As my SparkFriends know, I LOVE to walk! I also love to run, but my knees limit how much of that I can do. So walking is my major source of cardio exercise.
But strength training? I have a love/hate relationship with ST. I LOVE the muscles I see in my biceps and shoulders when I do it faithfully, but I've just never managed to LOVE the DOING of it!!
In the past two years I've done ST rather sporadically, but I haven't TRULY managed to make it a HABIT. I've made lots of OTHER healthy habits like drinking water, eating freggies, and logging my food in the SP tracker, but a true habit of ST has alluded me until recently.
What changed? I QUIT trying to do it the recommended two to three days a week. Instead I aim for SIX days a week, but only 10 minutes a day. FlyLady gave me the idea when she convinced me that I can keep my home clean and free of clutter by doing it in 15 minute intervals. That's SET A TIMER and JUST DO IT intervals. I figured if I can de-clutter my home (something I've been wanting to do ever since we MOVED here four years ago) then surely it will work for ST!!
Then (when I was complaining about how I hate it) my SparkFriend Natalie gave me another great idea. I've mentioned that I keep myself out walking for long periods by listening to audiobooks. That's right - I'm READING while I'm walking. So Natalie said, why don't you listen to your book while you do ST?
What a novel concept! And its WORKING!! My favorite thing to do is to come in from walking and (without even turning my iPod off) come right in and begin my ST. But its summer now in Georgia (i.e. hot and humid) and even when I walk quite early in the morning I come in dripping with sweat - NOT the ideal time to jump right into ST. So now I change clothes, eat breakfast, THEN do my ST. But come fall I'm going back to the other method - it was seamless and I still had those nice endorphins swimming in my brain!!
Just in case I lose my ST mojo, I'm saving these articles I read today - the first two are on ST and the third is on getting back on track (I'm doing good so far this holiday weekend but I KNOW sooner or later I'll need it - you might too). I'm putting them in this blog so I'll be able to find them:
'7 Strength Training Excuses: Busted!'
Here is a sample from the article: "The benefits of weight training are numerous, including increased muscle strength, balance, bone density, lean muscle mass, insulin sensitivity and cardio endurance—not to mention that strong, lean muscles simply look better! So if you've been making excuses and opting out of weight training, read on to get the (nice) kick in the workout pants that you need to start benefiting from regular strength training."
and this one: 'Strengthen Your Heart with Strength Training'
Another sample: "The latest research shows that strength training doesn't just build strong muscles and bones; it offers big benefits for your ticker, too. That's why the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends it as a tool in maintaining heart health, preventing heart disease, and even helping those with heart disease to improve their condition."
And last '25 Ways to Get Back on Track'
Again, a sample: "Not long ago, you were energetic and determined to start your healthy lifestyle. Starting with enthusiasm and hope, you watched your food intake diligently, exercised like it was going out of style, and even avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were confident that you were going to reach your goals once and for all!
Then certain tragedy struck! You ate an extra piece of birthday cake. Realizing you had “blown” your diet, you ate another and another and couldn’t get it together the next day either. Or worse, you missed one workout, and that turned into a whole week away from the gym. After that, your momentum to start over again was gone, and your gym bag hasn’t left the closet since."
Stay strong, my friends, and we won't NEED that last one!! But if you've been having a hard time making ST a habit, take a few minutes to read the other two. Knowledge is power, and the more reasons we know WHY we should be doing it (other than how those gorgeous new muscles look!) the more likely we'll be to be sure to JUST DO IT!!