Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Workouts

From time to time I get asked what kind of workouts or exercise that I’m doing, so I thought I’d share a bit about that part of my journey today.

When I first started my transition into a healthier lifestyle in June 2011, mobility and endurance were a struggle for me.  I was dealing with a sciatic nerve injury, which was intensified by the extra weight I was carrying on my body.  There were many days when it could literally take anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes for me to go from a laying down position to standing up from my bed in the mornings simply due to the pain being so bad and making it so hard to even move.  Once up, standing or walking for more than just a few minutes was out of the question. 

This being the case, in my mind exercise seemed out of reach for me when I first started making changes, although I knew that I needed to somehow find a way to get myself moving more.

For the first 11 months, from June 2011 – May 2012, my exercise was sporadic, at best.  From time to time I would do a brief workout with a video, or would go outside to walk during my lunch break at work, but that was about it.  During that time, I really focused on learning to eat right and get my nutrition into balance.  Self-control in my eating habits became my primary goal.  I knew that I had to get that area under control before exercise would do me much good, because I didn’t want to work myself silly in the gym just to try to keep up with my eating. 

The personal discipline I have learned in my food habits has now transferred over to my exercise.  As I have posted about previously, I joined a gym in May 2012, and have been going strong with it ever since.  I’m finding that I love pushing myself a little bit farther with each workout, be it through a faster speed or higher incline on the treadmill, or by increasing weights or reps in my strength training.  Most of all, I am continually thankful to no longer have the mobility issues I used to suffer with. 

These days, my workouts vary, typically between in the gym and at home workouts, based on my schedule.  I am pretty adamant about exercising a minimum of three times per week, and sometimes get in four in a week.  I know a lot of people swear by 6-days per week workouts, but I know what will realistically work for me, and setting challenging, yet obtainable goals has been key for my success thus far, so right now, my goal remains 3-4 per week.  What do those look like right now?

At the gym:
- My gym routine changes every month or so to keep things fresh, but always involves 30-40 minutes on the treadmill.  I do intervals with my speed, ranging from 3.3mph to 5.0mph with the incline ranging from 1.0 – 8.0.  In addition, I do strength training in the circuit using 12 different machines, lifting/pushing/pulling weights from 30-120 pounds with reps ranging from 25-40.  I also have two additional machines I use that are targeted towards helping the sciatic issues specifically.  When I can catch an extra day in the gym, I’ll swim laps for 30-60 minutes.

At home:
- Running/Walking up and down our hill – We live at the top of a fairly steep incline and our street is just over 1/10th of a mile long.  As my heart rate monitor (HRM) has proven, making laps back and forth up and down the hill provides a great cardio workout and burns a lot of calories! 
- There is a park close by my house and I’ve just recently started making use of their pathways for walking/running
- I have several sets of weights and videos that incorporate both strength and cardio training.  I don’t do these too often, because I much prefer being outside or at the gym, but they’re good for a change every now and then.

That about sums it up! 

(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)

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