Take Care Tuesday - Exercise, What Works...

Exercising is a part of my life.  I do it pretty much everyday of the week.  I allow myself to have a rest day on Sunday, where I do not schedule a workout.  But a lot of times as a family we will go on a little walk that day.  I am a strong believer that you need to schedule a time each day  that you are going to exercise and know before hand what you are going to do.  Scheduling is so important.  So, pick a time that is going to work best for you.  If you have children it could be before they wake-up if you find it hard to workout when they are awake.  If you work,  choose what is going to work for you, whether it be exercising before you leave for work or exercising when you get home. Just pick a time and keep with it.

Make a workout schedule.  It is so important to know what workout you are going to do and for how long you are planning on exercising.  Currently, I am doing a cardio kickboxing program which is on DVD, which has a schedule already for me.  This makes it so easy because I just follow that schedule that is already there.  But if you are not going to do a video, then make your own schedule.  I have found that works good for me, when I am not following a program, is I do some kind of sculpting or toning exercise three times a week.  I like to workout for at least an hour, so that is what I have planned for. Here is an example:
Monday- Cardio for 30 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), then Sculpting for 30 minutes (5 minute cool-down/stretch included)

Tuesday- Cardio for 50 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), Ab workout 10 minutes, 2 minute stretch

Wednesday- Cardio for 30 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), Toning for 30 minutes (5 minute cool-down/stretch included)

Thursday- Cardio for 50 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), Ab workout 10 minutes, 2 minute stretch

Friday- Cardio for 30 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), Sculpting for 30 minutes (5 minute cool-down/stretch included)

Saturday- Cardio for 50 minutes (5 minute warm-up included), Ab workout 10 minutes, 2 minute stretch

Different kinds of Cardio workouts: Kickboxing, Dance, Interval Training, Running, Walking on an incline, Biking, swimming laps or water aerobics, etc. (There are a lot of cardio videos out there, you can even find some free ones on the Internet.) I also think it is important to mix it up.  I have been doing this kickboxing program and feel that I am in pretty good shape. But I decided to go running the other day and my endurance was great, but I was sore after.  Different exercises use different muscles, so mix it up.

Sculpting can be done using weights or resistance bands. What I do when I am not in a program, is I use the different sculpting videos that I have and alternate with them.  So like on Monday I would do one and on Friday I would do another.

Toning can be used with resistance bands or not.  Pilates is a great way to tone.

Ab workouts... I love working my abs.  They do not take long to workout and get results.  It is best to work all of  the muscles in your abs.  So don't just do crunches for 10 minutes.  Mix it up and work every part.

I think the biggest thing is that you need to CHALLENGE your self!  If you are starting to think your exercise is easy then you need to step it up a bit.  If you are running and its a breeze, then run longer, or faster, or run on an incline.  Be intense in what ever you are doing, that is how you get results is when you give it your all.

Have a positive attitude.  If a workout is hard then say to yourself that you can do it.  Give yourself a little pep talk. Do not give up and say you can not do it or your too tired. When you accomplish something then be proud that you did it!  If you made it through a workout with out having to stop, be happy for yourself. If you ran a little longer then you did the day before, be happy for yourself.  If you are starting and you did your first workout, be happy for yourself!

Be persistent.  I sometimes get this attitude as I am finishing a program that I deserve a little break for doing such intense exercises for so long. This is when I get in trouble. I slack and then some muscle goes bye bye and some fat starts to come to visit and then it is like I have to start all over again.  So, being persist is crucial.  Yes, working out is difficult if you are pushing yourself, but the benefits are worth it.  So don't start to slack! be persistent and stick with it.

Make sure you are safe! As always check with your doctor before you start an exercise program.  If something starts to hurt and you feel injured then stop.  Nothing is worse then getting an injury and having to put working out on hold.  So be safe.

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