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  • Sometimes you've got to push yourself if you want it all!

    Yep, been a bit lazy in getting this posted, but not in the exercises, although I have been putting them off to later in the day. I could use several excuses: hit a bout with depression the other day, right hip is not enjoying the Gazelle last couple of days, or just a lot on my mind. I actually thought about writing something like that yesterday. But every time I started to write the lines, my mind popped in and told my fingers....”BULL!”.

    The plain truth of the matter is that we all get lazy once in a while. You're at a place where your comfortable and you forget you're only part way to your goal. You start telling yourself, “just one day off” or “I'll double it up tomorrow”.

    First of all, if you can actually “double it up”, you're not working hard enough. You're staying below your target heart rate, which means you won't lose the weight or gain the strength you want to. You're setting yourself up for failure. And the worst part of it is you will have no one to blame but yourself.

    I call these periods an oasis. There's a reason for that. You see, an oasis is a place in the desert where everything is almost perfect. There's water, food, and shade. There might even be enough water to take a swim. And after a trek through the hot, dry desert an oasis feels GOOD.

    But an oasis is a delicate ecosystem. It can only sustain you temporarily. If you stay too long, you'll exhaust the water, and without the water, the food from the trees and the shade will be gone. It will rejoin the desert.

    Sundays are my oasis. I work out with weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I do my 30 minute aerobic program on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I do abdominal work every one of those days. Why? Because I haven't attained my goal. And any time I forget my goal, there is always a mirror around to remind me.

    Yesterday, I added 20 side leg swings to the ab routine. Very simple to do, actually. Lie on your back on the floor and raise your legs to a 90 angle from your body. Twisting first to the left, then to the right, touch your knee to the floor without letting your shoulders move. Use your arms and hands to keep the top of your body stable. This exercise works the side abs, otherwise known as “love handles”. Done properly, it is also an excellent way to loosen up a stiff back. I feel mine “pop” slightly every time I do them and it feels good.

    From there I completed 30 V-ups and 40 bicycles, and then 150 situps on the exercise ball. If you're keeping count, that's 240 abdominal exercises every day. 1440 a week. And I'll let you in on a secret. It doesn't get easier, not for some time.

    I decided to run the weights a little differently, so I began with the heavy dumbbells and completed my squats, shrugs, and curls first. Then I grabbed the lighter dumbbells to complete my shoulder raises.

    Moved over the weight bench for calf raises, leg extensions, seated rows and the bench press. Varied the bench press slightly by doing the first set with a close grip, the second with a regular (shoulder width) grip, and the last with a wide grip, almost out to the supports. Believe me, the chest muscles were telling me about it when I was done.

    Finished off the set with about 12 minutes on the Gazelle.

    Today was the aerobic day, and after the ab routine described above, I spent about 32 minutes in the company of Mr. Billy Idol, keeping up with “Rebel Yell”, “Hot in the City”, and of course, “White Wedding”, among others.

    I'm feeling better knowing I pushed myself to get through them. And while I'm told the depression will never be totally gone, I'm of the belief the exercise is making it a less frequent thing. I am a believer in the benefits, both physical and psychological, of regular exercise.

    I hope you are having a blessed day.

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