We wake up just enough to stay woke but not enough to live. We live on hours and minutes and second hands, gas, and expressways. Espressos and Starbucks. From the bed to the car to the job, back to the car to the house and to the bed where we will lie down again so that we can wake up and exist again. Begin again. Breathe again. Boldly expecting these bodies to be there to back us up again. Do we ever back up? Can we stop? When was the last time you experienced something beautiful and told no one? Can we be beautiful without filter? Can we examine this breath? This gorgeous breath. This inhale and exhale. This miracle that is in us. Can we examine these lungs? Let the seconds and minutes and hours add up, can we forget about time? Let it pass. Watch the orange and yellow rays of the sun bleeding into the sky. Can we experience the day passing onto the next? Can we catch it moving? Can we listen to the sound of quiet? Do we even know if silence has a sound? Can we listen to the birds sing for hours at a time and let the leaves change and crumble into colors? Can we let the wind blow dust onto the windowsill, can peace be still? You have to wake up before you can stay woke. Can we live?
I’m excited to report that I have begun work on achieving one of my long overdue goals: Exercising. I’m just so excited because I’ve wanted to get back into the swing of things since Billy Blanks and I fell out. This time however, I decided to take it up a level and try my hand at Sean T25. I’m on Week #2, Day 4 and so far so good. But instead of 6 days a week I have limited myself to no more than four. Here’s why I think you should too:
For those of you who really wanna get back into an exercise routine, be realistic about your goals. Implement something you know you can dedicate yourself to and most importantly, incorporate into your everyday life. My mind says to go the full six days, but I know the chance of keeping up with that kind of schedule is slim to none. This time around, I don’t want to just stop after a few weeks, but I would like to make this a daily part of my life. To do this, I have to set goals that are realistic and reachable. Just like in life, an exercise routine can have short term goals and long term goals. For instance: My short term goal is to work out at least 3-4 times a week. My long term goal is to strengthen my heart, endurance, tone up my stomach and maintain a certain body weight; though I’m not so much bent on that part so much as strengthening my breathing. A lot of people think exercise is just for those who are overweight but the truth is that thin people are likely a lot more unhealthy than their big boned brothers and sisters because they think they don’t have to do anything. But it’s not about being skinny vs. being fat, it’s about building strength so that you’re not out of breath after walking a block or up a flight of stairs; this is not characteristic of a healthy heart.
So, here’s my idea for those who would like to get back in the gym, and get back in shape:
25 Minutes a Day
Set aside 25 minutes a day dedicated to exercise. It doesn’t have to be to a workout video or gym even, but you can walk, you can run, or you can move your leg back and forth. Whatever you do, try to give yourself at least 25 minutes a day for a certain number of days. Last week I did 25 minutes for three days, this week I am trying for four. Each week, try to challenge yourself to do a little bit more.
Keep a Success Journal
You’ve seen my re-blog of an idea Timothy Pike had on keeping a success journal. This doesn’t have to be restricted to life, but get one for your workout plan. Every day, record what you did and what you ate. This will push you to achieve those short term goals because you’ll be so excited to write something down. Remember: short term goals are the baby steps to long term goals. So whether you want to lose weight or just tone up, you have to start by taking steps to achieve those short term workout goals.
Another idea for those looking to implement more exercise into the day is to substitute some things you normally do so that they become little exercises! For instance:
• instead of sit down at the computer, stand.
• instead of drive to the store, walk (instead of push the stroller, carry the baby a few blocks!)
• instead of use the washing machine, wash on your hands.
Now, for that last bullet point, in addition to the washboard, here’s a fun way to get your arms going: Using a plunger and a bucket, fill it with water, detergent, and some light clothing, like socks, underwear or washcloths (it also helps to drill holes at the bottom of the plunger around the base and to use a bucket that has a top to it for suction. Also make sure the bucket is deep enough). And…plunge! Switch it around, move your arms up and down, swirl it, just plunge. Here, you become the washing machine. You’ll get some workout in and your clothes clean at the same time.
Your Own Pace
Whatever you do, stay focused on your own pace. The key here is not faster; it’s longer. If your using a workout video and you feel like you’re about to pass out it’s OK to slow down, just don’t stop. Keep going through to the end even if you have to walk in place. Just keep moving. That’s what I think we miss when it comes to working out. Everyone wants to focus so much on weight loss and fast results that we forget to pace ourselves. Of course, you’ll eventually have to challenge yourself to that next level as you gain momentum and get stronger. But also remember that the victory does not belong to the fastest or the skinniest, it belongs to those who endure to the end.
• Map out your daily routine for the week (Be realistic, what are you going to really dedicate yourself to?)
• Do the routine for at least 25 minutes a day
• Chart your progress, feelings, changes, foods, etch in a success journal (or your blog!)
• Substitute daily task so that they work some kind of muscle
• Slow down, keep moving, just don’t stop
To help us to motivate each other, I will start doing more posts like this to update you all on my experiences and you can too. In this way, we can help each other with fun ideas. Teamwork makes the dream work!