Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Healthy Living: "What do you do when you work out?"

I'm continuing my week of weight loss blogs with the second question I am most frequently asked, "What do you do when you work out?"

Let me start by saying that I've been working out for quite some time... in a half-assed (no pun intended) kind of way. Until I added the healthy eating TO the working out, I saw no results other than being a fairly fit, obese girl. But, the working out and increasing my intensity came pretty easy to me because I was already in decent shape. All that being said, if you read this and you're not already working out, you should try to start out slow and increase your intensity as you become more and more fit.

Here's what I do for a typical workout. I usually work out 5 or 6 days a week for an hour to two at a time. I know that's a lot of time for some people but I am fortunate enough to be a (mostly) SAHM so I have that amount of time available. Really though, a half an hour a day will benefit you.

I start out with some cardio, a half an hour at least, but usually 45 minutes. I like to run but my hip hurts me lately when I do it so I cut back on the running to one or two miles at a time. I also like our gym's AMT machine. It's kind of like a stair machine/elliptical all combined into one. It burns a lot of calories but it's easy on the joints which is great with my hip pain. If I have to do a regular elliptical machine, I will and once in a while I do the actual stair mill which looks like an evil mini-escalator. I've been doing the stationary bike lately to finish up my work out with a good sweat. 5 miles in 17 minutes is my best pace so far, and that's with the level set at 8. I am not really interested in the classes but my gym does have spinning and Zumba which I'll do on occasion for a change of pace. I think it's good to mix it up and try different things. I vary the pace/tension/incline on the machines as I do them, at the end of my work out, the calorie burned count is usually between 400 and 650 calories. I KNOW those aren't totally accurate but at least it gives me a general range and by the way I sweat, I know I'm working HARD. I was inspired by a blog I read to take pictures of myself after a work out. Let me just say, it's not pretty, also, I realized that taking pictures in the locker room is probably frowned upon, that being said, I was the only one in there.

After my cardio, I go to the weights. I used to do the weight circuit which is an excellent way to start out, but now I do mostly free weights. My trainer gave me a program that breaks down the body parts into, legs, triceps/back, chest/biceps and shoulders/calves with a bit of abs added each day. I just started it and it's not easy but it's definitely working. I work with weights from about 8 to 20 pounds depending on the exercise. She has me on a couple machines as well and with those the weight is generally higher. I am loving it and she tells me I should see good results in four weeks, I can't wait to tell you the inches and body fat I've lost.

After the weights, if I have time, I'll often do a little more cardio but sometimes I'm out of time so I don't. It doesn't really matter either way, I don't think.

So my personal tips that have worked for me would be:

-You have to move it to lose it! If you can't go to a gym, go for a walk, do an exercise video,(Netflix AND cable on demand programs offer lots of them) run with your dog, buy an inexpensive fitness magazine and follow their programs. There are plenty of fun and free or inexpensive ways to exercise. If you can't fit it into your lifestyle, you probably won't keep losing for long and if you do lose, you'll be flabby, not toned.

-If you DO go to a gym, hire a trainer. I know that can be expensive but I believe, it's worth it if you really tell the trainer what you're looking for. I work at the Y so I am friends with my trainer, I still have to pay the $45 an hour but I was very specific with what I want and she gave me exactly what I needed. My program will last me a good six weeks until I need to pay again and then we'll revamp. I know a lot of trainers will even break your one hour session into two half hour sessions so that you can get more for your money. You do not need a trainer to work out with you for every work out session although if you can afford that, lucky you! I think the key is finding a person you can talk to who will work with you to find a program that fits your needs and gives you the results you're looking for. (I love you Jen!)

-Change it up! Try new things! I never tried the stair mill because it looked SO intimidating but when I tried it it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, I got a good sweat, burned a lot of calories and I can climb a mile of stairs in less than 15 minutes now... that sounds like a lot to me! Spinning class was kind of boring to me and my butt hurt but at least now I know that I can do it and I'll do it again... someday. Just challenge yourself to try new things, it's fun to accomplish something new!

So thanks for stopping by today, thanks for your nice comments from yesterday... guess where I'm headed after lunch today? That's right! The gym, it's chest and bicep day! Hooray!


Kristin said...

I need to work out... thanks for the inspiration, girl!

Cathy said...

HA HA!! I am totally cracking up that you took pictures of yourself after working are too funny.
I met with the trainer again and I have to agree it is a great tip. I get so motivated by working with her. We did a cardio session where she showed me all of the different cardio machines. I will say I was afraid to get on some of them but now after doing them with her I feel liberated! ;) I did the scary escalator thing and MAN THAT WAS HARD!! I was sweating up a storm!

I was talking all about you to her too. Told her you are my inspiration to get my butt back in shape! :)

morewineplease said...

You are rock'n it! I so wish I had that time to work out... I get about 30 - 1hr 3 to 4 times a week.. its not enough!

Chrissy Cuz said...

I have seen you work out and I know how hard you work. Keep up the good work. :o) I have the work out thing under control. I just need to get the eating part under control. Your right, you have to do both to see results. I just need to learn to control my cravings.

Darlene said...

You are doing such a great job! I need to at least start a brisk walking program. Just "getting started" is my downfall. I really need to make it a priority and just do it!!