Guess what everyone's least favorite part of losing weight is?
Most people can handle limiting their foods.
Most people don't like to sweat. And who does like to sweat? It's gross and sticky and smelly and YUCK!
BUT....if you want to lose weight and you want to be healthy, you are going to have to move and you are going to have to sweat.
Last November I was watching VH1's Top 100 Celebrity Hottest Bodies. (I think that is what the show was called.) A few of the celebrities (including Matt Damon) got into top shape by doing boxing workouts. What they were doing looked like fun. Jump rope, hit stuff, etc. Anthony and I have a Nintendo Wii and my favorite game to play on the Wii is boxing. So I thought "maybe I will enjoy a boxing workout."
I went online and researched boxing workout classes in my area. I called a few places and only one had an actual person answer the phone.
Her name was Lorie and the place was called MJA Martial Arts. Lorie explained to me over the phone that the first class was free and that I should just come on down and check it out. I convinced my cousin Colleen to go with me and we drove down the following Monday to check it out. We met the owner, Mike, and he asked us what our goals were. I honestly told him about the Wii boxing and the VH1 show I was watching and I told him I wanted to lose 25 pounds. Colleen said she would like to be more confident. He told us that he could help us with both our goals and then he put us through a class.
We loved the class and signed up. I also signed up for some additional kickboxing classes. And let me tell you....I am dripping with sweat when I leave these classes. I am exhausted and I feel amazing at the end of each class.
I really don't think I could be where I am today without the classes I took at this martial arts studio. My strength has increased, my flexibility has increased, my cardiovascular has increased and I noticed something else....I can now RUN.
Yep, Run. I hate running. Especially if I am overweight...it just plain hurts! But the more weight I lose, the easier it becomes. And the fastest way to lose weight? Start running! Running is the way I burn the most calories.
I started off slowly. At first I would walk for an hour with occasional jogging. Then my jogging got faster. Then my walking got faster. Soon I was jogging more than walking. The next thing I knew I was sprinting!
I can now walk/jog/run just over 5 miles in an hour. When I started, I think I was somewhere around 2.5 miles in one hour. So start slow, you can do it!
Other things to know about exercise:
1. Join a class! When other people or an instructor look forward to seeing you, you are more than likely to go back.
2. Pick a class doing something you enjoy! This is so important. You will not exercise if you don't like what you are doing. Get creative, just make sure it is active. Join a bike club or a karate class or swim lessons (everyone can improve their swimming!) or join a softball league.
3. Always always always warm up and cool down with lots of stretching! In my boxing class and kickboxing classes we spend 10 minutes warming up and stretching at the beginning of class and 10 minutes cooling down and stretching again at the end of class. This will decrease muscle soreness and increase your flexibility as well.
4. Hire a trainer to teach you how to exercise properly. You don't want to get hurt! I have worked with 2 different trainers to learn how to lift weights and get exercise tips.
5. Find the "right" time of day for you to exercise. For example: I used to exercise first thing in the morning. I liked getting it out of the way and I had more time in the morning. This resulted in two things. One, I was EXTRA hungry ALL day long! It was very difficult NOT to eat extra. Two, I didn't lose any weight. Not even a single pound. I ended up switching to working out at night when I began the kickboxing/boxing classes and it just worked better with my schedule. I discovered this worked better for me. I didn't eat "extra" during the day and through trial and error I learned that in order for me to lose weight, I need to burn my calories AFTER I eat them.
I once burned a crazy amount of calories, over 3000. (I was helping a friend move) I then went out for dinner and had whatever I wanted including dessert and beer. It all fit into my calorie limit for the day...my plan was to maintain. I ended up putting on MORE weight. Ugh. It took me a week to recover from that.
I do boxing on Monday nights. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I get on the treadmill and do my walk/jog/run for five miles each night. On Thursdays I go to kickboxing.
Friday is my night off. Saturday is kickboxing in the morning and then Sunday is another day off. Some weeks I will only give myself one day off or if I am feeling too sore, I will give myself 3 days off.
It's very important to give yourself days off to let your body rest and recover, especially if you are working out very hard. (And you should be if you want to lose weight!)
So get out there and MOVE and SWEAT! And just remember not to eat a bunch of junk and ruin what you just worked so hard for. After I workout in the evenings, I do not eat for the rest of the night. My one exception will be a little bit of protein after my workout. Either a small piece of cheese or a small piece of beef jerky (one ounce sizes for cheese or beef jerky) or maybe a 1/2 cup of milk. This helps with recovery.
Link to where I go for boxing, check out the pictures, you might see me back in January (ugly "before" pictures) in boxing class:
MJA Martial Arts