Fitness Plan: Cardiovascular Health

“When I was a kid, I could run, swim, and bike all day — but now I get tired just thinking about running to the mailbox.” If you’ve ever said something like that, you’re not alone.

When we’re kids, we have fun, and cardiovascular exercise is often a natural byproduct. As our age increases, sometimes our physical abilities decrease. Whether it’s due to illness, injury or lifestyle, it happens. But one thing that should not decrease is our ability to have fun.

This month pump some extra fun into your life by picking a favorite childhood activity or game to enjoy each week. To make sure you get cardiovascular health benefits, let’s add some classic fun to the month’s fitness plan as well. Try this dice game with the exercises below. Alternate rolling one or two dice. For each roll, try 1-2 minutes of the activity corresponding to the number of your roll. For example, if you roll a 1, spend 1 to 2 minutes jumping rope. If you roll a six after that, then spend 1 to 2 minutes doing jumping jacks. If you roll a number twice in a row, roll again for a new exercise. Challenge yourself (and your friends) to set new records for how many reps you can do for each exercise in its 1- or 2-minute timeframe!

  1. Jumping Rope (shown in this month’s video)
  2. Box Jumps/Box Steps (shown in this month’s video)
  3. Shadow Boxing (shown in this month’s video)
  4. High Knees (see Fitness Challenge, Week 5 video)
  5. Stairs (shown in this month’s video)
  6. Jumping Jacks (shown in this month’s video)
  7. Squat Jumps
  8. Burpees (see June 2017 fitness video)
  9. Speed Skaters (see June 2017 fitness video)
  10. Forward Jumps
  11. Bodyweight Lunges (see July 2016 fitness video)
  12. Skipping

Nutrition Plan: Antioxidants

Even as you are reading this, there are micro-ninjas attacking the cells in your body. Scientists and doctors call these ninjas free radicals. Their resulting damage can cause conditions like atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and even cancer. Free radicals occur during normal body processes such as digestion, or may come from external sources such as exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, or chemicals.

Antioxidants are responsible for protecting our bodies from damage caused by free radicals. Examples of antioxidants include: beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, and vitamins A, B and C. You can get antioxidants from a variety of yummy foods. This month’s recipes and grocery list are sure to help you boost your intake of antioxidants so that you can handle any free radicals coming your way!


Blueberry Breakfast Cookies


Red Bean Salad

Artichoke Spinach Chicken Bake

Apple, Cranberry, Pecan Salad

Antioxidant-Infused Water