One full body exercise – the super burpee

Sometimes planning workouts can be tedious and you just don’t have time to think about what muscles you’re working out.  So I give you the super burpee, one full body (exhausting) exercise! It even throws in a little cardio.  Once again, no gym or equipment needed, you don’t even need sneakers … just about 6 square foot of space and yourself.  Although, clothes are suggested if you’re doing this in a public place…

Start by standing straight up with good posture and engaging your abs.  Slowly drop down into a squat and hold for a slow 3 count.  You can lightly rest your hands on your knees or hips to maintain good posture or hold them straight out in front of you if you need help balancing.  When in squat position keep your back completely straight and your knees at 90 degree angles, your knee should be directly above your foot. From this position roll your body slightly forward and place your palms on the ground, your legs should be tucked underneath your body.  Next you will quickly kick your legs out straight behind you so you are in push up position.  From here lower yourself into a push up, hold for a second at your lowest point and then come right back up.  Remember to keep your back straight and your abs engaged.  Your body should be completely straight like a plank.  Quickly kick your legs back into tuck position while keeping your palms on the ground.  Pushing off the ground with your legs jump as high as you can into the air.  While in the air uncoil your body and stretch your arms above your head like you are trying to touch the ceiling.  Once your feet return to the ground keep both of you arms stretched about your head.  Bring one knee right up to your chest while lowering the opposite arm so your elbow almost meets your knee.  Hold this standing crunch for a second and return your foot to the ground and stretch yourarm back to the ceiling.  Now repeat with the other leg.  Next drop back down into squat position and repeat again.  Use this move when you don’t have time to target muscle groups individually or you want to do a full body workout but only have a few minutes. 

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20 reasons why running is the perfect post graduation workout

It’s really easy

1. It’s free! No gym subscription, equipment costs or training fees.

2. You already know how to do it.  Put one foot in front of the other…

3. You can do it anywhere and at any time.

Fitness Benefits

4.  Compared to other cardio activities it burns far more calories – depending on your weight and size – somewhere between 705 – 865 calories per hour.  This compared to stairs (637-746), rowing (606-739), cross-country skiing (595-678) or biking (498-604).

5. Running will truly reduce your body fat percentage. The ACSM studied individuals who ran more than 50 miles per week and found they had significantly higher HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), lower triglyceride levels (body fat), and a decreased risk of coronary heart disease compared to individuals who ran less than 10 miles.

6. Running is an incredibly time efficient work out.  If you go for a 30-minute run, you are truly working out for the full 30 minutes.

7. Running is believed to be one of the most efficient fat burning exercises.  Scientists believe this may be due to the weight-bearing and pounding of running that you don’t get with exercises like cycling or swimming.

Physical Health Benefits

8. Running will strengthen your heart.  Every time your foot hits the ground your leg muscles contract forcing blood back towards your heart, making it work harder to pump it back to your leg muscles.  Like any other muscle, forcing the heart to work harder strengthens it.

9. Related to this, running has been shown to decrease your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

10. Additionally, running has been shown to lower blood pressure and boost immunity.

11. Many people believe that running can be tough on your joints, but it actually helps prevent osteoporosis by helping keep excess weight off so there is less strain on your knees.  It also increases blood and oxygen flow to your joints, which can flush out toxins and strengthen your ligaments.

12. There seems to be a correlation between how much you run and your risk of developing many types of cancers (including colon, breast, endometrial, and lung).  The British Journal of Cancer recently found that active people, those who ran or walked for 5-6 hours a week, were 24% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who only walked for 30 minutes/week.  Similarly, the National Cancer Institute claims that women with the highest levels of aerobic activity have a 30% less chance of developing breast cancer than those who do no vigorous activity.

13. Surprisingly, running has also been shown to decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

14. Who doesn’t want to live longer? Stanford University School of Medicine tracked approximately 500 runners and 500 healthy non-runners over the age of 50 for 20 years.  They all took a disability test at the beginning of the study that evaluated how easily they completed simple tasks like washing their hair, cutting meat or opening a cartoon of milk.  As the subjects aged the disability levels were significantly lower in runners than non-runners suggesting runners age much better.  The study concluded that running improved response to vaccination and improved learning thinking and memory.  Additionally, after 20 years, 85% of runners were still alive while only 66% of non-runners were…

15. Running has been shown to increase bone mass and lower inflammation. 

Mental Health Benefits

16. Running can also be incredibly beneficial to your mental health.  In fact, it is common for mental health experts to prescribe running to treat depression and drug and alcohol addiction. 

17. Stress Relief!!!

Other bonuses 

18. Guilt free me time! Running is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy your own company. 

19. Self Defense – if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation it’s always good to be able to get away from it as fast as possible!

20. Running can be a great way to discover places.  Since you are on foot and not rushing to get anywhere is particular you may discover things you’d otherwise drive right by.