Partnering healthy eating habits with strenuous workouts

For most of my life, I’ve considered physical fitness part of my daily routine.

Every morning, I start the day with an hour long workout.

My workout routine is definitely taxing. I work hard in order to build stronger muscles, increase endurance and shed calories. I work with dumbbells up to 8 pounds, jump rope, and perform sets of lunges, squats, push-ups and abdominal crunches. When I was younger, shorter workouts were sufficient to easily maintain my ideal weight. While I was somewhat conscientious about what I ate, I wasn’t overly restrictive with my diet choices. As I’ve grown older, exercise is no longer sufficient on its own. My metabolism has slowed and I gained a few unwanted pounds. I needed to rethink my way of eating. I quit drinking coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks. I now drink herbal teas, lots of water and an occasional glass of wine. I became a vegetarian and added a wide variation of fruits and vegetables into my meal plan. I quit snacking on potato chips, pretzels and packaged foods. Not only have I gotten rid of the extra weight and improved the overall tone of my body, but I feel a lot better overall. I no longer deal with stomach troubles, and my skin is and has a healthy glow. It has been somewhat challenging to keep my portions small and not go back for second helpings. I struggle to avoid temptations such as pizza, cake and cookies. I always keep grapes, baby carrots and other types of nutritious snacks available. Since I started eating right, my workouts are far more beneficial. I am hoping these better habits will protect my health as I get older.


Weight lifting

Running in cheap shoes leads to injuries

When I was in my mid twenties, I began jogging for our workouts. It was a means of staying in shape without investing a lot of money. With little more than a pair of sneakers, I was able to increase my heart rate, work up a good sweat and burn a great deal of calories. When I first started, I wasn’t capable of running further than a half of a mile before I had to slow to a walk. It didn’t take long before I improved my stamina. I steadily lengthened distance and increased my pace until I was running around 8 to ten miles nearly every morning during the week. While I was in fantastic physical shape, I made the mistake of using really cheap sneakers. These shoes failed to provide the needed support. They weren’t intended for running, and I didn’t buy new ones when they wore out. I continued to run in those awful sneakers and developed plantar fasciitis. Every step became painful. It felt as if the arch of the foot was tearing open. It burned from my heel to my toes so much so that the pain woke me up during the middle of the night. I had no choice but to quit running because I could hardly walk. I was concerned that my feet would never recover. I made an appointment with a podiatrist who suggested I rest my feet, use ice on them and try ibuprofen. She provided some stretches and exercises to help with healing and told me to purchase better quality shoes designed specifically for running. She also gave me inserts to place in my shoes to support my arches. It took a considerable amount of time to get my feet healthy, but I am thankful to finally run again.


Wellness and Recovery Programs

Setting up a home gym is worthwhile

About three years ago, I figured out that I was wasting money on a gym membership.

Because of my work requirements, driving the kids to their many activities and taking care of errands and household tasks, I just never found the opportunity to workout.

I wasn’t getting to the gym more than once per week. I decided to set up some type of workout equipment at home. I chose an empty guest room and converted it into a home gym. I was a bit overwhelmed by how expensive the major pieces of fitness equipment are to buy. I began small and bought a yoga mat and a set of different sized free weights. I became creative with my workouts, trying out different types of squats and lunges. I did a whole bunch of push ups, pull ups and tried out some of the more strenuous yoga poses. For every holiday, birthday, anniversary and Mother’s Day, I begged for new fitness equipment. I’ve steadily added things to achieve an impressive array of gear. I’ve now put down mats across the floor, installed a chin-up bar and added a weight bench, elliptical and stationary bike. Having convenient access to a home gym has made it much easier for me to workout. I don’t have to drive to get to the gym. I don’t need to wait for other people to finish up with the equipment. If I have a few minutes free or a few hours, I can spend the time on a workout. It doesn’t matter what time of day it. I can even workout at night. As my kids have gotten older, they’ve also gotten a lot out of the workout room. I’ve invested in some heavier weights and a punching bag for my son and daughter to use.


Workout plans

Husband refuses to work out

My husband and I are both 55 years old.

I have been a vegetarian most of my life.

I don’t smoke or drink alcohol or coffee. I make fitness a priority and a daily routine. I workout first thing in the morning. I dedicate a full hour to exercise. After taking the time to thoroughly warm up, I devote about a half hour on high-intensity aerobics. I switch between running, cycling, jump roping and completing various jumps. I finish up with strength building, using free weights, resistance bands, lunges and squats. I focus on core muscles through plank holds, pushups and abdominal crunches. I like to end the workout with deep stretching. Targeting all the various muscle groups, I incorporate splits, straddles, hamstring stretches, neck rolls and more. I have suffered no major injuries and I feel and look far younger than my age. I have tons of energy throughout the day, sleep well at night and have remained at the same weight for the last 25 years. My husband drinks lots of coffee, smokes and doesn’t eat healthy. His job is quite sedentary and he won’t workout. I can’t even convince him to try a few basic stretches. He often complains over aching joints. His back and hips often bothers him so severely that he has difficulty getting off the couch. He’s gained quite a bit of weight and his health isn’t as good. I worry about his quality of life in the years to come. While I sympathize that he might not want to devote the amount of time and energy on physical fitness that I do, I would think that feeling better would be worth twenty minutes of stretches. I can’t even get him to take a walk with me.

Workout program

Getting a new jump rope system

For my birthday, my daughter purchased me a jump rope system.

At first, I was doubtful of this costly rope set.

I’ve always made jump roping a main staple of my daily workout and managed just fine with a plain leather rope with weighted wooden handles. These modern ropes are made of a smooth, synthetic material and there’s a variation of thickness and weights. My set came with a quarter-pound, half-pound, a single-pound as well as a two-pound rope to vary between. They are able to be attached to the same set of handles. The metal link between the rope and the handles is simple and quick to operate. They also allow the rope to rotate very smoothly. There is a big variation between the weights, and they each offer unique benefits. The modern jump rope system avoids the problem of the rope knotting, tangling or fraying. Because it was custom designed for someone of my exact height, it’s way easier for me to use. I’ve definitely improved my jumping ability since I received this birthday gift. I’ve taught myself some new tricks such as criss-crosses and double-unders. I enjoy jumping so much more and I’m benefiting from a far superior workout. I really like to practice new skills. I’ve picked up my pace and have seen an increase in my stamina and muscle strength. The only negative to these ropes is that they can get damaged when jumping on pavement. I’ve fixed this by buying a rubber mat. The mat safeguards the integrity of the ropes and also offers a bit of a cushion for my feet.

Personal Fitness Trainer

Working from condo and taking to workout during the day

I am so fortunate that I’m allowed to work from home.

My job demands are handled entirely online, allowing me to complete them from anywhere that offers internet access.

I am no longer required to set an alarm and fight traffic to arrive at the office on time. I work my own hours, wear very comfortable clothes and listen to rock music while I work. However, my workload is rather strenuous and tedious. I devote long hours, spending my day sitting at my desk, staring at a monitor and typing on a keyboard. It’s tempting to find distractions. I often feel rather stiff, sore and tired. After too long sitting still, my productivity begins to decline. I’ve realized that a good physical workout promotes better concentration. I get up in the morning, put in several hours of work and then I take a break. I have different office and workout areas. I’ve outfitted the home gym with mats, weight bench, free weights, treadmill and jump rope. I allow an hour for a combination of high intensity aerobics, strength building and stretching. I make sure to take the opportunity to thoroughly stretch all of my various muscles. Once I’ve gotten my heart rate elevated, built up a sweat and showered, I head back to my desk. After the workout, I have a lot more energy. Not only do I get a way more accomplished in a shorter amount of time, I have fewer complaints with aches and pains in my neck, back and hips. I’ve also seen that I need to be more conscientious about my eating habits. It would be so tempting to snack at my desk and use caffeine for energy. I prefer to lead a healthier way of life.

Health plans

Working out while traveling is often a challenge

I’m often asked to travel all over the United States for my job. I endure long hours on planes, waiting around at airports, riding in Ubers and navigating rental cars. I spent time at conferences, seminars and training sessions. There’s no other option but to eat all of my meals out. My average day is extremely sedentary, making it hard to stick to a healthy lifestyle. I try to be extremely conscientious about what I order for my meals. I live off of a lot of salads with the dressing on the side. Whenever I can, I shop at a market and buy some pears, bananas or baby carrots to munch on. I bring a water bottle with me to every event and resist the temptation of coffee, soda and other sugary drinks. If I’m fortunate, the hotel accommodations will include a workout center. Because of the hours I work, I frequently need to fit my workout in very early in the morning or quite late at night. I’m normally the only person taking advantage of the hotel’s fitness center at these weird hours. I’m able to play my music loud and all of the equipment is available. However, hotel fitness centers don’t often have much variety to choose from. I usually find a treadmill and a stationary bike. Sometimes there’s an elliptical and some free weights. I’m delighted when there’s sufficient space to lay out a yoga mat and complete some stretches. For those times when the hotel doesn’t offer a fitness center, I simply unpack my jump rope and yoga mat from my suitcase. Whether I am required to workout in the hotel room, a hallway or shaded spot in the parking lot, I make fitness a part of my daily routine.


Semi-Private Fitness Training

Working out on a stationary bike

Because of severe weather, there’s hardly any chance for me to workout outdoors. While I’ve attempted to dress for cold winds, rain, snow and sleet, going for a jog rarely turns out to be a productive workout. There’s also the problem of possibly slipping, falling and suffering an injury. I’ve needed to find ways to keep motivated and stay in shape with indoor workouts. I spent some time looking into various types of fitness equipment. Ellipticals, stationary bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and stair climbers each offer different benefits. They are all quite expensive to buy, and I was determined to get maximum value from our investment. About three years ago, I finally purchased a stationary bike. I appreciated the opportunity to burn a high level of calories without any hard impact on my feet, ankles and knees. I sometimes suffer from sore joints and plantar fasciitis. The bike let me customize resistance to get a strenuous workout. I’m able to select from a wide range of programs and determine distance, time or calories. By pedaling faster, I can really get my heart pumping and work up a serious sweat. I most often burn around four hundred calories riding the stationary bike. I always feel slightly guilty when I use the bike for the entire workout. It’s so enjoyable that I feel as if I’m not working hard enough. I can pedal while reading a book. The bike features a built-in fan that supplies a steady stream of cool air. It’s quiet and I play my music nice and loud. While I know it’s a rewarding form of exercise, I feel like it’s a special treat.


Physical Training Programs