I am now nearly ten weeks into my quinoa diet. I have lost fifteen pounds and two inches around my waist. More importantly, I have established new routines that will help me maintain my weight loss. Of those routines, I believe my morning fitness commitment to be the most effective strategy for improving my health and well being while also establishing a habit that will keep me on track.
For this, I am ever grateful for the Beast. This stationary bicycle was dropped off next to our building’s dumpster over a year ago. Perfect shape, works well, very little noise. It even has a computer that tracks my time, speed, distance, and calories burned. I started using it a month into my diet, and I now look forward to my morning rides.
Establishing a Fitness Habit
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (affiliate link) I read of the importance of establishing a fitness routine in a way that rewards me enough to reinforce the pattern. Withholding my coffee until I have completed my workout has had that effect. Now I look forward to the rush of endorphins as is its own reward. Some mornings, the cold water I drink after my workout satisfies me, and I forget about coffee for hours.
To keep things in balance, I take off Saturdays to let those muscles rest and recuperate.
To keep it fun and motivational, I listen to Ben Lee’s Awake Is the New Sleep album (affiliate link) while pedaling. This week, I am riding for the duration of the first seven songs, a little over twenty-five minutes. On my last ride, the bike’s computer said I logged over 5.5 miles.
The stationary bicycle rides strengthen my legs and tighten my torso, but they do nothing for my arms. For upper body strengthening, I have been doing this dumbbell routine three times a week for about seven or eight weeks. I just started a pushup regimen, as well.
Actually, the pushups kicked my butt. I did the exhaustion test on Sunday and the first pushup workout on Tuesday. I followed the pushups with my usual upper body routine. It was the first time that two sets resulted in muscle failure for me.
Oops, I overdid it.
The next day, I woke up with my shoulders and upper back in agony. I lay in bed and promised myself that I could take a day off from my bike ride. The point has never been to overdo.
Then I started thinking about how wonderful I would feel after a ride. It didn’t seem fair to deprive myself of that experience. I wondered if my back would feel better with all those endorphins pumping through my muscles. At any rate, it was difficult to imagine I would feel any worse. So, I climbed on the Beast and pumped out twenty-five minutes.
I felt a little better for a couple hours, but I was sore most of the day. I have resolved to go easier on my upper body workouts and do only the pushup routine for a few weeks, at least until I feel I have established a comfortable workout and can increase the challenge.
What about you? Do you have a fitness habit? I would love to hear your secrets for sticking to your fitness commitments.
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