Working out: The only time of the day when I can scream and nobody thinks I am Crazy!
It's that time of year again, our New Year's resolutions of getting back into shape are a distant memory. The gyms have returned to their dust bowl appearance and are delighted since they have cashed your yearly dues.
This article is designed to give you three basics guidelines to assist you in reviving those resolutions and to get ready for the swim suit season.
1. Sit down and carefully plan out your objectives.
It has taken you ten years to gain that extra twenty pounds. So why should you expect to be able to lose it in ten days? Decide on what your goals are; gain muscle, lose weight, obtain better cardiovascular conditioning, etc.
Once you have chosen your end be sure to begin at a slow pace. There are too many who try to run twenty miles or do an advanced aerobics class after months of maintaing a sedentary lifestyle. Don't get overly hung up on numbers on a scale, you will get results if you stick to a sensible program. It is wise at this point to contact your physician regarding proper diet and to follow any limitations on exertion.
If you have time for only one fitness activity, physicians and excercise specialist usually recommend that you make it aerobic. There are a host of different types of aerobic activity to challenge you; tennis, jogging/walking, water aerobics, step aerobics and biking to name just a few. As someone who is presently teaching step aerobic and body sculpting classes, I would recommend talking to your aerobics instructor before class and they will be glad to show you less ballistic moves that will help you stay motivated and return to the next class.
2. Do not give up
Rome was not built in a day nor was Schwartzenegger's biceps or Claudia Schiffer's legs. You need to keep at your workout program before any results will appear. The physical aspects of working out are obvious, however an equally important component is the psychological benefits of increasing your general self-esteem and positively dealing with the stresses of our profession.
If your goals are to obtain greater muscle mass, it is helpful to work out with a friend. Most gyms have personal trainers, I would encourage you to speak with your trainer about starting a routine that is safe and will provide results. Working out with a friend also will help you encourage each other to meet your objectives.
A basic excercise program can be easily remembered by keeping "F.I.T." - which stands for frequency, intensity and time. The frequency of your excercise program should be from three to five times per week. The intensity of your aerobic program should be between 55% and 85% of your heart rate range. Your heart rate range is determined by taking 220 minus your age minus your resting heart rate. Time is the last element of the program, which means being in your target heart rate range at least 15 minutes with the goal of increasing to 30 to 60 minutes. By adjusting the F.I.T. concept to your workout, results should soon materialize.
3. Reward & Motivate yourself
As a kid your treat was usually a fattening cookie, but now we need to be more creative and less caloric. There are a myriad of incentives that you could reward yourself with such as after losing five pounds get a massage, new tie, facial or a manicure. If you forget about positive reinforcement, even after only minimal accomplishments, you are more likely to backslide.
Also, try and obtain a motivational or inspirational tape or book to help you wade through the frustrating periods. Another motivating force is to merely tell friends and co-workers what you are doing. This support system will often give you much needed encouragement when you are feeling discouraged. Although a tad anal-retentive coming from a lawyer, another idea is to put your new health and fitness goals in contract form and witnessed by someone in your support system.
There is no magical pill or ultimate exercise program or my primary physician wouldn't be overweight, balding and have glasses. However, using these three simple rules should guide you toward better overall health.
One final observation I would like to share, it seems to me to be extremely strange that with all the perils associted with practicing law there are no drug testing requirements, but to be nationally certified as an aerobics instructor I need to pee in a cup. Sorry, I hope the Florida Bar doesn't read this and get any bright ideas.