You should be at the gym, but it's hard to get off the couch. It's comfortable there, and "The Office" is on.
I mean, you're still burning calories, assuming your hand isn't in the Cheetos bag, right? Technically. Your body will run through about 28 calories per episode, if you weigh 155 pounds. Here's the reality check: You burn four times that lifting weights and a whopping 12 times that on an elliptical.
But the couch. So comfortable. And "The Office." So hilarious.
After running the Lincoln Half Marathon in May, I spent my fair share of evenings watching sitcom reruns while my gym bag sat unused in my closet. I needed a new routine.
Social media to the rescue! I follow Kristen Bell, the cute little blonde in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” on Twitter. On May 25, she tweeted:
“anyone wanna join me in doing 30 work out classes in 30 days? we can complain 2 each other & send rad pics of our biceps when we're done.”
Challenge accepted. I tweeted using the hashtag #30DayHomies – “so we can find each other,” Kristen said – to hold myself accountable. She updated her “30 day homies” on her progress, too. Seeing her tweets kept me on track.
I finished day 30 on June 26 and rewarded myself with a new pair of sneakers. I didn't push my hardest every day. Sometimes my workout was playing sand volleyball with friends. The point of the challenge wasn't to wear myself out – and believe me, I didn't! – it was to be active as consistently as possible.
Now, I'm back in a routine, and it's easier to go to the gym than it is to sit on the couch.
Do you need to climb out of a workout rut? I talked to certified personal trainer Tory Robinson, of Aspen Athletic Club at Aksarben Village, about falling into a healthy exercise routine. Here are a few of his tips.
1. Assess your own abilities.
If you can't run a mile or do 100 crunches, don't try to. Be honest with yourself so you don't push too hard on day one, get frustrated and give up. If you stick with it, you will improve.
2. Set a “S.M.A.R.T.” goal.
It should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Don't focus on losing weight but rather on upping the number of push-ups you can do in one minute or increasing the miles you log on the treadmill.
3. Build on small successes.
If 30 days in a row is too much too soon, shoot for 12 to 15 days a month. Even once a week is better than nothing. Then, as you feel more comfortable, exercise more often.
4. Don't do the same thing every day.
Your body needs rest, but that doesn't mean sitting on the couch. It means working your body in a different way. Do cardio on Monday, resistance training on Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday. Then repeat the cycle. You could also go for a walk or spend time gardening. As long as you're moving, you're on the right track.
5. Ask for help.
If you haven't lifted weights before or tried a certain machine, ask a gym attendant to show you the ropes. You don't want to do the move incorrectly and risk injury. Or, forget the machines and start with the basics. Try push-ups, pull-ups, lunges and climbing stairs.
6. Enlist a cheerleader or workout buddy.
You're more likely to succeed if there's someone encouraging you along the way. Send me a tweet to @KatyHealey5 – we can motivate each other.
And just think: Your gym might be playing "The Office." Those 28 calories an episode just turned into 335 if you watch the show while sweating it out on a cardio machine.
> > > If you're looking for something active to do this weekend, you have a few options. The Color Run, a 5K that splatters you with paint every kilometer, and the 5.8K Run to Benefit CASA are both Saturday morning. The Owl Ride, a nighttime bike ride, is 11 p.m. on Saturday.
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