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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: exercise

Again, I feel as though I need to give a disclaimer:
I love exercise.  I love sports.  I love sweating. I love reaching a goal.
So exercise is not something that I dread as some people do.

However, I do think there is something out there for everyone and I do encourage everyone to try various forms of exercise until they find what is right for them.
It should be enjoyable and challenging so that you can see the results you are looking for.

This is what my typical week looks like:
Sunday: Off
Monday: Cardio (something that gets my heart going - aerobics, water aerobics, zumba, etc.)
Tuesday: A slow, short run (approx. 3-4 miles)
Wednesday: Cardio (I teach an aerobic class on these nights at my church)
Thursday: Off
Friday: A slow, short run (3-4 miles)
Saturday: A long run (6-10 miles)

My routine is not perfect.  You may notice that at no point do I do any real strength training.  I need to include that.  Particularly core work.  It is important to do core work (planks, sit-ups, etc.) because it strengthens your back and improves posture.
I also want to point out that I take 2 whole days off a week.  It's hard for me to do this because I'm somewhat addicted to working out (in a healthy way), but it is essential that you give your body a day of rest.  Consider it a Sabbath from working out.  It gives your muscles a chance to relax, grow, transform, etc.  It also provides your joints time to restore and heal.

Some advice with those of you struggling to get up and go:
  • Schedule your workout.  Don't let it be an optional thing each day.  I keep a calendar on my refrigerator (conveniently right where I go for a snack) so that I can mark each day that I complete my workout.  It gives me a visual support encouraging me to get up and go and it gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the week/month when I can see how much I've done.
  • Find a motivating friend.  They say there is always one person in your group of friends that is the motivator as far as health is concerned.  For my groups of friends, that person is me.  I love it.  I check in with them on a regular basis asking what they've done, how their run went, informing them of where I am in my work out.  It is encouraging.
  • Find a way to hold yourself accountable.  Or find someone who will lovingly hold you accountable.  For me, I post every run I complete on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  I know that if I don't post one for a while my mom or pastor or someone is going to ask why.  Last weekend someone also told me that when they see my post, they feel encouraged to go run themselves.  
  • Get with a group of people that enjoy the same activity you do.  Whether it be kayaking, tennis, running, basketball, or whatever, find other people that have similar interests.  They will keep you going.  Schedule a time each week to get together and partake in this activity together.  Sign up for races/tournaments together.  The best partner would be your spouse/significant other.  The couple that sweats together, stays together.
I use nike+running on my iPhone to track my runs.  It calculates my pace, distance, and compares my run to other runs I've completed.  I can post it directly to Facebook and Twitter to hold myself accountable.

Last Saturday, I ran a 5k with a group of friends from church.   
There are so many benefits to exercise; not just the typical physical appearance/cardiovascular health.
I feel so much better about myself when I work out.  My confidence is higher, my self-esteem is stronger and my overall outlook on life more positive.  I sleep so much better when I have exercised and I tend to have more energy.

Exercise balances my life.
Not to mention, when you take care of your health (physically, spiritually, and mentally) you are a great role model for your friends, parents, and children.  If a child sees you exercising as opposed to standing on a scale, think of the impact you are making on them and their future.

6 comments:

  1. I have to schedule my workouts or they will never happen! I also find that going to workout classes motivate me to work harder during my workouts cause others are watching.
    I am a new follower! Glad I found your blog

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    1. Thank you for following!! I schedule mine, too. That way they are just part of my day.

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  2. i just want to find a form of exercise that is FUN. i wish i could find something FUN... lol i hate running :( and i don't have a gym membership.

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    1. What about hiking, kayaking, or dance lessons? I love Zumba and I don't have a gym membership; the DVDs are great. A really fun-effective DVD set is Hip Hop Abs

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