Have you ever been snowshoeing? If you haven’t, you’ll be surprised how much of a workout it can be to stomp through the snow, especially if you ads some poles to give your upper body and arms a workout as well. It is also a lot of fun to explore the backcountry or a trail when it is turned into a winter wonderland by all the snow and ice.
Cross Country Skiing
If racing down a hill on a pair of skies isn’t your cup of tea, give cross-country skiing a try. Think of it as a mix between hiking and ice-skating, as you glide along the trail. Cross-country skiing is a great winter cardio workout that also tones and sculpts your legs and upper body.
A Winter Hike
Hiking isn’t just for spring and summer anymore. It’s also a lot of fun in the wintertime. Dress appropriately, put on some big boots and get out there. Don’t forget to pack a thermos with some hot tea to hydrate and warm you up at the same time. Even a very familiar trail will become interesting again when the scenery is draped in a layer of snow.
If you are getting bored with alpine skiing, or are just looking for a change of pace, consider taking a few snowboarding lessons. Most ski resorts will let you rent boards and have instructors on staff as well. You’ll enjoy learning this completely different winter sport and of course also a different way to get down the slopes.
- Monday: Half-hour of jogging, biking (on hills) or other intense aerobic exercise you enjoy
- Tuesday: Half-hour of strength training (squats, sit-ups and push-ups for beginners; weight training with machines or dumbbells for the more experienced)
- Wednesday: Rest day
- Thursday: Repeat Monday
- Friday: Repeat Tuesday
Saturday: One hour of exercise–any type of exercise. Go rollerblading with a friend, take the family to the hills for a hike or swim laps at the pool.
- Sunday: Rest day
Make your workouts more time-efficient by exercising harder. For example, you can walk two miles in a half-hour, or you can run four miles in a half-hour. You can spend an hour in step aerobics class, or you can spend 20 minutes rowing at the highest resistance level on the rowing machine. When you perform strength-training exercises, use a challenging resistance and move quickly through your exercises to get an aerobic benefit.
If you want to commit to getting fit, exercise must become a part of your life–a habit as regular as brushing your teeth. Try these ideas to help you stay on track:
- Make a log of everything you do for a week, and identify the time slots where you can fit in exercise. Did you spend a Saturday afternoon watching the Back to the Future trilogy for the fifth time? Could you manage to get up a half-hour earlier on the weekdays? Just skip an hour of television time and go to bed earlier.
- Make exercise convenient. Find a place to work out that’s close to your home or office. If you’re disciplined and have the space, work out at home.
- Develop relationships with supportive people. Join an exercise class or go to the gym with friends. If you skip a class, your friends will hold you accountable.
- Exercise at the right time. The “right time” is when you’re most likely to do it. If you know your day often ends late or meetings come up suddenly, it’s best to schedule your workout for first thing in the morning when nothing can interfere. If you’re a night owl, fit your workout in before dinner. If you can only manage a 10-minute walk on your lunch hour–do it. Some exercise is better than none.
Well, the real secret is in how many different exercises you do and how well you target each area of your stomach.
If the only exercises you’re doing right now consist of crunches or sit-ups, then you’re settling for a sub-par workout. Your abs have the ability to handle very high repetitions, but they also like to be surprised, just doing crunches and sit-ups alone won’t always do the trick.
So if you’d like to feel what it’s like to get a killer ab workout, then here’s a simple formula you can try.
The first step is to pick 7 different abdominal exercises — not just one or two. Each exercise should be unique and slightly different than the other 6 to the work different areas of your stomach. And dont forget your oblique muscles.
Since your abdominal muscles will peak and max out at 21 sets, all you have to do is repeat those 7 exercises 3 times. For each set, perform 25 repetitions or less of each movement to avoid overtraining those muscles.
I would suggest doing between 10 and 15 reps to get started (12 reps is what I prefer) The trick is to do all 7 exercises in a row first and then go back to repeat each of the 7 exercise in a row 2 more times with your desired number of repetitions.
It’s better to start off with a lower number of reps so you don’t hurt yourself as well.
Remember, this is the formula I use to get a killer ab workout, so make sure you approach it slowly at first, or you’ll definitely be sore the next day.
While you train, your muscles use metabolic fuels a fast rate. In order for physical work to be constant, the body circulates stored fuels to create fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose available for oxidation. In order for the body to recover from a training session, your body must be quickly changed to an anabolic state. The foods that you eat after training effects hormonal balances in the body in order for an anabolic environment to take pleace. With the rapid intake of carbohydrates and protein, the body is then able to replace damaged muscle tissue and replenish fuel reserves.
There has been much controversy over which type of carbohydrate is best post-workout. Some say that a simple carb is optimal while others preach that complex carbs such as oatmeal or pasta work just as well. According to Burke, “There is no difference different types of carbohydrates eaten post workout and the rate of glycogen replenishment as long as sufficient quantities of carbohydrate are consumed.” Still, the type of carbohydrate you consume post workout will depend on personal preference and whichever one suits you best.
Protein is crucial in order to keep your body in an anabolic state post-workout. Protein also provides amino acids that rebuild damaged muscle tissue after a hard training session. So which type of protein is best post-workou and how much should I consume? The best souce of protein post-workout is 100% whey protein but if whey is not available to you, then any other lean protein source will do the job. The amount of protein you need in your post-workout meal will vary on the individual. I keep track of how many calories I`ve burnt during exercise and replenish that same amount in a 75-25% ratio of simple carbs to protein. This works best for me, but you will need to alter the percentages to best suit your needs.
List your specific goals and chose a role model.
If you are looking to lose bodyfat, then you are going to want to focus a lot of your workout program on cardio. If you are looking to gain muscle size, then it makes sense to spend a large percentage of your workout program focusing on lifting weights. I think it helps to find a role model. My personal role model is Brad Pitt in Fight Club. In that movie he is very lean and compact. I have developed my workout program in a way that maximizes fat loss, so 75% of my workout is on cardio and 25% lifting weights. This workout program allows me to maintain a very lean look year round.
Decide how much time you are going to devote to exercise.
In designing your workout routine, you are going to have to figure out how many days you will be able to workout. Contrary to popular opinion, I think you do need to workout 4-5 days minimum to achieve great results. Many personal trainers have their clients perform workout programs 3 days per week. The body was meant to get daily exercise. The people in the best shape I know perform at least some exercise every day. If you have 7-8 total hours to devote to exercise, you will get better results spreading those 8 hours over 6-7 days -vs.- having three 2-hour workouts. As an example… Matthew McConaughey simply tries to work up a sweat for at least one hour every day. That is a simple technique that obviously gets great results.
Pick exercises that are right for you.
What I typically see is the trainer taking every person through the exact same routine, regardless of their body type. I also have head people complaining that a certain exercise hurts them. The problem is that the personal trainer simply can’t get into your head and know what the exercise feels like to you. For instance, I have a spinal injury so I have to avoid any type of crunch exercise in my workout program. Only you know how a certain exercise feels to you. I use a lot of dumbbells in my workout program, since I can really feel them working my muscle. If I was a personal trainer I would probably design workout programs for my clients using dumbbell exercises. This would be a big mistake, since many people get a better workout using barbells or machines.
Educate yourself about fitness.
My advice is to educate yourself using the Internet and then come up with your own workout program that is perfect for you. Not only will you experience greater results, you will save time and money getting to your goals. There are several great resources online which will help you create your ideal body. Finding a really good e-book will cost less than the price of one session with a personal trainer. In no time flat you can easily design a solid workout program and fine tune it over time.