It’s almost three weeks into the quarter and when classes start picking up and homework becomes more important, working out becomes less. There are some days I’m out of the house at 8:30 a.m. and don’t come home until 10 at night. (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But, if you’re finding your schedule is often like this you might ask, “When am I going to workout?!”
If you’re feeling motivated enough, by all means, get to the gym at 6 a.m. and your problems are solved. But if you’re like me, working out at 6 a.m. on such a busy day just isn’t going to happen. Here are some tips for sneaking in exercise when you have super long days:
Walk up stairs whenever possible! Now I don’t mean walking to the 35th floor of the building, but if your class is on the 4th floor of Arts & Letters Hall, then don’t be lazy and take the stairs.
10 minutes of walking between three classes = 30 minutes a day. Some people think that in order to get good exercise you have to be running uphill sprints on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking a day is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will still help you achieve your weight loss goal. It’s better than not walking at all — Think of it that way.
5 minute wake-up drill. I find it hard to believe you wake up at 7:50 and are out the door at 8:00 – If you can do that (without looking like a hot mess) I applaud you. However, most normal people need time to physically wake up in the morning. After you wake up before getting in the shower do:1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute mountain climbers, 1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats and a 1 minute plank.
Check out FitStudio.com and register for “Drop 5 in 30 days.” It’s comprised of multiple quick 10 minute workouts by Andrea Metcalf that are simple and you can do them with a small space.
“There are many paths to Oz – don’t let the monkey scare you.” – Andrea Metcalf
How are your fitness resolutions coming along? I’ve been working at holding this plank for at least 30 seconds and finally got it! Keep working at it! Would love to hear feedback. Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at Monica.Kucera@gmail.com.
For most people, working out and exercising is the last thing on their minds right after they wake up from sleeping. It sounds like a terrible idea — after all, you’re groggy, tired and don’t have any energy so why on earth would you want to exercise? Wouldn’t that make you even more tired? Fitness enthusiasts have been recommending early morning exercise for years, since it has a number of benefits that can keep you in a great mood throughout the entire day.
It’ll Keep You Pumped Up All Day Long
Interestingly, working out in the morning may actually help you have more energy throughout the day and keep you in a positive mindset. While doing clinical studies on rodents, scientists have found that regular endurance exercise significantly increases how efficient your brain is at using dopamine. The National Parkinson’s Foundation has an excellent summary of the benefits of the exercise on your brain in how efficiently it uses dopamine.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in your brain that reinforces behavior. Anything that you find pleasurable will cause your brain to release dopamine; this creates an association between that activity and dopamine release, and the brain loves dopamine. Working out early in the morning can help you keep a consistent workout regimen, as your brain will get used to working out right after your wake up and eventually begin to crave it as soon as your alarm goes off.
Working out also releases endorphins, which have been identified as causing what athletes refer to as the “runner’s high.” These brain chemicals cause feelings of well-being and help to reduce pain and inflammation. Cardiovascular exercise in the morning can give you a jolt of endorphins that help you to start the day off right; endorphins early in the morning can help contribute to you having a positive and energetic mood all day long!
I’ve gone to the gym at least 4 days a week over winter break considering I have almost nothing else to do besides sleep in and go shopping. Not to mention, my winter break has been extended because I’m studying abroad. I’ve been off since Thanksgiving and leave for Greece on Sunday. That is way too much free time for my busy self!
Therefore, since I’ve been to the gym so much I know how boring it can get doing cardio when you stick to the treadmill, elliptical and bike. There’s only so much you can do before it starts to get incredibly boring. So, I’ve switched up my routine a bit to incorporate different kinds of cardio. Keep in mind, you don’t have to just run or bike in order to lose weight, it’s all about keeping up that heart rate!
Create your own circuits – If you can make it to the gym during the day or times when the dance studios for classes aren’t being used, go in there to get away from people if you want to keep your workout private. This is what I do when I like to come up with my own workout plan. I will do mountain climbers for 45 seconds, then get up and jump rope, but with light weights in my hands for 45 seconds. I do each twice, take a 20 second break and do them again twice. Other alternatives are burpees, actual jumprope, jump squats and sprints.
To find your maximum heart rate, or the hardest you can push during a workout do: 206 – (88% of your age) = MHR So for me it’s 206-18.48 = 187.52. (88% of 21 is 18.48). Knowing this will force you to push yourself.
Typically, your target heart rate should be around 50-75% of your maximum heart rate. So for me, 50% of 187.52 is about 94. 75% of that is about 140. Therefore, my heart should beat at least 94 times a minute and no more than 140 if I don’t want to overexert myself.
I don’t have a heart rate monitor when I work out but I’d definitely suggest getting one. You can always do it old school by watching a clock for a minute and counting how many times your heart beats by putting your index & middle finger over the carotid artery in your neck.
Just remember, you don’t have to sit on the elliptical for an hour to lose weight! Switch up your routine.. Trying new things will only force your body to work harder because it isn’t used to it. If you get bored you’ll quit. Go out of your comfort zone and look for new routines. Fitness Magazinehas good ideas and great printable workouts.