Thursday, October 6, 2011

Get Moving, Start Losing!

If you are new to fitness or just need an extra push in the right direction, you need to know where to begin. And if you are already putting the hours into the gym and not seeing results, you need to figure out what's lacking in your routine. Intensity? Frequency? Understanding the fundamentals of fitness can help you reach your goal weight, whether you are a beginner or a regular who hits a plateau.

You don't have to put in HOURS at the gym to see results. If you are not already active, start incorporating more activity into your day. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, have a stability ball instead of an office chair to workout your core, go to the bathroom on a different floor and take the steps, treat your dog to an extra long walk... It doesn't matter how small you start- it's just important to get moving!

{ Tone It Up is a great program that I am actively involved in that allows you access to recipes, workouts every week, and motivation. You are not only getting two trainers with this program but you are getting a family of Tone It Up supporters who are there for positive reinforcement and to light the fire under your you-know-what!  }

If you are already exercising, consider increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts. Try a steeper incline on the treadmill while holding hand weights (I usually have an incline of 3 with a medicine ball in my hands), or increase your time by 10 minutes. Maybe you are ready to move from that beginner's yoga class to an intermediate one? Or maybe you can take your class twice a week? The more you put into your fitness regimen, the more you'll get out of it.

Want to develop a workout routine that gets you the results you want? Try these steps!

  1. Make a Plan
               Studies show that people who plan ahead for their workouts are generally more successful than those who wing it. Decide WHEN you want to work out and block off that time in your day planner (which I cannot LIVE WITHOUT!)
  • Set an alarm as a reminder to workout. Or schedule a reminder on your computer for every hour and get up and do 20 lunges.
  • Pack your gym bag the night before so that you can grab it and go in the morning.

     2. Build a Team

               Teams can provide support and guidance for one another. It can also provide motivation during the workout; you'll need that kind of encouragement!
  • Plan walking activities with your kids or encourage a friend to become and exercise buddy.
  • Look for workout partners through your local college, church, or community centers.
  • Start a running club at the office! Plan on running two or three times a week after work!
Recently, a couple of girls (Shout out- Jami, Kate, and Cait!) and myself started the Tone It Up Baltimore Workout Crew. Every Friday morning we are getting together near the harbor and doing activities such as fun runs, 3 mile runs including the Federal Hill stairs, and other Tone It Up workouts. We then head in and have a healthy breakfast! It is something I look forward to and keeps me motivated to make sure I can keep up with everyone! So far we have grown to 11 ladies in just 3 weeks and we love it!

Mind you this picture was taken AFTER our workout...don't mind the red faces and sweat!

     3. Be consistent

               Experts say it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to form a habit-so don't get discouraged after only a couple of days! Find small ways to stay active, and before you know it, your body will start to crave exercise!

     4. Get FITTE

               FITTE is a handy acronym to help you remember all of the elements of an exercise routine you need in order to improve your fitness. It's a good way to start thinking about working out, especially for beginners. As you start to make exercising part of your lifestyle, you'll want to vary or increase some or all elements of FITTE.
  • Frequency: How often you work out
  • Intensity: How hard you work out (measuring your heart rate or using rate of perceived exertion)
  • Time: The duration of your workout
  • Type: The kind of exercise you're doing
  • Enjoyment: How much pleasure you get from the activity

Jillian Michaels- another one of my motivators! I sweat her hardcore...

     Frequency  The American Council on Exercise recommends 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days a week (depending on intensity) and strength-training at lease twice a week. You can combine cardio and strength on some days or keep them separate.

     Intensity Load, Speed, & Effort  There are many ways to alter each of these: Load- This is the amount of resistance you use in your workout. For strength-training, you can use your own body weight as resistance or increase the load (and intensity) by adding weights. Speed- During your cardio workouts, you can amp up intensity simply by going faster. It will help you burn more calories and strengthen your heart. You can vary speed in strength exercises too. When exercising with dumbbells, keep your speed under control to ensure you never swing the weights. Effort- One of the most common ways to vary intensity is to gauge how hard you are working. There are two ways to measure intensity. The most common is called rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and it is an easy-to-follow self-measurement. RPE ranges from 6 (no exertion at all) to 20 (maximum exertion).

Calculating Your Target Heart Rate

220- your age = maximum heart rate

So for myself, I am 24 years old which makes my maximum heart rate 196. Now to find your target heart rate zone, you're going to use your maximum heart rate.
  • Low end of target heart rate zone= maximum heart rate x 0.80
  • High end of target heart rate zone= maximum heart rate x 0.85

For my own target heart rate zone, my low end would be 196 x 0.80= 157 and my high end would be 196 x 0.85= 167. So for my workouts I need to aim to keep my heart rate between 157-167.

     Time  We are all challenged to find time to exercise, but it's important to stick to a schedule and put in as many minutes or hours as you can dedicate if you want to achieve your weight loss goals.

     Type  Figuring out what kind of exercise you want to do will have a great impact on whether you maintain your fitness program. If you prefer to get your 30 minutes of aerobic exercise from cycling rather than walking, go ahead! You'll be more likely to stick to an exercise program if you like what you are doing!

Enjoyment  If you like playing basketball with your friends, make it a part of your exercise routine. Take advantage of any class you can find that will introduce you to new-or forgotten- ways to move your body. Riding your bike, jumping rope, and even gardening can help you burn calories!
So get moving everyone! Go do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 20 squats, or simply keep your abs engaged to work your core! Anything and everything helps and it all adds up to the start of something wonderful! Enjoy the new you!...on your own two feet...
Until the next step bloggers...

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