Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by everything you think you’re supposed to do that you decide to take a nap instead of even trying?
Or maybe you feel like there are too many choices to make before you begin. Or perhaps you think everything has to be perfect before you take that first step.
“Paralysis by analysis.” It’s a legit condition and it even has its own (albeit in need of clarification) Wikipedia page.
I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been there for the past week or so.
I know for a fact a lot of people get this feeling when it comes to fitness because they tell me about it all the time. They decide to start working out and suddenly are faced with an overload of information about what they should do, how and when they should do it, and also how often. It’s intimidating! Why would you want to start something new when, according to the “experts,” you’re going to be doing it wrong anyway?
Seriously: Is cardio bad or good (it’s a controversy!)? How hard and how often should you work out (another controversy!)? Are you doing the right strength-training exercises and are you doing them properly (another controversy!)?
Personally I’ve set some pretty big goals for myself this year. Not necessarily in terms of my own workouts but in terms of the number of people I’m able to help feel and move better through their own workouts. I love training people one-on-one AND I want to help even more people find their inner groove through their outer movements.
So I’ve been studying, learning and generally cramming as much information into my brain as possible. That means taking classes, listening to podcasts while I’m doing housework or driving, reading tons of books/articles/blogs and just generally immersing myself in how to make my goals happen.
And that made something as simple as writing this blog post a big deal. You’d be surprised (or not) how complicated all this can be. Is the post SEO-friendly? Should I include a list of tips, because those posts are so popular? Do I have the proper tone? Am I conversational enough? Is the ratio of the words “me” to “you” appropriate? Do I sound like an “expert”? And there’s way more, but I don’t want to get into it because I might hyperventilate. (Right now I’m worried the use of the word “ass” in the headline is off-putting, but isn’t that donkey in the accompanying picture adorable enough to offset it?)
Today I decided: screw it. I’m writing a blog post because I want to write a blog post. It doesn’t have to be perfect. And also, I find that if I am feeling a certain way, someone else must be feeling that way too.
And now back to fitness
So how should you (re)start your fitness routine? (Because we’re always starting something new, aren’t we?)
Pick something you enjoy (or don’t hate). And do it. It’s that simple. And do it today, not next Monday. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.
You’ll feel better for starting, trust me. Cuz I feel better for writing this blog post. (Oh, and I had no idea I was gonna plug this when I started this post, but if you want a little motivation, join my Spring fitness challenge, which requires no $$ or equipment, but only 15 little minutes a day. We have a private Facebook group set up and it’s going to be fun. You can sign up here.)
And here’s that list I promised in the headline.
Top 2 Ways To Get Off Your Ass and Work Out
1. Stand up.
2. Go for a walk (or dance or bike or lift or do lunges and pushups).
I love a good HIIT bodyweight circuit between bouts on a cardio machine.
High-intensity interval training circuits help beat boredom, they rev up results, they help with coordination and athleticism and I love competing with myself each time I do the workout by trying to beat my old time.
The periods on the cardio machine between the HIIT circuits let you rest and recover so that you’re ready to hit the next HIIT hard. I always find that by the third or fourth time on the cardio equipment, I’m sweating buckets and feeling great!
How to do this workout, which is aimed at the intermediate to advanced exerciser:
Warm up on a piece of cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stairs, bike) for 5-8 minutes. Get off the machine, perform the circuit, and then back on a cardio machine for 4-5 minute recovery period before repeating the circuit. Continue until you’ve done the circuit 3-4 times. Always finish with a cardio cool down to help your heart rate return to normal.
If something hurts, don’t do it!
This short and sweet circuit is designed to ramp up your cardiovascular fitness, just in time for the month of February.
Have you ever had an embarrassing “oopsie” moment while working out? You know, when you do a jumping jack, squat or other exercise and you end up having to run to the bathroom because you’re scared you’re going to (or maybe you did) pee your pants?
If so, you’re in good company: as many as 33 percent of women have this problem – and men experience it, too. I have clients who have told me they occasionally wear protection when they work out so that if they suddenly find themselves “oopsying,” they aren’t embarrassed.
Is pelvic floor weakness inevitable as we age and/or have kids? Not necessarily. However, the “do more kegels” approach doesn’t necessarily work. (What are kegels? Click here.)
There’s more to solving the issue of a weak urinary track, however. Check out this article I wrote for Experience Life Magazine that outlines some ways to help strengthen all of the muscles of your pelvic floor. Look at it this way: the “undercarriage” area is the bottom of your core. We work hard to strengthen our abs, our obliques and our butt/low back/hips, but we can neglect the underpinnings of it all. It’s an important area to include in your regimen.
Bonus: Doing squats as suggested can help not only with your form, but also help you target your glutes. That’s a good thing. 🙂
Here’s a challenge to keep you moving during the holiday season. Click to see it enlarged
Looking for a challenge to keep you on track during the holidays? Check out this one, which you can do almost anywhere if you have some basic equipment. It is designed to burn calories while also building strength and boosting energy. (Click the pic to see a larger version, and to get back here, click your browser’s “back” button.)
For the cardio, you can hop the treadmill, take a walk, ride a bike, or even do an exercise video. Take a class at the gym. Your choice! Have fun … and happy holidays.
(And as always: if something hurts, don’t do it, and if you’re new to exercising be sure to see your doc before taking up a new activity.)