Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days of fitness

I saw The Nester hosts a bunch of bloggers who are writing about the same topic for a month. I have gotten out of the groove of blogging - and I've always been all over the place. So I like this idea. My topic of choice is fitness. I believe it will stick with the majority of running but delve into the realms of nutrition, other fitness activities, sleep, and books - and who knows what else.

Getting started with fitness. As many of you know, I started my fitness journey weighing in at 193 pounds. That was my motivation...that and clothes not fitting. First thing you must do on your journey of fitness is find your motivation: tight clothes, doctor's concerns, not feeling in-shape, extra baby (or non-baby) weight. I think those are all good reasons to want to start a fitness journey.

Word of warning about weight. You cannot go by weight alone. You have to be sure that your "goal" weight is healthy. If you start off at a healthy weight and want to lose 20-30 pounds, that's unhealthy (most likely). Go online and check out your BMI, but again, don't totally go by your BMI. Those calculators suggest that my husband should weight 180 pounds - he would look awfully starved if he weighed only that. BMIs do not take into account your muscle or body build, so they are only one figure you should look at. I would suggest consulting with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

I did not have a goal weight when I initially started. I just wanted to lose weight. I began doing The Biggest Loser fitness DVDs (Boot Camp and Yoga) daily. I started to walk, pushing my kids in the stroller (I recommend a jogging stroller for ease).

Then, one day a few months into this routine, I was probably complaining about my lack of weight loss or something. My husband delicately suggested that I run to lose weight. So I did. I didn't start off with a lot - about 4-6 minutes (I walked for 30 minutes or so). I didn't start off fast - I ran about 13 minute miles. And then I just kept adding day by day. When people say they can't run, it's usually that they don't like to run. Running isn't easy! No fitness is easy! You huff and puff, especially at the start. And that's ok, you have to accept that. Wearing headphones makes that easier to withstand!

For you, it may not be running and that's ok. Walking works for some people. The elliptical or lifting weights or playing a sport. These are all very good options. Just pick something and stick with it! I've heard it takes 21 days to make a habit of something. So try it out.

While weight should not be your ultimate goal (health should be), it's nice when those unwanted inches and pounds start to shed. You feel better and lighter. And that's great. So is today the day you should start your health and fitness journey? I don't know, but the answer is probably yes.

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