Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Run, walk, jog, cycle, row, climb

Week 1 day 2 and I'm happy. I have had a pretty good past two days and feel I have gotten off to a great start. The sun is shining again this afternoon which always puts a nice perspective on the world.

I thought I would start to share my training plan with you today. I had an awesome workout this morning and it always fills me with enthusiasm, I love the buzz you get from a great session and its awesome to be able to get my heart rate up after 9 months of slowing down my training.

I am aiming to complete 2-3 resistance training sessions and 3-4 Cardio sessions per week.

My plan looks a little like this:

Mon - Cardio - steps (the steps just off the board walk in Coogee are my favorite and Marley seems to enjoy hanging out in the Babybjorn and coming along for the ride)

Tue - Gym - Full body workout

Wed - Cardio - run/walk - if you are running with a pram or stroller find a path that is relatively flat you don't want little heads bumping around too much. I find Centennial Park is great for this.

Thurs - Gym/Park Full body workout

Friday - Cardio - Steps

Sat/sun - Gym if possible and a nice walk with my boys

So, lets talk the different types of training. Essentially you have Cardiovascular activity and Resistance or weight training. Today I am talking Cardio. Aerobic exercise is a fantastic tool when your goal is to lose body fat. The term aerobic means exercise with oxygen. For fat to be burned oxygen must be used and for oxygen to be used the activity must be sustained for a prolonged period. If an activity cannot be sustained for a longer period i.e sprints. it is called anaerobic.

So........walking, jogging, running, cycling, stair climbing, rowing are all classed as cardio or aerobic activities. Most people will find that continuous aerobic activity for 30 minutes or more will be effective for fat loss. "So can I take a casual stroll for 30 minutes and expect to burn fat?" I hear you say. You can, and to an extent yes it will, however as time restricted mums it might be better to use your precious time more effectively and work at a higher intensity.

The optimal heart rate zone for fat burning is generally between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.

A simple and generalised way of calculating your maximum heart rate is 220 - your age.

i.e you are 30 years old, so, 220 - 30 = 190, your estimated maximum heart rate is 190

then 60 - 80% of 190 is 114 - 152 bpm

It is handy to know these figures but it is important to listen to your body, how it feels and how it is responding to your training. Another good test is the talk test - If you are in your target heart rate zone then you will be breathing more heavy than usual, but not so heavy that you are hyperventilating. You should be able to hold a conversation without gasping for air. Pretty much the harder you are breathing the more fat you will burn BUT only so long as you can sustain your chosen activity for the required amount of time. (30+ mins but no more than 60mins)

Do make sure you have been doing your pelvic floor exercises and have had your postnatal check ups before heading out for a run - yes, I like everyone else want to get back into tip top condition but it is not worth risking injury or bladder problems! Check out the Pelvic Floor link if you haven't already done so.

Right now I'm off to check on my little boy then to put my feet up - ready to hit the pavement tomorrow, maybe I'll see you there!

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