Breaking Through the Plateau, 1

Have you hit a wall in your training? Have you become bored with your workout? Are you no longer seeing results? This “Breaking Through the Plateau” series will explore common reasons for not attaining and maximizing your fitness potential.

The first topic we will cover is not what you are (or are not) doing, but what you can’t do.

It is perfectly normal to have limitations. All of us have developed physical restrictions over our lifetime which hinder our progress. Some are obvious, and others you don't know exist. These physical limitations include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Movement dysfunctions
  • Weak muscles
  • Tight muscles

Causes of these restrictions can include:

Using Heart Rate as Your Guide

When you exercise, are you working hard or hardly working?           

Knowing what your heart rate is during exercise can help determine how hard you are working. You may think you have had a good workout, but if you never raise your heart rate you may not be receiving all the benefits.

Using a heart rate monitor is a great way to know what your HR is during your workout. It is easier than checking your pulse. Working out at a moderate to vigorous pace (50-85% of your max HR) is a good goal to have. To find your max HR you take 220 minus your age, this gives you your age predicted HR max in beats per minute (bpm). For example, if you are 45, your age predicted max HR is 175 bpm and your 50-85% zone is 88-149 bpm. If you are new to working out start by working in the lower end of the 50-80% zone, if you have been working out, working at an intensity closer to 80% would be good.

Ways to Reach Your Fitness Goal

This time of year people are beginning exercise programs because it’s the New Year, spring is coming, or it’s just time to finally do it. It’s exciting at first, but setbacks can come easy if you don’t watch out for them and pace yourself. Here are five things you can do to keep it going and ensure the great progress you want this year.

  1. Start small. Be realistic with your goals. Working out seven times a week sounds great and it may even be doable in the short term, but you’ll burn out quickly. If you’re new to exercising or just getting back to it, start small and build up. Twice a week for 30 minutes can make a big difference.

  2. Log it. Do it for yourself. You don’t have to publish it or announce to your family and friends. Let others know if it helps, but ultimately it’s for you. Write it down old school style or there are many great free mobile device apps out there.

Life Lessons from an Endurance Athlete

Our very own occupational and hand therapist Sheila King shows us (once again) that age is no excuse when it comes to staying fit. For the second time since turning 50, Sheila competed in perhaps the most grueling physical challenge in sport. This time it was the Ironman Louisville on August 25th 2013.

Below Sheila shares her story and what she learned from this amazing accomplishment!


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