4 parts resistance training, 2 parts cardio, and 1 part active recovery. This 4-2-1 combination of movement is a great way to challenge your body, build strength and endurance, and burn calories. We believe you should move daily and often with enjoyable activities - bonus points if it's outside of your comfort zone.
Resistance training includes any physical activity focused on building muscle. Common choices include free weight training, body weight training, resistance bands, and weight machines. Think of resistance training as a long-term investment that pays dividends and continues to work for you. During your challenge, aim for 45-60 minutes of strength work 4 times a week.
The compound effects of gaining muscle mass are tremendous and often overlooked in our smart-watch, step count obsessed society. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat; a lot more calories. As you increase muscle mass through resistance training, you decrease fat mass (while walking, sleeping, and eating). Studies have demonstrated that after a weight-training workout, metabolism can be boosted for up to 38 hours post-workout. This means that rather than burning, say, 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching Game of Thrones, you're burning 70.
Try to mix up your movements to challenge your muscles. Always be sure to listen to your body when performing strengthening exercises. If a movement causes pain, stop the exercise.
Cardio is any activity that raises your heart rate and increases the work of the heart and lungs for a prolonged period of time. Compared to resistance training, cardio training has a bigger influence on cardiovascular health, since your heart and lungs work harder for longer. During your 8 week challenge, incorporate two 30-45 minute cardio workouts into each week. Common choices include: running, rowing, hiking, and swimming.
According to several published studies, just 15 minutes of aerobic activity 2 times a week can reduce anxiety significantly (as can resistance work). However, too much cardio leads to stress. The more cardio you do, the more you stress put on your body. If you take cardio too far, you can wind up in a state of chronic stress where your body can't recover. This hampers your ability to lose weight and build lean muscle.
During this challenge it’s critical that you prioritize post-workout recovery to get the most out of each workout. Active recovery is movement performed with less intensity and less volume. During the challenge, we want your recovery day to include some movement! Try to avoid taking days completely off from movement. One day a week, go for a walk, take a Yin yoga class, or go outside and play.