Working on My Fitness

Staying Fit

Today I’m going to share my fitness routine.  As a mom of two active toddlers, I don’t have a lot of time to just pop over to the gym whenever I want.  So, I have to get creative.  Typically I am able to go to the gym twice a week.  Because our gym doesn’t offer childcare, I go there after the kids go to bed, or when the grandparents are watching them.

My overall goal right now is not focused on loosing weight.  Instead, I’m concentrating on building muscle, reducing stress, and increasing flexibility.  I’ve realized that a lot of weight loss has more to do with eating anyway, although I’m sure there is an expert out there who will argue the opposite is true.  Isn’t that the problem with nutrition today?  Everyone has a different opinion, and it’s hard to know the facts.  So instead of worrying about what others think and say, I’m sticking with what works for me and my life.  After all, we are all unique in our genetic make-up, lifestyles, and fitness goals.

Below is an overview of my fitness routine.

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BUILDING MUSCLE

Kettle Bells

When I can’t make it to the gym, we have a couple of Kettle Bells at home that I’ve been using lately.  They are one of the best ways to strengthen your core, which is the part of my body that needs the most work.  It looks pretty silly, so I am glad that I can do these at home where nobody can see!  There are 3 different exercises that I use, and I use them interchangeably.

  1. The Swing: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.  Hold the KB with knees bent, and KB between your legs.  Then, project the KB to the shoulder-height only and swing it back and forth like that 5-10 times.  You can do as many sets as you feel comfortable with.  But start small.  This will hurt the next day.
  2. The Goblet Squat: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.  Hold the KB with knees bent, and the KB by your chest.  Then, stand up, keeping the KB by your chest.  Repeat 5-10 times.
  3. The Strict Press: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.  Hold the KB with your right arm with elbow bent and KB near your shoulder.  Then, lift the KB all the way up.  Repeat this 5-10 times.  Then when you are done with the right, move onto the left arm and repeat the steps above.

Weight Lifting

  1. Ab Circuit: Our gym has a section where there are machines that concentrate on building abdominal muscles.  Typically, I do this once a week after cardio.
  2. Legs: My legs get most of their muscle-building from the elliptical machine, but sometimes I will use the leg-press, leg extension, leg curl, and the thigh abductors.

With any weight lifting, it’s important to remember to give your body at least 48 hours of rest in between workouts.  Your muscles need time to repair before using them again.

DECREASING STRESS/INCREASING FLEXIBILITY

Yoga

I love Yoga!  I used to get tension headaches daily, and my neck and shoulders were always tense.  Yoga has helped relieve the tension!  I hardly have headaches anymore!  It’s also been great for my back.  I was injured almost 15 years ago during swimming class by doing the butterfly stroke.  The fibers in my lower back muscles tore and didn’t repair causing stress on my spine and other muscles in my back.  The damage continued, and eventually a disc herniated causing excruciating pain.  I went to physical therapy, and it was better for a while.  But when I would do too much, or too little, my back would flare up.  The increase in exercise as a whole has kept this pain at bay, but yoga has been a vital part of preventing my herniated disc from becoming an ongoing issue.

I’m currently loving my app called SWORKIT for yoga workouts.  It had amazing ratings for a reason!  Highly recommend getting the app in general.  They have a whole bunch of exercises to choose from.

 

My sweet little 3-year-old Ella got her own yoga mat recently and has been doing yoga with me for many months now.  It is the cutest thing.

Cardio

As I mentioned before, I use the elliptical at the gym.  Typically I will burn about 200 calories in 15 minutes.  The most important thing I’ve learned about having an effective elliptical workout, is not to keep doing the same thing every time!  You’ll hit a plateau if you do.  It’s not supposed to be an easy work-out.  If you’re not tired and sweating by the end, you’re doing it wrong.  The reason I believe it gets a reputation for being easy is because it’s low-impact.  Treat it like running, push yourself, and the results will speak for themselves.  I chose the elliptical because with my herniated disc, running would only aggravate the injury.

 

That’s a wrap you guys!  I hope this was helpful in some way.  I’m not an expert, and my body isn’t perfect, but I have noticed a big difference in my mental and physical health since implementing these types of exercises into my routine.

I would love to hear what you’re doing at home, or at the gym?  Are you struggling to maintain a routine? Are you frustrated with the lack of results?  How has fitness improved your life?

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