One of the questions I get most often is how I started off working out and how I’ve worked myself into the workout schedule that I follow now so I figured it’s time for sharing some of the knowledge, tips and lessons i’ve learned along the way!
When I first started becoming active I was my heaviest…380 pounds to be exact. It was hard for me to walk for more then 20 minutes. My father had bought a treadmill and I decided that I wanted to try and finally stick with trying to lose weight. I began by walking 20-30 minutes a day at a 3.0 speed (which was REALLY tough for me at the time!) I would try to walk on the treadmill at least 3-4 days a week. I followed that schedule for the first month and eventually worked my way up to walking for 60 minutes a day. The first 10-20 pounds were the easiest for me to lose that way.
I decided I wanted to branch out a bit and felt comfortable re-joining a gym. I began mixing up my workouts between the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike. I was still working out around 4 days a week at this time. I would go from anywhere to 30-45 minutes a day. I did not focus on weights at all at first, but just focused on building up my cardiovascular fitness.
After a couple months of keeping up at 4 days a week, I added an extra day and went to 5 days a week. I was still doing a combination of everything, except now I was adding incline to the treadmill and I was slowly integrating weight training into my routine. I would do weights for 20 minutes at least 3 days a week. I gradually added in different workouts, like aqua aerobics and yoga into my routine. It wasnt until I had been working out around a year and a half that I upped my workouts to 6 days a week with 1 rest day in order to break out of a plateau–which worked. I would never recommend working out more then 6 days a week because your body absolutely NEEDS rest!
I know it seems daunting when I say I work out 6 days a week but its really like second nature at this point. I’ve learned to love and completely embrace being active. My life is a lot more fulfilling with exercise in it. I dont beat myself up if I dont make it to 6 days a week, but most weeks thats what I try to do. This is what my schedule looks like now:
One day running 7-9 miles easy
One day crosstraining/upper body weight training
One day running 7 miles hills
One day crosstraining/lower body weight training
One day running 5.5 miles speedy
One day for long run
I play around with the workouts and the days I do them sometimes but thats the general schedule I follow and it works well for me and my maintenance.
Here are some tips to get yourself into the groove:
-Pack your gym bag the night before, or lay your clothes out the night before. Even if you are unsure if you can do it, you have everything ready. LIMIT your excuses!
-Motivate yourself by buying some fun gym clothes or shoes!
-Put together an awesome playlist that you know will be fun to workout to
-Try and enlist a friend to join you. Friends are great motivational tools and its fun to have a workout buddy
-In my experience, I have never regretted a workout, but HAVE regretted those that I’ve missed. Pep talk yourself into it!
-Plan out your workouts beforehand, it can be helpful to making you feel more accountable to stick to it
-Find a fun class that you can look forward to. Working out should be FUN, not feel like a chore
-Dont try and take on too much at a time…build yourself up slowly. Its too easy to burn out taking too much on at a time.
Please feel free to email or comment with any questions…working out seems daunting at times, but endorphins are AMAZING, I promise 🙂
Todays workout for me included 7 miles easy. I woke up with my shins feeling much better but my right ankle felt slightly off. I ran anyways which ended up yet again, not being a great idea. I was tired and struggled through the run and my ankle was not feeling good by the end of it. I’ve decided I wont run on it again until it feels completely ok. I iced it a few times today and it feels much better already but not taking any chances. Going to see how I feel tomorrow, but either way, spinning is on the agenda!
It seems that the theme of the day was rice…haha. For lunch I had a black bean burger on a sandwich thin and leftover brown rice from last night with some General Tsos sauce:
Kevin had dinner all whipped togeth by the time I came home…gotta love that boy. We had leftover sauce with tri-color pasta and we split a rice ball that Kevin had bought from a gourmet Italian place nearby:
Ok, wasnt the healthiest dinner ever but that rice ball was SOOOO worth it! 🙂 I just made sure not to have an outlandish portion of pasta on the side.
Happy Weds everyone! I’m ready for Friday already!
How do you get motivated to workout?
How many rest days do you take a week?
Have you ever tried a rice ball before? If you havent, you are missing out 🙂