Recently I’ve been posting quite a bit over on my instagram (click here to head to my account and follow me there) about my current fitness and workout routine, and there have been a ton of questions been thrown my way, so I thought I’d write a little post here with an update on what I’m doing and why.
Back at the beginning of the summer holiday (school holidays, I mean), somehow, I tore the rotator cuff muscles in my right shoulder. Don’t ask me how, there wasn’t some major incident, I didn’t feel something giving way or a sudden rip. (According to an expert I saw just a month ago, quite often, it’s a slow and steady injury that you only realise you have when it gets to a certain point, which is probably what happened to me).
Anyway, the point was, I couldn’t carry on with my normal routine – heck, it was impossible for me to even reach over to close the car door once I was sitting in the driver seat – that’s how bad it was. A while later, for some unknown reason, my other shoulder decided to pack up on me too; apparently, it’s called a frozen shoulder. It can come from nowhere, as it did, and it can disappear on its own too – as mine did exactly two weeks to the day after it made its appearance.
Onto what you’ve seen me doing on my Instagram stories and that I’ve received so many messages about.
So as any upper body workouts were out of the question for me, (and I have a niggling tendon at the back of my right hamstring that always complains if I run for too long), I decided I’d give the elliptical machine a try. Now, if I’m true to my heart, I’m an outdoors runner, so the boring inane-ness of the elliptical always put me off. But when my husband challenged me to see if I could do an hour a day (with as much or little effort as I wanted to put in), well, I’m nothing if not competitive.
It’s been about a month now since I started on this new routine. Yes, I’ve become one of those people who has moved over from HIIT workouts to LISS workouts… and I’m actually loving it! I never thought I’d be able to bear any cardio machine for such a long length of time, but I now feel if I don’t do my hour on it, there’s something missing in my day.
I aim to complete an hour five times a week, but normally I hit it about four times. When I started I aimed for burning 400 calories in that hour, but now, as I’m stronger, fitter and I’ve got used to the machine, I hit 500 calories in the hour. On days when I know I don’t have time to do some bodyweight exercises to compliment the cardio element of my workout, I’ll switch up the resistance and also my body position: I crouch down low so that it effectively feels like I’m doing lots of mini lunges.
For me, my lower body is where I tend to store fat when I put on weight. While we know we can’t spot reduce, I feel that at least I’m toning the muscles in my lower body as the same time as burning calories, and with the added resistance that I factor in, I get some of the afterburn normally associated with workouts involving weights and lifting.
My right shoulder is now better, all thanks to an elctro-therapy acupuncturist (which I’ll write more about in a future blog post if you’re interested) so I’m now trying to build back my upper body strength again, but I’m keeping my hour on the elliptical as non-negotiable.
Hope this answers all the questions – if there’s anything else you want to know, leave me a comment below.