NCH is part of Endeavor Health

Learn more

News  ›  Fitness and Nutrition

7 smart workouts: This is how you get fit

February 4, 2019

Michael Brandson, Personal Trainer at the NCH Wellness Center

Your daily workout doesn’t have to be dull or repetitive, and if you alter what you do each day, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Changing up your routine maintains interest, burns calories, increases energy and challenges a variety of muscle groups. The NCH Wellness Center has you covered with seven creative workouts, one for each day of the week. So let’s get started.

Day 1: Incline walking and core

Get yourself on a treadmill to do some incline walking, preferably 25 minutes, if the exertion level is hard. Try 30 to 60 minutes with moderate exertion and a lower incline. Walking 2 mph feels painfully slow on a flat grade, but can be extremely challenging at a 30 to 40 percent grade. Follow it up with these three mat exercises to strengthen your core:

  • Dead bug
  • Bird dog
  • Modified side plank

Day 2: Strength circuit

Spend 30 to 60 minutes (or 10 to 20 total exercise sets) on strength-based moves that benefit your whole body. Some of these use weights or other apparatus. Try the following:

  • High or low plank
  • Box squat or goblet squat
  • Suspension or bent-over row
  • Reverse lunge
  • Incline or suspension push up

Day 3: Upright walking for aerobic endurance

Try 30 to 60 minutes of walking on the Technogym SkillMill at the NCH Wellness Center. You are the motor. Walking on the SkillMill with zero brake is better than walking on a regular treadmill on a zero percent grade. If using a standard treadmill, always use at least one to three percent on the grade and avoid holding on unless you feel unsafe.

Day 4: Strength circuit

Try 30 to 60 minutes or 10 to 20 total exercise sets of the following exercises:

  • Glute barbell bridge
  • Assisted pull-up
  • Step up
  • Dowel or barbell shoulder press
  • Kettlebell deadlift

Any of the trainers at the NCH Wellness Center can assist with these moves and help you with your form.

Day 5: Stair climbing and core

Spend 30 minutes climbing stairs. Did you know that stair climbing burns four times the energy of walking at a zero percent grade? There’s also less shock to your knees. Finish off the workout with the three mat core exercises from Day 1.

Day 6: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Try this stationary bike workout:

  • Warm up for three minutes (effort = easy, SPM = 80 to 85).
  • Do one practice cycle of 20 seconds hard, 40 seconds, easy.
  • Do three “all out” cycles of 20 seconds to exhaustion, 40 seconds, easy.
  • Cool down for three minutes (same effort as warm up).

Tips: Focus on postural awareness, movement awareness (glutes should be the primary engines) and breathing.

Day 7: Fun day

Use this last day to do a fun calorie-burning activity with family or friends for 30 to 60 minutes. Consider the following:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Playing tag with your kids
  • Swimming
  • Walking outside with friends
  • Tennis
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Rock climbing
  • Bowling
  • Yoga

For photos and explanations of the 7 smart workouts, follow the NCH Wellness Center on Instagram. Learn more about the NCH Wellness Center or call a Personal Training Coordinator at 847-618-3608 to get on the road to fitness today.