Image Attribution

(Owlet header image found via a Google Image search, and came from Etsy artist Bestiary Ink)

05 April 2011

Putting it Out There: Fitness Accountability

I'm a fairly fit and active person. I'm also inherently lazy. Not usually a solid combination. So I'm at my best when I set a specific target or goal, or else when I have someone else with whom to work out regularly (like a class partner, or a running partner, or a gym partner). I don't always have people, which is why I've decided to hold myself accountable publicly. Last year was a big milestone birthday year, and for someone who is known to celebrate her birthday as a national holiday (more on that in another post!), it was the first time I kind of geeked out about my age. I got over it, for sure, but it happened. Part of how I dealt with that weird reaction was deciding to train for an athletic event I'd never tackled: a half marathon. I trained from around February to August, but an injury prevented me from actually doing the event. I'm not disappointed; I was pretty proud of myself for training consistently, and I did run several small races along the way, and ran further/longer than I'd ever run before at a time, so it was all good. But the outcome has clearly been that I can't really run that much. Old soccer injuries and general wear on my knees/hamstrings makes me ache in new and irritating ways every time I try to hit the road. So, I've been looking for a new motivation and goal, and I think I've found it! It's novel, it's inspired, it's walking!

We were flying home to Chicago from the West Coast yesterday, and for me, flying goes hand in hand with buying an excessive number of magazines (duh). So, I was flipping through my loot, specifically in the health/wellness category, and read several separate pieces about walking. Light bulb. If I'm going to walk for fitness, it's going to be serious. I'm not going to saunter or stroll, I'm going to power it out. So the first thing I've decided to embrace is the Walk Off 10 Lbs in 21 Days challenge from this month's issue of Health (p.s., the image on their page is different from my copy, but whatever). I'm not necessarily claiming that I'm trying to lose any specific amount of weight or anything - I just need a kick-start and a kick-in-the-pants, and this sounds like a good challenge.

The Challenge includes three basic components: simple strength moves, intervals, and hills. The exercises are good, and promise good intensity. The strength-cardio circuit they provide (they recommend doing it twice a week) includes push-up-jumps, step-ups, tricep dips, and lateral walking lunges. I enjoy circuit training, so this sounds great. You shoot for five workouts a week, so you do this one twice, and then you have three other days of your choice of speed-burst intervals and long-hill intervals. They also offer a diet plan, but we'll see. I'm a pretty healthy eater.

I did sign up for the Self Drop-10 Challenge, too. Again - not stating a weight-loss goal, but using the tools it provides, which include exercise ideas, recipes, meal/fitness trackers, etc. It's good for me to be held accountable in multiple ways. The good thing about the meal tracker is that it's making me (already! Day 1!) think about and plan better eating during the day. I'm solid at breakfast and dinner... it's the work-day that's my trouble-zone. I basically skip lunch most days. (See... lazy.)

(Ryka Transition)
Thirdly, I am inspired by the Best Sneakers of 2011 article in this month's Fitness. Last year when I was training to run, I took the shoe-support seriously and got fitted by pros at Fleet Feet. It changed my life, and it changed my running. So, if I'm going to be a fitness walker, I need to apply the same logic. The Fitness coverage provides great details about the shoes they tested, and I think they have given me a good place to start. I'm thinking that instead of a shoe for walking-only, I'll look for a good cross-trainer. I like the Fitness-recommended Ryka Transition, but I think I'll also go try on other options at a store before I make a pick.

I'm also looking for more partners in crime. So if anyone in my general proximity goes to a great class somewhere, or wants to look for one together, or wants to join me on a walk, just say the word.

I've got spring fever, and I need to capitalize on it before my motivation lags and my lazy kicks back in!

1 comment:

  1. With the wedding fast approaching I would definitely be up for some power walks. Serious walks! I am also going to check out the Health site you recommended. Thanks friend!