This is another time for you to be SELFISH.
When you exercise, it is all about YOU, no one else. No cell phones, no business, no diverting your focus.
If you must multi-task, do it in your breathing, your awareness and your enjoyment.
A few tips before you start:
1. Get music on your i-Pod that has the same beat of the speed that you want to walk. That makes it easier to stay at a consistent pace without too much thought. Always have the volume low enough that you can hear what is going on around you. You are empowered and in control now, act like it!
2. The better your breathing, the easier, and longer you can exercise. Breathe in through your nose, and out your mouth. Breathe in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 3. In through your nose for 5, and out through your mouth for 3. Even when you get winded, stay in control of your breathing. In 5, out 3. Controlled breathing will help keep you from panting, and help keep your heart rate at a safe level. If you can’t maintain this breathing pattern, slow down!
3. Use a heart rate monitor. Just go buy one, and use it each time. The monitor will keep you informed of how efficiently you are working out. You want to stay within a “fat burning” zone. The optimal zone will be between 130 to 145 beats per minute. The monitor tells you what your heart rate is, based on your physique . If you get higher than 145, slow down. If you are interval training, you can go as hard as you can for about a minute, then slow back down for 5 minutes until your heart rate gets back down to 130, then go again. As far as length of time, your goal is 45 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week.
4. If the temperature is 85 degrees or hotter, take water with you. Don’t run the risk of getting overheated. It’s not worth it! Also be relentless with the sunscreen. From the base of the neck up, use at least 45 spf zinc oxide sunscreen. SkinCeuticals has a good one. And a hat or visor is a must.
If you will power walk, instead of run, you will get all of the cardio benefits without the wear and tear on your body. Hugely important.
Drink water! Drink water! Drink water! Stay hydrated.
When you are walking, make sure you know what is going on around you. Safety is the key! Take your dog, if you have one. Also choose a route that is aesthetically pleasing. A neighborhood with big houses, a local park with lots of trees and shade. Whatever you have access to, make sure you don’t get bored visually. This will increase your enjoyment.
Try to tighten your abdominal muscles while you walk. It will take awhile to do it automatically, but the more you tighten your stomach muscles, the firmer your torso will become. Also, bend your arms at the elbow and pump them with each step. You will burn more calories this way.
If your lower back starts hurting, it may be because your hamstrings need to be stretched out. After the first 5 to 10 minutes of your walk, stop and stretch your calf muscles by putting the ball of your feet on the top of a curb, and lower your heels down to the street level. It’s easier to do this leaning on a mail box or light poll. Give the stretch 1 to 2 minutes, and don’t bounce.
Then with your knees slightly bent, lean over to touch the ground. Let your body hold that position for at least a minute to stretch the hamstrings. Again, no bouncing. Then get back to the rest of your power walk.
At the end of your walk, give yourself the last 5 minutes to cool down. Slow down your pace, so that your body can naturally cool down without completely stopping.
Use this exercise time with yourself, for yourself. Do your affirmations, work out your current problems, reinforce your new attitude and approach to life. What you focus on expands. Use this time to focus on the NEW YOU.
With every step you take, you are reinforcing your new direction in Life. See it! Live it! Be it!
The Most Selfish Woman in America!