There is nothing more intimidating than walking into a gym full of lean and mean gym enthusiasts when you are overweight, and haven’t a clue what you’re doing. I need an exercise ball for support just to get to the floor, so it took me a while to get active. I just had to get over my anxiety and find a workout routine that worked for me. I have already shared 7 quick tips with you about getting started, but here are 8 more.
1. Find creative ways to move. Sometimes I repetitively sit and struggle to stand up from my daughter’s bean bag chair. I have also been known to put on ankle weights and chair dance on the sofa. I don’t just swim in the pool, I use water weights, and I run.
2. Park farther away from your destination, or step off of public transportation several blocks away from your normal stop.
3. Make time fly. There are 2 things that help my workout go by faster – my butt on a stationary bike with music in my ear, or my butt on an inclined stair-stepper with a book in my hand. I also love to walk and listen to my favorite audiobook. Entertain yourself and you will feel rewarded.
4. Speaking of entertainment, if there is a show that you habitually watch, watch it while you’re exercising. You can always go back to the old standards: knee lifts, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, kickboxing, standing and sitting in a chair, and so forth.
5. If you have joined a club, get the grand tour and make sure someone shows you how to properly set and use the weight machines so you can have new and diverse experiences. That’s what the people in those shirts with the logo are there for! You probably won’t use a machine if you don’t know how.
6. Take a brisk walk around your building at work after you eat you healthy lunch.
7. Plan to work-out with a friend, or group of friends, on a regularly scheduled basis. You can’t back out as easily when you have someone waiting for you.
8. Keep a log, and track your activity. At the end of the day, you should be able to look back and review all you’ve accomplished.
The most important thing about getting active is that you actually get up and get active. You will see how easy it is to get 30-60 minutes of activity into your day. Just do something you enjoy, so you will look forward to doing it again tomorrow.
About the Author: Angela Russ is a mom-preneur, children’s author, public speaker, and award-winning artist/producer of interactive music for young children. She speaks nationwide on the subject of child development and is the sole-owner of the Russ InVision record label, on the web at AbridgeClub.com © 2013 Russ InVision. All rights reserved. read more →
Motivation is all about attitude. Believe in the power of exercise to help you stay feeling young and full of vitality – don’t ascribe to the myth that as you age your body naturally should become less able to support you in your daily activities. Talk to friends and relatives about your exercise routines, and support one another in your attempts to get and stay healthy. Every time you pass a reflective window or a mirror, or pass into a new, smaller size of clothing, you’ll get external reinforcement of the importance of exercise in your life. You’re taking steps toward a better quality of life, and by using this to fuel your motivation and focus your mind on the positive aspects of your workout routine: better blood circulation, weight loss (putting less of a strain on your heart and other internal organs), and probably better moods as well.
If internal motivation is a difficult thing for you to achieve, how about taking some cold, hard facts about the benefits of exercising and thinking about these:
1. Exercise has been scientifically proven to assist in the treatment and management of depression.
People who suffer from mild depression have found that exercising just three times a week for thirty minutes a week helps them lower their stress levels and improve their moods. Why is this? Exercising causes the brain to release natural endorphins which improve your energy and mood levels. Exercising enough also helps to focus one’s mind on physical movement rather than internal obsessions, a pitfall for many who experience depression.
2. Exercise helps slow your body’s natural aging process.
Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly show a younger “biological” age when compared to their “chronological” age. There is evidence that exercise helps to keep your body young in a factual sense, not just a metaphorical one, and considering how much money is spent every year by people trying to look and feel younger, exercising affords one of the cheapest and most natural options for this around.
3. Exercise reduces your risk of degenerative disease and dementia.
While improving your muscle tone and balance, exercise also puts you into an active social situation which keeps those neurons firing – hopefully well enough to ward off “senior moments” until you’re an actual senior citizen!
4. Men who exercise are thirty percent less likely to experience erectile dysfunction, while women who exercise as little as 20 minutes tend to show increased sexual response.
Get on that treadmill, do a workout, pop in a fitness dvd, or go to the gym and improve both your blood flow and your love life with some exercise-induced aphrodisiacs!
Every time you exercise, you are taking a step toward being a healthier person who lives a longer period of time at a higher quality of life than those couch potatoes who never lift a finger to improve their personal health. They reduce the chance of suffering from physical and mental ailments during their golden years – ailments which can sharply reduce a person’s quality of life. While it’s uncomfortable to think about, we all want to be as fit as possible throughout our lives, and those who choose not to take advantage of simple exercise to assist in this are doing themselves a disservice. Besides, when it comes time to take the grandkids to the beach, wouldn’t you rather be the cool grandparent who can keep up with them, rather than the one who ignored their health and is now stuck inside? Whether you are a grandparent now or intend to be one someday, the sooner you start the better off you will be.
About the Author: Get ready to burn calories, get stronger and feel energized! Suzanne Andrews, star of Functional Fitness airing to over 45 million on Public Television, guides you in this motivating weight loss Fat Blaster workout. This doctor recommended and plus size friendly Functional Fitness workout helps you trim your belly, thighs, buttocks, hips and arms. Suitable for people who want to lose at least 50 lbs in the comfort of their homes. Available for instant download for only $1.99! Click here to get started transforming your health and motivation now. read more →
At Pretty Hard Work we do our fair share of intense training and workouts. We love pushing our bodies to their limit, then watching ourselves surpass those limits repeatedly. It give us great satisfaction, energy and motivation. Recently, we started including yoga in our training programs. And while yoga can be intense on its own, we have also noticed the benefits of using it as a cross-training workout to our more vigorous activities.
Our guest blogger, Chelsea Logan, came to a similar conclusion. Learn how she uses yoga to compliment her workout routine and why she encourages everyone to do the same.
Yoga as Cross-Training
I started to incorporate yoga in my workout routine several years ago. I used to be an athlete and now do high interval training as a way to stay in shape. Yoga has helped me recover faster between workouts and also elongates my muscles so I don’t “bulk up.”
I have been able to maintain a muscular, lean, and feminine frame by doing yoga 2-3 times a week. I have also found yoga to be instrumental in lowering my stress levels. It has become easier to incorporate the feeling of serenity into my everyday life.
As working Moms, we have also come to appreciate the flexibility of a yoga routine. When obstacles arise that prevent us from making it to the gym, or our favorite class, we can count on our Yoga DVDs to be there for us. Taking it to the mat has never been easier and on those challenging days it’s often just what we need from our exercise routine.
Head on over to the Pretty Hard Work Store to check out our favorite yoga companions!
How many times have you started a new workout routine? I can’t even tell you what a roller coaster ride exercise has been throughout the years, dropping in and out of action. So, how do you sustain a prolonged exercise routine?
Here are 3 tips to help you maintain momentum:
1. Show Up
Habits take time. When first starting out, you need to stick to your exercise routine. There aren’t too many circumstances in which you truly can’t workout. We are all busy. However, if something is important to us, we make time. Treat exercise in this way. Over time, you’ll start to crave the workout, and many times, look forward to it.
2. Schedule It
Whether it’s spent at the gym, in front of your TV, or in a group class, schedule in your time to exercise and keep it like a doctor’s appointment. Paying for a class or exercising with friends often motivates us to show up to these appointments. But, whatever you do – vow never to miss one.
3. Forgive Yourself
Missed a workout? It happens to the best of us. But, the best of us won’t dwell on it. Don’t worry about making it up. This will cause you worry and fatigue. Jump back into your routine on your next scheduled day of exercise and KEEP GOING. Missed a week of exercise? Big deal. Every day is a new day, a new chance to begin again. Use it.
Using these three tips will help you recover from set-backs faster. We all experience set backs. Don’t let them stop you from going the distance!
About the Author: Erica Lugbill is a 25 year old interior designer. Her Chicago design/build firm, Lugbill Designs, specializes in residential design, and kitchen & bath remodeling. Erica is an avid exerciser, generally working out 3-4x per week. 5 years ago, you would not find her working out. However, in the past few years, she has incorporated routine exercise into her life (and loves it!). read more →
We asked our guest blogging super Moms how they fit it all into their schedules. Learn how you too can be a fit Mom who successfully balances her health, family and career.
You Snooze You Loose!
In the last year, I have developed an absolute passion for fitness! I just love it! I’ve always had a desire to have a regular workout routine, but never felt I had time to add “one more thing” to my busy schedule.
I’m a wife, step-mother and grandmother with a full-time IT career and my own consulting business. I’ve found that the only way to get my workouts in is to get up before the sun!
Most mornings I’m up at 4:00 am preparing for the day and heading out to the gym. Since I’m not a morning person, this requires a lot of preparation the night before. My gym clothes are laid out, my breakfast, my lunch and my work clothes are all pre-packed the night before.
For me consistency is the key! Early to bed and early to rise makes me healthy, wealthy & wise!
About the Author: Amy is passionate and diligent about counseling and encouraging others towards success in their weight loss and wellness goals as well as building their own businesses so that they are enabled to create their own financial success and live debt-free. Her goal is to help you discover and live Life by Design! read more →
As we set into our workout routine, it can even become monotonous. Avoid falling into a workout rut and learn from our expert guest blogger how to keep your workout routine challenging!
We’ve been kicking it up a notch in the month of April to begin preparations for swimsuit season! Our experts have met the challenge by providing us with the most effective ab exercises to incorporate into our workout routine. Here is a collaboration of last week’s most popular “great abs” articles that will give you a challenging workout and a gorgeous tummy.
Sometimes taking time for rest and recovery feels like a set-back or even an act of weakness. But, if we maintain that sort of thinking our body will get us to take our needed rest one way or another – and chances are, we won’t like that method very much at all.
To keep from feeling like you’re slacking off, schedule your rest days into your workout routine. That way you won’t feel like you should be doing something else.
As you dive into your workout routine and make it a habit you start to hear more and more about the balance between workout and rest. For someone who is new to an intense training program it is important to find that balance. We want to make sure we don’t allow ourselves excuses to skip training days, however we don’t want to risk injury either.
Learn from our experts how to find the right workout and rest balance that’s right for you:
A Rest Day After Every Work Out Day? Maybe Not
Resting because you have had a work out can present a large dilemma wrought with excuses and rationalizations justifying “resting”. Split routine work outs were started way back with Arnold and “the guys” lifting 400 and 600 pounds. Most of us do not use such behemoth weights.
If you are not working out intensely and resting during your work out, you do not need a rest day(s). Puttering on the treadmill and showing up for yoga are not work outs requiring rest. Boot camp, Insanity, and lifting 50% or more of your body weight equates to an intense work out which should not be completed more than 3 days per week.
Resting from an intense work out such as a “CrossFit” type of work out, or a kickboxing class is essential to prevent injury. Active rest at least one day per week is best, focusing on a full range of motion stretching routine. Indeed a leisurely bike ride or chasing your kids around the park followed by stretching would be an excellent rest day.
Rest is as Important as Work
Your body needs a right balance of hard work and real rest. I recommend taking at least one full day off per week from all exercise. I think of it as a “sabbath”. It is wise to take a day to quiet the mind AND the body with down time. Ideally, do about 4 cardio hours a week, 3 strong strength sessions, and daily stretching. Planning ahead will allow the balance!
How did you find the right balance between workout and rest during your intense training? read more →
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