Literacy Development

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How to Start on the New You – Three Easy Fitness Tips

Before you get started on your journey to the new you, here’s a list of 3 things you should do first.

1. Make sure you have the right athletic shoes.

Are you flat footed? Not sure? What kind of surface are you running on?….. Asphalt road? Rubber track? Dirt trail? How much do you weigh? What gender are you? Do you wear orthotics? Might you need orthotics? How should you lace your shoes? Did you know there are multiple ways to lace your shoes in order to make them more comfortable? These are important factors to think about when choosing a shoe.

2. Determine your THR (training heart rate) Zone.

Many people know that it is important to record and track sets, reps, and weight to ensure progress during a weight training program. Yet many of those same people don’t bother to pay attention to their heart rate during an endurance training program. Think of the THR Zone as sets & reps for your heart while it’s engaged in an endurance training program.

Before you start plugging in numbers, let’s go over a few basics. First, we want to customize the THR Zone to your fitness level. To do so, you’ll first want to determine your resting heart rate. The more fit you are the lower your resting heart rate will be and vice versa. This is why it’s important to factor your resting HR into your THR Zone calculation. The calculator will still calculate a THR Zone without this number but it’s best WITH resting HR factored in. To determine your resting heart rate you ideally want to count your pulse for 30 seconds upon waking in the mornings. Take that number and multiply it by 2 and that’s your resting heart rate. Check it a couple days in a row upon waking to make sure it’s consistent. Remember that exercise, caffeine, stress, sleep, and medication can affect your resting pulse, this is why you want to check it upon waking after a good night’s rest.

Then we want to calculate 3 Training Zones. Warm-up/Cool Down Zone, Aerobic Zone, & Interval Zone.

For the Warm-Up/Cool Down Zone enter 45% in the Heart Rate A box in the left column of the Training Zone Calculator and 65% in the Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for warming up and cooling down. In terms of the warm-up, this should make up the first 5 to 10 minutes of your workout and you should break your first bead of sweat during this time. In terms of the cool down, you should repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes at the end of the workout. However, instead of breaking a sweat, your goal during the cool-down is to commence the recovery process. The cool-down will allow you to get your hear rate to come down gradually instead of just letting it “crash” by abruptly stopping your workout.

Aerobic Zone: Enter 65% in Heart Rate A box and 85% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a THR Zone for working on endurance and burning calories. The bulk of your workout may fall in this zone (20 to 40 min). As your fitness level improves you may try to spend more of your time at the top end of this zone.

Interval Zone: Enter 85% in Heart Rate A box and 100% in Heart Rate B box. Click calculate in the right column and it will give you a HR Zone for working on high intensity activities/intervals of short duration (10 to 120 sec).

Many of you know that I advocate interval training. Once you’ve calculated your zones, you can do some cool things with these numbers to truly customize your workout. Here’s one example:

Let’s say you are lifting weights and you’re doing supersets (this is just one type of interval training). You can use your heart rate to determine how much rest you should take between sets. Instead of coming up with an arbitrary unit of time and then staring at the clock between supersets, you can use your THR Zone to allow your fitness level to dictate your rest period.

First, do your superset. If it’s intense enough, it will raise your HR up into your interval zone (if not, you can increase the intensity by increasing weight and/or reps and by adjusting your tempo). Once your superset is done you will rest until your HR falls down into your warm-up/cool down zone. Then start your next superset.

As your fitness improves, a couple of things will happen. First, you will need to increase the intensity of your supersets just to get your HR up into the interval zone again. Second, as your fitness increases, your HR will drop back down into the warm-up/cool down zone faster thus naturally shortening your rest period. This is a very effective way of tailoring your workouts to your fitness level and it can make a huge difference in your results.

Click here for the THR Calculator

3. Give yourself a fighting chance

When you feel pressed for time, convenient and efficient workouts are of utmost importance. Wouldn’t it be great if you could squeeze in an effective workout in the comfort of your own home? You can build yourself a home gym without a single hammer or nail and do it on a shoe-string budget. You can get a very effective workout with light kettlebells, dumbells, medicine balls, stability balls, resistance bands, etc….

I wish you and yours all the best.

Till next time… Train Like You Play, Play Like You Train.

How To Start Marketing Your Business

To new business owners, starting a business is often its own reward. They are thrilled to be able to be their own bosses, and to successfully get a business up and running. Often they are happy just to keep the dream alive.But every business needs to grow. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to a larger market – it means working toward increasing your share of the one you are targeting. This will keep your business healthy enough to survive obstacles such as tough economic times.In order to keep moving forward, we need to market our businesses constantly. We need to dedicate a certain percentage of our resources to building our brand and reaching our target market. Here are some simple things you can do to help your business grow.Have a clear picture of your target market. Find out what types of people use the products and services you provide and respond to your business philosophies. If you’re not marketing to the right people, all will be lost.Research, research, research. Determine how to best reach your target market and what they expect out of your offerings. Study your competition carefully, and make note of what they’re doing right and wrong.Choose your marketing channels wisely.If your target market rarely reads, there’s no point in advertising in a magazine. Use what you’ve learned about them to find the best possible outlets for your message, and focus your marketing efforts there.Give your advertising a chance. Studies show that consumers require repeated exposure to a product before they will even consider buying. So don’t be surprised if one ad run doesn’t bring spectacular results. If you’ve done your homework and found a viable way to reach your market, run the ad at least two more times before you evaluate the results.Take advantage of free publicity. Sending out press releases and finding other ways to attract the media will give you high-quality exposure, and it won’t eat into your budget.Keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If what you’re doing is working, you should be generating more revenue. Use some of that revenue to do more marketing. If it isn’t working, make adjustments and try again.Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back with your marketing plans. But that’s not a sign you’ve failed. It’s a sign that you’re a smart marketer. Sometimes the market changes, and it’s up to us to monitor those changes and adjust our marketing plans accordingly. No successful company markets the same way forever. By evolving with our target market, we can make our marketing work better.