It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

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Working those guns, endurance and abs … in that order

I went down to the work gym today about 4:15 (later than I wanted, lately something seems to come up at work to push into my exercise time) and the spin bike was being used. First time in about seven months that I have gone down and wanted to use the bike and it wasn’t free.

I decided to reverse my workout and start with arms, then abs and then cardio–if the spin bike became available with enough time to have at least 30 minutes of cardio. And if it wasn’t I would just do an elliptical or treadmill.

As I was finishing working out my arms with some hard core weights (that was a joke) the woman on the espinner was finished with her cardio. Perfect timing.

I jumped on the spin bike and did about 30 minutes of endurance. Once I was done with my cardio I did about 10 minutes of abs.

Then I had about 10 minutes to grab a snack, fill up my water bottle, hit the restroom and jump on the shuttle bus.

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Switching it up at the gym

Today I debated on if I should do my regular Tuesday exercise routine on the spin bike (and if time permits, weights and abs) or switch it up a bit.

I decided to try something different. We have three regular ellipticals in the work gym and one “crazy” one: it’s a Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer. It’s like a stepper and an elliptical.

I did a 45-minute interval workout. When the resistance was low I used the elliptical in its full capacity–long strides. When the resistance was higher I used it more as a stepper. So every two minutes I was switching it up.

After my cardio I did some leg presses and arms with the free weights. Then I did some abs with the stability ball.

(I switch up my spin bike routine as well. If I do the “classes,” there are four choices and even within each “class” they vary. It’s important to keep your muscles guessing. Otherwise you can plateau. I also try to change up my weight routine and abs as well.)

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Monitoring heart rate

At work we have a pretty nice little gym: treadmills; ellipticals; spin bike; free weights; weight machines; big TV and area to do yoga or P90X or whatever you want. Most of the cardio machines have a TV or some sort of media attached.

The guy at work who designed the gym (and took suggestions from me!) hosted a training session the other day to go over the AV equipment.

He showed us how to watch TV on the machines and control the channel changing. He also showed us how we can listen to our own music or watch videos from our iPhones or iPods.

The guy who sold my company the equipment came in to show us some tricks on the machines and answer any questions we had. He gave us some great tips, too.

The best one for me was about our heart rate. He told us how to figure it out. Take 220 and subtract your age. That number is your maximum heart rate.

I am almost 37 (so I am using that age for this). My maximum heart rate is 183. I was advised that you should try to maintain your cardio heart rate at 60% to … Continue reading

Spare exercise clothes save the day

I had planned to take the 4:15 shuttle home from work. That would get me into Emeryville about 5. I planned to run a few errands before the 6:30 Thursday night spin class.

Right before I left work I checked my personal e-mail and had a message from my friend Jenn who teaches the Thursday night class every other Thursday. She wanted me to know she wouldn’t be teaching tonight because of a cold. I am not a fan of the other Thursday night teacher. I was debating on what to do.

I remembered that I have spare exercise clothes at work just in case. And they came in handy. I did about 40 minutes on the elliptical and then 10 minutes of abs.

And the best part was when I got back to Emeryville I could just come home, shower, have dinner and (now) lounge about. My errands weren’t urgent–so I can take care of them another day.

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Indoor cycling

I worked out in the new swanky gym at work today.

The gym is about 75% set up. I was the only one in there the whole time I was spinning.

For about 40 minutes today I worked out on the eSpinner. There is a video of a guy on a bike telling me what to do, encouraging me, etc. The actual bike monitors what you are doing and will tell you if you need to go faster or slow or add or take off resistance.

I choose an endurance routine. It was tough and a good workout. The back of my thighs and the lower part of my butt are slightly sore. I can only imagine how they will feel tomorrow. There were other spin routines to take–strengthening, climbing, endurance, etc. I plan to try all routines.

The work gym has treadmills, ellipticals, spinners, weight machines, free weights, medicine balls, stability balls, towel service and a big TV.

I think the best part is the built-in fan. I get so hot when I workout. The built-in fan is so great.

I am still trying to figure out my … Continue reading

Vegas workouts

Over my Vegas weekend I hit the hotel gym twice. That is pretty good.

Most vacations I pack my workout clothes and they never leave the suitcase.

I seriously think having a workout partner, Jen, made all the difference. So, Jen, I think you must go on all vacations with me. 🙂

Day 1 was crazy elliptical and abs. Day 2 was treadmill and free weights.

I didn’t pack tennis shoes this time around. Usually I do and it is a waste of space as they don’t come out along with my workout clothes. I wore my Skechers while working out. They were OK for my two workouts. I wouldn’t suggest it if someone were working out more than a few times.

Coming home from my fun and high calorie intake weekend brings me back to more reasonable meals and things I drink. For dinner tonight I had brown rice and steamed Brussels sprouts with water.

I plan to hit my regular spin class tomorrow night after work.

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We found exercise in Vegas

Jen and I hit the hotel gym this morning. Access to the gym came with Curt’s and my room.

Jen did the treadmill and I did some crazy elliptical type machine. We both had a good workout.

Every machine had a TV attached and headphones provided. Pretty swanky.

After our workout we showered and met up for a yummy lunch at a sandwich place.

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Elliptical is better than nothing

Today something was going on at work so I missed my noon spin class. I planned to go to the evening spin class. But I really wanted to watch the Giants game tonight.

So I worked out on the elliptical at the gym in my work building. It wasn’t the greatest workout ever. But it was better than nothing. And really I could have just said, eh, I won’t work out today.

Glad I did it and I feel less guilty while I am sitting on my butt watching the game and drinking a beer.

Plus now I have worked out four days in a row. YEA! Yoga on Friday night; spin/abs/core/body conditioning on Saturday; yoga Sunday; and elliptical today. Not too shabby for someone who is trying to get back on track.

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‘You’ve lost weight’

At the gym tonight one of my fellow gym-goers said to me, You’ve lost weight.

I thanked Rona. But I told her that my weight is actually going in the other direction. Her husband, Jim, mentioned the whole thing about muscle weighing more than fat. I have always thought that was a myth. I mean a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks, right?

I used Google to learn a little more and found this. Muscle and fat weigh the same. But the difference is: “A five pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five pound pile of muscle.”

I was so tired after work. I really didn’t want to go to the gym. But I knew I needed to exercise. I got to the gym and Zumba was canceled. The instructor was sick. I don’t really like the Wednesday night spin teacher, plus I didn’t have my clip shoes. So I caught up on celebrity news and worked out on the elliptical. After my workout I found out that the spin class had a sub.

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