June 1, 2013

Being Active!

Hello everybody! How are you today? I'm not doing too bad myself. The other day for tae kwon do, I tested for my red and black belt. I'm not bringing this up because I'm super excited that I am just so close to getting my black belt...

Okay, that's partly the reason XD
image from mtviggy.com
However, the test was pretty intense and reminded me to get a quick post out regarding fitness, and give you a little bit of insight of how I stay active to hopefully inspire you guys to keep leading healthy lives.

I don't think I can stress the importance of working out--there's a plethora of reasons:
  • Exercise will help you live longer.
  • When you keep your body moving, you speed up your metabolism and blood circulation. This means you are more resistant to disease and diabetes.
  • The Bible says that your body is a temple. We can take this as a lesson regardless of religion. You only get one body, so this body is so valuable (like a temple). We should take care of it, make it the best it can be because we are so blessed with this life.
  • Working out increases your level of confidence. Having the motivation to get up and do cardio every day is quite a feat, after all.
  • While exercising, your body releases endorphins. Yes--you can increase your happiness through exercise!
Like I said, there is a plethora of reasons. Those five are the main ones for me personally, but you can click the link 100 Reasons You Should Work Out if you want more.

So my routine is pretty straightforward and doable. I have to tell you guys that I am a complete nerd, one who spends so much time sitting down, whether I'm studying or on the Internet or practicing my violin... I'm on my bum for a majority of the time.

The moral of this story is: if I can do it, you can too!

Here's a schedule of what I do:
  1. Wake up. I like to exercise in the mornings because it gives me a great feeling that carries me through the rest of my day.
  2. Drink a glass of water. I usually also eat a small piece of bread or a little bit of fruit so that my body has something to process and doesn't kick into starvation mode when I start working out. It's important to put water and maybe a bit of food into your system especially if you're exercising in the mornings so you don't get weak during the workout.
  3. Get in the zone. Have a routine or establish some visual cues before you work out so that your sympathetic nervous system will start preparing your body to get active. I splash some water on my face, put my hair up in a scrunchie, and dress in comfortable athletic gear.
  4. Cardio for 30 minutes. I prefer doing the elliptical because I like reading while I exercise. For me it's like killing two birds with one stone. The elliptical is also nice because you can adjust resistance; it's also easier on your knees than a treadmill is. I'm currently reading Follow Me by David Platt. (During the school year, I bring textbooks. Like I said earlier, I'm a complete nerd.) I will read for 25 minutes, establishing a steady pace. And for the last five minutes, I push myself into a sprint and finish strong.
  5. Cool down. I usually walk around, to relax my muscles and to catch my breath.
  6. Stretch! I do tae kwon do, and flexibility is important or else you can seriously injure yourself. Stretching helps get blood into your muscles so it's good for muscle tone. It also helps with posture and prevents injury. I stretch after cardio because stretching on cold muscles is uncomfortable for me.
  7. Strength training. My arms are the size of twigs and since I'm training for my black belt, I need to work my body so it will be able to do 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, 100 pushups, and 100 leg-lifts for that five-hour-long test. I give most of my attention to my abs and shoulders, so a lot of sit-ups, leg-lifts, and pushups. I also do a little bit of stretching in between to release tension.
This usually adds up to lasting an hour. When I'm done, I eat breakfast (a banana, or granola bar), take a cold shower and then I feel refreshed, in a great mood to tackle the day.

That's how I exercise in the mornings. An hour is such a small investment to how great I feel afterward. It's a pretty simple and straightforward routine, but the nice part about it is that you can make adjustments depending on your needs.

Again, being active is correlated to confidence and happiness. And you know what? Summer is the best time to be so because it's warm, bright, and comfortable.

If you have your own methods to working out or any other tips to share, please feel free to share in the comments below!

Take care as always. And happy June!
-Riley XO

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