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A Few General Training Tips
Add stretching to your training program to improve flexibility: Flexibility is an ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. Flexibility can be gained through stretching, massage, and relaxation. All these aid in priventing injuries, increasing range of motion, restoring the length of the muscles and allowing maximal contraction, and improving biomechanical efficiency. Plan a time of 10-15 min. for stretching 5-7 times a week. After your workout might be a good time to stretch. Be sure to stretch all your muscle groups slowly and gently and hold the stretch at least 30 seconds.
Making Time to Train:
Fitting in time to train: Amid many of life's responsibilities, finding time to train can sometimes be a struggle. Here are a few ways to fit training into your daily schedule. 1. Train before work 2. Train durning your lunchbreak 3. Train at night, using a night-light, or at a fitness center 4. commute to work via foot, bike, rollerblade, etc. 5. Get the family involved-- run while they ride, push children in a stroller. 6. Schedule and "appointment" for your workout. 7. Set up a small home gym using stretchcords, dumbells, and windtrainer, step, or jump rope. 8. Train intensely to maximize time.
Be aware of signs of overtraining; a condition of chronic fatigue that can devastate any athlete, not just racers. Among the tip-offs are an elevated resting heart rate, weight loss, poor sleep patterns, irritable disposition, an "I don't care" attitude, a lingering cold, aching legs and general lifelessness. Take time off and rest if you have these symptoms.
Using a Heart Rate Monitor:
Heart Rate Monitors are Excellent Training Tools: HR monitors help you avoid training too intensely on recovery days or too easily when you should be pushing your limits. They also help to avoid training in the 'murky middle' day after day. The key to using a HR monitor is knowing your maximum HR and anaerobic threshold. These can be tested by doing a stress test or VO2 Max test. Typically, training at 60% of your maximum promotes recovery, 75% builds aerobic endurance, 85% builds anaerobic endurance and 95% builds power.
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