Friday, April 24, 2009

(8) Step 4. Exercise (Move Your Body)

I know this is a hard one for many people. You feel like you don't have the time and you're life is too hectic. You may not know where or how to start an exercise program. You may be one of those who can't stand the thought of going to a gym. I understand not wanting to exercise but my advice to you is just do it! If you have the ability to move your body then get up and move it! Somehow find the time and the motivation.
A couple of the books I've read about 0-5 don't seem to stress the importance of exercise but I tend to disagree for two reasons. 1. You will still lose weight eating 0-5 if you don't exercise but it will be at a much slower rate. 2. When you strengthen your muscles, you change the shape of your body (for the better). If you lose weight without cardio and strength training, your body will only be a smaller version of the way it looks right now. With exercise you'll be adding muscle tone and definition. Plus once you get over the initial soreness of your first few workouts, exercising just feels so darn good!! I can't go for too many days without exercising now because I begin to feel lethargic, lazy, and just yucky.
Exercise has been proven to alleviate stress and is good for your mental health. You'll feel better about yourself when you workout. It also helps your body to moderate your weight better. With exercise your body's metabolism is more affective and efficient.
You don't have to despise your workouts either. In fact if you don't like it, don't do it! Find activities that you do like to get your heart pumping. Go hiking, skiing, biking, swimming etc. Put your baby in the stroller and go for a brisk walk. Jump on the trampoline with your kids (this is a favorite of mine!) Play some soccer or tag with your kids or get a group of friends together for a volleyball game. Join a city baseball league. You don't have to exercise for a set amount of time or for the soul purpose of burning calories unless that's how you prefer your workouts.
I like running on the treadmill with my i-pod blaring. I run 1 mile twice a week (2 miles if I'm really feeling ambitious). I always switch up the program: 1 minute intervals, each interval a higher speed. Or the whole mile on level 4 at number 2 or 3 incline. Or I speed walk the mile raising the incline one level every minute. I do whatever feels good to me that day.
For weight training I follow exercise videos. My husband thinks this is hilarious and finds great pleasure in making weird noises to get me laughing. I now wait until he leaves for work to do my exercise videos :) I like being sore the next day after weight training. Not a bad sore, a good sore that tells me I did a good job. If my muscles aren't a good sore then I probably didn't push them hard enough.
I exercise at home because I don't like going to the gym where everyone can see me. I workout for 20 maybe 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week which is enough for me and my schedule. I may go for an hour if I'm in the mood for a good Yoga session.
Because I only workout for 20 minutes I'm able to keep my intensity level high throughout the entire workout. I push myself hard because ~it's only 20 minutes~. One thing I do require of myself it to push past the point where I'd normally want to stop. I find great pleasure in doing this. When it seems I can't run any further or lift another rep, I push myself just 10 seconds more or 5 more reps...I think there's some kind of endorphin release that happens when I do this because it feels amazingly good and I LOVE it!! My own personal high... I also like to do dance workout videos but since I'm about as graceful as a wombat, I do them in the privacy of my own home as well.
I know how hard it is to get started. After the bed rest from my pregnancies my muscles wouldn't work quite right. It was very frustrating not being able to do anything near where I was before pregnancy. But exercise is very important to me so I'd start out slow...just a few minutes on the treadmill and very light weights and intensity. Each workout adding a bit more intensity until I was able to build myself back up.
If you're not already exercising, start now. Go slow!! Do not go all out right at first or you will get that "bad" sore that we've all had. The kind that makes it almost impossible to move. When you get "bad" sore, it's easy to give up so start out slow. It's not a competition, you don't have to prove yourself to anyone but YOU!
I only share my workout schedule with you as an example. You must find what works for you and what you enjoy. If you like to run 7 miles a day then do it (and you're amazing btw). If you like going to the gym then do it. Find a sport, a gym, a video (Fit TV on Direct TV is good), anything you like and DO IT!!

1 comment:

  1. Graceful as a wombat? I don't think so Heather. You have always been graceful, it just feels awkward to you so you think it looks that way.