One part of my life that I haven’t touched on a lot here on the blog is my love of a good workout. I have wanted to do another set of content specific posts since we wrapped up the White Shirt Files in February. So I am dubbing all Monday posts this May GET MOVING MONDAYS!
I go through a workout doldrum about this time every year. For me, I don’t struggle to go to workout or eat right during the winter months. I don’t have a hard time eating a balanced diet during the major food Holidays of November and December. Instead, I feel as though I can steam through Thanksgiving, eat a delicious meal and stay on the clean eating wagon. I can eat a sweet here or there over Christmas, and still maintain a healthy weight and good attitude about hitting the gym.
For me the problem actually occurs AFTER the huge “return to the gym” movement of New Year’s Resolutioners in January. Around the beginning of February I am often so over winter. I’m tired of the darkness, the cold, and dragging myself out in said frigid conditions to get a good workout in (yes, even if this is only to jump in the car and head to the gym!).
I start to want to eat everything in sight! I don’t lean one way or the other in the carb vs. protein struggle. While I really like breads and pastas, I eat them in moderation and enjoy normal portions without trouble. But come February/March I start to want to pound a loaf of bread by myself in one sitting. I look at salads with disdain. I don’t do a great job of making sure I am adding veggies and fruits to every meal.
My morning breakfast of two eggs with salsa and wilted spinach devolves into two or three pieces of toast with bread and chocolate milk. Ask my trainer, she’s already informed me MANY times that this sort of meal is not only high in carbohydrates, it’s also super nutrient deficient.
Right about NOW I need a reset. I need a reason to propel me back to the gym. It is usually the start of Spring and the promise of a new outdoor cycling season that get me amped up to return to a more regular workout schedule.
I look to music, and enjoyable classes, and outdoor road rides with awesome friends to get me back into shape after my poor eating choices come end of winter.
The Fatboy Slim remix of the Beastie Boys song Body Movin’ (though one of the weirdest music videos EVER) always keeps me in the right mindset for a great workout!
I have some major foot and ankle issues. I’m sure I’ll write about them at some point here. But for now I’ll share that where I used to be an avid runner. Taking my boys out for a run nearly EVERY DAY is now a thing of the past as I have had to shift gears in my 30s. Cycling, both indoor and outdoors has become my go-to cardio workout of choice.
Cycling is low impact, uses most of your major muscle groups, and is a great way to shape up.
Have you fallen into a workout rut? Are you trying to shake some winter weight that has been haunting your hips? Are you looking for more energy, better sleep patterns, and a transference of strength into everyday activities?
All I have to say to you is GET MOVING! It does not matter what mode or manner you choose. It does not matter if you are a walker, a runner, or a roller bladder. You do not need to devote inordinate amounts of time to each and every workout. But what you do need to do is get out there, get off of your proverbial couch, and get moving every. single. day.
Below is an example of an indoor cycling profile you can try in the gym, on the road, or in the comfort of your own home if you have a bike trainer or a stationary bike at home. Check it out and tell me what you think!
3 Minute Movers
3 minute stretch
5 minute warm-up
3 minute pick-ups (30 seconds sprit, 30 second recovery, done 3 times)
Here comes the meat of the workout:
Pick a gear that mimics a flat on an outdoor cycling ride. (Just make sure that you aren’t free wheeling it, or have absolutely no gear on at all.
3 minute run on a flat. (Try to get a handle on a quick cadence. One that will keep your heart pumping and your legs moving.)
3 minute mid-hill climb. (Pick a medium gear on your bicycle. You can pretend that you are gaining elevation outside, just makes sure you don’t have too much gear here because your big hill comes next!)
3 minute HEAVY climb. (Pick a gear that feels almost like molasses. Your cadence will/should decrease dramatically here. You should feel as though you are pushing up a gnarly climb outside. Stay strong. Come in and out of the saddle as you see fit.)
3 minute pick-ups. (After your heavy hill, drop your gear back down to a flat. You should take a 30 second recovery. After 30 seconds, see if you can do a pick-up or a sprint for 30 seconds. Do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds recover 3 times.)
You can repeat this 12 minute interval 2 or 3 times depending on the length of your workout.
Get out there and get your body movin’! Have a fabulous Monday!