Get going and SUPERCHARGE your workout!

June 14th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Lucky us!!  Summer is here!!  We now have daily opportunities to get outside and really breathe in some fresh air as we exercise.  How great is that?!

I think running outside is a lot of fun.  I also enjoy the treadmill, sometimes, but that’s a different post.  Today is about ways to make your run or your walk outside more intense so that you earn some results from your exercise. 

Keep in mind that when you change the intensity of your workouts, your blood glucose levels will change along with the intensity.  Since you’ll be outside, remember to bring glucose with you each time you go out.  (Sometimes, if I know I’ll be around shopping areas, I’ll bring some cash too in case I need to buy a juice or something.)

You also should be aware that along with the change in the weather, your blood glucose levels will change in the heat.  For me, the first run I do in hot weather requires me to have less insulin in my system—the additional energy I expend keeping myself cool as I run in the heat is an added drain on my blood glucose so I keep the really hot weather runs short and literally, sweet

I am someone who gets bored quickly.  If I’m bored, I have time to focus on negative self-talk: how slow and heavy I feel, how many pounds of force I must be exerting with each step, how hot it is, how far away I am from home, how long I’ve been out running, you name it.  If it’s miserable, I’ll hear it if I’m bored.

So.  Let’s not be bored.

Intensity is a quick fix to eliminate boredom.  You have to be concentrating in order to exercise at such a level.  There is no automation in an intense exercise session.  There is no room for mental wandering.  If you lose focus, you’ll slow down, your heart rate will slow down, you’ll just be out there not really doing as much good for your body as you can. 

In order to get the most out of your exercise time as you can, you need to focus.  Focus on being intense and reaching a level of sweaty effort that helps you sleep at night and helps you know you did your best.

If you’re out for a walk, go for the same changes in intensity and speed.  If you are in a neighborhood with street lights or blocks, alternate between a faster and slower speed for each block, or between each lamppost.  Next time, go fast for two segments and slow for one segment.  Alternate those two workouts for about a month and see how you feel. 

Find a nearby hill with a good elevation change to it (hopefully about 100 feet), or find a parking garage with some outside stairs (hopefully at least three levels).  Go up and down the hill or the stairs 7-15 times.  By the time you’re done and heading home again, you should feel like you worked hard! 

Your actual speed doesn’t matter here—it will be as individual as your nose.  What matters is you reaching a level that makes you out of breath, that makes a conversation difficult, and that makes you sweat not only because it’s hot, but because you’re working.   

Enjoy that effort.  You are on your way to making a change in your body and a change in yourself—you can do it.

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