Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fitness advice


I suscribe to a Jillian Michaels e-letter with fitness tips and the like.  Today's tip, 'Find A Parnet In Crime', is one I wholeheartedly DISAGREE with.  While it would be nice to think that a good friend or even a partner would train with you, I don't advise it, ESPECIALLY at the beginning.

See, a Mark-ism that I use to describe the negative effect on outside or influences that have little to do with your goal, as 'drag co-effiecnts', because that is what they are.  At the beginning, YOU are normally uncertain enough, whether it is at home or in a gym.  Sucking it up, means dealing with that uncertainty and overcoming it.  With a friend, you can laugh and joke yourself into NOT working out, and giving up before you tried to see what there is to it.  I know people laugh and tease.  When I was out running in the bitter cold, people would say TO ME that I must be crazy ...

... but now it is spring and when I wear a short sleeved shirt, they can SEE what I was doing running out in the cold ..!

IMO, if you can do a month worth of 'home training', which is about 8 to 12 sessions, you can start to really focus.  You may or you MAY NOT see any weight loss, and only you will notice if you are any firmer or more flexible.  That is why YOU have to suck it up.  Were you to get a good trainer, STICK WITH THEM, even if they seem unlike Bob or Jillian.  And don't go by what you SEE, go by what you can DO ... judge yourself against yourself.  Time for seeing how you stack up is a very long time away, so put that in the back of your mind.

Self-conscious?  Just look in that mirror, and see what it is you want to change about yourself.  Going into the gym or starting to walk in your neighborhood, you don't look like the person you want to look like.  But if you can't see that person in you at the start, and have belief in that the things you are doing will help you become that person, you are in a heap of trouble ...


It seems that I see what people need every day, for less than $150, you can start a COMPLETE home workout.  And working at it, you will see dividends.  At CVS drugstore, the one I use sells this dumbell set, going as heavy as twenty pounds for $39.99.  Get them, the right size exercise ball, and a couple of those fitness bands to use with them.  That is about another $25 bucks.  Get you at set of sweats and a short set from the local Walmart for around another $40.  Then come off $50 to buy you a nice pair of RUNNING sneaks to walk in.  Trust me on that, they are better than 'walking' shoes, if you are trying to get into shape.  But the thing about them, is they have to be EXCLUSIVE, just walking/running.  I have three pair of sneaks, a super crap three year old pair, a just crap on year old pair, then I have my good running shoes.  You don't have to have more than three pair of shoes, and you already have some now.  Go buy that new pair, and put them aside.  Wear your old ones until they fall apart, then start rotating your purchases appropriately.

Eventually, you will want to try some better fitness shoes, as you will be getting in better shape.  I personally think cross trainers are to fitness shoes, what 'bottled water' is to the soft drink industry, a cash cow that essentially is useless.  Get a pair of running shoes, and a pair of low cut court shoes.  And if you are STILL having problems with spending almost $80 bucks (cause once you have started getting more fit, you are going to be more demanding on your feet), then make your secondary pair the el cheapo brand.  But find a good fit in a running shoe that is a little better.  The Nike Air Pegasus is a good shoe, as is the Adidas Response.  But New Balance, not only is American made, they come in widths.  I don't care for Reeboks' personally, and if choosing Nike or Adidas, go with Adidas.  Like the New Balance, it fits better.


There is NOTHING wrong with the sit-up (or crunch, there is a difference ... beginners do crunches), the push up or the side-straddle hop (jumping jacks). In fact, starting with a single set before you walk your mile, then finishing up with another set, is just what the doctor ordered, 3-4 times a week.

Now this is just to start, to get used to making your body work.  Stay with it until you can increase what you are doing.  Get that stuff and do some more stuff at home.  With dumbells, you can do split squats,shoulder press, curls and chest stretches.  You get a decent work out with those bands on the ball, and because there isn't any 'weight', don't use the traditional 'reps' count ... start with a minimum of 20 ... and work from there, pushing yourself safely.

Using the fitness ball for crunches forces your body to balance itself to work.  That is a side benefit from working the bands on the ball, or doing the dumbell curls, shoulder presses, and chest stretches on it too.

Don't forget to get some cardio in.  ANY cardio is good cardio, as long as it is continuous.  The reason 'housework' doesn't count, or walking half a block to Mom's house, is that for aerobic exercise to be effective, the half hour MINIMUM must be continous.


Yes, I know.  I don't talk about diet too much.  That is because I would be in a 'do as I say, not as I do' conundrum.  When I get to my Dad's and can enforce my own dietary needs, I will get into that.

Whew!  Lot of words to say nothing!  But for me, that is a good sign ... means I still wanna talk, still wanna communicate to the outside world ... and more importantly, I CAN ..!


lv2trnscrb said...

excellent advice, Mark; I'm going to print it out and put some of the weight lifting into effect after we move; I'm weak on that part of my training

I agree with you, I would rather work out by myself than with a partner; you go with a partner and its hard to get distracted and start talking and stop walking/working out


dougsbabygirl31 said...

I Love New Balance shoes. They are all that i will wear for sneakers. They fit so good and work with my feet, which are retarded, btw.LOL


mpnaz58 said...

I walk with a friend, and that makes me not only want to walk, but she holds me accountable and doesn't let me make excuses!  If I know I'm meeting her to walk, I make more of an effort to make it.  She is 20 years younger than me, so she sets the pace.  If she sees I'm becoming too winded, she'll slow it down.  Sometimes we do hills that kick our butt, but dang it feels good!  When I walk by myself, I do well, too, but I tend to push myself too hard, to the point of pain.  Your routeine proves that one has to want to get fit (I didn't say lose weight), to put forth the effort.  You do stairs at home, use chairs for props...they don't cost anything, cuz you already have them.  No excuses!
xoxo ~Myra

csandhollow said...

I am saving this piece.