Tag Archives: spring wellness challenge

Treadmill Interval Workouts

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle




Some days it just works better to do your walking on a treadmill.  Here are three different treadmill walking workouts to reinvigorate your energy, stimulate creative thinking, and boost your mood.


What is the chart at the bottom of this post?

The chart is a collection of heart rate ranges calculated from evaluating your maximum heart rate (or close to it).  The duration (how long a workout is) and intensity (how hard or easy you work) of most exercise programs are based on an evaluation.  The results from an evaluation help you know what benefits you’re getting at any intensity of walking.  Intensity is given as a percentage of your maximum heart rate.

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Exercise: How Much Is Enough?


It is hard to argue against the many health benefits of an active life (Blair, 1996; Hiemann et al. 2008; Mayo clinic 2017).  However, it can be hard to wade through the vast quantities of information and opinion pieces to figure out how often you should be exercising.


It has generally been agreed upon that a minimum requirement of 5 days/week for 30 minutes of moderate intensity (50-70% of max heart rate) or 3 days/week for 20 minutes of vigorous intensity (70-80% of max heart rate) is required (Steele, 2017).  In fact, there is a 30% reduction in mortality associated with achieving these guidelines (Loprinzi, 2015).  And, at least up to a point, the more you exercise, the the better (40% reduction in mortality with 3-5x the recommended volume of physical activity) (Loprinzi, 2015).


However, the intensity of effort (i.e. relative challenge) of physical activity and exercise may be a more impactful moderator of risk reduction than exercise volume.  Wisloff et al. (2006) showed that a single weekly bout of high intensity exercise reduced the risk of cardiovascular death in both men and women compared with no activity.  They also found that there was no additional benefit from increasing the duration and number of exercise sessions per week.

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Level 1 Workout – Spring Wellness Challenge


It’s week 3 of our Spring Wellness Challenge!


Can’t make it to 2 group classes to reach this week’s goals? We’ve got you covered! Sierra’s created two different programs (complete with how-to videos!) to help you get in your workouts this week. She’s even included progressions, so you can continue to use these programs for the remainder of the challenge and beyond.


Happy moving! You’ve got this!


(click on the name of the exercise for a how-to video)

WEEK 1 2 3
Exercise Sets & Reps Sets & Reps Sets & Reps
Weight Weight Weight
Resistance Band Side Steps 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
TRX Reverse Fly 2-3 x 15 2 -3 x 12 2-3 x 10
Deficit Reverse Lunge 2-3 x 15 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 10
Lateral Plank Walk  2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
Box-Out Squats 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
Incline Dumbbell Curl  2-3 x 15 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 10
Up-Jack Down-Jack 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
USSR Twist 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15

Want a printable version? Click here.


Level 2 Workout – Spring Wellness Challenge

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle


It’s week 3 of our Spring Wellness Challenge!


Can’t make it to 2 group classes to reach this week’s goals? We’ve got you covered! Sierra’s created two different programs (complete with how-to videos!) to help you get in your workouts this week. She’s even included progressions, so you can continue to use these programs for the remainder of the challenge and beyond.


Happy moving! You’ve got this!


(click on the name of the exercise for a how-to video)

WEEK 1 2 3
Exercise Sets & Reps Sets & Reps Sets & Reps
Weight Weight Weight
Sunshine Sumo Squat 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
Monkey Push Ups 2-3 x 10 2 -3 x 12 2-3 x 15
TRX Split Squat 2-3 x 15 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 10
Band-Assisted Pull Ups  2-3 x 10 2-3 x 8 2-3 x 6
I Drill 2-3 x 3 2-3 x 4 2-3 x 5
Alternating Swiss Ball Press 2-3 x 15 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 10
Log Roll to Tuck 2-3 x 10 2-3 x 12 2-3 x 15
Plank with Toes on Swiss Ball  2-3 x 30sec 2-3 x 40 sec 2-3 x 50 sec

Want a printable version? Click here.

The Power of a Meditation Practice


What are some of your favorite daily routines? Is it your morning cup of coffee? Listening to your favorite music on your commute? Maybe your nighttime bubble bath? Or even dinner with your family?


For me, my favorite daily routine that keeps me centered, grounded and hydrated is my morning meditation practice.  I started this practice 7 years ago, and it is the most impactful and supportive habit I have formed. My morning practice creates a space and place for me to slow down and be with my body, my thoughts and my emotions before the busyness and noise of the day try to pull me in various directions.  When I create that moment to be still, breathe, listen and observe I feel more heard, seen and connected than any other ritual. There is tremendous value in making sure I feel strong and connected before I step into my job, my role in the family or the community at large. It is like the airplane theory. If I don’t put on my oxygen mask first, then I am no help to anyone else.


When I first started my meditation practice, I took the approach of “going slow to go fast.” I sat in the same place, every morning for 1 minute. After I worked through the uncomfortable twitchy impulses to be doing something else “more important” I was able to increase my stamina to sit for 3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 20, then 30, then 45. Currently, I have a daily 20 minutes practice during the mornings. And those mornings I am rushing out the door or have to get up earlier for whatever reason, I still practice my habit to the best of my ability. Sometimes that is me sitting on my pillow for only 3 deep breaths or fitting in 10 minute sit. Whatever I can do, I do. I drop the guilt of it not being “perfect” and instead, celebrate this ritual and myself. Over the years, I have noticed if this daily practice isn’t there, my mind feels more frazzled. I have more anxious energy pulsing through my body. I tend to be more irritable. I even notice I snack and eat more!


You don’t have to be a monk or Buddhist to have a meditation practice. As long as you are breathing you have the ability to meditate! When I coach people into starting their own practice, the thing I hear most of the time is “I am not good at meditating because my brain never stops talking.” And I reply “Good! That means you are an excellent meditator if you can recognize your brain is chatty.” The most important aspect to remember, when starting a meditation practice, is observing  what your brain is talking about is awesome. But the deeper practice is to not get caught up in the story and clinging to what you hear. That is why we use the breath as a focal point for you to bring your awareness and attention to, so that the story of your mind doesn’t sweep you off into a novel. Sometimes the focal point could be a mantra, a sound, a body part or even visualization. But to keep it simple in the beginning, begin with your breath.


Try these 3 steps to start your own practice:

1. Decide what time of day you want to practice (morning, lunch time, end of commute, before bed etc).

  • Be specific and try to bookend it with some of your other habits. For instance, “after I brush my teeth I want to sit,” or “once I tuck my kids in at night I want to meditate.”

2. Create your space

  • Know where you want to practice. For instance your couch, bedroom floor, car etc. Literally think about where you want to place your butt.

3. Breathe & Be

  • Close your eyes and start to focus on your breath for just 60 seconds. Resist the urge to get up and say to yourself, this is only 1 minute. Allow yourself to let go of impulses and focus on your breath. Breathe in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 5. Let your breath wash over the mind and body like a wave. Try to feel your breath in every inch of your body. If your mind wanders away from the breath, notice what thought or sensation is wonders to and then gentle bring you attention back to your breath.


For an added bonus, keep a meditation journal so that you can record and take note of what you experienced. Observe if that was difficult/easy, what your body felt, what thoughts were persistent, the texture of your breath etc.


Try to maintain a consistent practice for 5 out of the 7 days of a week for this next month and then you can decide if this is a habit you truly want to incorporate.


If you want more tools, support and community around meditation, join us for Monday’s Mindful Sit @ 8am-8:30. As one ZUM member shares: “Monday’s sit supports me gaining the focus I need in order to have a productive week.” Another member adds: “It is a great transition space from the weekend to then step into the work week and not feel so flustered.” And if you want to practice on your own, check out my meditation recordings on my Centered in the City podcast (http://www.wadebrill.com/centered-in-the-city-podcast/).

Walk for Mental, Physical, & Emotional Well-Being 

The fitness industry is full of different training methods that are “backed by research” and “scientifically proven.”  A dominant trend over the past decade is the promotion of higher intensity training approaches like Crossfit, Insanity, and P-90X.  No doubt these approaches can help people reach fitness goals, but they must be balanced with moderate intensity approaches to prevent burn-out and injury. Walking is arguably the best moderate exercise, with proven physical, mental, and emotional benefits.


Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.

Carrie Latet


Regular walking and other forms of moderate exercise has tremendous positive impact on your health with very low risk of injury.  Over time, walking makes your heart and lungs function more efficiently and keeps your blood vessels relaxed and flexible, qualities that lower blood pressure.  It also regulates your blood sugar to keep the risk of diabetes in check, while reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by 32%One study even showed that a daily walk can add seven years to your life.  Walking is movement medication.

Perhaps the most potent way walking benefits your health is that when you’re walking, you’re not sitting.  A lifestyle of sitting an average of eight hours a day is associated with a 90% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, along with a higher incidence of heart disease and cancer.  Unfortunately, the average American spends nine to ten hours sitting each day.


Consistent walking can also contribute to losing and managing weight.  Here’s a guesstimate of how many calories you burn in a mile walk, according to a Harvard Health Publication:

120 lbs = 85 Calories
140 lbs = 95
160 lbs = 105
180 lbs = 115
200 lbs = 125
220 lbs = 135


Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

Henry Thoreau


Have you ever gone on a walk when you’re stuck on a problem, or left in the cold by your muse as you wait for inspiration to spark, and return to your desk with greater clarity and innovation?  The better question is how often does this happen to you?

Stanford University research has found that walking boosts your ability to find solutions to problems and gets the creative juices flowing.  Some of the highest regarded thinkers in history had a regular routine of walking, like Charles Darwin, Soren Kierkegaard, and Fredrick Nietzsche, who said “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”  Facebook front-man Mark Zuckerberg has been known to hold walking meetings, as did the late Steve Jobs of Apple.  To bolster the mental benefits of walking, research shows that it protects against dementia and improves sleep quality.

These mind-clarifying benefits come whether you are walking on a treadmill at ZUM or walking in the beauty of the Arboretum.


The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.

Jacqueline Schiff


Needing to ease a bout of anxiety, deal with some anger, or make yourself feel better on a melancholy day?  Walking can help.  It gives you time for nurturing connection, with yourself or with someone else.

Walking has been an potent ally in helping me through a few big changes I’ve had in the last couple of years.  A simple technique I use to enhance the calming effect of walking is to put my attention on the different sensations I feel and the things I see as I walk.  I notice how my feet connect with the ground, I feel the rhythmic, automatic swing of my arms and the fullness of blood flow in my fingers.  The gentle breeze on my face.  The varieties of smells.  Sometimes I just feel my breath flow in and out of my nose.  When I catch myself indulging anxiety-ridden thoughts I just bring my attention back to all of these simple but wonderful experiences.


Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy.

Charles Dickens


Walking nourishes your health in ways that intense exercise doesn’t, and can’t be overlooked in its time-tested contribution to our health and well-being.  It invigorates the body and nourishes the soul.  There’s no better activity to welcome you to our Feel, Perform, and Look Your Best challenge.

ZUM Fitness in the heart of downtown Seattle