Changing My Physical Lifestyle and Enjoying Exercise
Before I begin, this is the story of how I lost weight. Remember that everybody is different and you should educate yourself on what is right for you, not what was right for me. Speak to your doctor or personal trainer or others as your mentors/experts/role models who can give advice on what physical activity you can do. Remember, you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time. Make changes gradually and make changes to things you will still enjoy. If you are over weight or have physical impairments, I am not one to give medical advice! But the question is are you going to make it the excuse to not change, or make it the reason to change?! Again, I recommend you listen to Tony Robbins “Awaken The Giant Within”. The Youtube audio clip is below.
The first thing I had to do was to work out a training regime that suited me. I had gym memberships and for the first 6 weeks I would go hard. I would get sick or not be able to make a work out session a few days in a row and I suddenly lost all momentum/motivation to go back. Gym memberships for me were a complete waste of money! But what I did learn from going was the right exercises I needed to do to achieve the right outcomes I wanted. For this reason, if you don’t know what you need to do to lose weight from exercise then find somebody who does. Get a personal trainer or a friend who can take you to the gym or work out with you to teach you what exercises will achieve what you want to do. A personal trainer should also take into consideration any medical concerns and what level you need to start at and aim for as part of your work out regime.
Eating The Elephant So I Enjoyed Exercise
So my work out aim was to burn fat and to tone. I had a pair of joggers as all the equipment I needed (I also wore a hooded jumper and track pants being winter. The hood kept the heat in and my core temperature up). I needed to make training enjoyable so I wanted to do it more. Not start and then stop because I went too hard too fast or had no motivation.
Firstly, learn how to stretch. I started jogging without stretching and developed shin splints, or soreness of the shins. I had to stop jogging for a few days and iced them as soon as they started to hurt. After they healed, I started my jog by stretching. Jogging on the spot and raising the knees for a few minutes to warm up. I then went through the stretches to ensure I didn’t get shin splints again.
I was unfit so I needed to start simple. Jogging helps to burn fat by getting my cardio (heart rate) up. I live on a quiet country road with little or no traffic and it’s about 3km as a round circuit. So I started the first day the most basic way I could. I walked the 3km’s of road. I did a high pace walk to get my heart rate up but a walk none the less. I could have started with a jog, but I started with a walk. It took me 40 minutes to walk.
The next day I jogged to the first telegraph pole. Reaching it I then walked for the rest of the circuit.
The next day, I jogged to the first telegraph pole, walked to the next telegraph pole, then jogged to the next telegraph pole, then walked the rest of the circuit.
I continued this routine, building each day how far I jogged. Always staggered. Finally one day I was jogging one, walking one until I returned home. I had went from walking all the way to jogging half of the distance in a couple of weeks. The next after that I jogged to the second telegraph pole, walked one, then jogged one, then walked and so on. So now I was doing the exact same thing, except I was jogging two, walking one. I continued to build on this each day one at a time. Going further until I was jogging two and walking one until I returned home. Then I started to jog three and walk one, jog two and walk one. I built this up to jogging three and walking one until I was home. Now I jog this in about 20-25 minutes. I will build this up until I am jogging the whole way around
Simply, I started basic. I was jogging and as I went further I found myself actually wanting to jog further then I had set. But I had to hold myself back to only jog to where I had set. I was enjoying what I was doing and wanted to do more. When I was returning home I felt good and enjoyed sipping my water!
Now jogging bores me! I find it monotonous. I prefer playing sport and running then just jogging. So I started taking my MP3 player to listen to audio tapes ( I listen to business/self help books as to music! Such as Tony Robbins). I found this worked to take my mind off the jogging. I also sometimes take my dog for a jog, killing three birds with one stone!
Work Out Exercises
Again, have a trainer show you how to stretch. I stretch both before and after a work out. Because I have done my jog, I have already warmed up. If you are only doing exercises, then you will need to do a warm up before you start stretching.
I started by working out what exercises I could do that didn’t require any equipment. So I came up with the following below.
Then I started very simple. The number you do is known as the repetitions or rep’s for short. I started with 5 push ups; 10 sit ups; 30 seconds side planks either side; 30 seconds leg and ab raise; 10 bench dips using a coffee table; 15 calf raises on the steps (I originally stopped these but started back up when I started developing shin splints when jogging); and I later added 10 squats.
I started this at 2 sets (or doing them each twice in circuit) and then slowly started adding another set to make it 3 sets. I have increased these to now be
17 push ups; 33 sit ups; 50 seconds side planks either side; 50 seconds leg and ab raise; 20 bench dips using a coffee table; 13 single leg calf raises on each leg ; and 17 squats.
As my jogging time reduced I increased the rep’s and sets, increasing the time I spent on work out exercises. Try to keep up the intensity of your workout so you are keeping your heart rate up as well as burning fat and muscle toning. So I did this within 1hr- 1hr 20 min including warm ups and stretches.
You lose hydration through your jogging and workout. As I said in my eating habits, I would go for my jog and return to sip a room temperature glass of water. I sipped as didn’t want it all hitting my stomach at the one time and it gave me my break time before starting into the work out exercises. After the work out exercises I would have another 2 room temperature glasses of water. Shower, have another glass of water, my breakfast, then another glass of water. That is about a litre of water in an hour and a half. This helped to cleanse my system such as kidney’s and liver. Talk to your trainer about having protein and electro lyte drinks.
Exercise and Feeling Good
When you exercise you feel good as a result from the body’s release of endorphins. Initially I felt tired as my body was becoming used to eating better and exercise. But this soon passed and from the exercise and drinking water I felt better in the mornings with more energy and alertness.
Hints and Tips
- Educate yourself- if you don’t know how to exercise to get the results and outcomes you are wanting, you need to learn from someone who does.
- Having the right eating and exercise habits working together- Naturally, you need to have the right eating habit with your exercise. One doesn’t work without the other.
- I found jogging and working out in the mornings better for me. I have done gym sessions after work, but I was too tired and hungry from the day. Talk to your personal trainer when the best times to exercise are and for what purpose and ultimately what fits into your schedule. Some gyms are now open 24 hours so you can avoid the 5 o’clock traffic jam at work out stations.
- I find working out on my own lets me do my thing. When you’re jogging with someone else and you have different run rates it makes it difficult. But working out with a partner also allows you to have company and motivation/inspiration. Decide what works for you.
- Exercise isn’t just running and work out’s. Playing sports or doing other activities as hiking or bike riding can be equally as rewarding for your health, socialising, meeting new people and spending quality time with family. Work out what works for you!
- If you start to feel yourself sliding on the intensity of your increases, don’t keep increasing. Stick to the set or reps you are on until you are ready to move up. Each work out exercise is different so you may increase some and leave others the same depending.