Saturday, February 07, 2009

Top Tips for Exercising

My pal, the Rotten Correspondent recently solicited advice on exercise routines. I started typing a comment that was so long, I realised I might as well turn it into my own post.

I've been working hard lately to exercise every day and lift weights three times a week. It's been going well, although a huge disruption right now has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works, but I think I'll only end up missing two to three days at most.

Here's my advice for exercising:
1.) Keep in mind that you don't have to go to the gym to exercise. I've been running up and down the long hallway in our house, for an hour each day. It's warm, dry, comfortable and the activation energy required is pretty low. (i.e. I don't have to go anywhere.)

2.) Whenever possible, do your workout as early as possible. I like to get it out of the way and keep myself from getting bogged down in excuses. Plus, there's a special sense of satisfaction from knowing you've done it, not to mention exercise-induced endorphins.

3.) Whenever possible, put your exercise clothes on as soon as you wake up. I find that this helps set my expectations and get my mind ready to exercise.

4.) Figure out what works for you - exercise should be enjoyable or you're not going to do it. I hate riding my bike, but I love running. Once upon a time, I had a personal trainer who said I had a bad attitude because I would ask for alternate weight lifting exercises when he gave me one I didn't like. That's not a bad attitude - that is a practical attitude. If you can skin a cat several different ways, you sure as hell can find an abs exercise that doesn't make your back and neck feel awful.

5.) Yogi Berra once said that baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. Exercise is the same way. If you can figure out how to occupy your mind while you exercise, the physical part will take care of itself. Laurie likes to exercise with Mr. Darcy. I like to exercise with Coach Taylor, Matt Saracen, and Tim Riggins. (Yep, that's right - I've loaded up Friday Night Lights on Peter's old IPod and watch it as I trot up and down my corridor.)

Happy exercising!


At 7 February 2009 at 19:46, Blogger Babaloo said...

Good tips! Touching a sore point of mine there. I'm doing OK at eating sensibly lately. Now all I need is to get some exercise in. An hour of walking the dogs daily just isn't enough.

Pity I don't have a long hallway. (If you saw ours you'd laugh!) But I'll come up with something.

At 7 February 2009 at 20:39, OpenID Primal Sneeze said...

You said a bad word - "exercise". Go wash your mouth out with chocolate.

At 8 February 2009 at 00:19, Blogger laurie said...

excellent! i agree about doing it early in the day. but i can't put on my exercise clothes first thing, because first thing i have to put on 25 pounds of clothes to take the dogs for their walk.

THEN i exercise.

though i really do like primal's answer, too. i think i might go take his advice....

At 8 February 2009 at 00:20, Blogger laurie said...

ps that link to my darcy post isn't working....

At 8 February 2009 at 03:34, Blogger Kaycie said...

I used to get up early to exercise. Then my husband decided he should exercise every day, and I'm glad. He's lost 40 pounds and brought his resting heart rate down by 20 points. However, he's using our equipment when I'd normally exercise, and I have a terrible time motivating myself to exercise later in the day. I don't have enough time before I drop the little guy off at school, and once I'm out of the house, I like to run errands. Then I come home, it's time for lunch and so it goes.

A healthy husband might be worth it, though. He's just going to have to be understanding about the size of my ass!

At 8 February 2009 at 04:12, Blogger Career Guy said...

I would think the dogs would go nuts when you were doing your hallway thing.

There is a PE class in the weightroom at work when I usually lift, and they hog the equipment, so I switched to swimming three times a week and lifting on alternate days. Half an hour each time. I feel great, sleep well on swimming days.

At 8 February 2009 at 13:56, Blogger -Ann said...

Babaloo - You could dash up and down the stairs. :) You have stairs, don't you?

Primal - That sounds like a fantastic idea. I better get right on that.

Laurie - Yeah, I do have to put something on over my shorts and t-shirt or I'd freeze. Thanks for the tip on the link. It should be fixed now.

Kaycie - I'd find that very frustrating, but you're right, a healthy husband is important.

Dad - I went swimming today and thought of you. Toby never cared if I ran around the house, he'd just lay there and watch me. I don't trust Callie though, since she could knock me right over. I usually put the dogs in another room and shut the door.

At 8 February 2009 at 16:14, Blogger the rotten correspondent said...

You have a great outlook on it all, and I agree with everything you've said. I also need to exercise early in the day or it doesn't get done. But not the crack of dawn or I simply won't do it.

And a little distraction never hurts. I don't know what I'd do without the iPod. On a really happy note, I ran a mile straight Friday just to see how my ankle would react. I wasn't sure I could, after six weeks of forced couch potato-dom. But I did, and it felt great. I acutally forgot I was running and went over the mile I was attempting.

And the ankle? Not a twinge. Woo Hoo!!

At 8 February 2009 at 16:27, Blogger -Ann said...

RC - Good for you! I'm glad the ankle is holding up.

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