Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fit-Tips that I’ve Learned (That may not Work for You)

Roman and I have been trying *super* hard to get fit. Not just fit, but all-around healthy. My New Year’s Resolution was basically to just try and take good care of myself, and part of that includes trying to get healthier. I don’t have any weight loss goals (although I’d be lying if I said that I don’t want to lose a few pounds.) We just joined a gym and have tried our very best-est to go on a regular basis.
But I know a *ton* of my friends are legitimately trying to lose some serious weight, and so I thought I’d share a few tips that have worked for us. You can love them or hate them….I promise you won’t hurt my feelings either way.
When it comes to the gym…..don’t go by yourself if at all possible. Seriously, if it wasn’t for Roman making me go on some days (like yesterday) I probably wouldn’t go at all. I suppose some people have the self-motivation to go it alone, but I am not gifted in that area. Plus, because we go together, I train harder. A few weeks ago I was doing a particular ab exercise. Roman walked up and said, “Holy cow those are so hard; I could only do eight.” So me, in my naturally over-competitive spirit, cranked thirty out. See? It’s better when you have someone you can compete against (and who makes you actually go when you don’t feel like it.)
Good gracious, the sweet tooth….anyone who knows me knows I love chocolate. But one thing I’ve found that really helps me when I’m craving something sweet is a grape-juice slushy. Here’s what you do: take a small paper bathroom-cup (does anyone still use these? we don’t) and fill it with grape juice….preferably the no-sugar-added kind (like Welch’s.) Put the cup in the freezer for about twenty-thirty minutes and voila! Grape-juice slushy! It tastes just like a popsicle, and the sweetness of the grape juice tricks my sweet tooth into thinking that I just indulged in junk food when in fact, I did not. This obviously would work on anything that you can freeze. And of course, you can use a bigger cup. Just know that the bigger the cup, the longer you have to freeze it before you can slushify it.
But I don’t have enough time….yes, you do. Turn NCIS off and exercise for a little bit. I promise, you can DVR it and watch it later. OR, you can do exercises in the living room while it’s still on. We make time for what we really want to do, and we make excuses for what we don’t. We Americans are super good at that. Have lots of kids? Jump on the trampoline with them or play a game of kickball. You don’t have to physically go to the gym to get some daily exercise.
And please, make it worth your time…..I am no fitness expert or trainer or anything, so let me preface this with that little statement. But if you are going to spend the money to join a gym and then take the time to go, then make it worth your time. I watch SO MANY ladies casually spinning on the elliptical while reading a magazine and not even breaking a sweat. Trust me, if you aren’t getting your heart rate up, you probably aren’t going to lose any weight. And if you do, it will take you months (if not years) to make any headway. It’s been proven over and over that running for just twenty minutes 3-5 times a week can make a huge difference in your weight loss progress. I’ll take a twenty minute run over a 90 minute casual elliptical exercise any day. And if you don’t like running, there are plenty of other activities that will get your heart rate up. Zumba, anyone?
Sleep is everything…..this is one of those times where I really need to start practicing what I preach. Seriously though, if you aren’t getting enough sleep (as in, the recommended 8-10 hours) then your efforts are going to be thwarted. Your body doesn’t function when it’s sleep-deprived. It doesn’t burn fat during/after exercise if it’s expending all of its energy to keep you moving. So really, DVR the NCIS show and watch it another day so that you can get in the bed on time. And believe me, I know how difficult that sounds because I myself generally am not in the bed before 11 p.m. and I don’t even have kids yet!
Okay, so there you have it. Again, I’m not a fitness expert, so I encourage you to do some research. This is just some things that I’ve learned along the way that I thought might be helpful to someone else. Or not. Maybe you are reading this and thinking “duh, everyone knows this Sarah.” Insert Napoleon Dynamite “GOSH” here.

What about you? Any ground-breaking (or not-so-ground-breaking) fit-tips that you’ve learned? Does anyone else really want a bowl of ice cream right now? I might have to make three of my frozen grape-juice thingies tonight…..

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” ~Colossians 3:23

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