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
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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.

Notable Quotable #1

Inspirational Sunday: Notable Quotable #1

Hello People!

I am following an exercise program (more on that in tomorrow’s post), and daily, I am given a quote to ponder.  I found this one particularly pertinent to me:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’ “.                    -Unknown

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The program is rigorous. My commitment to keep up the 6 days a week regime at the start, were solid, and then there were snags 3 weeks into it…I got raging sick, twice.  I was working so hard and following the plan so well.  Pictures were being taken weekly for a before and after sequence.  It made me so mad that I woke up one day not able to get out of bed, much less lift a dumbbell.  Not following the program was hard enough, on top of that, when I get sick, for some reason my appetite rages out of control (not surprised, I’m defaulted to overeat by nature; being sick just heightens that even more) making me crave carbs like nothing else.  I suppose this is because of the lack in energy the virus is stealing from me and my body needing to fight off whatever ails me.

Unknown

That Katy Perry song has nothing on me, my “Roar” sometimes is a deeper promise for tomorrow. You know my desire to lose weight has been haunting me for years, I’m not going to now let a temporary sickness get in my way.  I told myself, “take the time to heal, then jump back in full force when you are up for it.”  It took about a week and a half, and many carbs later, but I’m back in the saddle again.

It’s not just the big reasons that make me break my commitment at times, it’s also the small things that come up.  Today, I just had a lack of energy to follow through on what I planned to do this afternoon.  The plans made for the day were put aside just to listen to what my body wanted: rest and relaxation.  I don’t have a good reason why, that is just how I felt.  I did not waste my workout or good eating habits though.  These remain a part of the plan no matter what.  But if I plan a day to garden for 4 hours, but all I want is a nap, then I compromise.  Instead of 4 hours, I did 40 minutes of simple stuff out in the yard.  I’ll make up for those bigger plans another time.  No big deal.  Tomorrow is another day and I can always do more if I’m up for it.

I also want to re-state that old stand-by: Consistency is Key.  It isn’t about just today, it’s about the total addition of day to day, week to week, month to month commitments.  One, two, or even three days out of a month that get “ruined” for whatever reason don’t need to derail one’s plans permanently.  Get back on the wagon tomorrow even stronger than before. That’s my roar speaking in a quiet voice!

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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!

The Marathon Effect: Extra

Hi there!

I have been searching day and night since I posted the article about The Marathon Effect.  I wanted to give you all a reference for where I got my information. Leaving it open-ended seemed a bit unfinished.  So after hunting down the radio interview (this took hours on end to find) with JJ Virgin, I have a viable source you can decipher for yourself about what I stated.

I’m referring to the section where I said: exercising/endurance training in the fat burning zone for long distances will make your body store more fat when you are done to replace what it has burned.  You literally become a fat storer professional.  You will lose muscle also in the process compounding the problem of screwing up your metabolism. And…you release tons of stress hormones like cortisol that will also help you to store fat like a boss.  This is cardio for hours on end that I am talking about- not working out in the weight room for 3 hours.  That is different.

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JJ Virgin has a resume as long as my body.  She was a health advocate on the Dr. Phil show and has done numerous appearances on T.V., written tons of magazine articles and her own army of books, and has appeared and spoken at tons of health conferences.  She has every credential in the book and is a huge believer in “Burst Training” or what I call HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  Please listen to this incredible interview with her on Blog Talk Radio hosted by Underground Wellness.  The marathon discussion happens around 31 minutes.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/undergroundwellness/2010/05/05/six-weeks-to-sleeveless-and-sexy-with-jj-virgin

5 Things

Think It Through Thursday: 5 Things

Hello People!

It has been a few months….6, to be exact, that I have been a blogger.  My weight hasn’t really gone down a whole lot during this process, but I have been discussing the reasons why here periodically.  Particularly, I think most of my issues relate to blood sugar problems, and I’m currently working those out.

So I wanted to do a post that was upbeat and positive today because there isn’t enough positivity in the world, in my opinion.  Therefore, I want to discuss 5 things I have learned during these 6 months of blogging that I will continue to implement for the rest of my life regardless of weight-loss or not.  They are healthy habits that I wish to pass on to you, dear reader.

5 Things

1. What You Eat Matters

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This means that it doesn’t matter if a “calorie is a calorie.” The quality of the food is utmost important.  Forget the counting calories bit.  Look to the nutrition of the food/meal/snack first.  Calories matter too, no doubt about it, but there is a hell of a big difference between the nutritional makeup of two foods with the same amount of calories: a snickers bar vs. a  a few pieces of fruit.  Those nutritional qualities differ in that one of those items your body will store most of it’s calories as fat because of the high sugar content, and the other will be used by the body for re-building, supporting, digesting, etc.  Now which one do you want?

2. Vegetables & Fruit Are Your FRIENDS!!!

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You’re hungry?  You want to binge out? Have a tangerine.  Still hungry? Have a cucumber.  Still hungry? Have a bowl of cherry tomatoes.  Still hungry? No?…..Well even if you were, the calories in these foods are so small in comparison to junk foods that even if you binged on them, the worst case scenario would give you gas and bloating.  Junk Foods? You will be seen wearing them on your thighs the next day for sure.

3.  All Exercise is Not Created Equal

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The older you get, the more muscle you lose (up to a pound a year!!!).  This is key to understanding why your treadmill antics ain’t working like they were at 20.  Don’t do tons of cardio.  Do tons of weights/strength training/bodybuilding workouts.  Then do some cardio – but no more than 20 minutes (HIIT would be optimal).  You can start burning your muscles right off if it’s any more than that.  EEEKK!

4.  The G-Free Life is For Me

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Gluten was giving me blood sugar spikes. Why? Mostly the gluten was in the form of bread which has flour.  Flour, in any form, 100% whole wheat or otherwise, digests fast.  Gluten was also coating the villi in my intestine causing me to have skin irritation problems.  Going gluten free is not easy, but it is doable and I am not starving like I feared I would be.  It definitely has cut down on the carb consumption in my life.  I am not a no-carb preacher, but I would advocate low-carb (220 grams or less a day) eating. I am eating approximately 120 – 100 grams a day now.

5. Plan Meals For the Week

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Not planning what to eat is planning to FAIL! If it is 12:00 noon and you don’t know what you are eating for lunch…you are doomed friend.  Your hunger will override any will you had to stick to a calorie regime.  Don’t fool around, designate 1 day a week to prepare, cook, and portion out your meals for the week.  No second guessing, no last minute drive-thru runs, no excuses. (Video on this subject to come!)

Aerobicize!

Exercise Monday: Aerobicize!

Hey there all,

Today I want to just pass along a cardio workout I did last week when it was an off-day of strength training.  This means that I needed to have a workout, but since I do all body parts on my strength training days, this was a day only meant for cardio.  I also was feeling a bit low energy, so I pulled out good ol’ Denise Austin from the DVD shelf.  Here are the two cardio workouts I did back to back. Enjoy!

P.S. These are good for beginner/intermediate exercisers.  It isn’t vigorous, but will require a little coordination. I also used 1 1/2 pound dumbbells (extremely light) during the interval training portion.

And just for kicks, here is the Ab workout I did after the two Aerobic Workouts (I like how she says “Welcome to the BEST Ab workout EVER!” Weelll, I don’t know about that…..

My Exercise Routine

Today’s Exercise Monday Post:

summer-exerciseI want to include on my Exercise Monday posts my “workout routines” that I continuously rotate through.  This is a plan that I did during summer 2012 and really enjoyed it. (I have rotated to a different routine since then.)  Most likely I will do a version of it again next summer.  Doing this plan helped me shed 7 pounds off of my 26 pounds goal. I don’t know why, but I love doing those magazine tear-out routines in the summer.  Also I should mention that I don’t run anymore.  It seems that this last attempt (the 5th) didn’t make me feel 100% and decided to find another form of intense cardio to replace it.  I’ll get back to you in another post about which activity I chose. If you do want to try the running program you can see it here: Running Program (keep clicking on it and it will appear, I promise!)

P.S. Sorry this video’s pace is super slow.  I was DELIRIOUS from heat.  It was literally over 100 degrees that day in my house.

How Much Exercise is Enough?

Hey all,

So, last week’s post on getting inspired to move was a general push to help motivate those not accustomed to working out to make arrangements to do so. Today’s post is about working out a little more specifically.  Now, I already said before that I won’t ever try and convince anyone that a certain type of exercise is the ONLY way to go.  That is a personal preference and each body is different. You must experiment with different types of activities to find what works best for you. Then, if you’re like me, you will alternate these activities to keep from getting bored.

Yet, the question remains, how long should I work out when I find that activity?  I’m going to say up front that this may depend

this is not a “normal” person

on your level of ability and your convenience of time (not everyone has the luxury of spending 2.5 hours in a gym everyday). So, my answer to this is meant for the average, normal person who has a normal job and normal commitments in life.

First off, let’s talk cardio.  You know, that stuff you do that gets your heart pumping and the blood moving and your body sweating like a pig in heat. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you want to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. This means that you probably need more cardio than say a “naturally” thin person or someone who wants to build bulky muscles. I should also mention that it is well documented that exercise is only about 15 – 20% of the equation in creating a slim/toned physique. Food choices and eating is the real game changer in this scenario. But we’ll talk about that later; right now it’s about the physical aspect. I’m going to now quote from one of my favorite books on the matter of weight loss (a tragedy that you won’t be able to get this as it had a limited printing) called I Can I Will! by G. Barton Payne:

“We have a different objective when we exercise for weight loss. We are trying to increase the rate of our metabolism and increase the number of calories we burn…The ideal commitment for optimal weight loss and increasing metabolism is 45-60 minutes per day, five days per week. You should never attempt to attain this level unless you start slowly and build up your strength, stamina, and flexibility. I do not recommend exercising in excess of 60 minutes per day, 5 days per week. To exercise at that level, you must be in excellent physical condition.  Exercising more than 60 minutes per day produces very marginal additional benefits and significantly increases the risk of stress injury. To put it bluntly, ‘it ain’t worth it’! If you have a tendency to [do] compulsive behavior, this is a good opportunity to demonstrate to yourself your power to ‘be in charge’.”

a “normal” person working out

I seem to remember watching an Oprah episode once about exercising for weight loss and the amount and intensity seemed daunting.  It was like 8 days a week for 2 hours at a time which means you would have to add extra time to a few workouts because there obviously aren’t 8 days in a week. But, maybe that was if you only wanted to lose weight with workouts and the eating factor wasn’t included. For me, G. Barton Payne’s suggestion seems realistic, genuine and do-able. This is the way I prefer to workout, and if I am consistent (because that is KEY) I can feel that it makes a huge difference.

Now, in regards to weight lifting/resistance training, that will definitely vary on convenience and availability of equipment. I’m not sure you are aware, but there are plenty of workouts designed to build muscles and tone without using weights….ever. I can show you some if you would like later, but I enjoy doing a variety of hand-held weight exercises, body resistance, and machines at the gym.  From my various research about this topic, I have decided that for me, this type of training, in

probably wants bulk & bumps

order to have any results, must be done 3 days a week for about 30 minutes at a time. You may need to tweek your time if you want different results. I’m only interested in gaining toned muscles, sleek lines and an overall trim-yet obviously worked out body. If you want bulk or bumps, then that will be a different workout story.

In conclusion, you must do what you can in the amount of time that is realistic.  If cardio for 60 minutes per day,  5 days a week is a no-way situation, you may need to re-evaluate your weight loss intentions. You are trying to lose weight, right? Then you must make the opportunity and not just “hope that it will happen.” It either happens or it doesn’t. It’s that simple. You make the choice.

Get Moving People!

Work it Out!

I’m sure you’ve read millions of posts like this before.  The author imploring the reader to get out there and exercise!  Well, add this one to the list because maybe you (and I) need to hear it again.

I will never try and tell anyone what type of exercise is best because there simply is no such thing.  You see, for the longest time I thought that running/jogging was the only type of cardio that could only burn off enough fat to be effective.  But what if you hate running and the thought of it wants to make you crawl into a hole?  Then perhaps it is not so great after all.  One must find movement that makes sense to their body and be able to sustain that motion for a long period of time for it to be effective.

Different strokes for different folks.  What may be my ultimate cardio blast may be your idea of hell on earth.  So what?  Find what makes sense to you no matter what anyone tells you!  Not your spouse, trainer, friend, parent, child or whomever. You must explore different types of exercises to make a choice though. Don’t write anything off before giving it one good try especially if someone is recommending it.  For example, I always heard that cycle class would build my quadriceps to mammoth proportions and that the class would be too difficult to do because it is “SO HARD!”  Well, guess what? One day someone invited me to try their spinning class and I loved it and don’t care if it develops my quads more than dance or swimming would. It is fast paced, full of awesome energy, music is pumping and working out with others can be very encouraging.  No matter that I am not at the same level as the gal next to me.  Who cares?  She wasn’t always at her level either. She worked to get there and so will I.

If you are new to exercise, start small and work your way up the mountain.  Don’t go full out or you may burn out and become completely discouraged.  Try walking at a medium pace.  Alternatively, you could ride a bike casually around the neighborhood.  Also, try going in a pool and “running” back and forth across the shallow end; it will feel like more of a bounding bounce, but it will get your heart rate up which is the point.

So, you want to do things that get you moving for an hour or so a day and you want to get a good burn at the same time.  I will post soon about heart rate zones, but for now try to work-out at a level where you can still say your name and address at the peak of exertion, but not easily. If you don’t break a sweat, you aren’t pushing enough.  There should at least be some light dampness on you at the end. Don’t worry about it, just try and if you don’t like it, try again with something else.

What is your current favorite form of exercise?