So it seems that in terms of exercise, my summer is going to be geared towards cardio, especially running.
I am not a big fan of running, nor did I do track in high school or anything, but here are my reasons for choosing this exercise:
1) Not much prep needed for it. Just sneakers, some clothes that dry easily, and a surface to run on, preferably pavement/toe path/treadmill
2) The movement is simple enough; put one step in front of the other, repeat in fast pace until you can’t anymore. No teaching necessary
3) I got myself a running buddy, Mr.O.
This is probably the most significant reason I am choosing to run this summer. I know Mr. O from church and he is pretty much like an uncle figure to me, but it is only this summer that I found out his passion for running, and opted to join him after service every Sunday. Since even treadmill is tough for me I wasn’t a big fan of running outside because it is even harder, but I realized that running with someone else makes running actually kind of fun. I chat with him while I run, and as I unconsciously follow his pace I am running at a higher speed than I normally would.
So thanks to Mr. O, I have made several fitness accomplishments in the past month:
– I run every weekend outside for distances ranging from 3.6 to 4.4 miles, which is more than I ever ran before, which is zero. It is also nice that he knows all the great toe-paths around Princeton, so I don’t have to run the same trail twice.
– I ran my first 5k race. A blog post coming up about this one, so stay tuned!
– I started doing muscle exercises, since I realized that to run faster your core also has to be toned as well as your legs and heart. I will share the routine I do in one of the later posts.
– I re-started doing ab workouts. I just google “8-minute abs,” and there is this really retro, funky, 90s video with this ripped dude cheering, “Hey gang!” for 8 whole minutes. I find it really helpful to mindlessly follow this video than to do ab workouts on my own.
– I went to a couple of Zumba classes when I didn’t feel like going to the gym/really tired after a full day in lab, and they are really fun way to fulfill your cardio for the day! You are really sweaty by the end since you’re constantly moving for around 50 minutes, and you just dance so it is really stress-free. I love every time I go there. I used the punch card they sell at Dillon Gym.
– To train for the 5k, I made myself a schedule to keep myself on the roll with working out. So I gave each day of the week names: Muscles Mondays, Treadmill/Trail run Tuesdays (either one since it may be raining), Weights Wednesdays, Treadmill/Trail run Thursdays, Freestyle Fridays (Do whatever exercise I want to do), Savor Saturdays (freebie day!), Sunny Sundays (Trail run with Mr. O). Maybe you think these are cheesy, but I think it is just easy to keep track of what you should be doing that week, especially if you skipped a few days on your workout routine.
I cannot say that I am in love with running, nor am I a good runner, but I think running is a simple way to get fit. And since you can set your own time and distance, I think it is the easiest exercise to squeeze in during the school year as well.
Goal for the rest of the summer? Actually experience runner’s high.
Jay’s Summer Slimdown Project: iRun 2013, here we go!