Tips to becoming a lover of running….

From the sideline to the finish line

I must say that I was an avid walker for many, many years. Running for me just began about 3 or so years ago.  I had decided that I needed more of a challenge….something that would give my heart a good workout.  Heart disease/heart failure is in my family and knew that becoming a runner would help my heart stay strong.  Many of you that read this post may not even be on the “running” radar.  You may be one of many that just need to get walking and that is OK!  The tips I will give you today will get you from the couch, to walking and even to a marathon!

7 tips on becoming a runner

 


The Path to becoming a Runner…A “Challenging” Beginning……

I was challenged by a friend to run a 5k that she was going to participate in.  She had done many of them and knew what she was getting into….I, on the other hand, said yes but had no prior experience with a 5k.  Preparing for a 5k was something I had no idea of either.  My idea of training was putting on my running shoes on, walking out the door and running. LOL  That was probably not the best plan of action but I guess sometimes you just have to get moving.  

As I reflect on how I went about my new running adventure, I can see how I could have done things better.  After taking a break from running, I have decided get back into my routine.  These tips I am sharing with you today are what I plan on using for myself.

Figure out where you are now

You may not have thought of this but it would be a good idea to reflect on where you are physically now before you get started.  You need to know this so you can gauge how much you improve.  So time yourself and measure the distance. This is applicable whether you are walking or running.  You can do this with a smart phone using an app (I use Map My Run) or something like a FitBit device.  How can you know how much you have improved if you don’t know where you began?

Set a goal larger than what you can imagine ever accomplishing  

 I have always been a goal setter but I have to admit that my idea of goal setting in the past has been somewhat weak.  I would set a goal that was just a smidgen’ beyond what I thought I could do.  The downside to this thinking was, I would reach that goal, feel all good about it and then quit.  I reached the goal, so I would move on, right?  Being that I am ADD, moving forward to the next “shiny” goal seemed like the logical thing to do.  You may wonder what is wrong with this…..well I have found that in setting a goal just beyond my reach, it was not a big enough challenge and did not allow me to push myself and see what I was really capable of achieving.

Don’t set easy goals

Confession: I tend to make my goals too easy.   You probably subconsciously do this as well.  It helps us avoid the possibility of failing….right?  None of us like the feeling of failure. I have found though that within the failures of life will be where we will see the most growth, both emotionally, spiritually and physically.

So now instead of setting a goal of finishing a 5k, I have a new goal of competing in a marathon.  I may never actually achieve that goal but in the pursuit of it, I will be pushing myself to move beyond the barriers that I have set forth in my mind and will accomplish more than I ever imagined I could.

Health Ranger StoreTake your big goal and break it into smaller goals I believe that this will be especially helpful to those that are still sitting on the couch reading this post going “I can’t even walk a mile, let alone run in a 5k!”.   You always want to know what the “big” goal is but trying to reach it in one fail swoop can be overwhelming and probably keep you right where you are….on the couch.  I have heard it said that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!  This goal you have set for yourself is your “elephant”, so take it on one segment at a time.  

So here is an example

  • Goal:  Marathon
  • Steps to Achieving Goal: walk 15 minutes each day for the week #1….walk 20 minutes and jog 1 minute. Walk another 10 minutes on week #2, walking a total of 25 minutes, run for 1 minute.  Walk another 10 minutes on week #3 and so forth.  
  • This is just an idea of what you can do and you can create a routine however you want but the point is to build it up each week.  Depending on where you begin, will determine how you progress.  I do challenge you to not go too easy on yourself.  During this process you are reprogramming your mind (which is your biggest challenge in anything new) to realize that you can push through.  You are also retraining your body, muscles, lungs and getting them adapted as well.  If your goal is to become I runner, then the amount of time you run at the beginning should grow as you progress and the amount of time you would walk should lessen.  You should get to the point where you are just running.

Reward yourself as you reach the smaller goals 

We have a habit of neglecting to celebrate the small achievements.  If it wasn’t for reaching the “small” goals, we would never reach the “big” goal, would we??  So never allow yourself to poo-poo the smaller hurdles!  Now how you reward yourself can be anything.  Have a poster on your wall and using star stickers and marking the date and distance that you reached.  Celebrate by having a movie night out with friends.  Use your imagination and make it fun.  Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun, right? 😉

Speaking of friends, why not bring them along for the adventure! 

They may not have the same overall goal as you but that shouldn’t keep you from having someone join you.    I will challenge you to remember that if you are reaching your goals and they are not, don’t feel bad but keep moving forward in your pursuit.  It takes a strong person to keep their eye on the prize!

You are your ONLY competition

This is something that should be said…I myself fell into the trap of measuring myself against my friends.  If they could run the 5k without stopping to walk and I couldn’t, I felt like I had failed.  If they had a quicker finish time than I did, I felt like I had failed.  I didn’t take into consideration that when I began I couldn’t run a city block without having to stop and walk part of it!  Or that I had shaved off 20 seconds off my last run time.  Learn to just focus on what you have done and what you want to achieve.  You know when you have not giving your best!

 

Health Ranger Store Enjoy the process and take time to journal it

This may seem a little strange to journal your “couch to becoming a runner” experience.  I feel that it is not only a great way to log your progress but another way to see how far you have come.  You can do this the traditional way, pen and paper or get really creative and do a video log and post it on YouTube!   It can be hard to really appreciate your achievement because over time we tend to forget where we began.  Don’t forget where you started.  Never be ashamed of your story, for within your story someone else will find inspiration!

 

Did these tips help?

I hope that these tips to becoming a runner will help motivate you.  Also to give you a starting point of reference and help you ultimately reach your goals!  By the way, have you decided on a goal?  If so, leave it in the message box below, I would love to hear it!  Enjoy the content on this blog?  Be sure to use the social media icons below and share with your friends and family.

Until next time, Stay Healthy!

5 Tips to Breaking Through A Plateau

Frustration and discouragement was setting in….to come so far and to now be experiencing a plateau! The “last 10 #’s”, you know the part of weight loss that everyone says is the most difficult to get rid of….What could she do to get past this point?

Changes had already been made to the nutrition. Water intake was up, carbonated drinks were gone, and sweet tea was no longer being consumed!  But those last sticky pounds just would not budge!  It was hard to even happy with the over 2 years of success already experienced……

Break through plateau pinnable

 

As a wellness coach, I have many that call me frustrated because they have hit a “plateau” in their weight loss journey.

We have all been there.  I can so relate because, I myself, experienced one this past summer.  It was a summer full of stress and challenges.  It is a no wonder that I hit a wall in my own journey.  I am sure this has been you as well, at one time or another.

We view a weight loss plateau as – the scale is stuck on a certain number or maybe it has been going up a few pounds and then back down a few but never breaking through to a lower number.  But what really is a plateau?

When you change your calorie intake, your body will try to adjust. Your body will begin to conserve the calories you are giving it.  At first when you begin this change you will see weight loss, and typically fast weight loss.  Once your body has adjusted to the change, you will see a great decrease in weight loss.  It will slow down and that is when you need to make changes.  This slow down or even halt in weight loss can last 3 weeks, which when you are on your weight loss journey, can seem like a lifetime.

Health Ranger Chlorella

So what kind of changes can you make to break through, to throw your body off, so it is confused and has to readjust to ultimately break through the plateau?

 

  1. Adjust your workout routine.  Now for some of you, this may mean implementing a workout routine!  I know that many will be on their journey, lose a significant amount of weight without implementing an exercise routine at first. So maybe now is a time to get moving!  Don’t forget that exercise is good for more than just weight loss.  For those of you that are already working out – change it up!  Don’t do the same old routine each day.  This is why I love HIIT workouts so much!  They are different each day and that keeps them fresh and effective.
  2. Implement food changes into your diet.  Do you find yourself eating the same things each day?  Well no wonder your body has become so use to things and has plateaued.  I am such a creature of habit myself.  Once I find things that I like, I sorta just stick with them, not realizing that I need to shake things up and so do you.  Introduce new vegetables and fruits to your routine.  Restrict the amount of carbs you are eating for few days….remember we are trying to confuse to body to throw it into a energy usage mode.  We don’t want it to store everything, we want it to burn it!
  3. Make sure you are drinking enough water…..I cannot express to you enough how important water is in the equation.  Once again, I will remind you that your body is made up of 65% water….not coffee, not sodas, not even sweet tea.  I know that this may be a huge bummer for a lot of you but your body needs…Demands water.  So give it what is it wanting...more water.
  4. Adjust your calorie intake.  If you have been consuming the same amount of calories each day since the beginning of your weight loss journey, then it may be time to re-adjust.  Learning more about what your new calorie needs may be is not difficult either.   Fitness Magazine has a BMR tool where you can easily put in your numbers and find out the calories you should be taking in.   **NOTE:  please keep in mind that these calculators are not an exact science.  They are to give you a general idea of where you should be.  To get a better idea, you should visit your physician or a nutritionist.
  5. Build Muscle Mass – this for some women can be a touchy subject.  When the word “muscle” gets dropped into the conversation, most envision bulky, bulgy arms and legs that are disproportionate to the rest of the body.  But, actually muscle can look elegant, sexy and is a great way to manage your weight.  Since muscle burns more calories and can burn those calories for hours after a good workout, they are definitely something you should be all about getting!

muscle can be sexy

I began this post with a snippet of a story, a personal story…..my story.

Like most women, I do not really like to share that struggle.  But, it is real..it is a part of life and a weight loss journey.  Did I succeed in breaking through?  I am happy to share that I did and I did it by doing the above 5 tips!  My biggest change was actually the one that I felt I had going right….my workout routine.  But, it had become just that, a routine.  I did a major shake up in August 2015 and was able to shed those last 10 #’s.

So, I encourage you to not give up and to make the changes that need to be changed….maybe even some that you don’t think need to be changed!

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Until next time, Stay Healthy!!

Do You Make These 5 Workout Mistakes?

The mistakes I have made in the gym…OMG…..all this time I thought I had it going on….I thought that since I showed up, spent my allotted hour that BAM!  I was gonna be rocking seriously strong arms and legs that would make Tina Turner jealous…..boy, was I wrong!


Memories of Mistakes come flooding in….

I have to admit that when I thought about writing on this subject, I had memories (I try to forget these moments in my life) of myself at the gym doing these very mistakes!  Do you find yourself doing any of these?

Working Out Your Jaw??

How many of you have went to the gym and noticed people working out together and they were talking more than any thing else?  I have to raise my hand on this one and turn myself in to the gym police!

Time flies by and before you know it you have been at the gym an hour.  You are thinking that you  have had a great workout.  Unfortunately, the amount of time that you were actually working out was not even close to the hour that you were there.  So my advice to you is, hold off on the talking until your workout is done!

5 workout mistakes You are probably making

Are You Giving Your Best?

It is soooo easy to workout and leave thinking that since you showed up you should receive those little gold stars that the teachers use to give out in school.  But alas, unless you are actually giving it your best, then I would say nope, no gold start for you!

Taking it easy at your workout happens to all of us from time to time but really it should not be a consistent practice.  When you are working out, give it your best.  Leave it all there.  Try not to leave feeling like you have an ounce of energy left!

If you truly want results, like sculpted arms, fiercely toned legs or a tush that is defying gravity, then you are going to have to give it all you got.  Don’t halfway do it and expect  amazing results.

Change is good!

How many of you tend to do the same few exercises each time?  I am sooo guilty…..I have done that and it is a huge mistake!  First and foremost, the reason I say to change things up is so you do not get bored.  Once you get bored with your exercise routine, you are likely to quit and quitting will not get you to your overall goal, will it?

Health Ranger Store
Secondly, if you have been using 5 lb weights and the same amount of reps for months, do you really think that your are challenging your muscles?  I think not.  You need to up your weight and maybe even up your amount of reps.  Typically, if I up my weight, I will try one set at 15 reps, then my next round at 12 reps.  I usually do 3 rounds of reps.  For example, when I do my one arm rows, I will use 25 lb weight at 20 reps, then my next round I will use the same amount of weight and do 15 to 18 reps.  Now, keep in mind that I did not start at 25 lb weights!  Which brings me to my next point….

Too Much, Too Soon

If you are new to working out, be careful not to overdue it.  I know you may be super excited about your new exercise routine but overdoing it right off that bat can backfire on you real quick!  You can injure yourself, which could keep you away from your exercise for a period of time, which would defeat you right away!  When you are just starting out, you will be sore.  If you push too hard too fast, you will have an intense soreness, which may take a few days to get over.  You will get discouraged and perhaps even quit.

rope exercise

Form over Speed

I see this all the time, especially with newbies….They will try to be fast, speeding their way through their workout.  I’m not really sure if they feel that speed will burn more calories or what but they are much more likely to injure themselves doing their workouts in this manner.

It is much more important to take it slower and have your form right than to be speedy Gonzales!  I would strongly suggest that you find an experienced personal trainer and have them work with you one on one.  They can show you the best exercises to do to reach your goals and how to properly execute each one.

Which of these mistakes have you committed??

Now that I have talked about these 5 mistakes, how many of these have you done yourself?  I have to admit that I am guilty on all counts!  The best thing I did was hire a personal trainer.  He showed me how to properly do each exercise and gave me a new set of workouts to do each week.  He taught me how  and when to up my weight and reps.  I know that hiring a personal trainer may seem like an expense that you may not want to take on but I think it was money well spent.  Better to spend my money on how to exercise properly and effectively than for doctor bills because I injured myself!

I hope this post helps you to not make the same mistakes that so many others, including myself have made! 😉

Weight training =

TIP OF THE DAY:  If you are not currently adding in weight training to your routine, you need to!  Cardio is great but to get a sculpted look you are seeking, weight training is what you need! Here is an article on weight training for your arms.  Once again, please have a personal trainer show you how to do each of these properly so you can try to avoid injury.

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Until next week, stay strong & healthy!!

3 Motivators to Bring You Back to Fitness

3 Motivators that brought me back to the gym……Oh the pain!

Most people that follow me on fb or know me personally, know that I am very active and some would even go as far as to call me a gym rat. ( AKA someone to who lives at the gym and probably smells like a men’s locker room, sorry guys! )

I confessed just this week on fb that I had not been to the gym since before Thanksgiving!  Now for some people that is not really saying much but for me….that is catastrophic!

It is not catastrophic because I am so in love with the gym, quite honestly I wish I could just not go there.  I would love to be that girl that would feel motivated to workout at home but I have found I do much better at the gym.

So what motivated me to get back into the swing of things??  My body was YELLING at me, saying I NEEDED to get back.

Health Ranger Store

So what are my 3 motivators to get you back to the gym??

Well these may not work for you, especially if you have never had an exercise routine, but maybe they will inspire you to start one now!

  1.  Think of that satisfying feeling – Oh the feeling of complete satisfaction of knowing that you followed through on something that you know will make you better inside and out!  NEVER underestimate the feeling of a job well done, especially when it comes to YOU and your own betterment.
  2. Oh the pain! – LOL I am sure many of you are thinking I am crazy and you could be slightly accurate in that thought.  But, really, I am not 😉  Each time I go and get my workout completed I feel sore, worn out and ENERGIZED!  That pain I am feeling turns into energy and I always feel amazing.  I just want to go get on my sexist outfit and hit the town!  It just does something for the self-esteem that I really have not found anything to match it.
  3. That disappointed feeling – when I was not working out, I felt like I had let myself down.  I knew that I needed to be there.  I knew I needed, from the inside of me to the out, to be active. I needed to release the stress, release my fears, sweat out my frustrations and become the BOLD powerhouse that is living inside of me!

Health Ranger Store

Getting back into the swing of things

So this week, my exercise partner and I hit the gym again.  We both are sooooo glad to be back at it and yep, we are both sore!  The satisfaction so outweighs the pain, that the pain feels pretty darn good!

I challenge you, if you have fallen out of your exercise routine, get back to it!!   You know down deep in your toes that you will feel amazing when you do. 🙂

If you do not have some kind of exercise routine, then find something….anything…just get started.  You may have to play around with different things to find what works for you, something you will enjoy and stick with.

There are so many options, walking, running, weight training (my fav), pilates, yoga, tennis, basketball, swimming, and the list goes on!  Oh, I must mention my favorite outdoor thing to do is hiking!! 😉

So get out there and get moving!  The rewards both physically, and emotionally are worth any sweat beads you may acquire!!

Would love to hear from some of you…..what is your favorite exercise??

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Until next week, stay healthy!

Could You Be Missing Out by Not Using a Tabata Timer?

Could You Be Missing Out by Not Using a Tabata Timer?

A Tabata timer?

Think you may not need to use one of these nifty little gadgets??  If you find yourself having downtime during your routine, then I will answer this for you….YES!

My workout partner and I was at the gym this week and there was an older lady there.  She was fit a fiddle and was just killing her workout.  We noticed that she was using some sort of timer (on her cell phone) with her workout that kept her going at a pretty good pace.

TABATA timer

We just had to know what she was using, so we asked.  Her response was a Tabata timer.  The name of it intrigued us, so we asked more questions.   We found out in the course of the conversation that it was a special timer that we could set up how long each exercise we did would last and how much break time would be in between each exercise or set.

Many of you may have heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

but some of you may not know where in the world this style of training originated from.  I was curious, of course, to know more.  I found out that Dr. Tabata was the doctor that did the research study to show the difference between traditional exercising and HIIT way back in the 1990’s.

His research showed that by doing short bursts of exercise with a short break in between proved to be more effective and beneficial for the body. You could have a more productive workout in just 20 minutes of a HIIT workout routine than an hour of a traditional workout.

This HIIT workout style is not new to me, just the name of the timer (Tabata) she was using.  HIIT is compact in the amount of time it uses but is very effective.  So folks, you cannot say that you don’t have an hour for exercise anymore!  But, I will say this style of working out is not for the faint of heart.  It is intense!

If you are one that goes to the gym and complains the whole time that you “can’t” do a exercise or quits when you just start to get winded, then this is not for you.  But, I think that if you want to change up what you are doing, you should give it a try.  Give yourself 20 minutes of a HIIT workout and you will KNOW that you did a workout!

One of my favorite places to find a routine is on the youtube channel Body Rock.  She has all kinds of workouts and explains each as you go along.  She is working out with you and encourages you along the way.

She has a website with a blog that has recommended foods to eat as well.  Now, her workouts can be intense, so you may want to do your own research to find other HIIT routines, but here is a HIIT workout just for a beginner.

I found a ‘Tabata app’ in my app store on my phone that was free, so be sure to get one on your phone so that each time you workout you can use it as well.  We found that it did make our routine to be much more effective and we spent way less time at the gym.   

Hope you found this post to be of value to you!  If you did, then be sure to tag your friends on Facebook in the comment box below.  Also, be sure to enter your email in the “Tune in for more health tips”  (red) box to receive notifications of any future posts.

Stay healthy my friends!

Lisa Gibson - blogger, health nut, believer in the human spirit