I joined a gym and I’m going to tell you all about it
But before I do, I want you to know that if you are significantly obese and feel you can’t exercise
Or that you have to join a gym or buy exercise equipment
Or workout for a full hour to make a difference
Well that is NOT the case
So even though I joined a gym, I want you to remember that is not where I started
I started walking at 417 pounds.
30 seconds at a time.
You can read about it here
I counted mailboxes. Mine. Then the next door neighbors
The house after that
Eventually I made it to 5 miles
And then I had a setback
My knee was injured and I could barely walk
I had to take some time off
Due to a meniscus tear and arthritis in my left knee, I was told to stop the lengthy walks
And try swimming instead
And then my brother who has been a huge inspiration to me through this process came out to visit last weekend
To help me rethink my exercise routine
He took me to Planet Fitness and now I’m a member!
My brother gave me a great workout that I can do even with my knee issues
I am going to share it with you because maybe it can help others
Planet Fitness is a very low-key, nonjudgemental enviroment
Which is great for someone who feels apprehensive about the gym
And they’re cheap!
10 bucks a month!
You may look at my routine and think…huh??
Can that really be enough?
But if increasing 30 seconds at a time worked for me the first time
Then it will work for me now
It’s easy and do-able
And because of that it is a guaranteed victory!
You start simple
Keep it simple
Check the box
Accomplish your goals
And before you know it those 30 seconds will take you longer than you ever imagined they could!
So I’m taking you with me for a day in the life of me at Planet Fitness.
Here we go!
Judgement Free Zone
Now here is the exact workout my brother gave me
Here is my first stop. The Recumbent Bike.
I go for 10 minutes at Level 2. I wear a heart rate monitor that has two components. It wraps around my waist (yes I can get it around there now!). The other part is a watch. The equipment automatically picks up my heart rate from the monitor I am wearing.
The heart rate monitor has become invaluable. I know what my heart rate is when I’m working out intensely. It lets me know what to aim for and what is too low or too high.
The 1st 10 minutes on the bike are my warm up.
The 2nd 10 minutes are at a higher intensity and THIS is what I add 30 seconds to every day
So today I was up to 11 minutes and 30 seconds. Tomorrow it will be 12. And so on
The fact that I can FIT on the bike is a very big deal. I could not have done that 150 pounds ago!
I will admit that I was scared to get on the bike because of my knee injury. I thought bending my knee like that would probably just make it worse.
I was wrong. The recumbent bike has made a big difference already. My knee does initially hurt when I start using it. Cracking and popping and making lots of fuss!
But after about 5 minutes, it settles in and I’ve found that I can bend it and go up stairs much easier even after just a few days!!
After the bike, I move to the Elliptial
I HATE IT!!
The first day I got on it (which was just last week) my heart rate was already into the 140’s and all I had done was stand on it!
It reminded me of the first day I started counting mailboxes
But now I’m up to 5 minutes
I started with 4 and I am actually only adding 15 seconds a day!
My brother and I discussed it and decided that is best for this one
It will get my heart rate up into the maximum zone faster than anything
I have a feeling that this will be my toughest challenge yet
After my bike and elliptical routines, I head to the stretching area where I get a floor mat
I literally get down on the floor and then get back up
Trust me–this is HARD for me
I have not been able to get on the floor and then get back up in YEARS
For me this is a major accomplishement
My brother has me doing a yoga move called Cat-Cow
Basically you are on your hands and knees and you stretch
You look up and arch your back like a cow
And then you look down and move your back up like a cat
I started with 4 times and I add one every day
Today I did 6
Do I feel kind of stupid getting up and down off the floor?
But who cares. I’m there for ME
And to be truthful–I have seen so far people of every age, size and even disability in this gym
It is not a place that makes you feel self conscious
So now you know my entire Planet Fitness Routine
I drop the kids off at school and head immediately to the gym
Just the fact that I’m exercising again has made a HUGE difference
Mentally more than physically
When you accomplish the goals you set, your confidence grows
My brother calls exercise the Anti-Venom
And it’s true
Because even if it’s 30 seconds
It’s the fact that you set a goal and you accomplished it
And when you do that, a switch flips in your brain
And says WOW!
And it seeps over into other areas
You gain strength and power from accomplishing those goals
And it gives you the ability to overcome in other areas too
So in some ways I’m starting over again
Getting back into exercise after my setback
But this is a lot like my life
Sometimes you’re cruising along and get derailed
But that’s when you regroup
And start again
Whether it’s 15 seconds or 30 seconds at a time
Slowly but surely we will win the race!