Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A word on Fitness..............not to be forgotten

I haven't said much about fitness in my blog because: 1)  if I have energy, 2) I'm in a routine and 3) I've past the "I want to die" phase - I like exercising and find it fun. That's why I could never get into jogging - can't get past the 10 minute I want to die phase. Its the eating part of my clean lifestyle that I find most challenging and that's why I obsess about how to make it tasty so I can stay on track. Plus, before I started eating clean I didn't really have the energy to feel like exercising - I was on a blood sugar roller coaster, had stomach aches and didn't sleep well.  No surprise that I didn't feel like working out. So I think cleaning up my diet was the critical step for changing my health.

But I did want to mention that in the past six months, since baby #3, I have completely changed how I work out. I do mostly high intensity interval training, including both cardio and strength training, and I constantly change up my workout by going to different classes and doing different moves pretty much every time I work out. My muscles are constantly being "surprised" and muscle confusion is a great thing for building strength and changing your body. And its a great way to keep yourself engaged and excited about working out.

That's my right shoulder that just recently gave me two years of chronic pain and I thought might put me on pain killers for the rest of my life. I am drug free, have only rare pain and have full range of motion. A miracle!

I work out quite a bit (3 - 5 times a week) but I do a relatively short work-out - 45 minutes. So I'm working out about 2 1/4 - 3 3/4 hours a week. And I actually feel more fit and strong than in my 20's when I was dancing a minimum of 6 hours a week plus going to the gym at least once or twice. I have more aches and pains than back then but I definitely feel more fit. Hmmm, what's going on here!

Well, other than the poor diet choices I used to make, I think its the high intensity intensity interval training and strength training that is working for me. Some great work-outs you can do at home are plyometric moves and/or Tabata work-outs. I also found an awesome Tababa timer online so you can just let your computer deal with making sure you are following the time. Very helpful. You can pretty much do it with any exercise - there are a million examples out there.  And if you have even one set of light/medium weights you can do lots of basic strength training. I use 8 lb weights at home and 10 lb at the gym and I have seen a significant change in muscle definition. I'm not interested in bulking up - I just want to be fit to keep up with my kids and keep my shoulder and back strong to ward off anymore injuries. And I find it fun!

I've gotten fit, by doing shortish, intense work-outs that I can make time for - because what we all don't have much of these days is time. My last pregnancy really changed my body so even at 20 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant my stomachs not as flat (not fair) and I have some hideous varicose veins. I might not wear shorts again but I'm going to rock a tank top this summer (at least until the breastfeeding Gods come back for their boobs) and hopefully I will keep feeling this energetic. You can too if you can find 45 minutes three times a week and some motivation!

I am not bragging I am just trying to give you some motivation - 8 months ago I spent several mornings crying in my car because the thought of the walk to my office was too much for me...I can't believe that now my fitness goal is to do Tabata handstand push-ups...............Lots can happen if you eat clean and set your mind to things. And it doesn't hurt to be on maternity leave.

So far the only thing I can do is stand in this position for 20 seconds, 8 times. I can't do an actually dip. Its bloody hard. 
And remember, I'm not a cook, nutritionist, doctor or physical trainer. I'm just sharing my experiences - consult a professional before starting a new training program if you aren't sure what you are doing. Getting hurt can be worse than doing nothing! And start slow - I couldn't keep up with the "retired ladies" at the gym six months ago.

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