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Starkey Park Map Progress: April 2014

My  last post introduced my new project of re-writing the map for the Starkey Park trails.  There are miles and miles of great trails to explore at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, but not that easy to navigate. This weekend we were able to uncover a few new trails to add to my growing map.

The first path I wanted to find was a very obvious connector trail between the hiking path and the horse trail.  Obvious by satellite, that is.  I have never actually seen this path as I run by.  Saturday, Sean, NiKYO (my trusty pup), and I set out to look for it.  It was hidden a bit, but we were able to spot it behind some bushes, and then follow it all the way to the horse trail.  It was an interesting cut through, and there were some boot prints along the way, so we were not the only ones to know how to find this “secret connector”.  Once we were on the horse trails, we made our way along some routes we have not travelled in a while, so it was great checking them out again.  A water crossing forced us to change our original plans, but it ended up helping us discover a new path we have never been on:  Black Racer Loop!

We took the very squiggly path that had us zig-zagging in different directions.  At one spot, we saw a black racer snake sunning itself (hence the name of the path)!  Sean and I were not quite sure where it would take us, and it meandered a lot longer than we originally thought.  After about a mile, we finally came out onto a path we knew: the east side of Moccasin Way.  NiKYO and I had just ran this route on Thursday, and I had even made a mental note to check out the path that turned off of it at a later date… I just didn’t know the later date would be two days later, on accident, approaching from the other direction!

It was a great discovery, and once home, I rechecked our route on satellite, then added it to my sketched out map.  (I’ll be posting my actual map soon, once I have more progress on it.)  I can’t wait to uncover more trails!


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5 Reasons to Try High Intensity Interval Training

photo(39)     High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a great way to structure your exercise.  If you want to maximize your time and calorie burning, then you need to be incorporating HIIT training into your fitness routine.  Here are 5 reasons to try High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Efficiency.  HIIT training will burn more calories in less time.  The workouts are fast (30 minutes or less), but you are working at an intense pace.  You will still torch the same calories, or more, as steady state cardio for an hour.

2. Mega Fat Burner.  Aside from the calories burned during the HIIT session, because of the intense muscle repair, your body will burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours.  You will also boost your levels of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which is responsible for your metabolism rate.

3.  Improve Cardio.  Are you a runner who enjoys long distance runs?  HIIT runs will help improve your aerobic function as well.  You may not always have time for a long run, but a short 20-30 minute Interval run will help improve your running.

4.  No Gym Required.  Traveling? Can’t make it to the gym?  HIIT can come in many forms, many you do not need a gym for.  Try a circuit of squats, push-ups, lunges, dips, and sit ups.  Or take it outdoors and perform and interval run (one will be described below).

5.  Rewarding.  HIIT training is very challenging in a very short period of time.  But it also is rewarding to make it through a HIIT session and know you gave it your all!  If you feel you don’t have time to train, sticking to your plan with short HIIT sessions is a great motivator.

You can perform HIIT training as a cardio routine, or even a strength routine, done circuit style.  For a sample cardio HIIT, try an outdoor run:  Warm up for 5 minutes with a walk or easy jog.  Run hard for 3 minutes, then recover for 1 minute with a walk or jog.  Repeat for a total of 5 times, then cool down.  HIIT sessions are a way to keep to your fitness plan despite a busy schedule!