Breaking a sweat

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I have been “exercising” my whole life. As a kid, it was playing on the playground. In middle school, it was playing tennis. In high school, it was running cross-country and track.

I enjoyed working out. It was a chance to get those endorphins going and feel great. As an adult, I’ve done Tae Bo, running on a treadmill, spin classes, body pump, climbing, repelling, yoga, and Pilates.

I feel like it is part of being healthy. I have recently modified my idea of what Exercise looks like.

I felt like cardio was the key… and lots and lots of it. I felt that I needed to run on a treadmill for as long as I could for a sustained amount of speed. Usually I would run an hour hovering around 5.5 mph – maybe excelling to 6 mph. My knees sometimes hurt really badly after an hour run in the name of health. Is this healthy?

I work in nursing homes. I hear story after story about hip replacements, knee replacements… Can this be avoided?

Also, after running and running for an hour – I have to eat something… I’m usually craving a quick sugar to replace that energy burned. So was working out worth it if I’m going to eat back all the calories burned as soon as I’m done?

I talked to a physical therapist, and he said that you shouldn’t run longer than 30 minutes at a time – beyond that you aren’t really gaining any health factors.

I did some research as to what our bodies were created to do physically: sprint out of harm or from predators, lift heavy things, and walk a lot.

All that cardio doesn’t necessarily help your body. You think you need cardio to burn fat – but if you build up a little muscle you will burn more calories throughout the day and be more toned. I believe that a big portion of how you look is made up of more of what you are feeding yourself. You honestly don’t have to work out as much if you eat healthy.

At this time in my life, I am focusing on about 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week (either running, spinning, or walking), core (abdominal & back) everyday and doing some Pilates for increasing tone and muscle strength. Sometimes I’ll do some squats or lunges around the house, and maybe do a few push ups here and there. I’m usually carrying a 30 lb baby at least sometimes during the day as well. I’ll lift weights at the gym maybe once a week.

Building muscle is important for maintaining overall general health. You need muscles to support your frame & to carry out task.

Think about how you can add more movement into your life this week.

What are your best exercise tips?

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Angela Parker
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