The beginning of the new year always has an increase in one’s desire to become more physically fit. I always find that people have the desire to start working out but lack the knowledge to develop an effective plan, which leads to disappointment and ultimately quitting. As I prepare for the planning of this year’s Alumni Triathlon and all of the details of housing and food etc., I can’t help but think that more people would participate if they had a little help along the way.
The Treadmill: To some, that’s a naughty word! People often ask me how long should I be going and how fast. Sure it’s easy to hop on, press start, and run until you can’t run anymore. Then you hurt the next day so you take a day or two off, you return reluctantly with that big ugly green button staring you down, as if mocking you saying, “Go ahead, push me and see what happens!”
Well, let’s put a plan to paper and make it a success…
Step One: Find your maximum heart rate. To achieve this you will take (220 – your age). Let’s just say you are 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 190 beats per minute.
Step Two: Fit yourself into one of three areas; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If you are just starting out or it has been a while since you exercised, start yourself at the beginner level and work up from there. Next, use this guideline to find where you should be working out, those handles on the treadmill will give you a fairly good idea of your current heart rate.
Beginner: Take your maximum heart rate and multiply it by .65 – .75.
Example 190 x .65 = 123 beats per minute.
Beginner = .65-.75 Intermediate = .80-.85 Advanced= .86-.90
Now you have a target to stay at while on that motorized sidewalk!
Step Three: How long do I workout for? This one is a little harder and I will say to listen to what your body is telling you at all times while pushing yourself. To maintain general health you need 30 minutes of raised heart rate 5-7 times a week (i.e. walking the dog) just to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But we’re talking about losing weight and preparing for the Alumni Triathlon! So Improved fitness levels require working out in that 60%-90% max heart rate for 20-60 minutes 3-5 times a week.
Don’t forget to warm up for 5-10 minutes and cool down for the same, and a good stretch before and after with plenty of water. As with any new workout program consult a physician before beginning.
Tell me how you get in shape!
Yours in fitness,
– Adam Ashley, Assistant Director.