You should see in the right sidebar a feed for my exercise blog. There I post my workout and other fitness updates on a reglar basis (well, as long as I’m doing something, that is; if I fall into inactivity, so does the blog). I’ve done this so as to not clog the blogging function of this site as I want to keep the pathways clear for other articles and such. However, because I reference various programs and such throughout my blog posts, I thought having all of that information in a single location would be beneficial, especially if you’ve read something I’ve written but can’t remember when exactly you did so.

A few years ago I got interested in running. A friend of mine kept posting on Facebook about runs he was making, so I finally asked him about it. He told me about the Couch to 5K (C25K) running program, a system designed to take someone from being not a runner at all to being able to run a 5K (or 30 solid minutes) in just 9 weeks. Their website is relatively easy to navigate, but there are a few things in particular that I’ve found especially helpful/useful. First, the breakdown of the C25K program at CoolRunning.com. This is where the daily/weekly workouts are written out and explained in more detail. Second, I’ve used podcasts from two sources in my running training. The first is a series by Robert Ullrey. The second is a series by DJ Beatsmith; beyond the C25K intervals, he has sets for the Gateway to 8K and Freeway to 10K programs. And third, an inspirational video by Ben Davis, a man who broke through issues with depression and obesity through running.

I’ve also messed around with the Power 90 and P90X programs from BeachBody. It’s been helpful to me to have a set routine to follow, though perhaps it shows a lack of initiative and creativity on my part. Doing something is better than doing nothing, however, and we all have to start somewhere. Not only does it help me to have a set routine, but to have someone pacing things for me because I can easily go too fast or too slow and miss out on the full benefits of a workout. Both of these programs can get pretty spendy, so if money is an issue, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going for either of them.

Another place where I’ve found some helpful workout tips and information is the Nerd Fitness site. Not only is the information useful, but it is presented in a highly entertaining fashion, appealing to nerds and geeks everywhere. There are some amazing transformation stories on this site, and those alone should be encouragement enough to make checking them out worthwhile. One thing I greatly appreciate is that there is a lot of free information given on the site, so even though there are program materials that you can purchase, you can still learn a lot without shelling out the bucks.

Some other helpful tools I’ve found online are MyFitnessPal and DailyMile. MFP is a calorie tracking site. Set up your profile with your current weight, activity levels, and weight loss goals and it gives you a breakdown of how many calories you should be consuming in a day. DM lets you track running, walking, biking, swimming, and a variety of other sports/exercises. It’s a lot of fun for me to watch the mileage add up week after week. Another fun thing they do is give a breakdown of how many donuts you’ve burned, how many TVs you’ve powered, how much gas you’ve saved, and other quirky tidbits.

When it comes to fitness, exercise, weight loss, all that stuff, one thing you should remember is that it’s a lifelong journey, not an immediate destination. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re slogging along on the treadmill just because it burns calories and not because you have a goal of running a race or you genuinely enjoy the time spent, you’re not likely to keep up with whatever you’re doing. Physical activity is something you should incorporate into your life on a regular basis, but you don’t have to be stuck in a gym to accomplish this. Find something you enjoy and go after it.

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