Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This might get cheesy

If I'm going to write about fitness, I should explain what that means to me and why I have any authority to give fitness advice to other people.

Everything that I know about fitness has been come to through years of me constantly working at being a healthier person. I have been going to the gym for ten years and I have taken a course in personal training, but I do not consider myself an expert on the subject. I am just a normal person who has a desire to be in shape, and I want to tell other people about my experiences from that perspective.

There have been two things that have taught me a lot about fitness. First was working with personal trainers. When I worked out with people whose job was to get me in shape, I started to realize how far I could push my body. Before, I would never have thought that I even could lift heavy weights or do high intensity cardio sprints. Hiring a trainer is expensive, but for me it was probably the best money I've ever spent. Now when I work out I try to push myself as if someone else was there.

The second place I've gained a lot of fitness knowlege is actually a magazine. Oxygen Magazine is the best resource I've found for women's fitness. It's owned by Robert Kennedy Publishing, which also publishes multiple men's fitness magazines. Most female "fitness" magazines are really just beauty magazines full of fashion spreads and editorials, with a few wimpy full body workout plans and some (questionably) healthy recipes. Oxygen is purely about fitness. Every issue includes multiple difficult workouts targetting specific body parts. I take it to the gym with me, and when I follow the workouts I feel like I am pushing myself as hard as I would working with a trainer.

I try to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. Each day I do about half an hour of medium intensity cardio, and 30-45 minutes of weight training. I usually do 2-3 days focusing on lower body and 2 working upper body. I know a lot of females are intimidated by weights. I used to think they would make me huge! But I have learned that lifting heavy weights is the best way to shape your body. As a girl, you're not going to get huge unless you are actively trying to do so, and training and eating specifically for that purpose. I swear.

I don't really want to tell anyone what they should do to be fit. I just want to talk about what I do, and why it works for me. The message I want to convey is that you don't have to be an athlete or a superjock to be fit. Sometimes it's hard to listen to fitness advice from professionals because it seems so natural to them. I totally don't think I fit the image of a person who loves fitness. I'm just giving you my thoughts on going to the gym as a layperson of the fitness world. But I do know that fitness has had a very positive impact on my life. I want to tell people that as much of a struggle it can be, it's totally worth it to make working out a part of your life.

On a side note, when I started this entry I was in a really negative mood. Just writing about something positive completely changed the way I was feeling. Sometimes thinking positive is hard. But it's pretty amazing how much you can improve your own mood by forcing your mind to go somewhere good.

Leg Press makes me feel strong

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