By now, most everyone’s new-years resolution to “eat right and exercise” has fizzled out. Maybe they fizzled out January 3rd.
As a child I was in almost every main stream sport: soccer, basketball, volleyball, swim team, gymnastics, ballet, track, cross country….etc…
When I wasn’t playing a sport I was jumping on the pogo stick with my buddy or killing hours on her trampoline.
Looking back, I was working out A LOT!
Well I wasn’t obsessed with being a certain weight or looking like Angelina Jolie or something like that.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, a lot has changed. I am married and have two toddlers climbing me (literally as I write this, Gideon is requesting the “Animal Sound Song” on YouTube.) My day is so full of the demands to just keep the proverbial plates spinning on my finger tips.
I am busier than ever but when do I work out?
I’m more beat than ever how can I possibly add exercise?
I just want a break!!!
Ok that catches us up to almost two weeks ago when I went from a sporadic exerciser to someone who works out 6 days a week.
Here’s what I did. I am not a doctor but this is what worked for me.
STEP 1: FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
I used to think the right video or gym membership would be the golden ticket. It turns out neither really worked for me. I never found the perfect video (and felt it was a waste of money to keep searching) and the gym didn’t work either. I was way too distracted by other people. I found myself unsure of what exercises to do and generally felt self-conscious. So while the gym is great for some, it wasn’t for me.
I mentioned above that I JUST WANT A BREAK!!!! AH!!! 🙂
For me, that is the golden ticket. Exercise is my break. I was using social media for this purpose but never felt better for having searched Facebook. It couldn’t make me more relaxed because I would get annoyed waiting on pages to load.
I began the search for a way to feel like I got a break. Enter exercise. Allow me to explain, exercising vigorously for just 10 minutes triggers the release of “feel good” hormones. That means that every time I workout I feel good afterwards and more calm. I feel more collected.
Oddly, for me, exercise isn’t about what all the diet industry mantras would have you think it “should” be about. I’m not trying to look like Barbie or lose 20 pounds in a week (yikes!) I lost 25 pounds in a couple of months when I was so sick. It was NOT good and I DON’T recommend it. I became medically malnourished. Bad Bad Bad. What’s more the weight I reached wasn’t “cute” it was scary.
I urge you to avoid exercising for the wrong reasons because it isn’t sustainable and will do more harm than good. In extreme cases leading to malnutrition and a whole host of illnesses or obesity.
STEP 2: Gear
Think minimal here and put it on first thing before you have come up with an excuse. The point is to get things that work but don’t become a stumbling block between you and feeling good. In other words, don’t over think this step.
I got this sports bra and I cannot recommend it enough. I like it because it is VERY supportive and comes in bra sizes so you can get a great fit. This is tough for me usually but not with this bra. It fits so well I can jump without discomfort or really much movement at all!
I also got supportive foot wear. I like Merril brand shoes because they fit my feet well. The big take-away here is get shoes that fit your specific needs. I supinate (my feet roll out) and need great arch support. Take a minute to consider your feet then choose a shoe that fits you well.
STEP 3: ROUTINE
I have found I want to workout to some degree every day. To start I did just 10 minutes a day. I streamed free kickboxing videos off YouTube and did them on my trampoline to reduce the impact on my knees (I have low cartilage in my knees so “pounding the pavement” is not good for me. The trampoline is a great solution for this and cheaper than getting several machines to get a range of workouts in.)
Why 10 minutes? Because when you are just getting started this will be enough to get the endorphins going. I don’t repeat behaviors that don’t have a pay-out. If I do too much too soon I will wear myself out and be too sore the next day to keep going.
Do you see a recurrent theme here? I am working out to FEEL GOOD.
I kept this 10 minute routine for a few days but then noticed that I felt like going just a little longer so I mixed in a couple of 20-26 minutes routines. This week (the beginning of week three) I plan to do Monday/Wednesday/Friday kettlebell routines (off YouTube, I like Fitness Blender) and Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday kickboxing routines (off YouTube I like BeFit). I plan to do different ones each day and to keep each workout under 30 minutes for the next several weeks. My goal is to workout aggressively for a shorter amount of time so I can trigger the feel good hormones and break a good sweat then be done for the day!
Over time our bodies become accustomed to the workload and the time will need to increase. I expect to be able to keep my 10-30 minute routines longer by keeping a good variety.
Variety is important to avoid boredom and avoid a plateau (where you don’t see results).
I am intentionally doing 3 days of Kettlebell and 3 days of Kickboxing on an alternating basis because this will be a rotation of weight training (kettlebell) and cardio (kickboxing). On Sunday’s I do light exercise (this could be walking) just to get the blood flowing and keep my muscles loose.
From what I have read you need both weight training and cardio to be fit.
So there you have it! 3 steps to getting into Fitness for real! I hope you get to feeling good today.
CLICK HERE to read the second half of this post.
Dear Jesus, I am so excited to finally have a motivator for exercise that excites me. Thank you for designing our bodies this way. I pray this post will help others to get going on their fitness journey and I pray they will take it slow and listen to their bodies so they stop long before they cause themselves harm. Lord, we often want instant gratification and if that looks like x pounds lost the temptation is to go about it in an unhealthy way. Please bring conviction where necessary to prevent me and others from using a good thing like exercise, to harm the body you gave us. Amen.