Workout hiatus

I am on a workout hiatus – and I’m not even sure I am using that word correctly.

How long has it lasted?

Almost a week.

I feel bad. I do not have a good reason. I am simply lazy.

When I workout next, it’s going to hurt…

Why is exercise the only path to weight loss? (And diet… diet and exercise.)

According to an article by Livestrong, weight loss requires cardiovascular exercise, such as Insanity, which is practically nothing but cardio. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30-60 minutes of cardio daily.

Problem: Link to the article is broken… Sorry…

That 30-60 minutes must run outside of our normal daily cardio activities, such as climbing stairs in the house, vacuuming and walking to and from the car everywhere we go, which burn barely enough calories to impact our fitness regime.

We have to do more, but it doesn’t have to suck… of this I beg to differ. The following exercises are based on calories-lost by a 160 pound person in one hour.

Running is the best exercise you can do to burn the most calories in the least amount of time. Running at 8 mph –roughly a 7.5-minute mile –you can burn 986 calories in one hour. If you add hills (incline on the treadmill) or sprints (book it!), you can add even more calories burned.

However, who in their right mind runs for an hour at that pace? Break in up into 30- or 15-minute intervals, which also sounds pretty terrible.

Rollerblading –much more entertaining than running –ranks among the highest calories burns at 913 burned in a one-hour session.

I haven’t been rollerblading since I was in middle school.
I was in better shape when I was 12.

Tae Kwon Do is a total body workout that builds cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, movement, coordination and strength (but, then again, so does yoga). In one hour, you can burn 730 calories.

Jump rope, which I hate, can burn 730 calories in an hour.

Why do I and many other women of my category of… size… hate jumping rope? It hurts the chest area. Ouch!

The resistance of a stair-climber machine can burn 657 calories in one hour as well as build lower-body strength. Horse calves! Don’t let the Stair Master be your only cardio activity.

Jogging, much like running, burns a lot of calories. Some are not so hot at running a mile in 7.5 minutes –namely me –and jogging at 5 mph for a 12-minute mile sound way better! One hour can burn 584 calories.

Basketball and football also burn 584 calories in an hour.

What about soccer and softball? What about tennis? I don’t know. You’ll have to check those on your own!

Swimming is a great total body workout because you use almost every muscle in your body. All strokes increase cardio and muscular fitness while burning 511 calories an hour. Swimming is not simply for leisure. Have you ever felt exhausted after taking a few laps around the pool?

Floating doesn’t count.

Cardio can be fun! You can do cardiovascular exercises you actually enjoy, instead of continuing to stamp out miles on the track.

However, there is a form of exercise you must do that is only as fun as it can be.

WEIGHT TRAINING.

Women especially need to get into the weight room to build muscle tissue. We are not naturally inclined to build lean muscle like men –who can build muscle like little protein machines. (Well, hulky protein machines.) Good example: Women body builders have to use some kind of hormone therapy to build all that muscle.

What? You don’t think it’s important? Here are 12 reasons as to why you should.

  1. You’ll lose 40 percent more fat.
  2. Your clothes will fit better.
  3. You’ll burn more calories.
  4. Your diet will improve.
  5. You’ll handle stress better.
  6. You’ll be happier.
  7. You’ll build stronger bones.
  8. You’ll get into shape faster.
  9. Your heart will be healthier.
  10. You’ll be more productive.
  11. You’ll live longer.
  12. You’ll be even smarter.

Boot camp workouts? Yes. Please.

Insanity?

…Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.

Staying honest: My diet and fitness journey

I need to stay honest and accountable, especially if I want to stay on track.

For the week of June 20, 2011, I made many mistakes when it came to dieting and staying on track with my fitness program.

Many mistakes.

I exercised twice, well, two and one-half times. On Monday, I completed my Fit Test with reasonable results. I wanted to do better.

On Tuesday, I cried about stuff, and couldn’t finish my workout.

On Wednesday, I got half way through Pure Cardio before giving up. (One-half!)

On Thursday, I finished Cardio Recovery, even though I did not deserve any recovery from cardio.

On Friday and Saturday, I was so busy with work, grocery shopping and spending time with family that I completely skipped my workouts (and blogging). Good job Shae.

On the healthy eating front, I did well until Friday. First, I ate cookies at work. (Darn it!)

Then, Husband and I went to Hu-Hot Mongolian Grill with a friend. The sodium and oil content were through the roof! After dinner, we had dessert at Orange Leaf and ate frozen yogurt… that came in barrels.

True! I did not have to fill my barrel full of bad-for-me food stuffs, but I did. Ugh.

At the end of the night, I did not feel great. To say the least.

On Saturday, I ate a good breakfast, but had fried chicken in Olpe, Kansas (no I didn’t know it existed), with a large portion of my husband’s family.

I should have ordered a salad! But the place was called the Chicken House.

For dinner, we ate at Sister-In-Law’s house and had burgers, chips and potato salad. (And I also got in a little retail therapy.)

It’s Sunday, which means it’s laundry day, and I’m eating cookies. Can I stop myself? Yes. But what am I doing?

Sigh.

Laundry Note: Stain sticks do not work on deep, set-in stains. Waste of money! I really hope I did not ruin Husband’s favorite pants… My shirt was a goner in the beginning. :)

My honesty. It’s really not that pretty, is it?

When I make dinner tonight, I’ll make sure I keep the fat and sodium content down and the healthy, nutrient-rich content up!

To make up for my serious fitness sins, I plan on redoing Week 3 of Insanity at the end of Month 1. Instead of an eight-week program (that will probably be 16 before I see any results), I will do a nine-week program to make up for the parts I skipped.

I have a resolution for the next weeks of my diet and fitness journey: Do not get upset. Just be happy. Be happy all the time, and I will do better.

That’s a good goal, and I might be able to love my workout if I can be happy.

The bane of my existence…

I worked out today!

Of course, it was only Cardio Recovery, filled with exercises I’m good at. Squats, plank, yoga, etc.

No cardio.

Maybe I hate cardio… No. I still think I hate it all.

Anywho! We’re not going to talk about that today because I hate it, and I’m in a good/sleepy/goofy mood! (Plus, I got a lot of stuff done at work today, too, so I feel accomplished at something.)

Instead, we’re going to talk about one of the many banes of my existence: cellulite.

Did you shudder? I did.

Cellulite: Hold the Cottage Cheese, Please
By Stephanie S. Saunders

(Apologies. I cannot find the original link to this article)

One of the most hated words in the English language must surely be cellulite.

For the 90 percent of women who are plagued by the “cottage cheese” dimples that can run across the backs of arms and the entire lower body, it can seem like the ugliest thing in the world. Sure, you can hide it beneath clothing, but once bikini season hits, it’s all over.

From a self-consciousness point of view, it’s as if you’re back in middle school. You might as well make it a trifecta of humiliation by slapping on some braces and a lime-green prom dress.

While there’s no way yet to completely rid your body of cellulite, there are a few ways to help improve its appearance.

(Fantastic! Lay it on me.)

The term cellulite refers to the dimpled appearance of skin that can occur at any point on the body where the skin is thinner. Under the upper layer of skin, there’s a layer of connective tissue that holds fat into place. In most women, this connective tissue has gaps in it, which allow the fat to push through, creating a bumpy appearance. The difference between fat and cellulite is simply where the deposit lies in relation to these gaps in the connective tissue. That, and the fact that even with weight loss and muscle gain, so-called “normal” fat may disappear, while cellulite seems to want to continue keeping your thighs company indefinitely.

(So far, dear article, you continue to depress me.)

Cellulite can occur in the thinnest of women and men and doesn’t seem to discriminate based on nationality, financial standing, age or weight.

There are believed to be hormonal and hereditary issues that can contribute to causing cellulite. Other causes may include poor circulation, lack of exercise and even too-tightly fitting undergarments.

But no one really knows for sure why 10 percent of the female population is gifted with not having to deal with cellulite, while the rest of us have rear ends that look like a giant golf ball.

(I hate those… lucky… freakin’… not fair…)

So when faced with the appearance of orange peel (orange peel?) on your thighs, what should you do?

Well, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is that there is no actual way, surgical or otherwise, to get rid of cellulite completely at present. No amount of vacuuming, injections, creams or painful massage will eradicate it permanently. But there are many things that can potentially improve the appearance of cellulite. The following is a list of options, ranked from the least to most invasive and/or expensive.

Diet. There are several diets out here that claim to remove cellulite from the body. After a bit of research, you’ll find that most of them are just healthy eating plans that tell you to reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoid processed foods, and drink plenty of water. This, of course, doesn’t really bring anything specific to the table for cellulite. It might help you lose overall body fat, which will reduce the appearance of the lumpy stuff, but no amount of pineapple consumption will completely remove it.

(Darn liars…)

Exercise. Magazines are full of articles on exercises to ban dimpled thighs. Again, these exercises are designed to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Unfortunately, a lot of them are exercises that only target very specific areas, which will not benefit your overall fitness level and are fairly pointless, considering that you can’t spot-reduce fat. Hard cardio and a toned physique will go just as far, if not farther, for reducing the appearance of cellulite. Overall, continuing with your P90X or INSANITY® workout plans will do more for you than will any number of leg lifts alone.

(Of course…)

Tanning. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has again come out with studies on how horrible the effects of tanning beds and baking in the sun can be. Tanning has now been compared to cigarettes and arsenic. Which is unfortunate because a little color on your skin can do more to mask extra bumpy tissue than just about anything else. Luckily, there are an abundance of tanning creams and spray-on tans out there that can give you a similar effect without the risk of skin cancer. Just be careful with application, and if you go the professional route, make sure the folks you choose know what they’re doing. I once attended a black tie event with hands the color of a pumpkin. Not pretty.

(Totally not me… it was the author. I don’t attend black tie events. I don’t look good in ties.)

Creams. There are thousands of topical treatments available that can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundred. Most of them have the common “active” ingredients aminophylline, caffeine and theophyilline. Sad to say, none of these creams can deliver the needed concentration to the necessary depth to make much of a difference in the connective tissue. They’re promoted as increasing circulation, but ultimately, you’re just using a very expensive moisturizer.

(Celtrixa is a lie. Wait… that’s for stretch marks. Still a lie.)

Massage. Massage is another attempt at breaking down connective tissue and increasing circulation in the area. Unfortunately, cellulite is a tougher problem than can be fixed by a single day at the spa. However, there have been studies that consistent, rather aggressive massage techniques can really assist in the cottage cheese reduction process. Before scheduling a daily visit from your massage therapist, though, try intensely rubbing the affected areas on your own with a moisturizer for a few weeks and see if there’s any change in appearance. Thankfully, most cellulite appears on areas of the body you can actually reach.

(…areas you can actually reach? Back cellulite! The itch you just can’t scratch… lol.)

Wraps. (What? I’ve not heard of this.) Wraps have been around forever and still have devoted followers all over the world. The idea of the body wrap is to dehydrate the area, removing all excess water, supposedly creating a leaner appearance. Wrestlers and ballet dancers alike are infamous for wrapping themselves in plastic and sitting in a sauna for ridiculous amounts of time to try and drop “weight.” These results are temporary and will usually return to normal with any intake of water. Wraps may in fact moisturize the skin, but so will a bit of inexpensive aloe vera cream.

Supplements. Supplements can be extremely effective in helping you achieve fitness goals, but like all things I’ve mentioned thus far, no combination of herbal remedies has been proven effective in the fight against cellulite. Most contain some sort of ginkgo biloba, sweet clover, grapeseed bioflavinoids, oil of evening primrose, fish oil and soy lecithin. All might assist your metabolism, and possibly your immunity and brain function, but none will make the dimples disappear.

(Lies, lies, lies…)

Injections. Here’s a cellulite remedy that can cause actual discomfort. Mesotherapy is a series of injections to the cellulite-affected area. Very similar to Botox® for your back end, it’s highly controversial and can require up to 10 visits to see any results. The medication injected has been approved by the FDA for other cosmetic issues, but wasn’t designed for use on cellulite, and is so new that all potential side effects haven’t been discovered yet. Before you choose to go this route, make sure to discuss it thoroughly with your medical practitioner.

(No thank you.)

Suction massage. (Say what, now?) Endermology was created in France about 15 years ago for the temporary reduction of cellulite. The machine creates suction, pulling and squeezing affected areas, which eventually seems to redistribute the fat somewhat, but in truth, it doesn’t change the fat’s makeup. Sessions last about 45 minutes, require 10 to 12 visits, and are rather expensive. Without regular maintenance visits, the appearance of cellulite will simply return.

Lasers. The FDA has approved two different laser options, both used with either a suction device or massage therapy. A low-level laser is radiated on the skin as some type of massage is administered. Both TriActive and VelaSmooth® require as many sessions as Endermology, in addition to continued follow-up maintenance, and can cost thousands of dollars. The effectiveness of laser treatments on cellulite is still unclear, but for individuals with enough cash to spare, this presently seems to be one of the best possible options for cellulite reduction.

Remember, while many of these approaches can improve the appearance of cellulite, none seem to remove cellulite completely or permanently. Until a method is found that will accomplish the total eradication of cellulite, it might be better to spend less money on expensive creams and injections and more on nutritious foods and activities that support a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this help to improve your skin tone, but it’ll make you feel better about your whole body, inside and out. And isn’t that more important than a few extra dimples?

(The answer to that question is most obviously… no. Ditch the dimples!)

Now, to all you ladies out there with perfect skin and cellulite-free thighs, I sorta hate you. Don’t take it personally.

The bane of my existence! Cellulite! We’ll talk about armpit hair and stretch marks on another day.

Remember: Don’t buy the creams!

I said I wouldn’t…

I know I said I would not be depressing today; I said I would be uplifting!

But yesterday’s workout fail carried over to today… and I had another bad workout. At least, today, I made it a whole 23 minutes, instead of three.

I am not sure what’s going on… I should be happy and positive considering my results (no matter how miniscule).

Instead, I feel like a great big FAIL. I hate feeling FAIL.

Perhaps I am cursed! I was too cute as a baby and some angry witch nurse decided that I should grow up to be ugly and fat! And short! Really really short… So she cursed me!

OK – probably not, but I’d love to blame my nurse!

I do believe that I am suffering from something…

Perhaps I am emotional because of my new birth control. Or maybe I’m feeling down because I’m cutting back on caffeine, and I LOVE coffee. Then again, I might just be crazy.

I wish, though, I wouldn’t need to find something on which to blame the way I feel. I wish it could just be normal.

le sigh

Unfortunately, it is not. And I need to pull myself out of this slump. I am all depressed-face, and I don’t like it!

I lost my appetite, too, which is super annoying. I HAVE to eat so my body doesn’t think I’m starving it so it stores fat, and then I just have more fat.

Not cool. Want appetite. Eat food. Gr.

(Don’t freak out. I do not have an eating disorder… unless it comes to spicy nachos… but you can’t really call that an actual disorder. It’s just weird… and scary.)

…Not super uplifting, huh?

Hmm…

When I’m not in a super fun mood, it is hard to be uplifting, but I’m going to try because I said I would.

Just give me a second…

Or five. Don’t judge.

Sorry! I cannot do it on my own! Not today, at least. Enjoy this yogurt recipe I found on a Beachbody newsletter that looks delicious. :)

Recipe: Raspberry & Almond Yogurt (dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)
By Kelly V. Brozyna

Getting lots of friendly bacteria is essential for good health. But many of us find that cow milk causes gas and bloating. There is also evidence that women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods, have significantly increased risks of hip fractures than those getting the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources. For these reasons and others, making dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free yogurt is a great choice.

(All of this could be wrong. I’ve read differently.)

Feskanich, D., Wilet, W.C., Stampfer, M.J., et al. (1997). Milk, Dietary Calcium, and Bone Fractures in Women: A 12-Year Prospective Study. American Journal of Public Health, 87 (6).

(I also adjusted their citation for APA style. I need to keep practicing! They forgot page numbers.)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 4 cups cashew milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey or coconut sugar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Chocolate Raspberry liquid stevia (to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon gelatin (or 1 1/2 teaspoon agar powder)
  • 9 probiotic capsules (25-30 billion non-dairy variety)

Directions
In a medium bowl, blend almond butter into 2 cups water, then pour into a large pot. Add 4 cups store-bought cashew milk, or make your own. Add honey or coconut sugar, and the stevia.

Bring to simmer. Watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Reduce heat to low, whisk and simmer for about 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin or agar powder in 1/2 cup boiling water. Whisk into cashew milk mixture. Pour mixture into a bowl and place that bowl into a larger one of cold (but not iced) tap water. (Note: Omit this step if using agar powder, and let mixture cool down on it’s own so the agar powder doesn’t get lumpy).

When it has cooled to about 92 degrees Fahrenheit, empty probiotic capsules into mixture and whisk them in well. Pour into jars and keep warm for about 15 hours. NOTE: I use my yogurt maker, but I love the suggestion of using a cooler with containers of hot water around the yogurt jars.

When the 15 hours is up, check if there is a clear pool at the bottom of the jars. If so, secure lids tightly and shake the yogurt to mix it in before refrigerating. (Note: For agar option shaking isn’t necessary)

Refrigerate for 8 hours.

(The first person “I” in the directions is not me. I have never made yogurt. It looks hard so I might never make yogurt…)

Now, about my horoscope…

“The pace will be jumping today, and your wit and cheerful words will be welcomed in almost every setting you enter, Aquarius. Do things with others and see what kind of “trouble” you can stir up together. This is a time to get out and be social. Beautiful things and relaxing music are all favored on a day like this. You can do no wrong by just being your usual, outlandish self!”

HAHAHAHA!

I hate astrology.

Workout fail…

(…and something less depressing.)

It had to happen eventually, right? Well, it happened today. I thought I’d share as I would like to stay as honest as possible with my blog.

Plyometric Cardio Circuit did NOT happen as it was scheduled.

I think it was an all-day sabotage…

I woke up before my alarm, which usually means a person has good sleep habits or some nonsense, but for me, it means I slept horribly. I woke up exhausted. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t sleep last night even though I was really tired.

I read my horoscope (because it’s on my phone… I don’t go looking for it), and it gave me hope for a bright day filled with accomplishments: “This may feel like a day meant for you, Aquarius. You’re emotionally strong. You feel like you’re able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Tackle all those projects you love but have been too scared to start. You have a great deal of energy and confidence in your favor. You will succeed in almost anything you try, so don’t waste this moment by just watching TV.”

The horoscope was hopeful, but also quite foreboding… Oh! And it’s a great big liar!

Throughout my day at work, I was tired… simply just exhausted. I worked and worked and typed and typed and eventually ran out of things to do until someone assigned me a new task. I went looking for a new task, found one and almost completed it before I had to go home.

Well, horoscope, what do you say about that? I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to accomplish today at work. Yes… there is Thursday to do more work, but you said, “succeed in almost anything you try…

I suppose almost is a key word.

OK – so work was a little off. That’s fine. I still got stuff done and/or started.

What happens when I get home?

Well, I’m hungry, so I eat banana bread with too much butter, and then I’m still hungry so I have a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese. I’m no longer hungry. I have one-half cup of coffee because I have to cut back by half and am allowed less coffee each day.

What happens next? Do I put on my workout clothes and get bee-boppin’ to Insanity? Do I listen to the warning of my horoscope?

Heck no, I don’t!

Instead, I turn on the TV and watch an episode of Law & Order SVU (my favorite). Husband wakes up and sits with me. We chill.

He goes to the gym, and I get ready for my workout.

I swear it took me 20 minutes to get ready. I was stalling!

Shorts, shirt, shoes… not hard to accomplish! But I painstakingly put my gym clothes on, tied my shoes with disdain and pinned my hair into place as slowly as I could.

I also took time to adjust my stellar headband twice and blow my nose before moseying downstairs to workout.

In an effort to pump myself up, I turned on my own music and ditched the Insanity soundtrack, which is quite terrible.

Immediately backfired. I bee-bopped to my music instead of my workout and made myself dizzy.

Good job, Shae.

I also became distracted with the volume of my music compared to the DVD, my dog staring intently out the window at something (so I had to check) and a muscle cramp.

Three minutes in to the warm-up, I crumpled.

My body yelled at me from somewhere in my lower left abdominal region. My body complained that I was forcing it to do things my head knew it didn’t want to do. Added to that was the fact that I was already exhausted and had little desire to do any sort of workout.

Hence, workout fail.

After the crumple came the emotional breakdown that often follows my inability to do a workout when I’m supposed to do a workout.

Emotionally strong…”? Yeah, right.

Horoscopes are liars.

So I got mad, cried about and proceeded to be a bit depressed – in that order. Fortunately, I’m done throwing a temper tantrum now and will attempt my workout tomorrow with a brighter face.

…probably not, but I did say attempt.

Keywords. We need to pay attention to those. :)

Something less depressing? I think Sister-in-Law and I are going to extreme coupon for diapers. Nephew poops a lot.

Something also less depressing? I will not be depressing tomorrow. I will post something uplifting! I will do it!

Second fit test results and… skinny jeans…

I am two weeks in to the Insanity program (during my gazillionth attempt)! Yay! Milestone, or something! :)

I just completed my second fit test and took my measurements, much to my dismay.

First Fit Test and Measurements
Switch-Kicks: 71
Power Jacks: 43
Power Knees: 80
Power Jumps: 15
Globe Jumps: 6
Suicide Drills: 12
Pushup Jacks: 15
Obliques: 30
Under Bust: 30″
Natural Waist: 29.5″ (between belly button and ribcage)
Low Waist: 35″ (I measured the inches around my belly fat. That’s what this is.)
Hips: 40″
Left/Right Arm (Bicep): 12″ ea.
Left/Right Thigh (Quad): 22.7″ ea.

Second Fit Test and Measurements
Switch-Kicks: 75
Power Jacks: 47
Power Knees: 84
Power Jumps: 20
Globe Jumps: 8
Suicide Drills: 16
Pushup Jacks: 21
Obliques: 45
Under Bust: 31″ (One inch of back fat gain!)
Natural Waist: 28.5″ (May or may not be a real loss of one inch.)
Low Waist: 33″ (Belly pooch lost two inches? Really?)
Hips: 40″
Left/Right Arm (Bicep): approx. 12″ ea.
Left/Right Thigh (Quad): approx. 24″ ea.

I increased in every workout at least by four moves, and I am happy to have lost two inches around my belly fat region. Wewt!

I also weighed myself on Sunday at my mother’s house (our scale is broken). I weighed 136.7 pounds. During my first fit test results and measurements, I weighed between 137-139 pounds. Whether or not this is a real loss or some fluctuation… Screw it. I choose loss.

However, these numbers don’t mean anything to me if I cannot see the change in my body. So how do I really really test that objectively?

Well, I don’t, but here’s my best shot.

Skinny jeans.

My skinny jeans, which I’ve owned since I was 19, have been hiding in a closet or staring me straight in the face since I was… oh, I don’t know… 19?

I truly believe that you must be “skinny” to wear skinny jeans because “curvy” people don’t always look normal. Still, I want to fit in mine.

This time around… I was quite uncomfortable.

I got them on…

Movement, however, was quite limited, especially in the calf-region where I am just NOT skinny. I have big calves.

So I got the skinny jeans on. Good job, Shae!

What is my goal for my third fit test two weeks from now?

Move around in them! And not have belly bulge!

OK! This is Shae being really open and honest… Ugh.

This is hard.

I’m not a big fan.

I took a whole bunch of photos, but I don’t want to share them because they’re just… I’m prude, and this is about as much as I can share without feeling odd. (I totally removed the ones I had, too.)

Oh, well, I got them on. Two weeks from now better be more visually promising… I’m prepared for more.

Side Note: I am using a multi-function heart rate monitor by Sportsline I purchased from Wal-Mart. I think it’s lying to me. Does anyone else use this particular piece of equipment? Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent calorie-counting, time-keeping, heart-rate-monitoring watch?

“Workout dates” – Advice from Livestrong

Date night!

 A date with yourself, of course! Who needs a man? Or a woman… I don’t judge.

Livestrong fitness writer Renee Roberson wrote a great article on dates. However, instead of dressing up in heels, eating an extravagant dinner and giving your guy or gal a peck on the cheek at the end of the night, you will dress down in gym shoes, eat a peanut butter power bar and kiss the floor at the end of the…

You guessed it!

Workout.

A Date with Yourself by Renee Roberson for Livestrong

According to the article, sticking to a workout routine can be tough. (I could have told you that.)

As it gets harder and harder, you may need to change your mindset, especially, if after six months, you haven’t bought that new pair of jeans you promised yourself.

The article suggests we get creative with exercise by making regular “workout dates,” so we look forward to our workout as opposed to dreading the very thought of it.

(This ought to be good.)

Set Lifestyle Goals
Getting healthy doesn’t mean scaling down to a certain weight or running a six-minute mile.

(Oh, thank God!)

Kevin Asuncion, certified personal trainer and cofounder of Movemo Fitness, advises exercisers to focus on building a body that can accomplish things they want to do, such as backpacking with friends without feeling winded.

(I want to exercise with Ashley without feeling slaughtered. I picked a fit workout buddy.)

“By training toward being better at the things you want to do in your life” you’ll be more likely to stick with them, Asuncion said.

One fitness enthusiast, Sheila Viers, carves out an hour every day for “me” time, and in her “me” time, she works out (or journals or meditates).

(Me time? What is this thing you speak of? And why are you wasting it on exercise?!)

 Solo Sessions

Reward yourself for sticking with your workout by:

  1. Water aerobics at your local gym followed by hot tub time.
  2. Jog to your local shopping center, and then buy a smoothie.
  3. Download a new album, but don’t listen to it until your workout.
  4. Zumba for two week, and then buy some fancy workout clothes.
  5. Take a yoga class, and then enjoy the time allotted for person meditation.

Bribe Yourself
Schedule something to look forward to post-workout, such as a weekly massage after a tough spin class. Keep in mind that not everything you accomplish while exercising is related to fitness. Working out by yourself gives you the chance to mull over problems at work or home, or to reconnect with yourself away from the usual distractions.

(OK. I could get in to that.)

According to physical therapist and fitness instructor Elizabeth Lombardo, the key to meeting workout goals is to find something fun for you.

(And WHAT am I doing? Insanity… of which nothing is fun.)

Get Outside
Researchers at the University of Essex in England said the positive outcomes of green exercise on physical and mental health are clear. Design your workout around ecotherapy, which is the practice of connecting with the natural world to alleviate anxiety and improve your mental state.

(I do not like running around my neighborhood because people stare. I do not like jogging or biking in the park or along nature trails because I might be kidnapped or killed. I am paranoid. The gym is safe. MY gym is safe. Therapy needed? Quite.)

(But for the sake of the article…) Instead of hitting the treadmill, take your jog outdoors. Explore a nearby greenway on your bike. In warmer weather, use an outdoor pool to perfect your breaststroke instead of swimming laps indoors.

Motivate with Music or Media
Music can be a great motivator and a distraction that makes your workout go by faster.

(Also advice from Dana @ my little celebration.)

The point: If work, school, home, whatever leave you too little time to stay-up-to-date with sports, news or music, turn on the technology. Catch up with ESPN, NPR or your iPod.

(At the YMCA, most treadmills and stationary bikes are set up with televisions. While I cannot use the earphones because they electrocute me, it’s nice to watch a soccer game or read the ticker at the bottom of news casts while I’m jogging in the most dreadful manner.)

I like this article.

Why?

Because it offers some advice… while advice I’ve heard before… about how to make a workout less something hated and more something fun.

I need to fall in love with my workout. I just need to learn how to do that first.

While I’m not so sure making a “workout date” is going to work out (Ha!), a little of this-a little of that might.

Here’s hoping!