Welcome to another Monday and a new shot of motivation to kick off the work week!
Today, I want to address one of the worst things we can do to ourselves when we make the decision to pursue a healthy lifestyle and start exercising. Do NOT waste your energy comparing yourself to others!
Whether you’re out for a power walk, sweating it out on the elliptical, lifting weights or taking a group exercise class, you should be working out at a pace that feels good for you. The reality is there will always be someone who can walk or run faster, lift more or be more graceful at Zumba than you. Who cares?
I’m still working on getting over my own insecurities. While my love affair with fitness dates back to my childhood, I got certified in the fitness industry “late” in life. Many of my new fitness friends have been personal training or teaching group exercise classes since the days I started my journalism career. That’s about 15 years ago. Others got certified at the same time I did, but they’re 10 years younger. They recover from some of the tougher workouts more quickly than I do at the age of 38. Comparing myself to any of these peers is pointless. Instead of feeling inadequate about my capabilities, I’ve decided it’s much more productive to turn to these fitness friends for motivation and information on everything from human movement science to exercise program design.
So, stop comparing yourself to that “ripped” girl or guy on the machine next to you. Focus on yourself. Do what you can, as best as you can and remember, you’ve made exercise a part of your life to make your heart healthier, your body happier and your mind a little saner.
Sometimes, we all need a reminder on why it’s important to be our biggest cheerleader when it comes to following through on the plan to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
It’s probably safe to say most of us wonder where our weekends go. This one, however, flew by particularly fast for me as it was one filled with plenty of fitness fun – both physical and mental.
Mother Nature graced us with one of the most magnificent weekends in recent memory filled here in New York City. Since I wanted to get out and enjoy the sunshine as early as possible on Saturday, I got my butt to the gym before 9 am and put my new love of Tabata training to good use. If you’re looking to make the most of an hour at the gym, here’s what I got accomplished in that time Saturday morning:
- 5 minute self-myofascial release (SMR) with the foam roller and static stretches for my calves, TFL and latissimus dorsi.
- 20-minute”Tabata Derby”: Using my UltraTimerHD app (as recommended by my friend and fitness pro Roberto Murichi), I completed four sets of Tabatas featuring the following exercises: squats, push-ups, sit-ups and planks. Thanks to the app, I simply pressed start and knew exactly when to work for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and continue. Once the first four-minute Tabata was completed, the app also allowed for the crucial 60-second “rest” period before moving on to the next exercise.
- 1000-meter rowing “sprint.” This took me about 10 minutes. Not my best time ever, but I had just finished the Tabata Derby, so I gave myself a bit of a break.
- 20-minute interval elliptical training. (The last five minutes were more of a cardio cool down.)
- 5 minutes SMR and stretching, mirroring what I did at the start of the workout.
Sunday’s “workout” lasted much longer – a little more than eight hours to be exact – but it was a totally different experience. I spent the day at the Sports Club/LA on New York’s Upper East Side for a B2C Fitness workshop entitled “Functional Anatomy 1: Intro to Human Movement Science.” The class was taught by my friend and B2C President Brent Brookbush.
Not only did taking the workshop help me gather some of the needed CEC’s (Continued Education Credits) I need to maintain my personal training certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, but it also offered an amazing refresher on anatomical terminology and the interactive function of joints, muscles, fascia and the nervous system as it relates to human movement.
The course was filled with fun anecdotes and interactive activities, and it was also great to meet other personal trainers and fitness professionals with different levels of experience in the industry. Any of my readers who happen to be fellow fitness pros and need some CEC’s (or just want to brush-up on everything from planes of motion to movement analysis), I’d recommend taking any of Brent’s workshops in a heartbeat.
While the physical and mental workouts may make for a groggier Monday than usual, I’m happy to be armed with refreshed energy and knowledge to continue on the quest to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!