Renew You Challenge: Break a sweat

Strength training is one of the keys to healthy aging — and it can help get your heart pumping.

Lou Schuler, CSCS
Mature woman exercising with dumbbells

The Renew You Challenge is the newest health and wellness experience from Renew by UnitedHealthcare® to help inspire you to take charge of your well-being every day. Every weekday in October, we’re sharing new ideas to help build up your body, mind and spirit.


So far during the Renew You Challenge, you’ve learned some of the many ways your body and mind benefits from strength training. Here’s one surprise we’ve been saving — strength training can also help your heart health.

When you string together several different strength-training exercises into one session, your heart and lungs can get a workout, too, explains Robert Linkul, C.S.C.S, a certified personal trainer who specializes in working with older adults. 

Satisfied man smiling
Not sure where to begin to get fit?

Start here with Renew activities to help you live healthier and feel better today. Sign in or register to your plan website and go to Health & Wellness.

The short, high-effort challenge of going from one exercise to the next, with a little bit of a rest between each move, raises your heart rate and increases your oxygen intake. 

Try This Today! The Band Chest Press 

This exercise is for anyone who understands the value of doing pushups — but dreads doing them. It works the same muscles, but it’s a more comfortable movement for your arms and shoulders. Plus, you don’t have to get down on your hands and toes.

Done alone, the Band Chest Press doesn’t add up to a cardio workout. But if you combine it with some of the exercises you’ve discovered from other Challenge days, you can build an amazing circuit workout. Linkul suggests doing it along with the Single Arm “Pull Start” Row from Day 6, the Split Squat from Day 9, the Straight Arm Pull-Down from Day 11 and the Sit to Stand from Day 14. 

First, make sure you have your doctor’s OK to exercise. Then, all you need to do is press play and follow along. This is such an important movement for older adults, that it’s good to practice it every day.

Try the Break a Sweat Workout

Renew gives you the tools, tips and resources you need to start a fitness routine — including a series of Renew You Challenge Workouts from strength coach Lou Schuler. The Break a Sweat Workout features the Band Chest Press, plus additional moves that are great for many fitness levels. To find them, sign in to your plan website and go to Health & Wellness. Then type Renew You Challenge into the search bar. Not a member? Learn more here.

Catch up with the Renew You Challenge:

Download your Renew You Challenge calendar

Day 1: Strengthen Your Core

Day 2: Eat More Real Food Today

Day 3: Do These 6 Important Health Checks

Day 4: Help Your Hips

Day 5: Reframe a Negative Thought

Day 6: Help Improve Your Posture

Day 7: Create a Wish List

Day 8: Check Your Heart Health in 60 Seconds

Day 9: Help Prevent Falls

Day 10: Give Your Brain a Workout

Day 11: Tone Your Upper Body

Day 12: Have a 10% Less Day

Day 13: Give Yourself a Massage

Day 14: Strengthen Your Total Body

Day 15: Have a Different Conversation — With Yourself

Day 16: Loosen Up Your Tight Muscles

Day 17: Reach Out to Someone Younger

Day 18: Head Back to (Virtual) School