No such thing as an ineffective workout to your body (the term only applies as pertaining to your specific goals: your body likes to move, all movement. Your goal right now? Easing back in slowly. Which means even a walk counts).
What “easy” is to you is up to you! Listen to your body, and focus on just moving. Don’t worry about pushing yourself, find things you enjoy, and give yourself a week or two to get back into the swing of things. Avoid movements that might over-tax your core (it’s not the week to break your PR’s), jumping or high impact activity is also probably not a good idea and avoid using too much resistance/weigh at first. Go light, keep your workouts short, and if you feel ‘funny’ or pain, stop.
Squats, lunges, pushups, tricep dips, hip bridges, modified burpees… anything that fits your “easy”. For me, I like to do dance DVD’s, workouts from the 80’s, or take very long walks when I’m recovering or taking it easy. They’re hilarious, soul filling, and fun to do. Your body will get back to where it was in no time, but don’t worry about it too much! Take care of yourself. :)
I have! But I don’t really care about that all that much.
The changes I’ve made that have meant the most to me have been to my insides, not my outsides. I love them too, don’t get me wrong (booty, booty, booty), but I don’t need a before and after shot to focus on what REALLY matters most to me.
I get asked a lot for before and afters, and I realized it was more about other people’s need to compare. Or judge. Or out of curiosity. But even when I was heavier, my body was fine. It was worthy. My problem was my attitude about it. And that’s a before and after that I can talk about, share with everyone and that I personally find inspiring. My shift in thinking, attitude and LOVE for my body are really what were important to me. And that love didn’t come from changing my body (though it did change). It came from embracing it. Loving it. Treating it with kindness & respect. Feeding it. Working with it. Not trying to fit it into a mold.
Comparing two bodies, even if they’re both mine, isn’t something I’m down with: there was nothing wrong with my body before, even if it was heavier or had a higher body fat percentage. The biggest problem I had was with my head.
It’s around somewhere on the internets, but not something I like to post or dwell on. What my body looks like, and the changes it’s gone through are awesome. But not nearly as awesome as the other changes I’ve made. I don’t want it taking the spotlight away from those. And considering society’s over-fixation on weight loss (not health boosting), I feel uncomfortable reducing my progress to outer physical changes. The idea that someone could find inspiration in my physical changes does kind of bother me a little. That’s a personal choice.
(Note: Just to be clear, I do NOT begrudge others for posting before and afters! Please know this is personal on my part, and in no way extends to how I feel about other people’s progress pics. However, it is one of the reasons I don’t post the ones I receive in my submissions. Not the vibe of this blog, but I do always send hearty congrats to those who submit. I’m not out to dull anyone’s shine).
If I gained 50lbs, could still do what I do, stayed in good healh and still had a good realtionship with my body? I’d be cool with that.
Screw ‘em. :) I hate people who think like that: very discouraging (and shows how little they actually know about fitness/health. There are more than a few reasons people like to and should move, and not all of them are goal/PR related).
There is no such thing as an inefficient workout. Not to your body. It just wants to move. And yes, Zumba is great cardio: it’s all about effort and heartrate. Heartrate is up? It’s cardio. You can boost your intensity by getting deeper into the moves, fuller into the motions, and moving faster if you like (and to challenge yourself). But as far as steady state cardio goes, it’s awesome.
No one way is better than any other way, but whether or not it’s right for you greatly depends on your goals (good on you for being aware of that!). If what you’re doing isn’t working, then switching it up is a good idea. BUT, if all you wanna do is dance, shake and get a great sweat on? Zumba’s wicked, especially if you love it.
Note: when it comes to Zumba, listen to your body. Not the haters. Most have never even tried it. It’s a total body workout, and fabulous cardio & coordination (working many muscles that other types of workouts neglect - specifically stabilizers - AND working them in a unique way). However, it doesn’t cover other fitness areas like as power, speed, flexibility & strength. As a guideline, workout programs should be well-rounded to improve overall fitness in all areas… but not everyone has fitness-related goals. For your health (which is far more important than anything else), I’d encourage you to keep doing what you love and perhaps work to fit in some resistance/strength training a few times a week (especially important for women). Next, adding flexibility/stability work is maybe something you want to incorporate too (stretching, yoga etc. Can be after your cardio). And, if your goals change, you can re-assess what works best for you.
Haters be damned. Honestly, as a girl who loves Spartan Races, burpees, power lifting and Crossfit, it PAINS me when people put down dance class, Zumba or aerobics. Some of the most challenging classes I’ve taken were dance based, and the idea that they aren’t a good workout is ridiculous. I have specific fitness goals that require me to work on power, speed, and resistance training. And I do. But at least once a week, for my steady state cardio, a class like Zumba is a better burn than running: it incorporates more muscle groups, challenges me mentally, and really helps with my coordination.
Hope this helps!
I didn’t say it wasn’t (though 96 calories is far from what I’d consider “high”)… it’s just not the most imporant thing to focus on. Alcohol isn’t like regular food: your body processes it differently dear. It also changes the body’s ability to burn calories normally. Calories from booze get burned up almost immediately, almost like tissue paper on a fire. This means everything else that’s supposed to be used for energy (your fat stores), don’t get used. And anything else you eat, gets stored instead of being used. (read about how fat loss works here: What Happens To Fat When We Burn It Off? I Mean, Where Does It GO?).
The problem with alcohol and weight loss/fat loss is that it effects your body’s metabolic capabilities, hormones, and releases chemicals that store fat. The calories from alcohol aren’t nearly as important as what the alcohol does to your body, since those calories aren’t the ones getting stored (tissue paper).
Calories are much more complicated than simply what goes in and out, and alcohol is treated as a poison by the body (again, no judgies since I enjoy the occasional drink too). It’s kind of like making your body sick, and it needs time/energy and special “processes” to heal and get the booze out. Those processes also keep your body storing fat (slowing metabolism), impair your immune system, and disrupt your normal inner (and outer) mental and physical functioning.
Read more here: Your Bod On Booze: http://fitvillains.tumblr.com/post/11153303924/bod-on-booze-drink-by-drink
Hope this helps clear it up a bit better. Reread my last answer and see if it makes more sense to you now. :)
Don’t worry about the calories (or having the occasional drink… as long as you’re legal, lol). The issue with booze in terms of fat storage/weight loss/calories is NOT that i’s high in calories (a myth): rather, it’s about what the booze does to the state of your body. It makes it harder for the body to burn fat, can mess with metabolism for days, and can cause fat storage by releasing hormones.
The calories from booze (calories = energy) are burned up almost immediately: the body sees them as toxic (intoxication), and pretty much works overtime to try to get them out of the system as fast as possible. In doing so, it prioritizes the booze calories above all others: the rest gets stored. We also tend to eat more, snack more, choose unhealthy foods when tipsy AND often move LESS the next day, leading to a bigger whoomp waaahhh than any of the calories you can possibly drink. The more often you drink, the harder it is for your body to press ‘reset’.
Aside from avoiding juices, sodas and other mixers, worry more about having healthy snacks to nosh on (bring ‘em), drinking plenty of water (a glass per drink), eating like a health superstar and getting in a little bit of movement the next day (a walk, yoga etc. If you can workout, great, but if not, just try to move). Do NOT restrict calories during the day in order to drink at night: drinking while hungry is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do to your body. You’ll end up drinking more, eating more that night (or the next day), and in some cases can really mess up your system or end up with alcohol poisoning. (Which is an ironic term since ALL alcohol is treated as poison by the body. Not a moral judgement here - I drink too - just a fact).
As always, moderation. I’m a little older now, so getting sh*tfaced is no longer appealing (or fun. Girl’s gotta get up early), and I probably have 1-2 glasses of wine a week at most. If you’re trying to lose weight, keeping booze to a minimum both in frequency AND in actual drinks consumed is key to succeeding. Not only because of the calories, but rather what the booze does to your body.
Hope this helps!
Depends on the workout (they’re all different), my week, my energy level and mood. In most cases, I don’t need to: they are intense workouts as is. Because my fitness level is higher, I can push myself hard enough to get it all “out” in that time frame. Beginners might want to extend their workout and take the intensity down a notch as they work up to it. The thing about HIIT is that it requires pushing close to your maximum capacity. It’s ideal for advanced & intermediates, but most beginners can’t achieve the same level of performance… yet. I often recommend beginners take a longer time and work on building their intensity gradually: it’s something you need to work up to, and you’ll still get a great workout trying.
In terms of the guilt, I totally get it. I used to feel the same way! There’s a few reasons for this, but much of it comes down to past history. Many women (and men) have been conditioned to do long, steady state cardio for fat loss and conditioned to think that more is best. Do more, burn more. The thing is, that’s not necessarily true. In fact, in many cases, it can lead to fat storage and overtraining, especially if you’re close to your goal. When it comes to HIIT, it’s not necessary OR ideal to do more.
Another issue is that there’s more to a workout than just the ‘work’ part. Your time doesn’t start AFTER the warm up and before the cooldown: it includes them. Even the 16 minute workouts I post are actually closer to 30 minutes if you’ve warmed up and cooled down properly. Same goes for all “quickie” workouts online: the marketing is designed to attract people who are short on time, but the warm up and cooldown are often neglected. They shouldn’t be.
H.I.I.T’s are shorter, more intense workouts because
1. Any longer and performance suffers. If it doesn’t, you’re not pushing hard enough and it’s not HIIT. You should be “dying”, lol.
2. They are more effective workouts. They put your body in a volcanic fat burning state for up to 2 days post workout. So you’re burning during the workout, but also burning more while you work, sleep and get around for the next few days. When considering calories burned, it’s important to remember it’s never always ONLY what you burn in your workout (specifically with strength training and HIIT). Steady state cardio doesn’t have this afterburn effect.
Often, women don’t feel like they’re doing ‘enough’ with these short workouts, and that’s more of an issue with our heads than our bodies (our bodies like it and have more energy to recover/make us stronger after). The thing to remember is that a workout has several components: the warm up, the workout, the cooldown and the stretch. Spending more time in those areas will help you feel a little better without pushing too hard (and to be honest, people don’t warm up sufficiently for these kinds of workouts. A minimum of 10 or even 15 minutes is ideal when your workouts are this intense).
A HIIT workout should look like this…
A. 10 minute warm up with 2-3 minutes dynamic stretching.
B. 10-20 minutes of HIIT
C. *Optional* 5-10 minutes of core work, yoga, floor work etc.
D. 10 minute cooldown and stretch
Training like this brings you up to 30-45 minutes without overtraining or over taxing your muscles. You’re also more likely to see better results when you’re spending more time in your warm up AND working on your flexibility post workout. A good stretch post workout is incredible for performance and recovery.
H.I.I.T workouts do NOT need to be done everyday, nor should they. The more intense the workout, the more recovery you need. Your heart is a muscle too: it needs time to recover and build stronger so it can take on more (funny that we forget that). Try alternating these workouts with longer steady state cardio sessions, yoga or strength training to get the most out of them. Doing them too often might get you the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Though every week is different (very much so), I usually do 3 HIIT’s a week (circuit and interval training, mix of strength and cardio, like Zuzana’s workouts), 1 long cardio session (30-45 minutes), 1 strength-training session and maybe some yoga.
Hope this helps!
(PS- Let the guilt go! Know where it comes from, and that you don’t need to think that way.)
Oh, bummer! That sucks, hope it heals soon!
No need to end up in a fitness hole, but it’s essential you take it easy. No one likes being injured longer than they have to be. And while it’s frustrating, make sure you work on keeping a positive attitude and plan to take it VERY slow once you’re able to get back into things. Injuries happen, and it takes time to get back where we were (not nearly as long, but still).
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Don’t worry too much about high intensity cardio (very difficult to achieve without your largest muscle groups - the leg), but think of it as just staying active while you heal. You can get more intense when your body’s ready.
- Ab work (v-ups, crunches, bicycles, 100’s, toe touches, russian twists). From the floor or from a chair.
- Pushups (from the knees if it bothers your foot). Pike presses too, but see how you feel.
- Tricep dips
- Upper body strength training (do these in a chair if it’s more comfortable). Bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep kickbacks, chest presses, lateral flys, front raises, etc)
- Upper body cardio. Use light weights to make it harder (fast punches - jabs, uppercuts, crosses, speedbags, flapping your arms like a bird, arm circles)
- Floor swimming - Get on your belly and swim like you would in a pool. Breast stroke, butterfly etc. If you can move your legs up and down, go for it, but no need, especially if it hurts). Try it for 2-3 minutes, rest and repeat.
- No pressure lower body moves - see how you feel, but most of these don’t have direct pressure on the ankle. Everything is connected though, and if it hurts, stop. Firedonkeys, donkey kickbacks, side lying leg raises, inner thigh lifts, leg only supermans.
Don’t worry too much about getting in your normal workout. Instead, focus on what you CAN do. To make a quick circuit, pick 4-6 moves that work different muscles, do them for 30-60 seconds each, rest and repeat. The benefit is that these are usually moves we neglect during our training, and it can give you a surprising strength boost when you get back to things. Lemons into lemonade. :)
A quick circuit might look like…(60 seconds each, repeat 3 times)
1. Fast punches forward. As fast as you can. Engage the core.
2. Bicep curl to shoulder press
3. Side lying leg lifts (30 seconds per side)
4. Speedbag in place (fast! Don’t punch yourself in the chin).
6. Fire donkeys (30 seconds per side)
Hope this helps! Take care, eat well and rest up!
Totally nutso, lol.
Ultimately, everyone should listen to their bodies, HOWEVER pain medication messes with our bodies ability to tell us what it needs. You might feel fine… because of the meds. And medications can affect heart rate, metabolism, the ability for your muscles to heal and more.
In short, take a few days off. With peace & the knowledge you’re doing an awesome job at taking care of your body. Go YOU.
Many people experience fevers and other symptoms post wisdom removal. Some do not. Your body needs extra energy to do it’s thing and heal, which means resting. You can still stay active, but it’s not a week to go after PR’s. Sometimes, you’re stronger for having taken the time you need to heal… not pushing through pain.
What I’d recommend (since I’m a fit freak who hates missing workouts too) is scaling back but keeping your schedule. Try a walk. Yoga. A long stretch. Pilates from the floor. Anything that keeps the heartrate down but might still make you feel good and blood pumpy. I learned this lesson the hard way: you can’t outsmart your body. You and your body work together and your job is to take care of it… even when you’d rather be working out.
However, don’t be bummed! Get excited about being awesome to your body, and work around it. This ‘fit’ thing is forever, and there will ALWAYS be times when you can’t workout or need to take it easy. Days. Weeks. Even months. It happens. Life happens. Getting bummed about it makes it harder to jump back in. Instead, do what you need to do with the intention of getting back to it in good health and good spirits.
Hope this helps! Good luck on your surgery!
Muscles build/get stronger during recovery, but only if we give them something to recover from. The best way to approach core training is like any other muscle: 2-3 times a week. Focus on harder moves (if you can do 20+ reps with no difficulty, it’s too easy for you. Find something harder, even if you can only do a few reps, to really challenge the muscle), make sure to hit all the ab muscles (lower, upper, transverse, obliques), and give yourself 2 days rest between ab workouts.
Remember you can’t spot train: the key to great abs is overall conditioning: back, chest, shoulders, lower body, upper body, cardio etc. AND a great diet.
(Also, you can have awesome abs without a six-pack. Just thought I’d throw that in. The body fat percentage for most women to have a six pack is very low, maybe too low for YOUR body. It’s too low for mine and I’m super cool with it. My body’s awesome. Marketing has kinda skewed what’s considered ideal, but believe me: you can have rockin’ abs, amazing core strength and a sick fit body… with a tummy too).
Hope this helps!
You’re right to listen to your body! Insanity is intense, and requires a lot of fuel to be effective. Plus, sometimes with medication & pain, it’s a good move to take things slower in sweat land. Scale back, take it easy (you’ll be amazed at how much stronger you’ll get in a week), and use this as an OPPORTUNITY to work on things you’ve been neglecting (like flexibility, yoga, floor work, walking, etc).There are loads of ways to stay active while you’re recovering and waiting to eat normally.
Once you feel up to it, start with the ‘recovery’ week on the calendar: it’ll help you ease back in slowly.
Hope this helps!
Awww, squeeee right back baby!
Every little bit counts! The more you move, the better you feel AND the easier it is to move.
Personally, I like using a stability ball at my desk as a chair. Things like taking the stairs, taking the ‘long’ way and adding in more activity overall to your day (not just in your workouts), can do wonders to your body and soul.
Move it, move it!
Not everyday: try to do them on non-consecutive days to get the most out of your workouts. Your body builds itself during recovery, and the harder you push, the more rest it needs.
Try alternating HIIT training with strength training, yoga or steady state cardio and shoot for a maximum of 2-3 times a week. Remember that HIIT burns more calories POST workout, so your body will still be working at a higher metabolic level for up to 2 days post HIIT session.
Awesome time! Congrats! Set a reminder to try it again in 30 days and see if you can beat your score!
So, I assume you’re allergic, right?
Nuts are part of the ‘healthy fats’ group, so they appear in many healthy recipes. They allow nutrients to be absorbed, metabolism to be regulated, and are all around awesome for your body. But there’s lots of ways to get healthy fats in your diet without nuts. Olive oil, avocados, shea butter (yup, you can eat it too), chia seeds & other seeds (check if they are an allergen for you), salmon & fish oils, olives etc.
If you’re simply wanting a quick nut substitute that adds crunch, I’d opt for roasted chickpeas or seeds (sunflower is my favorite). For the chickpeas, drizzle them with olive oil on a cookie sheet and season them however you like (rosemary, parmesan, cayenne, basil, anything works). Use the canned variety (or make them from scratch), and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (I broil them for the last 3-4 minutes to get them crispy).
Hope this helps!