Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to: Get-Into-Shape-Immediately

It's official. I just found out I'm testing for my 3rd degree black belt in a month.  As you know, I just had my baby girl 3 months ago so instead of excitement, I'm filled with nerves. So, I have now started the "must-get-back-into-shape-immediately" game plan. Now, here's the great thing about this plan: I'm not doing anything crazy to get back into shape. Come on, I have to be realistic!  I am still taking care of 2 kiddos all day and having to provide the exclusive sustenance for 1 of them (nursing); I have to take in enough calories and have enough energy to do both of those things. 

This is important because it makes what I'm going to do to get back into shape is something all of you can do.  Yes, we all want to look and feel great in as little time as possible, but who wants to do some crazy workout-2-hours-every-day plan to get there?  Very few people.  And you know what?  Only very, very, very few people will maintain the results they get from doing it that way; it's just not sustainable.  Instead, overall good health and fitness is something you have to work at every day and every week.  Sorry!  But, if you want (or in my case need) to step it up for a bit, you can do it by simply making the most out of the time you have to workout.

I'm going to be doing at least a little bit each day to help tone my muscles, build endurance, and remembering my material (since for me I am working toward attaining that 3rd degree).  And the times that I have a scheduled workout planned, I am going to push myself as hard as I can.  Yes, that means I expect to be dripping sweat at the end of my workouts, and to be sore, but that's what I need to do to get results.  When I do squats (or a horse stance in martial arts), I'm going to push my limits and get my legs burn.  When I punch, I'm going to punch with gusto and put my whole body into it, and when I do my "break" exercises (like jogging in place), I'm going to try and go just that little bit faster than my normal pace.  And that last bit is what is key: just do that little bit extra....that little bit more effort....that little bit lower or harder...that is what is going to get me into shape and ready for my test.

For all of you out there, if you are trying to reach a goal, start with something you can do. 
1. Give yourself an "end date" that is in the near future (for me, that's my test).  This way you know that you need to do that little bit extra for just ____ weeks; then you can re-evaluate at that time.
2. Do a little something each day to bring you closer to your goal.  It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going up and down the stairs twice instead of once, parking farther away from the store entrance, and walking briskly. 
3. In all of your scheduled workouts, do just that little bit extra.
4. Lastly, if you really want to get in shape, you need to workout (and by workout I mean get yourself sweating) at least 3 days a week (ideally 4).

All of you can do those 4 steps, just like I am.

Only have a few minutes?  Try this quick workout to get your blood pumping and tone your body.

20 Jumping Jacks
20 sets of Front Two-Knuckle Punches
10 Squat Front-ball Kicks
5 Push-ups
15 Mountain Climbers

Repeat 2-4 more times.

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