How to keep Exercising


samuraiya
on Jan 28, 2008 @ 06:11 pm

Hi, Just wanted to share something I found that would help those who're trying to get into an excercise routine but might be too sore from their first attempt that they're discouraged to stick with it. This is basically what happens everytime I try to excercise - I work out at high intensity, my muscles become unbearably sore, I wait a week to recover, I lose steam, and I give up. So, this time, I searched all over to try to figure out how I can heal the sore muscles faster so I won't give up so easily. And I found that if you follow a high intensity work out the next day with a low intensity one, it helps the muscles heal faster. So, that's what I did. I did 20 minutes of walking and some ab workouts the second day instead of jogging and sure enough I can feel the sore muscles on my legs ease up (not completely of course, but they did recover much faster than usual). A 10 minute warm up of walking and stretching also does the trick for me. So, if any of you have other suggestions that helps keep you motivated and exercising, please post.
 


4 Replies


Bubblybunny
Stretching when needed on Jan 28, 2008 @ 06:42 pm

Those are really good suggestions, Samuraiya. I find stretching is one of the most important thing to avoid injuring your body as well as help muscle recovery.

A long time ago, I took a running class with a real running instructor. I was taught to do 10-15 min stretching before and after the run. However, when I started running with my husband who is an avid runner and used to run in provincial races (long distance) throughout high school and university, he told me there is no point in stretching too much before you run because your muscles are not warmed up and therefore, the stretching is not very effective. Instead, spend just a few short minute to stretch the "problem proned" areas, then start with a slow jog to get your heart rate up. After about 10 min or so, stop to do some stretching because now, your muscles have warmed up now. For beginners, it's best to run as much as you can and then walk/stretch while you rest for no more than 5 min. Continue this run - walk/stretch cycle while increasing the run time and decreasing the walk/stretch time to build up your endurance. After the run, stretch your muscles properly (a good 30 sec - 1 min per stretch position). Continue to take 10-15 min of your time to stretch throughout the day, this will help your muscles recover. I found this really works for me because I stopped running a long time ago because I didn't have someone to motivate me. But it was difficult to start running around because I was sore all the time at the beginning.

I also find having a dedicated partner really helps. I would've given up running a long time ago (I have zero pain tolerance and zero muscle endurance and zero dedication) if my husband didn't drag me out of bed every morning, make me get dressed and completely ignored my whining while we treked through the neighbourhood. He took absolutely no crap from me; at first, I resented his efforts and I thought he was the biggest meanie ever! But now, I really appreciate what he did for me because he was the only reason why I made it at all.

One other thing I learned from my husband is that if you are going to exercise, do it everyday and only take 1 day off (my running instructor told me I can run 3x a week). LIke Samuraiya said, if you stop, you lose steam and you are not going to succeed. My husband set up a training schedule for me: 3 hard days and 2 easy days for Mon-Fri, always do an easy day on Friday in preparation for Saturday. Then on Saturday, he'd take me on an "endurance run" which is at least an hour long. Even before I can run 30 min without stopping, he still made me do the 1 hour run. On those days, it didn't matter how many time I stopped as long as I run for 1 hour in total. At first, it was really really tough. After about 2 months of hard work, I was able to run easily for 1 hour straight without stopping. The sense of accomplishment made me feel really really good and I was really happy. Of course, the Saturday runs was not just an hour anymore, we added an extra 10 min to the run every 1-2 weeks depending on how well I did that week. Sunday was always my rest day.

I know this is a long post but I hope this helps other ppl. I understand how hard it is to get into the exercise mode, but once you are there, it feels really good!!
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Ali de Bold
All very good advice on Jan 28, 2008 @ 07:58 pm

I've started working out again (going to the beach in March, would like to wear a bikini without shame) and I agree you both made some really great points.

Personally I like a bit of soreness the next day because I feel like I've accomplished something. However it can get to the point where you can't exercise for a week. I find that in addition to the great advice above, you should also have a warm bath every night until the pain goes away and continue to stretch as much as possible.

BTW, we'd love it if you guys submitted questions for our fitness expert, Marc. We've started our new expert series on the blog so if you have any q's you'd like him to answer, you can email them to us (info@chickadvisor.com) or post them here.
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samuraiya
Marc's website on Jan 29, 2008 @ 08:00 pm

I just checked out Marc's website. Kudos for the detailed instructions on strength training exercises that targets different body parts. I was going to ask about stretches for my back, arms and shoulders cuz those muscles are always really difficult to loosen up. But, there they are, all on his site. Very useful indeed.

And Bubblybunny, what an amazing husband/work-out partner!? *I sigh w/ envy* ;o) My boyfriend is a total couch potato. The only workouts he'd do is on his fingers (as in videogaming).
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artist
Wow Bubbly! on Jan 30, 2008 @ 08:27 pm

Your husband is amazing! That's some real motivation over there.... good for you and him!!

I love working out and I take it very seriously. I can't live without exercise! If I go 2 days without it.. I already start feeling cranky and depressed. It's a real stress reliever for me that I cannot live without.

My partner is super into fitness too... but we don't work out together because we go to different schools and our schedules clash most of the time.

What I think is great though is finding friends at your gym... or just going with friends! I enjoy my workouts more when I'm with buddies... it's just so much more fun!

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