After that, I kept busy jogging and swimming for years until aerobics became a thing. I took a weight training class in college, and weights and various machines became a passion.
When Paul and I got married, we had babies quite quickly. I got to the gym as often as possible, but even when I couldn’t, I was always on my feet, going up and down two flights of stairs, and just generally staying busy raising four children.
There were years when my weight crept up and of course I noticed as I got older, it was harder and harder to lose weight.
One of my good friends has a doctor who actually told her that women over 50-years old can’t lose weight at all. I’m here to tell you that is a ridiculous thing to say and is untrue.
So, why am I talking about all of this? In 2019, Paul and I went on a serious work out craze. I mean, as I mentioned, we have both always exercised, but we went full-on with it.
We supported each other and were super consistent. Then, we just sort of stopped. As with much of the country during the pandemic, we cooked more, ate more, and pretty much undid all of the weight loss we experienced during 2019.
I did wake up. I started back on the band wagon in March of 2020, but didn’t really get consistent until May of 2020.
Ever since then, both of us have been working out five to six times a week, and both of us have lost weight, gained muscle and feel fantastic. I want to share some strategies that worked for us, and hopefully will encourage you to jump on the exercise/health train with me.
When I started back in March, I immediately began jotting down the dates, how long my work out was, and what exercises I did.
I might say, on March 3, I worked on abs and legs for 30 minutes and did cardio on the treadmill for 20 minutes.
I also religiously wrote down how many steps I got in every day — even if I didn’t work out.
Keeping track of your steps is crucial. It keeps you account-able for how active you are being every day. Keeping track of my work-outs and steps was what helped me want to be super consistent.
It definitely kept me on track. I highly recommend this tool.
If weight loss is your goal or if you struggle with your eating, you could also jot down what you are eating every day. There are also tons of apps out there if you would rather do this on your electronic device, computer or cell phone.
Another critical aspect to our success has been having each other. I can’t tell you how many mornings I thought to myself, “I am definitely not going to go downstairs to work out.” Then, as if on cue, Paul would say, “Well, I am going to go work out.” I would sit there and think, “Ugh...I guess I will too.”
Once down in our little basement gym, I would get going and just keep going. Boom. Before I knew it, it was done.
Paul has said to me many times while we were exercising, “You do know if you hadn’t of come down here, I would not have worked out today.” So, we both helped motivate each other.
Now, you might be wondering just how much weight I have lost. Truthfully, I am not exactly sure. I really didn’t want to weigh myself when I began this latest exercise journey. I knew it was probably not a pretty site, and I didn’t want to be discouraged.
Then, one of my amazing chiropractors told me, “Don’t bother weighing — just go by how you feel and how your clothes fit.”
That, as it turns out, was really good advice.
I did end up weighing, but I waited a good four months or so before I did.
Your weight is important, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Remember, if you are lifting weights (and I highly recommend you do), you are gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat.
Instead of worrying about the number on the scale, go by your muscle definition, the fit of your clothes, and how you feel.
All of this to say, no matter how old (or young) you are, you can change your body, improve your health, lose some weight, and boost your self- confidence, by exercising.
The key to success, truly is consistency. Get your spouse on board if possible, or a close friend.
Commit to a program — even if it is just a few times a week to begin. Home gyms are great since you don’t have to drive to get to them, but I know some people much prefer a gym environment — do what-ever works for you.
If you do want a home gym, try to get some sort of cardio equipment — a treadmill or a bike are terrific. Also, a bench and some free weights are not too expensive and you can do hundreds of exercises with them. I love a kettle ball and some leg bands too.
The more options keep your workouts more interesting.
My wish is for all of you to take care of yourselves and enjoy the healthiest year ever.
Adlen Robinson is an award winning columnist and author of “Organic Food and Kitchen Matters.” You can email her at email@example.com.