Let me start by saying that I am by no means an expert when it comes to diet and exercise- I have simply found what works for me and this point in my life and what works for one person obviously always doesn’t always work for another. In fact, most of the time it probably won’t for a variety of reasons. I also haven’t always exercised or even enjoyed it for that matter. I was the freshman girl in high school looking for ways to get out of P.E. (having gym class 2nd hour and not wanting to look like a hot mess the rest of the day was probably the main contributor to this though!).
Growing up I never really participated in sports or other extracurricular physical activities. I did gymnastics for a few years, but the realized I was a head taller than all of the other girls. And I couldn’t for the life of me do a straddle jump over the damn vault. I did soccer for a year, but concluded that I was s terrified of getting hit in the face with the ball. Don’t get me wrong- this did NOT mean that I wasn’t physically active. I didn’t sit around playing video/computer games or watching TV all the time. The neighbor kids and I would play for hours outside after school and typically until dark during the summer months. We had a swimming pool and if I wasn’t playing with my friends outside on our bikes or roller blades, I was in my pool or at the beach.
Anyways, when Tyler and I moved to El Paso last June and moved into our house, I was pumped when I saw that there was a gym two minutes from our home. I signed up a few days later and have been an active member ever since. School wasn’t starting until August and I didn’t know anyone here yet, so getting into better shaped helped me tremendously during that transitional time period. Though my routine has changed slightly since last year, this is what a typical week looks like overall:
Monday-Friday: 15-30 minutes of cardio. If it’s done on the treadmill (which it typically is) I do intervals. When running, I set the incline between 2-3 and my speed ranges between 8-9.5. I sprint for about 30 seconds, give or take, depending on how I’m feeling that day. I usually bump the speed up to 10 mph a few times during my workout, but I only hold that speed for about 20 seconds or less. I jog between 5.5-7 mph and my walk is between 4-4.5 mph and always on an incline of 4 or higher. Of course there are days when I just hold a steady pace running/jogging, but I feel like I’ve gotten so much more out of my workout when I incorporate intervals. Plus I’m lazy and don’t want to spend 40 minutes running 5 miles 🙂
I also do strength training throughout the week. I suck and don’t have a set routine though- I do arms, legs, shoulders, and back and rotate exercises focusing on these muscle groups. I use the machines at the gym, my free weights at home, and do sit-ups and push-ups.
Saturday vary. Sometimes it’s my rest day, Tyler and I do something active together, or Wrigley gets a longer walk/run. Sundays vary as well, but it’s usually either a rest day or a quick cardio or strength training session.
I also do a lot of walking at school. My classes are really far from where I’m assigned to park, and while I don’t mind walking in normal weather, it completely blows walking a mile each way in 100+ degree weather.
The goals I had when I began working out consistently last year were to get in better cardiovascular shape (be able to run a mile without thinking I might die) and tone up my body. I can definitely notice an increase in my strength, and I’m pretty happy where I am at right now. I toyed around with the idea of attempting to run a half or full marathon (obviously after LOTS of training beforehand), but as much as I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise, I’m not a fan of running super long distances. Sometimes the thought of something sounds much better than actually doing it, haha. Tyler ran the Chicago marathon in 2010 (and barely trained might I add…crazy!), and a handful of my friends have completed half marathons. I should probably start small anyways and do some 5 or 10 K’s…who knows- it could be because I’m too damn lazy to train! I get discouraged easily so going balls to the wall for my first race would probably stress me out 🙂 There’s a Color Run here in El Paso mid September so I’m thinking I’ll have Tyler run that with me!
What’s your exercise routine currently like?
Do you like long distances or running shorter distances but with more intensity?
Have you ever done the Color Run?
While exercising (no matter what level) is important to keep healthy both physically and mentally, a nutritious diet has a lot to do with our overall well-being too. I’ll discuss some of my favorite healthy foods in another post though!