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SELF Challenge 2001: Month Three

Give yourself a pat on the back—you’re almost there! Here’s the third and final installment of SELF’s total body makeover plan, with expert advice from the Golden Door Spa and the Duke Diet & Fitness Center. This month you’ll amp up your cardio routine, exercise muscles you didn’t know you had and learn how to work favorite foods into your diet (yay)! If you started at Month One or Month Two, you may already be stronger and a size or two smaller, but don’t stop now—you’re just four weeks away from your best body ever.

Burn Calories

This month’s goal: Do one hour-long workout and three 30- to 45-minute workouts each week

Congratulations! After two energizing months, you’re well on your way to a buff new body. This month, we want you to kick your workout time up a notch and add variety. How? With cross-training. The technique gives you greater cardiovascular gains and minimizes risk of injury. This sample workout, designed by Rita Maldonado, fitness supervisor of The Golden Door Spa at Las Casitas Village in Puerto Rico, alternates one 60-minute moderate workout and one easier “recovery” routine with two 30- to 45-minute calorie-sizzling sessions. Try this sample plan or do a variety of your favorite heart-revving activities four days per week. Once you have finished Month Three, keep up the good cardio work, mixing things up to guarantee results.

Try it! Your sample beat-boredom, feel-great cross-training plan:

Day One: 60 minutes of walking/jogging
Do a five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate jogging for five minutes and walking briskly for another five. Repeat jog/walk sequence five more times and finish with a five-minute cool-down walk. To make this workout more intense, do jog/run intervals.

Day Two: 40 minutes of intense biking or Spinning
Put your mettle to the pedal and alternate two minutes of fast-as-you-can riding with two minutes at a moderate pace (or swim, run or do a cardio video instead).

Day Three: 30 minutes of light anything
Go for a stroll or a leisurely swim or take a tai chi class.

Day Four: 30 minutes of intense rope jumping and kickboxing
Note: You can also substitute a cardio-boxing class or tape for the following workout:

Warm up by walking for three minutes.

Jump rope for five minutes.

Throw quick, controlled punches for one minute.

Jump rope for five minutes, do squats for one minute, then jump rope for five minutes.

Do practice kicks (front kicks, knee thrusts) for one minute, jump rope for five minutes and finish with a minute’s worth of push-ups.

Cool down by walking for three minutes.

Prepared from a variety special minerals, foot pads are meant to work at night for improving the metabolism, blood circulation and also energy levels.