Fitness Corner

by James Harding
Contributing Writer

With spring break 2010 rapidly approaching, everyone’s beginning to flock back to those New Years’ resolutions to be in better shape before hitting the beach. Although time is running out, there is still hope for improving yourself before the break.

A combination of resistance training and aerobic (or cardiovascular) exercise can help you work toward your goal at the last minute. Resistance training is defined as a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance.

Resistance training can be broken down into two forms – isotonic and isometric. Isotonic exercise occurs when one’s body moves against a specific force; isometric exercise occurs when the body remains motionless contrary to an acting force.

A last-minute exercise program calls for resistance training to be done three times per week, and for each workout to be a whole-body experience. You can first begin with about five minutes of warming up, such as stretching. You can then proceed to do a few repetitions on the lateral pull-down machine in the fitness center, followed by some time on the leg press machine. Your resistance training for the day might conclude with approximately 20 minutes on the rowing machine, then a period of final stretching.

In addition to resistance training, four days per week should be dedicated to aerobic (cardiovascular) exercises. Aerobic exercise is any exercise that is intended to improve one’s oxygen system. You could include the following in your aerobic workout: the stair stepper, the elliptical trainer, the treadmill or even the stationary bicycles. The key to successful aerobic exercise is to work out at a lesser intensity for a lengthier period of time. As with resistance training, be sure to stretch prior to and immediately following your workout to avoid hurting yourself.

So, if you’re ready to hit the gym just before spring break 2010, come by the Beck Center and try resistance training and aerobic exercise. If you start an exercise program now, just think of where you could be over the summer or right before spring break next year. We hope to see you soon at the Beck Center.

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