“Elliptical Trainer: Bought hungover on New Years Day”
This morning I got to browsing the local online classifieds as I was posting a weight bench attachment that I had never used, not with my clients or myself, in my practice of ten years plus.
Looking through what other fitness items had found their way into the classifieds, my heart sank.
One reason was that I was “competing” against 437 other posts of hardly used, or never used, fitness equipment and realizing that I will likely never get rid of this attachment that’s been living in my basement un-disturbed for the last few years.
The other reason was that so early on in the new year already people are giving up on their plans of getting in shape. It was amusing in a sad way reading some of the comments the owners of unwanted barbells, treadmills and yoga mats made:
“Rubber Exercise Bands – Never used”.
“Almost new Ab-Doer Twist. In remarkable condition.” (I admit I was tempted. This is a machine with a somewhat questionable Infomercial that made me feel slightly uncomfortable whenever it came on the TV screen because of it’s slightly x-rated nature. Maybe that’s just me.I always wondered in which weird way this would be better then good old tested and true no-equipment core work).
“Total Gym – seemed like a good idea at the time item, gently used”.
This may be my favourite: “Elliptical Trainer – Brand new in box unopened, bought hung-over on New Years Day”. At least they are being honest.
I found 37 listings for Treadmills, 56 home gyms, 23 ab machines of different variety, 83 DVD workout sets of sorts, and a multitude of other paraphernalia that fall into the, well, paraphernalia category.
This not my usual annual shout down from the soap box to stop wasting your money on fitness gadgets and gym memberships you will never use, and rather invest in working with a fitness professional, even just once in your life. Mind you, that still applies.
No, this is a call out to stop wasting your money on gadgets and things you know will serve as a coat rack in your bed room, an eyesore and ever present source of guilt in your bedroom. Something that makes you feel bad on more then just one level, fitness gadgets bought on a whim are our constant reminders of failure. Causing guilt and leaving a bad taste in your mouth, and likely your spouses too.
If you feel you are out of shape, you need to lose weight, you want to gain some muscle tone, do something about it. All you need you have right there! Your body is a beautiful thing. Your body has been created to work FOR you, to be strong, to be healthy, and to show off your beautiful spirit.
You can do any number of workouts right at home, without any, or very little inexpensive equipment. Using your body weight, a wall, a chair, your stairs and your kids soccer-ball if you like to use equipment.
Here is a short workout to get you moving, get you excited about using your body. This is plenty to make you sore for a day or two if you haven’t exercised in a while.
Since not everybody is the same and will therefore not reap benefits of a workout the same as the next person, I am giving you options for each body type (to find out which type you are, take the dosha quiz).
If you have not worked out for some time or are completely new to resistance exercise, do the workout below two times per weeks, stay active on your in between days, and make sure you get plenty of rest and restorative sleep.
If you are a seasoned exerciser go ahead and work this body-weight workout every other day, alternating with lighter exercise such as yoga or brisk walks. This may just be the trick to get your back into your already healthy habits.
Go at your own pace, honour where you are, only you can know what is too much and how much is not enough.
Ditch Your Treadmill for this Body-Weight Workout
Warm up with some slow sun salutations or inch worms
- Hip raise or bridge hold, hold and squeeze glutes for 30 seconds
- Body weight squat with arms stretched out in front of you 30 seconds
- Side plank, start with 15 seconds each side
- Mountain climbers 30 seconds
- Jumping Jacks 30 seconds
Repeat for 2-3 sets, taking 45-60 seconds in between sets, depending on your type and how much time you can spare.
If you follow a body-type style of training adjust your sets and repetitions accordingly. In the DoshaFit system go with slow and less repetitions of each exercise for the Vata type (Ectomorph in somatotyping), medium speed and repetitions for Pitta (Mesomorph type) and more repetitions executed a little faster for Kapha (Endomorph).
Don’t get me wrong, the idea of doing it perfect, following a new exercise DVD, going all out for the home gym or treadmill in itself isn’t flawed. But you must know yourself enough to know if you will waste your money or have just made a smart investment in your health.
Truth is that most home exercises lack guidance and motivation, and even not knowing which exercise is right for you and trying to “wing” it can be a downer and set up for failure. After all, 80% of all self directed programs fail within the first month.
In any case, start easy and ask for help when you get stuck. YouTube is a great resource, but most gyms or recreational facilities have weight room supervisors who will happily answer questions you may have, give you a helping hand with your form and alignment, and can direct you to the right training staff member should you decide to get a professional helping hand.
Get moving and don’t be a statistic!
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