Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Workout Wednesday: My Minimum

So look, I have a lot of ideas for these Workout Wednesday blog entries. I have an idea to talk about motivation, an idea about foam rolling, warming up, cooling down, the mood-changing powers of exercise, high intensity intervals, Zumba, weight lifting, my go-to or backup workouts, and more.

Today I just want to talk about doing the minimum.

You've probably heard the recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes five days per week (150 minutes per week). I've even heard that if you get in 150 minutes a week, it doesn't matter how you spread it out. I don't know about the merit of that. I just know how much it helps me to do it daily.

More often than not, I use a blog to get my workouts off of. I like it because it is different every day. Some days it's a serious challenge, full of modifications I have to make. Other days it's easier, and I have to make it harder or longer.

For example, yesterday's workout was, by my definition, easy. It was also fun! When I can tell that a workout will be short, or if it doesn't include much cardio, I do what I need to do to get to 30 minutes of sweating. Yesterday's workout was three sets of decreasing amounts of thrusters and sumo deadlift high pulls. With three sets, I can easily divide up a mile of running. So I ran .34 miles, did the 15 and 21, ran .33 miles, did the 12 and 15, ran .33 miles, and did the 9 and 9. It still only came out to like 13 minutes when all was said and done.

So early last summer, when I was in better shape, I probably would've run for another 17 minutes to get myself to 30 minutes total.

Lately, I've been feeling pretty lazy and have wanted to take it easy. It happens, you know? I don't get down on myself about it. I enjoy exercise, and when I want to take it easy, I do. So I ended up doing walking hill intervals for 7 minutes. Then I did the stationary bike for 10 minutes. I got to 30. And frankly, the last 17 minutes was really easy.

You know, with me feeling lazy and generally off this week, I just wasn't up to today's workout. It's sad because normally I would be totally game for this one. Usually I'd say, "Bring it!" It was run 1 mile, do 100 pushups, 200 butterfly situps, 300 squats, and run 1 more mile. You could break up the middle exercises into smaller sets.

But I just wasn't feeling it today. So I did my 30 Day Shred with Jillian, Level 1. And guess what? I barely broke a sweat. Do you know how hard that DVD was when I first started doing it? Holy moly. I guess I am in better shape than I thought. But guess what? I got to my 30 minutes today. And my "eh" day turned around and felt like a pretty darn good day after that.

At some point I will probably pick up the pace. At some point I will probably want a bigger challenge and a longer workout than 30 minutes. But right now, that's what I try to get to. I feel it's adequate, it satisfies my need to be active, and it's enough to make me feel good afterward. I don't get overwhelmed thinking about the time I'm losing either. Because hey, it's only 30 minutes!

There are my thoughts. Do what you can to make your workout 30 minutes. If it's 30 minutes of "easy," fine. If it's 30 minutes of high intensity, fine. If it's a combination of both, fine. Just hit your minimum, and you'll be glad you did it.

It's the best 30 minutes of my day, anyway.

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