I may sound like a broken record because I have said this many times before, but I think it is extremely important to understand our individual bodies. What we can handle, what we can endure, and what is just too much. Before I had a clear understanding of nutrition and what I was putting into my body, I would try to workout for 2 or more hours a day to overcompensate for what I was eating. I thought that if I ran on a treadmill at the speed of 7.5 for an hour I would automatically eliminate the calories of the 3 donuts I ate right before going to the gym. I would also try to lift very heavy weights thinking it would speed up any sort of muscle toning process. I had it very wrong for MY body. Again, I always feel a little timid to write my personal routines of any sort because I have literally self taught myself by observing and researching and by major trial and error. I don’t have a degree in any of this but I have a lot of real personal experience and have had to figure it out the hard way.
I will start with my running routine. As I’ve said before, running on the treadmill has become incredibly therapeutic for me so I try to run consistently 6 out of the 7 days. I give myself Sundays off to recover and relax. If you feel like you get bored while being on the treadmill and need something to distract you, I would suggesting catching up on a new episode on Hulu or Netflix, making a playlist of all your favorite pump up songs to listen to, or listen to a book/podcast while you read along. These are all things I have to do while spending a long time on the treadmill.
Obviously it is very important to stretch before jumping on the treadmill. Specifically for me, i have to stretch out my calves and hamstrings as well as warmup my ankles. I am very OCD and have a very particular number system I stick to. I do ten minute intervals to keep things consistent. Feel free to change it up for your own body’s needs.
I start by walking at 4.0 and 0% incline. I stay here for ten minutes. Next, I’ll keep my speed at 4.0 but bump up my incline to 7.0%. I used to never do inclined walking and only thought that I would get results by running or jogging. I didn’t think it was physical enough to do anything beneficial for my body. I was SO wrong. This past year I learned that not only is inclined walking less impact on your joints, it is incredible for toning your buttocks and abdomen. There is more resistance on your booty to bend and straighten your legs to walk higher, your hip flexors engage more to lift your knees on the incline, and your abs must contract in order to keep you upright on the inclined surface. I’ve incorporated inclined walking into my routine this past year and it has truly made such a difference in my body!! And I’m also saving my knees from too much running! If you’ve been counting I am now at 20 minutes. I then lower my incline to 0% and raise the speed to 6.5. I stay here for another ten minutes while I start to get my heart rate up and get my sweat on. After my completed ten minutes, I raise the speed to 7.5. On days when I feel like super woman I will raise the speed to 8.0. Once I’ve finished these ten minutes of hard core running…. 40 minutes has already flown by. I lower the speed back down to a 4.0 and will finish off by walking at a 11.0% incline. These last ten minutes burn the most but are so worth it!! On days where I don’t have as much energy (which on tour happens more so than not), I will use those last ten minutes at 4.0 to walk it out at a 0% incline and just cool down. It really is all about listening to your body and being smart.
• Walking at 4.0 on 0% incline for 10min (0-0:10)
• Walking at 4.0 on 7.0% incline for 10min (0:10-0:20)
• Running at 6.5 on 0% incline for 10 min (0:20-0:30)
• Running at 7.5 on 0% incline for 10 min (0:30-0:40)
• Walking at 4.0 on 11.0% incline or cool down on 0% incline for 10 min (0:40-0:50)
I also make sure I do these simple arm/abs workouts everyday!! I will add to this and try new things but without a doubt I will always do these 6 exercises. Something I’ve learned this past year is that I “bulk” if I lift too heavy of weights. Now I only use my own body resistance to target my arms and abs. Again, that’s just me personally. 🙂
1. Pushups (3 sets of 12)
2. Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 20)
3. Side Planks (Hold each side for 1 minute)
4. Twisties with Weighted Ball (3 sets of 20 on each side)
5. Medicine Ball Crunches (50 with arms behind my head and 50 with arms reaching)
6. Medicine Ball Pikes (3 sets of 10)
This week I was reminiscing through some old photos and came across this picture from almost 2 years ago. I am at least 40lbs heavier here. I don’t think I look “bad” but I know exactly how I felt in this picture and I felt horrible. No confidence, self doubt, and a lot of discomfort. You can see it in my eyes too. It’s incredible to me how much of a difference being physically healthy can affect and benefit your overall mental happiness. It’s definitely the way to go!
Real change can happen! I promise you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. And if it ever gets too hard, just remember that I have been there and I’m here with you every step of the way.