Body Pump

Fall Into Fitness

I love Fall! I skip the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (gross) and the Pumpkin Beer (even grosser) but I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and cooler weather. I love the fall leaves and crisp air. And I love getting re-focused on my fitness goals.

For me, I tend to gain weight in the summer time and lose weight in the winter time (kind of the opposite for most people). Part of that is summer BBQs and vacations and indulging. And part of that is that in the summer time my fitness switches to the outdoors–hiking, biking, running. So lots of cardio and less weight lifting. Once the weather turns bad, I move my workouts indoors and focus on weight lifting.

Maybe you are the same. Or maybe you are ready to make a change in your life and want to kick start the plan before the mad-rush of January 1st!

So no more excuses! Here are some ideas on how to get started (or restarted) on your path to fitness!

Schedule It

If you are new to fitness or trying to get back on the bandwagon after a break, I think the best way to get into the habit of working out is to schedule it. I’ve done this since the beginning. I schedule my workouts in my Google Calendar like appointments that can’t be missed! It makes it a lot harder to skip the workout!

I know a lot of people say “never miss a Monday” because it sets the mood and motivation for the week. I kind of agree with that. But if it’s not your thing, maybe Mondays are the hardest day of the week for you, make your workout week start on Tuesday. Maybe you aren’t a morning person–schedule your workouts during lunch time, or go after work if you can. Figure out what works for you and what you will stick with, and do it!

Fit It In When You Can

Sometimes you just don’t have time for an hour long sweat session. In the past, I would have tried to make it happen no matter what, but since I had my son and went back to work full time, I am finding it harder to make that happen. Weekends are my long workout times because I do have more time. But during the week I just don’t anymore. I work long hours and when I get home I have about an hour or so to spend with my baby before he goes to bed. So I fit in my week day workouts during my lunch break at work. It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than nothing! And if you are really short on time, try interval/HIIT training or kettle bell training.

I have access to a shower at work, so that makes it easier. I have a bag of toiletries that I keep at work (travel sized) and mini hair dryer. I keep some towels at work, too. All of that makes it easier to workout at lunch. If you don’t have access to a shower, my tip: BABY WIPES! You can clean up and freshen up before going back to the office.

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

I is for Intervals

Too Busy to Exercise

There are actually a lot of weight and body weight exercises you can do without belonging to a gym!

Injuries

I was talking to a friend recently who is dealing with an injury that is lingering. I suggested that she try and findĀ something she can do, if nothing else, for her mental health. I’ve been through too many injuries to count. I remember the worst, when I couldn’t run at all for months, I still had to find some kind of exercise I could do. That was when I started lifting weights. I needed some activity to maintain my fitness level and to help stave off depression from lack of activity. I focused on upper body weights and core and it made a huge difference!

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

W is for Walking

Try Something New

If I lived in a place where the weather was a little more predictable, I would totally sign up for a Turkey Trot type of race. I think it’s a great idea! Signing up for a 5k in the Fall is a great way to give you something to focus on, a goal to work towards.

Couch to 5k

It’s even better if you can get a friend your partner to sign up with you! Doing something like a Halloween costume 5k or Turkey Trot with a buddy makes it more fun. Even better if you can get that person to train with you. Having an accountability partner can do wonders to staying on track.

If running isn’t your thing but you are lacking motivation to do fitness on your own, sign up for a fitness class you’ve been curious about!

Food

Another way to get back on track for Fall is that clean up the diet. This is especially important this time of year before the holiday “eat everything bad” season starts! Here are a few of my favorite recipes for fall:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

West African Cashew Soup

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to get fit in the Fall?

Stronger Than I Think I Am

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What I love most about Suzanne’s weight programs she’s designed for me is the self confidence it gives me. I always always always leave the gym feeling stronger than I did when I walked in. It’s expected now. It makes me feel powerful and happy.

One of my favorite new moves that Suzanne sent me is the Weighted Plank Pulls. This move is HARD. Seriously. Not only are you doing a plank with only one hand, but you’re trying to stay in the same position while you pull the weight back and then forward again. This is a killer ab workout. My body is usually shaking by the last few reps!

Another new one for me is the Eccentric Incline Pushup. She has me doing this to “failure,” meaning you do the exercise as many times as you can before your muscles just give out. So far my “failure” for pushups is 10. I’m hoping as the weeks go on that number goes up a lot more.

She also suggested I start doing this triceps stretch during my cool down session. This isn’t a new move for me, but it’s definitely one I neglect. I am pretty good about stretching after my workouts now (too many injuries woke me up to that!) but for some reason I always forget to stretch the upper body too!

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The other night I went to Body Pump. I’ve been trying to go again once a week. In the last two months I’ve been half a dozen times or so. I’m not currently doing a program from Suzanne and just needed a change up in my workout routine and schedule. While it’s sometimes difficult for me to make it to class, I’m always glad I go. Even when I’m hobbling around for days afterwards!

So last night at Body Pump there was a new teacher and he was much harder than the others. I don’t know why, it’s basically the same routine every time, but for some reason it was more challenging. There were several moments in the class when my muscles were shaking and sweat was dripping down my forehead that I wanted to quit. He said “You came here for a reason, WORK IT!” And I reminded myself, of COURSE this is going to be hard, that’s why I’m here! The challenge is good for me mentally and physically. The difficult workout gets me out of my rut, pushes my body to the limits and it MAKES ME STRONGER.

The next night I went to Spin class. I went back a few weeks ago for the first time in over a year. The first time I had some knee discomfort–difficult to say if it was pain because I am so hyper sensitive now! I took a few weeks off from spin and went back again. I told the teacher before class that I might leave half way through and told her it was due to an injury. I hate leaving a class mid-way through because I feel like it’s rude and disruptive. She said that was okay.

The class was challenging but unlike last month, I took it easy and didn’t try to burn out right at the beginning of the class! The session was all hill climbs. I went easy on the resistance (I still added resistance, just not as much as I’d normally do) and there were a lot of standing climbs, which also helped. This time I made it through 45 minutes of class.

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As I left early the instructor said at least I made it longer than half way and she was right! I did what I could at the time and listened to my body when it was time to go. My knees were feeling okay during class, after class and the next day. I’m hoping that next time I go I can stay for the full hour!

Every day I get stronger and stronger. I can feel the weight lifting sculpting and shaping my body and as I walk around I can feel the difference it makes in my knees. Dare I say, my knees are getting happier?