Ways to gain February Fitness | American Heart Month

by Jenn

          It’s that time of year again. The time when we realize that our resolutions may have been unrealistic. This isn’t something we should allow ourselves to stress over. I take that time to re-evaluate my goals and revise them into a more realistic and attainable game plan. I work out each day and use a weekly schedule to keep me organized. I devote each day to different parts of the body and focus on specific muscles. And with February being American Heart Month, a good cardio work out is essential to get our heart the exercise it needs to function properly. I run 3-4 times a week and engage my abs by doing yoga poses designed for the core muscles. Each day is different and it keeps my body guessing and I often switch my weekly schedules as well. It helps to prevent my workouts from becoming monotonous. So, after I rebuilt my regimen I set some goals for the month of February to improve my workouts and to strengthen my heart. Here are the things I want to focus and improve on, care to join me?

  1. Improve my run time.

I currently run 1.5 to 2 miles every other day, depending on the route I choose that day. I set my pace fast enough that I am pushing myself, but not so fast as to burn out. It takes me about 16 minutes on average to complete my run. I am hoping to trim that time significantly. I am aiming for 13 minutes to complete the 2 miles I set out for. It will be a challenge, but using the FitBit One Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker, I will be able to track my distance, steps, calories burned and even my sleep quality. As we all know, sleep is a huge part of a productive day and by logging the  times we wake up and the amount of sleep we get, it makes it easier to see what changes need to be made to improve our sleep cycle. With the FitBit One there is a free app to download that keeps all the information logged and I’m able to go online and compare my paces, times, and calories so I know what I need to do to meet my time goals.

  1. Increase my resistance strengthfitness

Along with my running routine, I have daily strengthening exercises for my arms, legs, and core. For February, I aim to increase my resistance strength by using Black Mountain Product Resistance Bands for my legs and arms. There are 5 different levels of resistance which are coordinated by the color of band:

yellow: 2-4 lbs
blue: 4-6 lbs
green: 10-12 lbs
black: 15-20 lbs 
red: 25-30 lbs

There are many exercises that target specific muscles and the bands come with a booklet listing many of those exercises. So, for February, my goal is to increase my resistance strength by upgrading to a stronger band each week.

  1. Lengthen core workout

Focusing on my core is one thing that I do throughout the day by bringing my bellybutton to my spine and breathing exercises. Proper breathing helps to oxygenate your blood and your heart loves to get that blood flowing for you, so a strong heart is important. I do different types of crunches and sit-ups to work my core and practice my breathing.  Another way I engage my core is a Stability Ball by GoFit.com. I do each exercise for 60 second increments with 5 seconds rest in between activity. I want to increase that increment by 30 seconds each week so that by the end of February I will be at 2.5 minutes per exercise. There are so many ways to engage the core so finding the right ones that work for you is easy to do with the Stability Ball.

  1. Increase cardio exerciseheart month

Running is great cardio workout and great for the heart, but I feel that I need more activity with more cardio. I’ve decided to add jumping rope to my routine. Using the PowerMax Speed Rope I can incorporate more cardio into workouts while building muscle at the same time. When I was younger I jumped 100 times doing 10 different forms for 3 sets. I’m working on getting back to that amount, but I am going to slowly start with just 1 set and increasing an additional set each week.

          Getting into shape, being healthy and feeling great are important to me and pretty high on my list of things I am going to accomplish. Excuses are easy to come by, but I am only hurting myself. Finding the easy way our only takes away from what I want to accomplish. Luckily I can go to Staples.com to gear up on all my wearable tech devices and accessories to reach my goals. With all the tools like the FitBit One, Black Mountain Products, GoFit.com and the PowerMax Speed Rope, there are no excuses. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and I hope that you all will join me on this journey to get up, get active and feel great. Good Luck!!

heart month fitness goals

 

This post is sponsored by Staples.com and written by me. All statements and opinions are 100% my own.

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