Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
Good afternoon and happy pre-4th of July weekend celebration!!
As I am feeling the heat of summer and the anticipation of fireworks for the weekend holiday, I am thinking about the importance of adding a little more cardiovascular work to your workout. Here are 2 very different examples of healthy cardio workouts I have created for 2 of my clients.
The first client is a nearly 80 year old woman. She has come a tremendously long way in a short amount of time. I have only been giving her sessions for about 9 months. In that time she went from being nearly totally sedentary because walking hurt her hips and low back, to now recently doing some low impact cardio on a recumbent bicycle! Now, I have taught her how to find her core muscles and how to strengthen and lengthen the muscles throughout her body over these many months and we have had a few setbacks, BUT she has allowed me to push her forward. She has also pushed herself forward... as her trust has grown in me, it has also grown within herself. Here is a tip for anyone over the age of 65 who has not been performing low-high impact workouts. KEEP IN MIND this is not so much about age, but rather current physical fitness level...I know a few over 65'ers who kickass:
Start slowly. Recumbent bicycles are best because cardio exercises on bikes are non weight bearing so they won't hurt your bones. Get on the bike and start pedaling. Depending on the bike model, you'll want to stay in manual mode and low tension, between a 1-3 on the pedal level. Keeping the bike going, pedal only as quickly as you can maintain. My client started out just pedaling for 10 minutes and we have built that up to 20 minutes within a 3 week period. Next week, I will also add intervals of speed and pedal tension for her. Remember, no one person is exactly like another. Work at your own pace, BUT don't be afraid to push yourself JUST A BIT.
The second client story I want to share is a 36 year old man. He works rigorously on his computer at his desk and as a result has developed weak/tight wrists, forward head, tight shoulders and tight hip flexors, piriformis and psoas muscles. He has been doing a fairly traditional Pilates reformer workout with me for a couple years. We have just started doing HiiT, high intensity interval training together and the increase in his cardio workout is inspiring and motivating him yet another step forward. Here is a tip for the average person between ages 30-50 who works at a desk most of the day and has just begun to add low-high impact cardio activity:
Start slowly. Sound familiar? There are a variety of exercises you can do to get your heart rate working faster, but you want to be able to maintain the work and build the momentum gradually each session. Interval training is fun, can be done outdoors and the alternating high to low intensity makes it very doable. An example of the beginning of this type of workout goes something like this:
Begin by jogging at a moderate speed for 1 minute around a track or a park (I LOVE THE OUTDOORS). After the first minute, hold a chair pose (you can see examples of this yoga pose if you look it up) for 30 seconds, then rest, then hold for 30 more seconds. Remember, this is the beginning stage of waking up your body. Repeat this jog/chair pose interval, but this time increase your speed on the jog AND depth of your chair pose.
Cardiovascular health is of great importance for life longevity and it will make you feel mentally, physically and spiritually strong in your unique self because of the endorphins you are building up and releasing from your being. Remember, fitness and nutrition go hand in hand, so here also is your
Nutrition Tip Of The Week:
If you are adding more strenuous types of activities to your workout repertoire I suggest adding in a bit more complex carbohydrates. The reason for this? An untrained athlete who is just starting to increase his/her physical activities uses up more glucose than a trained athlete. I know, everyone is on the latest fad diet that tells you carbohydrates are bad, but some carbs/cardio partnering is good for you. This would be a great example of a healthy pre workout snack and it's what I eat before I run:
1/2 a small banana and 1 TBSP almond butter. The banana (carbohydrate, yes fruits and veggies have carbs too) will help regulate your blood sugar level and give you energy while the almond butter serves as protein. The combination supplies energy for your workout without making you feel full and weighted down.
Happy Independence Day and have a safe weekend!!
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