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Workout Makeover: Slow but steady progress

IU Bloomington staffer Nicole Roales works out with the help of Division of Recreational Sports personal trainer Christy Shimp.

The second week of my new workout routine was a bit of a struggle thanks to the flu, which knocked me out for three days. Luckily, I worked out the morning of the day I started feeling ill, so I only had two straight days of inactivity. By the end of those two days, I was ready to jump back into my routine. I felt physically and mentally awful for not working out. Sitting on the couch is great, but not for several days. I guess that's what exercise does to you—motivates you to workout more.

To get started on the road to recovery, I met with my personal trainer, Christy Shimp, from the Indiana University Division of Recreational Sports. For my second workout, she showed me exercises I could do at home so I could repeat the workout again over the weekend.

We began with the warm-up and then Christy showed me how to use a resistance band to work muscles in my arms and back. I found the band exercises to be more challenging than the machines because you have to keep your body in perfect form while concentrating on your breathing and not rushing each repetition.

After working the upper body, I did some lower body exercises, including lunges. These looked easier than they were, and I really felt my muscles working hard.

Despite my great progress through the exercises during week two, I was a bit discouraged at how inflexible I was entering week three. Like the rest of the world, I want to improve faster. Not receiving instant results can be very discouraging when you're working hard and making changes. My mind knows results won't happen fast, but at the same time it still wants to see muscles change and flexibility improve.

My spirits quickly lifted when I received my strength routine via e-mail from Christy. She listed everything I had to do along with detailed instructions to follow. The instructions were easy to understand, and I had a great workout on a Sunday afternoon.

During my third session with Christy, I was pumped to work hard. Christy worked two minute bursts of cardio in between weight lifting sets. It was a great way to get me sweating, and I found it was more fun than strength training alone. Christy had me use some heavier weights this week, so I feel I am beginning to make some progress.

I am also eager to try some of the new equipment in the SRSC, including new treadmills and elliptical machines. I'm still a tad intimidated by the weight lifting area, but when I saw a student with a personal trainer I realized I'm not the only one who doesn't know what she's doing. It simply takes time and some lifting.