Schizophrenia Recovery Strategies: Fitness and Nutrition Tips Part Two

  • This SharePost is the second in the two-part series on fitness and nutrition tips.


    Next week I will write about the 6 Stages of Change to get readers thinking about how to get to the point where you execute these techniques.


    Here I'll focus on what has traditionally been called "exercise."  Yep, exercise.  I don't like that word.  I don't like how it trips from the tongue.  I prefer to use the term "fitness routine" because a routine is doable if it's an activity you like to do and gets you moving.


    From the time I was 25, I joined various gyms and once was a member of the YMCA.  In my sporadic attempts to be healthy in body, I did advanced step aerobics and pounded the treadmill on and off until I turned 39.

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    At 39, I joined a gym that was top-rated.  For my first 7 years, I was a dilettante.  I lifted puny 5 lb weights and pounded the treadmill and attended a Pilates class.


    This is to say that one of the 6 stages of change is to prepare yourself for the actual change.


    In February 2011, three months after hearing heartbreaking news, I started to work out like a madwoman in training for the prizefight of her life.  I paid a trainer to create a 4-week routine and did the routine on my own.  At the start of the fifth week, I paid him to create another routine I did for the next four weeks.


    I celebrate my 3rd year anniversary of doing the routines in 2014.  This is the perfect solution if you can't afford to pay a trainer for private sessions every week: pay a trainer at the start of the fifth week to create a new routine: do it for four weeks: have him or her create another routine.


    Strength training is the sure-fire technique to lose weight because you gain muscle and muscle burns fat at a greater rate.  Ladies: you won't bulk up.  Do I look like the Incredible Hulk?  End of story.


    Strength training will increase your HDL level and protect your bones.  The best news is that you can drop one size after a year or two of training.  If you keep at it in synch with a healthful eating plan you most likely won't gain the weight back.


    Strength training is "lifting," as in lifting weights.  I don't use the machines I only use the cable machine.  I use dumb bells and kettle bells.  I do goblet squats, suitcase lunges, reverse lunges, and push-ups and dead-lifts.


    I'm the Queen of dead-lifts because I can sumo dead-lift 150 lbs.  I can do a trap bar dead-lift with 175 lbs.  Thus although I'm not a certified fitness instructor it's safe to tell you I know what I'm talking about.  Lifting not only enables you to lose weight: you get a better sculpted body too.


    From firsthand experience, I can testify that a person can be fitter at 48 than she was at 22.  It might take you a few years to develop your ideal fitness routine too.  You might see results later in life that you didn't think possible.


    To stay committed, read the Top 7 Exercise Motivation Secrets.  The goal is not "to lose weight."  The end goal is to have a better life.  Set S.M.A.R.T.  fitness goals: ones that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific.


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    Two women I coached wrote down that they wanted to lose weight to get good jobs, obtain confidence in social settings, and earn respect and more money.  Find your own why.


    At the start, I trained as long as it took in one session.  Right now I train between 30 and 40 minutes mostly 3X/per week.  You can certainly carve out 35 minutes 3X week.  For the purposes of fitness, a "training week" can occur over one-and-a-half weeks of training 3X at the time you fit in only 2 sessions in one traditional week.


    The good news is that you don't need an expensive gym membership.  You can train at home listening to upbeat, motivational music.  The following links will take you to fitness routines you can do at home:


    Lauren's Fitness 

    Lauren's Fitness is an OK introduction to at home exercises using your body weight alone.


    Wicked Strength Training

    WickedStrengthTraining is a for-profit site.  Worth viewing for its introductory tips.


    The Pamela Peeke, M.D. book Body for Life for Women and the Martina Navratilova book Shape Your Self also contain basic workout routines you can do at home for women.


    YouTube also has a near-endless great selection of videos on how to execute fitness movements in a routine. 


    I've used YouTube to view different movements to see what their correct form is.  Perfect form is key to fitness routine success.


    The point is to get active at your own pace.  It's always better late than never to develop a fitness routine.  You'll gain muscle and lose weight, your mood will improve, you'll have more energy and sleep better at night.  Keep up the routines and try not to quit after two months or at one year. 


    To see great benefits requires a lifetime effort of consistent routines adapted to where you're at physically as you get older.  There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.  Nothing worth having comes without effort.


    I'll end here by telling you to spruce yourself.  Buy attractive workout garb to wear on the days you train.  Get a pair of performance sneakers.  I've found great fitness attire at JC Penney's and Modell's.  Nike has an online store I've ordered from and I like the Athleta Web site for women too.


    The goal is consistency.  The goal is to be proud you exercised 2 or 3 times a week instead of beating yourself up for not achieving a goal of exercising 5 times a week.  That's why it's critical to set S.M.A.R.T goals that are realistic and achievable.


    A personal trainer's web site tells us to "Go forth. D*stroy."  Engaging in a fitness routine benefits you ultimately because you destroy your fear, you destroy your self-limiting perceptions of what you're capable of.


    You go.


Published On: December 15, 2013