Getting Healthy for Good: Summer fit!

By Laurie Marshall

weights.jpgApproximately 10 weeks ago I started the Summer Fit program that is managed by the Health Science, Kinesiology, Recreation and Dance department at the University of Arkansas. When I signed up, I had high hopes for myself. I envisioned a smaller me, a healthier me, and a me with a little more stamina than the me that went into the program. Of course, I’ve always had the tendency to wear rose-colored glasses and dream big.

The program entailed working with a trainer two times a week for eight weeks. I went against 44 years of self-knowledge when I promised to meet mine at 6:30 a.m. at the HPER building on campus. I’m soooooo not a morning person. But honestly, making plans for a specific time in the evening, twice a week, would have been setting myself up to fail. You know as well as I do that The Mom’s personal schedule is always the first to go up in flames if the kids or the husband has something come up.

My last workout was Monday, and I received the results of the pre- and post-testing the program director today. I have to say, I’m pretty happy with them. As the old song lyric says: “…two out of three ain’t bad.” The tests measured my weight, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, flexibility, max weight lifting, and body fat percentages based on the BIA test and several pinch tests they did with calipers in different areas. And in every single area (except weight), I made improvement! Here are the deets:

  • Resting heart rate went from 84 beats per minute to 71. (taking me from “below average” to “above average”)
  • Resting blood pressure went from 133/90 to 114/80. (taking me from “Pre-Hyper Tension” levels to “Normal”)
  • My BIA body fat calculation was 37.1 and is now 36.6.
  • Body fat calculation done with calipers was 40.2 and is now 38.75.
  • First weight for chest press was 24 pounds (per arm), now I can press 32.
  • First weight for lat pulldown was 59, now it’s 83 (wow!).
  • First weight on the leg press was 85, now it’s 144 (wow again!).
  • My Sit and Reach (how far I can bend toward my toes in the seated position) went from 22 inches to 25.

Obviously, based on these results, if I continue to work out at the same level twice a week, I’ll be on my way to being much healthier that I was a few months ago. I am hoping to be able to find time to work out three mornings a week with the same intensity – 20-30 minutes on the treadmill, running an easy 4.2mph and 30 min. of weights and floor work.

Thankfully, the gym where I have a membership (that’s been missing me, I’m sure) is opening a location about 2 blocks from my office. I can go before or after work without making a huge dent in my daily routine. In addition, I’m signed up for another belly dance class and am coaching my son’s soccer team this fall. Every little bit of activity will help.

Now I just need to make my calorie intake lower… just what I need! Another challenge!

laurie-marshallthumbnail.jpgLook for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at Or click on the comment button below and share your thoughts right now! To see previous installments of Getting Healthy for Good, click HERE.