Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Workout Experiment: Days 6-7

Well here we are at the end of Week 1! I feel really positive, and very excited to keep moving forward...

I appreciate all the comments y'all have been leaving. When you tell me your story, even if I don't  take what you're doing and implement it exactly, I still learn from it - learning different ways to think about exercise, different ways to motivate myself, or what's triggering and anti-motivating for me. I am definitely a person who processes ideas best by thinking things through in conversation with others. I guess that's part of why I keep a blog and not just a private journal!

Day 6 was a rest day. I looked at calendars in the dollar aisle at Target (to implement the "don't break the chain" approach) but didn't find any exciting ones. Time to keep my eyes open for a calendar that makes me happy.

Day 7 (today) - got on the machine for about 36 seconds, but went a bit faster than other times. I can feel a pleasant burn in the front of my thighs now, a couple hours later. Nothing debilitating or painful, just a "yup, I moved my body." This is fun!

How do you know when you've hit just the right amount of exercise for your body? What does it feel like for you?

19 comments:

  1. It feels good, to me. Like, my body is warm psychologically. It's a release of whatever - stress or whatever, or sometimes just the ability to take a deep breath and go "wow, moving my body felt good!"

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  2. If you can't find a good calender in store you should try one of those photo websites (I use Snapfish but I'm sure there are lots around) and make your own calender with your own photos. That way you can use whatever pics you like.

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    1. Super cool! I wonder what my team colors should be... Now I wanna own pom-poms. Maybe hot pink with gold... :)

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    2. What a great blog! To love pink and gold together, great color choice! I am shaking my *pom-poms* for you too! Quick intro: I am a professor who studies athletic apparel design for large bodies, different shapes need different clothing styles when they are in motion. My research is from a HAES perspective. You are doing great! If you ever have questions about how clothing can support you in your journey, I am here to chat and support you! *pom-pom shake*

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    3. Debbie, thanks! I would *love* to be able to buy fun & functional workout gear... currently I wear a Making It Big size L (8x) bottoms and they are the only place I know of where I can get pants. I wear their "Favorite Knit Pants" literally almost every day. So if I were to put on a workout outfit, it'd just be one of my older/worn pairs of those pants, and a knit tee-shirt or tank top.
      For now, I've just been getting on that elliptical in whatever I'm wearing, because if I had to stop to change I might not do it. So I've gotten on there in PJs, the day's work clothes... even barefoot. The joys of having workout equipment at home! (This is THE KEY to me being able to do this experiment. Any overhead at all keeps me from doing it.)

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  5. You can also make a fun personalized calendar on google docs.

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    1. Good idea! But I think I want to use this as an excuse to treat myself to a calendar. I love stationery/office supplies but haven't bought a wall calendar for a few years because I didn't have a purpose for one.

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  6. Wait another few weeks and there will be some beautiful ones on sale.

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  7. The right amt of exercise for my body makes me feel relaxed all over, like good sex does. :-) And the next day I don't feel more stiff or sore than usual.

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    1. That's what I thought it should be... thanks for the input!

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  8. I heard that one way to tell when a rest day is needed is by taking your resting pulse in the morning. Generally as one becomes fitter, resting pulse decreases. So if you notice one morning that it has INCREASED, it means a rest day is needed. Of course, this is not intuitive at all, but it can be helpful for people who are highly motivated to exercise because they want the "high" (like hamsters!), or because they are trying to reach a specific goal, even though their body would benefit from a rest day.

    For me, I notice that if I do cardio (for me, running) to the point where I'm coughing a lot, I feel tired the next day. I back off when I start to get to that point. If I notice heavy wood smoke when I get to the park where I want to run, I now turn around and go home. When I have tried running before with the wood smoke, I coughed even while walking, and the cough lasted for many hours. I also cannot run outdoors when it's cold, because I start coughing immediately. So for me, my cough is my gauge. :)

    With strength training, if there's a change in my routine (new exercise, heavier weight), I lift until I start to feel weak. Once I've been doing the new exercise/weight for a few sessions, I lift to failure (which means that you literally cannot perform another repetition before resting). Lifting to failure is not for everyone, but it seems to result in substantial strength increases. I prefer lifting heavier weights with a lower number of reps (8-12, which actually isn't super-low; I think body builders will do 5 reps) because when I was doing lighter weights with lots of reps (15-20), I didn't see the strength increases I was looking for. Upper body strength training has improved my posture and eliminated my lower back pain. Not to mention...it's made me stronger! I notice that when I get busy and stop doing strength training, many things get harder (like carrying a 40 lb bag of cat litter). That motivates me to return to the weights! A lot of women shy away from weight training because they're afraid of developing big, "masculine" muscles, but for most women that's not physically possible. Women can see large increases in strength, without much bulking.

    I hope your exercise will help your body feel better! It sounds like what you're doing is working. I think intuitive exercise works until a person becomes "addicted" to exercise (which only happens to some people--it hasn't happened to me, although I do enjoy the fuzzy happy post-exercise feeling); then scheduled rest days might be required.

    Finally, I think a calendar is an awesome way to track exercise. I write down exactly what I did on each day, and how I feel, so if I start to feel crummy, I can look to see if too much or too little exercise, or the wrong kind, could be the culprit. But just using stickers is a great idea too! I think the impulse to record everything is a science thing...

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    1. I love all this info - thanks!

      Intuitive exercise is the way to go for me, for now. I'm not gonna borrow trouble about it... y'all will let me know if I show signs. :)

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    2. Intuitive exercise is pretty awesome. For strength training I generally have my daily goals, but if I feel my form breaking down, then I'll stop that set and usually that exercise. If all of my muscles are starting to feel fatigued, I know it's time to call it quits. For cardio stuff, I tend to stop when resting for 30 seconds to a minute isn't sufficient to keep going.

      Regarding strength training, it's pretty sweet, and I highly recommend it in pretty much any form. I also prefer lifting heavy weights (barbells/my own body) and tend to stick with 5 reps or so. I have a tendency to get tendinitis, and found that sticking with lower reps usually avoids it.

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    3. Shoshie, great insights thanks. :)

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  9. Oh, and just to make it clear, when I say "sufficient to keep going" I don't mean, "Well, if I really drag myself, I guess I could eke out another 30 seconds," I mean performing at a reasonable comfort level. It's OK for exercise to be challenging, but it should never been miserable.

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