Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wii Will be Fit!

Let me begin by saying that I am in no way an exercise mastermind. If you ask me for twenty different workouts to firm and lift the tooshie . . . I may be able to give you . . . three, off the top of my head. Maybe.
What I really am, however, is someone who has been working out, a couch potato, trying to work out, lazy bum, over and over again since high school. I just couldn't find a workout routine that kept me motivated. If it was a friend exercising with me, well, life got in the way, and friend and/or I moved on to new schools, new homes, what have you, and there goes my incentive to break out the weights and the stopwatch.
Finally, after ten years of trying, I'm beginning to discover the motivation and determination to keep fit.

And I just thought I'd try to share the wisdom. Maybe you've heard some of these things before, maybe not. This is just the fitness world as I've experienced it. Whoo-hoo! :]

  • There is no "right way" or "perfect program."  Magazine articles, TV shows, adverts, your pal, etc will try to tell you that "this is the best workout ever!" Maybe it is. Try it, give it a chance, and if you absolutely hate it, you have not failed. There's nothing wrong with you because you hated that workout. It just might be time to try something else.  I had a friend who loved doing military-style routines. We would try them together, and, golly I just hated every grueling, sweat-filled, aching second of it while she was completely in her element. What did I discover years later? I like walking, yoga, and pilates. Does that make one of our workout styles null and void? No. We're just different, and so are our exercise routines. Yay for differences! XD
  • Find a routine you love. Following the first point, you are more likely to stick with something you enjoy than something you dread. Personally, I'm a Wii Fit fanatic (hence the title), but you may be someone who likes running marathons. Awesome! Run those marathons! Maybe you like Zumba? Then dance, baby, dance! There are so many classes, workout videos (I recommend the 10 Minute Solutions series--you get to mix and match your routine in 10 minute segments), and video games to choose from! Once you find one you like, you'll be excited to start your workout and enjoy it.
  • Have a goal and accountability. This is key. Personally, if I don't have some sort of accountability or goal, then I don't get off my duff. But, if I have something to shoot for, I'm on it. That's part of the reason I love Wii Fit--there's always a score to beat and a graph to conquer.   I'm pretty competitive . . . and now, I am in competition with myself?! Watch out me!  It's also a huge help to have an accountability partner: a friend or family member, or maybe just the computer/video game. My mom loves using an app on her Ipad that counts calories against your workout. A good friend of mine has running and surfing buddies. Set a realistic goal, get some accountability, and shoot for it.
  • Thirty minute sessions are the most effective. That's not saying you can't work out for more than that, but give yourself a small break (around 10 minutes) for water (drink lots of it!) or some deep breathing to let your body recuperate and recharge for the next part of your session. Sometimes, I like to break my sessions up to different times of day: a heavier workout in the morning and then a lighter one in the evening.
  • In strength training, do ten rep sets. There are two kinds of muscle: slow twitch and fast twitch. Fast are l muscles that contract quickly for quick bursts of power (i.e. your arms). Slow twitch are muscles used for endurance (i.e. core muscles/abdominal muscles). Muscles tear as you workout so, to help them repair and therefore build muscle, you must allow breaks between rep cycles, smaller breaks for fast twitch and longer for slow twitch. And by long I mean like 20 seconds. Ladies, don't worry, you won't look like a man when this is over, I promise ;]
  • DRINK WATER!!!! And that's all I have to say about that. 
  • Aerobics are important. Personally, I'm not a runner, but that doesn't mean I should cut out all aerobics. I may not race, but I love a good, speedy walk for 20-30 minutes. Guess what? I'm still burning calories and giving my heart a workout. Maybe you don't like either of those? Try cycling or dance. I love yoga and could do it all day long, but I can't ignore the benefits of a good cardio workout. Not only is it one of the fastest workout methods to burn fat, but it keeps my heart in tip-top shape. 
  • Warm up. "Cold" muscles are more susceptible to injury. Warming up also helps lend itself to muscle memory so the workout becomes easier and more beneficial. Plus a good stretch just feels awesome. :]
  • Don't overdo it. If I haven't been to a gym in years, am I suddenly going to bench-press 500lbs?? NO! If I'm lucky, I'll be able to bench-press a naked bar the first few times. Eventually, we'll add a little weight on. The point is not to jump in like you're an Olympian. Start out at your own pace; yes, you should push yourself, but not too hard. Know your limits. Work past them gradually. Jumping in too heavily can result in injury, and we don't want that. 
  • If you are in a gym on machines, read the instructions or ask an assistant to help. Um, hello? Those labels and those people are there for a reason. Use them and don't be ashamed. Choosing to ignore them can result in a major owie.
  • When you're finished, have a protein snack. No, that doesn't mean a cheeseburger. Trust me, I made that mistake after my workout classes in college. Yeah, and I wondered where that Freshman Twenty came from . Geez Louise. By protein, I mean a little bit of peanut butter, a protein bar or shake, or maybe some hummus and veggies (Hello! Hummus and celery is my new favorite workout reward!). The protein will help refuel and rebuild your body after you're finished working out. 
  • You've done awesomely! Now reward yourself! In grade school, after working long and hard on that spelling test, wasn't it all worth it to get that shiny star sticker? Same thing with your workout routine. Lost some weight? Buy a new outfit or pull out those old used-to-be-too-tiny jeans you've been hiding to show your hot bod. Been craving cheesecake for ages? You've been good all week, have a piece. Yum! I love to reward myself with a spa soak after a long, hard day at work and a long workout. Everything just feels, looks, and tastes sooooo much better after you've been good to your body. Don't feel bad about a little indulgence. You've taken care of your body, worked hard, and you totally deserve this!
 I don't know about you, but all this exercise jibber jabber has made me want to jump on my little Wii Fit and break into a sweat!

What about you? Any favorite work-out tips?

Happy exercising!

1 comment:

  1. drinking water! its the best work out tip ever. its also the best non work out tip ever.


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