Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WLJ: The good and bad of being more active

I've always tried not to be completely sedentary. For the past few years, I've done various at-home workouts and running when the weather is nice. But my level of activity has definitely gotten a boost since I joined the fitness center in December. As with anything, there's good and bad, so I thought I'd share some of my observations here.

The bad

- Difficult to get on a machine sometimes.
With New Year's Resolutions and a Biggest Loser Competition going on, my gym has been packed.  Good for their business, bad for me.  I'm not a fan of the elliptical. At all. I much prefer a treadmill.  It seems a lot of people do.  Sometimes when I walk in, every single treadmill is occupied, leaving me to choose between an elliptical, a stair-stepper or a bike.  Elliptical is my last choice, and sometimes a choice I must make.  Blah.

- Poor gym etiquette by fellow fitness center users.
Early in January, there were two women who were CONSTANTLY texting while they were working out.  I can barely remember to breathe, how do they have the energy to text as well?  Well, we were definitely working out on different levels.  But it was still annoying.  Thankfully, I don't see them much anymore.  Either they gave up or they go at different times now.  But there are still people who don't wipe down the machines when they're done, which is not only unsanitary, it's just plain gross. I don't want to touch your sweat and spit, thanks.

- More laundry.
When I worked out at home, I could wear the same sports bra and shorts for a few days before they needed washing.  Yeah, clearly I wasn't working out very hard.  And also, since I didn't see anyone, I didn't care.  The fitness center is a whole different story.  I have plenty of tshirts because I'm a tshirt hoarder.  That's not a problem.  But I have just five sports bras, and after one workout, they're drenched in sweat and done until they can be washed.  I had the same issue with workout pants and ended up having to buy two new pair (in a size SMALL!!!).  It still doesn't feel like enough.  I may have to bolster my workout wardrobe again soon.

The good

- Better sleep.
A good workout wears me out and by 9:30 most nights, I am ready to pass out.  Sometimes, if I find something really engaging on TV, I can make it until 10 or maybe 10:30 on the weekend.  But that's it.  Gone are the days of me staying up until 11, 12 or later.  And I feel like I'm getting a better quality of sleep.  Of course, that could be because I'm sleeping more than eight hours a night.  Ahhh...heaven.

- More energy.
Despite what I said above, I actually feel like I have more energy throughout the day lately.  My morning coffee probably helps a little, but overall, I feel much more engaged and productive.  This is good for me and my employer.

- Finding new fun workouts.
I went to Zumba with friends in Minneapolis last summer and loved it.  I bought the Wii game, and it's fun, but the class is a whole other story.  It's much more intense, and I love the music.  Our instructor is pretty awesome too.  I pretend I look like her when I'm doing the routines, even though I'm pretty sure I don't.  I've also tried out kettlebell and Total Body Burn.  So far, I've only stuck with kettlebell (in addition to Zumba) on a regular basis. It's a much different workout than I expected, and even though I'm still not great at it, I've made some progress. I would still like to try yoga and yogalates.  My balance sucks, so I'd probably embarrass myself, but I'd give them a try.

- The endorphins!
How could I not mention these?  I am so addicted to the post-workout high that I actually crave going to the gym.  Sure, there are some days I think it would be so much nicer to go home and lounge and catch up on DVRed TV.  But then I remember how awesome I feel when I'm done working out.  So I go to the gym.  And it's absolutely the right choice.  I feel amazing when I'm done and the rest of the evening is mine (usually) to relax.

- The results.
The scale may not be showing a lot of progress, but I can see it when I look in the mirror and feel it when I pull on my clothes.  I think I'm starting to look a little different, and I definitely feel different.  It's hard to describe, but I feel so much better now that I'm working out harder and more often.

At least there's more good on this list than bad, right?

Weight-loss goal: 40 lbs.
This week's progress: -1.4 lbs.
Progress to date: -17.8 lbs.
Non-scale victory: I upgraded to the 18 lb. weight in kettlebell class.  It's definitely more of a challenge.  And that must have shown in my face last week, because at the end of the workout, the lady next to me decided I needed applause and a hug.  Thanks, I think.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I am impressed! 18lbs in Kettlebell is tough. The max I have managed is 15 and that nearly killed me. You go girl!


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