3.06.2018

Starting (or restarting) a fitness program

Sometimes the hardest part is starting.

This is a good motto for so many things in life so today I want to help you start.

Start a running program, start a new fitness routine, or even restart. In over 6 years of running at least one mile a day and adding cross training into my program, I know a lot about restarting. Restart is sometimes the most important key you can press in your fitness routine. Restart is sometimes even harder to hit than the initial start key because now you may feel weighed down and defeated. Don't let that stop you. Restart.

For those looking for a running program to add running into your life (think newbies), here is a good plan for you. Let's just commit to 4 weeks right now and 30 minutes a day four days a week. Before each workout, be sure to warm up and then cool down and stretch afterwards. Yes, I believe stretching matters but do it with a warm body, not a cool one.
  • Week 1: Run 1 minute, Walk 2 minutes. Repeat this interval for 30 minutes. 
  • Week 2: Run 2 minutes, Walk 2 minutes. Repeat this interval for 30 minutes.
  • Week 3: Run 2 minutes, Walk 1 minutes. Repeat this interval for 30 minutes.
  • Week 4: Run 3 minutes, Walk 1 minute. Repeat this interval for 30 minutes.

If this workout is not a good fit for you, I understand. It is hard to make a one-size-fits-all running program and I am happy to say, I am a certified running coach and can help you out. Just email me for a specific running program tailored for you. I can do 4 week, 8 week, or 12 week plans. Email me for pricing and details based on your needs but since I am a mom on a budget, I want fitness to be affordable for you. I have seen coaches charging hundreds for their services. I just don't want to do that and my plans start at $10.

For those seasoned runners who have fallen off their game due to injury or other things in life, restarting can be hard especially if you start comparing your performance to past performance. DON'T! It won't do you any good. Restart and change things up if you can either by running somewhere new if you run outside or altering how you run on the treadmill.

In my recent restart, I changed the focus on my treadmill runs. I moved away from the normal tunes and accepted starting at a slower pace. I would rather run 5.3 miles slower than my past performance than 1 mile faster and feeling like a failure since my legs ache. And recently I am tying this run time into my prayer time to focus on others and prayers versus my own performance. Sometimes rigid schedules can get me back on track, other times, flexibility helps. My goal right now - move at least one hour a day with my daily running and cross training and having two just a mile days a week. It does not need to be all 110% effort...just do it...and I am feeling the rust fall off my legs and my paces are improving. I think this is because I am running happy and by feel and running is a huge mental game and I am allowing myself two down days each week.

For those new to cross training or in a rut in cross training, my advice is pretty much the same. HAVE FUN! I totally love Beachbody on Demand and nope, I am no longer a Beachbody Coach. To be honest, I needed the coaching business fees and nutritional item money to go to darling daughter's horseback riding but I have kept the Beachbody on Demand All Access pass going. That is an investment in me and a better value than a gym. I have access to hundreds of programs and love so many of them. It makes it easy to do a new routine and change things up and y'all, that matters. It makes your training more effective and keeps you more mentally engaged.

Finally, what you eat matters. It truly does. Pay attention to how your body feels with the food you eat. Dairy makes my stomach hurt, too much coffee makes me stuffy and makes my eyes feel dry (it is true - I use my dry eyes as a cue to hydrate better and it works), and carbs can lead me feeling bloated. So now I pretty much wiped out my faves - not really. I do enjoy veggies especially bok choy and I adore hummus, pickles, beans (but I can't do too many of them either), and potatoes (within reason).

I keep certain items in the house as the mainstay for snacking and meals for the family and pets: bananas, oranges, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries or triple berries, grapefruit cups, mandarin orange cups, applesauce, lettuce, celery, carrots PLUS we add in other delights from time to time. These include watermelon, pineapple, apples, pears, kiwi, peppers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, bok choy, asparagus, artichokes, and salad kits.

I love seeing my 10 year old daughter start to make healthier choices on her own. "Mom, I am hungry and I am going to choose a healthier snack" and grabs an apple versus treats of the past like goldfish (although she still eats those from time to time). Or she may say, "Mom, I am going to have a snack but only 3 pretzels". Or, "Mom, I want a snack and I want pretzels but I already had some today at school. I am going to get a fruit cup."

It is rewarding to see this happen as it is the fruit of my efforts, so to speak. Knowing that what I do and eat impacts her is a motivation in itself. If I give up on my workouts and she sees me quitting, how will she not give up when the horseback riding gets tough? If I am constantly fueling my body with junk, how will she not do the same? And if I don't make the effort to keep nutritional food in the house, how can she pick the good stuff?

But I am not crazy about it. She also gets Lucky Charms and other fun kid stuff. Hey, I ate Lucky Charms as a kid and believe it teaches moderation and good food choice. Plus, I want to be able to eat a cookie and not feel guilty for "ruining a diet" or all that other guilt that many women may carry on their shoulders.

Honey, you are beautifully made and we all have fat on our bodies and skin....we have skin! We all have folds and eventually we will all have wrinkles. Wear your skin with pride knowing that there is only one you and you are perfectly made. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

God bless and have a beautiful week!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the God given ability to run every day. 

Daily Bible Verse: You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

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