Thursday, September 23, 2010

Helpful How-To: How to Create a Work Out Routine That You WILL Do

If you have been following me for any length of time, you probably know about the 60+ pounds I packed on during my pregnancy with Little Man.

(wanna know a secret?  When I met Pioneer Woman, I was 36 weeks pregnant, I drove 2 hours to see her, waited 4 hours in an uncomfortable bookstore chair, and the first words out of her mouth were, "Wow!  You almost knocked me over with that belly!"  That's me, leaving my mark on the world and giving PW a black eye with my big belly....  In fairness, I really did shove it right in her face, so she had every right....)

And if you have been following for any length of time, you probably know that I work out multiple times per day 4-5 days per week.

If you have been reading my posts at all, you probably know about my weight obsession and why I am a total freak a little cautious about my weight. 

And if you have been reading my posts, you are probably aware that I have lost just over 35 pounds of my pregnancy weight. 

And after reading all about that, are you tired or inspired?  My hope is that you too have the desire to get your rear in gear and get healthy with me.  (Look at me rhyming...Like a Jenny Craig version of Dr. Seuss)
Here are a few hints that I think are KEY to making it on any exercise regimen:

1.  Start slow. 
You can't go from 0-60 without changing a few gears, if you know what I mean.  Take it easy on yourself.  I made a big mistake when I first started trying to get back into shape - I started out running.  And 2 days in, I could barely walk.  Now after several months of strengthing my muscles and creating some endurance, I hit the streets again and ran a full mile out doors for the first time in almost 6 years.  And I felt great! 

2.  Find what you enjoy. 
Not everyone will enjoy running and not everyone will enjoy an elliptical.  Some will not thrive in an aerobics class, and some cannot stand to hit the pool early in the morning.  Point being, find something you can do that you enjoy doing.  If you enjoy watching TV every night, put on a pedometer and your tennies and walk 2 miles while watching Glee!  The point is merely to do SOMETHING.  Because anything, is better than nothing.

3.  Build a level of accountability. 
To those who are Facebook friends, you know how much I work out, how much I burn, how often I exercise, etc.  I have built a level of accountability using the Daily Mile program.  If my goal for the week is to complete 5 hours of exercise and I miss the mark, ALL of my Facebook friends know it.  (Although, I seriously hope no one is counting my totals...that's just strange)  For others, it is your friends who you meet for Yoga 3 times a week.  They expect to see you, you expect to see them.  My boss meets his best friend at the gym every single morning for a kickboxing class and they have been doing that for YEARS.  The point is, find someone who will watch you, encourage you, and root you through the workouts.  If need be, email me.  Seriously.  Bizarre, but at least 3 of my current readers do it.  Seriously, I will root for you.  And I don't count pounds, I count health!  Because I am easier on you than I am on myself....  LOL.

4.  Be consistent.
Whether it be one day a week or 3 20 minute workouts a day.  Be consistent.  Build a workout routine that you can work with.  Build a routine that you will do.  If walking or running bores you, rather than just not doing it, do it in smaller increments and supplement your workout with other things that you will enjoy.  (i.e., bike riding, aerobics classes, workout videos, etc.)

5.  Know your weaknesses.
If you know that you will not workout because of a time constraint, change the variable.  Find a workout that fits your time frame. (I highly recommend 30 day shred or any of the workouts on demand - most of them are only 20-25 minutes long, leaving the time stamp much lower and much cheaper than a class at the gym!) If you don't like to workout in front of people at the gym, stair step in your basement (or like me - in front of the tv with a step stool).  If you have bad knees and can't run, opt for a low impact workout - biking, elliptical, swimming, etc. 

6.  Set goals. 
I think this is PIVOTAL to working out.  The desire to see improvement can do incredible things.  I remember the first day I did 30 Day Shred with 3 lb. weights, I thought I would die!  But I had a goal.  I wanted to see myself get stronger, I wanted to get back to a 5 lb. weight, and I desperately wanted to button some sleeves!  I pushed myself.  And now my goal is 8 lb. weights.  The Bestie started out last spring training for a 5k, and last weekend, she ran her first 1/2 marathon.  I am not saying your goals have to be that high, but without even tiny goals, you aren't going to get anywhere.  Make the first one, hit it, and then set your next one.  It's not a big picture thing.  Your goals will change, increase, decrease, as the needs arise, but the goal is PIVOTAL to getting your rear in gear!

7.  Reward Yourself. 
I do this by allowing myself to take 2 days off a week.  I get to choose what days they are, if I need them in the week or on the weekend, they are there for me.  Your reward could be anything really, a nap, a McDonalds ice cream cone, or the weekend to rest.  But find someway to tell yourself that you are doing good.

There are about a million other things I could tell you, but I think this is really a good start to get you motivated without making you totally overwhelmed.  I hope this post helps someone out there.  Remember, the goal isn't about numbers, but it's about how you feel.  It isn't necessarily about the lbs. lost (spoken by the pot...), it's more about the health you are in now versus the health you could be in in 6 months. 

Now Go!  Get your rear in gear!  (I really like that line!  Makes me sound so Jillian-esque!)

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