My Exercise Plan 2015

Exercise Monday: My Exercise Plan 2015

Work it Out!

Work it Out!

Hello People,

This is the big doozy. The part of my plan that is really pushing things into high gear. I posted a few weeks ago about the diet portion of this plan, which isn’t really ground-breaking news but what sets this time apart from the other times I have attempted to lose weight on this blog is my exercising combined with eating lower calorie.  Let me explain a few unfortunate things.

I lost and reached my goal weight twice before in my life.  Once I did it  on Weight Watchers and the other on a little known diet called Prism.  Both of those attempts had me eating extremely low calorie, 1000 to 1200 a day, with no cheat meals EVER. Due to the low calorie nature and the choices of what I was eating then (lots of processed foods) I was unable to exercise because I had zero energy.  Yes, I lost weight, I had no energy, but I lost weight. The unfortunate thing about losing weight is that when one loses weight or is in a fat losing state the body will lose some of its lean muscle tissue in the process. It is just what happens and you can’t stop it; even if you are lifting weights during the process of losing.  Muscle is what keeps your metabolism humming when you are young.  It is often easier to lose weight when you are young because your fat to muscle tissue is usually different than when you are older.  I am older and have lost weight twice losing lots of my lean muscle tissue twice; up to 25% of it both times!!! Therefore, at a certain weight, like 130 pounds, I can weigh the same today as then, but I may be far fatter now at that weight than when I was younger because I just have more fat than muscle on my body. Aging also causes us to lose muscle over time if you are not diligent to keep it from deteriorating over the years.  I did not want to lose weight again and not exercise. This was in the hopes that I could protect some of that lean tissue and at the same time change the shape of my body, not just lose weight. Note: this is one reason health experts say that weighing yourself is only a fraction of the truth.  A really healthy person has a healthy BMI. Weight is just a number that is not really telling you what it is like on the inside.

I was also noticing that weight was not coming off of me at this age (43) as easy as it was when I was younger (20’s and early 30’s) without exercise. In some instances I didn’t lose weight at all even eating 1200 cals a day.  In other words, I have to exercise now in order for true weight loss to happen especially as I get closer to my goal weight. My calories aren’t too far off from those former diets but the difference now is what I eat. It makes a huge difference in my energy and performance output. Eating lower glycemic and having a balanced fresh Macronutrient diet is a world of difference to eating fake food out of boxes heated in the microwave.

You may be surprised to find that I am pushing myself to exercise a lot.  I am. It’s because I want the weight gone and don’t want to wait around for it to happen. It is not a quick fix, it is discipline and determination. I am not perfect and this is only an outline.  If I can accomplish it all then bravo.  Recently I had a bike accident and sprained my hand and cut up my knee so I had to make adjustments and not lift any weight for a week. I try to follow this program to the best of my ability and it is making a huge difference.

 be slim

My Program:

Mon: Jog/Walk Intervals 1 hour, Walk Dog uphill 1 hour, Arms/Back, Yoga 30 min

Tue: HIIT Cardio (such as jump rope) 16 min, Legs/Butt, Walk Dog flat route 1 hour

Wed: Day Off

Thurs: HIIT Cardio, Arms/Back, Walk Dog flat route 1 hour

Fri: Jog/Walk Intervals 1 hour, Walk Dog uphill 1 hour, Legs/Butt, Yoga 30 min

Sat: 2 hours Medium Intensity Cardio of choice (such as Bike Riding)

Sun: 1 hour Cardio (such as Tae Bo Kickboxing), Legs/Butt, Yoga 30 min

NOTE:

  • Cardio is medium intensity unless it is HIIT, then it is full out.
  • Strength Training is done with and without weights, depends on the routine
  • Strength Training varies in time; 20 min to an hour
  • I often am not able to walk my dog due to time constraints, so I do my best

Backyard Coffee Talk #1

Hello People!

Yep, it’s me.  After a super long time of disappearance, I have resurfaced from the ashes.

Rather than go into a long explanation here, I’ll let you view my video and hopefully that will answer any questions. Since I made the video (about 2 weeks ago) I have been staying on track and doing well.  Hopefully, you are too.  If you are new to my blog, welcome and please join me on my weight loss journey to lose weight once and for all.  My intention is to inspire healthy habits for everyone.

Exercise Plan

Exercise Monday: My Current Exercise Plan

Hello People!

I wanted to update you all on what I am doing in the exercise department.  I told you a while back that I was doing an 8 week challenge series that was really toning up my body.  I finished that one and am on to the 2nd one and love it!  It is by FitnessBlender and here is a video showing the results of people who participated in these programs:

Basically, it is a lot of strength training and cardio alternating days with different body parts.  They include about 3 days worth of high paced interval training (hard!) and alternate with days of not so strenuous stuff, like, standing abs, or kick boxing routines.  It has really changed the shape of my legs and butt as I can see in the mirror and the fit of my clothes.  I have not lost weight doing it, that is my fault – not theirs, but if I had, my body would be smokin’!  It is average about 5 days on, 2 days rest, although they give an alternate 6th day of pure cardio.

Also, I have not been walking my dog as much due to the extreme heat of the summer lasting well into the night (he has a weak heart and gets overheated easily).  But I did add walking myself at night briskly for one hour.  I usually do this on days I’m not doing the FitnessBlender workouts or if I am up to it, I do it in addition.  That was the summer though, and I was not working as much as I am now, so that may change soon.  Time will tell.

I am not disillusioned to the fact anymore that exercise will keep my weight down.  I have written numerous posts on why that is, but the fact is, I love the feeling of exercise and I feel better about life and myself when I move around.  Plus, I love the shape of my body better.  Having more muscle does help the metabolism, but that will not take the weight off – it will be diet alone that does that officially. Remember: 85% diet and 15% exercise is the recipe.

Cardio Mash-Up

Exercise Monday: Cardio Mash-Up

I recently joined a local gym! Yay me!  It was because I yearned for spin classes and yoga but I’ve been mostly just using the equipment doing my own thing at my own time, ya know?  There is nothing wrong with the classes except for the fact that they are always at the butt-crack of dawn, but other than that, it just comes down to what I’m in the mood for.

If you like to use the machines but want a new routine, here is a mix of the treadmill and recumbent bike to spice up your calorie torching sessions.  I wear a heart rate monitor for this but you can guesstimate if you don’t have one by feeling how hard you are breathing or exerting.  It uses a scale called RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion.  It ranges from 1 – 10, 1 being easy-easy to 10 being not able to keep up longer than 30 seconds at a time.

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I got this from: December 2013 Shape Magazine

Burn 300 in 30

Time (minutes)             What to Do                        RPE

                                         CYCLING

0 – 5              warm-up: pedal at an easy pace       3 – 4

5 -7                       increase resistance                      5 – 6

7 – 8                     decrease resistance                      4 – 5

8 – 12       sprint for 30 seconds, then pedal at an easy pace for                           30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.                    4 – 8

12 – 14         increase resistance; pedal hard           7 – 8

14 – 15                  pedal at an easy pace                    4

15 – 18                 repeat minutes 12 – 15                 4 – 8

                                       TREADMILL

18 – 21                 jog at a moderate pace                5 – 6

21 – 23             increase speed by 0.3 to 0.7            7 – 8

23 – 25                 increase incline by 1.0                   8

25 -28              sprint for 30 seconds, then jog at a moderate pace                              for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.          5 – 9

28 – 30           cool down; jog at an easy pace        3 – 4

 

 

 

 

The Flexible Factor

Exercise Monday: The Flexible Factor – Yoga Practice #1

Hello People!

I’m back with another exercise suggestion.  I was going to tell you all about my new exercise program that I have been vigorously following for 4 weeks, but, I’m going to drag it out a bit more for the end result.  It will be more of an impact that way.  The goal is to reveal what the plan has done to change my body.  I can tell you that it is an 8 week program designed to burn fat.  Although it is just exercise, they do recommend taking in fewer calories to help your progress…DUH!

Today I want to suggest a supplement to your workouts.  An addition, if you will, that should not be ignored.  It is often said in the weight loss community, that in order to lose weight and change your body you need to eat less and move more.  Specifically, if you want to literally change your shape your “move more” needs to include weight lifting or strength training as it is often referred to.  If you do this on a regular basis, you may find that your back, leg and upperimages body muscles become stiffer the stronger you get.  When I think of a Line Backer in football, I don’t think elegance and grace.  I think of a M.A.C. truck barreling down the highway.

Being bulky and muscular does tend to make the muscles less flexible; no science needed, I think it’s obvious.  Therefore, increasing flexibility in the body alongside your weight routines also needs to be a component in the working out regime.  Why? Well, I think that working on and building flexibility will help your strength increase in the long run.  They work synergistically together.  The more able you are to stretch further, the more ability to isolate a muscle for higher quality reps; perhaps because the muscle will be less apt to seize up with tension.  The muscle may not tighten and become fatigued too soon if you are flexible.  Plus, being flexy helps the recovery of the muscle to not be so sore and painful.  The next time you workout similar muscles, they won’t be aching due to excessive stiffness if you have adequately stretched them.  I also recall in ballet that if you stretch the muscle after it has been worked, it will elongate better and not create a short stocky type of build.  This is not proven as far as I know, but I do know a lot of ballet dancers who swear by this.

The core is also important to keep strong, and all movement stems from the core.  The core, to me, means the box of your shoulders to your hips.  Without good core stability, the weight workout, no matter how intense, can suffer since all limbs stem from the core. You don’t want to images-1rely on surrounding muscles for stability when lifting weights.  This lessens the intensity of the muscle being worked.  You want to focus on the muscle at hand and isolate it without the aid of surrounding muscles to “cheat” the lifting/lowering.  If you’re bending awkwardly or having to use less weight because there is strain due to poor core strength, you should consider increasing the power through the center of the body in addition to your regular routine.

Enter Yoga.  Yeah, it’s granola-y and full of weird spiritual people in tight clothes, but it can do amazing things.  Have you ever done a real Yoga Class at a studio?  It is butt hard!  Not easy or peaceful.  My muscles were screaming for days and I took the beginner class!  I’m not suggesting thatimages-2 type of yoga for you, yet…. How about you start off with something like this?  I’m going to do it tonight after dinner (wait and hour though).  I think it perfectly helps correct all of those issues I talk about above. It can’t hurt you.  And all else aside, who couldn’t benefit from being more flexible?

 

Workout to Lose

Exercise Monday: Workout to Lose

Hello People!

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This is an extension of a post I did recently on my New Year’s Resolutions.  I had mentioned that I didn’t just write down on my resolutions list to “lose weight,” like I had done last year, but also included in the written goal a specific pattern or plan; in other words, not to be vague about my goal, which will lead to near or nothing being done about the problem.  Making the goal have more tangible tasks will get the job done, at least in my case.  I’m not one to be willy-nilly about things.  That type of planning is my recipe to plan to fail.  I need a plan of action that I can follow to the letter.  This is how I work best.  This may not be for everyone, however.  I thrive on being strict; any wiggle room and I get lazy.

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So, to clarify the goal on my list: I not only have written in bold letters to lose 28 pounds (or what remains thereof from my losing weight efforts last year) but what each week needs to accomplish.  My ultimate goal is to lose 1 to 1 1/2 pounds a week.  This is done two ways: eat 500 calories less per day, and burn up to 500 extra calories a day in exercise.  Due to the fact that I will take two days off to “rest” during the week for exercise, I will make up the 1,000 calorie loss on other days doing active things in daily tasks like gardening, walking to the grocery store, etc. and by also choosing cardio workouts that really burn calories.  Some weeks will go as planned, and I will burn a lot of calories through exercise and activities and eating low-cal, other weeks will have setbacks like getting ill and missing a few workouts, etc.  Remember too, I’m not counting calories too exact due to my “relaxed intention” principles (post to come on that later).  I’m eating in the ballpark of 500 calories less than my BMR.

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It looks like this as an example for one day of the week:

Monday – Eat: 1350 calories / Walk Dog: Burn 100 calories / Strength Train Upper Body 20 to 30 minutes: Burn 150 to 250 Calories / Cardiovascular Exercise: Kickboxing 50 minutes: Burn 300 – 400 Calories (tallying approximate calories with a Heart Rate Monitor)

low_calorie_food_rmn4e

I am only doing this for a short time.  I want to lose my weight by May and be done with it.  Then I can focus on the challenges of maintenance, which some say is harder than the losing weight bit. It is also important to mention, that for 2013 I had a goal to be more organized with my time, so I’m using that tool in conjunction with this new goal. I am using a day-planner to plan out what and when I will eat and exercise.  It’s almost like an appointment already made that I must not miss.  I spend Sundays creating this list of things-to-do which also includes a grocery shopping list to only buy what is needed for the week ahead.

For the month of January 2014 I want to lose 4 to 5 pounds.  I’ll let you know at the end of the month if that happens!  Here I go…..

Workout Routine

Exercise Monday : Current Workout Routine (Past)

Hey People!

Here with a update on what I am doing to workout.  I change my workouts faster than underwear, well, not really, but almost as fast.  It’s just that I get bored REAL easily.  Not sure what I was doing the last time I posted about exercise, but I usually rotate through things I enjoy.  That is really the key to keeping up with exercise.  You must make it fun (new) and do things your body likes and doesn’t fight.  I know for me, climbing rock/mountains is not an enjoyable act.  So, I’m most unlikely not going to do that activity.  I do enjoy the rowing machine, so perhaps canoeing or kayaking might be fun to try at some point.

In the latest October edition of Shape Magazine it has a little 1-pager on a running program (plus 3 pages devoted to a strength training set).  The article teaser is in the largest font on the front cover: “DROP TWO SIZES! In Just 4 Weeks”  I love how that’s put.  It’s Unknownso…..convincing. We’ll see, right?  Anyways, it talks about increasing your run/jog a little at a time but unlike the other running program I have done it doesn’t go as long, only about 20-30 minutes of total time.  I add a warm-up and cool down, so it lengthens the workout, but that’s my preference.  It seems to be easier and more enjoyable than the other program to my body.

I also supplement with some kickboxing on days I am told to “Cross-Train” and do the strength training workout plans suggested in the magazine, rotating through the three total plans that they have (different ones).  I must say that the plan for those who wear high heels seemed easy as pie doing it, but MAN – the day after I was sore!  Don’t underestimate these programs put together by professionals.  The only caveat is that you must do things with excellent form or you may not be doing the exercise right.  Therefore, I try to do the workouts in front of a mirror to make sure I look like the pictures suggest.

Also, I have been going to a Yoga studio.  I think it is amazing and if you have been on the fence about really going to a proper yoga class, you should definitely go!  It is anything but easy.  And depending on what the instructor has planned for each class, you will feel it the next day.  It is strength training for sure!  Unfortunately, I have carpel tunnel syndrome in my right wrist and even with a brace, I was in pain half-way through.  If this was not the case, I would definitely continue.  However, I don’t want to strain and ruin a part of my body that I really need for the rest of my life (I am right-handed).  Otherwise, I would gladly pay the $15.00 for each class because it is so worth it.  For now, I will continue with my easy DVD yoga practices.  YouTube has some nice routines too if you are interested.

So that’s it for now!  What are you doing?

Ballet 101

Exercise Monday: Ballet 101

Hello People!

A few weeks ago I admitted to changing my normal vigorous interval training routines to ballet due to the effects it has on the body aesthetically.  I want that long muscle definition that ballet workouts can give as opposed to the short, almost stocky, puffed muscle definition others workouts develop muscularly.  At least, that was what I was starting to see develop on me and I want to look more Ginger Rogers than Zuzana Light.images  To each his/her own, of course!

Muscle definition is great, and however one gets it is A+.  However, I also don’t like the pounding and high impact nature typical modern interval training workouts are.  Dance is much more fluid and stretches the body.  It is also an interval training type of workout, but not as jarring to the joints and bones. This is good for middle aged people like myself.  As I ageimages my muscles are getting tighter and tighter.  Lengthening and stretching as well and building muscle is definitely the way I want to go.  Ballet isn’t Yoga though; not in the slightest.  It is physically hard work and makes me break out in a sweat every much as other workouts, depending on how vigorous the dance routine I do and how long the routine is.

Usually, 1. I start out with some gentle warm-up dance;  2. then a full body stretch routine;  3. then some barre work which builds muscle definition and trains the body to hold itself in a “turn-out” position;  4.  then some floor work (a simple dance routine, this is the cardio part);  5. then some abs and/or legs-butt toning;  6. then a final yoga stretch.  I have made private playlists on Unknown-2YouTube for me to do and I have been doing this for 5 weeks successfully.  Since I started ballet at a young age (age 4), my body is better at acclimating to these types of workouts than someone who has never done them.  However, that doesn’t mean one can’t do them if not done before.  It will just take more time to become coordinated and understand how the body must move in ballet in order to fully do the workouts with ease.

Here I will share with you a good beginner workout if you are interested in trying it out. The instructor is so articulate and all of her dancers are adults, some better than others.  I would suggest watching the video first, then trying to do the exercises.  I use this as my beginning stretch, barre work and floor routine part of my workout. Don’t worry if you don’t have a proper barre, just use the top edge of a chair that you can swap back and forth to change sides.  This video is in two parts as well.  The first part is a Beginner Workout (called Level One), then halfway through the class begins again with a similar routine but it is more of an Intermediate Workout (called Level Two).  I choose one or the other on different days. Try it!

Change in Plans

Exercise Monday: Change in Plans – The Ballet Beautiful Body

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Hello People,

When I started this blog, about my third post in, I talked about not wanting to develop muscles like a teenage mutant ninja turtle, and I still don’t want to do that. Unfortunately (for people like me), this seems to be the type of training that is extremely popular today with exercise.  Or, at least if you really dedicated yourself to being consistent with those types of workouts, that is the type of body you will develop. Look on YouTube; most of the workouts are squats, presses, pushups, lunges, etc., etc.  These are all well and good, and please don’t confuse my statements for thinking that I am against building muscle!  Creating more muscle tone  is the only way to develop a more shapely physique.  Otherwise, a dieter risks losing weight/fat, along with muscle, and becoming a much smaller version of their former fat self only just, well, smaller.  No way man!  I want muscle definition in my legs and butt.  I want to have the look of a race horse in the heat of the gallop. I just don’t care for that that stocky line-backer shoulder look that some of those popular trainer gurus (and I have featured a few here) have.

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For clarification, I am not speaking of the physique of a competition body builder.  That is an entirely different animal and I will never go there because it requires the use of illegal drugs, and, not to mention, hours in a gym everyday. It doesn’t matter if they claim they don’t take enhancements, there is no images-2possible way on the planet that a woman can develop muscles like that and not be half a man.  The testosterone levels in these gals is through the roof.  It comes at a cost too, it messes with fertility and all kinds of hormonal stuff. But, I’m sure you already knew that.

You know when you go to hug an old lady and she feels like a marshmallow pillow?  Or, if she doesn’t have a lot of plush on her, like one of my grandmas, she is bony and feels almost hollow to the touch?  Yeah, well that’s the effect of a person losing muscle tone as they age. It has been said that after around age 30 humans can lose up to a pound of muscle every year until we die.  No wonder these women feel like you are hugging a down comforter!  They literally don’t have any muscle in their bodies. In order for one to not have this happen and look like a misshapen rag doll, one must do weight or resistance bearing exercises to build and keep muscle.  It will help in your older years for balance as well, and I’m sure we allimages-3 know an old person who fell down and broke a hip because they have lost all sense of balance.

Well, back to the workouts.  You see, I sing in a trio and one of the people in the trio is a trained ballerina who now owns her own dance studio and teaches dance for a living.  She has been griping about having to go to a physical therapist to heal her broken knee (long story – it involved her falling off of a parade float) and the therapist doesn’t understand why she refuses to train her legs to move parallel to the floor (squats).  Her legs have developed over the years, through ballet, into a certain shape:

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This is not to be confused with this:

giant quads

giant quads

She is complaining (due to the healing process) that her legs don’t match anymore and wants to develop the lame leg to match the normal leg.  This can only be done with movements done for development in ballet – lateral motion, or side to side.  And it got me thinking, ballet dancers do have the best bodies around, in my opinion.  Do I want to look like this?:

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Or this?:

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So, my point is, decide what kind of physique looks good to you.  Research it.  Don’t just go to the gym and hop on the machines.  What do you want to look like for reals?  Cut some pictures out or print them out and design workouts that will get you that look.  For me, it is a lot of barre work, floor exercises, and tons of lateral movement with nary a squat in sight.  All movement in ballet has the feet “turned out” from the hips:

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This develops those dreamy long thighs dancers have.  What do you think?  Do you like this type of look? If not, what then?

The BEST Cardio

Exercise Monday: The BEST Cardio

Hello People!

Just love this video by the Hodge Twins. It gives me such a laugh!  It also amazes me that something so simple (but not that easy…at least at first) can have such a humungous result.  I’ll give you a hint about what it is:

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Please Note: The language these two use is geared for high school teenage boys with way too much testosterone running through the system.  Try to see past if the vulgarity.  It’s just an act. Oh, and I agree with them.

P.S. Do this for about 10 to 20 min on your non-strength training days