Now is the time for preparation. Now is when I get ready for next summer. Did ya’ ever notice that every year, people start to get in shape in the spring, only to give up before they get there? Can you relate? Here’s why. It’s too late to get in shape in the spring! One must already be in shape in the spring to enjoy the spring…and summer! That’s it! That’s the secret. It’s very discouraging to work out and try to get in shape while you really want to be out in the park or at the beach showing off. So every year people start to think about working out in the spring and by summer they give up. Don’t be a statistic. You’re smarter than that! 917 657 5489 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, now that you know the secret, you know something else. NOW is the time to get in shape for spring! You’re welcome.
Wow, I would be seriously hurtin’ if it weren’t for my stretch out strap. There is no better way to get a hamstring stretch than this. Unless you have a trainer do it for you. This simple inexpensive tool has many uses, but hamstring stretching with it makes it worth ten times the cost. Scroll down and click on the picture at the bottom of the page and get yours. You’ll thank me for it.
What are you doing?
No, seriously, what are you doing when you’re working out?
Are you counting calories? Are you putting in your minutes on the elliptical? Are you watching television or reading a book?
If you’re not happy with the results you’re getting from your workouts, maybe the answers to these questions can shine some light on why.
I think there are several reasons for working out. I for one, happen to feel better when I exercise. I actually enjoy it.
Not everyone does. Am I right? I can feel the earth shake with the millions of nodding heads.
So, if you don’t love working out, then why do you do it?
Because you have to? Not true. Then why?
I think it’s because you want to be and feel better. You want to look better. You want to live.
That’s the reason we all work out. To live. It is a life or death proposition. A quality of life proposition.
Now back to the original question. What are you doing?
You are using your mind and body to move through life in an effective manner. You walk, run, and pick things up all the time.
So, working out must cause you to be better at these things in order for it to be effective.
I like the analogy of your body being an automobile. After all, both have motors and pumps to keep them moving. Both have fuel that is drawn in and circulated to the necessary places in order to drive them forward (or backward). Both create waste and exhaust. Both can be highly tuned or poorly maintained. Each car or body is just a bit different too. One thing is for sure, if you don’t take your vehicle for a drive on a regular basis, it will not function at its best!
So, what you are doing when you exercise is taking that vehicle out for a test ride. You are pushing the motor past what is a comfortable cruise, to a higher level of activity so that when you want it to take you somewhere, it is ready.
The next question is how you know if you are getting what you need from your workout. I will tell you it is not necessarily about calorie expenditure. Although, weight-loss can be achieved by a caloric deficit, unless you are keeping track of your caloric intake, it doesn’t make much sense to count calories while you are exercising. In fact, if you’ve done this you know that can be very disappointing. A half hour in any moderate treadmill or elliptical workout might result in a 300 calorie burn. That’s going to be less than 1 pound per week if you do it every day.
That, combined with a 200 calorie daily decrease in calorie intake will result in exactly 1 pound weight loss per week, if you do it every day. Most people are never going to be that specific. Most people are not that disciplined.
If we get back to the mission of keeping your body tuned up and ready for anything, then we must talk about functional training. You will need to get your heart rate up to a certain percentage of your heart rate max. In order to do that you must know what that is.
In order to monitor it, you will need a heart rate monitor. Ahh, we finally come to the point. A very valuable tool in your fitness arsenal is a heart rate monitor. A worthwhile investment especially considering they are relatively inexpensive. There are very few items in this world as valuable as this device and as cheap! A heart rate monitor consists of a chest strap (transmitter) and a receiver that you wear on your wrist, just like a watch.
Buy a heart rate monitor today. You will be able to calculate your max heart rate and determine at what percentage you should work.
A minimal effective exercise heart rate begins at about 60% of your max. This is a safe way to start. As you get conditioned to exercise, you will be able to work at a higher rate and experiment with different types of cardiorespiratory challenges. Remember, if you don’t challenge your body to work, it will become deconditioned. A deconditioned body is much more likely to fail when you need it the most i.e. running for a bus, chasing you kids or having sex.
On the other hand, a fit, conditioned body can do just about anything you want it to.
Heart rate monitors are, as I mentioned not too expensive in the grand scheme of things. You can get one for as little as $30 or spend hundreds if you want the bells and whistles. If you get seriously addicted to exercise and monitoring your progress, you can pick up a heart rate monitor that will track your workouts on your computer and print out graphs and charts showing you progress. In the beginning it might be better to keep it simple and spend anywhere between $30 and $100.
Buy one, learn to use it and begin understanding your body and the real reason you work out. Keep your motor tuned.
If you’re confused and need help, hire a trainer to help you sort it out. Even one training session with a fitness pro can teach you what you need to know about your heart rate and how to monitor it. You are worth it.
Ok, so I just did the Spartan Sprint, in Tuxedo, New York this past weekend. That was fun! I can say that now, but there were a few times I questioned my decision, although you’d never know it if you saw the video (and you will), as usual, I was very upbeat and can be heard shouting encouragement to other racers. If you know me, you know that I am also using that encouragement to keep myself going too.
My good friend, Susie Q went with me and we had two more team members there that I ran into coincidentally as I was running the course. It was mostly running up hills and none of us trained for that. We were all walking some of the time and just taking one step at a time to get through some of the obstacles. The two toughest challenges by far for me were carrying the Spartan sandbag up a giant hill that seemed to go on forever. I don’t know the weight of the sandbag, but it felt like 20 pounds. The hill took a full 6 minutes to climb, but it felt like a half an hour. Going back down was relatively easy compared to the climb up. The other killer obstacle, and I do mean killer, was the barbed wire mud crawl. On hands and knees in the rock filled mud, under barbed wire uphill for what seemed like an hour, but was actually about 20 minutes. The rocks hidden in the mud were of all shapes and sizes and we were just grinding into them with our knees and elbows the whole time. Well, not the whole time. Someone figured out that one could roll up the hill and that gave our boney knees and elbows a much appreciated break. That crawl was tough!
There were some really fun challenges too. I loved the rope climb, the wall climbs and the cargo-net obstacles. There were many chances to get dirty and I love crawling in the mud! We dragged concrete and old tires around. We clambered over and under wire and wood, and trekked through a beautiful landscape that I made sure everyone within earshot took note of. Oh man, I loved it!
All in all, it was a great challenge and looking back on it, I’m glad it wasn’t easier. It always makes you feel good to reach deep down inside and find the strength to accomplish something that at times seems impossible. The Spartan Sprint did that for me this weekend and I for one, am better for having done it. I’m already looking forward to the next one. Anyone want to join me?