More excerpts from my Spintastic listserv postings off the old site - again, compiled by topic for your convenience.
12/30/2007: GOAL SETTING FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Sooooo... it's the New Year. As many of you know, I am *obsessed* with the New Year, a time for sanctioned list-making and formalized goal-setting (mine get documented in a color-coded-by-category Publisher document -- no joke -- that I revisit every 6 months to see how I'm doing). If you're not already in the practice of periodic goal-setting and = evaluating (bothfitness-related and non-fitness related), consider it - and consider actually writing stuff down to hold yourself accountable. And if you're going to resolve to do a certain thing or be a certain way, try to attach a reason to it. Research on decision-making has shown that humans are conditioned to respond instinctively to the word "because." When something is followed by a "because," we go for it. So... instead of "I'm going to go to the gym 4x per week," make it "I'm going to go to the gym because I like the way my body feels afterwards." Reasons help those resolutions stick. And if you verbalize the reasons for the things you think you need to accomplish, you may be able to better focus on what you really want - and why. Fitness goals can be both specific ("I'm going to drink 2 liters of water every day -- so that I don't get lightheaded/nauseated") and general ("I'm going to have more energy -- so that I can do more things that I want to do") - whatever you want to set out to do. Just set out to do SOMETHING this year. If you have a goal (or goals), and reasons for those goals, you'll be much more motivated to create a healthy, balanced 2008 for yourself.
If you'd like to chat about your own goals or need help setting out on a training plan/schedule, just say the word. In case you need any suggestions of things to shoot for in the new year, allow me to make a few general suggestions of 2008 Fitness Life Upgrades:
*1) Get a heart rate monitor. *It'll change your life. You can quantify your improvements (i.e., how low your resting heart rate is; how quickly you recover after intense effort), and you can monitor exactly how hard you are working and when. The best way I've ever heard this described, by a Master Presenter for the Spinning program: *"Exercising without a heart rate monitor is like driving without an odometer." (*Can you imagine? "But Officer... it... felt like I was driving 40 mph...").* *For your convenience, *I have re-included the HR monitor links from one of my October postings, at the bottom of this email. *
*2) Drink more water*. In *addition* to your specific recommended daily water intake, you should be adding an additional 1 oz. of water for every 1 minute of exercise you do. For example, with a 40 minute spin ride, that's 40 EXTRA ounces of water - beyond what you would ordinarily consume. I'm absolutely guilty of insufficient hydration... but not in 2008 "because I have to set a good example".. and "because I'm tired of feeling wretched."
*3) Avoid overtraining. *I've also re-included an excerpt from a previous posting on the frequency of exercise at various intensities. I am also absolutely guilty of this, especially now that I'm making a living at it. Keep in mind that competitive athletes - professional cyclists and beyond - do the bulk of their training aerobically, below 80% MHR. Not every workout is supposed to be "hardcore." Think about how energized you feel after those long endurance rides... not wiped out. They may not be as "fun," but they're the most important. That's where we build our aerobic base (the foundation for everything else), and perfect our form and technique. And if you do them correctly, they're just as much of a challenge as the hardest interval ride around. A different kind of challenge. *See below for previous mailing on Overtraining and tips for avoiding it.*
*4) Don't forget to stretch, strength-train... and recover*. Cardio is important, of course. But strength-training and flexibility-training are *just* as important components of fitness. As is recovery. Next week's post will be all about passive and active recovery, and how to make them work for you.
12/16/2007: WAKE UP FOR SPIN CLASS! STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR HITTING "SNOOZE"
So, we've officially reached the time of year where we don't feel like waking up early or staying out late or going out of our way to exercise at all. "Ohhhhh... I'll wake up tomorrow." Tomorrow becomes the day after, which becomes a week later, which becomes two months later. Yes, it's cold. Yes, it's dark. Yes, it sucks to wake up early (I've been up at 5:30 am consecutively for the past 3 weeks, with no break... trust me, I know). But think about how good it feels 20 minutes later when you're proud of yourself for making it to [insert destination where physical activity takes place]. And think about how even better it feels an hour later when you're done with your workout! So this week, our first icky snowstorm of the season, let's make a promise that we're not going to let ourselves make excuses. I'm not saying you need to wake up at 5:30am every day and ride with me... you don't have to ride, ever. Just do SOMETHING to keep moving - because you're going to be so proud of yourself when it's over. Just do it.
At my end, tonight I'm officially plugging in my sunlamp. 'Tis also the season for the onset of seasonally affected gloominess for a lot of people who are sensitive to the lack of sunlight, myself included. I've got this really cool sunlamp that gradually turns itself on a half hour before my alarm goes off, so it genuinely feels like I'm waking up with the sun... even at 5am. If anyone thinks that Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) may be an issue for them and would like more information, please feel free to ask._____________________________________________________