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Fall Into Winter Fitness Challenge: Week #1

Fitness Challenge

In the seasons of pumpkin spice everything, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookie exchanges and snow days, it can be easy to let chillier weather push our fitness goals to the back burner.  That’s where we’re stepping in.  Starting in November, Loudoun Sports Therapy Center is putting you up to a ‘Fall Into Winter’ Fitness Challenge.  You might already have some resolutions you plan on getting around to once 2016 hits.  Let’s get a jump start!  Our goal is to help you stay active during the Fall and Winter months, which can become a challenge as daylight fades into cold winter nights and holiday festivities (often involving unhealthy foods) take precedence over exercise.

For the month of November, we are introducing you to aerobic interval training. This may sound intimidating, but it is not as complicated as you might think. Intervals are alternating bursts of intense activity performed in several rounds along with bursts of lighter activity. For example, if your exercise is walking, you may want to consider performing intervals of light-paced walking along with fast-paced walking, alternating every two minutes. If you are a runner, consider jogging for 2 minutes, then sprinting for 30 seconds, repeating each round of intervals for 10-12 minutes.

Interval training can help you maximize your workouts so that you are getting the best results from your exercise routine.

The Benefits of Interval Training

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert who’s been exercising for years, interval training can help you add a little pizzazz to your mundane workout routine. Consider the following benefits:

  • You’ll burn more calories.The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn — even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
  • You’ll improve your aerobic capacity.As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’ll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes — or the additional calories you’ll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.
  • You’ll ward off boredom.Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine so it won’t feel boring.
  • You don’t need special equipment.You can simply modify your current routine by adding in periods of quicker activity.

 

Equipment: Use a Kettlebell or dumbbell; begin with a weight you can handle safely.

How it works: Each week, we will introduce a new exercise. At the end of the month, we will combine the exercises to perform intervals. Perform each exercise for 12 reps (per side where applicable). Then at the end of the month, repeat the entire series of exercises three times.

Exercise 1, Week 1: Bent Over Rows

Step 1: Holding a kettlebell or dumbell in your right hand, stand with your left foot forward and right foot back. Bend your left knee and lean forward at the hips to bring your torso closer to your thigh so it is parallel with the ground. Extend your right arm straight toward the ground.

bent over rows 1 for web

Step 2: Pull the weight up until your elbow reaches shoulder height. Lower the weight back to starting position and repeat the movement, keeping your shoulders level and your core engaged the entire time. Repeat 12 times.

bent over rows 2 for web

Step 3: Switch sides and repeat 12 more times.

Please note, before starting any exercise program, it is important to get clearance from your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to participate in activity that will raise your heart rate.

If you have any questions about this challenge or about how physical therapy can help you get back to pain-free living, call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center at 703-450-4300.  LIVE LIFE PAIN FREE!