My Fitness Secrets 10/6

MY DAILY PLANS:  I know a lot of us are extremely busy.  We’ve got jobs.  We’ve got spouses or partners.  We’ve got kids.  We’ve got stuff we’ve got to do and it can be downright difficult to fit exercise into the day.  But you have to believe that YOU are worth it and you have to remember that you deserve to give yourself the best shot possible in this life that you have.  Make exercise a priority!  Schedule it into your day like you would eating a meal, sleeping at night, going to work.

I am luckier than most because I teach at a high school which means access to gyms and locker rooms.  While we don’t have fancy schmancy equipment, we HAVE equipment.  I have access to free weights, Cybex machines, cardio machines, exercise balls/tubing/mats, medicine balls, etc.  I also have a locker room that has a shower and my own personal locker in which I store everything I need to get ready in the morning.  The only thing I don’t have access to, which annoys me greatly, is a DVD player.  Sometimes I don’t want to think about my workout.  Sometimes I just want an expert barking orders at me!

I get up at 4:45ish (hush, Aric!) during the week and make the 39-mile, 50-minute commute to work.  I get to work anywhere between 6:00 – 6:15 and begin my workout.  Typically I do either a 3, 4, or 5-day lifting program followed by cardio.  I like to do my lifting first for two main reasons: #1 the fuel needed for the strength training supposedlycomes from readily available sugar in the blood and stored glycogen in the muscles so that by the time I go to do my cardio I can tap into stored fat as fuel and #2 I sweat like a pig when I do cardio and there’s no way I’m spreading that sweat around benches and machines!  My workouts tend to last anywhere from 60-90 minutes, depending on what I’m doing for the day.  When I’m done, I take a shower and am at my desk by 8:15.  I have my workout checked off of my list of things to do and because I do it first thing in the morning, I don’t have to worry about the afternoon sneaking up on me and finding myself needing to do it but making excuses that I am too tired, I need to spend time with my kids or spouse/partner, <insert various=”” excuses=”” here=””>.  It’s done.</insert>

TODAY’S WORKOUT:  I had the hardest time this morning deciding what I wanted to do.  And, although I have a 50-minute commute which gives me plenty of time to ponder this and other things, I still had no idea what I wanted to do once I arrived at school.  So I went with my good ole standby: the elliptical machine.  Since it is an off day from lifting, I knew I wanted to do a longer cardio session so doing a HIIT workout seemed like the perfect choice!

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  They’re nice because they tend to burn more fat over shorter periods of time and force your body to really work hard.  You won’t get bored because you have to watch your clock and switch resistance/pace/incline often.  And, you can finish in 25-30 minutes if you want.   Today’s session looked like this:

*0 – 4 minutes warm-up, resistance 4 (my crappy elliptical at work doesn’t have an incline feature)

*60 seconds, resistance 15, go as fast as you can, everything you’ve got

*90 seconds, resistance 6, recovery time so catch your breath

*rinse and repeat the 60 on/90 off for 30-40 minutes

*5 minutes cool-down, resistance 4

I won’t lie.  This 45-minute session kicked my butt!  The 60 second sessions should be like a sprint session – all out.  This is the time in your workout when you have to really dig deep inside and find the motivation to keep pushing even when your legs feel like lead and you’re sucking wind.  Think of your goals, be it good health, weight loss, being a good role model for your kids, whatever.

TODAY’S TIP:  If you do not have time for exercise in your life yet, start by overhauling your nutrition.  True story – the first go ‘round I had with my weight loss in 2008 I dropped my first 30 pounds without a minute of exercise over a 2 ½ month period.

TODAY’S HAPPY THOUGHT:   I am going out of town this weekend.  Cincy, here I come!  (I won’t write another note until next Tuesday or Wednesday)

What are you going to do today to get closer to your fitness goals?  Comment on this note or drop me a line!  Here’s to good health!  -Michelle

If you are interested in weight loss or exercise, you need to consult your physician.  Period.  End of story.