Saturday, February 09, 2008
So, it's Saturday and I've got a lot of energy today. I guess my weekday routing is taking a toll, but at least, I've recovered today. My son stopped by with his little dog, and she and I took a 4 mile walk/run, it was very invigorating, though quite cold out.
I'm currently trying my very best to combat the two sickies that are spreading their germs throughout the house. My poor husband and daughter are both suffering with terrible upper respiratory bugs, and though I feel quite badly for them both, I really don't want to catch what they have. So, I'm washing the skin off my hands and spraying/wiping everything down with disinfectant. Hopefully, that will work.
It's been kind of quiet around here today, as my other son, stayed up at school this weekend. I miss him, but we'll see him tomorrow at the college as his football team has their year-end banquet. It is going to be very cold tomorrow, and we also have promised a friend and his son that we'll give them a tour of the campus, as his son recently was accepted to the school. That should be quite a task, with the predicted weather! But, every little bit of exercise counts!
So, today I was reading the Self magazine article about body image and our "happy" weight (I mentioned it before) and thought it might be something good to share so here goes:
Give your body a break!
Imagine if your self-esteem wasn't dependent on your weight. Think of all the energy yu could use for more fun (and productive) pursuits -- seeing pals, brainstroming ideas for world peace. That's not to say that if yo need to lose weight for health reasons, , you shouldn't. But you should consider ditching diet obsession and try looking at your body with equal parts realism and compassion -- in other words, adopt a happy weight mind-set! In a Self.com survey, 54% of women say the scale has a major impact on their confidence, so, we shoudl all try appreciateing our bodies and all they can do, whatever we weigh. When it comes to weight, many women strive for the unattainable--a setup for unhealthy yo-yo dieting. It pays to get real. Women who set reachable goals are more content with their shape--which studies suggest is linked to successful weight loss, the International Journal of Obesity reports. So refocus your attention on the passions that matter to you. We bet you're feeling happier already!
Calculate your happy weight:
Eighty-seven percent of normal-weight women wish they weighed less. Stop aiming for an unrealistic goal and use this formula to get your ideal digits.
Grab a tape measure and calculator. Multiply your height in inches by itself, then by 0.031. This is your weight at a bodymass index of 22, in the middle of the healthy range, so it's a good place to start. (Always aim to keep your BMI under 25.) But there are many different factors that can contribute to your happy weight. So keep calculating.
Multiply the number above by 0.95 if you have a small frame; leave it unchanged if you have a medium frame; multiply by 1.05 if you have a large frame. To measure your frame wrap a tape measure around your wrist and consult this chart:
5'2" and under small frame is wrist size less than 5.5, Medium 5.5-5.75" and Large frame is more than 5.75"
5'2" - 5'5" small frame is: less than 6" around wrist, Medium is 6"-6.25" and large frame is more than 6.25"
Over 5'5" small frame is less than 6.25" medium frame is 6.25"-6.5" and large frame is more than 6.5"
Add 1 pound if a sibling or parent is obese. This makes you two to three times more likely to be overweight.
Add 2 pounds for each decade you are over age 20. Although women begin to lose 1/3 to 1/2 pound of muscle each year and gain at least that much in body fat as they age, it's possible to prevent some of this weight gain by exercising and eating porperly.
Add 5 pounds if you've had any children. Pregnancy results in a 4 to 7 pound weight gain, on average, according to a study in Th Journal of the American Medical Association.
Subtract 1 pound if you exercise and weight train once a week, subtract 2 pounds if you do it three times a week and subtract 3 pounds for five or more times a week. The muscle you build by strength training increases your metabolic rate, so you'll burn more calories.
Add 4 pounds if you smoked at least a pac a day for a year or more and have quit. Most quitters gain weight, but the health benefits are well worth it.
Add 1 pound if you allow yourself a treat now and then. "Occasionally indulging can be healthy says Shiri Morgan, R.D., a dietitian at the UCLA Diabetes Gonda Center in Los Angeles. You'll feel happier if you cut yourself some slack.
Add the numbers and you'll have your happy weight.
I may not agree entirley with this philosophy, but it is important to be real about where our bodies will stay fit and healthy. I also agree that working on "measuring" our bodies by more than the scale/tape measure and appreciating all the miraculous things it does for us is part of the "journey".
Still thinking about the scale?Look at all the gazillion things the average woman's body achieves over her lifetime:
3,025 hours volunteered, 535,455,000 breaths taken 6,7;60 hours spent exercising 49,628 miles walked 29,768 sunsets seen 2 babies birthed 4 sexual partners enjoyed
30% of women have never been ok with their weight
25% of women would prefer to lose 5 pounds than live 5 years longer
70% of women agree that "the less they weigh, the happier they are"
92% of women say weight greatly affected how happy they felt the first time they had sex.
So, although we are all here to get fit and healthy we need to keep it in perspective and not set unattainable goals. We all should start embracing the skin we're in and stop obsessing about our bodies, beyond getting healhty of course.
Friday, February 08, 2008
I'm really fatigued! My legs feel weak, and I'm just generally tired! I know I've been pushing myself pretty hard for the past 3 weeks so I'm thinking of just taking it easy for tomorrow and Sunday. Maybe just some general walking and practice some dancing, but no running. Here's what today's workout consisted of:
Deadlift 4 X 6 75 lb 2 X 15 56
lat pulldown 3X 6 75 lbs 2 X 15 65 lbs
SEated Cable Row 3x6 90 lbs 2x15 80lbs
dumbbell shrug 3x6 45 lbs 2x15 35lbs
barbell curl 4x6 40lbs 2x15 30lbs
incline dumbbell curl 3x6 15lbs 2x15 10lbs
bicep reverse curl 2x6 35lbs 2x15 25lbs
60 minutes of spin class
4 reasons your workout feels tougher today
1. You have an exercise hangover.Hitting it harder than usual yesterday can have the unfortunate side effect of making you feel weaker today. Increase your rest time or decrease the intensity of your routine following a super-challenging sweat session.
2. Shut-eye hasn't been coming easily. Sleep deprivation can zap your energy in the gym. Get seven to eight hours of rest per night, upping your snooze time after extre-tough workouts.
3. You skipped lunch. Food powers your brain and your muscles; without it, you'll fizzle sooner. If you missed a midday meal, eat a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of whole wheat crackers before you head to the gym.
4. A big presentation is looming. Stress can make you feel tired, but don't use anxiety as a pass to sit it out. Instead, do something that doesn't require much concentration such as riding a stationary bike or walking on the treadmill.
Just found this article and it would seem that my problem is #2. I've had two nights in a row where I haven't gotten to bed until well after midnight...that's very unlike me and I'll have to be more diligent about that in the future...I feel like a wet washrag today!
Q: I use the elliptical trainer 45 minutes at least 4 days a week, but I haven't dropped an ounce or gotten more toned. What am I doing wrong?
A. The main reason people don't lose weight with cardio is that they don't workout at a high enough intensity or for as long as they should, says NYC trainer Eric Von Frolich. In this case it sounds as if intensity is the problem, so crank your heart rate up by increasing your pace or resistance-or both. On a scale of 1 (barely moving) to 10 (an all-out sprint), aim to do most of your workouts at a 6 or 7. At this level, you're breathing heavily but not gasping for air. Work up to it gradually if necessary. If you're still not breathing hard, incorporate 30-to 60 second sprints every 2 to 5 minutes. Also, watch your diet. "A lot of people reward themselves for a good cardio workout by eating more," says Von Frolich. That can cancel out all the calories you burn. As for getting toned, while cardio will burn fat, it usually won't build a ton of muscle.
Challenge yourself during your workout and you'll get results.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Today is normally cardio, which usually is just spinning class. However, this morning I decided to do some ab work(see below) as it was not included in yesterday's workout due to a time-crunch. I still had about 1/2 hour before spinning so I jumped on the elliptical for 20 minutes and then proceeded to spin class. So, instead of coming up short in calories burned, and having to stay for an additional 20 minutes (this is the spin instructor I don't care for, though today's class was much better, she had new music and she did a few different things besides going as fast as you can for 45 minutes!). I must say that this week I do feel yesterday's leg workout, so that tells me my tweaking was better, though I feel I'm still short on hamstring exercises...I'll work that out by next Wednesday.
Reason we should all work out: It's like a big happy pill. One study found that women with a positive sense of self spent about 70 more minutes being physically active each week than women who were feeling depressed - that's just 10 minutes a day!
7 Best Ways to Measure Your Progress:
1. Start an exercise diary. Write down what you did and how it made you feel...sort of like this blog...
2. Take a "before" picture and post it on your fridge, then take an "after" shot every month or so and compare(wish I had done this from the start)
3. Try on your skinny jeans every other Friday.
4. Do push-ups twice weekly; once weekly, write down your number of reps.
5. If you energy level's up and you're sleeping better, something's working!
6. Take note of how many times you say "I feel great" every day.
7. Recognize how much less winded you get walking up stairs.
6 Sings your Workout isn't Tough Enough
1. You leave the gym without needing a shower.
2.You're reading as you exercise.
3. You feel mentally stressed afterward.
4. Your heart rate doesn't go up
5. You haven't increased your speed or the amount of weight you're lifting in more than three months.
6. You're bored.
5 Ways to Boost Your metabolism
1. EAt Breakfast!!!
2. Lift weights! A pound of muscle consumes twice as many calories as fat.
3.Add more lean protein, such as chicken or fish to your diet.
4. Eat smaller meals more often.
5. Mix up your cardio regularly.
What using your most powerful tool-your brain-means to weight loss (at least to mine). I realize I used to eat first, think later. Now I ask, Why am I reaching for that? I also remind myself how much har work I put in at the gym. If I feel hungry, about an hour before dinner, I don't have to satisfy my appetite by eating at that moment (or any moment) I make a conscious decision to wait. I've retrained my thinking so that a "treat" to me is not food of any kind. Food is merely a way to fuel my body for the exercise I need to do, and my daily tasks each day. Someone recently asked me, "Once you get to goal, will you treat yourself occasionally?" I was stunned to realize that I've never even considered that. I mean, didn't I "treat" myself (or kill myself) with food for the past 30 years? Food no longer controls me, I control food. My mental approach to exercise is that instead of trying to find a way to "fit exercise" into my life, I arrange my schedule around exercise-it's my priority.
4 x 15 35 lbs lower ab machine
4 x 6 100 pounds ubber ab machine
2 x 15 85 pounds upper ab machine
20 minutes - elliptical
55 minutes - spinning
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Train to failure. Take sets to the point where you're physically unable to do one more rep - but not on every set. A good rule of thumb is to take only the last set or two of each exercise to failure.
Find the right weight. This requires trial and error. If you're doing 4 sets of 8 reps for an exercise you're not used to trinaing heavy on. The first set will be a guage: If you get 8 reps very easily, you'll need to increase the weight for your second set, which should be challenging but not back-breaking. On sets 3 & 4, your 8th rep should be the last rep you can do with that weight. If you can't get 8 decrease the weight so you can. If you can do more than 8, rep out to failure(and note this in your training log), but be sure to increase the weight the next time you do that exercise so that the 8th rep is your last.
GEt a spotter of possible so that on riskier exercises such as bench press a spotter is imperitive to ensure you don't get trapped under a barbell
Breathe correctly. Maximizing your strength depends in part on breathing during sets. Simply inhaling on the negative and exhaling on the positive doesn't quite do it. Instead, inhale and hold your breath at the start of each repetition, and exhale as you pass through the most difficult portion
Tread lightly. Keep doing cardio just don't overdo it when strength is a high priority as you'll need adequate recovery from all types of exercise to get stronger. Keep cardio sessions brief (No more than 30-45 minutes) and limited to 4 days a week. Also, avoid doing cardio before lifting, which will zap your strength.
This program is designed for optimal strength gains, training less frequently but harder and at a higher intensity each workout will bring better results. If you're able to train the same bodypart more frequently - say 3 times a week - you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough.
This program uses lower rep schemes (6-10) and longer rest periods between sets (2-3 minutes). You need to use heavier-than-normal weight which forces you to use fewer reps and take longer rests to allow for adequate recovery with the workout. If you're resting only 30 seconds to a minute, you won't be nearly as strong for your next set as you would be after resting 2-3 minutes, which defeats the whole purpose.
The following is a four-days-a-week, nine-week strength program in which each workout can be completed in about an hour. The exercises are basick strength-building moves; if you'd rather swap barbells for dumbbells and vice-versa, feel free to do so. Same goes for different variations of rows, squats and curls. Rest 2-3 minutes bewteen each set for optimal recovery.
Monday & Thursday: Upper Body
Incline Barbell press 4/10 Monday 3/8 Thursday
Machine Chest Press 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Lat Pulldown 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Seated Cable Row 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Dumbbell Lateral raise 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Alternating Dumbbell curl 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Cable Pressdown 4/10 M 3/8 Th
Tuesday & Friday: Lower Body/Abs
leg press 4/10 Tuesday 3/8 Friday
barbell lunge 4/10 Tu 3/8 F
Lying Leg Curl 4/10 Tu 3/8 F
Standing Calf Raise 4/10 Tu 3/8 F
Cable Crunch 4/10 Tu 3/8 F
Monday/Thursday Upper Body
Bench Press 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Incline Dumbbell Press 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Bent-over-row 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Lat Pulldown 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Standing barbell curl 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Lying triceps extension 4/8 M 3/8 Th
Tuesday/Friday: lower Body/abs
Smith machine squat 4/8 Tu 3/8 F
barbell lunge 4/8 Tu 3/8 F
Romanian deadlift 4/8 Tu 3/8 F
standing calf raise 4/8 Tu 3/8 F
cable crunch 4/8 Tu 3/8 F
Weeks 7-9 Monday/Thursday: Upper body
Bench press 4/6 M 3/6 Th
incline dumbbell press 4/6 M 3/6 Th
bent-over-row 4/6 M 3/6 Th
lat pulldown 4/6 M 3/6 Th
overhead barbell press 4/6 M 3/6 Th
standing barbell curl 4/6 M 3/6 Th
Lying triceps extension 4/6 M 3/6 Th
Tuesday/Friday: lower body/abs
barbell squat 4/6 Tu 3/6 F
Leg press 4/6 Tu 3/6 F
lying leg curl 4/6 Tu 3/6 F
standing calf raise 4/6 Tu 3/6 F
cable crunch 4/6 Tu 3.6 F
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Today was leg day
Wall Squats with Ball 4x6 20 lb
Wall Squats with Dumbbells & Ball 2x15 8 lb
leg extension machine 3x6 50lb
leg extension machine 3x6 50 lb
leg extension machine 2x15 70 lb
leg curl machine 3x6 35 lb
leg curl machine 3x6 35 lb
leg curl machine 2x15 55 lb
Donkey Calf raises 4x12 200lb
hip abduction 4x6 125 lb
hip abduction 2x15 110 lb
hip adduction 4x6 130lb
hip adduction 2x15 120lb
There is my morning lifting program which I followed up with 71 minutes of spinning class (50 class minutes the rest were solo) in which I burned 400 calories...man I wish the other instructor (from yesterday) would have class every day!
60% of women in the US.
do not do the recommended amount of physical activity (30 minutes of activity daily)
PLAN, COMMIT, ACHIEVE!
"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pall all the pebbles in your patha dn you will find you have crossed the mountain." author unknown.
All successful people have specific, definable goals. Goals provide direction, motivation and a sense of purpose. A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that people with specific ambitions performed better on muscular endurance tasks than those withou. Those with difficult but realistic objectives had the greates increase in performance, followed by those with easily attainable goals and lastly by those who had improbable and unattainable ones. When setting goals, focus on performance aspirations rather than on the outcome. Focus on what you can control-your performance on that given day.
10 Ways to make fitness work for you:
1. Look at exercise in a new way. Being in a gym isn't the only way to get your workouts done. Bike to the grocery store, take a hike with your dog or go to the playground with your kids. If your heart rate is up, you're exercising.
2. Take small steps. Although pushing yourself is a great idea, don't skip going for a walk because you don't have time for 10 miles. Fit whatever you can into the time you do have.
3. Set the date. If you've always wanted to do a full chin-up, mark a day on your calendar that you'll do it. Finalize your goals in your mind by writing them down.
4. Try it now. You're too old to take up dancing, right? Wrong! Bump up your cardio routine with that dance, karate or swimming class you always wanted to take.
5. Keep your mind busy. Although focusing on what you're doing is super important, sometimes music, a TV show or a magizine can help you push through those last 10 minutes on the ellipitical.
6. Partner-up. Find a workout friend and stay true to yourself. It's much harder to skip days, flub your last few reps and avoid difficult exercises when there's someone else around to hold you accountable. (I actually don't like this one, because I think I'm the one who must hold myself accountable, no one else! But if it helps you get your workout done than do it)
7. Make plans. Keep your gym bag in the car and book a babysitter in advance. Scheduling your workouts like any other daily task will help you avoid skipping out if something comes up.
8. Adjust setbacks. Something's come up - extended work hours, vacation plans or whatever else that's thrown you out of whack. Split your workout in half with one session in the morning and one at night, or alter your workout so it can be done at home, in the gym or outside. Doing some activity is better than doing nothing at all.
9. Feel energized. Surround yourself with people who are as equally (or more) excited about fitness as you are. If you pick up on their energy, you're more likely to enjoy the activity.
10. Remind yourself. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO MISS TODAY'S WORKOUT, REMEMBER HOW GREAT YOU FELT AFTER COMPLETING YOUR LAST WORKOUT. rEPEAT OFTEN: YOUNEVER REGRET A WORKOUT, AND EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!.
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