Gift Ideas for the Active!

The Holidays are upon us! Here are some of my favorite items that make wonderful gifts for the active person you’re gift-searching for:
TRX – duh. Because it’s all about body-weight training, functional/multi-planar movement, versatility, and efficiency. Need a 20 minute kick-ass workout? No biggie. Have a shoulder injury? Bring it on! (You’re in charge of resistance!) Don’t have a gym membership? Pshaw! You don’t need one! This is what you need. Price Range: $189+. Buy it. They’re %20 off with free shipping until December 12th when you type the code TRXMAS at checkout.

Vibram Five Fingers – because your feet were made to move, not be still in some crazy shoe. And since it’s publically banned (in most places) to cruise around barefoot, people need these!
Exclaimer: Don’t buy these for anybody with foot issues (joint/skeletal) or for running on concrete/asphalt. They won’t help. I wrote about these a while back. Price range: $70-$80. Buy it.
Heart Rate Monitor – Because you need to know what you’re training zones are and if you’re staying in them. The monitor helps you to train correctly and safely! Prices range from $50-$400, if you’re crazy. I wrote about it a while back. Buy it.

iPod Shuffle – Because people need motivation! And music is the best kind! And because iPhones are HUGE and don’t belong on your arm. These guys are tiny and they clip on to your shirt/pants. Price: $50. Buy it.

Workout clothing gift cards! – Don’t go purchasing clothing for anybody. You have no idea what they want or how they need things to feel for their particular training. So gift card them! My top workout lines: Lululemon Athletica, Under Armour, Reebok. Price Range: However much you want!
Happy shopping!
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Know Your Number – HR Training Zones

Sooo, now that you’ve got a HR (heart rate) monitor (or do you?), you need to do 2 things.

1) Check yourself out because I bet you look as cool as that dude up there!
2) Find out where you should be training. To figure it out, here are the steps:
There are a bunch… bear with me. It doesn’t take that long. Grab a pencil and a calculator!

1) Find your maximum heart rate (220-age).
I’m 26 years old. 220-26= 194.
(There’s another method which is 206.9 – (.67 x age) but we’re going with 220-age for this)
2) Find your resting heart rate (find your pulse in the a.m. right when you wake up, before you get out of bed, or after you’ve been resting or immobile for a while. Count the beats for 1 minute)
My resting heart rate = 65 (beats per minute)
Using the Karvonen Formula we’ll find my training zones (% of max HR and HR reserve).
1) Max HR – Resting HR = HR Reserve
194-65= 129
2) HR Reserve x Low Training zone(65%) + Resting HR = Low End of Training Zone
129 x .65 + 65 =149 Beats per minute
3) HR Reserve x High Training zone (85%) + Resting HR = High End of Training Zone
129 x .85 = 65 = 175 Beats per minute
*If you don’t want to go through all the calulations manually, plug in your age and Resting HR at this website and it’ll do it for you!
SOOOO, what the heck does all that mean? It means that I need to stay in my training zone of 65%-85% of my max HR if I want to challenge myself appropriately.
Therefore, my HR needs to be between 149 and 175 (beats per minute) for me to improve. If it’s lower, I need to step it up, if it’s higher, I need to back it down.
To determine what training zone is best for you, determine where you are physically (e.g. beginner, regular exerciser, or athlete), then determine what kind of workout you’ll be doing (e.g. low intensity, high intensity).
Low Intensity – %60-%70 of Max HR
Medium – %70-%80 of Max HR
High – %80-%90 of Max HR
If you’re just beginning, you may want to use %55-%65 of your Max HR until you feel comfortable enough to step it up. This will keep you from over doing it (keeling over).
This article from The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) shows you everything you need to know about training with your heart rate monitor.
Happy Training!
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Know Your Number

Not that number. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about your heart rate!

Knowing what your heart rate is while training can be very helpful!

A) It lets you know if you’re working too hard, or not hard enough.
B) It tells you if you’re within your training zone or not.
C) The good ones will tell you how many calories you’re burning! SCORE.
Investing in a heart rate monitor is smart. They range in price from around $50 all the way up to $400. Now, you don’t necessarily need to buy one that costs the same as your car payment. I have the one above, the Polar FT7 and I love it. (Found it at REI for $109!) It tells you the time, has a stopwatch for your workout, tells you your max heart rate, training zone, and of course, your current heart rate. You can even register it with the Polar website to track all your workouts. You set it up with all your stats: age, height, weight, gender, etc. Then you go!
Look for other Polar Heart Rate Monitors at their website.
You don’t NEED a heart rate monitor, but if you’re getting ready to start a big program (i.e. training for an upcoming race, starting a workout program, beginning with a personal trainer) it’s a good idea to have this on hand to know how you’re doing, keep yourself in the right training zone, track your progress, and keep yourself safe while working out. (I’ll talk about training zones in the next post! )
Last night, on the way home from teaching bootcamp, I stopped in the park for a quick run. I didn’t want to take too much time so I ran the loop at the local park. Wearing the heart rate monitor I saw that my warm up, 2.1 mile run, and cool down took 24 minutes and I burned 300 calories. Not bad considering that took less time than watching a re-run of Friends (which I might have been doing instead of stopping by the park).
So if you’re thinking about your workout and wondering if you’re doing enough, grab a heart rate monitor and check it out. Questions? Send ’em my way.

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