"REALITY CHECK: Strength training will help your body burn more calories even when you aren't doing anything! So, don't just hog the treadmill. Pump some iron as well!" As I said before, you will NOT "bulk up". Prior to having Nicholas I would lift weights every other day and (last time I checked) I did not look like a body builder. :)
Not only will weight training keep you from getting bored and burn more calories, but it will help prevent injury from overusing the same muscle groups when running. So, do some cross-training! I've written a blog on it before, so I won't go into it again, but know that cross-training is ESSENTIAL to any good workout regimen.
Those of you who just can't live without the treadmill, I understand because I used to be a treadmill junky when I first started on my "fitness journey" years ago when I first started losing weight in college. I'd run for an hour (or more) and then wonder why in the world I wasn't losing any weight. Well, it took me a while to just admit it, but I had to watch my calories too. I avoided the calorie counting for at least a year until I figured I'd give it a try. Well, it worked! And, once I started counting the calories, I lost more weight just doing 30 minutes on the treadmill and counting calories than I did with hour long, boring, suck the life out of you treadmill workouts and no calorie counting. (Now if you're training for some sort of race, that's somewhat different.)
I would suggest doing every other day cross-training and the opposite day you could do the treadmill or an at-home circuit of cardiovascular exercises. Remember that running isn't the only form of cardio out there! If the treadmill is your choice, make sure you DO NOT hold on to the rails. It will mess up your form and you will hurt yourself. (There is a reason why most treadmills tell you to not hold on while you are running/jogging!)
If you are running too much and you're just starting out, you may find that you are getting shin splints. Those suck! So, again, don't over train. Mix it up. Don't slam your foot on the treadmill; make sure you're running with proper form as well. Here is a nice link I found that explains shin splints and how to prevent them. Check it out if you think you have them: http://www.chirunning.com/chi-library/article/the-whole-story-on-shin-splints/
Here is a sample treadmill workout for you that mixes it up and keeps it "lively". I know when I'm on the treadmill I feel like a freakin' hamster on a hamster wheel and who wants to feel like a rodent?! Also, make sure you are NOT cutting carbs out of your diet!!!! YOUR BODY NEEDS CARBS TO SURVIVE! Cutting carbs is like not filling your car with gas. Carbs are fuel to your body. That doesn't mean you should go eat a loaf of bread or a box of pasta (even though it does sound tempting as I see my sons left over mac and cheese sitting on the stove...resist Melissa resist!!!). You need to watch your portions and if simply watching your portions isn't working; count those pesky calories or count points if you're on WW.
So, here are those treadmill workouts for you...
Treadmill workout #1:
- Always warm up with a 5 minute fast paced walk at an incline. Perhaps 3 mph at a 4% incline (faster if you can...remember, it's a warm up)
- Go to a 1% incline and move yourself into a nice slow jog. You should feel like you are working at a moderate pace. Do this for 2 minutes!
- Go to an 8% incline and slow down to a "speed walk" for 2 minutes
- Now go to a 1% incline and go to a faster jog/run for 1 minute. It's just 1 minute so REALLY push yourself here. You know your limits, so don't cheat yourself out of maximizing your time!!
- Repeat this 4-6 times which will give you a 20-30 minute workout. (Not including the warm up.)
Treadmill workout #2:
- Warm up (5 minutes)-same as above suggested warm up
- Run/jog at a moderate pace for 4 minutes at 1% incline
- Walk for 1 minute at 4% incline
- PAUSE the machine! Get off and get on the floor to do 12 pushups. PROPER FORM is key! Go to your knees if you can't do them on your feet; you will get there in time. For now though, form is most important. Keep your butt down and your abdominal muscles "tucked in". Here is a link to view the proper way to do a pushup on your knees: http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/13/ Notice her neck is up and not curved? Do what she is doing!
- Repeat 4-6 times...push yourself to the 6th time! JUST DO IT!
What are you having for your healthy dinner? Tonight we are having personal pizzas:) Yes, PIZZA! GASP!!!
- Wheat pita, with tomato sauce, a serving of feta cheese, tomato, onion and spinach. Calories: 392 calories and that's for a whole personal pizza!! Typically 1 measly slice has that many calories!!
Quote of the day:
“Pain is weakness leaving the body” ~Tom Sobal~
Tomorrow...I'm toying with the idea of making my feelings on Fast Food public...ohhhhh could be interesting....
P.S. Here is a site for a FREE calorie counter: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/