February is American Heart Month — the 30 Day Cardio Interval Challenge was created to support the national efforts!
According to the CDC, “Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.” Such a bummer! I first heard a version of this stat in a freshman college class way back in 1995 and my career choice was made. The really good news is that almost all risk factors associated with heart disease are lifestyle related. That means eating, moving and thinking right can literally add years to your life!
Why the 30-Day Cardio Interval Challenge?
In the spirit of a happy heart in February, the 30 Day Challenge Series is here with a brand new, fun and intense challenge that will put your ticker to work and strengthen and tone all the major muscles in your body! Cardio intervals are short bursts of intense exercise that get your heart pumping, lungs working and body moving! The five exercises that were selected not just get your cardio on, they also work primary muscles — so you get some shaping and toning while you’re at it! Incorporating short, intense bursts of cardio can be a great way to take your fitness to the next level and bust through any plateau.
Should you choose to accept the 30 Day Cardio Interval Challenge, this is what you will do:
At the end of your regular exercise routine, add one session of each of the following moves. Aim for at least 30 seconds per exercise for week one and increase by at least 15 seconds each week. Time your intervals, and record them on your tracker.
- Bicycle Crunches
- Jump Squats
- Ski Jumps
- Mountain Climbers
No regular exercise routine? No problem! These little guys alone can be a great way to kick off any exercise program. Be sure to do an easy warm up for 5-10 minutes and cool down for about 5 minutes with some easy stretching for best results. All of these exercises are body weight movements, so you have lots of control over the intensity of each move. But as always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you believe you are at risk for heart disease.
Not clear on all of the Cardio Interval Moves?
The Fine Print:
- You can do these moves as often as you like, up to 7 days per week! To be an official member of the challenge, you must commit to at least 4 days per week.
- At the beginning of the month you will record your resting heart rate and again at the end of the month. A lowered resting heart rate is a sigh of a healthier and stronger heart. It’s best to take this measurement first thing in the morning while you are still laying in bed.
- Using your tracker, record how long you’re doing each move. Remember, all days might not be better, that’s ok and normal. Focus on the overall trend and celebrate every day you get stronger! Just try to increase the duration by at least 15 seconds per exercise per week.
- Recovery in between sets is a pretty big deal too — try not to take more than half the duration of the interval (i.e. you did the bicycle crunches for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds before moving to jump squats).
- Because a healthy heart is also a happy heart, make sure you record at least one happy thought per day 🙂
- And yes, this is actually only a 28 day challenge even though it’s called a 30 Day Challenge simply because we only get 28 days this month.
So how do you get started on the 30 Day Cardio Interval Challenge?
- Like the Teresa Marie Wellness on FaceBook now.
- Find the 30 Day Cardio Interval Challenge under Events and click “going” then invite your friends to make it more fun.
- Get access to all the trackers by joining the community here. If you have already signed up, then at the end of every month, you automatically receive a newsletter with all the links to the trackers.
- Mark your personal calendar, because your challenge starts Saturday February 1st!
Don’t forget to sign up and get your fun tracker!