New Exercise Routine

I’ve been hitting the gym for more than 3 months now, and it was time to shake up my fitness routine a bit. I thought I’d let you know what I’ve changed and how it’s going.

Originally, I was doing 1 hour per day 5 days a week. 3 days of the week, I’d spend an hour in the cardio theater, walking on the treadmill mostly. After a couple of months, I ventured over to the exercise bike, and then finally to the elliptical machine. I eventually started doing 20 minutes on each machine, keeping my heart rate at about 120-130 (fat burn zone), which would burn up to 600 calories each hour. On my non-cardio days, I’d do all the weight machines, and then walk 20 minutes or so on the treadmill. After these hour-long workouts, I’d feel pretty tired and drained of energy.

That worked fine for a while. But recently, I haven’t been able to get my heart rate up, I’m not sweating very much, and I was just BORED. I spent about a week trying a few new things (like that cycling class… ow!) and reading up on what may be more effective.

I’ve found a new little routine that seems to have shaken things up a little bit. What’s the same? I’m still working out 5 days a week, and I’m still doing 3 days of cardio, 2 days of weights.

But my workouts are now just 30 minutes, and much higher intensity. I’ve started using this cross-trainer machine that has an interval training program. It will go with very low resistance for 4 minutes, then go to high resistance for 4 minutes, repeat, etc. This seems to be the magic bullet for me right now. I get my heart rate all the way up to 170 during the peak times, sweat like a monkey, but feel energized instead of tired when it’s done.

Since that’s only 30 minutes, I’ve been making a point to come home and stretch on the living room floor after each workout. I really do envision yoga in my future, but I am SO not ready for it. For now, moderate stretches are good enough.

Now here’s the weird thing: those 30 minute workouts burn only like 250-275 calories, so I’m getting half the calorie burn impact. But I’m also less hungry. I’ve read that shorter, higher-intensity workouts will help increase the metabolism all day, which may be what’s happening, I have no idea. But I definitely feel better working out just 30 minutes.

I plan to keep this routine up for another few weeks, and then go into interval training on the elliptical and other machines. Theme for the summer: interval training. And stretching.

And then? My master plan for fall? The Cool Running couch to 5k running program. Yep, that’s right. I think it will be a nice routine for while I’m back in school, pre-designed workouts and all. Oh! And yoga by then too!

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4 Responses

  1. hey, check me out! i’m a wordpress girl now too!

    so, basically, meghan…this post had me literally slumping down in my chair out of embarrassment. I cannot believe how kick ass you are doing in everything. you are losing weight b/c you are eating well and working out like a mofo.

    I do 30 minutes of *VERY* low intensity walking. like, 3 mph. so slow, and ridiculous. I don’t get my heart rate up into the 100s! that’s not even breaking a sweat. aren’t I pitiful.

    okay, i need your wisdom. can you send me links, articles, whatever you have on how to burn fat, increase metabolism, start a good program.

    as you can see, it’s four months later, and I’m draggin’ my tail.

    euch, i suck. you don’t! hurrah for you!

    ps…it does kind of feel good to work out, doesn’t it?

  2. It DOES feel good to work out, at least for the moment. I swear, the 30 minutes make all the difference!

    I did most of my reading in print instead of online, but I’ll send what I can!

    Meg

  3. Good for you, Meggers!

    I have to say that I’m not sure I will ever want to run unless someone is chasing me….

  4. Since you’ve been working out for a while, then stepping up the intensity is normal and a good idea. Eventually you will have to change even the new routines. Realistically a slightly shorter but more intense workout is going to do more for you than the hour of light cardio and it has the “afterburn benefits”, so you’re still burning long after the workout.

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