Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Free Workout Friday: Summer Arms

describe the imageThe weather is warming up a little more each week, so that means it’s the season for swimsuits and tank tops! Even though many people exercise hard for the first half of the year to prepare for “swimsuit season,” many people tend to let their workouts take a vacation as well during the summer. Some easy ways to squeeze in exercise during the summer months are to take a walk outside, take the kids to a pool and play with them in the water, plan a vacation that involves activity such as hiking or canoeing, or walk or bike to your favorite restaurant instead of driving.

As you are getting those arms summer-ready, remember that when toning and shaping of muscles is the goal, strength exercises should be done in addition to a weekly cardio routine. Performing both cardio and strength exercises will help eliminate excess body fat while sculpting lean muscle. Here are some specific toning exercises for the shoulders, biceps and triceps that can be done anywhere. If you don’t own dumbbells at home or aren't able to make it to your corporate fitness center, you can use water bottles, cans or anything that can be easily held and is light-medium weight. Complete the following exercises striving for 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 sets.

1. Basic push-ups (on toes or knees)

2. Alternating lateral/frontal raise

3. Overhead tricep extension

4. Bicep curls

5. Shoulder press

6. Dips

Topics: muscle toning exercise mixing workouts Free Workout Friday nifs fitness management

Mixing Elliptical and Walking for Employee Fitness

elliptical machineBy now you’ve probably heard that mixing up your workouts is the thing to do. I think it’s important to mix up your strength exercises and cardio sessions. Here are my thoughts on elliptical workouts and walking and how to use them both.

Benefits of Elliptical Workouts

The elliptical is one of my favorite cardio machines. It’s easier on the joints and you can move your arms on most elliptical machines to help burn more calories. If you contract your abs (without holding your breath) while moving your arms and legs on the elliptical, you can also get a core workout. Crank up the resistance and switch directions (forward and backward) often to work more muscles.

Benefits of Walking Workouts

Walking is the easiest way to burn calories. You can get up and go for walks throughout your day. Most people when walking naturally are not going to get their arms moving as much as when using the elliptical, however. When walking, try to move your arms as much as possible and push your speed to help burn more calories. Also, try to add some hills in your walk or increase the incline if you're walking on the treadmill.

Using Both Elliptical and Walking in Your Workouts

The elliptical allows you to use more muscles than walking, and you can work some muscles on the back side of your body, too, by going backward. They both are lower-impact exercises for the joints. You will benefit from doing different movements, so start incorporating both walking and the elliptical if you haven’t already! Talk with your corporate fitness center staff for ideas on how to mix it up best.

Topics: corporate fitness employee health cardio strength training mixing workouts