Hi! So it’s been a month since I began my progressive sustainable fitness plan, and it’s time for me to share with you how it went! Before we get into it, let me disclose that I was able to accomplish every activity that I had setup for myself! Yay! I’m so happy that I was able to integrate fitness to my schedule, and now I’m getting ready for my “Increase” phase next month!
To be honest, it wasn’t always easy. The first week or two were the hardest, physically, but my motivation was very high, so that helped me get through that phase. The first time that I exercised, let me tell you, I could really feel the burn..haha! I hadn’t set the bar too high, in my opinion, but I was still sore a week after the workout! Eating healthy, staying hydrated, listening to my body and taking care of myself was key at this point, in order to ensure that I was going to keep good physical shape to continue, recuperate faster, and be able to keep my motivation for the next month.
So, how did I choose my fitness activities?
Let’s begin with my overall strategy. Here are my main sources of information, that I use on a regular basis and that I used for this exercise: Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
I’d say my Pinterest information is pretty independent from the two other sources. I searched for images and made myself boards with the following topics: yoga, abs, stretching, weekly workout plans, daily workout plans, legs, butt, arms, running and cardio. I used Pinterest to help me plan how I was going to increase my activities, but also how to plan each fitness block. In my yoga board, I put a few vinyasa and flow sequences, because that is my preferred style of yoga, and in my stretching board, I saved targeted stretching exercises; like for my sciatic nerve and shoulders, because those are my main problem-areas. In my cardio board, I saved cardio activities that I can do inside if the weather is not permitting for an outside run. The other boards are pretty self-explanatory; they contain sequences and programs and specific exercises. I also added a general tips and tricks and a food inspiration board. In general tip and tricks, I saved information about good habits to start to complement a balanced workout plan, like drinking a good amount of water, and words of affirmation to motivate me! In my food inspiration board, I saved information like: what does a balanced meal look like, what benefits you can obtain from fruits, benefits of lemon, recipe hacks, healthy ingredient swaps, snack ideas, etc.
On YouTube and Instagram, I searched mainly for fitness influencer channels and yoga sequences. My criteria were based on the duration of the video and the level that was attributed to that workout (easy, intermediate, intense). I found several sources of information, here are a few (this is not a sponsored post. As a neophyte, I just really appreciate their content.):
SarahBethYoga and Yoga_with_Kassandra: On YouTube, I especially appreciate how these channels categorized their playlists by yoga style, or duration, or focus. I can easily find what I’m looking for like a vinyasa routine or a 30 minute sequence and that makes my A type really happy. I also follow their content on Instagram
Yoga by Candace: On YouTube, she also categorized her videos by length and I find that great.
Alo Yoga: On YouTube, their videos seem higher budget, but their playlists are a little less well organized than the previous accounts.
lululemon: On YouTube, also has several playlists for yoga, workouts, running, etc.
POPSUGAR Fitness: I follow on YouTube, is a wealth of fitness programs, it think you can find anything you’re looking for here. Their playlists are quite well organized.
I hope you’ll be able to find ressources that fit your needs in there, if you have other suggestions for me, feel free to drop me a line in my e-mails!
To continue, I want to share that my biggest struggle was probably to stick to the schedule during the recent heat. That doesn’t look good for the season coming up, but I’ll try to adapt as best I can! Here are a few tips on how to adapt your schedule:
My first tip is: Prioritize the fitness activity you want to do, make it fun and be flexible. Here’s an example. On week three, my Monday fell on a day off from work and we were at my husband’s father’s cottage. We had originally planned to get home and go for a run before supper, but we were having so much fun at the cottage that we opted to stay! So instead of doing a cardio day, we went paddle boarding! Paddle boarding isn’t exactly a cardio activity (at the speed I was going) but I could definitely feel my arm muscles being used, so I went ahead and counted it as an arm day, and postponed my cardio day to the next day! Same thing happened at the beginning of this week; we were supposed to go for a run, but my husband convinced me to go mountain biking! So we did that for about an hour and counted it as cardio!
My second tip is: Hold yourself accountable for your workouts, because no one else will. If you want results, you’re the only one that controls that. Unfortunately, my greatest weakness hit us this week. We got hit with three straight days of intense heat with no cool-down period during the evenings. That was rough for me. Heat is the main reason why I quit. So being aware of that, I did the best I could to make sure I accomplished my workouts. I modified my schedule to workout during the cooler periods of the day, I tried working out in a cooler space (like the basement) and when it was so hot that I had to skip a workout, I’d “treat” myself to two workouts the next day! Doing that ensured that I accomplished all the fitness blocks I had setup for myself.
Month 01 plan:
Here’s a sneak peak of the program I did this month! If you dont know what these exercises are, please go find the information to execute them correctly, I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourselves! I’m in no way a fitness coach or a professional, these are just the things that worked for me. There is a ton of information and tutorials at your disposal on YouTube and Pinterest! :
15sec each side-plank
15sec each knee-to-elbow
30sec russian twists
30sec alternating oblique crunches
30sec scissor kicks
30sec reverse crunches
20sec each side-plank
20sec each knee-to-elbow
45sec russian twists
45sec alternating oblique crunches
45sec scissor kicks
45sec reverse crunches
30sec each side-plank
30sec each knee-to-elbow
1min russian twists
1min alternating oblique crunches
1min scissor kicks
1min reverse crunches
squat hold pulses
Week 1: 3 sets of 10 reps/secs each
Week 3: 3 sets of 12 reps/secs each
Week 4: 3 sets of 15 reps/secs each
As you can see, I didn’t do this workout on week two.
I used this workout as a base and I also tried other exercises I saw on Instagram.
One-arm kettle bell row
Forward/Front dumbbell raise
Standing dumbbell curl
Dumbbell lateral raise/Power partials
Seated triceps press/Overhead extension
I used 2.5lbs weights for these.
Week 1-2: 3 sets of 7 reps each
Week 3-4: 3 sets of 10 reps each
Fun fact, at the beginning of this workout, I wasn’t able to do push-ups..and now I can!
(1min jog + 4min walk) x 4
(2min jog + 3min walk) x 3
(2min jog + 3min walk) x 3
For my last run, I did a free run!
I set myself with a minimum of 7 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes, to not over do it. I was able to do 9.5 minutes! For me, that was enough for the first time i did a longer run.
For Yoga/Stretching, I went on YouTube and I’d find a 30min video that inspired me and I did that! Different sequence every week!
Hope that helped! In my next posts, I’ll be covering topics like tips and tricks to drink enough water, nutrition, and updates on my progress! Make sure to subscribe to the email notifications to be the first ones to know when it’s up! I hope you enjoyed this! Wish me luck, stay safe and have fun!