17 June 2009

Move More

Of late it seems there are quite a few bloggers trying to lose weight, workout more, generally get healthier.

Throughout my life, I've gone through cycles of working out regularly to not exercising at all. The idea that I must do something rarely plays out well for me. Knowing that I should work out to stave off depression doesn't mean I'll do it. Even knowing that not stretching would cause old knee and shoulder injuries to act up wasn't always enough.

What's made this stretch of exercising endure a year and a half was starting small: taking stairs two at a time, stretching during commercials, moving my legs while brushing my teeth, generally embracing as my philosophy 'Move More.' For me, incorporating small things consistently worked better than more intense sporadic workouts for creating a habit I could build upon.

Along those lines, I came upon this cool site today: Fit-in 15, the 15 minute fitness habit.
Fit-in 15 has been developed by Canada’s Doctors of Chiropractic, experts in muscle and joint function, and champions of healthy living. They recognize that it can be hard to find time in a busy day to focus on physical activity. That’s why they created Fit-in 15, an easy and manageable way to start the habit. Once Fit-in 15 becomes a regular part of your day, you may find yourself fitting in more.

If you go to the My Fit-in 15 section, you can get specific information on cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. They make it easy to mix up your routine. The diagrams and descriptions of the exercises are also quite easy to follow. If you need encouragement, you can sign up for email reminders & motivation. You can also keep track of your progress with their online calendar.

That's pretty awesome; I write down my physical activity each day in my calendar and it definitely helps my motivation and sense of accomplishment. And since perception may matter when it comes to the efficacy of physical activity, stuff like scrubbing the tub and lugging laundry gets listed to.

Being motivated to work out can still be a challenge for me, particularly now that I'm working out for longer blocks of time, so I'm always grateful to discover something new to keep me going.

On a day I'd decided to bail on working out, serendipity lead me to the vlog, Jennie McNulty Presents: Walking Funny With... Jennie McNulty is a comedian, also lesbian, who interviews performers and athletes while they walk. Hearing Jennie say, "Get up and walk with us," was enough to get me up and then into the workout I'd planned to skip. She says it in each vlog and it continues to help motivate me; also, the vlogs themselves are a pleasant distraction while I work out.

AfterEllen.com also hosts Advanced P.E. run by trainer Briana Stockton. There are new episodes to come, but for now there are 11 episodes that trace a group of women going through bootcamp training to get ready for The Dinah this past spring.

Some of the workouts looked insane, but watching the women persevere has motivated me to push myself harder. Also, most episodes include small routines of exercises that you can do at home or while traveling. (If you're interested, I've made notes of when those tutorial sections come up.) There's also an episode about nutrition and switching to a raw diet.

Food is definitely a weak link for me. I'm starting to approach it with the same small changes approach I used for exercise. If I know something's bad for me, it's gotta taste amazing for me to eat it. So not just any junk food any more. I still fail miserably at this sometimes, but it's a start. Also, no snacking past midnight (or ~2 hours before bedtime). I've been pretty good about that and have kept off a couple pounds as a result.

Brunch With Bridget from AfterEllen.com
In this episode of Brunch With Bridget, Briana Stockton demonstrates planks and some other ass and abs exercises starting at 10:18. I do the series of planks she describes every other day. They're still hard for me to do even after a month (albeit easier than when I started), but I feel strong after doing them.

What else? I keep clipping out the fitness exercises from Jorge Cruise in the Sunday paper's magazine. (I don't think it's called Parade anymore, but if you get a regular Sunday paper, you know what I mean.) He demos the exercises online in short clips. (There are also several "food swap" clips that I haven't checked out yet.)

I usually do a set of crunches in the morning because I hate ab work and it gets it out of the way. Again, starting small.

I don't know if any of you will find this post helpful; mainly I want to convey: you can do it! Find something you like. (I played a couple rounds of DDR to warm up today.) Don't beat yourself up if you backslide. Just start again. Let small changes in your habits grow into big changes over time. Keep at it.

And please share if you have any exercises you love or tips for staying motivated!


  1. Great post! You just knew I would comment, right? ;)

    I love the Fit-in-15 idea! Going from no exercise to rigorous is TOO much! Making small changes is the way to go!

    It sounds like you are making huge strides in bettering your health. Good for you!

    I do the same thing for motivation - write down my workouts on the dry erase board on our kitchen door. My husband does too. It's a good way to keep you motivated, because you want to look at a fuller calendar!

    I also read health and fitness blogs to inspire me.

  2. Thought you might. ;)

    Well, I don't know about huge strides, more like small incremental strides, but thanks.

    I think the Fit-in 15 is pretty cool. I'll probably check it out some more to mix up my routine some.