Gilroy Today 2007 05 May/April - Page 11

The HEALTH CONNECTION Prevent Plateaus By Deb Smith, Personal Trainer Owner of F.A.T.E. Fitness for Adults in Transition - Energize! Here’s some ways to keep our health and fitness activities fresh. Have you been exercising for several months, eating healthy, but cannot seem to lose those extra inches? You may be camping out in “Plateauville”. For long-term success, you need to learn how to overcome training plateaus. Ideally, you want to always be going through a momentum phase in which you try something new and “shock” your muscles, forcing them to make gains. Always remember variety is the spice of life. To keep seeing results, you need to present yourself with new challenges. Your body is extremely smart and will adapt. Keep it on its toes by changing your routine periodically, increasing your intensity, and pushing to the next level! Here are some ways to spice up your weekly workouts: 1 Increase your walking time. If you usually walk 30 minutes a day, add 10 minutes to your next walk. 2 Increase your walking speed. If it usually takes you 30 minutes to walk 2 miles, challenge yourself to walk two miles in 28 minutes --- you will have cut one minute off each mile and worked harder! 3 4 conquer. On your next bike ride, select two new hills to Add one interval workout during the week – Interval training intersperses work-efforts with recovery cycles. Instead of working in a sustained duration period, interval exercises work you at a different percentage of your target heart rate by increasing the intensity of the movement. Both the work and recovery intervals occur at intensity that is still considered within your aerobic zone. Here is an example of an interval: Warm up for five minutes of easy walking. Follow that by two minutes of “huff and puff” walking. A five-minute recovery walk follows, and it is then time for another “huff and puff” two-minute period, followed by a five-minute recovery walk. Repeat the cycle 4 times 5 Anaerobic Training: Anaerobic is the quickburst, short, get-you-totally-outof-breath type of exercise that uses oxygen faster than the body can replenish it. We can successfully add anaerobic fitness training to our fitness program, but it will require a slow, progressive buildup period. There are many examples of anaerobic training. You should always include a five minute warm up period before attempting the following examples: a Sprint 15-30 seconds interspersed with 2-3 minutes of walking (repeat the cycle 4 to 8 times depending on your fitness level) b Power walk 15-30 seconds, interspersed with walking 2-3 minutes (repeat the cycle 4 to 8 times depending on your fitness level) Power plyometric moves such as lunges, jumping c jacks, kicks, high knees for 15-30 seconds, with walking or easy jog for 2-3 minutes. (repeat the cycle 4 to 8 times depending on your fitness level) 6 Rotate your strength training routine to reduce muscle memory. Muscle memory is a reality, and it can cause some exercises to lose their impact after months of repetition, unless they are changed periodically. If you always work your upper body on Monday and your lower body on Wednesday – rotate that routine or better yet, mix both upper and lower and split the exercises up on both days. 7 If you have been attending the same type of aerobic class every day during the week, skip one day and go play tennis with a friend. Tennis is an intensely active sport --- especially for those of us who play infrequently --- we spend a fair amount of time chasing a “pesky green ball” that our racquet cannot seem to connect with. So, we need to keep our workouts interesting and fresh. Boredom and complacency can unravel our best-laid plans. AND, the most important challenge of all --- DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! MAY/JUNE 2007 GILROY TODAY 11