Posts tagged #Cardio

Jumping Rope - Good for Body and Brain

 

The best workouts are both fun and effective. As a child, jumping rope was fun.  I wasn't trying to workout or get fit,  it was merely something to do in between climbing trees, playing hide-and-go-seek, riding my bike and running from my mom so I wouldn't have to clean my room.

ChristeneCarr-Jump-Rope.jpg

I remember I could go forever and still have time for an impromptu challenge of a hundred meter race --- and I wouldn't even break a sweat! Fast forward twenty something years and jumping rope is still a lot fun only now I do it for one purpose --fitness. Though I classify jump rope as cardio it tones and defines my shoulders, upper back, calves, and even my abs and obliques.

According to The Jump Rope Institute (yeah, this is a real thing,) the benefits of jump rope, "ranks as an ideal brain exercise, bone builder, and as one of the most efficient ways of improving cardiovascular fitness in as little as ten minutes. [...] In addition, jumping helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, to further improve spacial awareness and reading skills, and increases memory and mental alertness. Jumping on balls of the feet requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance."

Apparently, 10 minutes of consecutive jump rope burns as many calories as 30 minutes of jogging.  I hate running, so, this is great news.

Bottom line, If you have only  ten minutes to workout, reach for that rope.  It's fun, effective and  your brain and body will thank you!

 

Posted on December 10, 2013 .

Back to the 80s on the Stairmaster

I never worked out on the Stair Master, simply because they weren't readily available in my  gyms.  Even when they were available, they were always occupied. Always.  Until now... Today's workout:

30 minutes on Elliptical (Resistance between 7-10. Average pace about 6 miles per hour)

About 12 minutes on the Stair Master (I think I averaged 2.7 flights per minute for about 40 flights) I used three high tempo songs to get through this routine: Beyonce's "Who run the World," "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon 5 and B.O.B by Outkast.  I tried to keep on tempo with the songs - this is always fun!  I could feel a deep burn in my glutes and my quads.  I think I'll do it again on Thursday (if the machine is free.)

Upper Body Workout

  • Alternating dumbbell curls (10 pounds)
  • One arm dumbbell curls (20 pounds)
  • Standing dumbbell press (10 pound dumbbells)
  • Tricep extension (20 pounds)
  • Shrugs (10 pound dumbbells)
  • Clean and Press (20 pound bar)

My favorite part of my workout is always the stretching....maybe I should find a pilates class.

Posted on April 10, 2013 .

Running is Not For Me

I never liked running.  In fact, it is fair to say I hate running.  In my earlier days I was a sprinter where I ran the 100 and 200 meter races.  Now, 20 years later, I still don't want to run for more than 45 seconds.  So, I figured, why run? Is running a more superior form of cardio? I'm sure it is not, so no more running for me, unless I am being chased.

While I'm on my rant about hating running, there are some days when I just can't stand the idea of going to the gym. On those days I move a bit of furniture around and get my sweat going.

To all those people who say we all should run a marathon before we die, I simply say, no.

Posted on December 9, 2012 .

Rediscovering My Knees

I'm 5 feet 11 inches tall and so and so pounds ( I say so and so because I refuse to weigh myself right now.)  When I gain weight my knees are first  to disappear. However, with workout, I can usually find them again in about three weeks, depending on how long it has been since last sighting.   Today I decided  to start that three week journey (at least I'm hoping it's three weeks.) Today’s Workout:

  • 30 minutes on Elliptical (Resistance between 7 - 10. Average pace about  6.5 miles per hour)
  • 10 minutes running/walking on Treadmill (Incline on 1. Average pace about 4 miles per hour.)
  • 3 sets of 10 leg extensions with 30/40 pounds.
  • 3 sets of 15 forward kicks
  • four 30 second  interval of squats and half squats without weights
  • 3 sets of 10 lunges with 20 pounds
  • 2 sets of 10 stepups

It all ends with about 10 minutes of stretching focused on areas that I worked the most. I hold each position for a count of about 10.

 

Knees, what I'm giving myself this Christmas. Thanks!

Posted on November 26, 2012 .

Say 'No' To Being Squishy

I have always worked out in some capacity. Even though I know the benefits of working out and maintaining a healhty diet, sometimes I fall off for months at a time.  I think the longest I have ever gone without working out is about 3 months.  When I am not working out I have far less energy and I feel less happy...I think a part of the unhappiness stems from the reemergence of my muffin top and the threat of a camel toe in pants that previously fit me perfectly.  I don't rapidly gain weight when I take a break from  working out, however,  my body changes into what I refer to as a squishy toy. Only kids like squishy toys. When I was younger I needed  two to three weeks  of workout to see results and changes in my body, now, age has robbed me of that "snap back." Father time is a bitch! It now takes two  months to see any real change.  I really want to be more consistent with working out and staying fit, especially since I'm not getting any younger.

I hate dieting, so, working out consistently is a must, lest I want to be squishy.  In order of importance, here is why I work out:

  • to be healthy
  • to have flexibility with my diet (Eat whatever I want.  In moderation, of course.)
  • to look awesome when naked
  • to look awesome when clothed

Anyhow, here's today's Workout:

Cardio

  • 30 minutes on Elliptical (Resistance between 3-7. Average pace about 5.5 miles per hour)
  • 15 minutes walking on Treadmill (Incline on 3. Average pace about 4 miles per hour.)

Upper Body Workout (10 pound weights. 3 rounds  of 10)

  • Alternating dumbbell curls
  • One arm dumbbell curls
  • Standing dumbbell press
  • Tricep extension
  • Shrugs
  • Pushups (I'm not yet at 10 but I'm slowly getting there. Tragic.)

Every workout ends with about 10 minutes of stretching. Emphasis was placed on the upper body today.

...That is a wrap!

*Above is not my typical workout but since I'm recovering from a back injury and I haven't worked out in a while, I'm slowly easing my way back into the swing of things with low intensity workouts. Le sigh.

Posted on November 25, 2012 .