Kathleen Trotter, The Globe’s personal trainer columnist, has devised a workout plan to jumpstart your year.
Welcome to my 30-day health challenge. This isn’t another iteration of the cookie-cutter challenges (100 push-ups in 30 days, really?) popular on social media. My plan is realistic, balanced, safe and results-oriented. It is everything you need to adopt a more active lifestyle in 2015.
The details: The plan is based on a three-day cycle. Day 1 focuses on the lower body, Day 2 on the upper body. Day 3 is all about your core. The exercises build on each other with every new cycle. By the end of the month you will be doing a full lower-body, upper-body and core routine.
The step challenge: Most days you will also have a step challenge. The purpose is to help you integrate movement into your daily life. By the end of the month, the goal is to consistently take 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of roughly an hour of daily movement. Don’t worry, you can break the steps up. Walk home from the subway, take the stairs or go out at lunch.
Cardio: As the challenge progresses, you will also do three cardio workouts a week. They can be done on any machine, by running or speed-walking outside or even in a pool. Aim to keep your heart rate between 60 to 85 per cent of your max. To calculate the low end of your range, subtract your age from 220 and then multiply that number by .6. Multiply instead by .85 to calculate your high end. You can also use the talk test: If you are within your appropriate heart-rate range, you should only be able to say a short sentence such as “how are you?”
How to pick your weights: Pick a weight or exercise variation that allows you to complete all the specified repetitions with good form. If you are new to exercise, don’t hold any weights at all.
Click on the weeks below to find the complete 30-day challenge. You can also find the program at tgam.ca/30daychallenge.