Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh there you are IT bands...

In my running-less past two months I must not have used the good ole' IT band in all of my cross training much. Since I've been running the past two days they have let me know they are both definitely still there, and working extremely hard for me. AKA...I'm sore. It is crazy how changing up your routine can do that to you, even if you've been doing other exercises.

I am a HUGE. HUGE. HUGE. (Do you believe me?) believer in a theory called muscle confusion. The basic idea of muscle confusion comes when you keep your muscles guessing from one workout to the next. There is some benefit to sticking to a workout routine for a few months...

- easier to track progress
- necessary increases in weight (for lifting) or intensity (for cardio) can be calculated
- you know what to expect time-wise

But, I think the benefits of changing up your routine far outweigh the benefits of not doing so. Your body was made to work efficiently as far as body processes go. This is most definitely true when it comes to burning calories. You body wants to be able to burn calories in the most efficient manner possible. If you are doing the same routine over and over again your body will become very efficient at what you are doing, and you won't receive the same benefit the 15th time you did the workout as say, the first time you did the workout.
The best thing you can do for your body is keep it guessing. Add intervals into your cardio, increase your speed, increase your time. If you are lifting weights keep your muscle groups that you are working on a schedule, but do different exercises working the same muscles muscles in your different workouts. Increase your weight, work in some isometric exercises, and some cardio bursts into your resistance training as well.
You don't necessarily have to get sore every time you workout. That isn't your only indication of progress. In fact, the more you workout the less sore you will be, generally speaking. However, in keeping the body guessing you will keep yourself burning LOTS of calories, improving, and seeing results! Plus who likes to do the same thing over and over?? BORING.

So change it up!! Mix up your routine!! 

Side Note: In case you were wondering what happened after the great blizzard that was yesterday...I didn't make it out of Highland Park until 2:00 PM. (Even at this point I BARELY made it out.) I was so stir crazy I decided I had to go to the gym. I have had a Golds membership since I was like 15, and I still have it because there is a Golds literally twenty steps from my house. It's very convenient. I LOVE Elevate, the gym that I work at, but is 20 minutes away. So when I want to just get in and out this works great. was off to Golds. I was so tired of being cooped up all day I did some running, some ellipticising, some chest and triceps, and some stretching. I ended up being there for about 2.5 hours because I was dreading the fact of going back out in the blizzard. And I know tomorrow's car ride is going to be very inactive. Don't worry that I was one of three individuals working out at the gym. There were six employees behind the desk. What is wrong with this picture?
I came home and shoveled some snow for like 30 mins, because I didn't want to get stuck again; and it's never a bad idea to burn some more calories, right?

For everyone else knee deep in snow...for the average 150 lb person

Shoveling snow: 410 calories per hour
Sledding: 475 calories per hour
Skiing/Snow boarding: 400-500 calories per hour
Cross Country Skiing: 500 calories per hour
Snowshoeing: 565 calories per hour

My favorite appliance of the week? My hot chocolate maker. If you don't have one. Get one. I just measure out the water. Pour in the sugar free hot chocolate mix. Turn it on. a few minutes later it's heated and stirred to perfection. Delightful.
I hope your last day of Christmas preparation is awesome! My day will be filled with early morning clients and then a lot of time in the car...but it will all be worth it when I'm warm and snow-less in Arizona!!

p.s. You have until tomorrow night to enter the Christmas Mix Giveaway. Just saying.


The Smith Clan said...

I'm so excited you are coming! Keep me posted on your travel progress. I will be worrying until you are safely here! Can't wait!

Holly said...

Oh how I wish I could spend 2+ hours at the gym! Being restricted to 2 hours because of the little ones makes it hard to run,lift, AND take a shower since I wouldn't get one at home!

Heather said...

Thanks for the reminder to keep switching things up! I definitely need to do better at that.

Hope you have a safe trip and enjoy warm AZ!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

LOVE the cocomotion!! 2.5 are amazing. I miss our marathon workouts together. You are so stinkin smart I need to confuse those muscles of mine..they are getting way to used to running! Yay for AZ!! Miss you!