The last nine days have been busy with various fitness activities, and so far I haven’t had to spend any money on them either. Here’s what I’ve been up to.
For the first four days I concentrated on getting some gentle aerobic exercise each day (mostly exercise bike and brisk walking), for at least 60 minutes. I also started doing 100 sit ups every day, and various other gentle exercises to put all the major muscle groups through a full range of movements, just sort of testing the water without doing anything too drastic.
On Saturday it felt right to step it up a little so I did an upper body workout using lots of reps and some fairly light hand held weights. There were weights here when I moved in, so there’s not been any expense there at all. It’s difficult to do a proper upper body workout without them, but I could have improvised with a couple of cans of baked beans, or old plastic milk bottles filled with water, so don’t let that stop you.
After that, I had a rest day on Sunday, then increased the time and the resistance on the bike on Monday. From Monday onwards I’ve been rotating the toning and strength exercises too, alternating between abdominal muscles, legs and upper body. It just gives each set of muscles some time to recover, and means that you aren’t constantly hurting all over due to delayed muscle pain.
Yesterday I turned up the resistance for the second time on the bike, and I’ll be increasing the number of strength exercises over the next couple of days (but not the amount of weight, think it’s too soon for that and will be concentrating more on increasing stamina first so I don’t strain my joints).
The benefits so far
- Much easier to get to sleep in the evening
- Starting to feel like I have more energy after initial tiredness
- In a cheery mood, in spite of the weather being grotty
- Increased body confidence
Didn’t mention this before, but I’ve also gone ‘sober for October’ (with the exception of free champagne…rude not to…), and that’s possibly making the training a bit easier. Strangely, I haven’t had much of an increase in appetite despite expending a lot more energy, but that might change as time goes by. Meanwhile, I’m trying to make some nice healthy meals and drink plenty of filtered water – I’m definitely feeling much more thirsty.
There seems to be a real psychological advantage to planning a month of exercise. Getting generally fitter or keeping fit is difficult to get your head around because ideally it’s ‘forever’, but a month seems to work because it’s long enough for most people to start increasing the duration and/or intensity of their exercise, and to start seeing some results. It’s also somehow easier to block out the relevant amount of time for exercise, which is a definite plus point.
Are you doing anything to shape up and keep fit at the moment? What do you have that you could use for free?