Smutty Fitness: Pick it up a notch
I will be 65 in a couple of months. I have been running for 8 years-lost 25 lbs and kept it off until about 1 1/2 years ago. I put on 5 pounds and I cannot get it off. I lived in tank tops-now I look awful in one.
I can't kick up my workout-I run, jump rope and lift weights 5 days a week-a 3 hour workout. I mix it up as much as I can-stairs, hills, yoga. It is getting harder-I am tired and not recovering as quickly. Recently I've had a couple of injuries-never happened before.
I eat clean-mostly protein and vegetables. Everything is homemade. No junk food, alcohol down to 2 drinks on Friday. No more potatoes, very little bread, etc. I lose a couple of pounds then gain them back.
I think it is age related-hormonal-changes in metabolism. I am beginning to think it is here to stay.
Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.
One thing that gets me so frustrated is when I hear people use the word CAN’T. Instantly, as soon as that word is said, it puts so many limitations on your abilities. I know the saying “you can do anything” is very cliché, and extremely cheesy, but it is true, so let’s start right here and figure out how you CAN change up your routine.
You are ahead of the game in that you exercise more than the average person, so adding more workout time into your week is probably out of the question. However, you can absolutely change how you spend those hours sweating.
Start by investing in a heart rate monitor and begin to monitor your heart rate in your workouts. I see so many people wasting their time in their workouts, day in and day out, because they never push their heart rate to reach their higher zones. When you set up your heart rate monitor, it will guide you through a process to determine what your different heart rate zones will be. Once you have this determined your workouts will become more efficient.
When you are out running, add in some speed intervals. Now I am not talking about trying to win the gold medal in the 100m sprint, but get your heart rate up to your 80-85% maximum for 3-5 minutes and repeat this a few times, allowing for ample recovery between each set. This is not only going to help improve your cardiovascular system so you will be able to run faster and farther in your workouts, but you are also going to burn a lot more calories.
Make sure you are monitoring your heart rate when you are doing your strength training workouts and add in cardio bursts in between your strength sets to keep your heart rate between 70% and 80%. Doing this will ensure that you are expending as much energy as possible in your sessions. Also, try something new. Hire a trainer for a few sessions, learn some new strength training exercises or try out a new class. Even doing just one of these will work your body in a way it hasn’t been challenged before.
As for your nutrition, it sounds pretty good but there may still be an opportunity to make a few changes. When I want to trim down myself, which is usually after a summer of too much fun, I focus on counting my macro units, which has been made easy by the invention of smartphones and food tracking apps, like MyFitnessPal. Record everything that you are putting into your body each day and you may be surprised to see the results. Remember, to lose weight you need to expend more than you consume, so tracking your food intake for a few weeks may help you do that. Once you have reached your goal, the maintenance phase becomes a lot more lenient. And don’t fret about a few pounds gained here and there. Our bodies fluctuate in weight constantly, so give yourself a 5lb perimeter to stay within rather than trying to stick to one strict number.
Injuries are inevitable and they happen to all of us so the trick is to get on top of them as soon as they arise. Having a physio that you trust, and you can pop into whenever you feel something brewing in your joints, is key to keeping your injuries at bay. Listening to your body when it is injured is a must, which means you may have to step back on the workouts until you heal, but understand that a few days of rest might actually be good for you.
Remember, fitness isn’t just about losing weight, or being skinny. It is about staying healthy, both mentally and physically. It is about staying strong, both muscularly and emotionally. It is about being empowered, challenging yourself and loving the person you are.