You already know I’m an avid runner and hiker.
If the weather is good – and here in Florida, it usually is – I’ll head outside for a good cardio workout.
But strength training is also essential.
It helps build up the muscle mass needed to reduce your risk of falling.
I do strength training about 3 times per week, using various tools and equipment to give my full body a workout.
Here are some of my favorites:
Also, called barbells or dumbbells, these weights are great to work different parts of your arms and can add some resistance to leg work.
Even better, you can do many exercises with free weights sitting or lying down, so you don’t strain your back.
If you’re just starting out, begin with a lighter weight. As you build strength and gain muscle, increase your weight to continuously challenge your body.
These “bells” are essentially cast-iron balls with handles, and are a fun alternative to traditional weights.
Kettlebells come in different weights typically noted by a different color, so you can tailor your workout with the appropriate bell.
Use them with squats and lunges to add some resistance. Or, give “Kettlebell swings” a try to work your buns (I’m trying, Karen!), legs, and lower back.
I prefer to get my cardio workouts outside, but on the rare occasion that it’s nasty outside, I’ll hop on a rowing machine.
I prefer the rowing machines over other cardio machines because they allow me to work both my legs and arms at the same time.
Plus, rowing is easy on the joints.
Cable strength machines.
The gym is filled with equipment that can seem a bit intimidating.
I tend to stick to the strength machines with pulleys and cables.
The weights on these machines are easily adjustable and you can use them to work a variety of areas… from your arms and legs, to your back and core.
Foam rollers have become popular to ease post-exercise muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation. They help to relieve aches and pains to better increase joint range of motion.
But they’re pretty bulky, and hard to travel with…
So instead, my favorite roller is the Arctic Roller.
I pop it in my freezer at night, and when I’ve wrapped up my workout the next day, I roll it over the areas of my body that are feeling it, targeting aches and pains, often before they start.
The combination of cold therapy and pinpoint pressure massage really beats away my tight spots so I’m less sore the next day. And the cold therapy stems inflammation, without the mess of an ice pack:
It’s the perfect way to end a workout.