Strength Training and Cardio: Two-In-One Workouts

Strength Training and Cardio: Two-In-One Workouts

Multi-tasking when working out is key, as most of us don’t have several hours to spend at the gym. So workouts incorporating strength training and cardio are a great way to accomplish two forms of exercise at once!

But what kind of workouts pull double duty on cardio and strength training?

Cardio Comes in Various Forms

Before we get to the circuit, I want to spend a few minutes talking about what makes up a great cardio workout.

Certain movements done in a circuit (back to back with no rest) can elevate your heart rate as you progress, giving your body a great cardio session. Many people think of cardio as running, the stair stepper, or high-intensity interval training, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can elevate your heart rate to an aerobic level by doing targeted circuit exercises.

Aerobic and Anaerobic

  • Aerobic: something that you can do for a long period of time without fatiguing quickly.
  • Anaerobic: something you are working very hard at (e.g., sprinting) and can only be done for a short amount of time.

Exercises that double as cardio can be done aerobically, but it could be beneficial to throw in a few exercises that will put your body into an anaerobic state.  For instance, you could do your strength training and throw in a couple of exercises that would spike up your heart rate like high knees, burpees, or jump squats.

A Strength Training and Cardio CircuitA Strength Training and Cardio Circuit

This circuit should be done with movements back to back, and no rest. Each movement can be done for 40 seconds.

Please ensure you are cleared for exercise by your physician before starting. If any exercises cause any pain, please skip that one or substitute with a different movement.

Exercise equipment needed:

  • Dumbbells (light enough that you can press over your head 8-12 times)
  • Water
  • Jump rope

Movement 1: Squat, bicep curl to overhead press

  1. Hold dumbbells at your side as you go into a low squat
  2. As you stand, you’ll start your bicep curl to overhead press. This should be done in one fluid motion
  3.  Once your hands are pressed over your head, bring your arms back to your side and start the movement over again

Movement 2: Up and down arm planks

  1. Start in plank position (with elbows on the ground)
  2. Push up with one hand, then the other
  3. Go back down into plank position with one hand, then the other

Movement 3: Plank to back rows

  1. Hold both dumbbells in your hands in an upward planking position.
  2. Changing arms each time, bring your hand (as a back row) towards your hip keeping your elbow right along your side.

Movement 4:Low Squat Circuit

  1. Start in a wide low squat.
  2. Squat up and down in this position for 20 seconds then hold a low squat for 20 seconds.

Movement 5: V-ups

  1. This is an abdominal exercise. You will start lying down flat on your back.
  2. Lift your arms and legs at the same time to come into a “v” shape with your body, then slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
  3. With this movement, it’s very important to protect your low back.  Do not let your back arch in anyway, keep your lower back pressed into the ground.
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How to Think About Healthy Eating

How to Think About Healthy Eating

If the arrival of summer finds you brimming with motivation to lead a healthier, happier life, great! But with so much information and advice out there, where do you start?

First things first – ditch the diet. Throw out the whole concept of dieting and other health fads and get ready to build healthy habits for life with an entirely new approach to healthy eating.

start afreshStart Afresh

If you, like many people, have gotten stuck in a pattern of yo-yo dieting, dropping and gaining weight over and over again, it’s time to take a step back and start afresh.

The best way to approach healthy eating is to think about how to best fuel your body for life, not just for today. No more three-week diet plans with cheat days. No more ten-day detox diets that leave you hungry and cranky. Instead, it’s time to adopt consistent, healthy practices that are smart, achievable, realistic, and sustainable.

What this looks like in practice will depend on your individual circumstances, including finances, current health status, family obligations, your schedule, and other factors. To help get you started, here are five strategies for lifelong healthy eating:

1. Clear out Your Cupboards

Clear out your cupboards and freezer of anything that you wouldn’t consider healthful. Box it up and take it to the food bank, or give it to family, friends, and neighbours.

So, what are you getting rid of? Cookies, chips, candy, bacon, white rice, canned fruit in syrup, and other high-sugar, high-saturated fat, and nutrient-poor foods.

2. Stock up on Staple Foods

There’s nothing better than a pantry packed with healthy foods to pull from when you’re making meals at home. A healthy pantry should include:

  • Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley, oats)
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Low-sodium or unsalted crushed tomatoes in non-BPA cans
  • Condiments like nutritional yeast and soy sauce
  • Herbs and spices to flavour food and add nutrients

Stock up your freezer with frozen fresh fruits and vegetables, with no syrups, sugar, or salt added. This way, you’ll have everything you need on have to pull together a simple, tasty, and nutritious meal or snack.

make healthy meals in bulk3. Make Healthy Meals in Bulk

If you have more time to cook on the weekends then do the bulk of your food preparation and cooking then. Things like veggie chili, a Thai green curry with fresh vegetables, and a barley, vegetable and lentil soup can be quickly warmed up and served with brown rice or quinoa when you get home from work.

Leftovers make for easy, healthy lunches too! And, you can save time by chopping vegetables on the weekend and storing them in individual containers. Then you’ll have a batch of healthy on-the-go snacks ready for work and after-school activities.

4. Engage Family and Friends

If you work better when you’re accountable to others, announce your intention to eat a consistently healthy diet to your friends, family, and colleagues. Once you tell them that you’ll be eating a delicious and nutritious salad at work every day, rather than grazing on cookies and expensive sandwiches. They will likely notice (and comment!) if they don’t see you eating that salad.

The same goes for making meals at home. Make healthy your new normal. Soon, your spouse, kids, friends, or other dinnertime companions will come to expect and enjoy a nutritious meal.

5. Harness the Power of Habit and Identity

By taking steps to establish a routine of eating a whole food diet that includes fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes, there will be little need to avoid daily temptation.

Research shows that a strong sense of identity is incredibly helpful in staying motivated to consistently engage in behaviours associated with that identity. Being a healthy eater is like being someone who brushes their teeth or being a voter. Naturally, if you are someone who brushes their teeth, it would feel weird for you not to brush your teeth at least twice a day, right?

And now, thanks to your new start this summer, you identify as a healthy eater! You are now a person who picks a side salad over fries, says “no thanks” to cookies and cakes, and who brings your own healthy lunch to work every day. So, just as you might be a voter, a dog lover, a reader, a prize-winning grower of orchids, congratulations – you are now a healthy eater too!

Bryan, C. J., Walton, G. M., Rogers, T., & Dweck, C. S. (2011). Motivating voter turnout by invoking the self. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(31), 12653-12656.

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