As an athlete, it is no small secret that I love sports. However, getting away from the environment where I was told what to do, how much, and when was a challenge to overcome. It was hard to be disciplined when no one was behind me yelling to go faster, to hold it longer, and to work harder. That has to come from within me. I know how. It’s just about doing it that is the challenge.
Over the years, I have jumped into exercising hard-core, right around the same time that I start a new “diet.” It doesn’t take long for me to get super sore and just plain exhausted. Let me remind you, that I have had to release quite a bit of weight, and without the education to persevere successfully and win in the end, I would burn out and then slowly go back to the same old.
I love sports, volleyball, basketball, softball, and I have desires to become a runner, but due to knee surgery after an injury, I have struggled to handle the impact. It would take 2 weeks of high impact exercise before my knee would be swollen like a grapefruit, painful, and just too stiff to continue. I know that I am not alone here in situations like these. We all grow older and as we do, our bodies sometimes rebel. I never allowed my body the mercy of easing into exercise…and I always paid for it.
This year, 2016, I woke up feeling different. I didn’t know how. Maybe it was because it was the first holiday season where I was not sick for the entire time in 4 years. I like to think that I knew that I was going to be placed in the right situations to learn how to succeed, not give up and to become the person I know I need to be and can be. I felt like it was going to be my year. I still feel that way.
So, when I started eating a low-glycemic lifestyle, I knew I needed to exercise regularly too. So, I was instructed by my mentors to not jump right in. Changing the way you eat is hard enough to get used to, why add in the stress of sore muscles and exhaustion. Now if you are used to that, then by all means! Go for the gold! For me though, not going all out has been very beneficial, and I have been able to maintain it easily.
We now live on a 4 acre plot that we are renting from some friends that own hundreds of acres. One of my favorite forms of exercise is a brisk walk around the 128 acre field in the back of our house. The fresh air, with the dog chasing the rabbits, and the steer in the next pasture is bliss for me. I love it! I have set a goal to be able to run the perimeter in about a year. I only run short bits for now. The full walk is just over 1.5 miles, and it takes me about 45 minutes to complete; however, my time is increasing each time I walk it!
On the cold days (those are soon to be far gone), I would stay in the house and do Zumba or Yoga from YouTube. I also really enjoy doing Hiit workouts. Although, I haven’t started those this year yet. I will add in some circuit type exercises: Box squats, crunches, sit-ups, planks, lunges… you get the idea. All of these things I do for free!
So, if exercise is a new start to your regimen, then do your body a favor and ease into it. You should listen to your body and let it tell you when the natural progression into more challenging exercises is right. With consistent exercise, your body will naturally move into more and harder exercises.
Having said that, I DO try to include something more strenuous every week. For example, doing Zumba or circuits is a much harder workout than walking for me. So I might follow this type of plan: Monday walk with light stretching, Tuesday Zumba then yoga, Wednesday walk/yoga, Thursday walk with circuits then yoga, and Friday a walk with light stretching. There are some days that hard work on the farm is the exercise that I get in that day. Especially when I have been clearing 6 ft weeds out with a rake or pitchfork, or picking rock out of the ground to prepare for the garden. Notice, that with each day I stretch. Always stretch before and especially after you exercise, this allows your muscles to stretch and strengthen, preparing for your next exercise. Not stretching appropriately could lead to serious injury. I find yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen your muscles at the same time! You can find basic stretches here. “Stretch your way to a healthier you.“
My goal is to be taking MMA in a year from now! That means starting now and keepin’ on!
What do you enjoy doing for exercise? What are you goals?
Today, set yourself a long term goal, and 3 little goals that will get you there! My long-term is in a year, but yours could be in 3 months. Make it work for you!
My FAVORITE Resources
Yoga for Beginners with Adriene-I love her personality
Element Yoga with Ashley Turner-I find her inspiring and uplifting, helping me defeat my self limiting doubts about becoming stronger. This is not the full video.
Zumba Dance Workout for Beginners – This one is simple and not too challenging for the dance challenged. I always get a good sweat doing this one…especially the last snippet!
Latin Dance Aerobic Workout – This one is more challenging, but fun to do!
Low-Impact Cardio Workout 30 minutes – This one is easy on my knee!
Body Rock TV – I love these workouts. They are hard and get great results. I plan on starting these really soon. There is even a timer app to go with it (HIIT Timer).
There are so many free resources out there nowadays! Find what works for you and go with it!
You got this!
Disclaimer: Every person is different. If you have health concerns, please consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.