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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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7/26/10 1:52 P

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The Talk Test

Monitoring your exercise intensity is important for your health and safety. The RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)--that all-too-familiar scale of one to ten--gets a lot of attention but another method, known as the Talk Test can also help you find a comfortable, safe workout level.

Using this method, the goal is to work at a level where you can answer a question, but not comfortably carry on a conversation. In simple terms, you would be working out too hard if you have to take a breath between every word you say. Conversely, you would be exercising too easily if you could sing several phrases of a song without breathing hard.

Work at an intensity that allows you to breathe comfortably and rhythmically throughout all phases of your workout. This will ensure a safe and comfortable level of exercise. If you are breathless, or can't talk, you're working too hard! Lower the resistance level and slow down. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, you may be overexerting yourself and should stop.

The Talk Test has been confirmed as a simple and accurate method of gauging intensity that doesn't require any equipment or learning. Try your own Talk Test during your next workout (and compare it to your normal RPE assessment.

Time Involved: A few seconds

Body Benefit: Safe, effective workouts


Read these following articles/pages:

SparkPeople's Reference Guide: Exercise Intensity
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/
fitness_a
rticles.asp?id=1044


Ask the Experts: "How do I calculate my target heart rate?"
www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_th
e_
experts.asp?q=7


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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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6/25/10 1:28 P

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Exercise Keeps Your Mind Sharp

A new study from the National Institutes of Health found that the most sedentary individuals (i.e. couch potatoes) are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia than regular exercisers. Dementia is a condition of declining mental abilities (especially memory) that affects your personality, skills (like driving a car), and verbal abilities.

Action Sparked: Stay on a consistent exercise program throughout your lifespan. Try not to view exercise as a temporary means to and end (weight loss). It is part of a healthy lifestyle, and while it does help you lose and maintain weight, it can steer off plenty of health problems, from heart disease to depression.

Time Involved: 20-60 minutes, most days of the week

Body Benefit: Healthy body, healthy mind

Read these 2 articles:

"My Fitness and Stress Went Hand in Hand" -
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/
wellness_
articles.asp?id=184


An Exercise in Proper Breathing -
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/
wellness_
articles.asp?id=328


I'm a Plexus Ambassador. If you'd like to learn more please message me or just go to my website!
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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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6/14/10 1:22 P

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Exercise Tips for Vacation

While vacation is a time to relax and take a break from work, stress, and the usual routine, it shouldn't be a break from your healthy habits. With a little planning, you can enjoy your vacation and still maintain your fitness level. Whatever your plans - a family road trip, a tropical cruise, a sightseeing tour, or relaxing on the beach - you can avoid packing on excess weight by packing some healthy foods and workout gear instead.

On the Road
Plan exercise and stretching breaks. Just three 10-minute pit stops add up to 30 minutes of activity. Go for a quick jog or walk, stretch and run around with the kids. Back in the car, you'll be more alert and energetic.

At the Airport
While trekking through the airport, take every opportunity for extra movement. Use the stairs, pass on the people movers and carry your own luggage. Instead of sitting around before boarding the plane, use the time to walk. You'll arrive early enough to fit in 15-20 minutes of walking, so take advantage of it. After all, you're about to sit for an entire flight. It's okay to get up and walk through the aisles a few times when you are feeling antsy during a long flight.

When Cruising
Plan for fitness every day. Cruises usually offer complete gyms, aerobics classes, trainers, running tracks and pools. Go dancing in the disco in the evening and play plenty of beach games when docked. Take a morning walk around the track while enjoying the sights and fresh air.

At the Inn
Before leaving home, find out what fitness opportunities the hotel offers. While most will have a pool, others may offer tennis, walking paths, bike rentals and full gyms. Then, pack the appropriate clothes, shoes and gear. If your hotel does not have a gym, ask if they are affiliated with a nearby local gym. Many will offer day passes at a discount for hotel guests.

Fitness Anywhere
Design your own portable workout. All you need to pack is some lightweight, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a jump rope and a sticky mat. Most bands will come with illustrated exercises. You can also do push-ups, plank, lunges, squats, triceps dips on a chair, and other body weight exercises.

Time Involved: Plan for at least 15 minutes daily

Body Benefit: Maintain your fitness level and prevent vacation weight gain

Exercise for Different Vacations -
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_a
rticles.asp?id=109


Easy Vacation Exercises -
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_a
rticles.asp?id=108


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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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6/2/10 3:11 P

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Answers from SparkPeople's Fitness Experts

Question: I can't afford a gym membership. What exercises can I do at home?

Expert Answer: Here are some resistance training exercises that you can do using just your own body weight:

1. Pushups- standard, on knees, feet propped up on a chair, leaning on a wall, upper body propped up on a couch, etc. There are even more variations by changing body placement and hand-width.
2. Crunches- feet on floor, lets bent in air, legs straight in air, bicycle crunch, full sit-ups, oblique crunches, plank.
3. Lunges- walking lunges, stationary lunges, side lunges, reverse or front lunges.
4. Squats- feet together, feet shoulder-width, feet wide, back on wall (holding wall sit), holding extra weight (dumbbells, water jugs, etc), one-legged squats (advanced!)
5. Bridges- lie on your back, legs bent, feet on floor. Lift hips toward ceiling, squeezing glutes the whole time. Challenge yourself by keeping one leg up in the air.
6. Cardio- climbing your stairs, running/walking/jogging outside, hiking, jumping rope (or just jumping period), kickboxing routines, fitness videos, biking, etc.

As you can see, there are SO many options you can choose from, even with the smallest amount of resources. All of the exercise demos in the Fitness Resource Center are exercises you can do at home.

Investing a little money in a good resistance band, Swiss ball, and/or pair of hand weights will allow you to do a wide variety of exercises from home.

Time Involved: At least 20 minutes, 2-3 days per week

Body Benefit: Strong muscles on a tight budget

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IMLOSINIT4GOOD's Photo IMLOSINIT4GOOD Posts: 300
5/21/10 2:48 P

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Thanks, this is good information!

Cyndall
Fresno, CA
=======================
Start March 4th 2010: 255 lbs
Recent February 11th 2011: 204.1 lbs
End Goal March 2012: 150 lbs
=======================


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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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5/21/10 12:52 P

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Exercise Tip of the Day

May 21st -

Body Mechanics for Back Protection

Your body undergoes so much stress on a daily basis. The last thing your body needs is additional stress caused by improperly lifting, bending, or simply getting out of bed. Simply put, our leg muscles are stronger than our back muscles, so use them! Below are some simple techniques that will help keep your spine healthy:

* Getting up from floor: Roll onto your side first, and then push through your hands to come to an upright position. Come to a kneeling position, then place one foot forward on the floor. Place your hands on your forward knee. Use your legs and arms to push yourself to a standing position.
* Getting out of bed: Roll onto your side first, and then push through your hands to come to an upright position. Swing legs over the side of the bed and sit up, then use legs and arms to come to a standing position. For individuals with weak abs (such as new mothers or previously sedentary individuals), is important to roll to your side to sit versus pulling yourself straight up, which places a lot of stress on your abdominal muscles.
* Doing laundry: Always squat or kneel to get clothes in and out of the dryer. Avoid twisting back and forth from machine to laundry basket. When folding clothes, sit with clothes in front of you, or have them on a surface that allows you to stand up straight.

The guidelines may seem like commonsense, but when you're busy (or just not thinking about it) it's easy to make mistakes here and there. Just because it doesn't hurt now doesn't mean that you aren't causing some damage. Protect your back now to avoid problems in the future.

Time Involved: A couple seconds to think and correct

Body Benefit: Less back pain now and in the future

Exercising with Lower Back Pain -
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_a
rticles.asp?id=110


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ARMYWIFE4GOD's Photo ARMYWIFE4GOD SparkPoints: (23,756)
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5/21/10 12:47 P

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HI Fresno!
I've been thinking about starting a thread like this for a while... to have Fitness Tips & Questions & Answers from the Experts. Some of you may already receive these in your emails daily, but I thought I'd post some here for those who don't receive them in email. They might be helpful and beneficial to some.

I'm a Plexus Ambassador. If you'd like to learn more please message me or just go to my website!
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