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HEALTH AND FITNESS: Ready, set, go!

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HEALTH AND FITNESS: Ready, set, go!

Most of us could benefit from getting more exercise and, with spring weather here, this is a perfect time to get started. You can meet minimum health recommendations with a 30-minute brisk walk five days per week. You can get even greater fitness benefits by exercising for longer or by doing more vigorous activity, like running or lifting weights. A good goal is to be active every day for at least 30 minutes and include longer or more vigorous exercise sessions when possible.

Many people are motivated by having a goal to begin or add to an exercise program. You may find that training for an event is more rewarding than exercising for the sake of being active. An excellent goal is to prepare to walk or run in a local race. Don’t let the word “race” scare you. Most people who enter these events have the goal of finishing, not winning. That should be your goal, too.

Now is a great time to start training for your first race. The weather is an incentive to be active outdoors because it’s not too hot to be enjoyable. There are several events in our community in the upcoming months that are excellent opportunities for first timers and more seasoned racers. Many events are linked to charities, so they are also good ways to raise money for a good cause.

One example is our area is the Run United event on April 27 which consists of a 5K (5 kilometers or 3.1 miles), 10K (10 kilometers or 6.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles), and a kids fun run. Almost everyone can participate in one of these events with some preparation, so it is a perfect event for the whole family.

If you are starting to walk for exercise, completing a 5K walk is a good goal. Start with a target of 20 minutes of walking per day. You can split this up into 10 minute segments, if necessary. After you are comfortable walking 20 minutes at a time, increase to 30 minutes per day. Continue increasing your walking time until you are up to 45-60 minutes per day, about how long it takes most people to walk three miles. If you already do some walking, gradually build up to this goal.

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Maybe you already walk and are interested in trying running. Preparing for a 5K or 10K is great motivation. Start by adding some jogging into your walking routine. Try alternating 5 minutes of jogging with 10 minutes of walking. Once you are comfortable with that, try 5 minutes of

jogging for every 5 minutes of walking. Increase the duration of the running intervals over time, until you can run for at least 30 minutes for a 5K or 60 minutes for a 10K consecutively.

If running three or six miles is too much, you can always complete those races by alternating walking and running.

Completing the half marathon will require more dedicated training, building up to running (or a run/walk combination) for over two hours. To reduce the risk of injury you should progress slowly, whether you are walking or running. This is particularly important if you are building up to a longer event, like a 10K or half marathon.

Even if you don’t plan to participate in one of these events, the opportunity to get outdoors for a walk or run on a nice day is reason enough to be active. Use this as an opportunity to get your friends and family moving with you. Kids can ride their bike while you walk or run and you can push younger children in a stroller. Older children may want to walk or run with you, and don’t forget to bring your dog!

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This one Apple Fitness feature completely changed how I exercise | Digital Trends

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This one Apple Fitness feature completely changed how I exercise | Digital Trends
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I have a confession to make: I’m not good at sticking to a workout routine. I love running, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, etc. In the moment of those exercises and in the post-workout euphoria, I feel amazing. But when it comes to waking up early in the morning to do these things before work? Well, that’s where I really struggle.

This has been a problem for a while now. I go to bed with the goal of waking up early and going to the gym, but as I groggily open my eyes to snooze the alarm on my iPhone 15 Pro Max, I end up falling back asleep. And I’ve been repeating this over and over and over again.

But that didn’t happen last week. No. Last week, I woke up on time with my early alarm, went to the gym, and knocked out a variety of different workouts — including treadmill runs, core workouts, and strength training routines. What changed? I found the Custom Plans feature in the Apple Fitness app.

Apple added Custom Plans to its Fitness app as part of iOS 17 last fall. The idea is pretty straightforward. Apple allows you to build a plan of Apple Fitness+ workout routines customized to your exact liking. You can choose the days of the week you want to exercise, your total workout time per day, the length of your plan, and what types of activity you want your plan to include. If you want to get really specific, you can even choose your preferred trainers and the music you want in your workouts.

Screenshots of the Custom Plans feature for Apple Fitness Plus.
Digital Trends

Once your Custom Plan is created, it’s featured prominently at the top of the Fitness+ page in the Fitness app. Tapping Your Plan shows all of the workouts planned for the current day, plus a Monday through Sunday view of the current week (with a green circle indicating which days are workout days).

Initially, I didn’t expect to get much out of this. If I haven’t been getting up to go to the gym, what was this mini calendar of preselected workouts really going to do for me? Surprisingly, a lot.

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What changed? I found the Custom Plans feature in the Apple Fitness app.

One of my biggest roadblocks for working out is not knowing what to do. I love the library of exercises available in Apple Fitness+, but it can be daunting to sift through everything and figure out what I should choose. That means a lot of scrolling through workout videos and not feeling particularly motivated or confident about which one to choose. That frustration leads you to decide to not work out that day. Which turns into another missed gym day … and another. Before you know it, it’s been a couple of months before you’ve had a steady workout routine. Whoops!

Custom Plans is the solution to all of that.

Now, when I wake up in the morning, all I have to do is get dressed, fill up my water bottle, and drive to the gym. When I get there, I open the Apple Fitness app and have a list of workouts to do. I don’t have to stress about picking the “right” workouts, getting distracted while scrolling for one to choose, or anything like that. I open the app, tap the workout for that day, and then start working my butt off.

An Apple Watch Series 8 running the Activity app.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The best part? The workouts Apple chooses for me are great. Last Tuesday, I started off with an upper-body strength training routine and a core workout. Wednesday was a treadmill/core day, while Thursday was a longer total-body workout. It’s exactly the type of variety I’ve previously tried to create myself, but now, it’s all handled in the background for me.

Of course, this all comes with one looming question: Will I actually stick with this for the long term? That remains to be seen. At the time of publication, I’m less than two weeks into the five-week plan I created for myself. But so far, I’m loving every second of it.

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Workout Wednesday: The most out of a quick routine

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Workout Wednesday: The most out of a quick routine

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 1:22PM

Workout Wednesday: The most out of a quick routine

In this week’s “Workout Wednesday,” fitness trainer Rhonda Murphy shares a few ways to get the most out of a quick routine.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Sometimes, time is not on our side when it comes to consistent exercise.

In this week’s “Workout Wednesday,” fitness trainer Rhonda Murphy shares a few ways to get the most out of a quick routine.

Copyright © 2024 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Taylor Swift’s Trainer Reveals Her Eras Workout Routine

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Taylor Swift’s Trainer Reveals Her Eras Workout Routine

Do we all really have the same amount of hours in our day as Taylor Swift? It’s hard for me to imagine – she’s writing entire surprise albums while on the highest-grossing tour in history for a different Grammy-winning album; I’m having trouble balancing finishing my laundry, finding time to eat lunch, and getting in my 10,000 steps.

“Her work ethic is just incredible,” Kirk Myers tells me over Zoom. He would know: the owner of New York and LA’s Dogpound Gym has been training the star for almost a decade now. “I’m ready to be known as ‘Taylor Swift’s trainer’. I don’t think there’s a cooler title out there.”

Myers has seen Swift through many of her Eras (he came on board during the 1989 album) – but he’s also had quite a few of his own. A self-described “husky” child, he got into fitness and training through a love of sports, though a few run-ins with a heart condition quickly derailed his calling. After moving to New York City to be near family, he was able to return to training at a gym in Soho and quickly acquired two new clients: his future business partner and CEO Jenny Liu, and his first celebrity signing, Hugh Jackman. “I had a friend that really made an amazing transformation in 30 days and I asked, ‘What the hell happened to you? Who is training you?’ All he said was, ‘Kirk’,” Liu recalls. “I was like, ‘Well, sign me up for Kirk because I have a wedding to get ready for.’”

From there, Myers clientele grew, and his gym Dogpound was born. Word of mouth was Myers’s greatest calling card – I can practically feel his energy through the WiFi. “It’s mostly one-on-one training, where I really look at your goals and what you are specifically trying to hit.” The goals might be a wedding, hitting a fitness personal record, or an upcoming role in a film

“I want you to come by and try the Taylor routine soon,” he says towards the end of our interview. “Though it’s really hard, some people would probably throw up or have to lay down on the floor if they trained like her,” he ends with a laugh. I mention that I basically haven’t exercised since before the pandemic. “Oh, then you’ll definitely throw up.”

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Taylor Swift’s workout routine

“It’s tailored,” says Myers with an emphasis on the pun. “We approached her training for the Eras tour with the mindset of a professional athlete. There was an ‘off-season’ when she wasn’t touring and ‘in-season’ when she was.” Off-season training with Swift and Myers is intense, to say the least: “When she’s not touring, we’re in the gym up to six days a week for sometimes two hours a day.” The focuses are strength, conditioning, and targeting her core.

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