January 15, 2009

Are there time limits on the fortune you get inside your cookie?

First up, a random rant for you: I loathe videos on the Internet - I feel trapped within that specific period of time. I would rather read an article and glean what I want rather than be force fed. As such, I rarely ever click on video links. The worst for me is going out to a news site and clicking an interesting headline only to find out it is a frockin' video. If I wanted to watch videos on CNN or any of the other jillion newsites I visit daily, I would just turn on the damned TV. I use my computer for reading, not watching.

Anyway......awhile back I read an inspiring post titled The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Working Out. Joe the Peacock begins his article by pointing out that the guide could be boiled down to 5 simple bullets:
  • You will not work out regularly and eat right until you care enough about yourself to take care of yourself. There are no shortcuts.
  • To lose fat, you must burn more calories than you consume every single day.
  • Although cardiovascular exercise (running, jogging, walking, skipping, the StairMaster, and others) are great ways to burn calories one day at a time, building muscle is the only way to raise your metabolism permanently. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn 24/7.
  • To build muscle, you must destroy and then rebuild muscle.
  • Working out is not just for muscleheads and jocks. It's a special, devoted block of time each day for you to focus solely on yourself. You are worth it.
Oh sure, the article can be done in 5 bullet points, but I recommend reading the whole thing. The part that really got me was this:
Overall, the program I advocate is a combination of strength training and cardio training, at least five days a week.

Yes, five days a week. It sounds like a lot... But this is not about making an effort to change your life, then accidentally letting a 2 day break become a 3 day break, which becomes a 7 day break, which becomes "Ok, I'll start over next week..."

You need to change your life. Remeber, you WANT this. So... Five days a week. One day breaks AT MOST. Try to never, ever go more than two days without a workout. Even if that workout is a quick jog somewhere, or fifteen minutes of pushups and squats... Do something every single day.

Overall, I found the whole thing to be very informative and inspirational. And I have came upon my new goal - it is quite simple: "Do something at least 5 times a week." I have no excuses to not do Something - I have weights, I know how to do a multitude of floor exercises, I have exercise DVDs, X has a bike in the basement. All this in addition to the fact we have a membership to a lovely gym with an awesome nursery that the kids actually request to play in. So, even on days where we are running around, there is still no reason why I cannot take 20 minutes or so to do Something, right? Right! And when the the weather gets nice, there is absolutely no reason why I cannot at least take a 20-30 minute walk. Right? Right. So that is it.

For the past two months, I have been inconsistently active and going to the gym. For the past three weeks or so, I have been consistently active and going to the gym. I have felt better in the last few weeks, than I have felt in a long, long time. Coincidence? Duh.

What is your inspiration or advice for getting active and exercising??


MLE said...

I think that because I started being physically active as a very young child (started ballet at age 3) it got me in the habit of regular exercise. I don't feel right if I can't do something physically active, nearly every day. I'm also motivated to stay in clothing that fits, to feel healthy, and to get the endorphins that exercise brings. Also, type 2 diabetes runs in my family and staying physically active helps keep that at bay.

When we have kids, I fully intend to get them engaged in physical activity from an early age to try to instil the urge to move. It will be normal to exercise every day, and if they're like me they'll thank me later.

Stephanie said...

My inspiration for going to the gym is my sanity. If I go less than 4 times a week, or miss 3 times in a row, it definitely takes its toll on me mentally. I get very anxious and stressed when I don't work out regularly. (Unless I miss my workouts b/c I am spending a week on a beach... ahh, bliss. Although I suppose playing in the waves is a good workout.) I mean, my main goal is to get in and stay in good shape because I plan to live to 100, but I am affected more mentally than physically when I miss too many workouts.

Average Jane said...

I'm still struggling with the inspiration to exercise regularly. I've gotten back to yoga at work twice a week, but I need to do more to shave off a couple of jeans sizes.

Incidentally, I'm with you on the video thing. My attention span is too short and I can't be bothered with them.

Gori Girl said...

I have two large, young, active dogs. If I don't go walking/running with them for at least an hour everyday, they get their energy out by playing with each other using our house and furniture as the wrestling ring.

All the dog walking has certainly cut into my free time, but has done wonders for my energy levels and mental health - and the dogs absolutely love going running. They need it everyday, so I have no choice but to go.

Olivia said...

I hate the internet video thing, too.

I haven't found my activity inspiration yet, and pregnancy has been kicking my ass (fatigue, back ache, round ligament pain, colds/flus...the list seems endless). I just keep trying to make it to the gym at least twice a week.

Another Dad said...

Actually, you should never open a broken fortune cookie. Or maybe that is just my superstition? I've found that working out for me has no motivations. I do it purely for stress relief. I set my iPod to anything metal or hard rock, turn it up loud and then get after it. For me, its quite cathartic. Its more humane than kicking the dog and if you are lucky and no one else is around, you can drop unlimited f-bombs. If you need good workout music, I'd suggest anything by Disturbed or the new Metallica.

aibee said...

Shameless self-promotion or relevant and informative comment?


Cagey said...

Aibee! Definitely relevant - thanks for adding that!

The Gori Wife said...

I totally hate that cnn video news garbage. I understand the trapped feeling! If it's a story I'm really interested in reading, I'll go google the keywords and try to find a print version, and only if I can't find it will I watch their stupid entrapment video.

Rozanne said...

Add me to the list of people who hates it when news stories turn out to be video. I only have time to skim--I don't have time to wait for a freakin' video to load let alone watch the ding-dong thing!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

It helps me with my natural low-grade depression. Well, help is putting it mildly. Provided I keep my diet reasonably healthy, exercise eliminates my natural moodiness. Once I scaled back the drinking to social situations only (and then rarely), it worked even better.

The second big motivation is that I have a very high genetic possibility of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. I do actually need to keep my weight lower because of the impact on my bones.

So...I kind of went pescatarian after an increasing amount of guilt about eating animals (they'll never take away my fish, though). It's basically very lazy pescatarianism, which is to say that I'll still cook chicken when G is around but otherwise avoiding turkey/chicken like I usually scarf down. Does this coincide with my new yoga/meditation stuff. Umm, probably.

I have also become petrified of cancer and I think that 80% pesca-veggieism will help towards an anti-cancer diet.

Surprisingly, it has not been that hard. I am relying on skim milk/yoghurt, fish & egg whites for my protein sources and am not feeling weak or anything yet.

Am working on 2 really neat veggie recipes, will post to blog with pictures soon.

Speaking of which-I'll email you tonight. G has rebounded so well-I'm incredibly proud of him.

Leo said...

You know what works for me? Sticker charts on the fridge. I can see that I have made progress. Besides being just naturally fabulous to earn a sticker, it also reminds me of how hard I have been working right as I am about to dig for a snack. Good luck!

CPA Mom said...

What works for me is having the weight loss blog - knowing I have to post what exercise I did (or did not) do is motivating. Also? For my running days (when my damn treadmill is actually WORKING) I use a playlist on my iPod that I won't let myself listen to any other time. So the songs stay fresh and I look forward to them!

I HATE video links and I hate imbedded video in blogs. I don't have time to watch! Probably explains why I'm not a YouTube watcher.