Montana Moves Challenge of the Month: That’s Intense!
The Montana Moves March challenge is to meet the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendation of 75 minutes of vigorous/intense exercise per week. The AHA recommendation is 25 minutes, 3x per week. Note that this is in addition to/conjunction with your light/moderate exercise. The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of total exercise per week.
You can think of your exercise regime in terms of what type of exercise you do, how often you do it (frequency), how long you do it for (duration), and how hard it is (intensity). Of all four variables, intensity is arguably the most important. If your exercise routine has gotten, well…routine, adding the spice of intensity can bump you right off the dreaded exercise plateau.
Intense or vigorous exercise doesn’t mean you have to sign up for the CrossFit Games, it just means you make what you usually do a little harder. Here are some ways to go about it:
- Bumping your heart rate above what you’re used to during cardiovascular exercise.
- Short Intervals of increased intensity are fantastic for this
- Hills outdoors, or grade on a treadmill, bumps intensity up quickly
- Added resistance on a spin bike or other cardio machine
- Lifting a little heavier (but with less reps) during resistance training
- Decreasing rest intervals whether cardio or resistance training
- Participating with an exercise group, or in a team sport. Usually the social aspect/competitive nature will bump us to the next level.
Check out these articles from Montana Moves and the American Heart Association for more tips regarding intensity!
Montana Meals Challenge of the Month: Try One New Recipe per week!
March is National Nutrition Month! To celebrate, and to earn points for this challenge, cook a new-to-you healthy recipe at least once each week. Cooking at home is one of the greatest things you can do to improve your nutrition, so put your January-challenge meal planning skills to use & expand your eating horizons with some new menu creations this month. Look for recipes that feature vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or lean protein, and that utilize moderate amounts of plant-based oils.
- Home Cooking Recipes (Harvard School of Public Health)
- Family Friendly Recipes (Meal Makeover Moms)
- 10 Healthy Food Blogs (Huffington Post)