A new gym-goer finds an exercise routine, sticks with it, and the pounds start coming off at a regular clip—until something changes. Not the person; they’re still exercising as hard as ever, sometimes harder, but the weight loss has stopped. What happened?
Weight loss is 80% diet 20% exercise. You could lift and run all you want, but if your diet is poor and you are eating at a calorie surplus everyday – you will not lose weight. At the same time if you eat at a calorie deficit but do zero weight training you will lose weight but also look horrible because you will have little to no muscle definition. The key is to constantly be eating at a deficit while weight training.
If you’re just now getting back into a workout routine after a few weeks off for the holidays, or after injuries or laziness kept you grounded for a long time, don’t feel guilty, and don’t worry. You will get that strength and fitness back. Compared to somebody who’s never trained, your experience gives you a huge advantage that’ll make it easier to get back to form.
Don’t forget your first victory: That you came back at all! If you’re having trouble with the mental side of getting back in the game after a workout break, remember…
Expect to be sore. If you take it easy, you shouldn’t be too sore. 😉
For me nursing a busted collarbone, I’m heading into week 2. It’s certainly improved as the first week progressed, and it’s nowhere near as bad as when I busted ribs. Broken ribs suck. It’s the hand on the arm/collarbone that isn’t busted up – still swollen, I can see yellow of the bruising. I’d feel OK to get on the trainer or even commuter if it weren’t for the busted hand on the good arm. I learnt from the last time, no swimming for at least the first five weeks. I’m walking 5 KM ATM, but I think I’m not taking it easy enough on the collarbone. It’s still a month before I can even take the stuff in the article to heart 😦
Finding the time to exercise can be a hassle. I’ve found that most people try to hit the gym before or after work, but that means choosing between peeling yourself away from your cozy sheets or training after a day of mental exhaustion from work. There is a third option, however: train at lunch. Here are the benefits and how to go about it.
It’s good, and especially worth looking into now that Daylight Savings Time (DST) is in effect. Perfect for things that are preferable to do in daylight.
That said, mind what sort of thing you’re going to do and at what intensity. If I’m not sweating, I’m not working hard enough… That means I’d need to shower before going back to work, which means a towel and such besides facilities. Failing to prepare is preparation for failure…
Walking is certainly easy and accessible. I’ve made the mistake of doing yoga a couple of hours before swimming – my shoulders were horrible in ways I’d never experienced. So trial-and-error 😉
But I did use to do yoga the day before a race, at least 24 hours between yoga and the race. It was really good to do something, but something different and generally low impact. Now into triathlon offseason and cyclocross season, I’m approaching things differently. I have one more rest day, which is good because I’ve been noticing I’m really burnt out… even though I’m doing less.
Once you finally cross that threshold where exercise becomes a routine, there’s a big “what’s next?” question that pops into your brain. For many of us, simply doing the work just isn’t exciting enough. As a cyclist, I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone to keep things interesting.
We stretch for lots of reasons: Because it feels good, because it’s part of our pre-workout routine, because a muscle is stiff and we think stretching will fix it. But most of what we know about stretching—and thus the ways we use it—are based on wishful thinking and outdated science. We’re stretching for all the wrong reasons.
The article doesn’t say, but there is an implication that body weight exercise (yoga, pilates) routinely is good for you™. It’s been covered in the past that stretching does not help recovery. I know I benefit from doing twists in yoga – far less back issues when road riding.
There seems to be a cultural consensus that you have to love fitness. People will tell you that if you don’t like exercising, it’s just because you haven’t found what you like, or you’re not doing it frequently enough to engage a positive feedback loop. As a fitness writer and coach who has been training consistently for over a decade, I can confidently say that I don’t like exercising, and that’s okay.
I dislike [activity], but I love having done [activity].
For a while, that was me and running. Running still isn’t my “go to” thing to do, but I don’t have the distaste for it that I used to. Motivation hasn’t been an issue for me – I can get into a rut very easily, so as long as I make an effort.
The benefits of exercise are real. It’s worth the effort to make the change.
There’s not much that’s more essential to your running (and your life) than your blood.
The more oxygen-carrying power your blood has, the faster you can run. Without enough oxygen, your body is quickly plunged into acidosis, the deep burning sensation in your legs that you feel at the end of a race or a hard workout.
Doing anything that would decrease your body’s oxygen-carrying potential would be crazy right?
Blood donation groups like the Red Cross advise against heavy exercise the same day you donate, to avoid reopening the needle wound and because you may feel dizzy or faint from low blood pressure. Be aware that frozen blood has a 48-hour lifespan, compared to four weeks for fresh blood, makes me understand why there are constantly blood drives. But the last time I checked, those on blood thinners are not allowed to donate. If you can, please consider donating or encouraging those who can to donate blood.