Turns out, Exercise Really is Important
Published: 03/25/2011 at Richard Gonzalez
When I think about working out, I conjure up images of muscle heads that wear shirts that are 2 sizes too small and walk around and say, 'man' a lot. Needless to say, I haven't worked out that much in the past, oh, 8 years. I do a lot of walking, which answers the question "do you exercise?", and I have been consistent with taking the stairs whenever its possible, you know, to 'change up' my exercise routine. But short of that, I just think about it.
Well, I'm happy to say that I have taken the right turns to come to the realization that the 'thinking' process has gotten me no where and I'm beginning to look like my father...which isn't necessarily a good thing...not at this time in my life. I have come to grips that my metabolic rate has been stuck and it isn't going to start up again if I sit around and 'think' about it. The shape that I'm in now, is not ideal - yes, round is a shape - and with that being said, I'm off to figure out what needs to be done to correct that.
Working out isn't so much a type of kryptonite to me, but it does align itself with those things that I least would like to do - which is why I knew that I needed some sort of instructor/teacher/motivator to make sure that I don't forget about the mission at hand. I figure it might be worth while to share with all those that are in the same predicament as I am a few tips to getting off the couch and into a better feeling you.
1. Eat enough. What?! Are you kidding me? I eat enough during the day to feed a small army, and a few countries for that matter. It appears that its not how much you eat, but what you put in your body. I would assume that because I'm embarking on this weight loss journey that I should cut down on my food intake, not so. Being properly fueled is the key. Proteins and carbohydrates at least two hours before you hit the gym.
2. Get enough rest. This is hardly a problem for me. I swear that if sleeping where an Olympic sport, I would take gold every time...the 30 minute siesta, the 45 minute power-nap and the full blown 8 hour REM sleep, I have it all covered. Your body does have to recover from your workouts in order to repair the muscles and help them develop. If you work out and don't get enough rest, you increase the risk of injury, loss of appetite and fatigue. So, get some rest!
3. You need to add resistance training. So, what you're telling me is walking won't cut it, huh? If you want to see some results, you need to use those big intimidating machines...or at the very least those colorful resistance bands. The benefits are endless, as they build muscle, which in turn promotes fat burn, which is something that I'm desperate for. So, keep on walking and taking the stairs, but add some resistance and strength training and you'll be on your way.
4. Know how to do the exercises. How do you not know how to lie on your back and pull a heavy weight from your chest? Well, according to some ‘experts’ it’s more then just that. Although you may have done all these exercises before, it would be a good idea to make sure that you are doing them correctly for maximum results. Tackling a new fitness regimen that includes lifting weights over you head and pushing it off your chest is intimidating enough, don’t enhance that with doing it incorrectly. Makes sense, I don't want it falling and crushing my oversized melon.
5. Don't set goals that are just not acceptable. OK, I want to look like the model on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, and short of not having the same hairstyle, I'm not too far from it...but really, it’s just not realistic. Not really a big surprise here, I already knew this one...but it does hurt to hear someone who is not me tell me the obvious; that you are not going to have that 8 pack on your stomach in 3 weeks. I tend to take this approach when dealing with setting goals, don't expect too much from it...that way, you won't be disappointed; regardless of the outcome. (Admittedly, this is NOT the way that a normal person would operate).
6. Stretch out before and after your workout. I remember a while ago I took a yoga class and I have to say that I felt like a fish out of water. I have zero, nada, zip in the line of flexibility. I think that you look stupid and I don't need anything to emphasize that I look that way. But, the short time that I feel 'stupid' is well worth it as I have found out the hard way. Skip on the stretching can lead to uncomfortable soreness and impingements - consequences that will hinder the effectiveness of your next workout - not to mention really make the following days really horrible. Looks like I'm going back to the yoga studios!