Tag Archives: strength training

365 Challenge Day 136 – Revolution

3 Oct

40 Days to Personal Revolution Day 26

Shoot, I really procrastinated on starting my yoga tonight.  This is the first time I have put it off like this.  I may regret this in the morning, but I had really great yoga AND meditation sessions from 11:40pm to 1am.
Yoga: I did 40 minutes at home. Usually when I do this I take it pretty easy, I do gentle stretches, a lot of supine twists : ) But tonight, even though it was late, I was inspired to work on some strength. I went straight into dolphin and side planks, scorpion pose, head stand, some standing balancing poses, and lots and lots and LOTS of core. I probably did four times as many ab exercises as I usually do. The fact that I could do that many take a break, and do more, tells me that I don’t usually do enough!!
Meditation: I felt pretty energized after my yoga, so I decided to do 20 minutes of silent meditation. It was really great. I felt very centered and quiet.

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365 Challenge Day 3 – Strength

18 May

I’m pretty good at staying active, but I’m pretty terrible about going to the gym.  One of my goals for this year is to develop a regular strength training routine.  Today I went to the fitness room at the hotel, I used weights and worked the biceps, triceps, and pecs.  I also did some lunges and squats. (And 30 minutes on the elliptical, and will do sit-ups later today.)

I don’t want to be skinny.  I want to be healthy, and strong.  I’m doing pretty well with the healthy part, but have some work to do to build strength.

I have always been obsessed with health and nutrition, much to the annoyance of my grammar school friends!  I joined my first gym when I was 12, it was an all women’s gym, the machines all had shiny silver weights and were cushioned in hot pink.  That was kind of fun, they had a steam room, and a spa where I got a facial.  And it had a whole row of these fat shaking machines:

 

I’m not even kidding.

Then at 13 my mom signed me up at a real gym.  Also walking distance from my house.  Also an all women’s gym. But these women were seriously badass!  And they weren’t messing around, they were pumping some iron.  I learned a lot there, and was very impressed and inspired (not that I actually went very often.) I’m grateful that I learned from a young age that a woman can be sexy and feminine, and muscular, strong, and badass : )

I didn’t start really lifting weights and strength training until I was in my early twenties.  I got into a good routine of going to the gym everyday after work, I lost the freshman 15, and exercise became a daily habit that I kept up for many years.  I’d say between 23 and 29 I was in pretty great shape.  And then…

I remember the day I went to the gym as I always did, lay down on the mat to start with some stretches, and thought, maybe I’ll just stay here…  I was probably 2 months pregnant, not even showing yet, but really feeling the effects of the hormones, and of going cold-turkey off of coffee, I was exhausted.  Then I had a baby.  Then I had a baby and a toddler…  Luckily I didn’t have any trouble losing the pregnancy weight, mostly through diet and breastfeeding.  But I never got back into a good strength training routine.

For many years I have been in a good routine of walking about 3 miles a day, so like I said, I feel healthy.  But I have missing two things: strength training (including core), and cardio.

strong-is-the-new-sexy

photo credit: theaipaproject.com

Now that I’m in my 40s, I am really feeling the effects of muscle loss.  I realize that if I don’t actively take steps to counteract the muscle loss it will really be down hill from here.  My core muscles have gotten weak which has lead to back pain.  My knees feel weaker which I notice even just sitting and getting up from a chair (yikes! that’s scary!) And my arms, well, that’s mostly for vanity, I would like them to look stronger : )  I also have injured myself many times in yoga because my flexibility is disproportionate to my strength so I over extend the tendons.

It’s hard for me to make myself go to the gym.  I love to walk, love to go to dance class, even love to go to Zumba.  I don’t love going to the gym and pushing on the machines, but when I do it, when I can make myself go, I don’t actually dislike it either.  So this is going to require a bit more discipline, and hopefully when I start to see some results the motivation will take care of itself.