Friday, January 24, 2014

Fitness Friday: Getting Started (or Restarting)

My current workout tabs - and my furry coach
With it being Resolution Season, a lot of folks are starting - or restarting - a fitness program.  I thought it would be a good time to answer some questions I've received about how to get started with a fitness program (especially at home, without the benefit of a trainer).

This is timely for me, as well, as I am finally to a place with my feet (thanks to a wonderful new podiatrist and an amazing physical therapist) and with sleep (thanks to Mouse returning to sleeping through the night) where I can reasonably contemplate working up a sweat.

There is no one "right" way to start a fitness program.  These are simply three things that I find work for me to get back on track.

1) Find something you ENJOY!
Sure, if your goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, you'll need to do a lot of cardio or if you're looking for major muscle definition, you should be hefting some serious weights.  But when you're getting started, the best way I've found to keep going is to do something I enjoy.  Simply put, if I dread it, I won't do it (especially when I'm feeble or a little fluffy).  

If you love to dance, find a local Zumba class (I've heard great things!) or discover a dance video on YouTube that makes you want to move and groove.  I was surprised at how well I worked up a sweat joining Moose at his Just Dance game that he got for Christmas.

If you're dying to be a Bond girl, try some kickboxing!  Nothing makes me feel more fierce than kickboxing!

Both Pilates and yoga make me feel so stretched and lean that they leave me looking forward to the next session.

The point is, figure out what makes you want to move and stick with that, at least until you've built an exercise habit.

2) Be kind to your body - start with small bites!
Right now, I NEED to do cardio, and I WANT to do crazy intervals and burpees all the time.  BUT, my body just isn't ready.  Yet.  I can't run a continuous mile at the moment, and can't sustain 30 minutes of cardio.  Yet.

For me, one of the best ways I've found to build up is by taking small bites, and then building on that.  The photo above is of the tabs on my TV earlier this week.  After a warm-up, I alternated an arm & abdominal toning workout from Tone It Up with a cardio segment from Blogilates.  Could I do the Blogilates segment 3-4 times back-to-back like Cassey suggests?  No.  But I can do it 2-3 times by alternating it with a toning segment that gives my ticker a break.

Try it out!
Love Your Arms and Abs

Fat Melting Routine

You can do the same with the famous Couch to 5k running program (which alternates walking and running to build up to a 5k).  I am currently trying to run once a week, and am using a free C25k app on my phone to keep me from having to remember each day's program.

3) Stretch!
I've written about this before in the context of running, but it's such an important key to avoiding injury and sticking with ANY new (or renewed) fitness program.

I'm loving this one from Tara Stiles at the moment!

How do you get moving - and keep going?

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