person and varies depending on conditioning level and metabolism). Another great way to throw in exercise throughout the day is adding in sets of cardio-burst exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, or squat jumps to spike your heart rate. Try performing sets of 10reps during the commercials of your favorite TV shows or pull away from the computer throughout the day for a quick 30 second cardio-burst which will leave you feeling refreshed! If you’re looking for something less dynamic, hit some nearby stairs three times a day for 10minutes of stair walking to get the legs burning, heart pumping and burn an estimated 272 calories (based on criteria above).

Outdoor Adventure:
Hop off the treadmill or spin bike and take your running or cycling outside. Not only will you burn more calories, but you can enjoy the natural beauty of the ‘Loveliest Village on the Plains’, and meet runners and cyclists of all levels to help you stay motivated. Instead of traditional distance running, hit the track and take your body to a new level with an interval workout. For beginners try 4 sets of 400meter (1 lap) run followed by 400meter walk; more advanced runners try 6 sets of 600meter sprints, followed by 200meter walk/jog. For cyclist incorporate 30 second sprints or hill repeats into your workout. If running or cycling isn’t your thing, take advantage of local trails and spend some time hiking. An hour of hiking at Chewacla State Park can burn an estimated 400+ calories.
While you are outdoors for cardio, don’t forget you can do an amazing resistance training workout outdoors as well. Head to an area park and using only your body-weight and/or a park bench get in a full-body workout. If you don’t make it out of work before the sun goes down, body-weight workouts can easily be done at home with no equipment! Body-weight workouts can be designed for all fitness-levels, even leaving the iron-pumping gym-aholic out of breath and a little sore the next day.

Out of the Zone:
Finally, go outside your comfort-zone and try something new. Try a new class at your gym, get in the pool and start swimming laps, treading water or pool running. No worries if you don’t have a gym membership, look into area leagues for team sports or grab a friend/spouse and hit the tennis courts. Don’t worry if you don’t know the rules, running around the courts volleying the ball back and forth will provide a great workout, or take it up a notch by running suicides or doing a cardio-burst exercise between volleys.

Terrieha Romer is co-owner of RYP Performance, a company specializing in outdoor bootcamps, small group training, one-on-one personal training, program design, and athlete performance training. Terrieha has a Bachelors in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, a Masters in Sports Medicine, and holds several nationally and internationally recognized fitness-related certifications. She is also a former Track & Field Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach at the High School, Division I, and Division II levels, in addition to working with elite athletes as a volunteer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

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