The boy and I joined a gym recently, which means that for the first time in my life, I’m trying to exercise just for the purpose of exercising. That is, I’m not taking dance classes to prepare for a recital, or doing summer swim team with organized meets; I’m just going to the gym and doing stuff to be in better shape. This is a new experience for me.
Because I’m still having fun with all my glorious new icon space, I have an exercise icon; I figure Demi Moore doing a one-armed pushup in G.I. Jane is a good inspiration/motivator/what-have-you, because man, she was hard in that movie. (Edited to add: Also, a pic of Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby just seemed a little too ominous for my taste.)
This also seems a good chance to pimp something I encountered a while ago (I think from gollumgollum, though I’m not sure): Stumptuous.com. It’s written primarily as a weightlifting site for women, but honestly, half or more of its information is good for men, women, small children, and other humanoid creatures; things like the lowdown on sets, reps, tempo, periodization, nutrition, cardio, and the like are useful for everybody. If you’re a woman, though, you may particularly appreciate the advice that has specifically to do with female body structure and the difficulties that may arise from working out during your period. (I’d say go look at the pictures for inspiration, but the link to the photos seems to be broken.)
I’ve started out with just some very very basic cardio, keeping it easy because right now I think my biggest challenge is simply getting myself into the habit of going to the gym. Time enough to push myself into harder workouts when I’m used to working out in the first place, right? But I’m looking into picking up a bit of weightlifting (hence browsing Stumptuous) because, frankly, I want to look utterly smashing in my wedding dress, and most of them seem to be strapless. ^_^ Plus, y’know, upper body muscle doesn’t suck to have. I’m also stretching again; I love doing it, but apparently need a reason to do it (like an evening of dancing, or a workout I just finished). I’ve often tried stretching for its own sake, and can never make a habit of it. It’s also the one area of my workout that I have experience and familiarity with, where I can not only understand what I’m doing but choose reasonable goals for my progress. Step one: get my front splits back, reliably. (I’m close, but only get them after I’m warm.) Step two: get my side splits to not suck. Step three: get my side splits to the wall/walkover point. (Is there any purpose in pushing myself that far? No, because I’m not a ballet dancer anymore. But dammit, I want my 180 back. Or at least the 178 or so I used to have.)
I’d be interested in hearing advice from the peanut gallery, since I’m so very new to this whole “gym” thing.