A Can-Do Approach to Weight Lifting
By Dawn Hall
Author of 7 Simple Steps to a Healthier You
Who says you need fancy equipment or a set of dumb bells to start a simple strength training program? Dawn Hall, creator of the Busy People’s Cookbook series, has more than 10 years experience as an aerobic instructor. In this excerpt from her latest book, 7 Simple Steps to a Healthier You, Hall explains that all you need are a few kitchen items to get pumping.
The Upside of Lifting Weights
It is very beneficial to mix cardiovascular exercise and strength training for a well-balanced, personalized program. If you have not exercised for a while, you might want to begin with just cardiovascular workouts, and then after a few weeks you can begin to add in weight training either as an add on those same days or as your alternate day’s exercise.
Before you decide to invest a lot of money in weights or dumbbells, I suggest doing what I did when I first began to see if weight training was something I was interested in. Start out using lightweight cans of food, such as two cans of soup at 15 ounces each. One can be held in each hand. They can easily be returned back to the cupboard when you are finished exercising.
Do as many repetitions in a set you can comfortably do until your muscles either feel fatigued or start burning, and then do two or three more reps.
Once you are able to do up to 30 reps in a set without difficulty, increase to a heavier can or a liter of beverage, and then increase to a 2-liter beverage bottle, all the way up to a gallon jug of water. A gallon weighs eight pounds. Gallon jugs are also great for lunge exercises (if you do not have bad or weak knees).
Weight Training Tips
A “rep” is one exercise movement from beginning to end.
A “set” is numerous reps done at one time before taking a break to rest the working group of muscles. The number of reps in a set varies.
A slight burning feeling in the working muscle is okay; it’s your body’s way of saying it is being worked. If your muscles become so fatigued they are unable to do a rep without pain, stop immediately and shake or gently stretch the muscle until the pain subsides.
Taken from 7 Simple Steps to a Healthier You by Dawn Hall; Copyright © 2006 by Dawn Hall; Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; Used by Permission.
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