May 07, 2012
So you've decided to sign up for the 5k run/walk. The advertisers at Revlon and the good folks at Made Woman have talked you into it. Great! Now, the next step is actually doing the training. If this is daunting to you, keep in mind that your body--that thing you stuff with potato chips and let lie around--needs exercise to be healthy. It's time for you to take it to the next level. You can even boost your results and see progressive health gains if you couple your long distance cardio with strength training. This way, you'll lose fat, not lean mass (muscle).
Now, you may be wondering how you'll be able to fit strength training into your week, when it's challenging enough to squeeze in the runs/walks. But if you think about it, it's actually quite simple to sneak in a few strength moves while you're out on your training runs. The perk is that if you maintain a consistent workout routine while eating a healthy diet--everything in moderation--weight loss is inevitable. Here are a few moves that will make that easier for you.
Body Benefit: Sculpts your whole leg
Stand in front of a set of stairs or low bench (lower than your knees) with your right foot on the step. With a slight forward lean, and navel pressed in tight, squeeze your cheeks, curl your left toes up, and step up. Slowly lower your foot back down. Repeat as many as you can slowly, and repeat on the opposite side.
Scapula Squeeze Push-ups
Body Benefit: Strengthens your chest, back, and arms
Place your hands on the back of a park bench, concrete planter, wall, or ground; the lower you are to the ground, the more challenging this will be. Curl your tailbone under you to prevent your lower back from bowing. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower your chest, bringing your elbows to 90 degrees. Straighten your arms as you draw your shoulder blades apart. Repeat as many times as you can with good form.
Body Benefit: Builds stronger core muscles (includes the muscles that stabilize your spine AND your abs)
Hanging from a pull-up bar or tree branch, draw your shoulders down and tuck your tailbone under you. You might already feel your abs working. Then slowly draw your knees toward your chest. If that is too easy, straighten your legs. Without swinging, lower your legs slowly and repeat.
Remember, you can maximize your fat weight loss throughout your 5k training endeavor by incorporating strength training in your weekly routine. Use those muscles, so your body will burn your fat for fuel instead. Good luck and see you at the finish line!