Wednesday, September 18, 2013

workout tips: part 1 of 3

I LOVE to workout.  It gives me more energy, more confidence, and more motivation to do better in other parts of my life.

Some tips to get the most out of your workout:

-Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating meals as outlined in the previous post, gives me the energy I need to get a GOOD workout.  If I'm not going to eat like this, I'm wasting my time working out.  I won't have the protein to maintain my muscle, I won't have the veggies to replenish my vitamins.  I won't have the carbs to give me energy and I won't have the fat to help burn fat. FOOD IS FUEL.  when i started seeing it that way, it became easier to eat a healthy diet.

-LIFT WEIGHTS!!!!  Just trust me.  I'm doing squats with 95 lbs and cleans with, i think, 55lbs and that's HARD for me.  But I'm not getting big.  I'm getting smaller.  muscle is waaaay more compact than fat, so if you're following a good diet and burning fat, you'll look smaller when you lift weight because the fat is coming off and the (tight, compact) muscle is building.  but if you don't have a gym membership, never fear.  at least invest in a couple weights.  maybe some 15 lb dumbbells for squats and some 5s or 8s for smaller muscles (biceps, triceps).  Or just buy one 15-20lb kettlebell and do kettlebell swings.  a great full body workout!

-get rest!  When you're working out, your body needs to rest so it can heal.  Exercise definitely makes you feel energized but you also get tired by the end of the day.  You're body needs rest so it can go at it again in the morning.  Keep your immune system strong by going to bed early.  I always get sick when I'm lacking sleep.

-Don't work the same muscle group two days in a row.  When we rest, we get stronger.  When you work a muscle, you're essentially damaging that muscle and, on your rest day, the muscle repairs itself, making it stronger.  If it doesn't have a day of rest, it won't be able to strengthen.  I do abs monday, wednesday, and friday.  That part of my routine is set.  But my other body parts, I switch around.  If I feel like a leg day I might do squats, lunges, deadlifts, and cleans.  The next day I'll do push-ups, pull-ups, dips, weights, and maybe do my cardio too.  Then I go back to legs the next day.  It's different each week, depending on how I feel. (and i will do cardio on consecutive days)

-Cardio.  If you want to see results you must have the trifecta: DIET, WEIGHTLIFTING, and CARDIO.  We've talked about the first two, but cardio will help burn that fat.  YOU NEED ALL THREE! Something I'm FINALLY learning.  I'm usually doing good with one or two of these at any given time, but not usually all three.  I haven't focused on cardio in forever but I just started running again.  It's so hard for me, because I don't have great endurance, but I'm going to commit to at least 3x a week.  You don't need a ton of cardio.  Just 30 minutes, 3-5 times a week.  Go jogging, do the elliptical, do an aerobics video, do a 20 minute HIIT workout with jumprope, high knees, burpees, etc.  mix it up so you don't get bored.  Right now, I can handle maybe 2 miles on the track, but as I get better I'll be able to go further.

-Switch it up.  Don't do the same old workouts every single week.  it eventually gets boring and you won't stick to it.  I love to workout because it's an adventure every day.  I actually get excited at night, thinking about what i'm going to do in the morning.  i sincerely look forward to going to the gym the next day, or staying home and trying a new youtube video, or going for a jog, or doing yoga.  it's so much fun to me.  I definitely have workouts that i love and repeat, but I switch it up often.  Compare it to the way you eat.  Would you want to eat the same dinner every single night?  NO WAY!  You switch it up often.  I'm sure we all have recipes that we make more than once because our family loves them, but we definitely try new things to keep it interesting and fun.

in a future post, i'll give some links of good workouts and fitness sites that i love.

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