Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Consistency is Key

I'm now in the second month of my training with the goal of getting back into the shape I was in before my neck injury, and eventual fitness demise. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the progress that I've already made. As I mentioned in a previous post, I never actually started off in such rough shape. I don't ever remember being as weak as I was before starting this program. I remember standing in my chiropractor's office as he was showing me how to do 'push-ups against the wall.' I remembering giving his this look like, "Really? THAT'S what you want me to do?" I was legitimately insulted. And then I tried my silly pathetic little standing, push-ups and realized that it was a challenge. I swear I wanted to put a gun to my head right then and there. What happened to me? Where did my strength go? I was never so disgusted in my life. That was last Fall.

After the holidays ended I decided that my neck had gotten to a point where I was ready to risk starting a training program. Nothing was worse than dragging myself to the gym for that slap of reality to see just how weak I had become. I used to start every morning with one continuous set of pushups. I did my age in pushups and my goal was to continue this routine, at least until I was 50. Well, here I was at 43 unable to do 2. I went from 43 pushups in July to 2 in January. Boy, was that a morale crusher.

I was determined to get out of this mess, no matter how long it was going to take. I did my measly 2 pushups the first few days. Then I started to increase my set by just one pushup a day. I quickly got up to 10 pushups and then I held myself back and increased my set by two pushups per week. Even though I had more in me, I stopped at my set goal every morning.

I tried the Brazilian Butt Lift for the first 3 weeks. In addition to this I supplemented with Zumba dancing, hiking, weight lifting, and a little bit of running. I didn't miss a day and most days I worked out twice. I just couldn't believe how quickly my body started to respond. It remembered what it was supposed to do and it gladly performed. My spirits were started to soar. Even in mid-life I was bouncing back quickly. Every week I added more pushups and more weights.

Two and half months into this I've made some modifications. I'm now doing yoga daily in place of the Brazilian Butt Lift. I have to say, the new 30 Day Yoga Sculpt is, hands down, the best yoga DVD I have ever owned. I simply love it. I love the fact that every day is different and I don't know what to expect. I love that it's always challenging. And I especially love that it's only 20 minutes a day. It will be available at the beginning of April on the Acacia website.

I find the yoga, weight lifting, hiking/running to be a perfectly balanced program and I'm achieving great results. The bottom line is consistency. Pick anything and do it consistently for one month and guaranteed you will improve greatly. No matter what it is, cooking, a musical interest, learning a language, just practice it every day and see what happens in one month's time. You won't be disappointed.

Graphic borrowed from http://claxonmarketing.com.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hydration on the Run

I'm not sure what took me so long to buy one of these gadgets. Perhaps I've been relying too heavily on my husband being the water mule, but it's time for me to be more self sufficient. I've tried other means of carrying a single water bottle. The first version held the bottle in a dead horizontal fashion, which was up surd because the bottle insisted on dripping water down the back of my leg. It was fired.

Then version 2 came out and it was clear that the bug was worked out. This version carried the bottle at a 45 degree angle which was a much smarter idea. The only problem with this was that it wasn't quite built for running and the bottle was cumbersome and bouncy. There was never a moment that I wasn't aware of it bouncing on my back. That one got fired too.

Maybe the third one is the charm. This time I bought a true running belt, called the Fuelbelt R2O Revenge Hydration Belt,  which includes two tiny bottles. At first I was convinced that the amount of water it holds wasn't worth wearing the belt, but to my surprise, the fluid capacity of both tiny bottles was ever so slightly less then my one big water bottle. You can also buy these belts with 4 bottle holders on them, but for the distances I do, and the amount I drink, I figured two would be sufficient.

I settled on this exact brand and belt for one reason, and amazingly it wasn't based on color. Of all the belts I shopped for (on Amazon) this was the only one that was offered in sizes. What a brilliant concept. I have discovered over the years that one-size-fits is never true. Ever! Nothing in this world can fit everyone properly. There isn't a single run when my phone-holder arm band isn't sliding down my arm frustrating me because I can't wrap the elastic band around my arm tight enough. Everything should come in sizes! So this belt is nice and small and fits snugly around my waist without a mile of excess belt material dragging on the ground. It even comes with a small pouch that would be good to hold keys, a few bucks, some band-aids and some lip balm. I'm wishing it was big enough to carry a phone to eliminate the arm band problem. So far it's working out nicely and I think it will do the trick nicely. . . until Summer rolls around and it gets to hot to have the belt around my waist.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Great Deal on Natural Health Magazine Subscription

How would you like a one year subscription to Natural Health Magazine for just $4.29? That’s an 86% savings off publisher’s price. What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal is valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. But here's the catch . . . this deal is only valid today, March 7th. Don't miss it. Just click on the link below.

Click here for the Yoga Journal Magazine Deal of the Day

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Strong is the New Skinny

Yesterday I noticed that not only are my skinny jeans too tight, but I also gained a couple extra pounds since the start of my new training program. I wasn't sure what to make of these new discoveries and I can't say that I was very pleased about them either. Granted, my intention was never to lose any weight, but I certainly wasn't planning on gaining any. After walking around in uncomfortable jeans all day yesterday, I actually had fleeting thoughts that maybe I needed to diet. I never dieted in my life, but I hated the feeling of my clothes being too tight.

This morning I felt the need to stand in front of the mirror and inspect what was going on with my legs. Why are my skinny jeans too tight? Well, the first reason is that the jeans were not made of stretchy denim and that was my #1 mistake. The second reason is simply because my inner thighs are getting bigger. After poking and prodding at them during my inspection I realized that, not only are they bigger, but they are firmer. I now have hard muscles on the inside of my thighs that didn't get there from biking. I didn't know I could get those muscles without riding, but apparently I did. That Brazilian Butt Lift must be doing something after all. Now that I know it's muscle making my jeans too tight I guess I lightened up a little. After all, I can always go buy new jeans, ones that stretch this time.

And then today I saw this picture that I posted at the top of this blog and it completely changed my attitude. I've been skinny my whole life, and you know what? Skinny is not all that impressive. Strong, on the other hand, is!

Now I have to go find a stool . . .

Friday, March 02, 2012

Day 3 of My 30-Day Yoga Challenge

I have some mixed emotions about yesterday's 30 Day Yoga Sculpt Challenge workout. The first half of it was all upper body yoga moves and although just 3 short days ago I was struggling with the upper body challenges, yesterday I felt like I really made some improvements. I was strong throughout the whole first series. I notice this often with yoga. Consistency is key. No matter how hard the routine, if you do it consistently (preferably every day – or even every other day) it's get so much easier, so much quicker. I was shocked at how different I felt in just a two day span of time.

But things changed quickly. The second half of yesterday's workout was ab work, which I am notoriously very strong at. I was eagerly looking forward to it . . . and it didn't take long to regret those feelings. I am just stunned at the moves these guys come up with. After years of consistent exercise and trying every workout video known to man, I have never run across anything like this. Where did they dream up these moves? I could barely do them and there's no doubt I did my fair share of cheating (which I NEVER do). I even sort of pulled a muscle in my thigh . . . doing ab work! Unreal. I am really eager and curious to have that workout come up again in the rotation, just to see if I am any better at it next time. Now I'm challenged. Bring it on!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

March Desktop Calendar

In case you have a little case of Spring Fever and you simply can not wait to see some flowers blooming, here's our new March 2012 desktop calendar. If you want to make this image your desktop background just click on this link. A new window will appear with a much larger graphic. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."