When it comes to starting any exercise program, it can be overwhelming to think too far ahead into the future. That’s why it’s wise to take a smaller scale approach to fitness: one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, etc. Before you know it, exercise is a habit that you no longer have to think about, it just becomes what you enjoy doing naturally as part of your daily life.
So, for those of you looking to get started on a fitness routine of your own, let’s take a look at what a 30-day program of strength and cardio exercise can do for your body and your mindset.
30-Days of Strength Training
Can you get stronger and more toned in 30 days?
Absolutely. During the first 30 days of a progressive strength training program, you can expect improved muscle performance, increased strength, better ability to resist fatigue, and you may look and feel more tight and toned. Just 30 minutes, 3 times a week, is all you need.
Here’s what’s happening to your body:
When you are new to strength training – or coming back after extended time away — the first session can feel tough since your muscles aren’t used to being pushed. Even the lightest amount of weight may overload your muscles, making the workout feel extra challenging. Stick with it, maintaining good form and pace. Soon, your nervous system will become more efficient – known as neural adaptation — and your muscles will adapt to the work.
Within that first month, you will increase muscle strength. If you continue to progress over subsequent months, your muscles will increase in size – called hypertrophy. For women, do not worry — this does NOT mean big and bulky arms for you ladies, it means lean and toned arms. To continue getting positive results, continue to use heavier resistance to overload the same muscle groups. At Koko FitClub, our technology does this for you automatically based on regular strength assessments. (Most clubs have a 30-day trial membership* so you can check it out with no obligation.)
It’s normal to experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) during the first week of training. Don’t worry, this will diminish over time. Your muscles are not use to the demands that are initially placed on them and, in turn, they become fatigued and may initially feel sore for 24-48 hours post workout. A warm shower or bath can help sooth those tired muscles.
30 Days of Cardio Training
Can you improve cardiovascular capacity in 30 Days?
Yes! Perhaps you have been feeling “winded” walking up a flight of stairs, running for the bus or chasing your kids. Once you begin aerobic exercise for the first time — or after a long absence — you may notice that same feeling. Your breathing may seem labored and your heart rate may elevate quickly. This is normal. You just need to gradually build cardiovascular capacity and make your heart and lungs work better for you. Cardio training will do that. By the end of 30 days these experiences should improve, and may even disappear.
Here’s what’s happening to your body:
As you progress and are able to increase the duration and intensity of your cardio workouts, your heart rate will begin to slow down (a good thing!) and recover more quickly after each session. As your heart gets stronger, your blood vessels will become more elastic, which could lead to lower blood pressure. Your body is now able to take in and process oxygen at a faster rate – meaning your aerobic capacity will improve during those first 30 days, leaving you ready for greater challenges. And, you’ll start burning more fat and calories, too!
Brain Training, Too!
Thirty days of exercise can even improve your brain function! Regular exercise improves oxygen flow to the brain. It also helps the body release hormones that assist in brain cell growth. Research has shown that exercise, especially a minimal amount of aerobic exercise, improves mood, will decrease stress and anxiety, and even helps ward off depression. A Taiwanese study published last year in the scientific journal, Lancet, suggests that even just 15 minutes of physical activity a day can even extend life expectancy by three years, compared to people who didn’t exercise.
I design our Koko Cardio sessions to be 15-minutes of high intensity, interval training (HIIT), meaning that in the shortest period of time possible, you’ll get a highly efficient, highly effective cardio session that burns maximum calories without any running.
A leaner body, a strong heart, a better brain – sounds pretty good, eh?
These are just a few of the many changes that you will start to experience within the first 30 days of a strength and cardio exercise program. What are you waiting for? Check out Kokofitclub.com/locations and ask about a 30-day trial membership.* Our FitCoaches will help you get started to see what YOU can do in just 30 days.
Stay Koko Strong!
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.