In order to maximize lean mass and to keep muscle tone, stick with simple strength-training exercises for your major muscles, like squats or lunges, bench press or shoulder press, and chest press or triceps dips. You want to move challenging loads to build muscle, lifting a weight that you can handle for eight to 10 reps.
If you’ve been exercising and your volume is nearing maximum capacity or you’re crunched for time, then add more challenging workouts like speed-work or hills that strengthen your anaerobic system. Running a hill with a five-percent grade burns about three to five additional calories a minute. The key is to do these workouts prudently—no more than once or twice a week—and to pay attention to your form so that you don’t strain a muscle or otherwise get injured. Follow a training plan appropriate for your level of running.
The chair is a very stiff place to be. Even with perfect posture the body eventually loses range of motion, conforming to the chair. Take 3-minutes to stand, move, and change position. Practice easy exercises and movements that take the body through a wide range of motion. Try sitting cross-legged or sit in deep squat position. Practice stretches that feel good, paying special attention to areas know to be tight of limited in range. These breaks can help fight muscle fatigue as well as stiffness or joint pain.
A varied training program is soten known as muscle confusion, or periodization. Variety often brings greater results. One easy way to add variety is to start your week with shorter, high-intensity workouts; this conditions metabolism and strength. Finish your week with longer low-intensity workouts; this conditions the bones, joints, and endurance. Taper from one type of training to the other as your week progresses to cover all forms of conditioning.
Total body workouts performed two times per week were found to be more effective than four days a week of upper body / lower body, split training days. Total body workouts often include exercises for eight major muscle groups: hips, upper leg, lower leg, abs, chest, back, biceps, and triceps. (Home program here…)
This is one of the simplest health indicators we can learn to take. Get to know both your average resting heart rate and exercise heart rates (article here…) An average heart rate is often between 60-80 beats per minute, with heart rates closer to 60 beats per minute considered to be more athletic. A resting heart rate that is beats per minute above your regular average resting could be the first indicator you should take a break, rest, and recover.
A dog and/or kids are often an excuse for not exercising, don’t let this be yours. The lighthearted nature of dogs and kids often welcome play, if fact – they need it! Play contains power well beyond exercise alone. Play is healing and necessary for development. Choose 10-minutes of active play and get a quick cardio workout. Cardio exercise includes any movement that moves major muscle groups and keeps the heart rate elevated for at least 10-minutes.
Regular use of motorized transportation can take your legs out from underneath you, leading to de-training and atrophy. Weak legs increase your reliance on motorized travel. A surprising amount of motorized travel is taken within walking distance, especially when we consider cars, elevators, and people-movers. Regularly using your legs to run errands will help keep them strong and healthy. Consider additional ways to commute more by foot (article here…)
Studies have shown that sitting 4-6 hours a day or more can be especially dangerous to your health and regular exercise may not be enough to counteract the negative effects of sedentary behavior. “NEAT” activity can be used as a way to move more and improve your health. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) includes non-seated alternatives like standing while watching TV or on the computer, pacing or fidgeting while on the phone, or meeting over a walk or while standing. NEAT activities are beneficial in stimulating the bodies neuromuscular system and in burning extra 300-2,000 calories a day. For those looking to lose or maintain their body weight or regain health, “sit less and move more” is often the answer.