Like many of you, I’ve got things planned for my day but wanted to squeeze in a quick workout first.
Contrary to a lot of thinking you don’t have to take lots of time to get a solid workout in. Like many of you, I prefer longer ones but sometimes that doesn’t always work.
Enter 20 minutes
I set aside 20 minutes, armed with a 35 lb kettlebell and 25lb dumbbells. I rotated between kb swings and doing other work with dumbbells. I did not really rest between sets other than to change over equipment.
Can you say sweat?
Obviously going from swings into other work and repeating sets didn’t take long to get my heart pumping and sweat flowing. It was a quick but good strength session
Please note I did warm up 5-8 minutes before starting
And that my friends, is it. We may not always have the longest time, but we can squeeze in some time, just really make it count.
So I was bouncing around a lot of ideas for a new post (there are many to be had) I draw from so many places for inspiration. I’m often left looking at an over arching question of “what do my readers need?”
As much as I love writing from the trenches of life, I know if you take your time to read you wanna walk off with something that has encouraged you, motivated you, inspired you or educated you in some way.
One of my most popular posts, Healthy Eating For Dummies https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/09/05/healthy-eating-tips-for-dummies/ was the simple kind of education topic that people seemed to need. This was driven by talking to friends, and seeing posts from others that made me realize there’s so much in the health/fitness world that makes things seem hard and complex when in reality, they don’t need to be.
People often think if they are going to start exercising, it should be an all out, full speed, into what ever they are chosing to do without giving much thought to the fact they are in a body that isn’t used to that kinda work.
What happens then?
Usually, the day or two after, they are so sore they can’t move and the mere idea of going back to it makes the shudder.
If you haven’t been exercising, an all out approach is simply not smart.
Go Big or Go Home
I was scrolling through Pinterest one day ( follow me there) I may or may not have been looking for delicious chocolate recipes….
My newsfeed is a weird combination of wicked desserts they show me, and fitness plans to make me look like a MMA fighter.
I wanna have both please 😉
Anyway, there was this one that literally was a series of moves that totaled over 500 reps of several exercises.
The subtitle said get ready to wipe the sweat from your face or something like that.
What just stopped me in my tracks was the sheer craziness of it. Even as fit as I think I am, that would’ve been crazy.
I want to walk the next day 😛
Yeah there’s probably one or two people who’d go in and tackle it. Honestly though for the average person it’s aimed at, makes it dangerous, not smart.
It’s why I’m kinda not impressed with the current trendy “boot camps”
Because if you’re getting up one morning all fired up to start and “today is the day!” you decide the fitness journey begins, you will honestly hurt yourself attempting such a workout. Those environments although they modify, often are conducive with people working beyond what their current physical abilities really are because they will try and keep up with the guy ( or girl) next to them.
It’s so important to know where you are, what you’re starting point is, what (if any) physical limitations you have, and work from there. Literally that has to be the place you begin to build from.
And don’t feel bad about it or worry about it.
We all have our starting points. Consider it your base to your fitness foundation.
First, if you have any health considerations or concerns, talk to your doctor before you begin.
From that point, determine what goals you have or what you want to accomplish. We are all different in what we want to do and where our interests are.
Do you want to train for a 5k? Have dedicated time at the gym several days a week? Be able to walk around the block without getting winded?
Whatever it is, set a goal that can keep you focused.
There are so many activities to choose from but walking is something anyone can start at any time.
All doctors can support the idea of walking and often encourage their patients to do so. All you need is some good shoes and discipline to take yourself out and do it.
Walking is really a good, safe, and easy way to ease into fitness activities. You can adjust your pace as you feel stronger and you can lengthen distance as you get comfortable with your current distance.
Make sure your goals are clear, realistic, and concise.
It’s recommended you get in 30 minutes of brisk aerobic activity, 5 days a week for over all health. This includes things like running, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, dancing etc
To help with weight loss, more may be required.
Don’t under estimate that even small amounts in a day are beneficial to your health and wellness.
The more fit you become, the more you will most likely feel challenged to do. Don’t be afraid to extend your goals as you improve.
Aim for balanced fitness.
When I began my health and fitness journey, ( wow this is my anniversary month!) I started walking each day, about 2 miles. Eventually, I started running parts of it. At some point I turned into a runner ha.
But one thing I’m glad I learned early on is doing activities that work, train, and condition all of my body. Certain activities involve more muscle groups than others. Neglected, these can become weak areas in our body due to neglect of not using them as intensely as others.
It was on days I couldn’t run outside that I started doing strength training.
Let’s take a quick look at what these different activities are and how they can help us.
Cardio: It’s the activity people complain about the most because you have to work hard enough to get your heart and lungs really moving and well, that makes people uncomfortable. Mainly ’cause it makes them realize they are internally out of shape.
Start by doing an aerobic activity, like walking or running, for a sustained 20-30 minutes, four to five times a week. To ensure you’re working at an optimum level, try the “talk test”: Make sure you can carry on a basic level of conversation without being too winded. If you can sing a song, you’re going to easy.
Strength conditioning: I find this to be so important in supporting my other activities. Not only that, I can lift a sofa or heavy cabinet if I’m called upon 😉
Start by doing one set of exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups. Start by using a weight at which you can comfortably perform the exercise eight to 12 times in a set. When you think you can handle more, gradually increase either the weight, the number of repetitions, or number of sets. To maximize the benefits, do strength training at least twice a week( ladies this is SO important for us! You want to keep your muscle mass as you age and weights are where it’s at. Not only that, muscles look cool 😉 )
Never work the same body part two days in a row.
Flexibility training: This can be static stretching but I prefer some yoga to help keep me flexible and to help my overall mobility for life and my other activities. You not only want to stay flexible but mobile, meaning a complete full range of motion in your body.
Implementing all of these components will help keep you strong and fit no matter what activity you choose.
Find what you love, know your starting fitness level, start slow and gradually build on where you are.
Set small, concise goals to aim for.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Make exercise a habit for life.
Don’t over do in the beginning.
Celebrate all your new victories!
If you have a developed exercise program, what tips or tricks helped you stay with it?
Hello beautiful people. It’s evening as I write this, unwinding with my preferred drug of choice, a big mug of coffee and patting myself on the back that I didn’t give in to any basic urges and punch someone today.
Working with, and dealing with the public has challenged that a lot lately.
I’m constantly amazed at the sense of entitlement so many have and it’s been an extraordinary and amazing to thing to not only keep my hands to myself, but my tongue too as my brain can conjure up sarcastic comments like crazy.
It’s work keeping that in!
Haha ok I jest…. well…. partially…
But let’s say I’m glad to now be relaxing and letting the ideas out of my head that have been bouncing around for awhile.
I thought we’d talk a bit about ways to make staying active easier. We are ending summer here in the states and moving towards fall and maybe a bit of winter here in the south. Typically a time of year when most begin to want to hibernate inside and the idea of exercise seems like an even bigger chore. Unless you are already a dedicated gym goer or have a disciplined exercise program you may not be thinking it’s a time of year you want to start getting active.
So what are some steps to build a fitness plan?
No one, and I’m pretty sure no one, decides they are just gonna scamper into getting active. Let’s be honest, most dread the idea of having to do exercise even though they may talk about it and really want to do it.
You may admire those who are active, understand the benefits of doing it, and strive to do it yourself but somehow you can’t quite put it together. Of course you also understand that staying active take a lot of work and discipline.
Don’t get discouraged. Some planning and structure will go a long way to your success. Staying active does require more work than being sedentary but it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to maintain.
Let’s take a look at some ideas to help.
Find the thing you want to do.
It’s important to choose something you think you will enjoy and can stick with. Don’t worry about being “good” at it or thinking you can’t do something. Just get out there and start taking baby steps. In time, you’ll gain confidence at it. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll look forward to your time working out.
Like building any new habit, consistency is key. Find a time to workout in the day that is suitable for you and your schedule. Forget what your neighbor or sister is doing, you do your thing. Find a time that you can devote to yourself and put it in your day.
For me mornings have evolved over the past few years. In the beginning it was what I did to get the job done before the rest of my day started. It was hard to get up earlier to get it done but I did.
Mornings are best for me because in the 24 hours of my day it’s when I have people needing and wanting me the least.
I’ve actually come to love being out on the road early. There’s something quite satisfying knocking out miles while the sun is coming up and the world is still getting coffee.
Not only that, it just sets an energetic tone for the entire rest of my day.
Pick your time of day and stick to it.
Get your gear ready the night before.
Now days it doesn’t take much for me to reach for my exercise clothes. When I had to be up on Saturdays at 5a.m. for long runs, I had everything laid out for me to just step into. My mind immediately, although still sleepy, knew it was time to get serious. ( I do not wear athletic clothes as “leisure wear”, for me they represent work and my mind shifts to a different mode once I’m in them)
If your clothes, shoes, socks, accessories etc are there and waiting you won’t have to think about putting it all together. Even if you are an evening work out person, have it laid out and waiting. It will be one less thing you have to think about doing.
Get your nutrition in order.
Knowing what you will have for breakfast and having it prepped will give you less reason to skip on fueling properly. If you are an early morning person, you may have food ready the night before.
Having healthy snacks prepped for pre and post workouts will keep your energy levels up and will be one less thing you have to attend to when you finish.
Have stretches or moves you use at the end of each workout.
I have several go-to yoga moves that feel good after I’ve been running and cycling. This helps my body recover after a workout and ease tight muscles.
Have some stretching and mobility exercises that you can use afterwards. Not only does it feel good, it helps your body to recover faster.
Leave your gear in the same place.
My running bag has everything from some spare change to extra cycling gloves, my running belt, ipod (although I rarely use it on the road anymore) my helmet, glasses, a clean top, and a whole host of other things. I always know where my stuff is at in a moment.
Find a bag or space that is dedicated to what you need for your workouts to keep you organized.
Focus on your workout.
ok I’m notorious for being in the midst of a workout thinking about what needs my attention when I’m done, what I want to write about next, or being distracted by other random thoughts.
This totally takes my mental focus off what my body is doing and keeps me working hard on the task in front of me.
Be in the moment with what you’re doing. Appreciate all your body can do for you, think about how movement feels. All the other stuff will still be waiting for you when you finish.
Plan your workouts.
I literally schedule appointments around knowing the time it takes me to get them in and clean up and look like a respectable human again.
With my duathlon training I consider what days in my week I can devote to my longer sessions, my run/ bike days, and put them there. Shorter mornings may be one of my fast high intensity workouts that I can slam out in 30 minutes or less. Regardless, I know where to fit them in and how much time it will take.
And no, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling that anymore than scheduling a doctors appointment. It’s important, just do it.
With some planning, structure, and intentional purpose you can build a strong and healthy exercise program that will serve you well. When our minds know what to expect we can look forward to being active and truly benefit from each activity.
Tell me, do you have any tips or tricks that helped you get on a disciplined path for exercise?
One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn as an athlete is the importance of rest and recovery times.
You’d think it should be easy, right? It should be easy to just take a day off and not train. It should be easy to come off of months of heavy training for an event and greatly reduce my training volume and just enjoy some easier workouts.
There’s a couple factors that can come into play here, well, at least for me. Once I’m disciplined to something it’s very hard for me to not do it. I can be rather driven with whatever I’m focused on. Mentally as well, it’s hard to not do it although I intellectually grasp the importance of focused rest. My body and mind thrive on it, that structured often intense training.
My mind and body need the work but they also need the rest.
I’ve also learned active rest doesn’t involve laying on the sofa eating crappy food and being lazy.
Well what is involved with recovery?
Recovery times are designed to let our muscles heal and recover from all we put them through in training. It allows the body to repair and strengthen itself between workouts.
In a crazy way, when we exert stress on our muscles, it damages the muscles fibers causing them to break apart. During recovery these fibers heal stronger than before, which in turn makes your muscles stronger.
When we rest and eat good foods, our body heals, recovers and builds new tissue.
Active rest for athletes can mean anything from a brisk walk ( what I’ve used when I recover from running a marathon for a couple weeks after) to short easy runs, cycling or anything that doesn’t stress the body.
For me in the past year, yoga has been a good form of not just active recovery but it’s also a wonderful, different form of strength training. Not only that, it also stretches and works those areas that tend to get tight from my running, cycling and strength training.
I’ve come to embrace so many of the moves that although sometimes at the start are a bit stretching, lead to feeling so good. It gives me some looseness and I feel better with it.
And although it helps with recovery, I think it’s also a wonderful strength tool as well.
I did a couple articles on my yoga shenanigans, find them here….
Ok I’ll admit. For years I was awful, totally awful, about taking time to do some dynamic warm ups before running or anything else athletic.
I just wanted to get at it.
I was a wee bit better when I finished, but after always feels so good and my body has earned it after working hard.
Since then I’ve learned more importance in taking that time to do activities to help keep me loosened up and prepared for what I love to do.
…..although… I can still be bad about short changing myself on it….. you have permission to give me a hard time if I don’t.
Tools of the trade
There are other things I’ve been schooled on my road to being a ordinary, middle aged female athlete.
It took me a few years to get through this “school” but now I know how important some things are.
For instance a foam roller. I would’ve never believed how amazing a cylinder of hard foam could feel on my body.
Foam rollers if you don’t know, are a method of self massage that lets you really key in on areas that are tight and achy. They also can help promote blood flow to recovering areas and break up knots and tension in muscles.
Then I went to Airosti for some treatments a couple years ago and the therapist told me I should be using a pvc pipe to roll on ’cause my muscles would adjust to foam.
I laughed. I told her she was crazy.
A hard pipe??? to roll my body on?
Ah well, laughing isn’t what I do with it now days as it’s my favorite device of torture… I mean… recovery haha
She was right. The pipe presses into muscles in a different way and doesn’t give as foam will. I use it on my back and roll up to my shoulders.
My quads seriously have a love/hate relationship with it. It kills my calves in a good way.
The pipe wasn’t the only thing I was schooled on.
A lacrosse ball became really good friends with me too. It’s perfect for working into arches of my feet into those muscles and tendons that need released. It also becomes a device of torture when you lay on the floor and position it in a tight muscle in your shoulder and press into it.
Sweet mother of heaven. It puts me somewhere near death and blissful relief, I’m not sure which.
Another acquisition I got for Christmas is a roller with knobs all over it.
Are you seeing a weird pattern here? Devices that hurt, yet weirdly help haha
it looks something like this…..
and it’s perfect to get areas that are knotted or tight.
All of these are wonderful tools for recovery to help tight muscles, to increase blood flow, and promote healing.
And of course, let’s not forget ice and heat which not only help recovery, but gosh, they can feel so good too.
Of course other factors like staying well hydrated and eating good whole foods also contribute to a good rest/recovery day or days.
Learning to embrace days of rest and recovery goes with the athletic process, I’ve learned. slowly but surely. You too should learn to embrace those days as times of healing and restoration for not only your body, but your mind too.
Tell me, if you train or workout, do you allow or take rest and recovery days? Is that hard to do? What are some methods you use for recovery?
The perfect body. The right look. The best abs. The right “booty”. Sculpted arms.
The perfect “everything”.
Men and women are bombarded today with images and news stories that the media or fitness world tries to convince us that we should look like.
It might bring you down before you even get started. The seemingly overwhelming and impossible task to look “perfect” without living a restrictive diet and hours in the gym.
Does the average person even have time for it, if perhaps, that was their goal?
And let’s be honest, what’s perfect to one, will not always be perfect to another. It’s a very illusive pursuit.
Let’s also not forget how much genetics will play into our bodies and how we can shape them. If you have your moms wide hips you might be able to slim them down or tone them up, but you most likely will never have a small round bottom like you admire on your fit friend.
You might want long lean cut abs, but again, depending on your body type and structure the look you want might be harder, if not impossible to achieve.
Besides a good disciplined exercise program, your nutrition needs to be on point the majority of the time to lose the fat and build some muscle.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I thought I wanted the past few years I’ve been on my health and fitness journey. I’ve learned more about what matters, or what is important to me.
Learning what I wanted
In the beginning, I thought just being “thin” was the goal. Just get “thin”. I really had no goal beyond that and looking back now I wonder what seemed so desirable to me about just being thin ( as a goal) Of course I needed to lose some fat.. that was important. And I did get thin.
But I was still learning…
Once I had lost weight ( I was exercising along the way too) I started to see how exercise and some weights were shaping me differently. I had picked up running and it was during the time of really cutting calories and more exercise I realized I had abs.
Ok…so… that’s cool… well at least to a middle aged woman who had never really had defined abs or a strong hard core before. Age is not a limiting factor to changing your body composition, by the way.
When I got injured and couldn’t run for over a year, I picked up cycling and did a lot more weight training. Not running 55-60 miles a week, it allowed a little weight back on me that was being reshaped into a stronger more powerful body.
Embracing my body. This is where I got it.
This is where I started to appreciate exactly what my body could do even if I wasn’t a perfect fitness model for a magazine or even if my body parts never shaped up like the articles I saw in magazines.
It didn’t matter and I didn’t care.
The important part?
In all my training and various activities, my body performed for me. It was strong. It was powerful. It adapted to my training to allow me to do more. It made more blood, grew more vessels, learned to deliver oxygen in a more efficient manner during my strongest workout sessions, it grew new cells and more mitochondria ( the literal powerhouse of the cells) it grew my heart and also made it more efficient by giving me a super low resting heart rate so it doesn’t have to work as hard. The other side of that is having a faster recovery heart rate. My muscles grew and got stronger. I was able to run longer, faster and with more ease. I could lift more weight and do more reps.
Do we ever stop and ponder how totally adaptable and changeable our bodies are? What amazing machines they can be with the proper care and fuel? The glorious things you can do with them with some investment of time and proper nutrition to train them to be stronger?
Do we value them as they are, where we are, at this moment in time?
We live surrounded by media and the world that would constantly convince us we are not there yet, that we are lacking, that we aren’t “enough”.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, be patient with yourself and embrace what your body can do now. Know that as you lose weight and exercise you’ll become more fit and definitely more healthy.
If you’re already working out, stay the course, appreciate where you’ve come from and that if you want continued change, it’s possible for you.
But no matter where you are on your journey, never lose sight of the amazing, adaptable gift your body is and all it’s capable of doing for you.
As you move into this year with new goals and plans remember this: Love and value your body, it’s the only one you’ve got. Remember you are “enough” and don’t shrink from all you’re capable of being and all you’re capable of doing.
Have you learned to embrace yourself ? Do you appreciate your body for all it can do for you even if you may not have achieved certain goals?
So evidently running, cycling, some boxing, and strength training aren’t enough athletic activities to keep me entertained so I’ve added something else to the mix.
I mentioned over the weekend I got a new “toy’ and finally was going to use it this morning… hello rowing machine 😛
As I’ve shared, I’ve totally pulled myself out of running until it no longer stirs up my injury. This includes power walking as well ’cause my mile pace is usually between 12-13 mins and has the same effects on my body as running. This has been sooo hard but ultimately, my goal is to run forever so if I can’t for a season, I’ve accepted that.
However, I’m not gonna sit back and do nothing. As you know from my athletic antics, I spend a lot of time on my bike to get those miles I love and (got addicted to running). I’ve wanted to do rowing for awhile because I know the overall, total body benefits it offers… and the killer cardio it offers as well.
Rowing and cycling will keep me strong for when I can get back on the road. Swimming season will soon be upon us, so there’s that too =) I intend to keep my body physically strong during this time so when I do get back on the road I can focus on just building up my mileage again.
Ok..rowing. I had a (brief) encounter a few years ago with a machine and loved it. I’m not a big “machine” person when it comes to working out. I like activities that make me really use just my body. However, rowing definitely serves a very good purpose.
The past few weeks I’ve been doing my homework looking at all the vast models out there and trying to get the best one for what I was planning to spend..oh..and making sure the rail had enough length for my long legs to fully extend 😉
I finally found one that had consistent good reviews AND had been used by people taller than me who gave it thumbs up in the tall people department ha
A quick youtube video clip last night to review technique ( ’cause I want my form to be right) and I was ready this morning.
My goal? “Oh, let’s do 15- 30 minutes and see how you do”
An hour later… haha… I’m finishing…dripping sweat and feeling great.
I loved the workout it gave me! 10 minutes in I was starting to sweat like when I’m running. I love how this is an activity I can really throw myself into. I have a decent level of physical fitness so I just let myself go to see how much I could push and get out of it. Rowing is a strong activity…..I think that’s what I liked about it…. what’s going to keep me coming back to it…
The harder and faster you row with this machine, the harder the workout. Slow down, and the machine adjusts to a slower pace. No worrying about having to adjust the tension for a tougher workout.
Mentally, I tried to keep the idea in my head of actually rowing a boat across the lake, it allowed me to really focus on keeping my movements smooth and fluid.
So what ARE the benefits of rowing ? Why should you do it ?
Using a rowing machine can help to build and tone your muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular function and increase your stamina, Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout regimen if weight loss is your chief priority. Using a rowing machine is an endurance exercise that increases heart function making it a great non-impact cardio activity. Rowing uses virtually every major muscle group in your body. With little pressure on the joints, due to the activity’s low-impact nature, rowers work their legs, hips and buttocks with each stroke. They also use upper-body muscles, strengthening the back, shoulders and arms. The trunk and core are engaged in the exercise as the rower performs each stroke.
So if you’re looking for something new to add to your regimen or maybe you need something that’s a hard workout but easier on your joints, perhaps you should consider rowing. I’m pretty excited about having a new activity to add in to what I do.
And hmmm…. maybe I could start training for the Olympic rowing team ? 😉
Tell me… have you done this activity before ? Do you like it ?
I’m a wee bit competitive. Ok, well depending on who you ask, perhaps I’m a lot competitive.
That’s not a bad thing, right? I’m a fierce competitor against myself and when my sons were younger and we had those side yard football brawls my middle son and I could either make a fierce team, or we were angling to take each other out as opponents 😉
That being said, when I’m around guys and they start talking about muscles and flexing their arms, I need to stop flexing mine 😛
I mean, why can’t I do show and tell along with them ? ** note to self: don’t flex when you have more muscles… and you’re a girl….**
Seriously though… muscles are for girls.
In the beginning of my fitness journey, that never really crossed my mind. In the beginning it was all about losing that fat.
I guess I never pondered much the idea that there were muscles hiding out under the fat. Or that once it started to go away, I’d see those muscles that had been growing and changing.
But then one day I realized I could see definition in my arms, legs and other parts of my body. It’s taken time.
I often have women ask me what do I do or how can they get arms like mine? It’s usually said in a teasing way but they are serious.
I simply tell them I practice lifting heavy things.
I am kinda surprised how many women still worry that if they lift some weights they will be transformed into some kind of bulging hulk.
Listen, you won’t spend enough time lifting, and lifting heavy, or consuming the large amounts of food needed to get to that point.
You can get shaped, lean looking, and that illusive “toned” word that gets thrown around.
I was telling someone the other day when the whole arm convo was going on… go get weights that you can curl about 6-8 times before you can’t curl them again. Those are heavy enough for you to start with.
Forget those dinky little 2 lb pink weights… I’m not even sure why they were made. And even 5 lbs…forget it. Your grocery bags you carry in weigh more than that. The idea is to work and tax your muscles forcing them to grow and change.
Find your starting point and work from there. In the picture below is how I’ve progressed along the way…. and looking back… if I knew what I know now… those 5 lbs wouldn’t be there. Missing in the lineup are my 8 lb weights as a part of the group.
These are my free weights I work with…35 being the one I primarily use. It’s hard for me, don’t get me wrong. It’s work. And that’s ok. The 15lb ones I use when I’m doing high reps. ( for the record I’m just showing one of each… they all have mates 😉
Now when I work with the bar I lift a lot heavier for things like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and moves like that. I also have a bench that I do chest and leg work on.
I do strength training a couple times a week.. nothing crazy. Of course my other athletic activities have definitely contributed to muscle building. Running and cycling have really built my legs.
Alright, but other than muscles shaping our bodies, what about practical ways we use them ?
That strength you build is essential to the tasks you take on every day. Lifting, carrying, moving, pushing, whatever it is, you need to be strong for those tasks. The practice of lifting heavy things prepares you for your daily life.
During Christmas, I had to carry my nearly 40 lb grandson blocks to the Christmas parade we were going to because we had to park a distance away from parade. I was easily able to carry him. Why? that weight was something I was accustomed to handling… I had practiced it enough that it was easy for me.
Ok besides the daily practical part… having strong “toned” ( and muscle is what gives you that look) arms is high on the list for many women.
How to go about it? First, understand it takes time. You can see in photos below how my arms have progressed… but it’s within a span of several years…
OK…so you know it takes time. Go get yourself some weights, start slow, but make sure they are heavy enough to make you work hard.
Oxygen magazine online has some great exercises with helpful tips and proper form photos for doing various arm exercises.
** oh and on a side note. You can use all kinds of things at home as weights if you can’t/don’t want to buy any. Milk jugs filled with sand work great…fill to the limit of what you can “lift”.
Spend a few days a week consistently working your arms and you’ll never consider buying clothes to cover them up again 😉
Yeah, I’m still around. A busy week juggling life and others lives, mile long to-do lists and let’s be honest, sometimes, at the end of the day, it’s hard for me to think of putting two words together ( I know, you’re shocked).
So, it’s the weekend and my morning has been productive and right now I’m taking a break from cleaning the pool.
I seriously need a pool boy. 😛
I decided I should sit down and get my blog outta my head or you might think I’d left you or something….
Alright, so as things go, this post was generated by a comment I heard this week and something hubby and I have discussed before.
When it comes to exercise, at what point does it become obsession or just plain dedication ? The picture I used for this post has been widely circulated and I’ve seen it in a variety of forms but the meaning is still there.
Those who don’t exercise can take a view point of those who do as perhaps, an obsession. Before we move on let’s just take a quick gander at the definition of obsession.
to preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.
Now I can tell you with confidence, although I love my workout time, it doesn’t preoccupy my mind to a troubling extent.
I’ve got wayyyyy more going on in my life to occupy my mind all day…..
And I dare say, for the majority of those committed to a disciplined exercise program, they feel the same way. Their workouts are a part of the day, and then it’s on to the next item on the agenda.
Like all things ( drugs, food, alcohol, sex) there can be a level of addiction that feeds the mind and body. If someone talks about being at the gym for hours, I’d raise an eyebrow. If it’s mentioned someone feels it necessary to have multiple workouts in a day in a frequent pattern, that would be concerning. If there are no days off or rest days within the week, that is a concern. A constant push for more without a break will only break down the body.
These behaviors could definitely signify an obsessive tendency with exercise. It can, and does happen.
Now with that addressed……
Myself and many others have made a dedicated choice to have an active lifestyle. Just like we wouldn’t consider not brushing our teeth, showering or eating a meal, we can’t imagine not moving our bodies with intentional and purposeful exercise.
Honestly ? We feel pretty crappy when we don’t do it. We’ve moved past the point of hurting from not being used to exercise to feeling worse when we don’t do it.
Not an obsession, just a dedicated commitment to our health and wellness.
My workouts usually go no more than an hour… unless I’m specifically training for a running event… then some days I know I’ll be out for a few hours.
One cannot simply knock out a 20 miler in an hour 😉 that’s what training is about. Training for a specific event is very intentional in the work involved.
I’ve also learned how to pack a lot into a 30 minute window when my morning is crunched for time. I have had days where I’ve gone running in the morning and maybe cycled in the afternoon. And why not? there are times I just want to be out… moving… being active is good for the body, mind and spirit.
Obsessed? No. Committed? Yes.
Ok I will say I don’t know if I like the terminology in this phrase “lazy”… although… in regards to exercise… that term used to fit me quite well.
I could come up with a lot of reasons not to get my butt out the door. I could decide I was to tired, it was to hot/cold, someone needed me for something, it was to late, I had to start dinner, I had an appointment, I wanted to see something on tv, I would feel it the next day blah, blah, blah.
Excuses that kept me in the lazy zone.
And I’m talking about myself here…but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was or is in that club….. it’s just easy to find reasons not to….
Why? Well lets be real shall we?
Exercise is work. Hard work.
And in the beginning when you’re taking a body out and making it do things it hasn’t done in a long time or ever, it hurts and you’re out of breath and that’s when you realize…. omg… I am so out of shape…… and you need to decide who’s gonna win… you? or your body that’s squawking like a chicken at dawn…?
To develop a dedicated and committed exercise regime requires a healthy level of discipline, structure and hard work to set it into a permanent place in our lives.
A willingness to be uncomfortable. A mind that can envision the future of success and achievement. A visionary that can set realistic goals. A desire to be strong and healthy for living life. A commitment to eating nutritious foods for health and wellness.
Staying my course over the past few years and building a disciplined exercise plan into my life has taken work and commitment to not give up, give in, or sell myself out. I’ve stomped down excuses more time than I can count. Each time I’ve done that it’s built my confidence that I really could do it, and be successful at it.
And then along the way, my commitment to myself, and sharing what I was doing actually has encouraged others to get out and get moving and change their lives.
What an awesome thing to be born out of my own personal struggles… empowering others… is there a better reward ?
What is your perspective? Have you ever struggled in either direction ? To much or not enough? How do you view your exercise regime?