Monday, January 20, 2014

Intensity and Pitbull

Pitbull Dance Party

   We like to have fun at Jazzercise. Take, for example, the dance party we had at a 5:30 class last week, complete with special guests on stage and prizes. (Yes, I won the Juice Stop gift card. Boom!)
   Combine music by Pitbull with routines by Jazzercise and you have one intense workout. How do I know? I wear one of those watches that monitors heart rate. That class was a pumper. Even without the monitor, I could tell I was working hard. My mother likes to say, "Ladies don't sweat, they glow." I was definitely a-glow.
   Intensity in a workout is important, whether you’re trying to lose weight or train for a marathon. If you’re not working hard enough, you won’t get results. If you work out too hard, you risk injury.
   Finding the right intensity to meet your goals is the tricky part and is affected by things like age, weight, fitness level and genetics. A general rule of thumb is to shoot for 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. I don’t do math but there are great target heart rate calculators online to help you figure out your numbers.
   As you become more fit, your workout might start to feel easy. That’s when it’s time to change it up: lift your knees higher, add weight, try an interval class that that combines lower intensity activity with short bursts of hard training, mix in a bike ride or a brisk walk.
   The point is, your workout should be as individual as you are and always a work in progress.
   For me, working out also has to be fun or I won’t stick with it.
   And what’s more fun than a mid-week Jazzercise dance party?

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