First of all, I can’t start off the post without acknowledging what happened in Boston yesterday. It is unfathomable to me how someone could do something so awful. The city of Boston and the victims of the bombings are in my prayers.
I’m back in New York City for a few days for classes. While walking to the gym this morning, I saw more runners out than usual. I couldn’t help but think they were out there running for those in Boston. I love how supportive the running community is and I am so proud to be a part of it. On a bit of a happier note, I came back to find the trees in full bloom! Snapped this picture on my walk to class yesterday. The tree-lined blocks are always so pretty in Spring.
Make the Most of it
One of the trainers at my old gym used to always say, “If you’re only here for 30 minutes, you better make the most of it.” I love that. For those of you who find yourself dragging your feet to the gym everyday (which was me about two years ago, so I understand the feeling), this saying is for you. Take 30 minutes out of your day – that’s .02% of your day in case you’re wondering – and give 110% effort.
Many people underestimate the amount of exertion they need to put into their workout to see effects. The amount of exertion needed during cardio to have an effect on the body is different for everyone depending on age and weight. People think “I got in thirty minutes of walking today, boom, done! Got in my 30 recommended minutes of physical activity for the day!” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Yes – while walking for 30 minutes, you are burning calories. But if your goal is to lose weight, the amount of calories you burn overall during physical activity is MUCH higher if your heart rate is in the fat burning zone. There are formulas to figure it out. The number is one thing – but figuring out what it feels like to push yourself to that heart rate zone is another.
When I first started exercising, I would walk on the treadmill at an incline, go on the elliptical at a low intensity, maybe a jog here and then. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t seeing any results and it was frustrating to me. Here I was going to the gym everyday just because it was what I was supposed to do and I wasn’t even getting anything out of it!
I don’t really remember what happened, but something just clicked in my head. Maybe I read an article or a blog post similar to this one, but during exercise I started pushing myself harder. I realized that being out of breath didn’t necessarily mean I was about to keel over any second. I realized that my heart beating fast didn’t mean I was going maybe too hard. I realized that feeling a little uncomfortable is what is going to cause change. After all, how was I ever going to see change if I didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone?
Then the craziest thing happened, I started to like this new intensity. I liked the adrenaline rush, being out of breath and feeling my heart beating. I actually (believe it or not) liked to sweat. I liked feeling the successes of pushing myself and realizing I could do something I never thought I could. I had a whole other aspect of my life to feel accomplished about with each workout where I pushed myself farther than I thought I could go. Not only that, but as soon as I kicked up the intensity of my workouts, I immediately saw results.
This is actually what got me into running. I liked the rhythm of my arms swinging and my feet hitting the ground. I really liked how I could mentally and physically push myself with running and see increased mileage over time. I preferred running over other exercise machines at the gym because there was no assistance with running – like ok, my feet go on these two pedals and my arms go on these handles and go!
Your body can do much more than what your mind tells you. Next time you’re at the gym, push yourself a little bit further, a little bit harder, and a little bit longer. Go out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised at what you can do! Improvement isn’t going to come from doing what you’ve always done! 🙂