Category Archives: Exercise

Week Five of Exercise!

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One of my big motivators for sticking to my aerobics class was the video “23 1/2 Hours:  What is the Single Best Thing We Can Do for Our Bodies?”  Of course you can guess that the answer is exercise.   But the facts about how exercise can positively impact our overall health had a big impact on me.  Even when I get discouraged about my slow or even non-exisistent weight loss in spite of healthy eating, I understand that exercise makes a significant difference in my health no matter what the number on the scale says.  I wanted to post this video here so I can access it easily when I need to kick myself in the pants to stay moving.

This morning marked my fourteenth session of aerobics class.  I’m finally feeling comfortable with the moves.    Occasionally, I manage a few high-impact jumping jacks or hops.   I’m sweating – a lot .  My body feels so good after the workout.  I can feel myself getting stronger and more fit.  At week five, going to class feels like a good habit.  I haven’t missed a class yet.

Tomorrow will be my fifth yoga class.  I felt very awkward during my first class, and but my body felt great after the class – very similiar to how I feel after a massage.  Each week feels more comfortable and now I’m planning to add a second yoga class during the week when the next session at the Y starts.  Almost immediately, I felt progress with my flexibility and range of motion.  The moves are challenging, yet calming at the same time.  I’m hooked!

Today I came across a great website called Curvy Yoga.  There is a lot of positivity on this website for loving your body as it is through yoga.  I especially like the videos that show how to modify moves to accomodate bigger curves.

So I’ll continue to move my body.  It’s the most important thing that I do each day.  Hooray for me – I feel fabulous!

Awesome after Aerobics!

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I participated in my first Hi-Lo Aerobics class at the Y this morning.   I feel awesome afterwards – body, mind, and spirit!

The class was large, with about 30-40 participants.  There were mostly women (only 1 man) of a variety of ages.  I saw women like me:  some middle-aged, some not so fit, some overweight.  I like the wide range, from a young mother with her baby in a carrier to senior citizens.   Everyone was friendly and a few spoke to me before and after class with welcoming words of encouragement.

I knew the first class would be difficult.  Some steps were familiar.  Thank goodness I still remember the grapevine!  But most of the steps were new and it was difficult to keep up.  But I kept moving and broke a sweat.  I couldn’t focus on anyone else but the instructor, but I sensed there were other beginners like me as well as some that were effortlessly able to follow the steps.  All of us were pushed aerobically.  It’s going to be difficult for at least a couple of weeks until the steps become more familiar and my body adjusts.  I know that I’ll be able to grow to better fitness here.  My body feels good after moving as my mind engaged with learning the new steps.

I realized that being with other people makes exercise more enjoyable for me.  This morning’s aerobics class was also a social event.  Working out with other people was much better than being alone moving on my elliptical while watching TV.  Although I didn’t know anyone else in the class, we shared smiles as we pushed ourselves forward to follow the steps and just keep going.  It was tough, somehow it seemed easier to keep going with the group.  My mood and spirits were definitely lifted after the class.

I’d forgotten the benefits of aerobic exercise with a group.  Long ago (15+ years?), I used to take aerobics and step classes early in the morning before school.  It got me into a routine of working out at the start of the day.  Gradually, I switched to working out on machines like the EFX elliptical and running on the treadmill.  Then I hit a slump of not having the energy to get to the gym before school.  When I moved six and a half years ago,  I bought an elliptical and moved my treadmill into my new basement home gym.  But I confess that although I’ve had some spurts of daily exercise, I haven’t been able to maintain a consistent routine.   Being committed to a class will enable me to build consistency.  I already know that I’ll be missed if I don’t show up next time.  The structure of a specific class and the social component of being with others will help me get the routine of exercise established. 

I had fun.  I remembered that I do like to move.  I like how my body feels when I push myself aerobically and work up a sweat.  I felt so very good after class. 

I’m looking forward to the next class on Wednesday!

Workout Room Makeover

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Workout Room Makeover

Standing near door looking to back of the room

 I actually do have an underutilized home gym in my basement, complete with a True treadmill and a Pre-Cor Elliptical, just like at the Y.  I also have an exercise bike, weight bench, hand weights, leg weights, a step, multiple video tapes, among other miscellaneous equipment.  At one point, I was using most of these things regularly.  But I haven’t really gotten into a consistent routine since I moved to my current home 6 years ago. 

Standing at the back of the room looking to front

While I was on the elliptical yesterday, I really noticed how unappealing the space is.   It’s a long narrow room with a glass block window at either end.  The room is poorly lit.  The equipment is clustered near the door in front of a small TV.  It’s okay, but not a place that I’d want to spend time in. 

 

So, my plan is to get started with a room makeover!  Here’s the plan:

 

  1. Paint the walls a pleasant, cheerful yellow
  2. Post motivational sayings, like a border, around the top of the wall near the ceiling.
  3. Hang poster-sized photos of ocean scenes where I’ve been. 
  4. Cover the floor with those blue carpet squares (an easy DIY project, and cheaper than getting the floor carpeted professionally – but I’ll check on the price)
  5. Put up new ceiling lighting to make the room brighter.
  6. Rearrange the exercise equipment so that it’s in the back of the room, on a diagonal line to kind of break up the long and narrow feeling in the room.
  7. Reserve open space at the front of the room for stretching, weight training, and floor exercise.  Put a large mirror on the wall in this area too.
  8. 8. Get an LCD TV mounted on a swing arm, so that it can be viewed while on the exercise equipment or while in the open floor area.
  9. Get a small refrigerator for water

 

I’m excited to get started!  I’ll post the after pictures when I’m finished!

 

 

Walking . . . . why do I resist?

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It’s been my goal to walk most days during the week.  When I think of what I mean by “most”, the number would be 5-6 days, with 4 being the minimum acceptable.  I was busy toward the end of last week and over the weekend, then yesterday it rained.  So a few days have gone by since I took a good walk.

Today was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the air cool.  But I resisted walking.  I didn’t do it this morning, and told myself I’d go after lunch.  Then the afternoon just drifted by.  After dinner, I was feeling very conflicted.  I truly did not want to walk.  I bargained with myself that I could walk on my treadmill and play Words with Friends on my iPad.  Well, I found it difficult to type on the keyboard and walk at the same time.  I guess I’m not too coordinated that way. 

So at just after 7:00 p.m. whenI bit the bullet and put on my outside shoes to go for a walk.  It really did feel good to be outside.  After about a third of a mile, my body felt really good too.  It feels good to move.  I walked about two miles and it took about 35 minutes.  I feel energized and glad that I pushed myself out the door.

So why do I resist?  I know that walking or any kind of exercise is good for me, and I do enjoy it once I get started.  But sometimes I just really don’t want to.  So I find all kinds of  ways to procrastinate, convincing myself that I can do it later.

I do much better when I’m in a routine.  The few busy days were enough to just break me out of a new routine that hadn’t become a firm habit yet.  So I think it was easier for my resistance to take hold.  The more time that goes by, the easier it is to forget how really good it feels to get my body moving.  It’s Newton’s Law of Motion:  “Objects in motion tend to remain in motion.”  So that means when objects aren’t in motion, they might remain that way unless pushed.  I really needed to push myself today.

So, I’m thinking that until I get into a firm habit, I need to get out and walk daily.  If I do miss walking  for some reason, then I really need to make sure that I walk the following day. I need to avoid making any morning appointments and get my walk in before noon.  I can still have a nice leisurely morning with an extra cup of coffee and internet surfing.  But it will save me the temptation to procrastinate if I get it done before lunch. 

Laura in motion stays in motion, and I can’t let my negative e-motion-al resistance get in my way.