Weekly Challenge- More balance in your fitness routine

I’m not sure about you but in most areas of life I have my favorites. I love fish tacos, Fixer Upper, long walks, stretching in Yoga class and Jack Johnson music. Unfortunately it isn’t always the healthiest to exclusively enjoy our favorites. 
I suspect as we have begun this round of competition that you are already settling into a favorite work out routine. It might be walking, or strength training or perhaps a favorite work out class. But it is vital to our total health and fitness to vary our work outs. 

The Mayo Clinic shares that we should include ALL of the following in our fitness plans. 

Aerobic fitness
Aerobic activity, also known as cardio or endurance activity, is the cornerstone of most fitness training programs. Aerobic activity or exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply, which maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.
The better your aerobic fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels transport oxygen throughout your body — and the easier it is to complete routine physical tasks and rise to unexpected challenges, such as running to your car in the pouring rain.
Aerobic activity includes any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, water aerobics — even leaf raking, snow shoveling and vacuuming.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. You can even break up activity into spurts of 10 minutes.
You can also try high-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity (around 30 seconds) with subsequent recovery periods (around 3 to 4 minutes) of lighter activity. For example, you could alternate periods of brisk walking with periods of leisurely walking, or include bursts of jogging into your brisk walks.

Strength training

Muscular fitness is another key component of a fitness training program. Strength training can help you increase bone strength and muscular fitness, and it can help you manage or lose weight. It can also improve your ability to do everyday activities. Aim to include strength training of all the major muscle groups into your fitness routine at least twice a week.
Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines, free weights and other tools for strength training. But you don't need to invest in a gym membership or expensive equipment to reap the benefits of strength training.
Hand-held weights may work just as well. Resistance bands are another inexpensive option. Your own body weight counts, too. Try pushups, pullups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

Core exercises

The muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis — known as your core muscles — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements. Core strength is a key element of a well-rounded fitness training program.
Core exercises help train your muscles to brace the spine and enable you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively. So what counts as a core exercise? A core exercise is any exercise that uses the trunk of your body without support, such as bridges, planks, situps and fitness ball exercises.

Balance training

Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance at any age. It's generally a good idea for older adults in particular to include exercises to maintain or improve balance in their routine exercises. This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. Balance exercises can help older adults prevent falls and maintain their independence.
However, anyone can benefit from balance training, as it can help stabilize your core muscles. Try standing on one leg for increasing periods of time to improve your overall stability. Activities such as tai chi can promote balance, too.

Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness, and it's a good idea to include stretching and flexibility activities in a fitness program. Stretching exercises can help increase flexibility, which can make it easier for you to do many everyday activities that require flexibility.
Stretching can also improve the range of motion of your joints and may promote better posture. Regular stretching can even help relieve stress and tension.
Ideally, you'll stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least two to three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility. Activities such as yoga promote flexibility, too.

Cover all the bases

So as you continue to refine your overall exercise plan you should include all of these elements. It’s important to incorporate aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching into your exercise plan. It isn't necessary to fit each of these elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.
And so your challenge for this week is to include at least 10 minutes of any of these other elements (those you may have been neglecting) in your daily exercise sessions. (NOTE: For exercise bonus challenges you can earn just 30 bonus points as I always give you the Sabbath off) This does NOT have to be an additional 10 minutes added to your regular 60 minutes- instead it can be 10 minutes of your regular work out devoted to one of the other types of exercise. Switch it up ladies! 

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