Are you ready for this embarrassing confession? I read Men’s Health. Now I don’t have a subscription, however, if I am waiting in a doctors office and they happen to have the magazine, I will definitely pick it up. Yes, Men’s Health is marketed towards men (there are some articles that I definitely skip over), but they do feature great workouts and nutritional tips for everyone.
Over the past 6 weeks while I was healing from my stress fracture, my daily workout routine took a huge turn. I was really nervous about falling out of shape since I was forbidden from my usual high impact cardio sessions. When leaving the gym, it felt odd not to have sweat dripping down my face. In fact, it felt like I was working out “like a man”.
Even though I have been lifting weights for a long time, it was never my main focus. I used to spend 3 days per week working my whole body, never taking just one or two days using weights to work specific areas. Now there is definitely nothing wrong with that. This article from the Mayo Clinic says that you can gain benefits from weight training for 20-30 minutes 2 to 3 times a week.
After I became limited to what I can and can’t do in the gym, weight lifting became a bigger focus. I started dedicating specific days to arms back and chest, my core, and my lower body (using the machines that did not effect my feet), spending more time focusing on these areas. Weight training was followed by a very low impact stainionary recumbent bike ride, or an aqua jog. Honestly, I felt lazy. Not that lifting weights was easy, but I was so used to these heart pounding cardio workouts. I really did not think that this low impact cardio was doing anything for me.
So what happened after 6 weeks? I gained muscle, and lost fat. All of that weight training is making me feel so much stronger. In fact, I now find it to be more comfortable to sit up straight, instead of slouching in a chair. It seems that everywhere I look, I am reading more and more benefits about weight lifting, and now I can honestly say that they are all true. Check it out!
Even though free weights and machines may look intimidating, don’t be afraid to ask for help! A couple of weeks ago I approached a women at the gym who I occasionally talk to about running shoes. In a very non-creepy way, I told her that she was in amazing shape and asked her for some health/fitness tips. She honestly told me that she focuses more on weights, and does about 30 minutes of cardio. The most important thing she told me is that what you do in the gym only contributes to 20% of your results, and the other 80% depends on what happens in your kitchen. Very low salt, very low sugar, and nothing white (meaning all whole grains). Trust me, she was preaching to the choir on that one =]
So what have I learned over these past 6 weeks? 1) Men aren’t that stupid. THAT WAS A JOKE!!! They aren’t stupid at all, especially when it comes to their workouts! 2) Cardio isn’t everything. 3) I am not the only crazy health nut that believes what you put in your body, effects everything. 4) Even when you have a stress fracture, you don’t have to be perfect. Cheat days are definitely allowed!!! Trust me, there are times where you can find me digging into a cup of halo pub ice cream. Which is made with all natural ingredient, making it taste amazing!! Perfect for an occasional treat. 5) There is more to life then running. (Shocker) Yes, I miss it dearly, but my life does not have to center around it.
So 6 weeks later, where does it all lead me to?? I am now allowed to use my feet working out on different cardio machines (like the elliptical and spin bikes), and can return to a wider variety of lower body weight bearing exercises. And trust me, after 6 weeks, my legs are feeling the pain. Looks like I will just have to strengthen them up!
Stay Natural ♥ C