It's Christmas crunch time! Yep, if all the gifts aren't purchased yet, I know where you will be tonight, and certainly making a few quick runs to the store tomorrow, too!
In this giving season I always think about how much you "give" in another area of your life- your health and fitness activities.
You may set aside the proper clothes and footwear and get to the gym each morning, or "push play" on your favorite Beach Body video in your living room, or maybe even dive into the pool to get your daily exercise.
But, wait..... what's your effort level? Do you, on a regular basis, give it your "all?" or do you, like many people, sleepwalk through your workouts? Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.0 or reading your favorite book as you cycle on the recumbent takes the same amount of time as really putting your full self into your exercise but ---you'll get far MORE in exchange.
You'll get as much as you give!
Your effort can be gauged in many ways but if you don't think about it the results you are seeking may elude you.
Here are three ways you can easily assess your fitness efforts:
1. For your cardiovascular, or aerobic workouts- are you sweating? Sweat is a good indicator that your body is working to cool down and your metabolism is raised. However, if you are exercising in the cold outdoors or swimming this indicator isn't going to be too accurate. Try number 2.
2. What is your heart rate? Having a heart rate monitor or tracker that helps differentiate your heart zones can help you assess and plan the right workout for your goals. Both cardio and strength exercises can raise your heart rate-keep a keen eye on your recovery time- it's a good indicator of heart health.
3. For strength training- are your muscles a little sore? Not so sore that you can't walk or sit (that's an indicator that you may have been overzealous, try a little less strenuous program next time), but feeling the muscles you were intending to work are a bit sore is a fair way to tell you are giving your exercise the effort you need.
Enjoy the holidays!