This is topic Fitness Freaks - an exercise question! in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
I've started jogging/walking to the park, around the path, and back. It's about two miles. It generally takes me twenty or so minutes.

I really want to build up my endurance so that I'll be able to jog the whole distance, and eventually, I'd like to do two laps around the park instead of one.

Considering this goal, would it be better for me to jog every day or every other day?

Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
If your legs are sore the next day, then take a day off. If you're not sore there's no reason why you can't do it every day.

I wouldn't recommend doing it every day, though. I'd do it 4 or 5 times a week, if you really want, and mix in some other form of cardio with it.
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
I'm hardly a fitness freak, but be careful with the jogging/walking. I would recommend doing one and then the other. I've tried switching between the two and it gave me awful muscle cramps. Also, be sure to stretch. Good luck! [Smile]
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
I CAN'T jog the whole two miles yet, though, and just walking it gets boring. So I end up alternating through the 2 miles.

I do always get sore the next day though. Right now, my legs and butt and tummy are all sore.

What other kind of cardio could I do? The only other things I can think of still work mostly the legs. Like I used to do the elliptical machine a lot.

Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
Well, pretty much anything you can do that's cardio is lower body. It's just too hard to keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time doing upper body. Aerobics might be good, with some light hand weights. I know a lot of girls like that because you can do it in your living room -- no gym required.

One of the things I do to mix it up is run to stations. Say I run two miles - I stop every quarter mile or so and do twenty pushups. Or ten pullups, or twenty crunches, or lunges, or squat thrusts (I don't usually do leg exercises because I figure the running takes care of that). That's a good workout but it helps if you run in a park or around a track (so you aren't dropping down on the sidewalk to do pushups). All the stations are a nice break from the running, but they're tough because my heartrate is up.
Posted by signal (Member # 6828) on :
If you have access to a gym, those rowing machines are fun. Swimming is another great cardio thing if you have access to a pool. You could start off with that aquarobics, or whatever they're called, and work into laps or something.

I agree though about alternating days. Maybe jog on the odd days and do strength/flexability stuff on the evens. You could work up so that you do a shorter walk/jog distance on the other days.
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
I don't know if I'm ready to do strength training gym-style yet. I really want to find a gym that ISN'T the school gym because the people who use the machines at school are all huge, scary muscle men. [Angst]

I really want to get back in some semblance of shape, though. I used to have crazy endurance. I also used to have a personal trainer. [Frown] It's not really that I need to lose tons of weight or anything. I just want to have endurance and better tone and generally be stronger.

But I'm kind of afraid that if I start with weights and stuff right now, I'll hurt myself. I managed to hurt one of my forearms opening a bottle of water last week, and I had to sleep with a wristband around the bottom of my elbow so that there would be enough pressure on the muscle to keep it from hurting. Yeah, shut up, I'm a wuss.

Bah, I wonder if we have a Bally's around here so I can hire a trainer. I should probably get help refining my diet, too.

Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
Re: Rowing machine:

I think my parents have one, but I have no idea how they work. Are they loud? Could I possibly get one and put it in my apartment? How do you DO a rowing machine? I do definitely need more upper-body work...

Posted by sarcare (Member # 8736) on :
This thread is funny to me right now. I tried running outside yesterday, and went about 2 1/2 miles, but today I am so sore! Even though I've been doing cardio on my elliptical for over two months, this jogging thing worked different muscles and they are sore. I plan on going out again tomorrow, as long as it isn't snowing.
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
sarcare, I noticed that, too! That's one of the reasons I decided to start jogging instead of doing the elliptical. The jogging seems to give me more of a workout, even if it's harder on my knees and ankles.

Posted by Kristen (Member # 9200) on :
I have always thought you should exercise 4 days MAX for the sake of your knees. Even exercise is best in moderation it appears.
Posted by Amilia (Member # 8912) on :
I really want to find a gym that ISN'T the school gym because the people who use the machines at school are all huge, scary muscle men.
As intimidating as they are, all of the big scary muscle men I've met at the gym have been very nice. They've always been willing to spot for me, and to help me get the grip on the weights right, etc.
Posted by airmanfour (Member # 6111) on :
If girls didn't go to the gym I wouldn't be half as huge as I am. And working on your legs and core anaerobically helps your running quite a bit too. Focusing on the core (abs, obliques, maybe arms) on your off days will keep it interesting as well as give your heart, lungs, and legs time to recuperate.

Edited to eliminate redundancy.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
pH, the I love the sunlight exposure that I get running outside, too! That really helps me with controlling depression. I just wish running wasn't so hard on my joints. I'm trying to find a new cardio routine too. I used to go rollerblading but I keep getting kicked out of every good spot I find. Maybe I'll try to find an outdoor pool that's open for laps somewhere.

airmanfour, I think your idea of doing core work in the gym on the non-running days is a good one. Gym work definitely helps with running. Pilates is a great core worker, as well. I know big gym guys who incorporate some pilates exercises into their gym work for better core strength.
Posted by gnixing (Member # 768) on :
On a related note: Are there any good exercise videos that Hatrack's Fitness Freaks would recommend? There are a lot out there and most are crap - but are there any good ones that not only work but are fun to do?
Posted by Amilia (Member # 8912) on :
This is my personal favorite. The others in that series are OK, but this one is really good.
Posted by docmagik (Member # 1131) on :
My opinion: If you're not getting some other form of excersize on the off days, I'd say do the trip to the park every day but one. Your body will eventually want to move faster periodically--it sounds like you may already be at this point. Feel free to give in to the urge. And feel free to give in to the urge to stop.

I'd suggest alternating between a relaxed day and a timed day. Have one day where you go whatever pace feels comfortable. Then have one day where you time yourself and try to beat whatever time you got before. Don't bother figuring out how fast you're going or compare times with anybody. Just try to beat your personal best, however much walking that included. The next day, go back to a relaxed pace, although you can feel free to jog part of it if you feel you want to as you go.

If you want a three-day change up, I'd suggest this:

Do one day where you do the route twice, 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes, at a relaxed pace.

Do one day where you try to beat your own time.

Then do one day of intervals--jog fast for say, 30 seconds, then walk for, say, 1:30. Do that 10 times, or maybe 8 times after a 2 minute warm-up. As the weeks go by, work on increasing the amount of time you're jogging and lowering the amount of time you're walking.

Repeat in the same order the next three days, then take a day off.

The longer walk day will increase your endurance, the timed day will increase your speed, and the intervals with increase your cardiovascular fitness.

Oh, and incidently, I'm not a real doctor, I just play one on the internet, so consult a real physician before starting this or any other excersize program.

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