Congratulations! This is your final week of Inspiration to Fitness. You’ve made it! If you’ve gone through this 8-week program with us, your heart is now healthier, your muscles are stronger, and your lungs are more conditioned.
We might be at the end of this challenge, but hopefully (and it sounds like this is true for most of you), you have found your groove and are figuring out what works best for you when it comes to exercising.
So how do we keep this up and extend what we’ve learned into a life of healthy living?
Don’t look at this as the end, look at it as the beginning. The past 8 weeks have not been getting you close to the finish line, they have been preparing you to start running your race. Take the successes that you’ve had in the past two months, and let them propel you forward into a new perspective on life. Don’t stop. Don’t go backwards. Keep moving forwards.
Keep switching it up. Whether you’ve found your groove in running, yoga, or exercise DVDs, make sure you don’t get bored. Remember to challenge your body by switching it up sometimes. If you have found your running stride, keep adding in those intervals every once in a while. If you enjoy working out at home with Jillian Michaels screaming at you, buy or rent a new DVD every few months. Keep your workouts fresh and invigorating.
Set new goals. In the beginning, you set goals for this 8-week program. As this program finishes up, it’s time to reevaluate and set new goals. From here on out, I encourage you to take some time every few months to evaluate where you are and dream about where you want to be going. Don’t get too comfortable, keep challenging yourself.
Use your resources. There are so many helpful resources out there when it comes to fitness. If you aren’t actively using Twitter to communicate with health professionals, I encourage you to do so. Twitter is amazing in that you can have one-on-one conversations with some of the top professionals in the world. You can also get helpful tips, links to current research, and stay up to date on fitness trends. Fitness blogs are also a good place to look for inspiration. Many have full workouts including photos and videos. Check out my workout page, and also visit Healthy Living Blogs for a huge list of health bloggers. ACE Fitness also has an incredible exercise library.
Now onto your final workouts!
On your 3 cardio days this week, I want you to challenge yourself to go a full 30 minutes at an RPE of 5-6. Challenge yourself to get there!
Your strength workout is the hardest one yet. Challenge yourself to do 3 circuits of the strength portion with a 2-minute rest period between sets. Remember, warmup and core exercises are 15 repetitions and strength exercises are 8-12 repetitions. Don’t forget to stretch!
Lie on your left side with feet extended, right foot stacked on top of the left. Bend your left elbow and place it directly beneath your left shoulder. Engaging abdominal muscles, lift your hips and knees off the mat. Hold as long as possible, then gently lower. Switch and repeat on opposite side. Modified version: bend lower knee.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend into a crouching position and jump forward, landing softly on the balls of your feet. Take a moment to stabilize, then jump again. Repeat 15 times.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your legs up with feet flexed. Reach your hands up and touch your toes. Slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor, keeping your legs raised. Repeat.
Start in a push up position, lower into a push up. As you come up, jump your feet forward, keeping hands on the ground. Spring up into a standing position. Finish with a jump with hands overhead. Repeat by dropping back down into a crouching position and kicking your legs out to the rear into a push up position.
Lie facedown on a mat with legs extended straight and arms overhead. Keeping limbs straight and neck neutral, tighten your core muscles and slowly lift your arms and legs off the ground. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly release back to the floor. Repeat. (Tips: don’t hold your breath and don’t lift your legs so high that you strain your back)
Standing with feet hip-width apart and bellybutton pulled towards your spine, place your arms by your side and look straight ahead. Exhale and pull the shoulder blades down and back, squeezing them together. Without letting your lower back arch OR allowing your head to go forward, hold the shoulder blades together for 5 seconds. Release and repeat.
Foam Roller (optional)
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Place the foam roller under your right calf. Cross your left leg over your right ankle. Use your hands behind you for support and raise your body off the ground. Roll forward and back on your calf muscle. Repeat on opposite leg.
It has been a pleasure working with you, I have enjoyed being your fitness expert for the Heart Health Track! Come chat with me on Facebook or Twitter, and keep checking back on my blog for new workouts and healthy recipes.
* Don’t forget to leave a comment on my Buyer’s Guide telling me which products you would love to own for a chance to win!