An eight week fitness plan would be great right now. Well Spring is here in Calgary and the weather is getting better by the day so I thought it would be a nice day to give a little primer on how to start getting ready for Summer fun, fitness and other activities.
First of all I hope that you were spending time through the winter getting or staying in shape despite for many people there was no chance of that as there are still some roadblocks for many. As you probably already know I ride a bike almost year round and am fortunate enough to have an elliptical trainer and stationary bike at home for when the temperatures drop really really low. I have a set of weights at home but did not lift them more than a couple of times through the winter.
OK, so let's say you are now in crappy shape, then you will really need an eight week fitness plan. There is a light at the end of the next few weeks and we should all be aware that you can get out there and improve your fitness in just a few weeks if you plan it properly. The first step is to plan what you want over the next eight weeks. There is a sample slimming plan at bodybuilding.com but I would like to just look at an eight week fitness plan of better cardio instead that will make you feel better in the shorter term. I found this list from Runners World:
Week 1: Run one min, walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week.
Week 2: Run two mins, walk one min. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week.
Week 3: Run three mins walk one mins. Repeat six times. Do three times a week.
Week 4: Run five mins, walk two mins. Repeat four times. Do three times a week.
Week 5: Run eight mins, walk two mins. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 6: Run 12 mins, walk one min. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 7: Run 15 mins, walk one min, Run fifteen mins. Do three times a week
Week 8: Run 30 mins continuously.
In the past I have always puched myself too hard and this is something that you should be very aware of. Our brains are hard wired to think that our bodies are hardier than they really are. In starting this running schedule you should be aware of your bodies limitations and healing needs. Try to stretch really well after you are warm up or after your workout and then make sure that a few hours after your workout that you slowly stretch to try and get rid of that lactic acid buildup and loosen up you recovering muscles.
I never run often myself because my knees seem to go after just a few weeks, not sure if this is caused by pushing to hard to fast or if it just from bad knees in the first place.
I try to make sure that my preferred method of exercise, biking is always recommended as well. Here is a plan for that. All you have to do is follow the above plan by thinking about the intensity that you are riding. Casual riding can be thought of as 10% of your max and riding hard uphil could be thought of as 100% intensity. Always be aware of your intensity for a cycling training session and also look at how the different gearing as well as road / path / dirt conditions will affect your ride.
After this eight week fitness plan you will feel like you are indeed in great shape and will then probably want to get started with some more sports or activities. Start to day and by the middle of May you will be good for anything that summer throws at you.