Exercise

A healthy lifestyle is not possible without some form of physical activity mixed into your weekly routine.  For some reason I let this fact slip for about a decade and while blessed with a quick metabolism and healthy eating habits, I was definitely not what you would call in shape.  I was soft.  Skinny and soft, which not only made me feel unattractive at times, I physically felt terrible.  I can honestly say that the fact that I joined and have regularly attended a gym for the past year is a good part of the reason why I have the extra energy to write this blog in the first place.

My relationship with exercise has never been a simple one and so starting all over again at the age of 32 was not easy.  I was nervous, for many reasons, although excitement definitely outweighed any apprehension.  I trusted myself, I knew what I needed and wanted to accomplish and I was confident that I would succeed. It payed off.  I am now, at the ripe young age of 33, in the best shape of my life.

Now don't start assuming that like some stereotypical gym rat, I spend hours a day at the gym, using a stairmaster or riding a bike to "nowhereland". I honestly spend about 4 hours maximum working out each week, but when I do, I work hard.  I often try to take the classes my gym offers because being yelled at by a trainer is definitely good motivation, but I am picky about which classes.  Boot camp, tabata style, and CrossFit classes are the only ones I attend since my time is valuable and I want to get in, get done, and get out.

The CrossFit mentality is the form of exercise that makes the most sense to me.  It focuses on functional movement done at high intensity for short bursts of time.  Although CrossFit gyms are popping up everywhere and their facilities contain all sorts of equipment, most of what I do for exercise can be done at home on your own with nothing but your body weight to work with.  Sit ups, push ups, squats, planks, tricep dips using a chair or a stair case, hand stands, cart wheels and front rolls... as well as quick bursts of cardio like jumping jacks, hop ups (use a step) or fast running. I often do quick rounds of two or three exercises, timing myself for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (tabata style) and repeating the sets about ten times each.  I often use a kettle bell at the gym when doing squats, but that isn't always necessary so long as I do them correctly, intensely and repetitively. After about 20-30 minutes exercising in this fashion, I am usually covered in sweat, unable to talk and physically drained.  But I am done and can get on with my day knowing that I have kick started my metabolism and mentally woken myself up.

If you are interested in reading some of my posts that focus mostly on exercise, please follow the links below:
http://www.poconopabulum.com/2013/10/back-to-working-out.html
http://www.poconopabulum.com/2013/10/who-comes-first.html
http://www.poconopabulum.com/2014/01/time-to-warm-up.html
http://www.poconopabulum.com/2014/02/try-try-again.html

Here are some examples of basic functional movements (movements that are essential to living a fulfilling and self sufficient life.)  When you are 80 years old and need to sit up in bed, push yourself up from sitting or lower your body onto a chair (or the toilet!), you will need these muscles to cooperate, so get started toning them up now.



Basic Squat

Plie Squat


Front Plank


Side Plank


Back Plank

Push Up Start
Push Up Finish
(make sure your chest and 
stomach touch the ground)


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great photos. I do many of them in my yoga class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am glad they are helpful! :) And yoga is great!!!

      Delete