Walk Talk Series
Day 21 – Upper Body Exercise
Look back at your goals you set in Week 1. How do you feel about them now? Have you achieved any milestones along the way? Have you thought of a new direction to take?
Walking for health or weight control it is best to walk most days of the week. Take a rest day as needed, as often as every other day. Just be sure to get back on the trail.
Crosstraining -Total Body Exercise
Using arm motion when walking is the first step to toning your upper body, but it is highly recommended that you do an upper body workout with lightweight dumbbells and a Theraband every other day. These are inexpensive and available at any sporting goods store. Walking does little for your upper body, so it is important to add upper body workouts 2 to 3 times per week to help keep your body in balance. It is also good to vary your workout. You may want to do three different upper body workouts each week. Or you may do one for 3 to 5 sessions and then switch to another one
Total Body Strength for Beginners
The total body workout below is specifically for beginners who have never lifted weights or who haven’t lifted weights in a long time. Take your time with the exercises and modify them to fit your needs.
- 1. See your doctor before you begin any exercise program if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions
- 2. Begin with a 5-10 minute warm up of light cardio (walking in place, etc.)
- 3. Perform each exercise for 10-16 repetitions, resting when you need to
- 4. Start with light weights (or no weight) until you’ve mastered each exercise.
- 5. Do this workout 1-3 non-consecutive days a week, taking at least one day of rest between workouts.
For best weight loss results, combine this workout with regular cardio and a healthy, low-calorie diet.
If you’re new at this, get started with a beginner version of squats using an exercise ball. Stand against a wall with the ball at your lower back, feet hip–width apart and out in front. Slowly lower your body by folding at the hips and bending the knees, dropping glutes toward the floor; slowly move back to the starting position. Your knees should remain over your heels. Perform 10 challenging repetitions.
Standing with feet hip–width apart, take a big step forward with one leg, then lower your body toward the floor, front knee aligned with ankle, back knee pointing to the floor. Return to the starting position, and repeat by stepping forward with the other leg. For more challenge, hold a free weight in both hands and complete the lunge with a rotation in the torso, twisting the body toward the forward leg. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
To perform a deadlift holding a body bar or free weights, stand up straight with feet hip–width apart. Fold at your hips, moving the hips backward as you lower your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep the legs straight without locking the knees, and keep the back level and the spine in neutral. Lower the weight to just below your knees, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.
The bridge works the glutes (butt), hamstrings, and core. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, peel your spine off the floor, starting at the tailbone, forming a diagonal line from knees down to shoulders. Slowly return to the starting position. For an extra challenge: Target your triceps by holding light weights, lifting your arms ceilingward as you raise your hips, see right. Bend your elbows to lower the weights towards the floor. Perform 10 repetitions.
The bent-over row works all the major muscles of the upper back as well as the biceps. Begin the exercise in a bent-over position with your back flat, one knee and one hand on the same side of the body braced on a bench. Hold a free weight in the other hand with arm extended, see left. Lift the weight toward the hip until the upper arm is just beyond horizontal, see right. Then slowly lower weight to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.
A shoulder press works the shoulder muscles and can be performed standing or seated. For extra back support, use a bench with a back rest. Begin with elbows bent and weights at shoulders, see left. Slowly reach toward the ceiling, keeping the elbows under the hands and the shoulders away from the ears; slowly lower back to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.
Lying on your back on the floor, fold knees toward the chest and curl the upper body off the floor. With hands behind head, slowly rotate upper body to the right while drawing the right knee in and reaching the left leg out. Then rotate left and pull the left knee in and extend right leg out. Focus on bringing the shoulder toward the hip (rather than the elbow to the knee), and keep the opposite shoulder off the floor. Perform 10 repetitions.
Frequency of Workout
Perform this 30-minute workout routine every other day. These are not hardcore bodybuilding-style routines where the high degree of muscular overload requires full rest to recover. For a healthy body, work out regularly and eat a healthy diet.
What is it that you just can’t stop eating once you start? Is it sweet, salt, rich foods? Not everyone has the same temptations. I can say no to cake, but the chips and salsa are another story. Know what it is that you crave, then find a substitute that is healthier, lower in calories, and has controlled portions.