Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Energy: The Chicken and The Egg of Fitness

I hear it all the time as a personal trainer from prospective clients, "I just don't have the energy to workout." My response every time is, "exercise gives you more energy." Client replies, "But how am I supposed to get the energy to workout and get started?"

What came first: the chicken or the egg?  

You need energy to workout, but how do you workout with no energy?

Most of know we need to exercise on a regular basis, not just for weight loss, but for improved health and to strengthen our cardiovascular system.  Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S, and the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate cardiovascular activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of both.  That's only 25 minutes a day, 6 days a week of moderate exercise: bike riding, walk/jogging, circuit training, HIIT training, etc.

First, let's understand how exercise gives you energy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores."  Makes sense, right?
But, what if it's a struggle for you to find any more energy to start a fitness program?  You know you need to exercise, but between work, school, the kids, volunteer activities, your spouse, etc, you are wiped.

Here's a few tips to help get you started:

1. Start small - don't go into fitness 'all or nothing.' Pick something you can do for 10-15 minutes a day.  A walk, a bike ride, etc.  This doesn't have to happen in a gym.  I live in Florida where it's almost impossible to exercise outside in the summer unless you get up really early.  But, if you can make it work, do it.  

2.  Make a date with yourself - I put my workouts in my calendar. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are circuit training days.  Tuesday and Thursday are straight cardio. Saturday is a run or a boot camp.  Sunday is rest (or maybe shopping LOL).  Walking around Target does not feel like exercise to me!  Making an appointment signifies that fitness is an important part of your day. You schedule doctor appointments, activities for your kids and many other things.  Make fitness a priority, no matter how little time you have.

3.  Pick a schedule you look forward to - remember earlier I said to start small?  Start out with two days a week of an activity that a) gets your heart rate up and b)that you enjoy.  A good rule of thumb is that if you can hold a conversation without pausing for breath, you need to work a little harder.  Slowly build up to 6 days a week of moderate activity for 25 minutes.  It might take you 3 months.  Keep going.  You're improving your health and heart function.

4. Let go of comparison - President Teddy Roosevelt famously said, "comparison is the thief of joy." Teddy was a smart guy.  Do the best you can do, right where you are at this moment, with what you have today.  Someone will always be "better" than you: thinner, more fit, prettier, better at time management, etc.  Just do you.  You are awesome.

5. Any exercise is better than none at all - if you planned to do 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym, but your boss held you at the end of the day for a project and now you only have 10 minutes before having to pick up your kids at daycare, than do your best work in 10 minutes.  Always have a back up plan.  Here's a quick, 10 minute total body workout that will rev your heart rate and boost your body's fat burning abilities:

30 seconds of jumping jacks
10 bodyweight squats
30 seconds of high knees
5 push-ups (modified or regular)
30 seconds of squat jumps
15 crunches
30 seconds of simulated jump rope
5 walking lunges 
30 seconds running in place
-Repeat as many times as you can in 10 minutes

6.  You are worth it - I know it's tough.  You have a lot of responsibilities. But trust me, you will be a better caretaker and provider for all the important people in your life when you carve out 30 minutes for yourself.  

One more thing...if you still find yourself needing a boost, please message me.  We can talk privately.  I offer free phone consultations to help you get started on your journey.

I was NEVER a supplement person, other than the occasional protein powder after a heavy strength workout. Then, I found SPX Nutri-Thin.  It helped me lose an additional 18 lbs and kick my coffee habit (even though I get up at 4 a.m.)  It gives me energy all day without the jitters. It's all-natural, organic and full of B vitamins.  I take it every day, as does my husband and many of my personal training clients.  If you'd like to hear more about it, please visit getspx.com.  

Hope this info helps you.  Now, get moving!

Coach Stephanie

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