Don't Dread The Tread

I have talked about exercise on here before, about balancing calories in and calories out, moderation and all that fun stuff, but I don’t think I talked about how I am personally working on my addiction to running, or in all honestly, the quickest way I knew how to burn the most calories. When you go into an inpatient hospital they pretty much make you sit, or lie down the entire time. If you even tap your foot it is considered an attempt to defy the program through excessive energy expenditure. Standing, oh man I had trouble with this one, anytime you were standing they would hawk eye you until you sat down and didn’t move. It was really quite a change from my habit of 4:30 gym sessions and 6 miles runs and I honestly thought I was going to crawl out of my skin the first few days. I even resorted to doing aerobics in my bathroom (which I am totally embarrassed to admit right now). My treatment team had to work really hard at helping me understand the danger of over-using your body, and abusing its function because it can result in a lot of permanent damage or constant injury. Since I have osteopenia I need to be especially careful of stress fractures, meaning until I gained the appropriate amount of weight, running was not really in the cards.

So when I was planning for discharge my dietician designed my meal plan so I could incorporate exercise back into my life. I WANT TO MAKE PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT IF YOU ARE IN RECOVERY DO NOT, DO NOT, RESUME AN EXERCISE ROUTINE WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN AND DIETICIAN. But obviously I wasn’t allowed to go full speed ahead and just pick up where I left off, I had to take walks, do pilates, and light strength training.

Ugh. Walking. Don’t get me wrong, walking is an awesome form of exercise, but for me, doing it day after day, it got kind of dull.; and I prefer morning work outs so I often walk on my treadmill, even more dull. After a few months of going the same speed, the same incline, the same distance, I decided I really needed to change it up. If you are trying to sculpt your body or train for something, most fitness gurus recommend changing up your routine for maximum results but I am not walking for calorie or fat burn. I am doing it to stay in shape, make the gaining process a little easier by toning up on inclines, and because I enjoy the feeling of movement before I start my day. And the routine change up actually has made my walks more pleasant because the time go faster and I don’t get nearly as bored.

I think that is why many people, who are first starting to get into exercise, decide to give up…because they are painfully bored. Treadmills by nature are not that exciting! I know many people who would much rather run outside, or do some sort of physical activity in another environment than the gym because stationary equipment is pretty darn monotonous. But this morning, for anyone who is just starting a workout schedule, getting back into shape, or are just looking for something different, here are some of my tips and tricks to keeping the treadmill tolerable…maybe even fun! 🙂

1. Intervals

I always see intervals and think some super intense speed drills, but you can do intervals walking too! Inside or outside as a matter of fact. I usually do mine 5 minutes at a time which is pretty long, but makes my 45-60 minute walks wayyy more fun. For 5 minutes I will walk at a slower pace (usually around 4 mph) on a higher incline, and then the next 5 minutes I will increase my speed a little (not too much typically a 4.2-4.3) and lower the incline. I repeat this for the entire time and it does end up making it go pretty fast! Obviously you can vary the speeds, inclines and times, but this is just an example of an easy way to increase endurance and keep entertained.

2. Music!

While in the fitblog chat last night on twitter I was reminded of the importance of good work out music! I love Pandora because it has a lot of songs I havent paid for on itunes, but I do keep some up-beat staples on my phone for days when Pandora isn’t really doing it for me. Right now I love the newest Lady Gaga CD. I enjoy LG for many reasons but this album has a lot of remixed songs, almost with a club-like feel, and they are perfect for getting your heart pumping and awesome at being a motivator! (hello, born this way, talk about a powerful message!) I also like Timbaland, Katy Perry, ANYTHING DAVID GUETTA, the list really is endless for me because I love all kinds of music, but find something you like and rock out. I swear sometimes people look at me funny if I am outside because I kinda dance and sing along with my headphones…oh well, it’s a free country J

3. TV

If you are working out inside and have a tv nearby, I highly recommend scheduling it around a program you enjoy. I like watching the news because I would watch it anyway, usually just sitting and drinking coffee or having breakfast so what better way to kill two birds with one stone! News and treadmill, its my morning routine and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

4. Make it a habit!

Stick to it. Seriously, the first few days you may absolutely hate walking, or any other form of physical activity, but remind yourself of the benefits and your goals. Maybe you want to stay in shape, are walking for health benefits, there are a million reasons why walking is great, but if you aren’t used to it, you may totally want to give up on day 1. Don’t! after a week you will feel great! And try to experiment with time of day. I personally like the mornings because it wakes me up, and after a full day of work I don’t really know if I would be as enthusiastic about it, but others are night people and love the brisk air, or nighttime TV. Everyone is different so if one doesn’t work with you, try the other J

5. Enlist a friend!

Even at a gym there are machines side by side. Get a buddy and talk! I used to walk with my mother in law and we would have done 5 miles before I even knew it. We would just be chit chatting about the most random things and all of a sudden we would realize an hour had gone by! Having walking buddies is an awesome way to stay motivated, be social, and keep it fun.

6. Be Patient

Are you competitive like me??? I am really working on doing things more for fun and when I first got back into physical activity it was hard! After being out of the work out game for so long, your muscles don’t always remember what they used to do. I was sore, I couldn’t go as fast or as long, and it took a good few weeks before I felt better about my abilities. But if I had not stuck with it, the feeling better part, never would have come. It takes patience and forgiveness with your body, so if you are just starting, give it time! You will be a wonderful walker in now time!

7. Exercise DON’T Obsess

I am talking to myself for this one. I used to beat myself up if I couldn’t get an entire work out in EVERY DAY. But lets face it, life happens and as an adult you do not always have time to dedicate an hour to fitness. I would like to, but things come up that sometimes prevent my normal routine from occurring. Before I would have a panic attack and restrict my food intake for the day, but honestly that is not the answer. Your body is just happy you are using it! Whether it is a 10 minute walk or 60, you are still keeping it in motion. So although you should try to get about 30 minutes in every day, of moderate exercise please see the American Heart Association Website for further information…moderate exercise does not mean sprinting!) if one day you only get to do a mile, then pat yourself on the back for doing any!

There are tons more tips and I will definitely be sharing as I continue my journey toward a healthy relationship with my body and exercise, but for now feel free to share your own ways of keeping workouts fun!

Have a great hump day!!!

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18 thoughts on “Don't Dread The Tread

  1. Awesome post and great ideas! I love how open and honest you are. That really makes me want to connect to you more! I also love how you are so close to your mother-in-law… cute 😉

    • Thanks for the compliment!! I am very very lucky to have a mother in law that is so cool! I count my blessings every time I hear monster in law stories haha

    • Ditto…and this actually breaks my heart – but in a good way. I thought I was the only was “just walking” – and it’s hard because I feel so lazy.

      It’s even worse because I’m still binging…and the walking (“in my head”) isn’t good enough – certainly not to replace the guilt of the horrible binges – daily. Especially on days when I feel more energy and I could do so much more!!…ugh, I don’t want to talk about it – it’s hard seeing others eat so well.

      These are great tips dear – you are a positive spirit.

      • oh hunni, you are not the only one who has to just walk. and dont feel lazy! you are still doing something and honestly, they do say it is better for overall health because it isnt as hard on your body! Dont judge yourself so harshly. This is such a difficult process and there is no shame in anything that you are doing. it is totally normal! if you ever need to talk I am here 🙂

  2. It would be hard on me if someone told me not to workout. I’m not a hardcore fitness buff, but I do make a habit of my workouts. I feel gloomy if I don’t get to the gym on a scheduled day. With that said, I have to also add that I love walking. 🙂 So much easier on my joints!

    • I agree! They dont lie when they say exercise increases endorphins!!! But I also agree that walking is good for your joints. My knees definitely thank me 🙂

  3. You are such a positive and uplifting person CJ, thank you once again for your honesty and personal stories around this healing process. You know I can relate to pretty much everything you say and it is just such a relief there are others out there like me!
    I need to work on my addiction to exercise… I love it and I love the way it makes me feel, but honestly… I still use it as a form to burn calories. The fear of getting is still a part of my life. Working on it though like so many other things 🙂
    These are great tips too! I use to treadmill only in extreme weather conditions- too hot and too cold!

    • exercise was honestly one of the hardest things I had to conquer. I mean of course fear foods are tough, but exercise was a HUGE part of my life. I felt like I couldnt function without it. even now i dont feel right starting my day without a walk, but it is getting much more managable. Have you ever had a bone scan? I think that was my biggest scare when they told me my bones were the same as a 60 year old woman! Hello stress fractures! I dont want those!!! you can do it though, girl, youre super strong 🙂

  4. Those are all really great tips CJ! When I’m walking on the treadmill I MUST watch TV. It makes the time go so much faster and before I know it my workout is complete. I do like doing intervals too…it helps keep things interesting too : )

    • this sounds weird but i used to people watch at the gym haha there were some interesting meat heads that were always grunting or doing something strange…quite entertaining haha

  5. I agree – intervals on the treadmill definitely make the time pass and make it more enjoyable. I try not to treadmill too often as I prefer to run outdoors but understand that for some it is the only option or at least a first step. AND walking is always OK – moving is exercise! Great post – thanks lady!

    • Ha I read the other day that even if your walking you’re still farther ahead than those sitting on the couch! And I agree, your body definitely just needs to move! Have an awesome Thursday 🙂

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