I developed my exercise routine over the course of years of membership to health clubs. I took all the classes available and learned all the steps to Pilates, Yoga, cardio, step, and weight training classes too. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I could get more out of creating my own routine.
Classes were fun but when the instructor lost count or mis-stepped as they inevitably do, you are standing there waiting for her to get back in the groove so that you can get back in the groove! In the meantime, your heart rate is going down and that defeats the entire purpose.
So, I started using an elliptical trainer. These are low-impact machines similar to a bicycle for cardio benefits. I use it two-three times a week and work up a good sweat. I set it for 30 minutes with a 5 minute cool-down. My goal is to burn over 300 calories each time and I accomplish that goal every time because I pace myself.
On alternate days I use the weight training machines. Most of the machines I use involve use of my legs; one machine is for my abs and another is for my low back. I do three repetitions of eight for each machine. The amount of weight I use varies between 50 – 145 lbs. I had been using two other machines for my triceps and biceps but due to a shoulder injury, I have temporarily discontinued them.
Sometimes I do mat work. This involves cat stretches, lower back stretches, and/or more abdominal work.
Track or Trail
I walk around an 1/8 mile track three times before I do any exercise to warm up. I do the same thing when I’m done working out: walk around the track but this time to cool down. If it’s a beautiful day, I’ll forgo the track and go to the park and walk the hilly trails alongside the ponds and lakes with the ducks!
I drink water before, during, and after my routine.
The End Results
When I first joined a health club after pregnancy, I was 182 lbs. which wasn’t too bad for a 5’8″ frame. Now I’m 160 lbs. I’ve increased my lung capacity and since I love to sing, I can hold a note longer. I get sick less. My clothes fit better. My mood is elevated. I have more energy.
Exercise has become a habit. If I miss too many days due to vacation or work, etc., I feel like I let myself down which isn’t a good feeling! It’s easy to get back into my routine again. I’ve made it a priority in my life. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.