Well Being: Get Creative with Cardio
Perhaps you read one of my previous posts about running bleachers (if not it’s here). Since I run them quite a bit, I like to vary my workout to incorporate different parts of the body and to make it a little more challenging. These variations are especially great if the bleachers or steps near you aren’t 60 rows like mine and you need to get more out of what’s available to you. For example, there are times I’ll go to the local high school and those bleachers only have 30 rows, so I’ll do some of these variations to make it harder than just running straight up. These five variations include one-leg jumps, jump squats, sideways shuffle/run, double jump squats (jumping the distance of two steps instead of jumping each one) and sideways jump squats. One important thing to remember with any jumping or plyometric movement – to protect the knees and joints, you want to make sure you’re landing softly and landing in a squat position (vs. landing with straight legs). Use the core to help you jump up and to help you control the soft landing. Aim to get to a 90-degree squat between each jump (which makes using the core even more important because deep squatting can put the low back at risk).
Enjoy the marching band music in the background – always a sure sign of fall!
When all else fails, get creative! I was introduced to sled pushes when I began working out at a great mid-Michigan gym State of Fitness and have loved them ever since. My current gym doesn’t have sleds, so I got creative with this cart and added weight to make it harder. Guys – don’t fret. For my workout partner, I just sat on the sled for him to double the weight while he pushed it up the incline. Going backwards up the hill was crazy hard! Squat down, use your core and breath! Likewise, to control the sled on the way down the hill, squat down and walk forward keeping your core stable to keep the sled from flying down the hill uncontrollably.
Be well xo