OT - Tone-Up Tuesday
It's baaaaack!!! Hopefully, the holidays weren't TOO stressful with all of the planning and festivities and stephell.
Ah, the carefree days of youth! No job stress, no exasperating coworkers, no car repair concerns, no cholesterol/triglyceride, no menu planning, no bills to pay… 9 months of school and a 3 month vacation. Our biggest concerns were some annoying chores and was the weather good for playing outside.
And, oh, how we played!!! Bike riding, softball, Red Rover, kickball, Capture the Flag, Frisbee, tag, dodgeball, tree climbing, football, Mother May I, jump rope, sneaking off to the old swimming hole to see who’d be the first to break the ice… Many of us were active and HEALTHY and probably didn’t realize it.
Childhood activities were FUN and we were getting exercise. Why not revisit childhood and feed your inner child? While football may no longer be an option, jump rope and other things are NOT.
Time: 30 minutes
Calories burned: 150
- Benefits: While you burn fat and calories, you’re also strengthening your core, back, hips and butt muscles.
- How to start: Put the hoop around your waist and hold it with both hands. Place one part of the hoop against your body, and give it a spin.
- Move your hips in a circle and rock forward and backward with your feet to keep it turning.
- Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get it at first. It takes some coordination.
- Caution: Warm-up first to ward off back injuries. Small circular movements have less impact on your lower back.
Time: 1 hour
Calories burned: 340
- Benefits: Because it requires bending over, hopscotch lets you work the large muscles in your back and legs.
- And you’ll improve balance and leg strength by hopping on one leg. Another benefit: You can play with a group of people or on your own.
- How to start:Find an open stretch of sidewalk or driveway, and use a piece of chalk to draw a hopscotch board.
- Don’t remember what it looks like? Draw a series of 10 boxes.
- A typical board combines single boxes stacked on top of one another with 2 squares alongside one another (where you switch from hopping to planting both feet down, one in each box).
- Mark each square with a number, 1 through 10.
- Toss a rock into the first square, then jump over it on one foot. Hop through all the single squares on one foot and jump down with both feet when 2 squares are next to each other.
- When you get to the last square, either jump off the board or hop back to pick up your rock. Then toss it into the second square, and start over, jumping over the square the rock is in.
- Your turn ends if your rock lands outside the square you’re tossing it into, or you step on a line or lose your balance.
- Caution: Watch your lower back and knees.
- If you’re not warmed up, bending could strain your back. And since jumping on one foot can aggravate knees, switch up the foot you’re hopping on.
Calories burned: 200
- Benefits:Jumping rope can be an intense cardiovascular activity. Most people burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes of steady two-foot jumping.
- How to start: Because it can be hard to get the hang of jumping rope, try this gentle warm-up:
Hold the rope handles, and sway your arms from side-to-side. At the same time, rise up on your toes, then lower down a few times.
- Then, put the handles together and move the rope to the left side of your body and then the right [the rope will make a figure eight on the ground].
- Once you’ve mastered the swaying movement, jump for a few minutes until you find a rhythm.
- Most of us can jump briskly for only 3-5 minutes at a time before needing a quick breather.
- Recover with the swaying technique above or, for a tougher workout, do push-ups or sit-ups.
- As you get stronger, jump for longer stretches and take shorter recovery breaks.
- Jump on a wood floor, rather than a harder surface like concrete. This helps protect knees and ankles during all that high-impact jumping.
- Caution: Choose a soft, lightweight rope. When you’re learning, you’ll probably smack yourself with the rope a few times. I wonder if they make helmets for jump ropers...
WALKING or RUNNING BACKWARD
Time: 20 minutes
Calories burned: 100-300, depending on how quickly you walk and run
Try to not fall on your head!
- Benefits: You’ll kick-start cardio endurance, tone your lower body and improve agility.
- How to start: Walk forward briskly to warm up, and then try walking backward.
- Gradually, add in running. In the beginning, run forward for 20 feet, and stop for 15 seconds. Then turn around, and then run backward for another 20 feet.
- Stop again, turn around and start over.
- Eventually, you should be able to run backward the entire time, looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re not about to bump into something.
- Caution:Running while looking over your shoulder can be disorienting.
- Only try this activity on a track or other area with no traffic.
- For another spin, add sidestepping [moving sideways with one foot leading, or alternating feet] to your running routine.
Time: 45 minutes
Calories burned: 230
I’d luuuuuurrrrrvvv to nail some folks smack dab in the head with that red rubber ball!
- Benefits: Dodgeball is a form of interval training, meaning it alternates periods of high-intensity motion with lower-activity movments or rest.
- The result: It blasts body fat and conditions muscles from head-to-toe.
- Because it involves sprinting and stopping, moving quickly and repeatedly changing direction, the sport builds both balance and agility.
- Also, the side-to-side movements common in this game tone inner and outer thighs – and the leg as a whole.
- How to start:Grab a lightweight ball – a dodgeball should weigh at most 2 pounds. Then pick your teams. (For a good workout, have at least 6 people.)
- Throw the ball, trying to hit players on the opposing team. And be ready to move when they toss it back toward you.
- Caution: Stay focused. There’s always a risk of tripping over the ball, losing your balance, falling, or getting hit too hard.
- And when going from a dead stop to a quick sprint to avoid the ball, be careful you don’t jerk your body too hard. That puts stress on lower-body joints.
Too much like work? (killjoy) Head for the beach and build a sandcastle. Go to the playground and hang out on the monkey bars (be careful of blister!). Work that teeter-totter. Slide and swing. Have fun!!!