Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fitness Update

Many friends have been asking me about my latest fitness "kick." If you read my blog, you know I'm into fads and kicks, but I also have a true desire to be fit, in shape, trim, and healthy. Almost a month ago, I borrowed from my local library a DVD called "Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred." For those who may not know, Jillian Michaels is a trainer from the TV show "The Biggest Loser." Her Shred DVD includes three 20-minute workouts. Each workout has strength training, cardio and abs. I was drawn to this program for several reasons - Jillian gets results, the workouts are only 20 minutes long, and there are three levels (you spend the first 10 days on level one, next 10 on level two, and last 10 on level three.) This seemed reasonable to me. Also, I could do this in my own home, with the only required equipment being some hand weights. (I have 2, 3 and 5 pound weights.)
So here I am on Day 25. I won't lie to you - the first few days on each level have been extremely challenging!! Actually, half way into level three is STILL very difficult, but I am SEEING RESULTS. At the beginning, I could do 4 real push-ups. Now I can do over 20! Last night, I did 15 real sit-ups (no feet hooked under the couch.) The weight is not dropping off, but much of my flab is turning to muscle (hooray!!) (Also, I am not paying attention to what I am eating...the kids have swim team practice from 5-6:30pm for the month of June, which is not conducive to healthy family dinner hour!) But I WILL get back on track with eating - first by logging everything I eat, and then by making healthier choices and limiting portions.

Here are some things I never knew about fitness:
1) Your body gets used to exercise, so you have to change up your routine from time to time.
2) Strength training is essential! (I NEVER did any weight/strength training in my life - I figured "why bother building muscles you will have to maintain?") According to a brochure from Weight Watchers, "Building muscle tissue burns extra calories (even at rest!), tones your body, and helps to conserve and even increase bone mass."

So what next? I just discovered: Jillian Michaels' book "Making the Cut." I borrowed a copy from the library and then realized it would be worth the money to buy the includes meal plans, exercise plans as well as "how to" photos and descriptions, and some healthy, yummy recipes! I can't wait to get started, as soon as I finish the last few days of the Shred. I'll let you know how it works for me...


  1. good for you K! I know that strength training is really good for you!
    i used to work out 6x/wk and was in great shape. not bulky. many women think that building muscle means they will look like a man, but that's not the case!
    you are right, muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you replace your fat with more lean muscle mass, you will be able to eat more :)
    and us women also have to be smart when it comes to bone density.
    being on diets, etc, we deplete our bodies of essentials, including dairy. calcium and vitamin D difficiencies can lead to bone loss.
    and with decreased estrogen in our 40's and 50's , we can be at high risk for osteoperosis!
    so go lift those weights baby!! :)

  2. Great stuff Kristina and Mare!

    Mare - I recently learned that it is nearly impossible for us women to build muscle and look like a man in the end - why? We don't have enough testosterone to bulk up like men do when they lift weights - so like you said - go lift those weights!

    I have been running for over a year now (this spring didn't run so much, getting back into it), and have been doing more strength training - where am I seeing the results the fastest? In the strength training! I used to hate my big squishy arms, but I definitely can see results!

    Again, as Mare said, "go lift those weights baby!!"

    And by the way, I too LOVE Jillian Michaels. I got hooked on Biggest Loser, and am going to be watching her show this summer. This week as I've been working out, I imagine Jillian is yelling at me to not be a wuss and to keep going!


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