I posted on Facebook about how I have changed up my exercise routine, and that it's actually SHORTER and BETTER, and I had a few people ask for specifics.
When I find something that is BETTER in any way when it comes to nutrition, fitness, natural products, etc I find that I want to tell everyone about it. And that is how this blog came about. I hope you all continue to make positive changes in your lives and I hope that I am helping!
Back to today's topic -- Fitness. In the past I have mainly been doing workout videos. 20-30 minute videos that work on strength training and cardio. This is a great way to get in shape, but the problem for me was that I didn't feel like I was really challenging my muscles. I felt like I got in a workout, but my muscles were rarely sore. Not that this is an indication of a good or bad workout; I just wasn't feeling it much anymore. I think a problem with a lot of the videos I was doing was that there just weren't enough repetitions of any one exercise, and due to the nature of the moves I wasn't able to use heavy enough weights and still perform the exercises correctly.
Side note: ***IMPORTANT*** It is absolutely necessary to do strength training if you want to lose weight, change your body, tone your muscles, etc. I think that high intensity interval cardio training is probably very good if you do it safely. I do not think that going at one speed on a cardio machine is enough for anyone. Now, I am not a trainer; I don't have any formal education in nutrition or fitness. However, both nutrition and fitness have been very important to me for at least 12-15 years. I learn as I go. My husband Jeff, on the other hand, has had extensive training in fitness and if he says it's all about strength training, then it's all about strength training.
My favorite way to do this workout is with a friend, walking around the park with our kids in strollers, and stopping along the way to perform the exercises. Of course that takes longer, but it's so enjoyable! But my schedule doesn't always allow for that, so I have been working out in the morning before the rest of the craziness of the day hits, or in the afternoon when Grant (my 2 year old) is napping.
Here's what you'll need:
- hand weights - as heavy as you can manage and still perform the exercises correctly. I use 7, 10, or 12 lb weights and I always use the heavier ones for leg exercises
- tabata timer - a tabata session is 4 minutes long. You exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and do that for 8 cycles (4 minutes) . I either do one exercise the full 4 minutes, or switch between 2 different exercises. There are free tabata apps.
- timer (most likely found on your phone)
Sample Exercise Routine
Tabata session for each of the following:
- squats with heavy weights 4 mins
- push ups/rows alternating 4 mins
- deadlifts with heavy weights 4 mins
1 minute each of the following:
- stationary lunges (don't switch) 1 min
- plank 1 min
- stationary lunges (opposite leg forward) 1 min
- plank 1 min
- overhead press (I do one at a time and switch halfway through) 1 min
- bird dogs (I switch halfway through) 1 min
- bench press 1 min
And that is it! A 19 minute workout. I often do 4 tabata sessions and stop at 16 minutes. The idea is that you are doing tried and true exercises, with more repetitions and added weight, which will get you better results in a shorter period of time. And when we're all busy and find it incredibly difficult to make time to exercise, doesn't this sound doable??
If you don't know what these exercises are, of course you can google them. But I know there will be questions, so ask away!
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