Workout Wednesday: Exercise in an Everyday World

In the past few weeks our blogging has been greatly diminished due to a busy events schedule and studio move...but we promise to get back into the swing of things in the coming days. Before you read Lacey's post below I wanted to take a second and Thank Lacey for giving to an annual event that I am proud to chair called "Pink Martini Night". Lacey donated two packages to our silent auction and I know that one of the highest bidders on her package was a breast cancer survivor...I think it's great that Lacey will be able to give back to a community that she loves so Lacey! Thank you! It's an honor to know you...and an honor to have you as our fitness guru. 

Now on to another great Lacey Lee Fitness post:

When we first met, I mentioned that no matter where you are a healthy lifestyle is around all of us – You just have to want it and more importantly know how/where to find it and what to do once you’re there.  
So today I want to share easy opportunities for exercise.  Working out doesn’t have to be torturous nor does it need to take 2 hours out of your day.  Exercise opportunities are all around us – in places you may not have thought of.  It does not always have to take place inside a fitness club.  Exercise needs to become a priority in your week – so if it has not – I hope my tips will start changing the way you think about exercise.   

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness” - Edward Stanley

People have all sorts of reasons for not exercising.  Don’t know what to do?  Have limitations due to an old injury (or current)?   How about the intimidation factor?  Or maybe you have lost your motivation. 
Whatever your reason – it’s okay – I am here to help.

Before you begin to exercise, you need to have a chat with yourself.  Whatever your goals are (remember there is no bad goal) you have to be willing to put forth the effort to achieve them.   A healthy mind and body takes effort.  You must fully understand that in order to see/feel a change, a change must occur.  Remember:  a healthy lifestyle is around all of us.  But before you can see it, you have to want to see it.  Everyone deserves to look and feel their very best.  When you feel good on the inside, everything else will follow. 
This time of year is great for exercising outside.  When people think of working out outside they instantly think of running.  While this is a great way to burn calories it certainly is not the only way.  You have many more options to burn calories – which I am happy to share with you.  

We all know how to walk, right?  But here’s the thing – if you choose to walk for exercise you have to remember you are exercising.  You should be walking faster than you would if you were at the mall. This is the first mistake people make. The goal in doing cardio is to get your heart rate up. The ultimate goal is to get it up and keep it up for a long duration of time. 

Our bodies respond to change – you want to find yourself constantly “shocking” your system (body).  Simply change your exercise routine each week or each time you workout. Our bodies have amazing memory when working out.  If you find yourself doing the same exercises each time, not only will you become bored but your body will stop producing results.  Think about it:  The more you do “something” - the better you become, right?  This rule applies to everything in life. 

Next time you head outside try to incorporate one (or all three) of my tips below:
1. Use your body.  Next time you head out for walk mix in leg exercises.  Every few minutes stop walking and perform one of these exercises. 
     * Walking lunge
     * Squats
     * Lateral leg lifts
     * Squat jumps

2.  Be creative.  Do you live near a park?  Playground?   Take advantage of “equipment” around you.  Most parks and/or playgrounds have benches or steps.
     *Step ups on a bench/step – if the bench/step is low to the ground you can turn this into a “cardio” exercise by stepping up and down as quick as you can.  If the bench/step is high- turn it into a lower body exercise.  Place one leg on the bench/step while keeping the other leg on the ground. Step up on the bench/step –trying not to let your other leg touch the step. *Switch legs
     * Planks – place hands on a bench with toes on the ground and hold your body 30 seconds – 1 minute
     * Lunges – placing your back foot onto a bench/step with your front leg on the ground -  lower your body down to the ground bending both knees (do not let your front knee go over your toes) *Switch legs
     * Dips – place hands behind your back onto a bench or step – keeping your elbows back, lower your body down to the ground.  The further away your feet are from your body the harder it will be.

3.   Take your walk to the next level.   Don’t be afraid to swing your arms side to side as you walk –which will elevate your heart rate and get your core involved. Every 2-3 minutes stop and do one of these exercises for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
     *  Jumping jacks
     *  High knees – bring your knees up to your chest as high and as fast as you can
     *  Hill Climbers – get into push-up position – alternate each knee coming into your chest – going as fast as you comfortably can

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