I frequently get asked what I do to keep myself in shape, and while I am always happy to share, the bottom line is, what I do will not work for everyone. If it were that easy we would all be fitness gods and goddesses! So lately, the best answer I can come up with is, I do _______________, but you should do what makes you happy. Any fitness plan is bound to fail if you are doing something you hate or downright loathe. Good to do a self-check and ask yourself, “Am I just going through the motions? Am I really happy with what I am doing? Or do I need to switch it up?”
Speaking of switching it up….this is something we should all be practicing in our health and fitness plans. Our bodies are smart and the more we repeat the same things, the more our bodies become accustomed to them and the more efficient we become. Thus, the fewer calories we start to burn. Now, this doesn’t mean if you are a runner and all you do is run and you LOVE running, that you need to give it up. NOT AT ALL! What this does mean is, once you start to get a little too comfortable, it may be time to switch it up! If you tend to be more of an endurance runner, try throwing in some speed work and sprinting for a period, followed by a period of recovery or run some hills, anything that pushes you outside your comfort zone. Then when you start to get comfortable with that, switch it up again! Go further or go faster, anything that keeps you pushing and growing into a stronger you.
For those of you curious what makes me happy and what I am currently doing, it’s this:
Monday – Weight Training followed by Vinyasa Yoga
Tuesday – Spin Class
Wednesday – Weight Training followed by an interval treadmill session (not static, changes week to week depending on how I feel)
Thursday – Spin Class
Friday – Weight Training followed by Vinyasa Yoga
Saturday – play by ear – maybe a run, maybe a spin class, maybe an outdoor bike ride
Sunday – Recovery
Now, this is my current plan, it will change as I start to get comfortable, but I find this type of regimen keeps me feeling really balanced and keeps me from getting bored fast.
My go-to has always been weight training. I would tell anyone, weight training gives you the biggest bang for the buck! But, we are not all gym rats, so if the gym is not something you enjoy, I would encourage you to set up a simple home gym (message me if you want to know what would be a good starter set) or if you cannot even fathom going through a weight training workout, I would encourage some type of resistance training, whether it be pilates, bands, TRX, etc. Research has shown that resistance training has a plethora of benefits, particularly for us women. It can protect brain health and bone density to name a couple, but bottom line, it just rocks! And you’ll be amazed how quickly your body will start to respond when you start to incorporate some simple resistance training exercises!
For me, Spin has always been a blast! (well, maybe not my first class, when I said “I will NEVER do this EVER AGAIN!”) Fast forward 14 years and I still love it! Spin is one of those things you either love or hate in my experience. And it tends to be two different kinds of people that either love or hate it. The lovers love to sweat and they love the energy of being around like-minded folks and sweating their ass off to loud music. The haters think it is WAY too hard and that no one should sweat so much they could wring out their shirt! (I’ll just stick to Yoga, thanks!) But I would say, no matter which camp you fall into, give it a shot! It is fun, loud and burns a TON of calories (if you’re doing it right and pushing yourself…you can do anything for 1 hour)! This is how I work on my cardio base and have a good time doing it.
Finally, Yoga. What can I say about Yoga that you don’t already know? It’s relaxing yet challenging. It’s mellow yet intense. I find it a great way to bookend my week. As I start my week it feels good to get centered and stretch out before a tough week of training and work and it also prepares me mentally for the week ahead. At the end of the week I have a similar experience. It settles me down after a long week of work and training. It feels good to be still, even if for a short period of time. And by still, I mean mentally. Because as many of you know, Yoga is anything but still. Yes, you are still in the holding of poses, but you are moving constantly. However, it is a great place to still your mind and refocus your energies, wherever they may need to be shifted.
So there you have it. This is what makes me happy, so I do it. Find what makes you happy and do that, you’ll never be frustrated again.
And if you need a little more motivation than that:
Be a stronger you, your way!
P.S. I know I did not touch on diet in this post, more on that to come, but I’ll leave you with a thought to chew on before I get to the nitty gritty in my next post.