Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Workin' on My Fitness

Doesn't a Fergie jam just get you in the mood to talk fitness? If that's only what it took, I'd be downloading her every album to my iTunes and setting up a shrine to her in my living room.

Let's be real for a moment, shall we? I hate working out. Yep, I said it.

Okay, perhaps "hate" is a strong word. I suppose I should say I "strongly dislike" working out. You see, exercising to exercise has never been appealing to me. My preferred physical activities are things that don't allow my brain to think my body's being worked out (dancing, playing volleyball with friends, etc.).

Several years ago I worked for a fitness and health-centered non-profit. My office was literally inside a gym and I worked out nearly every day. I would never say that I got to a point where I loved working out, but being surrounded by people working hard was great motivation. And of course, being a few steps away from a huge cardio center gave me no excuses.

Since moving two years ago, I've become a bit of a wishy-washy work-outer. Fitting in a workout here and there. As little as zero to two times a week.

As I get older, I'm finding that my body--and metabolism--is changing and I'm going to have to change my habits with it. Enter: sister-in-law.

My sister-in-law Michelle is a huge inspiration to me--or anyone--looking to live a healthier lifestyle. She's a PA, a mommy of two young children, a wife and she always makes time for health and fitness. A few months ago she challenged me to start implementing some of the aspects of a fitness plan she's using to compete this summer in a fitness competition. She generously sent me her information and I've spent the last few days scouring it.

Her plan is pretty intense and while I'm sure it would help me to follow it exactly, I think it's really important to know your body, mind and fitness level. Remember, I've been working out a max of twice per week?

Here's what I know about myself in relation to workouts and fitness:

1. I get bored easily.
2. It needs to be fun for me.
3. There must be a goal--an end outcome that's measurable.
4. I get discouraged easily.

I think it's important to make a list like this. Don't try to fit yourself perfectly into the mold of someone else's workout. Perhaps you found a new workout/healthy eating plan online or in a magazine? That's great, however don't try to implement a plan that isn't a fit for you and your lifestyle. Why not tweak it or build your own plan specific to your unique needs?

If your workout doesn't meet your needs, you won't find yourself meeting your workout. You get me?

Here's the plan I came up with for myself. And I should note that I'm not a fitness expert, nor do I claim to be. I'm just a woman who wants to improve herself and get her rear off the couch. Are there flaws in my plan? Probably. Could I do something different? Sure. But at this point doing something is better than nothing to me and I'm flexible enough to recognize that my plan may need tweaking as I get further into it.

Cardio (30 min.) + Strength = 4 times/week
  • Cardio can be running, interval, elliptical, bike, swimming, etc.
  • Strength will vary depending on the day with specific muscle group focus (back, chest, shoulders, arms, abs, legs).

Bonus/Fun Workout = 1 time+/week
  • My bonus workout(s) can be anything I want such as taking a class at my gym, swimming, going on a bike ride, jogging, etc. Whatever I'm in the mood for.

This is my plan for now. I think it's a good place to start. Last night I did 30 minutes of interval training on the treadmill and a good upper body strength workout.

Additionally, I'm keeping a food journal and striving to drink a lot more water. I've also cut out diet/regular soda. I'm not a believer in dieting, but I do try to eat "clean" as much as possible, meaning mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meats and complex carbs and very few "processed" foods.

I'm looking forward to this journey and I plan to make updates regarding my progress here on my blog.

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