Friday, April 8, 2011

The Best Workout - Out Your Front Door

Have you noticed? Everyone is running. We're in a golden age of running. Marathons all over the U.S.A. are full of runners young and old, male and female celebrating the fruits of a fitness lifestyle that allows them to run for hours with grace and ease. Most of them are normal, average people accomplishing an extraordinary athletic feat. I suspect that many of them started out like me with no intention of ever running that far. So why are so many people out there doing it? If you aren't a runner it must be difficult to imagine why anyone would do that. It's a little difficult to explain. So have some faith in me and join me on a journey. I promise it will be worth it. It will cost very little and will pay you back huge dividends.

If you're out of shape, unfit, you may not believe me. But you were born to run. But you were also born to be fit. So the first step is to walk out the door and...


Before you can run, you need to be able to walk. Obviously, it depends on what your fitness level is, but for many people simply going for a walk is going to be taxing. So here's a test. Walk for a minute and then take your heart rate. If it is more than 70% of your maximum heart rate then no running for you because walking is enough of a work out. If it's below 70% then keep walking for a total of 5 minutes and take your heart rate again. If it's still below 70% then you're in good enough shape that you're going to have to do some running to get your heart rate up.

But let's save that for another post. For now let's stick with those that are walkers. Nothing wrong with that. I got injured last year and am working my way back into shape. I'm a big heavy guy and even though I've been a runner before and even though I've completed 6 marathons I have to start out from scratch with walking. I'll do a little running, but I initially have to walk up all of the hills. When my heart is beating too fast I stop running and walk. Remember that the biggest mistake is to do too much too soon. Same things applies here. Running before walking is a version of too much too soon.

Keeping your heart rate below 70% of your max is a way of keeping things from feeling too difficult. This is technically classified as vigorous exercise. But it should feel pretty comfortable. I'll dare to say that it should feel pretty easy. If it doesn't you're doing too much too soon.

For duration I'd recommend starting out short. 5 minutes isn't too short. If you are very overweight then 1 minute isn't too short. Remember, the biggest mistake is too much too soon. Use your common sense but don't do much more than what you would normally do in your everyday life.

For the walkers, I'm going to recommend that you get out and do this every day until you have worked up to 30 minutes of walking per day.

How to take your heart rate: Find your pulse on your neck next to your wind pipe using your middle two fingers. Count your pulse for 6 seconds. Multiply by 10. That's your heart rate.

How to calculate your maximum heart rate: Subtract half your age from 205. If you are 40 your max heart rate would be 205 minus 20 or 185.

No comments:

Post a Comment