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You Are Not Alone

elliptical

I have been on an amazing roll as far as portion control and exercise, I can honestly say I am very proud of myself!  I’ve tried all the crazy machines at the gym to try and switch things up, but I will always end up on the elliptical.  The elliptical runner burns major calories and it’s heaven on your joints while feeling natural to my running gate. If I can’t get to the gym, I do yoga or Pilates at home or if it’s above 30 degrees out I’ll go for a walk outside.  I am in the beast zone!  If I don’t get at least 30 minutes of cardio, I feel off.  Naturally I am worried about my addictive behavior and exercise becoming an obsession as I attain the endorphin “high”.  I also fear falling off the wagon as my social and work schedule pick up.

The thing that keeps me hanging on is that I am not alone.   Knowing that there are others out there who don’t have time to spend hours working out at home or at the gym puts my mind at ease.  It’s been refreshing to learn about others who may fall off the wagon with their portion control as well, but are encouraged and supported to get back on.  I am one of many who struggles with knowing when enough is enough.  Having a clean slate mindset has helped me stop beating myself up for losing control once in a while, and start fresh the next day.  When others confess to me that they overindulged, I’m the first one to not make a big deal out of it.  No judgement zone here!  You are not a horrible person for losing control.  Knowing you overdid it is the first step to getting back on track, but you must want to get on that healthy track or it can just become a vicious unhealthy cycle.  But always know, you are not alone and tomorrow is a new day!

My Saturday 1.5 Hour Gym Visit

This morning I woke up without excessive muscle pain but enough ache to know I did some good work at the gym yesterday!  Yesterday was a lazy overcast day but eventually I was able to drag myself away from my two adorable cuddly cats to get to the gym and burn off some of this anxiety I’ve been feeling lately.  I was unable to get to the gym during the work week, but instead chose to do yoga in the evenings when possible, also hoping to help with this very emotionally exhausting week.  It helped a little, but I am bummed I wasn’t able to make an effort to at least spend a half hour or an hour at the gym at least once for weight training and intense cardio.

Instead of beating myself up about it, I made it a point to get to the gym this weekend for a low impact workout since it’s a new beginning for me as far as resurrecting my gym routine.  For those who may be curious as to what I did this weekend when time was not so much an issue, here is Saturday’s routine.

  1. 30 minute elliptical for cardio
  2. 30 minute weight machine rotation for strengthening
  3. 10 minute ab work for core strengthening and sculpting
  4. 20 minute stretching and non-machine strengthening for cool down

ELLIPTICAL

  • Ran 25 minutes on level 12 with a 5 minute cool down.
  • My ultimate goal is 45 minutes 3-4x per day alternating different programs and increasing level tension over time.

WEIGHTS
I normally do 3 sets of 12 reps using low weights that still tired my muscles by the third rep for each exercise listed below, resting a couple of minutes between sets. The amount of weight you decide to start lifting depends on many factors, please ask a trainer at the gym before trying to lift 200 pounds your first, or even second, try.

Click on each image below to be taken to another website for more detailed exercise instructions.

  • Back

              Rear Deltoid Flies: targets posterior deltoid, secondary rhomboids, trapezius, triceps

Machine-Rear-Deltoid-Fly

             Lower Back Extension: targets lumbar, secondary glutes

Machine-Lumbar-Extension

  • Chest

             Seated Chest Presses: targets pectorials, secondary deltoid and triceps

chest presses

  • Glutes/Legs

             Seated Leg Press: Targets quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Added padded toe raises that targets your calves.

Inclined-seated-one.legged-press.Leg-press

Leg Press

calf lifts

calf lifts

  • Shoulders

             Lateral Raise: targets deltoids.

machine-lateral-raise

AB WORK

  • Main abdominals
  1. Basic Crunches: 2 reps of 25, targets all abdominal muscles.abdominal_crunch
  2. Abdominal Leg lifts: 2 reps of 25, targets lower abdominals

    core leg lift

  • Obliques
  1. Broom Stick Trunk Twists, 50 twists with 12 lb. barjorge_broomstick_twist
  2. Side Reaches: 2 sets of 25, lift up engaging your obliques and reach towards your feet from side to side.

side touches

STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING

I love to stretch!  I stretch whenever I can throughout the day, at work, at home, before bed, in the morning.  I’m sure I look completely ridiculous, but the feeling of a good stretch trumps embarrassment by passersby. Stretching at the end of my gym routine is a blissful experience.

  • Pigeon stretch: targets glutes, piriformis, and helps loosen tight hips (an ongoing issue of mine).pigeon
  • Lumbar Extension stretch: targets lumbar spine and abdominals.Lumbar-Extension-Stretch-WEB
  • Sitting Side Reach stretch: targets areas of your abs, back, and legs.

side reach stretch

  • Side Leg Lifts: 25 reps each leg, targets abductor muscles, glutes, and hips.  This is my back to basics Jane Fonda move. Side-Lying-Leg-Lift

    jane fonda

  • Cat Stretches: 25 slow reps, targets lower back and abdominals.

cat stretches

mew. :3

photo by James Hamilton

photo by James Hamilton

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