Friday, June 5, 2009

The Habit

One of my major beliefs is, it doesn't matter too much what exercise you do, it's the habit that is most important. (Now don't take this too far and think that doing 20 crunches a day and nothing else will get you results.) This belief of mine stems from a common problem. You have a busy day and before you know it, it's 9p.m. and you haven't done your 40 min run or your DVD or your trip to the gym. You tell yourself the day is lost and you promise you'll do it the next day. From here, you're in danger of another missed day. Think about the habit more than your regular routine. DO SOMETHING!!! Two sets of push-ups and crunches with jumping jacks and jump rope in between them. Run up and down the stairs 20 times and hold a wall sit for 1 minute. > just to name a few

I repeat, it doesn't matter what you do, it's the habit that is most important. What you're fighting for is having your will power in tact, even if your regular exercise isn't possible. You're fighting for the habit, because the habit will carry you through these dips and breaks. You need "I never miss a day of working out" on your side! Your will power needs that. Too often, people miss a day, then it's two, then their frustrated, then they eat a ton of ice cream because "Oh well, I'm starting again on Monday.", to feel better but they feel worse, and Monday never comes.
Tell yourself these 2 very important words when faced with a missed day (or 2 or a missed week).....SO WHAT! "So what! I missed my regular workout. I'm doing something! So take that, ice cream!"
As for summer what you feel good about. If you're body needs a vacation from working out, so be it. Be sure to get back in the habit when you get home. That suitcase will wait for you to unpack it. You're accomplishing so much, don't let a wonderful vacation be the start of breaking your habit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Walking Race

This will make you laugh. I've incorporated this workout into my classes and given it in personal training sessions. It's a fun one! Try holding one weight in 2 hands right in front of you, just inches from your core. Elbows in, not sticking out. Walk as fast as you can. I mean FAST - like you have entered a walking race and you are in it to WIN it!! So fast, that it would be a relief to run. This is a great way to get that heart pumping without the force on the knee (for those of you who have knee problems). When I do this, I picture myself really in a walking race and like I'm closing in on the finish line with two people on my tail. Depending on where you hold the weight you will work a different section of your abdominal muscles. Hold it low at your pelvis, you're lower rectus abdominus is engaged. Same goes for middle. And holding the weight at your chest, will work the top. Add a little twisting motion with the torso as you walk, you're getting the internal and external obliques. Try it in different positions.
And oh yes, let's not forget the inner thighs! Those are gonna burn like CRAZY!!!
Now, we can't keep this up for too long, so we're turning it into interval training. See if you can do it 1 minute this week. 1 1/2 for the following 2 weeks. After that move up to 2 minutes. You will alternate this with 2 minutes of walking or running. If you're a walker, just add this to your walking routine. If you're a runner, break it up with this weight walking. Need it harder? If you're on a treadmill, take that incline up to 10 and walk 3 - 3.5 mph. Walking outside? No problem. Just do laps in your 'hood or go up and down your street. Leave the weight in a spot out of the way when you're not using it, go back for it when you're 2 minutes is up! This is a great one to do with a buddy, because you can just hand it off between you!(if you're just starting out add another minute or two of walking at your pace before you pick up that weight again)Believe it or not keeping track of the interval timing will make the time go by quickly.
Yes, I know this is simple. How can it possibly work? Don't worry, it does. The interval training is great! Just like it takes more gasoline to drive around town than it does to drive on the freeway. Burn up some more fat winning you're walking race than if you were just going for a long ole walk or run!! (Just be sure to know slow down too much in between.)
30 min at least to start out. In two weeks get up to 45 - 60.
Have fun! Win that walking race!