Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal
February, 2015

RunKeeper, is an app that helps users track their pace, measure workout distances, and pre-plan their runs and walks.

The app links with the GPS in your smart phone and allows you to plan and trace the exact path of your walk or run.

RunKeeper is available in the app store for iPhone and Android.

Sleep Corner

How does the timing of my workout affect my sleep?

Research has shown that people who exercise in the morning experience both a longer duration and increased quality of sleep when compared to those who exercise at night. Just as drinking a cup of coffee right before bed can negatively affect your sleep, the timing of your workout can also negatively (or positively) affect your sleep.

When we exercise, our body produces activity hormones and lactic acid byproducts, both of which can make our body more restless. Additionally, body temperature increases when we exercise. This temperature increase is not conducive to the slight temperature drop that is required for sleep.

Exercising at night can leave you mentally and physically alert-something that most of us want to be in the morning, not at night. Exercising in the morning will not only help you to feel alert and energized throughout the day, it also helps regulate your natural circadian rhythm.

Here are some tips for incorporating morning workouts into your lifestyle:

  • Go to bed earlier.

  • Keep a consistent bedtime,    even on the weekend.

  • Prepare the night before.    Laying out your gym clothes    and a pre-workout snack the    night before, will make things    easier in the morning.

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  • Which workout is right for you?...the one that you will do!

    Sometimes the hardest part (or most exciting, depending on how you look at!) of exercising is choosing which workout you want to do. There are many options to choose from. Ranging from short, intense workouts like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to more time consuming, mental and physical workouts like traditional yoga. There are many factors to consider when choosing a workout. How much time do you have? What level of intensity are you looking for? What kind of equipment do you have? What areas do you want to train (strength, flexibility, etc.)?

    Check out our guide below to learn more about the most popular styles of exercises.

    Type Why We Love It Equipment Needed Time Investment
    (On Average)
    HIIT This workout provides a lot of "bang for your buck" in that it is difficult, but done in a short amount of time. The high energy exercises mixed with periods of rest promote calorie burn even after completing the workout. Most HIIT workouts utilize only body weight. Occasionally dumbells, steps, or other light equipment is necessary. 20-30 minutes
    Tabata Tabata is a type of HIIT categorized by even shorter periods of high intensity exercise and rest that are rotated through multiple times. Because of the repetitive nature, this workout is easy to break into shorter segments when pressed for time! Most Tabata workouts utilize only body weight. Occasionally dumbells, steps, or other light equipment is necessary. 7-25 minutes
    Body Weight Training A traditional strength workout that can be done anywhere. This workout can be done at home and during travel for convenience. None 30-60 minutes
    Weight Lifting Weight lifting is a very traditional form of exercise that is structured and easy to follow. Lifting exercises can be combined in a variety of ways to tailor a workout to your specific needs. Weight set; Gym membership 30-60 minutes
    Traditional Yoga Yoga increases flexibility, strength, agility, and mindfulness all at the same time. Yoga mat 60-90 minutes
    Plyometrics Plyometrics involves explosive movements and requires bursts of energy. This type of training is great for training the body to react quickly, increase power, and enhance Type II muscle fibers. None 20-40 minutes
    TRX TRX is a workout system involving only a strap that is portable, yet effective. The equipment also comes with a workout manual, an exercise plan, and access to a smartphone app. TRX gear 45 minutes
    PRT PRT is an Army-based body weight training guide to prepare soldiers specifically for the APFT. None 1 hour

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    Ask An Expert

    Q. Is it true that low intensity exercises are the best for burning fat?

    A. It is true that low intensity exercise predominantly uses fat as your body’s energy source. As you increase the intensity of exercise, your heart rate increases and your body starts to burn more carbohydrates than fat. However, while it is true that exercising at a low intensity requires your body to burn the most fat (initially), exercising at a higher intensity will ensure that your overall metabolism is elevated for a longer period of time and, thus, more calories are burned overall. With high intensity exercise, you will continue to burn calories even after you have stopped exercising.

    Mindful Moment

    Walking, jogging, running...all perfect times to practice mindfulness. While exercising, try focusing on your breath and movements rather than on external distractions. This simple focus can help you to relax and improve your run.

    Bottom Line

    February is right around the time of year that you may start feeling stagnate with your workout routine. Once the excitement of New Year’s resolutions starts to wear off, finding something that’s a good fit to your lifestyle is essential in keeping up your progress and reaching your specific goals.

    Improving fitness consists of more than just exercise. It includes diet, sleep, and a mind/body balance as well. Working out in the morning can help you sleep better and ensure that you get your workout in before the rest of your day has a chance to interfere.

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    Featured Recipe:
    Post Workout Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1/4 C smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/2 C quick oats
  • 2 scoops protein powder, any flavor

  • Mix all ingredients until a dough forms. Using your hands, form 12 dough balls. Cool in fridge for 1 hour.

    Nutrition Information:
    Servings: 12      Calories: 95      Carbs: 12g      Fiber: 1g      Sugar: 9g      Fat: 3g Protein: 5g         Sodium: 57mg     

    Featured Exercise:
    Post Workout Quadriceps Stretch

    Static stretching (stretching while the body is at rest) is recommended for your post workout cool down routine. It can help prevent lactic acid build-up and decrease muscle soreness. It is not recommended to do static stretching before working out, as this may decrease performance.

    Lay on your stomach and bring your left foot to your buttocks. Place your left hand on your left foot. Hold the stretch until you can feel the front of your leg tightening. Hold for 10-30 seconds, 2 to 4 times. Repeat with right leg.

    Post workout peanut butter ball recipe from Spark Recipes; Recipe image
    Sleep Corner Source