Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Using your available Resources to your Fit-advantage!

  • There are a lot of people out there who feel like they just can't workout. They all have their own reasons and those reasons are many. Time is the biggest factor; "I just don't have time to go to the gym!" but equipment and money are also factors.
I'm here to tell you that there are SO many options out there. AGAIN. Because I myself find that I'm also a victim of falling into traps.

The Time Factor:

Ok, most of us have this problem. In our busy lives we just can't find time to go to the gym and do a workout. The good news is there are ways to overcome the time crunch:

1) squeeze in 10 minutes.
and yes, i did just say TEN minutes. You can start your fitness journey with just 10 minute workouts. one place to look to get ideas are the older workouts on, but this is by no means the only place to look! Just type 10 minute workout into Google and you'll get a whole plethora of options! There are lots of DVDs out there that have 3 to 5 ten minute workouts on them and you can mix it up each day! Or just do 10 minutes of 'standard' calithenics. To get a full 30 minute workout in when you don't have a 30 minute block of time, try doing 3 ten-minute workouts throughout the day. I really love the exercises in the book "You are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women" ( I have my Gymboss timer ( that provides lots of options for home workouts.
But that's the other part, and this is important; You don't have to go to the gym. You have all you need to workout at home; your body, a little space (I just worked out in a house where everything is taking up the entire room because we're repainting and doing floors - just find a spot with just the amount of space for a yoga mat and you can do SOMETHING. If that doesn't work for you, there is bound to be a space that does. The truth is, you can work out ANYWHERE. To get ideas, I suggest as a resource.

2) Squeeze in a Set
Ok, so sometimes I don't even have 10 minutes. It happens. What I usually will do then is just drop down and do 20 pushups. Or push out a set of squats. If you're doing this all day, choosing different exercises and just doing a couple reps (like 10-30) it doesn't take long and you're still getting some of the benefits of exercise. It helps, I swear - that's how I got through my wedding planning plus 2 new jobs!

The Equipment Factor:

1) use your bodyweight
I totally mentioned this earlier, but I'll mention it again. You don't NEED equipment to get into great physical shape! Your body is more than enough weight to push around for that. There are the basics; Pushups, situps, squats, high knees, mountain climbers, and lunges. Then, get adventurous! There are lots of books and websites out there to teach you fun variations of those exercises that will challenge you, keep you interested, AND provide more muscle toning to more muscles.

2) Use things around the house
Did you know you can use canned goods as dumbells? Sure, they don't get particularly heavy if they're still going to fit in your hand, but they'll work all the same! How about using a chair to do tricep dips. Or the coffee table. Or you can get really excited and use both! (I'll put my hands on the coffee table and feet up on the seat of a chair for a really good tricep dip). You can grab a dufflebag and put baggies of rice in it. There's always that unopened 5lb bag of flour. There are lots of things around the house that you can use to intensify your workouts!

3) Invest in some inexpensive home equipment
No, I'm not telling you to go spend 300+ dollars on a treadmill that's just going to collect dust in your living room. I invested in some small things to help with my workouts and I've collected them over time. These things include:
  • A workout/yoga mat - you really can't beat the value of $15 on a mat you will use ALL THE TIME if you workout at home
  • Some dumbells - pick a weight, any weight that works for you. I have 8lbs at my house and 8lbs and 5lbs at my parents... it's all you need for some light weightlifting.
  • a medicine ball - you can grab one of these and there are SO many applications for more dynamic exercises!
  • resistance bands - you know the ones that stretch? get a medium or heavy one and go to town, there are suggestions all over the place.
  • Swiss Ball (an exercise ball) - figure out what size you need and you are set. They come in multiple sizes and colors and only cost $10-$20.
  • Gymboss Timer - this thing is AMAZING. I love that i can do quick interval training or use the stopwatch function to see how long it takes me to do a certain number of exercises. Very cool.
  • Running/cross training/tennis shoes - these are always good to have :-P and are the most expensive thing on this list. Get yourself a good pair, you won't regret it!
Most of this equipment is under $10. And you can buy one thing at a time and slowly build up your own 'home gym.'

Using your available resources:

There are so many resources available to you to 'research' workouts and fitness and health (like I do) or to just get pre-made workouts of many different kinds. I'm providing a list of awesome places to look and I encourage you to create a list of your own and share it!

There are so many more out there - help me find them! :-D
Katie O.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Married! and some weight gain/loss observations

So. I'm married now, and that's a LOT off my plate! :-P There were a couple interesting things I've noticed that I thought would be interesting to start a discussion about.
The first is that a lot of brides either lose a lot of weight during the wedding planning process or gain some. I definitely lost some - mostly from stress... tiny bit of loss of appetite. I wasn't working out any more - definitely was working out less, so I was wondering how many brides out there experienced either weight gain or loss during their wedding planning.

The second thing I've noticed is that after the wedding, a lot of married couples tend to put on weight. This one I'm curious about. It seems almost like the freshman 15. New surroundings, the wife feels like she should be cooking all the time so is creating home cooked foods more often. Or maybe, as a counter to the stress, the couple eats out more. OR perhaps, the bride in particular, has changed her metabolic patterns by not eating as much during the wedding planning and then goes back to eating like normal and puts on weight because the metabolism is not functioning like it was before she started eating less.

These could both be contributed to exercise too! Maybe before the wedding the bride and groom are working out hard to look their best for the wedding and then afterwards they stop working out because they no longer have something to work out for.

What are your thoughts? I'm interested what you think about this!

Katie O.