Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The never-ending pursuit of fitness

Fitness is a never-ending pursuit.

I love love it and feel lethargic if I do not sweat for more than three days. I get excited when I see new exercise regimes published and would want to try it. But yet sometimes, I can wake up in the morning and declare to be on strike for a week or so. Such irony. The point is, life is short so do not treat it too seriously, loosen up, smile and love it!

When I first started working out years ago, I treated it very seriously like part of my homework, with a fixed regime to stick to. I would visit the gym on a certain 3 days per week and run on certain days according to the route I mapped out beforehand. I went straight to pump for strength training and combat for some indoor cardio work-outs. Of course, it got boring for me after a while as my body would know what to expect and soon I reach a plateau. I could even predict the kind of music or the next move in the next minute. I felt that I was obliged to work-out because I have slotted it into my weekly schedule, and that made me dread it. Just like housework. So the point is, always have fun and relax. Exercising is supposed to be FUN and not a chore. Of course it's hard to smile during sprints, but do relax and don't take it too seriously! It's really important as once you LIKE it, you will end up incorporating it into your lifestyle and losing weight will come naturally.

Back to weight, reducing the weighing scale figures should never be the objective and it's the biggest misconception out there! Those figures do not really mean anything as a 52kg toned girl will look much better in clothes than a 50kg girl who does not exercise. It all boils down to your diet and exercise regime. Once you start exercising and become fitter, your fat % will drop and be converted to muscle mass. Muscle mass is much HEAVIER so do not be fooled if you see that your weight is stagnant! Also, girls DO NOT bulk up unlike men (unless you are doing it excessively) so do not stay away from weights training. The dumbells and weights are extremely good! It is extremely important to incorporate them into their regime instead of just doing cardio. When I started out exercising, I was about 52kg and felt demoralised not seeing the scale going down below 50kg even after 3 months. However after cutting down my fat mass from 19.2% to 12.%, my clothes fit much much better! I am now fluctuating between 49-51kg and it's good enough for my 163cm height. So do not get demoralised if you do not see a change in the weight figures, just keep exercising and be confident!

The flabbier days at the same weight


Same weight and not so flabby anymore


So really, a balanced diet and exercise regime is the way to go! You do not have to starve yourself or restrict yourself to a strict no-carb diet. I love my food too much to eat oat for every meal. On cheat-days where I crave in to my fast foods or bubble teas, I ended up running an extra round to burn them off. Diets are not effective in the long-term as after a while, your body will crave for more and you tend to binge more in the end. Also, your body need nutrients so it's not healthy as well.

So enjoy the process, you will find yourself glowing and looking toner!
Always remember, weight is not the most accurate representation so do not be fooled by the weighting scale! Love your body, be confident and good health is gold!

For me, these motivators work wonders so just sharing!

1. SUPPORTIVE PARTNER/FRIENDS/FAMILY

Somehow, I feel it's important to have supportive friends or partner around you that understands how you feel and do not call you crazy. Thankful to have a group of friends/ exercise inspirations who work out and motivate me with their regime as well.
Glad to have a supportive partner who doubles up as my personal trainer (as well as partner-in-crime for food hunts!). He inspires me with his enthusiasm for working out and he understands that need-to-exercise feeling after a buffet or  the disappointment by a race timing. Blessed to have him to support all my runs, to share fitness tips with me and didn't call me crazy for joining so many runs or waking up so early on weekends.
(Barefaced and all ready to sweat at 7am last weekend!)


2. SPORTS APPAREL

I will not lie and say "what you wear doesn't matter because it's all in your mind" because to me, it's NOT true. Pretty sports apparel is quite important in my opinion haha! Of course, I can wear a huge tee but I wouldn't be as motivated as compared to donning on a cute yellow Nike top. My sports cupboard is flooded with race tees from various races and bra tops/sports bras/ sports tights/ shorts in various colours and combinations. -life of a hoarder- I have lost interest in online shopping and stopped buying from blogshops for a while because somehow, the items look the same to me after a while. Chanced upon Onemoremile.net and I decided to place my first order! It came prettily in ribbons (SCM's colours) and I'm so so excited!


Look at how cute those tanks are! Dri-fit!


I was so excited that I went to run with it to test-drive it the next day even though I wasn't feeling too well. So sports apparels really MAKE a difference! Wear your favourite colours or slogans.. if you look good, you will feel good!


3. WORK YOUR CORE!

A good core is extremely important for sports and the best way to achieve it is via planks/side-planks/squats in my opinion. Pilates and yoga helps alot too! Somehow crunches or sit-ups are really NOT as effective. I've been doing #aplankaday daily since Feb. Initially, you will find it difficult holding the plank position and it's normal for the body to shake. After doing it daily, you will see a huge difference. I started out with 40 seconds and can hold it till 2-3 minutes right now.





Another way to work the core and one of my favourite fast work-out


4. CROSS-TRAIN

It's important not to have just one fixed exercise though it's the easiest way out. Try something new and you might like it! Yoga, spinning, cross elliptical trainer, running, body combat etc. Not only will you get less bored, it also help to prevent injuries as you do not keep exerting the same pressure on those muscles! I love spinning alot as it burns alot of calories and you get shapely legs plus an abs work-out. Also, time flies very fast because you are having fun as well!


4. OFF-DAYS!




Yes our body needs off-days and adequate time to recover just like our Annual Leaves! So work hard, eat hard and rest hard too!

Credits to Run Society for the tips below, on some recommended practices that are beneficial to your heart without the risk of causing long-term damage::-

1. Demanding, yet short training sessions with alternating rest periods, such as interval training.
2. Circuit type strength training, which helps to strengthen your muscles and elevate heart rate.
3. Training must not exceed four days per week; include recovery days in between to allow time for the body to heal.
4. Train progressively, increasing the number of bouts and intensity of effort gradually.
5. Stop training when you sense extreme exhaustion and do not continue until you are fully recovered.

5. INCREASED ENDORPHINS & CONFIDENCE!

Nothing can boost your confidence like exercise! The endorphins and adrenaline rush instantly make your feel good after a good work-out. When you feel good and fits better into clothes, you will tend to dress up more (and maybe buy more as well haha)!








6 comments:

Mich said...

I love this post! I love running and swimming and don't find it hard to exercise at all. Eating right is what gets me down and keeps me at my current weight (I would love to lose some flab). It's so easy to put in 500kcal in one sitting in less than 10 minutes, but I would need more than an hour of running to burn it off.

So while I run or swim around 30-45 minutes every day, I'm still having this endless battle with my weight! Saddd

Anonymous said...

i tried doing the 'slim your waist' exercise, can't really get it to exercise the waist area. :( and i've been slow jogging for a year, between 4-6km each time. no weight lost, and body did not size down.

by the way, i see u wear compression shorts alot. is it comfy with excessive sweating? and sorry to be crude, do u wear anything underneath? thank u.

ps: i love ur torso. such a tiny waist.

ruffledwhiteskirt said...

Mich: HI!! YES we fac ethe same prob. no difficulty exercising but cannot control the diet part!!! i ate like snacks, jelly and sweets yest.. but look at the bright side at least we exercise too! you do it everyday and that takes alot of discipline! weight is a never ending battle so most importantly, enjoy and remain healthy!

Annoymous: do side stretches/half-moon pose. very effective and easier i feel to slim the waist down. try increasing the frequency of jogging to 3 times a week and you should see the effect!! :) keep going!
i wear these shorts for yoga and gym actually. running i prefer normal shorts. ya of course u need to wear something inside! :)

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