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Circuit Training: A great way to improve your health
March 5, 2014
Kin Wai Wu, MSPT
I moved to Seattle 2 years ago and I have to admit that I miss the life warming sun. The “wet” season could rob the joy out of your life. I am an outdoor enthusiast and I have to admit that running or cycling in rain could get old very quickly. I often find new things to do in order to keep myself active. A few years ago, I stumble upon a fitness group from Facebook. Their training emphasizes to increase functional strength and endurance of our daily activities via circuit training.
Circuit training is a fast-paced class with several of exercise stations. You move from station to station based on a prescribed workout of the day. It is a moderate to intense full body workout program that completes in a short period of time (15-60 minutes on average). It challenges participant’s flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, and cardiovascular capacity. Exercise equipment for circuit training mainly includes your body weight. External weight such as dumb bells, barbell and medicine ball could be added in certain routine. This exercise routine could be as simple as a combination of sit-ups, pushups, pull-ups, and squats (number of sets and reps are variable depending on your fitness level). It could be as hardcore as CrossFit. I call CrossFit training “circuit training on steroid”. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlVrkiCoKkg
Guess what, circuit training could even have an anti-aging effect. Your body will burn more calories with the high intensity training program and therefore trigger your body to produce anabolic hormones to promote muscle growth. If more new cells are replacing your old cells, you will perform activities at a higher level. You will also look younger and healthier with better circulation and faster metabolism. This is not rocket science!!
I know you will have some question like “David, you are physical therapist, why are you posting this blog that could potentially harm us?” Here is my answer: Circuit training is for people who already have a basic understanding of cardiovascular fitness and weight training. You cannot perform like those CrossFit athletes at CrossFit game at day 1!! I recommend you consult with your athletic trainer (or me) if you are interested at circuit training.
Here are my tips before any kind of exercise routine: make sure you do plenty of warming-up before the training. Begin to warm-up your body by walking/jogging 1/8 to ¼ miles. Next perform 5-10 reps of push-ups, and sit-ups follow by a set of stretching activities (30 second for each muscle group).
Exercise is supposed to be fun and raise your self esteem. Please listen to your body and know when to stop. Enjoy your exercises.