Fit Friday Issue 3

http://www.njdancefitness.com/side/zumba_dance.gif

Last week I talked about motivation and how important it is to get motivated to be fit; whether that means eating healthy, exercising, or lowering your stress levels.  So far, I’ve talked only about exercise, and I want to continue with that today.

We are all motivated by something different, so each of our goals will look different.  I mentioned that my motivation for actually getting up and working out is the fact that I paid for a 5K race, so the race is my actual goal.  That goal may not work for you, and putting money down for something may not be a motivator for you.  Did you come up with a goal that gets you moving?

You might remember that I also said I could never stick with working out at a gym or taking boot camps because they both felt like chores to me.  Maybe you understand that, and you have trouble sticking to a plan because it feels like a chore as well.

Tip of the Week (Motivation part 2)

3 John 1:2
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

We as a society (myself included) have become unhealthy.  The farther back in time you look the more physical labor you’ll find everyone doing.  Today, we have computers doing our research (no more going to the library, walking through the aisles and searching for the necessary book).  Actually, we have computers doing the majority of our work for us.  Many of us sit at desks, and sometimes we even eat while we’re working.  Without realizing it, we have become less fit than in the past because physical labor just isn’t required of everyone the way it used to be.  Because of the lifestyles we live today, finding some type of exercise regime is much more important than it was years before.

Look at the scripture above.  Even the bible makes mention of the importance of keeping our bodies healthy and strong.  For some, exercise may be about losing weight, but as a whole it’s about keeping ourselves healthy.

If setting a goal isn’t motivating you enough, and exercise still feels like a chore, then maybe you’re trying to motivate yourself to do the wrong type of exercise for you.

What does that mean, the wrong type of exercise?

I viewed the gym as a place where I would either be running on a treadmill or lifting weights; neither of which are appealing to me.  However, most gyms have different types of classes open to their members.  Now, maybe you are like I was and imagine nothing but spinning, yoga and Pilates when you think of classes.  While those are fun every once in a while, they aren’t enough to motivate me to come back to the gym on a regular basis.  Maybe you feel the same.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that gyms have had a major facelift since I last was a part of one.  Now, most offer fun classes that allow you to exercise without even realizing that’s what you’re doing!  For instance, my gym offers different types of dance classes.  I’ve always enjoyed dancing – I may not be great at it, but I’ve always loved it.

When I joined my gym, I spent time on the treadmill and elliptical for a few days, but I kept hearing about some of the classes, and it piqued my interest.  I didn’t at all think I would get a real workout from it, but they sounded fun anyway, so I decided to try one.

I most definitely underestimated the art of dance.  Mind you, I’m not talking about ballet or waltzing, which I’m sure are both great for exercising.  I’m talking about non-stop, fast paced movement for at least an hour.  Usually I am drenched in sweat (gross I know) after 10-15 minutes!  Each class gives a thorough work out of every muscle I would focus on with weights.  We work on our glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, biceps, triceps, abs, obliques, and I’m certain a plethora of other muscles I’ve never heard of (but sure have felt hurting the day or two after class).  I am completely sore the next day, and I just realized this weekend that I’ve gone down 2 pant sizes!

If you can find a class that interests you, I urge you to test it out.  If it’s one that makes you feel like you’re not “exercising”, you’re more likely to continue doing it.  I believe most gyms offer classes similar to the ones I take, and if you live in my area feel free to ask me about the gym I use, and I’ll tell you all about it!

The important thing is to learn more about the types of classes and equipment offered for you wherever you are, and find something that’s fun for you.  Don’t do like I did and fall into the trap of thinking there is only one option for you at a gym.

Maybe you don’t like gyms altogether.  Start looking online at ideas for fun things that may not seem like exercise.  If you have a gaming system and like to stay indoors, there are many options for you that get your body moving.  That’s exercise!  The most important thing is to get up and get moving!  Remember – baby steps can still get you to where you want to go.

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9 thoughts on “Fit Friday Issue 3

  1. Thanks for the tips; it definitely takes time to find out what works for certain people. As long as you’re doing something physical, you’re well on your way. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:))

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    1. Thanks so much! I debated on this post because it was interesting to me, but I wasn’t sure if it would be as interesting to others as my previous ones. Hopefully it will open someone’s eyes who had the same mindset I did and realize there’s so much more out there. I also love the idea of using gaming systems for people who don’t like getting out much or exercising in front of others. We just got one for Christmas (xbox with kinect), and we purchased the game Wipeout because our 6 year old thought it looked cool. That thing is HARD! I’m exhausted when I play, and my son said after the first day that his legs felt “swollen.” Ha Ha! They give you a great workout, and it’s fun!

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  2. Hi Misty,

    I too joined a dance class in my gym because I wasn’t coming because I wasn’t motivated, which is wasting money. So my mom decided to take me to her fun workout. At first I was a little like that doesn’t seem like exercise, but I can say that 1 hour of hard core dance with very few breaks in between has worked every muscle in my body. I went on wednesday and I still feel where my muscles were stretched and toned. Its amazing! I love being able to enjoy a workout and know you gave it 100%. Keep up the training for the 5k I will rejoice with you when you finsih running it.

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    1. Isn’t it cool how something you enjoy doing — never thinking of it as exercise — can burn more than 700 calories? Not only that, but you’re working almost every muscle in your body. I absolutely love it!

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  3. Great post, Misty! I can readily identify with how you feel thinking that the gym is a chore. I feel like that on days when I don’t want to exercise, or if it’s a day where I’m doing an exercise group that I don’t prefer, such as lower body. It’s just something about lower body that I don’t particularly prefer (I think it’s because it really gets my heart racing more than upper body) but I do it because I know I have to do it.

    Usually on days when I’m doing upper body, which is my favorite muscle group, I don’t see going to the gym as much of a chore. One tip I can share that will help us to not see the gym as a chore is to not think of it as something you have to do, to achieve a goal, but think of it from a performance standpoint.

    When an athlete gets on the track, he doesn’t view the race as a chore he views it as a competition. In his case, he’s competing against others. However, we’re not competing against others in the gym. Let me make that clear… we are NOT competing against others in the gym, but we are trying to see how much better we can do today that we did yesterday. In other words, try to view going to the gym as an opportunity to perform better than you did the day before. Whether it be, adding five more pounds to those bench presses than you did the time before. Or going up for a bit longer or a bit faster on the treadmill. Maybe the challenge may be to up the incline on the elliptical. Whatever the challenge, we can try to view going to the gym as an opportunity to perform better than we did the day before. That’s how we get stronger and accomplish those small goals.

    Thank you so much, Misty, for sharing! I enjoy your Fit Friday Issues!

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    1. I completely agree. I am very competitive – even with myself. Every time I run, whether it’s on the elliptical or outside, I am fully in competition with myself. I want to do better than I did the time before.

      I’m glad you enjoy the issues. I’m still trying to get a read on whether it’s a success or not. The plan is to keep it going unless I see my readers aren’t wanting it. 🙂

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