Front of thigh quadriceps

Stand near a wall or stationary object, and place your right hand on that object at shoulder level for support. Lift your left heel toward your buttocks, and grasp your foot with your left hand. Keeping your knee, hip, and ankle in the same vertical

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plane, slowly raise your foot, using your hand. You should feel this stretch all along the front of your thigh. When you feel a slight stretch in your leg, stop and hold the stretch for fifteen to thirty seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

3, 4. Aerobic Conditioning and Cool-down. The third component of the exercise program is aerobic exercise. Your normal aerobic session is meant to burn fat by increasing your internal temperature. There is, however, another important aspect of this, and that's the fourth component: the aerobic cool-down.

A healthy individual should engage in cardiovascular exercise at least three to five times a week, for a minimum of twenty to forty-five minutes per session, with an intensity that's between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate (max HR). Here, however, we're going to increase these numbers a bit, because we're looking for safe but fast results: you're going to focus on performing your aerobic workout five or six times per week, for thirty to 60 minutes per session, at a heart rate of 70 to 80 percent of your max.

Your heart rate should be monitored during your exercise routine, either by taking your pulse via your wrist or your neck or

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by using a heart-rate monitor. For this program, you should invest in a good heart-rate monitor. (This shouldn't cost you more than about $75.) People who are currently out of shape or just starting out should begin training at a somewhat lower intensity, probably between 60 and 70 percent of their max HR.

Every aerobic workout, whether performed by a novice or an advanced trainer, should be started gradually. Begin with a five-minute warm-up at a low intensity (at about 50 to 60 percent of your max HR), do your full aerobic workout, and then end with a five- to ten-minute cool-down (at the same low intensity of 50 to 60 percent of your max HR).

It's important that you understand and implement different methods of cardiovascular exercise in your program. For example, you can ride a stationary bike a few days per week, do a brisk walking routine on a treadmill another day, and spend yet another day using an elliptical machine at your health club.

It is critical that you be aware of the different options (including machines) that are available for cardiovascular exercises, so that you can overcome any plateaus you encounter and prevent boredom as well. You will eventually experience both of these outcomes (plateaus and boredom) if you continue to do the same exercise—and in the same training style—for more than sixty to ninety days. In order to keep on realizing the kinds of

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results you desire, you should always be on the lookout for ways to vary your exercises and use different types of equipment. Then when you reach a plateau, you can simply change your routine and implement a new method.

Let's now discuss the three different training methods that you should work into your cardiovascular exercise program.

Aerobics

Aerobics

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