Those two shoes make me who I am. When I wear them I work hard, feel determined, get strong, laugh with my BFF, gain energy, burn calories, spend time with my husband, feel joy, enjoy nature, have confidence, feel pride, teach my kids to be fit, love life and feel alive!
They carry me to the top of mountains, through the rain, over trails, on pavement, through snow and my favorite….home! There is no better feeling than walking through my front door in my running shoes, sweaty and strong.
This is the last day of New Year’s Resolution Week. I saved the most important goal for last. This is my soapbox! 🙂 Here’s why…
“Wow, I really regret that workout! -said no one, ever!”
Exercising is the only way to get a strong, fit body. It amps up your metabolism to burn the calories that you consume. There is no diet that will tone your muscles, give you energy, release endorphins for a happy mood and help you lose weight. Eating healthy contributes to maintaining your desired shape and not adding extra pounds, but can’t help you lose excess weight you may already have. Some diets can appear to help lose weight, however muscle is lost as well, ultimately reducing your metabolism and decreasing the amount of calories you can burn. A slower metabolism leads to difficulty keeping the pounds off.
A study from the University of California San Francisco proved that exercise lowers the levels of a hormone called Cortisol. This hormone is responsible for producing belly fat. The study showed women with the most Cortisol in their system had wider middles than those with moderate levels of the hormone. (Source: Fitnessmagazine.com)
Exercise also uses the food you eat instead of storing it. Let the calories that you put in your body be used as fuel for your workouts!
“I’m not telling you its going to be easy, I’m telling you its going to be worth it!”
Believing that exercise is good for you is not the hardest part. It’s the following through on a daily basis that is tough. That’s what I am hoping to help with!!
Being a die-hard believer in exercise and an athlete my entire life, I still go through periods of time that require some re-motivating. Right now, for example….I am currently suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, keeping me from my passions, running and soccer. Before this began, I was in the best ever routine of an early morning run with my best buddy and neighbor and playing soccer once or twice a week. I felt great and it all came easy!
This routine became so natural that I was practically doing it in my sleep. Having a friend to work out with makes it difficult to bail, not wanting to let them down. In addition, it adds to the enjoyment of the workout (Thanks Karen!!) But now, with a halt in my routine, I have had to create new habits.
I did a little mt. biking in the fall, and as much as I love to bike, I don’t like to bike alone. (Excuse!) I tried out a couple of gyms but didn’t want to pay for a membership. (Excuse!) With a way softer middle than I can “handle,” I finally decided enough is enough. My husband set up my bike in my family room (see my view to the right….it’s not so bad!) and I’m finally back in a daily routine. It feels great! I have a ways to go to get back to where I was pre-plantar fasciitis but with every pedal stroke and bead of sweat that drips, I know that I am that much closer.
Now I ride my trainer five days a week. It turns out I needed my bike to be right in front of me everyday. The important thing is to find what routine WILL WORK FOR YOU!! Here are some ideas…..
- Try to workout in the morning, even if it’s 20 or 30 minutes. Early exercise revs up your motor so that you burn calories all day! The higher intensity of exercise the better. Remind yourself that you probably won’t get to sleep much longer anyway and you definitely won’t feel better because of it. Try getting to bed a little earlier if you need the extra zzzzz’s.
- No time for a morning workout…? Maybe you are a mid-afternoon exerciser. Add a workout during your lunch break, if your job allows.
- Can’t squeeze in a workout during the day…? Head to the gym on your way home or exercise first thing when you get there. Your spouse will support this extra time tacked onto your workday because the endorphins you’ll feel after will make you a happier person. 🙂
- Too distracted to workout once you get home…? Try changing into workout clothes before you leave your place of work. Then when you get home you’ll be more likely to follow through. Or sign-up your loved one or friend to get into the same routine so that it becomes a fixed part of your schedule. You’ll be helping that person out as well!!
No matter what works for you, find it! Don’t give up until you find the routine that you will stick with. Find the exercise that you enjoy so that following through is easier. There are so many FUN ways to exercise and different ways to accomplish them….
- running (outside or on a treadmill)
- biking (road, mountain, in the gym or a trainer set up by your Christmas tree -I know…I have to take it down now…)
- rock-climbing (at a gym or outside)
- weight-lifting (at home or at the gym)
- fitness machines (at home or at the gym)
- playing sports (soccer, tennis, football, basketball, etc…)
- martial arts
- fitness videos (there are so many available these days)
- vigorous walking
These are just a few ideas. The main thing is to find something you will do every day! (Well, 5 to 6 times a week, anyway) And, of course you can mix up your activities. Cross-training is great for using different muscle groups and intensity levels.
Be sure to set reasonable goals that you will follow-through on. Babysteps!
Here’s one final quote, it’s my favorite and the front page of my Pinterest board. I found it on fitsugar.com The above quotes were from popsugar.com and beautybets.com.
I hope this post will inspire you to be the very best YOU that you can be! After all…. “We only live once, so why not be a badass?” (sorry, mom! I just love that quote!!!)