August 31, 2020. Before you know it, it’ll be 2021. So let’s spend some Monday time getting ready for The Postponed Games. We’ll start with Track & Field. No track or field needed, you can do this in your living room.
The good news: any time is the right time to run or walk in place. Your place. In front of the TV. Next year, you can do it while you watch the Olympians run around in ovals. Right now and always, you can make believe you’re out on a beautiful cross-country course with one of my Treadmill Trails on your phone or tablet.
Here’s a nice 30-minute jog in 3 square feet. No track. No field. Don’t even need a treadmill. But this is actual aerobic exercise. You get your heart rate up. You breathe hard. You sweat. You burn calories. You improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. Step on it.
If you don’t have a treadmill at home, this a Better Cheaper Way to walk, jog or run in your living room. You never have to run in the rain. Or heat. Or cold. Press Play. If you rather read, here’s what I have to say while I get aerobic for you.
Start with one foot up on the step. Because you use the foot that’s on the step to push off. Not the one on the floor. Now, push off. Bring the other leg up onto the step while the first one steps backs down to the floor. Immediately repeat the movement, now pushing off with the leg that just landed on the step. Go for height and spring and flexibility. Just be careful to land near the center of the step.
This is another great strengthening exercise. And a really great aerobic one. If doing the basic step-ups is like going for a walk, this hop-up thing is like going out for a jog. Do this for 20 or 30 minutes and you’ll be dripping sweat.
Yeah, it can be boring. So try a Treadmill Trail. Or put on some tunes. Come next year, turn on the Olympics.
Let’s Do The Math
In case you’re interested in this sort of thing: keep it up for 30 minutes and burn 350 – 400 calories. That’s more than a really big serving of Chicken-Bacon-Sage Rolls and a serious piece of Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart on the side.
All you need
An adjustable Step Deck for $44
Every Thing Is Everything
When you strengthen muscles, you also strengthen your bones. Weight-bearing exercise – walking, jogging – improves bone density and strength as well as muscle mass and strength. Your bone density’s on the way down after age 35 if you don’t counter it with exercise and diet. Then you’re on the way to osteopenia and its severe form, osteoporosis. If you get there, you’re at a significantly higher risk for hip, spine, wrist and rib fractures if you lose your balance and fall.
“People with high levels of physical fitness, called cardiorespiratory fitness, have a lower risk of dying from all causes of death, including coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, than people with low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.” (Journal of the American Medical Assoc.)
It’s Always Something
Even if you exercise an hour a day, you’re still awake for another 15 hours. Spend too many of them sitting, you’ll have significantly higher risk of “cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome risk factors, and obesity … because any type of brief, yet frequent, muscular contraction throughout the day may be necessary to short-circuit unhealthy molecular signals causing metabolic diseases.” American Diabetes Association, “Role of Low Energy Expenditure and Sitting in Obesity”. So Don’t Just Sit There. Do this.