Tag Archives: Fitness

How to Find Time to Exercise When You’re Too Busy

Just Show Up

This time of year, it’s crazy busy for most everyone.  Finding time to stay healthy can tumble down the priority list pretty quick.  That’s why I collapse all of my goals into this single thought:  Just show up.  I show up, then I listen to my body.  No time clocks.  No calorie burn rates.  Just me, whatever time I’ve got, and whatever my body can handle that day.

This simple idea keeps healthy habits alive because it nurtures momentum.  I can eat too many treats.  I can detour my workout away from what I had planned.  But I can’t lose my momentum.  Once that’s gone, it is so-so-so-so hard to get back up.

Here’s what keeping momentum looks like for me this month:

  • Walking the dog down the street instead of doing that full hour in the gym.
  • Plugging in a 15 minute yoga DVD instead of staying for the 5:30 pm class.
  • Blending my green smoothie, even though there’s a party with a buffet waiting for me tonight.
  • Rolling around on the floor to stretch my back and lube my joints because I woke up too late to do the 15 minute yoga DVD.

This time of year, I have to narrow my focus and just show up.  There’ll be plenty of time later to ramp back up, and I’ll have all that momentum to propel me forward.

 

Shelby lives in Missoula, Montana where she works out at The Women’s Club Health and Fitness Center

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To Get Fit, Flex this Little-Known Muscle

Jungle Book Baloo DancingI’ve been flexing my muscles ever since I was ten. That’s when I hauled home a record from Disneyland, put the needle on a record, and started to dance. That album, titled “Exercise with the Jungle Book,” had Baloo the Bear leading me in early 80’s aerobics (Baloo had a little extra junk in the trunk, so I liked him better than Jane Fonda.) Thirty-two years later, I’m still on the hunt for that next best workout. Be it abs, glutes, or core, I’ll try anything that keeps me engaged and brings results. So when I discovered a little-known, master muscle that boosts all my exercise efforts, I got excited.

What is this mystery strength, and why don’t we hear more about it? 

To answer that question, I’ll share a story often told and retold around these parts, especially during winter. In fact, it was winter in Butte — our highest Montana town – at Berkeley Pit, our deepest toxic wastewater site (locals call it Berkeley Lake.) Butte’s an old copper mining town perched atop the Continental Divide. It weathers blizzards that would otherwise breeze over lower elevations. One whiteout evening in ’95, a large flock of migrating geese decided to take refuge from a storm. Scanning for water, they spotted Berkeley Pit. They landed, free from icy winds. The next morning, Butte awoke to a sad site. Almost 350 winter-white geese lay dead, floating atop the toxic waters of Berkeley Pit.

Not long after the geese tragedy, a chemist returned to the pit and pulled a rope its waters. It was covered in green slime – life. Researchers at Montana Tech identified the slime as algae. Not just any algae, though. This plant could neutralize acid and absorb heavy metals. It literally thrived in Berkeley Pit. Theoretically — if scientists can scale up the algae’s metabolism to Berkeley Pit size – a Superfund site could become just like any other clean mountain lake in Montana.

But there’s more to the story, and it’s this surprise ending that reveals the mystery muscle.

 The only other place those algae have ever been found is in the guts of geese.  Their sacrifice gave birth to new life. Honestly, if I had been there, I would have been too sad and full of guilt to believe such a miracle. After seeing all those geese dead, any hope arising from those toxic waters would have been the furthest thing from my mind.  Nonetheless, only months later, that chemist did something amazing when he took a walk down to the pit. Scanning its depths, he had to peer past grief to see that rope floating just below the water’s surface. To reach into that toxic soup and keep pulling, hand over hand, he had to ignore the doubt that countered each tug of the slimy rope. Finally, he had to reach for hope when he delivered that rope to experts for examination.

That chemist flexed the mystery muscle. He demonstrated a strength we rarely hear about in exercise circles: returning. Not exercising for a while can bring its own form of loss. The decision to return can be hard. I usually grieve all the ground I’ve lost and weight I’ve gained. Still, I want to move again. At first, doubt and fear follow me into each workout. For a while, I have to decide over and over to return again and again. Eventually, repeated returning helps me break through into hope.

Is “returning” really a muscle, though? How does deciding to return actually strengthen things? 

Neuroscientists point to meditation as an example of how returning can fundamentally change our brains. Meditation rides a looping rhythm of focus, distraction, and returning. It’s less about perfect, zero-point calm and more about returning to the moment. It’s this perfecting of returning which changes the brain. In her article, “This is Your Brain on Meditation,” psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding, MD, explains that meditation strengthens the, “Lateral prefrontal cortex: the part of the brain that allows you to look at things from a more rational, logical and balanced perspective.” At the same time, it weakens caustic neural connections which magnify our failures into flaws. Fewer flaws? Balanced perspective? I’ll take some of that (especially when arguing with myself just to get dressed for a workout).

So “returning” really does change things, but how do I start?

For me, the first, hardest, and most important step is to let go of any shame about being sedentary. As my husband, Frank, says, “I can feel all the stupid that I want, but that won’t keep me from acting stupid in the future.” Shame is a waste of time. It doesn’t make me move any more or work any harder. Positive thoughts actually get me moving. Thoughts like:

  • “It took a while to get here; it will take a while to get back.”
  • “The body is smart. It did what it had to do while you were away; it will adapt as you start to move now.”
  • “You may not be able to pick up from where you left off, but you can pick up.”

Like those scientists who returned to the pit after its greatest tragedy, I can return to fitness. There’s no limit to do-overs. When I decide to return, I flex a master muscle of the mind. For sure, the results aren’t instant. Just like any muscle, returning can atrophy without use. Every time I decide to return, though, it gets stronger, and so do I.

Take Home Tip from 100poundsin1year.com

It’s this perfecting of returning which changes the brain.

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“I Hate Forcing Myself to Exercise” plus more in “Just Show Up: Why Movement Matters,” a free weight loss eGuide
New Life in a Death Trap
This is Your Brain on Meditation by Rebecca Gladding, MD, in Psychology Today

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Scale the 3rd Week Wall with These 3 Big Ideas

Is your fitness routine fading?  Is that promise you made to yourself getting harder to keep?  Welcome to the “3rd week wall.”  There’s something magical about making it through the third week, and its common to get stuck just as you thought you were doing great.  Don’t get down on yourself.  Instead, read ahead for some tools and tips to help you clear this hurdle and go even farther (first published in Living Well, 2013).

We know what they’re going to say: eat better, exercise more.  As soon as health experts open their mouths, we hear their advice like an overplayed pop hit. Our eyes glaze-over. Our minds go numb. Yet, knowing the latest research hasn’t kept us from a nationwide Obesity and Diabetes epidemic. Why? Is there a missing link between what we’re learning and what we’re doing? Or, is it how we’re learning?   Maybe we need easier ideas, something we can do right now that translates all that advice into real results. We need tips that can come alongside us, not create more conflict with our already-busy lives. While we’re at it, let’s demand something we can do and still be ourselves. Make it not too far out of reach but still inspire us to be our best selves.   In that spirit of uncomplicated accomplishment, here are three revelations which can revive any mission to become and stay healthy.

First, Take a Step Backwards

Alyssa Schrock, Mrs. Montana 2013, recognizes that gap between knowledge and know-how. At a young age, she was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. “Here’s a pamphlet, go figure out a plan,” she quips, mimicking the limp advice she received from her doctor. “No one took the time to explain, ‘This is how you cope. This is what you do.’ As a result, it’s taken me all of fifteen years to learn how to manage my illness.”

Today, Alyssa lectures and educates others about how to navigate health challenges by developing a personal care plan. “I like to work backwards by starting with the end results.” Asking people to envision a fuller life, Alyssa poses questions like, “What do you want?” “Why are you doing this?” “What do you want it to look like?” For her, the answers included reducing her prescription medications, becoming strong enough to care for her family, and increasing her overall stamina. With those kinds of long-term desires in mind, Alyssa then considers short-term actions. “They need to be small steps, things we can do right where we’re at today,” she explains. Every time she progresses to the next step, Alyssa claims a win. It’s those tiny victories which keep her focused, so much so that she now has energy to support others. “I still have tired days when I have to remind myself this is normal for me, but I’m feeling good enough now that I can make my bubble bigger by reaching my arms out to the community, so that others won’t have to walk out of a hospital with a pamphlet and no idea what to do next.”

Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger

Just as Alyssa has learned how supporting her community helps her stay healthy, we may need to unite our health routine with a larger purpose. Often times, we find more motivation when connect with the “why.” Nurturing wellbeing can be an expression of our commitment to something bigger. This bigger picture provides fresh purpose to pluck us from stuck places and create momentum again.

The Women’s Club Health and Fitness Center of Missoula – one of the nation’s first women’s only gyms which started 30 years ago – takes that bigger purpose to heart. “TWC women don’t separate caring for their health from caring for the Missoula community; to them, it’s all connected,” explains Camie Evans, Manager and Co-Owner of the club. Their latest investment is a saline pool and hot tub. Recently, The Women’s Club converted to a salt water system. “We hear how important environmental stewardship is to our members, and they’re happier when they know their workout supports their values” says Cathy Schwenk, Facility Maintenance Leader. “We’ve been looking at a saline system for years, but it’s only recently that the technology has become compatible with our facility. We like to say, ‘We’re going green, so your hair won’t have to.’”

Get off the Guilt-Go-‘Round

I once heard a young mom with a large family lament her sedentary lifestyle. “I know I need to get me and the kids exercising more, but it’s not easy,” she groaned. “They say this town is such an easy place to be active, but you either have to have lots of time or lots of money, and I don’t have either.” I nodded my head. She indeed was one of the busiest moms I knew. I also knew, however, that there was a public trail system just minutes from her home. Spotting the gap between what she said and what she could do, I surmise her frustration served more as a deflection of guilt.

Come to think of it, criticizing the sometimes conflicting health advice we receive is an effective deflection, as well. Resistance can cover up guilt over not being healthier. Here’s the good news: guilt doesn’t work, so you can let it go. Guilt is a disconnecting force which short-circuits our best intentions.  Guilt acts like static to our souls; keeping us judging ourselves and arguing with those judgments.  It fuzzes that heart/mind connection where creativity and motivation abide.  So let go of guilt about not exercising enough or eating bad food.

You can create a vibrant lifestyle when you cultivate these ideas. First, begin with your vision for a healthier you. Then, support that vision by connecting with a bigger purpose. Finally, release energy-sucking guilt. Now you can harness all that energy you’ve been using to simply survive the stuckness and shift your focus into drive.

Take Home Tip

We need tips that can come alongside us, not create more conflict with our already-busy lives.

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100 Pounds eGuide:  “Just Show Up: Why Movement Matters.”

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What Flips that Switch Inside?

Lately, when sharing my story, the same question keeps popping up:  What does it take to get unstuck and make the healthy choices we already know to make?  It’s as if there’s this mysterious black box  that we cannot see into, but which holds the key to flipping whatever switch inside, so we can make the choices we want to make — but for some reason — haven ‘t.  I cannot know what will flip the switch for you, but I can suggest one way to feel for it.  I call it “Micro-Meditation.”  I started this practice as a way to calm my monkey mind.  To my surprise, it also helped me make better decisions, including the ones about what to eat and how to move.

I started inside my car, waiting for traffic.  I focused on where I placed my hands on the steering wheel, which finger reached for the stereo, or how I slid my sunglasses around my face.  Then, while getting out of the car, how I grabbed my purse strap before wrapping it around my shoulder.  How I leaned into the door to unlock the car.  Which foot hit the ground first and how my balance changed as I closed the door.  You see what I mean?  It sounds too simple to make a difference (Typing this paragraph took more effort than the actual doing of it.)  However, if I wasn’t practicing micro-meditation, I would be busy worrying, planning, or just being numb.  There’s lots to gain and nothing to lose.

Soon after starting this practice, my insides started to change.  It’s hard to describe, but it was that same feeling when every light turns green, you take curves with the perfect balance of speed and torque, and seas of traffic part with mere intention.  In one word:  flow.

I’ve since fallen in love with “Micro-Mediation” (when I remember to do it).  It works instantly at any moment without extra equipment.  It takes nothing from my day and, in fact, saves time because I make better decisions with more clarity.  When it’s time to choose a meal or workout, the switch almost flips itself.

 

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Sneak Peek Chapter: “3 Ways to Get Small or Go Big”

Midnight Facebook Entries,  100 Pounds in 1 YearNo one joined me at the bar that night, but I still had the time of my life.  It was spontaneous.  It was infused with inspiration.  My covert rescue of neglected road-side rhubarb, plus my midnight trip to town for some funk band assisted writing, was decidedly not boring.  This is important for me because a hefty portion of my extra pounds originated from boredom.  I don’t mean the, there’s nothing to do kind of boredom.  I mean, there is nothing to look forward to boredom, a deeper pall.  This numbness greeted me when I woke up each morning and robbed me of my joy.  With those kind of days, it’s no wonder I resorted to using food to feel.  No meal could feed this craving, though.  I craved that geyser of vitality which gushes through the dusty build-up from everyday life and exclaims, “I am alive!”

Whenever I sense numbing boredom, I now understand that I have a choice.  I can get small or go big.  Personally, I’m a fan of going big.  Mostly because I like the thrill of it, but also because I’ve discovered how going big can eclipse gnarly problems and even heal the roots that feed them.

Going big, however, is not always my first instinct.  I usually attempt getting small first.  How does that look?  Well, it’s not so much about how things appear on the outside as the feeling on the inside.  In fact, two different people could be doing the exact, same thing, and one would be getting small while the other is going big.  The difference is in how they feel while they’re doing it.

Getting small feels like:

  • Settling
  • Amputating
  • Shrinking
  • Anything with the word “should” before it
  • Half-nourished while half-starved, like eating a picture of a salad and being bummed I’m not satisfied

Going big feels like:

  • Expanding
  • Stretching
  • Inspiring
  • Heart fluttering
  • Totally full, with lots of room for more

Given a choice to get small or go big, here are three ways I have encountered that decision in my life:

Open Up to Desire

If I want to learn, heal, or do anything worth doing, all need do only one thing:  surrender to desire.  I’m a big believer that wanting something is enough to propel me forward.  I don’t always have to go mining for childhood trauma, emotional scars, or ugly trolls guarding my bridge to sanity.

Desire is enough.  To understand why, all I need to do is realize the hefty effort I put towards conveniently distracting myself from desire every day.  It’s much easier to be too busy.  Throughout my 100 pounds journey, I’ve learned how staying in that desirous space brings plenty of opportunity for profound work.

Desire, being a deep calling within our hearts, naturally asks us to decide whether we are going to get small or go big.  For example, I want to lose 100 pounds.  That sounds pretty big, a large number anyway.  I can get small, though, even with such a large number as my goal.  I can choose diets that promise to work by making certain foods my enemy, thereby amputating the part of me that loves to sink my teeth into a cream cheese danish once in a while.  I could force myself to workout until it hurts, pushing my body until I shrink in dread at the thought of another torture session.

In contrast, I also have the choice to go big with my weight loss.  One way I did this was to release myself of any and all food rules.  I aborted the “eat this”/“don’t eat that” mentality.  At first, I didn’t like my idea. It felt too risky. I had used food rules to feel like I was at least trying.  What would I do now? My desire was bigger than my worry, though, and I surrendered to each and every craving. This was very scary.  And thrilling.  My heart fluttered as I tasted food without guilt.  I felt physically full. No more deprivation. Not that small, festering kind of wanting. Just big desire and big satisfaction.

Such joy with food delivered me to the other side of my eating struggles. I started to consider how food could help me heal, how it could be my friend.  Could I actually break the curse that had been my rancid relationship with food for most of my life?  I dared to find out.  In this situation, going big helped me expand beyond the tug-o-war and begin to heal from the inside out.

When I released food rules, I discovered one clue that shows me whether I’ve chosen to get small or go big is pretty simple and easy to uncover:  talk back.  When I get small, I have thoughts like, I should… I’m such a… I’ll never…

Going big still produces talk back, but of a different nature.  Often, I’ve thought, This is either crazy or brilliant!  In those moments, I like to talk back to my talk back and say, Yeah, well, that’s what they said about Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon, so I guess I’m in good company.

Be Vulnerable

Another get small/go big decision moment comes when I face vulnerability.  I’m not talking the shallow, self-effacing digs that we use to fish for social acceptance.  Jesus wasn’t like, “Dude, I’m totally stressing over these bunions on my feet from all this walking.”  Anyone who makes a difference in anything always encounters deep vulnerability, that tender moment between rejection and flight.

As Brene Brown, leading researcher into vulnerability and shame, explains, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of change.”  Of course, anyone who’s ever wanted to lose a significant amount of weight – including me – is all about change. I want it off and I want it now! After three rounds of dieting, melting off payback pounds, then gaining it all back, I can see how I always stopped short before hitting that layer of vulnerability.

Of course, I put that layer off as long as possible.  Like Brene Brown, I fear rejection.  I know she knows how I feel.  In her interview with On Being’s Krista Tippett, Brene said (paraphrasing here) “I was afraid of the intense criticism in our world today, so I had engineered my life to stay small.”  She got away with it, too.  That is, until her groundbreaking TED talk that surpassed ten million views.  When her talk went viral, Brene could have chosen to get small.  She could have listened to the talk back (You can’t just do that.) and back-peddled on all she had shared.  She could have accepted all the Fortune 100 company requests for executive training which came with one condition (“We would love to have you speak!  Could you just do one thing?  Could you not mention vulnerability or shame?”)

Going big rarely happens without encountering shame or vulnerability.  The good news is, rejection rarely happens, too.  The good news: my imagined fears are much worse than any actual blow back I’ve encountered.  I am my own, worst critic.  The take-home message is this:

Be Compassionate

Which brings me to a question:  When I confront my shame of being overweight, what I’ve done to my body, or how I became so apathetic about life, then what do I do?  This is another get small or go big moment.

My first instinct tends towards getting small.  I squeeze my life into a tight structure of unyielding routine. I toughen up. I stuff my shame down with discipline, like trying to fit a fluffy sleeping bag into the nylon stuff sack it came in (How did the manufacture get it in there?!)  Truth be told, I’ve rarely been able to maintain strict discipline over the long haul.  Eventually, my edges spill out.  When I pop from the pressure, I go ballistic and pack on those payback pounds.  This is why mere discipline often fails and compassion is so important. Compassion can head off a reactionary binge. Of course, the last thing I want to do is give up control by getting all soft and understanding, but that’s exactly what I need.

Mine is a common reaction, according to Dr. Kristen Neff, Associate Professor of Human Development at The University of Texas at Austin.  She explains, “I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent.  They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line.  Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”

I may betray my best efforts by poo-pooing compassion.

So what would going big look like, after surrendering to my desires and risking vulnerability which brings me face to face with shame?  Going big oozes compassion.  It honors all the habits I developed to ward off disappointment, whether I numbed myself with food or avoided activities which reminded me of my body.  Instead, compassion thanks those habits for keeping me alive.  It acknowledges my need for them.

Thank you, midnight pizza run, for getting me through my divorce.

Thank you, broken-down couch, for giving me a safe place to cry.

Then, compassion moves on.  In doing so, it validates my desire for more (which has really been my only desire, all along).  Compassion surveys my heart and says, “Yeah, we can do something with this.”  In the end, I see that I’ve always had what it takes.

I am the space big enough to nurture the biggest of going bigs.

Take Home Tip

Desire is enough.  To understand why, all I need to do is realize the hefty effort I put towards conveniently distracting myself from desire every day.

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Do Want Your Outside to Match Your Inside? Find out how in the latest 100 Pounds in 1 Year Weight Loss eGuide

When I share my 100 pounds story, people always ask, “How did you keep your will power going to lose all that weight?”

That’s when I nod.  I know exactly how they feel.

Find out how I maintained my will power and cleared common hurdles in, “I Want My Outside to Match My Inside,” the 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide which answers the question, “How do you keep going?”

IWantMyOutsidetoMatchMyInsideCoverSmall100Poundsin1YearIf you’ve been riding the weight loss roller coaster most of your life, then the last thing you need is someone telling you it’s going to be easy this time. I’ll admit it — straight out – easy would be great. Hard sucks. Too hard to lose weight. Too hard to keep it off. Too hard to live with that undying dream of feeling comfortable in my skin again.  That dream never goes away, though, does it? Even people who’ve lost a lot of weight will admit they have trouble matching their new body to their old body image. Even they want their inside to match their outside.

This eGuide stays true to that dream. In witty, practical terms, I cover the mental hurdles I faced while losing 100 pounds in 1 year. In this digital pdf download, I untangle obstacles (It’s never as easy as all the diet gurus want it to be.) I tell stories of how I crossed the gap between what I wanted and my inability to get there. In charting the not-so-straight line from fat to skinny, I unearth the wisdom that taught me how to become a bridge across that gap. Today, I experience life with greater focus, more energy, and expanding joy, no matter what the scale reads. That, in itself, is a huge lift of weight. I hope this eGuide inspires you to launch your own lift.

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Curious why “I Want My Outside to Match My Inside” is different than everything else you’ve tried before?  Try this on for size…

  • I won’t schmooze you with easy, but I will share the insights that super-charged my ability to keep going
  • Gut-level insights to dismantle the mental mud that keeps us stuck
  • Power-packed truths which most weight loss books like to leave out (the messy stuff too complex for simple how-to’s)
  • Inspiration to relieve your burdens and boost you up when the couch beckons
  • When you share in my struggles, then you get to enjoy the triumphs, too!
  • PLUS:

Every 100 Pounds in1 Year eGuide containsBuy eGuide from 100 Pounds in 1 Year

To wet your taste buds, here’s a sneak-peek at the Table of Contents:

  • I Want My Outside to Match My Inside
  • 3 Ways to Get Small or Go Big
  • Am I the Fat One or the Skinny One?
  • Take a Vacation from the Diet War
  • The Funnel of Love
  • Switching Gears
  • Putting the Cart Before the Horse
  • The Gap
  • Bonus Chapter: Living in the Between
  • Reflection Worksheets

100 Pounds eGuides Now DownloadableWhat is an eGuide?

Your 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide is a handy, electronic download.  You can take it anywhere you go:  your phone, your tablet, your computer, the Cloud!

 One reader says:

“Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book on it or something.”
— Ashley
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Get More Results Out of Less Effort: Learn from the mistakes I made, and the lessons I gleaned, through my 100 pounds journey.  Packed with lots of smart, time-saving ideas to keep you motivated.

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The Silver Bullet Workout

Here’s a sneak-peek at a chapter in the 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide, Just Show Up:  Why Movement Matters

The Silver Bullet Workout

Meet Betty.  She’s doing everything right.  She follows the Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio for five days a week.  She watches what she eats.  She nurtures herself with plenty of social activities.  Yet, she’s still uncomfortable in her skin and fighting to shed some extra pounds.  If she’s doing everything right, then why is it so hard for her to lose weight?  Health experts like to simplify Betty’s dilemma with the axiom “calories in/calories out.”  If Betty eats fewer calories than the amount she burns, then she should lose weight.  Who knew math could continue to plague us in our adult years?

So far on my journey, I’ve been able to see results with the help of one, effective principle I learned in college:  The Silver Bullet Workout.  I call it The Silver Bullet Workout because — like graduating from algebra to statistics — it multiples the calories-out effect.

While studying Exercise Prescription in college, I learned that a longer, moderately-paced workout once a week can boost calorie burn.  A general guideline of The Silver Bullet Workout principle follows.  (Of course, you’re reading this after getting your doctor’s permission to exercise, right?)

Silver Bullet Guidelines

  • Frequency:  once per week
  • Intensity:  on a scale from one to ten, settle in between a five and six
  • Time:  duration equal to three times the length of your normal workout

How does The Silver Bullet Workout actually work?  Well, there are others more educated than me who can go into the scientific details.  I do know that the longer duration and moderate pace give enough time and intensity for my body to burn through my quickest energy stores, which are glucose flowing in the blood and glycogen stored in the liver.  Once those reserves are spent, my metabolism goes into overdrive to convert stored fat into burn-ready glucose.  Hence, the weight loss.  However, its wise to remember that time can be too much of a good thing.  Its best to ramp up total workout time slowly to avoid causing inflammation which can cause injury and make you retain water.

My exercise routine includes going on a long hike every Sunday with my hubby.  When we first started, I couldn’t last long enough to equal three times the duration of my normal workout.  When I hiked, my lower back clenched up, my thighs burned, my hips ached, and I was breathing like someone sucked all of the oxygen out of the woods.  So, I had to start with what I could do while still enjoying it.  That way, I’d want to get out again the next week.  I’m going to keep ramping up my time until I can go an hour and a half, which opens up even more possibilities for hitting adventurous trails where surprise springs gurgle in hidden forests and refreshing waterfalls sound like wind gliding through the trees.  Who knows, maybe one of these Sundays, I will even meet Betty on the trail.

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Just Show Up eGuide, 100 Pounds in 1 YearThere’s more juicy details and insightful ideas in Just Show Up:  Why Movement Matters.  Read along with someone who started from zero on the couch and made her way to hiking mountain peaks.   Most exercise plans start out demanding too much effort or too much time.  I need a plan that fits me, a work out that actually works for me, not the other way around.  To my delight, I found the power in starting simple and getting creative as obstacles came up.  Learn why movement matters and how you can design your own yellow-brick road to fitness.  $2.99

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