This week I want to concentrate on exercise and in particular, getting more serious about it. We started gently gently, but its time to get cracking a bit more.
I'll be the first to admit that I find exercise challenging. I find it hard to get started, I find it hard to put time aside & change my routine & I find it really hard pushing myself beyond what feels comfortable. I had in my mind that once school goes back that I would find more time...
Well school is back, I still have 3 little ones at home most days & still no major increase in my exercise. I have to make the time. As much as it would be nice, I can't magically wish away the hard facts.
As I've said before its as simple as that and its not as simple as that. Emotion & baggage gets in the way of getting the business done. Baggage, bad habits, poor routine & emotion have to be dealth with differently if you/I want a different result for the long term. If you want weight loss, your calories in MUST be less than calories out & the best way to do that so you are not starving, are to burn them up. Emotion needs to be dealt with seperately, not attached to eating. The mindset has to change here. If this lesson isn't learned, the rollercoaster continues.
"Taking weight off is science but keeping it off is psychology" - Michelle Bridges.
Tiffany Hall, "Train the mind and the mind will train the body."
I do know that if I make exercise a priority and just bit by bit change the balance by increasing exercise intensity, I'll change the balance of how I feel about it AND tip the balance in my favour for weight loss. I know this. And I know and love that feeling when I have that extra spring in my step. I bounce around the house more. I mess around with the kids more. I have more happy moments than down moments. I feel stronger. I have less back aches. There are lots of reasons. And we wrote a whole bunch of reasons how we got here & why want/need to make change back here, right? This is why I am pursuing change this year. And when I get that fitness back, I'm going to hang on tight and not slide back again.
Exercise plus good fuel gives you the extra energy many of us may have been finding hard to find.
I've been concentrating alot on 'healthing up' my fuel but I know it's about time to get more serious about my exercise. Maybe you are ready to step it up and find better fitness too?
BUT fitness is not going to come magically knocking at my door, or yours. I have to find a way, I have to work for it.
I've been re-reading lots of my health & fitness books this past couple of weeks to get me in the right frame of mind to ramp things up a bit. I want to share some of the great stuff that stands out for me so I'll be quoting from some of my favourite books;
Shannan Ponton's book Hard'n Up
Michelle Bridges books, Crunch Time and her newest book Your Best Body
Dr Phil's book, 'The Ultimate Weight Solution' [highly recommended to 'fix your head'!]
Tiffany Hall's book, 'Weightloss Warrior'
Reading is good. But moving is better. Time to focus on that.
WHAT - here's what I know or have read about exercise:
Weight training helps me feel stronger in my joints, bones & muscles and I'll need this more than ever as I get older for mobility. Lifting heavy weights maintains lean muscle tissue [the more muscle the higher the metabolism].
Cardio is good for my heart health, stamina and my mind. It reduces stress, clears the mind & increases energy levels.
Exercise at a high intensity and it creates a prolonged after burn effect.
A combination of weight training & cardio is a fighting force for weight loss & good health & you can burn fat day & night.
'Motion creates emotion. Exercise should come from pride and excitement not guilt. Believe that you deserve to be strong and healthy.' Tiffany Hall
I remember how good it felt to be doing all sorts of training & how strong I felt back 18 months or so ago. I hadn't achieved all my goals but I was in a good place. I desperately want to find that girl again. Mud on face, crazy hair, but stronger & fitter. Happier.
As I've said before, I don't want to be ferocious for 12 weeks and then slide. I want to make all of it a part of my life, and keep it up. So how?
Dr Phil suggests that you can't just go from being a couch potato into full on exercise. After consulting a physician and getting the ok, he recommends an 8 week plan increasing in intensity over time to get you moving your body as it should.
Here's his suggested plan to transition you from minimal to exercising properly.
Week 1 - 2 days brisk walking or other aerobic activity [20mins each] + 1 weight training session
Week 2 - 3 days brisk walking [20-30mins each] + 2 weight training session
Week 3 - 4 days brisk walking [30mins each] + 2 weight training session
Week 4 - 4 days brisk walking [30mins each] + 3 weight training session
Week 5 - 5 days brisk walking [30mins each] + 3 weight training session
Week 6 - 5 days brisk walking [30-45mins each] + 3 weight training session
Week 7 - 6 days brisk walking [30-45mins each] + 3 weight training session
Week 8 - 6 days brisk walking [45-60mins each] + 3 weight training session
Every session should include several minutes or warm up & cool down + stretches + extra drinking water!
This training plan above looks brilliant to get bodies moving and to make sure you are making exercise a priority in you life but as Michelle Bridges is quick to point out,
'Walking is a great place to start. Pilates & stretch classes are fantastic for posture, strength, flexibility & mind-body connection, but for weight loss? Shithouse......Pilates & yoga help with core strength but...... if you want to lose weight, you're barking up the wrong tree pose.'
So here's some of Shannan's TOP training methods [along with my comments] to help get you serious & notching it up!
Running - treadmill or road. Just start! Have you ever wanted to be a runner? There is a program you can follow called the 'Couch to 5k' which I've started a few times but I'm declaring I'll be starting again AND finishing it this year. I've listed the program at the bottom of this post. This week is week one for me. Care to join in?
Indoor cycling - try an RPM class at the gym or ride that old exercise bike at home. Even interval training on your road bike is absolutely a valid option. Cruise along, then gear up for short faster bursts. Here's a post I did a while back on RPM classes.
Boxing - this can be a gym boxing class, working at home with a punching bag or even with a friend or partner with gloves & pads. Investing in a tiny bit of equipment for home doesn't have to be a huge expense. I've seen these available at Big W for a very reasonable price.
Weight training - again at the gym OR at home with some handweights or even cans of tomatoes to start with! Investing in personal training or even a pump class to learn lifting techniques is invaluable to avoid injury. It may be scary to do a class at first but I promise you its worth it. With pump, go with a friend or partner & get there early to let your instructor know you are new. They will keep an eye out for you during class & watch your technique. I always like to stand right at the back of class so I don't feel stared at! And really no one is staring, everyone has eyes on the instructor. The first few classes few awkward for sure, and there are some bits that I just wasn't strong enough to do, but push past it, weight training really helps you feel strong & empowered & you will surprise yourself over time.
Circuit training - Most gyms have circuit type classes you can join. My gym also has a ladies studio where you can do your own circuit. Michelle Bridges always offered options for doing your own mixed training at home in her 12 week program. Its certainly possible. There is no reason why you can't use things at home to set up your own little circuit. Check out this article I found HERE!
Interval training - mixing in short bursts of high intensity with slower periods of recovery [change that walk route to include hills &/or stairs & go hard at them to get your heart rate up] or as I mentioned above, hop on your bike.
Couch to 5k Running Program
3 Days per week, 30minutes per day for just 9 weeks.
THIS site has everything you need to know about the 9 week program that takes you from the couch to running 5 kilometres including links to the metric version & the treadmill version. But here's a basic training plan below so you can understand how it's put together.
Did you know there is even an app for it? Go get it from iTunes here. You can plug into various devices and have your own personal trainer in your ears guiding you along the way. Very cool. And I think its only a once off $1.99!
As I said, its week one for me now. I would love you to join me.
"Nothing happens overnight.... Your body is a long time in the making, and its not quick to change. But change it will, because your body is perfect. It responds perfectly to what you tell it to do...... It will simply do as it's told, and you are the one who's giving out the instructions." - Michelle Bridges.
SO, are you ready to get cracking & notch it up a bit more?
I'm not but I'm doing it anyway! You can overthink things a bit can't you?
Remember it is never too late to start!
Do you remember Bob Herdsman? Crowned the 2009 Biggest Loser, having lost 87.6 kg, or 52.21% of his body weight. His results were a record for most kilos and highest body percentage lost in the show's history. He is also the oldest contestant to win the show in any version of The Biggest Loser. Age 57.
Did you know that Cliff young [potato farmer] in 1983, won the first Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon (875 kilometres)? He was 61.
Its up to you. If you think you can or you think you can't, you are right! So lets stop talking & go!