Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tough mornings

Sometimes waking up to work out is tough. Today I woke up not feeling so hot, cramping, exhausted. I still drug myself out of the bed. Got on that bike and rode. It was not my best work out, but it was a workout for an hour. I burned my calories and now can focus on eating right for the rest of the day instead of play calorie Jenga. Am I a morning person HELL NO! But I have trained my body to wake up and work out. It's like I trick myself into workout before my brain wakes up. It energizes me enough to get ready for work and gets those good endorphins flowing so I do not get road rage.
I challenge you to wake up early (if you don't already) and try a work out. Doesn't have to be much. Even if you only get in 10 mins, it's still more than you did the day before and more than those who slept in!

Some ideas:
Stationary bike
High intensity training

Sample exercises and stretching so you do not have to think too much:


Full body squats. You do these by standing with your legs shoulder length apart. Put your arms in front of you. Slowly lower yourself to a position where your thighs are parellel to the ground. Then spring up fast and reach for the sky. (Caution: You might throw yourself off balance the first couple of times. These will definitely help improve your balance. Work up to about 20 per set. Start with 5-10.)

Push-Ups. Form is important here. Keep your legs and body straight. No butt in the air! Look straight ahead and not at the ground. Slowly go down and come up fast. If you need to, put your knees on the ground, but still keep your body straight and your head looking forward. Work up to 20 per set. Start with 5-10.

Crunches.  Lay on your back with your knees bent. (Caution: Do not lock your hands behind your head. Put them to the side of your head or on your chest.) Crunch quickly. Go back down slowly. People often can do more crunches per set. Work up to 30 per set. Start with 10-15.

Horizontal Pull-Ups.  Since not  everyone can do regular pull-ups for lack of ability or a good thing to pull up on (including myself). This makes them optional, but still something to add to the mix later. The key here is that after working your leg, arm, chest, and core muscles with the previous exercises, you really only have back muscles left. This is a modified pull-up that is horizontal. Grab something that is relatively heavy (a thick hardback book like a dictionary). Grab the object and pull it toward you quickly and straighten your arms  slowly. Start at 10 and go up from there.

Jumping Jacks. After doing the above exercises, jumping jacks are a good way to engage muscles all over your body. Start with your legs together and your hands at your side. Jump to a position where your legs are spread about 3 feet apart and your hands clap over your head. These are relatively easy so you should start at 20 and work up to about 50.

Do these 5 exercises one right after the other with no rest. Take a short 30 seconds rest, and then continue with your other two sets. After all three sets are down proceed to stretching.


Twists. Put your arms in the air like you are going to box. Then twist to one side and to the other. Keep doing this for about a minute. Work up to punching at the end of your twist. ( i love the punching)

Side Stretches.  Put one hand on your hip and put one hand in the air reaching across your head toward the side you are stretching toward. Work up to leaning over as far as you can.  These feel good!

Hammies and Quads. Ok, this can be considered two stretches as well. First, while lying on your back on the floor, bend one of your knees towards your head, and grab your leg with both arms. Pull it toward you to stretch the hamstring. Switch to the other leg. Stand Up. Put one hand against the wall and grab your ankle with your other hand. Pull your leg toward your butt. Switch. Work up to doing these twice and holding them for at least 30 seconds each. Doing each stretch once for 20 seconds is a good start.
Arm Stretch. Grab your arms by the wrist behind your head. First pull one arm to your left side, then pull the other arm to your right side. Work up to stretching as far and as long as you can.
Feet Reach. Sit down on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Slide your hands down your legs as far as they can go. Work up to touching your feet. You can also add a stretch for each individual foot. Just spread your legs and reach toward one foot at a time.

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