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Get Fit for Fall
Part 1 of 2
By: Jackie Wright

Now that summer vacations are over and the kids are back in school, it is the ideal time to really get back into a solid exercise program or begin to build one if you are new to fitness. Consequently, this and next week our focus will be on providing you with a comprehensive, safe, effective and fun fall exercise program. A circuit format will be utilized which incorporates all five physical fitness components (i.e. cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility). Also included in this exercise program will be agility, balance, coordination, stability, mobility and power skills.

Keep in mind that no matter what new trend may be featured in the latest infomercials or magazines, that most comprehensive exercise programs include all five components of physical fitness and necessarily place safety of the participant as the number one goal. Therefore, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is, listen to your body, use common sense and if it hurts, don't do it. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Fall Exercise Program - approximately 75 minutes in duration

Warm-up - 5-10 minutes with general body movement elevating the heart rate to approximately 65 percent of your maximum heart rate or a one to two on the RPE scale which is very light to light exertion.

Perform each exercise on weight-training stations for 30 seconds, take a 15-second break to change sides or for active recovery, and then repeat another set; then move to the next station. If the station is designated as a cardio station, continue working through the entire 75-second interval. You should be able to say your name and telephone number throughout but not carry on a continuous conversation.

Set up the circuit prior to beginning so you can smoothly flow from one station to the next. Complete one to three circuits depending upon your fitness level and time allotment, two-three times per week on alternating days. Choose dumbbells which will take you to momentary muscle failure within 8-12 repetitions.

Circuit -40 minutes - equipment needed-moderate/heavy dumbbells, stability ball, gliding discs/paper plates and jump rope

  • Station #1 - Walk/run stairs - cardio
  • Station #2 - Wall Squats - stability ball with biceps curls; moderate/heavy dumbbells
  • Station #3 - Jump Rope or Step Touch - cardio
  • Station #4 - Stationary Lunges with lateral raises - moderate dumbbells
  • Station #5 - High or low jumping jacks - cardio
  • Station #6 - Triceps dips - bench
  • Station #7 - Mountain Climbers with gliding discs/paper plates from an elevated surface such as a stable countertop or step approximately 12 inches high - cardio
  • Station #8 - Pull Ups - assisted or unassisted or bent over rows with one moderate/heavy dumbbell
  • Station #9 - Modified or full pushups
  • Station #10 - Bench Press - stability ball - moderate/heavy dumbbells
  • Station #11 - Supine hip extension - stability ball

Abdominals/Core Segment: 10-15 minutes

  • Kneeling roll outs - stability ball
  • Prone roll outs -stability ball
  • Supine Roll Ups
  • Supine Roll Ups with rotations
  • Prone Spinal Extension - stability ball

Cool-down stretch/flexibility segment: 10-15 minutes

Perform stretches for all major muscle groups of the body. Hold each stretch for approximately 15-30 seconds to a point of tightness, never pain.

Click here to read part two of the Get Fit for Fall series which includes details on this exercise program .
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