Saturday, May 22

Surviving the 40 Minute Workout

Here's a tip for all you home-exercisers out there... don't be afraid to try something new, but know where your limits are!  This morning, I woke up feeling the opposite of yesterday.  I was ready to kick some major butt!  Flipping through the 30+ minute workouts at my disposal I decided to give Body By Jake a try.  It was 40 minutes, just double the time of the yoga exercise I did yesterday.  No problem!

Since it looked like there were some more advanced moves in this workout, I opted to do the work minus dumbbells and it's a good thing that I made that choice.  The Rock Hard Total Body Workout is jam-packed with advanced moves that require a lot of balance and strength; two things that I'm in short supply of in my current state.  But I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did!

Minus the weights I was able to do most of the workout.  There were a couple of sections (the push-up sections where you twist, turn and go from push-up-to-standing-to-jumping) that I am just not physically capable of yet.  But, each section is 45 seconds with a 15 second rest so I was able to push myself through the rest of it without feeling like I'd missed out on a big bulk of the movements.

Once I got to the end, where they play commercials for poop-balancing yogurt and protein-enhanced chalk water, there was an ad for the workout that I had just completed.  The announcer says enthusiastically, "This workout is not for beginners, and will take you to the NEXT LEVEL in fitness!!"  ... That would have been good to know going in.  I probably would have given it a shot anyway, and now that I have done it I'm sure I'll try it out again (still without weights until I can do all the moves).  But it helps to know what fitness level the exercise demands, and it's important that when you are working out you don't force yourself beyond your physical abilities.  There's no point in being able to do a single rep of twist-squat-lift-your-left-leg-lower-your-right-arm-arch-your-back-until-your-buttcheek-touches-your-forehead if it means pulling a muscle and not being able to do anything for a week.

So when you dive into an unfamiliar workout, make sure to listen to your body.  While exercise can be a little uncomfortable as your body stretches and moves in new ways, don't push yourself until it hurts.  If you feel like you need to take a break to catch your breath or get a drink of water, do it.  The workout will always be there when you get back.  And if you can't do everything, it's OK!  Do what you can and walk in place through the sections you don't feel comfortable with. Someday you'll be able to do those moves and more.  It just takes time, determination and lots and lots of practice!

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