Ten days have now passed since the beginning of Lenten Season. This year, just like much of the years passed, I am participating in fasting for 46 days during Lent. It’s a personal choice rooted early on by my family’s habitual past. For 10 days now and for the next 36 days, I have decided to give up processed sweets and junk food as part of my fasting during Lent. This may not be as hard to do for some but consider that processed sweets include sugar, how will giving up coffee affect your day? I have also taken this opportunity to continue to instill better daily habits by exercising 6 of the 7 days of the week – Sunday being my “Cheat Day” – by introducing Low-Impact HIIT workouts and progressing from there.
First and foremost, let’s get it out of the way that although I am vegan, I don’t eat as healthy as I ought. I do try but I do have a giant sweet tooth and so my biggest calorie intake comes from carbs – rice including. I have been a huge meat eater for 40+ years prior to switching to a vegan diet and giving up rice is not something I want to do right now having deprived myself of half of my food choices. So, exercise is a necessity for me to burn that carbs that collect in my body – of which an overabundance turns into fat if left unchecked.
Let’s just say, I’m willing to work and sweat to be able to eat what I love. It’s a compromise I’ve made with myself.
True to myself, I prefer to save money when I can for something I’m going to do anyway. Back in December, I started using free unsponsored exercise app to kick my fitness goal in motion. I still use most of them to this day and because of it, I am able to run 35 minutes straight now. This is an accomplishment for me no doubt about it. I am currently working on improving my speed.
Some free 5K run events to look forward to this April offered at the military base in my area:
For this Lenten Season, I’ve opted to try free, and unsponsored (meaning I don’t get anything to promote it), workouts available on YouTube.com. I’m targeting Low Impact HIIT workouts I can do in the comforts of my living room, without any types of equipment preferably. I have to say, watching the workouts on a TV screen is more fun than looking at a small phone screen. And because there’s a live person doing the exercise along with me on the video, it is more fun actually to do the workouts. I can stop it at any time too without frustrating anyone else. haha.
As of today, there is no change in my measurements from 10 days ago that’s worth mentioning, which is a bit disheartening; but, I remain committed to achieving my goal of turning more of my fat mass into muscle mass.
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, those who are new to exercise can expect to notice muscle gain within four weeks of beginning a strength-training program.
Having gone through the cold virus, I was unable to run for about a week or two due to my throat drying up to the point of heaving each time I try. I was, however, able to run last Friday and run I did for 35 minutes straight. My body is slow to heal but it is healing. So, my aim is to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays now that I’m feeling better and weave HIIT YouTube.com workouts throughout the week. Sunday is my off day when I allow myself to be lazy.
As for coffee replacement, I started drinking hot water with a lemon slice instead and I have to say, it has successfully replaced my morning habit of drinking coffee. I should add that coffee doesn’t not really wake me up or keep me awake. In all honesty, it just became part of my morning habit and so I look for it to start my day. I’m the type who drinks coffee at night and still passes out just as soon as I finish a cup or two. I now drink hot lemon water throughout the day, even at restaurants when possible. Lemon water is practically 0 calories, as is black coffee; but, I’m not a black coffee drinker. I have to have coconut milk and coconut sugar in my coffee each time – it’s a lot of sugar if I total the amount of coffee I drink in a day/week.
Here are a few YouTube workout videos I am enjoying at home currently listed in the least to highest intensity:
- Low Impact 20 Minute HIIT Workout by Body Project
- This was fairly easy. I’d prefer a more intense workout but it’s a good starting point though.
- Low Impact HIIT Cardio by Joanna Soh Official
- She is a find for me. I have been watching other videos by her, aside from workouts.
- 16 Minute Hotel HIIT Workout by The Body Coach TV
- I really like this one.
- Fat Burning HIIT Cardio Workout by Fitness Blender
- This one is not a beginner’s workout. It’s intense! It does offer low impact modifications. There is a water break halfway through the video, which I paused to rest my muscles for longer. I love to challenge myself to see how fit I am and this was a little too much for me so I’m going to continue working on this one. This also does not have any background music but the instructor is very good at motivating. You can hear her getting a good workout with this video. I love that! This gave me a preview of what the Zumba HIIT class I took last week would have been like had the instructor been there and not a sub. This one has a potential to burn up to 489 calories, according to the video, in 38 minutes. It’s intense!
I combine these videos together sometimes in a day or with phone app workouts to sweat just a little bit more, depending on my body.
*As a precaution, please consult your doctor before starting a workout regimen. I do not claim to be a fitness expert. I present these videos to you for information purposes only.
Am I doing enough? In terms of exercise, I think I am. I listen to my body and progress from there. Forming healthy habits is not a race. Now it just boils down to controlling my food portions – which I really hate doing – to lose the excess I’ve been trying to shake off. At size 2, x-small/small, I don’t really have much to lose. I just want to be toned and I’m doing what I feel is right at the moment short of hiring a fitness coach. At this time, I prefer to work on my own pace and learn the process myself. I have heard that the military base offer free personal trainers but I have not tried it myself so I can not comment whether it is free or what it entails. It’s something worth looking into in the future. There are also group exercises available at the military base gym if you prefer to workout with others. Check your local military base installation gym or online for the schedule.
Until next time.