Health and Fitness

Time to Step it Up!

Well my friends, it is that time of year again.  If you can believe it or not we are now officially just over a month out from Tough Mudder – Seattle!  I have got to be honest with you here… because that is what I do; I am not feeling nearly as prepared or strong as compared to previous years.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have been working out consistently, eating relatively well, and working on my cardio.  However, this time last year, I had several miles of running worn into my shoes, I had already gone through one full strength training circuit, I had 2 hiking trips under my belt, and I was intensely focused on hand and grip strength exercises.  Whew!  That’s preparation.  This year, not so much… and I’m starting to feel the pressure.  But do you think that means that I am going to give up?  NO WAY!  I never give up.  What it does mean though?  I need to get to work!

So… for the month of August I am doing the Nike+ Bodyweight only program.  (You may have seen that I have written about the Nike+ program before.  It is an app that you can choose which program you want to complete, your exercise level and boom – it creates your program for you!)  That was an unpaid plug by the way.  This is one of my favorites for building endurance, strength, and stability.  I have two hiking trips planned and I’ll be running with my kids next weekend for their Kids Obstacle Challenge run.  It is definitely not Rocky’s pre-fight training ritual… but it should do the trick.  I’m hopeful that lower temperatures are coming in the near future and I can get some running in as well.  Not going to run around in 90+ degree heat, just not going to do it.  That’s not for me.

I believe that staying fit at all, or sticking with a program through to the end is always a challenge.  Life is just jammed packed with so much other stuff.  Lucky for me, training for an event or something you are passionate about is always a great motivator… and I would guess that it is for most people.  But what to do when you are stuck?  Or just want to start getting into better shape?  I have some great ideas to help you get started:

#1 – Visualize yourself the way that you want to be.  See yourself at your goal weight, the way that you will look in your favorite swimsuit, or that new outfit that you really want to buy.  Do this every single day!  The more that you see yourself fit, the easier it will be to get there.

#2 – Have a plan and write it down.  Don’t just decide one day to start something new.  Make sure whatever program or classes you are taking fit into your life and schedule.  Post your workout on a large wall calendar where you can see it every day, or set notifications in your phone to remind you what you are doing that day and the time.

#3 – Turn your plan into Action!  You absolutely won’t make any progress if you don’t do the work.  If you need to modify or make adjustments to your plan – feel free.  But don’t skip a session unless you have too.   Once you let one slide, it just makes it easier to do again.  So hold yourself accountable.

#4 – Share your success!  Tell your friends about it, post it on Facebook, or just talk to your family about it at the dinner table.  Doing this confirms the great feelings that you have and will encourage you to keep going.

#5 – Schedule rest days.  You need down time and your muscles need time to recover.  I recommend 2 each week; one mid-week and one day on the weekend.  You can do only one, but then, make one of your workout days less intense… like yoga or go for a run and do stretching.

#6 – Celebrate!  When you achieve a goal, congratulate yourself.  Go out for a nice lunch or buy yourself some new workout gear.  Whatever motivates you and doesn’t break the bank, of course.

Well, I don’t have any time left to mess around because I have to get to it.  So good luck to you with whatever you are doing and I wish you great success!  Stay healthy, committed, fit, and true to yourself.

Cheers! 🙂

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