Last week we started your eight-week “New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover program. If you missed the column, you can access it at www.columbian.com/livewell. You can also see a photo gallery corresponding to each week’s work out (See the Week One gallery). Each week, I will add to the program and provide you with more tips to advance your program and ultimately reach your goal of looking and feeling your best.
Follow along with week two here, or in the photo gallery of this week’s exercises.
Cardio conditioning: Continue with three to five cardio workouts for 20 to 60 minutes and try some cross-training this week. If you’ve been jogging to get fit, this week I’d like you to see if you can also include another form of cardio training such as power walking, cycling, swimming or fitness classes. Mix it up and stay mentally and physically stimulated.
Muscle conditioning: Perform one set of each of the exercises you’ve learned so far two to three times on alternating days and add on today’s new exercises (Intermediate exercises can try two sets and advanced exercisers can try three sets). Each repetition should be slow (5 seconds per repetition) and controlled. In each of the exercises, maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals pulled in.
Lower Body: Squats. Keep your knee caps facing forward and your feet about shoulder width apart. Slowly squat down until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform eight to 20 repetitions. You can hold heavy hand-weights or a barbell to intensify this exercise.
Upper Body: Push ups. Lay on your stomach with your heels up towards your buttocks. Position your hands on the floor a few inches beside your shoulder. Make sure that your elbows are directly over or to the inside of your wrists. Now slowly push up onto your knees and slowly lower down to the starting position. Keep your back straight and your abdominals pulled in. Perform eight to 20 repetitions. If you are more advanced, you can graduate to toe position.
Torso: Prone one arm and leg lifts. Lay on your stomach with both arms positioned over your head. Keep your neck in a neutral position. Lift one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously. While lifting the arms and legs, avoid lifting really high; instead focus on reaching the arms and the legs. Keep your abdominals pulled inwards to stabilize and protect the low back. Alternate 4-10x each side.
High Intensity Interval: “Sprint Drill.” Place three cones in a straight line each about 20 feet apart so that the furthest cone is about 60+ feet away from you. Start the exercise by sprinting or walking fast to the first cone, then shuffle backwards to the starting point. Then sprint to the second cone, then shuffle backwards to the starting point. Then sprint all the way to the third cone, then shuffle backwards to the starting point. Continue for 1-2 minutes.
Flexibility: Perform today’s and last week’s hamstring stretch after each workout. Complement them with other stretches you are already performing in your present program.
Stretch. Lay on your back with your hips positioned further from the wall. Place one foot on the wall so that the knee bends to 90 degrees. Now place the other foot onto that thigh. You should feel a light stretch around the outside edge of your hip. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Nutrition: Eat five small meals and snacks every day instead of two to three big ones. Have a nutritious breakfast, a mid-morning snack like a piece of fruit and a few almonds, a healthy lunch like a soup and sandwich, a mid-afternoon snack like a cup of yogurt and a nutritious dinner like a vegetable and rice stir-fry.
Helpful strategies: Surround yourself with positive, supportive people! You are who you hang with so be sure that your circle of friends inspire and challenge you to be your best.
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a two-week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.