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Are you in a rut?

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are you in a rut?

I was asked over the weekend what do I do to workout when I get tired of running.  At first, to be honest I was kind of at a loss.  I mean, I know that I do other things, but when I was asked spot on, I couldn't really answer.

I am all about the "prison" workout.  So, I usually do go running, mostly because now I have my dogs totally hooked on a daily run, and during my run I try to find an area where I can stop, give the pooches a break, and do 1 to 2 sets of pushups (1 set= 100 pushups), and if I can find a secluded street with a good curb, I do, what I like to call, curb work (sometimes I am rally imaginative!!)  I will alternate feet and lift one so that it lightly touches the top of the curb, while the other is on the street, quickly and in rapid succession; it is almost like running in place but with a higher step and I try to do a couple of sets (150= 1 set) it makes for great calf muscles.  And, if it is a grassy area, I will try to do usually 300 crunches (100 straight crunches and then 100 to the right/left working the external obliques).  I then continue on my run home.  But, if I find a bar or pole that I can do some pull-ups on, I am a happy girl (despite the fact that I stink at pull-ups; I can only do around 8 and then I just look like a fool attempting to pull myself up!!)  I usually do another 900 crunches when I get home (it sounds like a lot but it only takes like 10 minutes because I work all my ab muscles) and then usually lift low weights (10lbs) to tone my biceps and triceps with various different lifting techniques. That is my normal daily work-out; I can do it anywhere, I don't need a gym, and I can do it at any time- all I need is my sneakers, an ab ball, my 10lb weights,  and preferably with an ipod, my dogs, and a piece of peppermint gum (mint helps to open the bronchioles and allow for better air movement- as an asthmatic, I swear by it with every run and it cuts down on inhaler use.)

 On days that I don't feel like running, or I have achey legs, etc. I will do interval training.  I try to find either a semi empty parking lot, or a non-busy street and I pick out a set space that can be easily land-marked (approx 1/8th-1/4th of a mile between trees, or a driveway, house, etc...something that cannot move as I have been duped by cars before that get moved!) And I will alternate between wind sprints, forward lunges, and side lunges.  Again, I will do push-ups, curb work, crunches, and I can also do reverse push up to work my triceps (sit on the curb, put your arms directly next to you, push up to get your butt off the curb and lift yourself up and down without resting- it is a small triceps movement but in high reps it is great for toning.)  I try to mix in squats, I use weights to work my biceps (when I get home), I try to work my obliques/abs just a little everyday BUT it is important to focus more on one part of the body each workout and give the other muscles a break.

 Other times, I will ride my bike, go for long walks, find a nice hike, do hot power yoga, or (GASP) take a day off!!  Your body is really smart, and when you workout hard, and a lot, your body will tell you that it needs a break. I used to really push myself because I was fixated on these goals that I set for myself, and it is part of my competitive nature, but I found that I got a few injuries and that laid me up from running, and then I had to start all over.  It is best to do what your body wants....not to sit on the couch all day every day BUT give it a rest for a couple of days after a really hard workout.

Listen to your body and your workouts will be more enjoyable because you won't be forcing yourself to run/bike/etc through pain, and switch up your routine.  That is precisely why I like my prison workouts, I do different things depending on where I am running- it is really great not to feel tied to a gym. Granted, I do belong to one, I just never go outside of the winter when it is freezing- I am not the kind of girl who puts on 20 layers to go for a run outdoors :)

I hope this helps those of you who were looking for advise on switching up routines and interested in how I keep in shape.  So, keep up the good work, and remember to listen to your body!

Yours in Good Health

B

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