If you're a person who is limited physically — either temporarily or permanently — from participating in high-intensity or high-impact workouts, take heart. By following a walking program, you can still enjoy a variety of health benefits without placing excess stress on your body.
Additionally, you can turn up the intensity of your walking program with some simple adjustments. A recent study by Ohio State University researchers showed that you can burn more calories walking by varying your speeds.
How It Works
During the Ohio State study, researchers had walkers vary their speeds on a treadmill, either by trying to exceed the speed of the treadmill or walking slower than the belt. It was shown that the metabolic cost (calories burned) was higher than when simply maintaining the same speed. It was even more effective than in changing the speed of the treadmill, when the belt actually shoulders some of the burden.
Researchers recognized that most people don't live their day-to-day lives by walking at a constant speed, as if on a treadmill. When you change your kinetic energy of walking, more work is required from the legs and more energy is burned. The study showed that people tend to walk at a slower pace when covering shorter distances, and at an increased pace when covering longer distances.
How You Can Use The Study’s Findings
Use these tips to pump up your walk. Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can also provide physically-limited individuals with exercises to increase strength and get results.
When people think about staying fit, they often imagine countless hours in a gym, drudging through repetitions and boring minutes on a treadmill. Those defeatist thoughts are what keep so many people from reaching their fitness goals, and sticking with a program that will keep them happy, healthy and in great physical shape.
You might think you are tasked with teaching children things as they grow up, but there is a lot adults can learn from kids, too. Physical fitness, and how to have fun with it, is one of those things. So, if you are looking to get fit and stay that way, consider channeling your inner child in these fun activities.
Join A Sports Team
You might think that adulthood is for watching sports, or chauffeuring your kids to and from their soccer practices, but you can get out there and play, too. You don't have to be the next Derek Jeter to step onto a baseball diamond. Websites like Meetup.com offer a plethora of sporting activities for the casual, adult player, so sign up. Softball, soccer, ultimate frisbee and kickball are all great ways to get some cardio in while you meet new people and enjoy a new-found hobby.
Dance Your Heart Out
Have you ever seen your child, or a friend's child just break into movement at any moment? Kids know how to have a good time and they love to dance. Dancing is a great cardiovascular exercise, too. While you're cleaning your house, turn on the tunes and get down with your bad self. Once you are really comfortable with your rhythm, you might want to take it to an adult dance class, or join a dance troupe. It can be a lot of fun to get involved, but you can also practice in the privacy of your own home.
Make It A Game
Physical fitness doesn't have to be a chore, in fact, making it a chore is what makes so many people quit shortly into their new journey. If you make it a game, your physical fitness will be fun, and you'll enjoy the journey even more. Look for apps that track your fitness and offer rewards and badges for meeting goals. The more goals you meet, the more you advance in the “game” of physical fitness. Your waistline and health will thank you as you play.
If you have any more questions about physical fitness or getting started on your journey, don't hesitate to call Ralph Roberts. As a professional personal trainer, he can help you achieve your physical fitness goals, and help you find the fun in fitness!
What does your heart rate have to do with weight loss and fitness goals? Turns out, everything. Knowing how to use your heart rate levels during exercise is an effective way to enhance your workouts, so that you can more easily lose those extra pounds or tone that tummy.
Heart Rate Zones
The first step to successful heart rate (HR) training is knowing your maximum heart rate. To calculate this, simply subtract your age from 220. The formula is 220 - Age = Maximum Heart Rate. Once you’ve determined this, you can figure the numbers for each zone listed below.
Benefits of Heart Rate Zones
Understanding what each HR zone does to your body helps you strategize your workouts in order to get the desired results. Below is a breakdown of the benefits and uses, as well as sample exercises, for each zone.
There are a lot of things that can get in the way of exercise. Hectic schedules, lack of energy and lack of motivation are big ones. Another major roadblock to fitness is pain, and back pain is particularly difficult to overcome.
It can be tempting to think that the best route is to take it easy and not strain yourself, but for chronic back pain, exercise is often one of the best ways to get relief.
How Do I Exercise With Back Pain?
First of all, if you have an injury or experience back pain, you should always consult your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program. With that said, the best exercises for people with back pain are low-impact moves that don't put extra stress on the body and put you at lower risk for injury.
Things To Avoid
What Are Low-Impact Cardio Exercises?
Unless your physician tells you not to, walking is one of the best low-impact exercises out there. It's easy, you don't need special equipment and it helps you lose weight, increase heart rate and there is low risk of injury. Wear good shoes, it makes a difference.
Cycling is a great way to get fit without the jarring impact of jogging or other exercises. You can ride a bicycle or stationary bikes at the gym.
3. Elliptical Machine
This workout is even lower impact than walking on a treadmill, and gives your upper body a workout, too.
Yoga can not only get you in great shape, but can also reduce pain, strengthen your core and increase flexibility.
If you are trying to find the right workout for you or you are not seeing results with your current fitness routine, a personal trainer can help. By creating a custom workout based on your goals, current level of fitness and lifestyle, a personal trainer can increase your chances of success. Ralph Roberts works with clients to help them achieve their goals and get results. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
Long gone are the days when you had to invest a half hour or more per day exercising in order to get the full health benefits of working out. Studies have shown that even bursts of 5-10 minutes of vigorous activity can provide a fitness boost to increase your longevity and improve your cardiovascular wellbeing. The good news is that you don’t have to pick just one workout and give it your all: Any pumped-up movement where you’re exerting around 60-85% of your maximum heart rate will provide the same benefits, such as swimming, biking or running. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Quick Ways To Burn Those Calories
1. Sweat along to your favorite tunes. Many of the best high-energy, foot-tapping songs are around 3-5 minutes in length. Stringing a few of them together will put you around the target time for a vigorous workout. Grab your earbuds and run around the block or hop on your bike for a quick ride. Make sure to stay safe if you’ll be exercising around busy streets.
2. Pump some iron during TV time. In between commercials, most TV shows run a little over 10 minutes. This is a perfect time to get off the couch and do some jumping jacks or burpees. If you’ve got access to stairs, take a few trips up and down to focus on the lower body.
3. Try the 7-Minute Workout. There’s a good amount of science behind this workout, which builds upon the concepts of high-intensity interval training. Essentially, you’ll be doing 11 different exercises for 30 seconds in succession, with a 5-10 second rest in between. You’ll get a powerful full-body workout in a fraction of the time you’d expect.
4. Make it a game. Motivating yourself to do that sweat session is easier if you make it more interesting. Grab a deck of cards and write a workout on the back of each. Give the cards a good shuffle and then pick a few to do for 5-10 minutes, with short rest times in between exercises.
5. Run around the block. The beauty about the quick workout concept is that you do have the time in the morning before your shower. Even when you're busy, chances are you can spare a few minutes to run around the block. Heading outdoors for some fresh air and invigorating activity goes a long way to preparing you for the day ahead.
Would you like more ideas on how to fit in your recommended exercise in a day? Please contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo for other ways to get your heart pumping.
Getting fit obviously involves burning some calories. For some people, there are certain cardio machines that are simply more enjoyable to use when they're working out. For other people, the whole goal is to find a machine that will put those calories on the fire and burn them away. If you fall into the latter category, I have some great news: I've delved into the world of cardio equipment to deliver some information that will help you make those calories cry.
As a personal trainer, my goal is to help you understand the benefits of cardio equipment, get you in shape, and help you to feel fit. If you have questions about how certain machines affect your body, or if you want to know more about my services, feel free to contact me! I'd love to learn more about you!
Fitness is more than just lifting weights, losing weight and getting toned. A well-rounded fitness routine improves and maintains the health of your cardiovascular system. This is extremely important. If your cardiovascular system isn't healthy, you aren't healthy. But, getting a good cardio workout doesn't have to mean high impact activities that can be hard on the knees and joints.
What Is Low-impact Cardio?
Low-impact cardio is exercise that raises heart rate and gets your blood pumping without putting too much pressure on your body. Examples of high-impact cardio would be running or jumping. There are plenty of exercises that you can do to get your cardiovascular system in shape without hurting your knees or other parts of the body.
What Are Some Low-impact Cardio Options?
Whether you want to give your body a rest, or you need to avoid high impact exercises for other reasons, here are some low-impact activities you can do to get in shape:
1. Walking. This is first on the list because it is one of the best things you can do. The human body is meant for walking. Walking is suitable for just about any fitness level and is good for your heart as well as your body. If you want to turn up the heat a bit, try walking uphill or walking with hand or ankle weights.
2. Swimming. Swimming is a great way to work out your entire body and get some cardio in without putting any pressure on your joints.
3. Yoga. There is a yoga routine for just about any fitness level, from beginning to master. Gentle, easygoing yoga is good for the body and mind, and if you want to work up a sweat, there are some pretty intense types of yoga that will give you a serious workout that is still easy on the joints.
4. Cycling. Whether you take your bicycle and hit the road, or you hit the stationary bikes at the gym, cycling is a great way to get your cardio in.
5. Rowing. Again, this can be done at the gym, or on the water. This is a surprisingly vigorous workout that puts no stress on your joints.
6. Elliptical machine. If you really want to work up a sweat, this machine is the one to do it, and it's gentle on the body.
Exercise doesn't have to be hard on the body to be effective. If you have specific fitness goals, but don't know where to start, a personal trainer can give you the guidance you need. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club has been working with clients for years, helping them get fit and stay motivated.
Most people want to be fit and healthy. You may feel that if you don't have time to go to the gym, you’re out of luck and can't exercise and get in shape. It can be tough to find time for the gym when you work a full day and then have to come home to dinner, errands and other activities. When you work with an Amarillo personal trainer like Ralph Roberts, he will work with you to create a workout routine that takes your lifestyle and schedule into consideration.
The good news is you don't necessarily need to spend a bunch of time at the gym to get an effective workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do right at home that can get you toned and fit. So, take a few minutes for yourself, and try this quick workout in your living room, bedroom, or even your kitchen while dinner is cooking.
1. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are great to warm up and burn calories.
The pushup is often overlooked, but it is a powerful exercise that tones not only the upper body, but the core as well. The exercise can be modified in a number of ways, and can be made easier for beginners by dropping the knees. This exercise is great for men and women alike.
Squats work the legs and glutes, and also your core. Keep your upper body straight, and tighten your abdominal muscles for best results. Make sure your knees do not extend over your toes. This is another exercise that can be modified. For example, you can do a plie squat, where you plant your feet further than shoulder width apart and point your toes outward.
This is a challenging exercise that tones your body and burns plenty of calories.
5. Mountain Climbers
Like burpees, mountain climbers are a great calorie burning exercise.
Lunges are great for shaping and toning the lower body. They are effective yet easy to do.
A deceptively easy exercise that is actually pretty tough to hold. Planks are a great way to work your core and tone your body. Start with 30 seconds and work up from there.
Crunches work your upper abdominals. Be sure not to strain your neck while doing them by keeping your eyes on the ceiling.
9. Ab Pulse Ups
Engage and tone your lower abdominal muscles, which are often underworked. Lie flat on your back, hands under your butt. While tightening your core, raise legs up until they are at a 90 degree angle. Pulse your legs up further, squeezing your muscles. Do not bend legs.
10. Jump Rope
Another good cardio favorite that you can do at home.
Ralph Roberts is an Amarillo personal trainer who has helped many busy people find time for fitness and health. If you are looking for an trainer, you can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club.
As much as you may look forward to your daily workout, sometimes you find yourself tiring of the same old routine. You find yourself looking for excuses to skip the gym, or you end up leaving before you’ve finished. It seems you’ve become unmotivated. That may not be the case, though; you may be mistaking a lack of motivation for boredom.
How Can I Keep My Exercise Routine Interesting?
Fitness may be hard work sometimes, but it should also be fun. Doing the same routine day after day is bound to get boring. Keeping your routine fresh and fun is the best way to stay motivated to stick with your health and fitness goals.
Changing up your routine may be as simple as a change of scenery. If you always work out at the gym, get outside and exercise at the park. A change of scenery can make a world of difference. Another option is to try something new. If you typically go jogging, and do strength training, then try swimming and rock climbing. Other activities to incorporate into your routine to keep it fresh are yoga, dance and sports.
Do The Opposite
Take whatever it is you’ve been doing, and do the opposite. Here are some examples:
How Can I Make Jogging More Fun?
Again, change is good. Do you have a set route you take every day? No wonder you’re bored! Here are some ways to spice up your running routine:
If you’re feeling stuck in your fitness routine, don't give up. You may find that a personal trainer can help you keep up your motivation and momentum. Ralph Roberts is a personal trainer in Amarillo who has years of experience helping people meet their personal fitness goals.
A warm-up and a cool-down are essential for any workout. Warming up helps to reduce the risk of injury and excessive soreness after your workout. A cool down increases flexibility and range of motion and gradually slows down your heart rate.
A warm-up should be just enough to stretch and heat up your muscles, but not anything too vigorous. It's okay to break a light sweat, but it's just a warm-up, so don't over do it. Traditionally, static stretches have been the go-to, pre-workout warm-up, but they just don't do the trick like dynamic warm-ups do.
What Are Some Dynamic Exercises For Warming Up?
Jumping jacks/jump rope. This is a great way to get your body warm and your heart pumping a bit. Do it for about 2-3 minutes.
Body weight squats. Body weight squats are a good way to stretch and warm up the lower body. Do about 20 of them.
Push ups. Start with 10 and work up to 20 depending on your level of fitness.
Lunges. Do several on each leg.
Hip rotations. While standing, bring one knee up to a 90 degree angle and then swing it outward. Repeat and alternate with the other leg.
Arm swings and shoulder rotations.
Now, if you are new to fitness, this may seem like an actual workout, not just a warm-up. Go ahead and start slow, do what you are comfortable with. The important thing is that you effectively warm up your muscle groups and get moving.
How Do I Cool Down After A Workout?
Cooling down is about slowing down your heart rate. Take advantage of those now-heated up muscles and really stretch them to increase range of motion. A good cool-down is a satisfying way to end a good workout.
Slow your pace. If you’ve been running, don't just abruptly stop after your time/miles are up. Slow down your pace, and then walk for a bit to get your heart rate back to normal.
Calf stretches. While standing, press the ball of your foot against a walk to stretch out your calf. repeat on the other foot.
Hamstring stretch. Sit down on the floor with legs straight in front of you, then lean forward to gradually stretch out your hamstrings.
Knees to chest stretch. Lie on your back, bringing your knees up to your chest. Hold for a few moments.
Be sure to hydrate.
It is always a good idea to warm-up and cool-down, you should not take a shortcut here. A vigorous workout without a warm-up can potentially cause you to injure yourself.
If you are serious about starting a new fitness routine, but don't know where to begin, you may want to contact a personal trainer who can get you started. A personal trainer can tailor a workout to help you reach your goals faster, and keep you motivated. Contact Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic club to find out how a personal trainer in Amarillo can benefit you.
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