These are a few of my favorite things that I will be doing lots more of in 2014…
1.Body Weight exercises
What it is: Body weight exercises are strength training exercises that do not require equipment; your own weight provides the resistance for the movement. Movements such as the push-up, the pull-up, and the sit-up are some of the most common bodyweight exercises.
Why I like it: Using my own body strength, this kind of workout engages the core, utilizes many different muscle groups, and can be done basically anywhere. From push-ups and squats, to lunges and planks, there is really no end to the variations I can do. Sometimes I do the workout on its own, and sometimes I will stick a few body weight exercises in at the end of a run. Here’s my favorite quickie (source:crossfit):
25 squats/5 pushups, 20 squats/10 push ups, 15 squats/15 pushups, 10 squats/20 pushups, 5 squats/25 pushups.
To find out more about body weight fitness, try these great sites/blogs:
What it is: A low-impact workout focusing on small, pulsing movements, targeting the muscles in the core and lower body, as well as the shoulders and arms, with a big emphasis on form and alignment.
Why I like it: Not only is barre fitness unlike anything I have ever done, when I am at a class I lose all thoughts except the focus it takes to do the small movements and the concentration I need to finish each exercise well. I love to do an early morning class, but unfortunately they are hard to find near me. It is not an inexpensive method of fitness (but worth it to me).
3. HIIT (High Instensity Interval Training)
What is it: Cardiovascular exercise, HIIT is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic with less-intense recovery periods. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.
Why I Like it: I don’t really. It’s hard. This is a favorite not because I like to do it , but because it’s a great workout. My years of going out for a long run as my go-to workout seem to fly in the face of this type of thing. But it is an awesome form of exercise when I don’t have time, which is often. Research is out there, and is proving that shorter, intense workouts can achieve more than jogging on a treadmill for an hour. Even a mere 15 minutes of high intensity training can go a long way. It has taken me a long time to believe this….but I am coming around! For more info on this type of fitness click here.
While I will never give up my running (as long as I can keep doing it), I realize that it is hard on my joints, and frankly isn’t even the most efficient or effective workout for me as I get older. Combining these other fitness regimens with a few weekly runs is where it is at for me in 2014….How about you?