My Road To Health: Part III

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So where did we leave off…. :D

My Road To Health: Part 1

My Road To Health: Part II

2. Get Excited About Your Sweat

Yes, your sweat. It’s a good thing (unless you are standing in front of a crowd about to give a presentation, that is). What feels better than getting into the shower after a long sweat session of your favourite workout?

Empirical research demonstrates that people who are successful in maintaining weight loss get about 60 minutes of moderate exercise (or 30 minutes of intense exercise) daily. Sixty mins. of moderate exercise might be walking, while 30 mins. of intense exercise might be running of stair climbing. I know, I know it seems like a lot. I have to do this for life?  Well, umm, that depends on whether you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle or just be able to fit into your skinny jeans by the weekend. I prefer the former. What I have learned throughout this amazing educational experience (because learning about my health has really been nothing short of an amazing process!), is that you need to ask yourself if you are willing to commit to healthy behaviours for life. When you lose ‘x‘ amount of pounds, you don’t get a ‘get out of gym’ free card and magically have the perfect weight the rest of your life. It takes daily commitment and a will to nurture your body. Sound overwhelming? Sorry, I can be a bit dramatic at times.

Now before you go deleting Oh She Glows from your blogroll or favourite’s list, wait. Stop right there. I have something that makes this a lot less overwhelming! What is it, you ask? No, it’s not Skinny Water. And no, it’s not The Cabbage Soup Diet. Or the Power Glide.

What you need is to find a way to get excited about your daily sweat sessions! I will be the first to admit it isn’t always easy. Especially, when you are sacrificing an hour’s sleep in a warm bed in the wintertime. Do you really think I was excited about going to the gym this morning when it was a frigid, God-knows-how-cold temperature in my condo? You can beat yourself up and drag yourself to the gym, but when it comes down to it, you need something else- a motivating factor– to hold your dedication day in and day out. If you can find a way to get excited about exercise you will not only feel better physically, but you will notice that exercise infiltrates into every part of your life, casting a sunny glow over your whole being.

Here are my reasons for being excited about my sweat:

1) Challenging goals. No, the same monotonous 30 min. treadmill workout everyday for the rest of your life doesn’t look appealing to me either! Expand your exercise horizons, mix it up! Challenge yourself! I make sure that I don’t do the same workout for longer than a couple of weeks. If I have been doing the Elliptical at intensity 7 for a couple of weeks, it is time to make it harder. The body is extremely good at becoming efficient. I recently set a goal of completing a half marathon. Now, my indoor treadmill workouts have a whole other meaning (aside from winter captivity!). I no longer see my treadmill workouts as restricting (i.e., I can’t go outside because of the cold), but I see it as a catalyst to improving my conditioning over the winter as I train for outdoor Spring running. Make a list on Sunday nights of the different workouts you will do that week. Write down your goals.

Find a way to challenge yourself. Like hockey, but never did anything about it? Sign up for a pick-up women’s league. Always wanted to learn how to ski? Hit the slopes with a few other beginners. Did you love when Jennifer Lopez trained for the triathlon? Sign up for a mini triathlon! Convinced that you are ‘clutzy‘ and could never get the hang of yoga? Try a beginners class and surprise yourself! Who knows, if you like it, you could set a goal of trying an intermediate yoga class in as little as 1 month!

When you challenge yourself and find yourself surpassing your goals (oh, and you will), your confidence increases, not only in the domain of exercise, but in all areas of your life. You will walk with a little bounce to your step after that scary aerobics class or the new speed run. The question is- what would you do if you thought you could do anything? Because this is how true athletes think. There are no boundaries on what you are capable of, unless you set them yourself.

2) Accessorize your workouts:

I always have to have something fun when I workout. A chocolate bar, you ask? Crap, are there cameras in my gym!? All joking aside, I like bringing my favourite magazine with me to the gym to read. I also like loading up my ipod with some great new songs and pumping the tunes (Womanizer is still in my head from this morning’s workout!). I also like new gizmos to motivate me (Heart Rate Monitor or Pedometer will do the trick) and keep the workouts interesting (Workout DVD’s are on my Christmas list!). And let’s never underestimate the power of looking good when you sweat. Yes, fitness wear can add a little spice to your daily workout! Show off that bod and give yourself a little wink in the mirror. You lookin damn fine today baby!  You know you do! It’s funny how even just changing up what you wear can inspire your sweat session. I had been wearing the same pants and few raggedy-old t-shirts for a long time just out of habit. I realized that I had some old workout tops that I had forgotten about and were still nice. Just putting on a new shirt made that workout feel special and new.

3) Find the Time of Day that works for you:

I can’t tell you how many times I have read articles about the best time of day to workout. Let me tell it to you straight up. The best time of day for you to workout is the one that you enjoy the most! If you hate early mornings, then early morning workouts probably won’t make you giggle with glee when your alarm goes off in the mornings. I know many people who workout much more effectively in the evening or afternoon. Do what works for you! I found out early on that I was a morning exerciser. If I don’t get my workout in in the morning, I lose my energy to do it. Everyone is different. Do what makes you happy and do what you will most be able to stick with for the long haul. I know what you are thinking, “‘x’ article told me that if I worked out on an empty stomach first thing in the morning I would burn more fat!’ Possibly true. But the difference that this would make is negligible. What matters is that you are finding an exercise time that works for you. Don’t worry about what the latest fitness article is telling you is best.

Once you find this time, pencil it in! Make exercise a habit in your life. You wouldn’t think of not brushing your teeth now would you?

Ok, that wraps up this segment of My Road to Health! I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings so far. I look forward to reading your comments and questions!

How do you get excited about exercise?

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 If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

~Albert Einstein

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 girlrunningaround November 18, 2008

What a great post! I want to go workout right now! Thanks for sharing all this great advice. Your blog is really keeping me motivated at working towards my goals.

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2 VeggieGirl November 18, 2008

You’re so inspiring!! Love these thoughtful posts.

I LOVE exercise because of how I feel after my workouts – energized, strong, revitalized, and just all-round GOOD :-D

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3 Meghann November 18, 2008

Thank you for your wonderful insight on exercise! It is something I really struggle with. I know I need to start exercising to continue losing weight the healthy way, but it’s so hard with the time of year and not belonging to a gym. I need to ask for some workout dvds for Christmas too :)

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4 Kaneil November 18, 2008

Angela, you are great! Thanks for the wonderful post. I have only been reading for a little over a week and I am hooked. I went for a job after work today and sprinted a few times throughout – thanks to your earlier post about speed training.

Yay! This is great – your optimism is contagious!

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5 sweetandnatural November 18, 2008

Thanks for spreading your enthusiasm! Though it is making me feel a little lazy for skipping the gym tonight… Hey, I worked late!

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6 Maggie November 18, 2008

I get excited about exercise by doing things I love! Yoga doesn’t even seem like exercise to me and I spend my walking time talking on the phone with my dad usually. I’ve been running recently but the past few days I haven’t felt motivated to do it, so I’ve done other things. I don’t think I’ve missed a day in months and months. I walk literally every day (on my lunch hour) and I usually try to get one other exercise in, whether that’s yoga or a short run or a random exercise video. I love your blog by the way :)

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7 sharon Frick November 18, 2008

I just love your blog! I haven’t commented before, but I read it daily! You are so inspiring and always post such motivating and interesting facts!

Thanks for all you do :-) You help me BIG time!

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8 Kristie November 19, 2008

Awesome post. When I first started out on my weight loss quick a few years ago, the idea of having to exercise for the rest of my life seemed completely daunting. But after seeing results not only on the scale but also in clothing size, in energy levels, and in how I felt about myself both appearance-wise and ability-wise, exercise began to slowly seem like less and less of a burden. Now I ENJOY exercise and have (nearly) no problems committing to it almost every day. I love the way I feel after a workout and that feeling alone makes it completely worth it. I can’t imagine life without being active anymore. I feel so sluggish and unhappy if I go through brief periods of not working out. I’m seriously SO glad I discovered the greatness of exercise. You’ve completely and perfectly summed up how my thought process about exercise has evolved.

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9 catms916 November 19, 2008

What a great post! I always find that setting some sort of goal for myself always gives me the motivation I need to stick with exercising daily… at least in the winter. I’m a runner, so it’s all to easy for me to give the “I’m too cold” excuse, but with a clear goal/race int he future you better belive I’m outside hitting the pavement. Plus I most certainly feel way more alive when I’ve done a little sweatin’ before I mit the shower and head to work. ;)

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10 Hayley November 19, 2008

First time commenter here as well, but I’ve been reading your blog and following along since you started it a few weeks back. I do admit to checking about 4-5 blogs a day but yours has quickly jumped up to the top of my list as the first one

I’m most excited to check in the morning. In fact, I’m typing this in my bathrobe – I should be getting ready for work! hah. I really appreciate this post (and all the other “road to health”) as I thought you included some really good ideas to mix things up if people start to get bored during a workout, very inspiring. :) I also love that you’re a fellow Canadian, I hail from Vancouver myself.

One question for you (or anyone else who might know what’s going on). I take a once a week intense bootcamp class and sometimes, as was the case this past Monday, towards the end I feel completely nauseous and a little dizzy.

I have a small snack before I go (usually a teaspoon of peanut butter) and eat well throughout the day, so I don’t think that’s it. Is it possible that I’m not drinking enough water throughout the day? Any feedback/advice is really appreciated!

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11 Britt January 4, 2010

Very inspirational! Thanks!

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12 Jess June 1, 2010

Your ideas sound very similar to the book “Secrets of a former fat girl”! I loved that book! You should check it out. I helped me in so many ways!

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13 Stacey October 24, 2010

I just found you blogs and have been reading through several of them. This one so far is my favorite. It was just what I needed. Thanks for all your great blogs and recipes.

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