This morning, I donned my sports bra and some water, then dragged my tired butt to the gym. I realize that the days when you absolutely do not feel like keeping your commitments are the days they matter the most. And for this reason… I arrived at LA Fitness for the third time this week.
Most of my workout today was strength training because I have done extensive cardio this week (since Sunday) and felt my body needed a break. The cardio I normally do varies based upon my needs for the day. Usually, it alternates between time on the treadmill (interval training), running outside with my dog, the row machine, elliptical and the dreaded stairmaster. I try to do these activities for a time period of 30 or more minutes. Preferably more because there is an increased benefit in terms of burning fat after thirty minutes.
Today, my workout was arms, back, shoulder and abdominals. I was focusing on my triceps and biceps for my arms. I did tricep dips, use rope training and free wrights to focus on these areas. A machine I enjoyed using was the unilateral row machine which targeted my trapezius and lats as well as my biceps/triceps. Most people have very weak backs or an abnormal distribution of strength in their back. This contributes to postural deficiencies and back pain as well.
To improve spinal support, I did wall push-ups in the corner of the room where two walls meet. This is an exercise which can be done at home and it doesn’t take much to feel the burn! To do this, you find a corner of the room, place one hand on each wall level with your chest. Your feet should be at a comfortable enough distance from the wall so that you can fall into the wall without hitting your face. Once you are in position, you do a push-up into the wall. Another exercise you can do is to make snow angels on the wall. You stand against the wall with your arms at right angles, elbows touching the wall. Then, keeping that wall-elbow contact, you bring your hands together above your head.
I finished my strength training with various abdominal exercises. I have a pretty strong core and can do a three minute plank, but my lower abdominals need some additional support. My reverse crunches and yoga class have shown me that my tolerance is lower for this area.
In addition to my gym visit today, I also ate very healthy! Salmon for breakfast, almonds, a breakfast shake for dinner, two chicken nuggets and one piece of chex mix. I normally struggle with making good food choices because I have a hard time resisting my favorite foods. What has helped me is increasing my water intake. I have noticed my snack cravings are usually thirst in disguise.
So here it is. Me holding myself accountable with your help. ABS by January 31st…here I come!