Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kick Starting Your Work Out Routine

Hello to my new readers! I've had a few new peeps follow my blog lately and some new comments too which is AWESOME!! Thanks so much for coming around to hang out! Welcome aboard!

So if you're new to the blog, new to trying to figure out all this weight loss stuff you probably have a lot of questions. Don't worry, I did as well when I started and I'm certain everyone does... I still have lots of questions, so I'm always looking for more info.

If you're wondering how I got started with my diet I have an older post on that topic. Read about it here!
So what's next? You've read up your diet, learned a bit about healthy eating, but what about working out?

17foreverlisa asked me what she could do to kick start her work out routine, which is a great question! So how in the world do you make the change from being a couch potato to getting fit?

Ask yourself this question...

What motivates you?

There has to be something that motivates you to want to get in shape... think about what that it your family, is it your future family, do you want to do it for yourself...

What is your favorite physical activity?

You might not be in shape right now but maybe there's something you've always wanted to try, always wished you could do, or wanted to start doing again after adult life got in the way...

Did you play a sport when you were younger that you really enjoyed?

Do you like being outdoors?

Do you like riding a bike?




Skiing/snow boarding?


Do you work well alone? Or with others?

I'm asking all these questions for several reasons:

  • Boredom kills your work out! Plus, if you associate working out with being painful and exhausting instead of fun and invigorating then honestly do you think you're going to work out? Probably not.

    Find a fun activity that you enjoy that's going to get you out there, and make that part of your routine.
  • If you like being with a group, then group fitness classes or rec sports are definitely for you!

    Even if you don't like being in a group I would recommend trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone! If you don't push yourself out of your routine, out of your existing everyday comforts then you won't see results.
  • A benefit of group fitness classes is that you have a set time to meet. If you're the type of person that says "oh I'll just go to the gym whenever" but never actually set a time to go, do you think you'll actually make it to the gym?

    If you take a group fitness class or join a sports team that has set times to meet and a set schedule for games, then chances are you're going to be there because you've made the time for it.
  • Working out with a group gives you the added benefit of camaraderie and motivation. You'll see once you get out there that you always feed off each others energy and you'll push yourself harder as a result.

For me, it was soccer. I LOVE soccer! But I was really bad at soccer when I first started playing so I wanted to get better. Soccer has always been part of my routine and every day I work out I feel like I work towards improving my game.

Here's an example of how I boosted my work out routine which helped improve my soccer game:

I needed better cardiovascular endurance... So I started taking regular spinning classes.

I needed to be faster... So I started running and doing sprint intervals on the treadmill.

I needed to improve my ball skills... So I started kicking the ball around after my runs.

I needed to be stronger to have more powerful kicks... So I started lifting weights.

Start Small, Baby Steps!

Note: To be on the safe side I would consult with your Dr. before starting any work out routine. Get a physical and make sure everything is running smoothly! :)

Do you think I was able to get out there on my first soccer game and bend it like Beckham? Hell no! I'm still not even remotely close and never will be at that skill level, but now I feel like I can hold my own out on the field and that I've gained the respect of my team mates as a reliable defender.

But that didn't happen over night. It took time. Achieving fitness is going to take time, remember this is a life style change not a quick fix.

If you're trying to start a work out routine, start small. Set small goals for yourself. Here's an example:

Let's say you have access to a treadmill...even if you don't you can try this outside...

Start off doing 30 minute walks at least 3 - 4 times a week.

If you can handle that, it's time to add a little bit of jogging to your routine.

Try to jog for intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute, then walk to recover...and again set small goals for yourself to improve the length of time as you grow used to it...before you know it you'll be able to run a mile straight!

If you want to read more about doing run/walks, check out this article on runners world.

Just remember having to stop an activity to take a breather does not make you weak or less of an athlete! What does make you weak is if you had never gotten up off the couch that day in the first place...never get down on yourself for getting out there and trying!

Which leads me to my next segment... ;)

Discomfort is OK, Pain is not!

Remember the expression, no pain, no gain? Forget that expression! PAIN IS NOT GOOD! What you want to shoot for is discomfort, which should happen anyway if you're pushing yourself harder than what your body is used to. Make your self sweat, get your heart rate up...but if you experience severe pain STOP what you're doing. I'm not saying be a total wuss...Just make sure you know your limits.

Experiencing soreness after a work out is normal though. This is often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness. It's very important to stretch after each work out and to keep yourself moving the next day to minimize your recovery time. For example if you did cardio yesterday and your legs are sore, make sure you do a different activity today such as lifting weights. Remember to stretch, or do a light activity such as walking...don't just sit around.

I've found working out over all has not been a smooth process. I've had minor muscle pains, bumps/scrapes/bruises, a shoulder injury (which has been on going since I was 22 I have to modify my work outs around it) and a foot injury from soccer and not laying off of it. Don't expect everything to be smooth sailing, but also don't let a little soreness make you stop! Listen to your body, listen to your doctor, do what you think you can, but above all keep active!

To summarize my advice... keep it fun, push yourself out of your comfort zone, do your best and most importantly don't give up!!!

Now it's time to put away the lap top and get started!

Hope this helps, and let me know what your favorite way to work out is!


Karin said...

Another great article. For me I lack motivation... In high school I was in an ROTC program and was therefore in great shape. Then I graduated and went to culinary school (the freshman 15 was way more than that in this case :o( ) So my goal is to be able to get back to the level of physicality. I get bored easily so anything too monotonous will kill my motivation. I just signed up at Pure Fitness and am really excited. I have a free one on one workout today and then get 2 free 1hr sessions with a personal trainer. And all the classes (yoga, kickboxing, zumba etc) are all free which will totally help with the monotony (sp??). I think this is the most excited I have ever been about starting a new workout routine. Thanks for another great post ;o)

muddles said...

Great Post!

I'm a 'exercise with a friend' person. I find I will stick to my exercise program on those days when I really don't want to be bothered because I don't want to let my buddy down.

I found the groups on sparkpeople were also good for this as a motivator especially if you are participating in the challenges

17foreverlisa said...

Awesome post!!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you put into it.

I think it's an omen that you put that post up because of me today . . . the 17th. Tomorrow I am getting back on the treadmill and will start adding in the mini-goals as you suggested.

Here are my bigger goal markers:

1 - 20 lbs. by June (Eclipse)
2 - 40 lbs. by September (Forks)
3 - 50 lbs. by Christmas (Family pictures)

That gets me to the half-way point. My goal weight loss is 117 lbs. :) That goal weight would still be 40 lbs. heavier than when I got married almost 30 years ago, so it's a realistic goal. I know that the first half will come off easier than the last half, but by then I will have made a life-style change.

I am ready to sign up for Spark People and it is asking me for the Username of the person who referred me. Is there something you want me to put in there?

Thanks again, Laura. Talk to you soon.


Dangrdafne said...

Well Lisa it appears that your comment trumped mine and mine is gone.
So here it goes again:

Great post! Excellent information and great motivation for your readers.

I have a personal trainer that I see twice a week. I knew I couldn't just join a gym. I need to be held accountable to someone for my actions or I will convince myself I can miss a day or whatever. She is now one of my very best friends and great therapy.

My next work out item will be a treadmill. After watching a video that 17ForeverLisa linked me to on YouTube called Sexy Bitch (since taken down), I was motivated to want to also be a Sexy Bitch. The video is filled with awesome pictures of Kristen and Rob and I realized I want to feel like I could be in that video. So thank you Lisa. I am researching treadmills at this time. You never know where your motivation will come from.

Last thing: Sometimes during commercial breaks, I get up and do push ups against the wall, leg lifts on the floor or some crunches. Every little bit helps.

Anonymous said...

Good post. I just became a follower. Everything you said makes sense, but I've never been into sports. Exercise has never been my thing, except for sex. Don't think my area has "group classes" for that. LOL

I bought some 10 minute Solution DVDs figuring some exercise is better than none. I've also joined sparkpeople at TwitardedMom. I always want to call that site Sparkle People. Does that mean I've read Twilight too many times?

17foreverLisa- We are the same age & both have a bunch of weight to loose. It's great having someone to do this with.

EmJest said...

After reading your blog I joined How did you handle the meal plan they gave you? It is somewhat overwhelming when you look at the grocery list!! What have been some helpful things for you?

Team Six Pack said...

ok I'm a slacker! Sorry I'm just getting around to responding but i've been so busy I haven't had a whole lot of time outside of the office ;) to think about bloggy stuff!

@Karin I'm SUPER Excited that you're excited about working out!! Keep that momentum going and yes take all the classes! One of my favorites is spinning and then my gym offers a yoga class afterward which is great because you get to stretch out all those tired muscles :)

@muddles the twilight spark team is awesome. They have a from Phoenix to Forks challenge where members log their weekly mileage on the tread mill or try to calculate mileage from biking or the elliptical and try to add up the distance it take to get from Phoenix to Forks.

@17foreverlisa I didn't even think about that! Ok so 17 is your lucky number :) how have the mini goals been coming along?? If you stick to watching your portions and calories and exercising at least three times a week the weight will come off :)

@Dangrdafne Personal trainers are pricey but worth every penny. They really know how to work your bodies in ways you could never figure out on your own and they're awesome at motivating. The bootcamp I go to is run by a personal trainer and athletic conditioner so he's whipping my butt into shape!

@TwitadedMom Welcome to my blog! If sex is your fave way to work out how about a pole dancing class? I bet the hubs would appreciate it lol ;). My twi-bestie and I are going to try one out for kicks lol. And your right any bit of workout is better than none! Keep trying to add new things to your routine and don't be afraid to maybe try something new you might like it :)

@EmJest Welcome to the blog! Sparkpeople is a bit confusing at first. Honestly, I never used their grocery lists or followed their meal plans to a T... but you've given me an idea for another post :) So I'll need to start thinking about that, but as I said I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging this week, things will settle down after the first of the month... I hope!