If you follow my blog at all - you know that I am a workout junkie. I probably averaged 10-12 hours a week of workout time for the past couple of years. I estimate that 70% of that time was spent on cardiovascular exercise and the rest was strength and flexibility work. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I LOVE to workout, but I do love the feeling and benefits that I get when I am FINISHED with a workout.
I've been doing the same series of workouts for the past few years. I ride a stationary spin bike almost every single day and I have a collection of workout DVD's that I follow 5 days a week. I've been putting some of these DVD's in the player for over 10 years now and believe me when I tell you that I can recite them word for word - even the really terrible Tony Horton jokes. I've added new videos to my collection throughout the years but I've definitely been feeling like my workout schedule was in need of some changes.
At the beginning of January, I found a new collection of Barre workout DVD's to add to my workout circuit. When I tried to incorporate these new workouts into my already full schedule, I realized that I needed to revamp my workout schedule so that I could workout smarter instead of longer. I'd been doing the same workouts for so long that I didn't even realize that my workouts weren't meeting my exercise needs anymore. Over the years, I continued to add workouts to my schedule without taking the time to really assess what I wanted to get out of my exercise time.
My exercise goals have changed as I've gotten older. I'm more focused on my strength and flexibility today than I was 10 years ago but over time, I had phased out all of my yoga and strength workouts. It was a decision that I made based on efficiency. Spending an hour on flexibility felt like a waste of my workout time when I could be doing something to work my heart AND my muscles at the same time. I know, I know - wrong thinking. The good news is that I've finally come to realize the importance of adding these workouts back into my schedule.
My revamped workout schedule actually involves LESS workout time per week. My new schedule has 7 hours of workout time per week. 3 of those hours are devoted specifically to strength training. (arms, legs, core, abs, back) 1 hour is spent doing yoga or other similar flexibility workouts. The remaining 3 hours are spent doing some sort of cardiovascular exercise. I have to say that I'm super excited about this much more manageable workout schedule. It was just the shake up that I needed to get inspired to workout again.
It wouldn't make any sense for me to start a new workout program without pairing it with a healthy diet. No matter how much or how often I work out, my weight is more influenced by my diet. Creating healthy, pre and post workout meals has become more of a priority as the workout itself. One of my favorite post workout meals includes this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It's nutritious and loaded with great fuel for tired muscles and bodies.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Cold, rainy January days are perfect squash soup days. A big bowl of this is just the thing that I need to warm me from the inside out today.
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