Fitness

Fitness Friday; Fitting It In

The best time of the week has finally arrived.  It’s the day that we (well, I) have all been waiting for!

It’s FRIDAY!  Thursday’s are pretty great too, because it means the end is in sight, but nothing beats the feeling of being able to kick back after a long week.

I want to start writing about different fitness topics and fitness how-to posts and think that a “Fitness Friday” post each week is a great way to do that.  For now, I will also be recapping what my own workouts looked like during the week.  That might change as I figure out a way to post more regularly, but for now, here it is.

Saturday:  I woke up bright and early to squeeze in a workout.  I wanted to get my workout out of the way, so that I could use the rest of the day to get some things done.  I turned on the Food Network and set out to do a 35 minute cardio session in my tiny room!

It started with a five minute warm up.  I did each exercise consecutively, for one minute each.

  • jumping jacks
  • jump rope
  • run in place
  • high knees
  • butt-kicks

Once my heart rate was up, I really started pushing myself and completed the following workout twice.  I did each exercise for 50 seconds, then a 10 second rest before moving on to the next.  I took a one minute break before doing everything a second time.

  • side-way jump rope
  • mountain climbers
  • lunge jumps
  • jumping jacks
  • burpees
  • side-to-side sprints in place
  • squat jumps
  • jump rope
  • up & down plank
  • butt kicks
  • burpees
  • knee-high jumps
  • sprints in place
  • moving push-ups
  • butt kicks

I rounded out the cardio with ten minutes of ab workouts.  This workout was no joke.  I was dripping sweat all over my floor.  Success!

Sunday:  I had to be in a meeting for the majority of the day and was so antsy by the end of it.  I don’t do well with sitting for long periods of time, so as soon as it ended, I bundled up and headed out for a brisk walk for about a half hour.  Russ makes fun of me for always wanting to go on walks.  He says I’m like a dog and I need to be walked every few hours.  I wouldn’t argue with that…

Monday:  Monday’s workout was a sweaty one!  I started with a five minute warm up on the elliptical, followed by 15 minutes of running on the treadmill and then 15 minutes of incline walking at incline 12, pace 4.1.  Monday’s are usually my “tricep day”, so I did a number of tricep exercises and ten minute abs at the end.  I was a hot mess after that workout.

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Tuesday:  I was running all over the place on Tuesday and didn’t even have a half hour to use the elliptical or ride the bike and multitask with other work.  That’s how busy I was.

Wednesday:  I met up with my friend, Morgan, for a run, since it was uncharacteristically warm on Wednesday!  She just got back from a semester in Spain and I was excited to hear about her experience there.  We spent the run talking about Spain, workouts, plans to run a half marathon.  Runs are always SO much more enjoyable when they’re done with someone else, especially when it’s someone that you haven’t seen or talked to in awhile.  It’s always fun to catch up!  We finished up the run with about twenty minutes of weight lifting and then I did three minutes of abs before I needed to run to meet with a professor.

Thursday:  Yet another day that I was too busy to even consider going to the gym.  There was literally no way I could have done it.

Friday:  Oh Friday, I love the way you are so easy-going and give me some extra time.  I love Fridays, but I especially love Fridays at the gym.  It’s almost completely empty and so peaceful.  I plugged my headphones into the TV and spent the next 30 minutes watching the news and E!-news.  I mostly did an incline walking workout, basically the same as what I did on Monday, with a little bit of intermittent running.  I didn’t have much time, so I quickly did 100 lunges, 2 sets of regular squats, 2 sets of ballet squats (I don’t know what they’re actually called), 2 sets of moving squats, and used 3 leg machines- the leg press, and two others that I don’t know the name of. I should start paying attention to that.  I finished out the workout with five minutes of abs before sprinting home to shower and buy coffee.

So, the gym and I haven’t had that great of a relationship this week, but I did what I could do.  That’s all a person can do-make an effort to fit it in when possible.  That leads me to what I wanted to talk about for this week’s Fitness Friday.  There are two questions that I often get asked when it comes to working out.  The first question is, How do you workout so often? and the second is, You don’t get bored from working out?

I cringe a little bit when I hear people say that “they just don’t have the time” to workout.  Of course you have time to workout!  Do you have a lunch break?  Great, go take a walk with a friend or call someone, or, just go out and clear your head.  Does your alarm go off at 7:00 a.m., but you stay up until 11:00 watching TV?  Go to bed an hour earlier a couple nights per week and then get up 45 minutes earlier for a workout.  Maybe you have reading to do for school?  Take it to the gym and read it on the bike!

There are so many ways to manage a hectic schedule and fit in a workout a few days per week.  I’m a morning workout person, which means that as the day goes on, the chances that I make it to the gym are rapidly declining.  Since I know that my motivation decreases over the day, I make it a point to get up early and head to the gym first thing in the morning.  Of course, there are some (okay, a lot) of days where I rather sleep until the sun comes up, but I have a couple of tricks to get myself up.  The first thing is that I keep my alarm across the room.  I can’t ignore it for that long.  My other trick is to tell myself that I have never regretted a workout, but I always regret skipping them.  It also helps that my type-A personality LOVES crossing off “work-out” on my to-do list.  Working out starts my day off on a positive note; it gives me time to myself, time to clear my head, or time to just watch TV.  If I don’t accomplish anything else for the rest of the day, at least I have done something positive for myself.

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I used to think that if I didn’t have at least an hour to workout, then there was no point in even doing anything.  That is so wrong!  Any amount of time can be beneficial.  A fifteen minute brisk walk after dinner, lifting weights or doing an indoor workout during commercials, or stopping by the gym for just twenty minutes can make all the difference!  I find that when I don’t have much motivation for a great workout, by telling myself to do ten minutes, and within a few minutes, I’m ready to do at least twenty.  People are busy and life gets in the way, but when you make fitness a priority, you will find that suddenly there is time for a workout most days, you just need to find it.  You might even find that you’re looking forward to it 🙂  These days, when I don’t get to workout, I feel like something is missing from my day.  There are so many benefits to getting up and moving a bit.

That brings me to my next point- Why I never get bored of working out.  I often hear Ugh, working out is so boring!  When I hear that, I want to shake the person and show them that there are SO MANY ways to get your heart rate up.  Most gyms offer a ton of different classes.  Fitness classes are great because they show you new exercises, you meet new people and no one is there to judge you.  Everyone is worrying about what they’re doing, so there is no reason to feel self-conscious!  There are upbeat classes, such as Zumba, or classes to get your heart beating-so-fast-you-think-it-will-explode, like Boot Camp or Spinning (my favorite). There are strength training classes, like BodyPump or Kettlebells.  There are other, more relaxing classes like Yoga or Pilates, and that’s just to name a few.  Not into group classes?  No problem! There is biking, jogging, walking, hiking, swimming, playing sports, and anything else you can think of!  Grab a friend and make it a time to catch up, or use the other person for motivation.  If you think that working out is boring, you haven’t given it a fair chance and haven’t yet found the right program!

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I love working out and the feeling I get from doing it, but I know I would hate doing it if all I did was run on the treadmill or use weights.  I try to switch up my workouts, try new classes and set new goals for myself, like my goal to run a marathon this year!  It’s so much fun being able to see yourself improve and get stronger.  When I started running, I ran less than a lap.  I gradually built it up to a mile, then worked my way up, mile by mile.  Just a few weeks ago I ran twenty miles!  A year ago, my average weight for lifting was 7.5-10 pounds.  I now use 12.5, 15, and sometimes 20 pounds!

Fitness can be done anytime, anywhere.  It has so many benefits and can be so enjoyable and rewarding if you find something that you enjoy and look forward to.  I challenge you to try a new fitness activity and then try another.  Don’t give up!

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