Today I am talking about the second piece to the puzzle…
Another one of my favorite components.
Growing up I played almost every sport at some time or another. I have always been a very active person, if you know me personally you know I can’t sit still for very long.
I did all the sports I could. I was good at some and others not so much. Looking back now I could have been so much better at them all if I would have been training more like a athlete on my own time. The only workouts I got growing up were whatever we did in PE and athletics. I recall lifting weights here and there and I vividly remember running a ton of sprints/suicides. I like to think I am a hard worker and I am super competitive so, I usually have the “all in” or “all out” mindset. I do my best to win in everything I do, I’m not a good loser. HA. I like to walk away from everything knowing, I gave it my all.
So, after my high school days exercise was pretty much a thing of the past. I had no desire to step into a gym and anytime I actually did I felt completely loss and clueless on what to do. Majority of the time I ended up on the treadmill for 20min then left because I was so bored and there was no competing with the treadmill. If someone got beside me I would try to compete with them, they had no idea the competition was going on but, in my head I was going to last longer and run faster. I usually lost the game only I was playing because my body was so out of shape. So I was a gym hopper for a few years then, I just gave up.
I became a Mom at 22. When my first born was 10mths old I’ll never forget getting a positive on a pregnancy test and thinking, “How am I going to do this?” I mean we were barely surviving with one, now two? I was terrified. But, knew we would find a way. So after our second arrived and we did the math we would have lost money for me to go back to work and try to pay for two day care bills. So, I became a stay at home Mom. Not because we had money, but actually because we didn’t.
One day when I was home with the babies I hopped on Facebook and read a post by a friend, “FREE ZUMBA tonight, who wants to come with me?” I commented, “What is a Zumba?” and nothing has looked the same since.
I told Ricky I had to go check out this “Zumba thing” and it was free so, that was a plus. I’ll never forget walking into the studio, standing up against the very back wall, and just taking it all in. There were at least 20-30 women in the class. Everyone was laughing, smiling, yelling, encouraging, and sweating. It was in that moment I fell in love with the concept of “Group Fitness”
Now don’t get it twisted, I ain’t no Shakira… my hips do lie and I like to march to the beat of my own drum. I knew I wouldn’t be teaching Zumba. A few short months after my first Zumba class the studio I attended hosted a Turbo Kick certification. This was it! This was why God would bring me to that studio. I became a certified Turbo Kick instructor in 2010 and from there would stack up tons of other certifications. Boot Camp, Tabata, Piloxing, R.I.P.P.E.D, Group Training, plus a ton more! I had found a new passion and calling on my life!
Up until that very first Zumba class I had wrote exercise off. When you said that word all my mind saw was a treadmill and, I wasn’t doing it! That Zumba class forever changed everything for me. So, when it comes to exercise here’s some tips I want to give you:
- Try Group Fitness- If you have zero motivation to get to the gym, or you have no idea what you are doing when you do get there…. try a Group Class. Shoot try them all until you find one that you enjoy. I was AWFUL at Zumba but, I fell in love with the people so, as bad as I was… I kept going! And it was fun! I made fun of myself in the mirror, and I will say the more I went the better I got. I remember one day, after many classes, I looked in the mirror and thought, “Hey, that hip roll didn’t look so bad” HA! Give it time, you get better each time. Find a class that works for you and your schedule. MAKE A FRIEND. Talk to the other people in the class. Now, many years later I still LOVE Group Fitness and actually still participate in it but, so much of that has to do with making friends with the people I am doing it with. So even if you are a introvert, say, “Hi” to someone else in the class. Make a friend!
- Get a Trainer- Group Fitness classes are a amazing starting point! I still participate in them. As your body changes though so will your goals. So, after a few years I went through a season of really wanting to push my body to a new limit. I wanted to start experiencing with the weights. I hired a trainer for a limited amount of time to help educate me on the machines in the gym I was at! I can’t stress this enough, this helped me SO much in that season! I always stayed far away from the weight room. Mostly due to just being un-educated and intimidated. Now… it’s my favorite place to be and has been one of the biggest factors in my body transformation. Weight training allows you to work more effectively and to build lean muscle. There are different ways and strategies on lifting depending on what your goals are. Lighter weight=more reps. Heavier weight= fewer reps. Is getting a trainer cheap? No. But it’s a investment into becoming the best you. So, save up. Quit spending on something else and INVEST IN YOU! Even if it’s just for a season to get educated. Then you can turn to other online programs.
- Online Programs- these can be a great tool! After I got familiar with the gym, weights and machines I did a few different FREE online programs. I think my most favorite would be the Jamie Eason- Lean program. I got great results from it each time, its a great and effective program and I have seen numerous women begin to transform from it. Pinterest is always a great go-to. You can find numerous at home work-outs, gym workouts, etc on there!
- Find what Works for YOU- I know a lot of Moms prefer to work out at home! POWER TO YOU– LIKE FO REAL! This has never worked for me personally. The gym has always been my “me time” it allows me to step out of the house and out of my motherly duties for a hour or so and just take care of me. I know some amazing women though that kill it at home with their own workouts! So, you truly have to find what works best for YOU!
- Be Effective- I’ve gone through a season where I would head to the gym and I would stay for a good 2-3 hours and I would leave feeling like I worked out but, knowing I wasn’t very effective. So, now that I have FOUR babies 2-3 hours in a gym is just not happening and honestly for someone that’s just trying to live a healthy lifestyle it shouldn’t take 2-3 hours. Now maybe if you’re competing in a fitness show or something that makes sense but, for just a Momma trying to get healthier not really necessary. So now I do what’s called HIIT training….
- “High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery.” So basically I’ll work hard for 30 seconds, like max out and then take a 15 sec break, work hard 30 sec, 15 sec break, etc. I do this for about a total of 35-45min. AND IT IS EFFECTIVE! Seriously doing this has provided my body specifically the best and fastest results out of anything else I have ever done. I use this format in a group class I attend here locally. The way the program is set up we’ll do Cardio Tues & Thurs then the other days of the week are Strength Training and Full Body workouts. So I’m killing my cardio and weight training! At 31, six pregnancies later this is the best shape my body has been in! I feel stronger, I have more definition and my endurance is better than ever before.
- Lastly– maybe you’re reading this and you’re like NO WAY! Here’s the thing… you don’t want to be 60 and not be able to play with or even hold your grandbaby. GET HEALTHY! Maybe that just means instead of sitting in your chair all day watching TV you take the dog for a walk. Maybe it means you go walk three laps around your local jogging trail instead of raiding the pantry after work. Maybe it means you start adding some light weights into your walks. I don’t know what this looks like for you but, I do know being active is a HUGE key to the puzzle. Any program that encourages you NOT to workout/be active and/or to just take a product and you’ll get fit is a LIE. Your body was built to move, it needs to move, you should want to move! Moving gives you energy and helps to burn off fat. Sitting on your butt all day, popping a pill and not changing anything about your eating does not. Sorry can’t sugar coat that for you! GET UP AND MOVING! Your kids and grand-babies want you playing kick ball in the back yard. They want you playing on the floor with them, and YOU don’t want to miss those moments!
So, all of that being said. The biggest take a way I can give you is…
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!
Maybe it’s Zumba.
Maybe it’s just walking around the park listening to a good sermon series.
OH that’s another TIP:
If you are working out alone, listen to up beat LIFE BREATHING music! When I workout now on my own I use the Pandora app and type in “Christian Rap Music” it’s got a upbeat that makes you workout at a faster temp + the words breathe life into you!! I also will listen to Steven Furtick sermon series too cause homeboy can preach.
So, find what works for you! If you have any additional questions or comments let me know! I would love to hear what has or hasn’t worked for you! Where do you struggle the most? What are you doing about it? What’s your favorite workout or favorite thing to listen to while you workout? Send it to me! I want to know, maybe I am missing out on something!