Floundering fitness

Every morning I wake up thinking, Okay, today I’m going to work out, even if it’s just some kind of cardio for at least 20 minutes! And almost every day, it doesn’t happen, because I end up thinking, Well, I blew my diet anyway…I guess I can start tomorrow. You can guess what happens from there.

Ab-so-lute-ly nuthin’!

I realize that inertia’s probably the hardest thing to overcome in (re-)establishing a workout routine, and that at the beginning, even if you’re starting all over again like I am, consistency in working out is the main goal. I know that on one hand, I should start slow and build up my conditioning again bit by bit—but on the other hand, I feel dissatisfied with how short and thus ineffective those small workouts seem. Still, consistency. Day at a time. Gotta start somewhere. Something’s better than nothing!

Clearly I need to quit overthinking it and just do it. Blarg. Why is overcoming slugdom the hardest part about working out? Maybe it is pure physics.

Dude, I only wished I looked this nonchalant when I run.

There are two beginning running programs I’ve scouted so far that I like: Runner’s World magazine’s “Running 101” and Women’s Health magazine’s “Running to Lose Weight.” Of course I want to do the latter but I think I’d better start with the former. There’s also the article “Start Running: The Beginner Running Plan” from Women’s Health that sounds solid. Plus the .pdf comes with a handy-dandy calendar on which you can check off each day’s workout.

Now to take each day as it comes and clock the time. Where’s my positive mantra?!

(via FitSugar)

The workout wagon

I used to be super hard-core about working out. Six days a week, 1.5 hours a day—intervals, running, plyometrics, kettlebells, TRX bands, medicine and Swiss balls, jump rope, resistance bands—that was me. I even stepped into a boxing ring for an exhibition bout as part of my gym‘s member Fight Night.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I fell off the wagon. Just kind of burned out. My trainers told me not to worry, that everyone goes through these peaks and valleys in their training, but the key is not to stop working out altogether—just dial it down, or find a new activity to keep my interest piqued. Unfortunately, I never really did that, and what with work and school and other commitments, I let exercise fall by the wayside.

Now, several (ahem) pounds later, I’ve decided it’s time for me to get back on to a regular fitness regimen. Just a little bit every day. Okay, at least five or six days a week. Four minimum! Half an hour, 40 minutes a day. It’s humbling to start back at the beginning, conditioning-wise, but I have to start somewhere.

I figure it’ll be easier to take things day by day, so that each day I can mark the workout as “done” on my calendar, then look back at the accumulation of days and eventually weeks and months to see how I’ve progressed. When I set myself a goal and instead think, Oh, it’s several weeks away, I’ve got time to do it later, then I start putting off workouts ’til tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, until I end up with a bunch of todays with almost no workouts accounted for.

Couldn’t resist a completely out-of-context reference to Macbeth.

I’ve started out by going back to my old gym (evidently I need the structure and accountability of having a class to show up for in order to stick with a routine). Also bought a bike to ride around town and help me sneak in some more cardio that way.

Plus I’m thinking of doing the run/walk program from Women’s Health magazine to get back into running mode. If one of my goals for this year is to run my first half-marathon, then I better get started! But I also want to be careful that I don’t push too hard and injure myself.

More tips for getting back on the workout wagon:
• “Quick Tip: Remember to Start Off Slow” (FitSugar)
• “3 Tips on How to Deal with a Health or Fitness Setback” (Vitamin G)

(Runner photo: Thinkstock via Glamour)