Keep Those Fitness Goals!

Even though we haven’t had snow this year, winter sure seems to be lasting a long time.  If you’re like me and made a pledge to become more fit in 2012, here are a few simple and free exercise resources that just might rekindle your motivation and reduce the winter blahs!

Bodyweight Exercises:

Bodyweight exercises are simple strength training exercises that don’t require weights– your own weight serves as all of the resistance that you need.  Push ups, pullups, and sit ups some of the most common bodyweight exercises.

One of my favorite bodyweight resources is located at http://www.simplefit.org.  It provides users with quick, straightforward, and effective workouts designed to help build muscle and strength.  The best part is, you can do it from home with just a few simple pieces of equipment!

The Minuteman Network also owns multiple copies of Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises, which is another great resource that will provide you with great strength-building exercises that involve little, if any, gym equipment.

Kettlebells:

If you’re looking for an intense strength workout that doesn’t require a trip to the gym, look no further than the kettlebell!  It’s an iron weight that looks like a bell (shocking, I know!).  Kettlebell exercises combine cardio, strength, and flexibility.

And in amazing news, the Minuteman Library Network carries several useful books that focus on the kettlebell, including Enter the Kettlebell! Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen, by Pavel; Complete Guide to Kettlebell Training, by Allan Collins; and Kettlebells for Dummies, by Sara Lurie.

Interval Workouts:

A great way to burn calories is through interval training.  Interval training mixes bursts of high-intensity work with periods of low-intensity work. The high-intensity bursts are typically at or close to maximum effort, while the recovery periods are either involve complete rest or lower-intensity activity.  Interval training can be used in any kind of cardio workout, like cycling, running, or even rowing.

One of the most popular interval training programs is P90X, which is a collection of intense workouts that places your body in a state of muscle confusion.  The Minuteman Library Network owns multiple copies of the 13-DVD program, if you would like to give it a try!  The library also owns a copy of Bring It!, a companion exercise book by P90X creator Tony Horton.

Run Run Run:

Even though it’s chilly out, running is one of the most energizing activities that you can do in the wintertime!  And if you’re tired of running the same old routes around your neighborhood, you can check out Mark Lowenstein’s Great Runs in Boston and Great Runs in Boston Burbs.  Both of these books can be found at the library, and they are full of interesting and scenic run possibilities!  Winter is also a great time to start training for spring races, many of which you can find and sign up for on http://www.active.com/.

No matter what kind of exercise interests you, the library has a host of excellent resources that you can use to achieve your fitness goals.  Good luck– and have fun!  And remember, spring is just around the corner!

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