Tag Archives: routine

Workout Wednesday: I Dare You

Oh Boy. I did NOT want to workout this morning. Rolling out of bed lately has been extra difficult. Again, who wants to wake up at 6:30 instead of 9 just to workout?!?! No one. But then I remember that awesome post workout feeling when I could go about my day standing a little straighter and feeling a little more awesome.

So I worked out with the lovely Ms. Zuzka Light. I’ve been following her workouts for about 5 years now and she’s never let me down. But today’s was a doozy. It was like she knew I’d be lagging. So here it is:

I dare you to try it. Seriously. I ended up doing four rounds for time instead of the 15 minute limit. 4 rounds took me 20 minutes and 25 seconds.

Note: If you don’t have weights, use full water bottles or cans of food. If you don’t workout regularly, do the workout with her so that you can keep the right form.

I can’t believe I pushed my body that hard! And so early in the morning. Yay for me! This day will be that much better.

Enjoy yours too. Don’t forget to smile!

Thankful Tuesday: The Ability to Recognize Trouble

For some reason, over the last few days, I’ve been on the brink of breaking down. I realize that the title of my blog is “Happy Lass” but part of my ability to be a generally happy person is allowing myself to have bad days and then sitting down and figure out what’s causing them. Sunday and Monday were bad days.

I have had no routine lately. Meaning that everything I do must be self-motivated. Everything including work, working out, eating healthy, and even waking up in the morning. That is SO hard! I’m really motivated but who wants to wake up at 6:30 am when they can wake up at 9am?? No one. So I solved that problem by going into work yesterday and figuring out a work routine. It’s going to take a few days but I’m excited about starting the process.

Next, I have no friends in Peoria. This may seem melodramatic, and I guess I have some work friends and some friends through Mike, but I don’t have anyone I can just call to get a coffee. I have a few amazing girlfriends but they’re spread all over the world (Colorado, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and China) and I need someone here! Someone to talk to about girl stuff. I find it hard to make female friends because of their tendency to be over dramatic, catty, and much too into their appearance. But it’s time to start the search. My hope is that now that I’m out of high school, it won’t be so hard to find someone calm, sensible, and fun!

So today I’m thankful for my ability to recognize when I have a mental issue and to set about fixing it. I didn’t overcome anxiety and depression just to lapse back into it. I’m happy for the long run baby! And I’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way. Even if it takes some bad days to snap me back into place.

Thanks for reading ya’ll. Have happy days and don’t forget to smile! They’re contagious.

Workout Wednesday

The chiropractor I work for also runs really great exercise and nutrition programs. I get to participate in both of them and, on Wednesdays, I lead an exercise group for some of our patients. I combine the technique and overall structure of our company’s workout routine along with some exercises from my own vault.

The Science:

– This workout is anaerobic, rather than low intensity for a long time it’s high intensity for a short time. This means it’s less about cardio and more about developing muscle. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise is important but I tend to do much more anaerobic not only because of my time constraints but because of the great results it gives me.

– If you do this short, high intensity work on a regular basis your hormones will gradually start to change and your metabolism will increase.

– The muscle you build will continue to burn fat for up to 36 hours after you end the workout.

– All the exercises use only your bodyweight, no other tools, it’s free and easy to do anywhere in the world at any time! THE WHOLE ROUTINE TAKES 16 MINUTES.

– Because they are bodyweight exercises, they compound many different muscle groups in movements that help improve your every day function.

The Warm Up (2 min, 20 seconds) I will eventually record this and post it:

– Upward dog/cobra (5 seconds) into child’s pose (5 seconds), repeat: For upward dog lay on your stomach with your feet pointed, hands by your shoulders, then try to straighten your arms. For child’s pose, kneel then sit on your heels, let your body fall over your legs and, if you can, put your forehead to the ground. Stretch your arms out on the ground in front of you. For both exercises don’t push to the point of pain, just feel the stretch.

– Quad stretch (10 seconds each side): Stand on one foot and grab the other foot behind your bum. Push your foot against your hand. Switch sides.

– Calf/hamstring stretch (20 seconds): Plant both feet on the ground, hip distance apart, bend at the hips and try to touch the ground or hug your legs. Don’t lock your knees, keep a very slight bend in them.

– Quick twist (20 seconds): Spin at the waist and let your arms fall to either side of your body, then go the other direction.

– Arm circles (20 seconds): Small to big, switch directions after 10 seconds.

– Run in place (20 seconds): Jog to get your heart rate up. Do one leg at a time if it’s too high impact.

– Jumping Jacks (20 seconds): If jumping is too high impact, just step out one leg at a time.

The Workout (12 minutes): set a timer for 20 second intervals (find a timer here). Do the exercise for 20 seconds as fast as you can while keeping the right form, then rest for 20 seconds. Repeat each exercise 3 times.

Remember to breathe. Do it in rhythm with your exercises so you don’t forget. It helps take your mind off the pain too ­čÖé

1) speed lunges – Get in a lunge position, keep your feet there, and do a controlled bounce for 10 seconds, switch legs.

2) push ups – Keep your back, bum, and legs in one straight line.

3) crunches – Lift your head AND shoulders off the ground. Keep them in a straight line and look up at the ceiling the whole time.

4)┬áside hop – Place a rolled up towel or other obstacle in the middle of the floor and jump over it side to side, do it fast! If it’s too high impact, just step one foot at a time, fast.

5) crab dip – Get on all fours with your belly facing the ceiling ┬áand your hands facing your feet (the crab). Keep your bum as high off the floor as possible. Bend your arms! This works your triceps.

6)┬áspeed knees – Run in place, bringing your knees up as high as you can without falling over. If this is too high impact, raise your legs one at a time. Do it fast!

Bonus) plank – Get in a push up position with arms straight and legs, bum, back, and head in a straight line. Hold it for as long as you can.

Cool Down (1 min 40 seconds):

– walk in a big circle to get your heart rate down (40 seconds)

– repeat the first 3 warm up stretches

 

Did anyone try this? Or try to read it? Is it very confusing? I may try to record our whole workout tonight and post it here next week.

Tips to End the Tossing and Turning

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and she said that like me and so so so many other people, she has a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. She often works the late shift and ends up falling asleep on the couch. I can commiserate with her on this because, with the stress of life comes an inability to relax. So, when my friend comes home, it takes her so long to relax that by the time she slows down, she’s already asleep!

I’ll tell you guys exactly what I told her: the key to falling asleep and staying asleep is a bedtime routine. It works just as well as when we were 5 years old.

My routine starts about an hour before I want to fall asleep:

9pm – Sip some chamomile tea (with an ice-cube because I’m too impatient to let it cool down) while I write a short entry in my personal diary.

9.15pm – Draw a warm bath. Throw in some epsom salts if you had a hard workout that day, it aids in muscle recovery.

9.30pm – Settle into bed with my fan on (wind helps me sleep) and earplugs in my ears (see below). I find some trivial summer romance novel or something similar to calm my brain and take it away from work.

10pm – Hopefully I’ve drifted off to sleep and can wake up at 6am ready for a workout!

^These earplugs changed my life. They were originally made to keep the water out of swimmer’s ears but are incredible at keeping out noise. I was uncomfortable at first because you basically seal off your ear cavity and I was scared I wouldn’t get them out. But I did! And 5 years later, I still use them every day. The best part: you can get them at any drug store for very cheap!

Helpful Hints:

– Keep a notebook next to your bed to write any thoughts that may be spinning around your head. I often have my best creative ideas right before bed and they’re always there waiting for when I wake up!

– Sleep with a heating pad near your body, the warmth continues the relaxation from the bath.

– Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your pillow, the smell and its effects are amazing.

– Never fall asleep and stay asleep on the couch or with the TV on. It’s important to separate the sleep zone from the unwinding zone.

– Also, never do anything but sleep and baby making in your bed; including eating and watching TV. Don’t mix zones!

^My bedside table complete with a “night-time notebook.”

Yummy Breakfast in 10 minutes

This morning I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm. So instead of dawdling like I would normally, I made Mike and I a delicious “to-go” breakfast.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3 potatoes, chopped to home fry size (this leaves enough for leftovers)

1/4 onion, chopped

handful of spinach

splash of milk (I used almond milk)

coconut oil (most other common cooking oil, including olive oil, turns rancid at high heat)

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Heat pan with a little bit of coconut oil. Saute onion and spinach on medium heat until spinach is wilted. While that stuff is cooking, beat together eggs and milk. When spinach has wilted, add eggs, salt, and pepper. Scramble in pan until eggs are cooked. Put the eggs in a Tupperware and cover but don’t bother washing the pan yet (it’s a waste of water).

Heat pan again to high heat with approx. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add chopped potatoes. Fry them in the pan until cooked just a little crunchy on the inside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other spices you think would taste good (I learned to smell the food cooking then smell the spices; if the smells combine well, so will the spices). Add the mostly cooked potatoes to the Tupperware and cover. The moisture in the Tupperware will saturate the potatoes and make them soft when you’re ready to eat them.

It’s yummy to reheat but I try to avoid microwaves because they suck all the nutrients out of the food. So maybe just eat it at your desk when you get to work?

Hope you’re all having happy days!

Vacation Exercising

At this very moment I’m staying with cousins of my mom’s in Santa Cruz, CA. Mom, Dad, and I have been up here for several days while my dad trains for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Million Dollar Challenge (MDC). I am absolutely not in the right shape to join him and his friends for the 60+ miles, 5,000+ feet of climbing they did for the last three days so I’ve had to find other way to exercise.

If you exercise regularly at home and don’t go on vacation very often, it’s usually a good idea to just relax while on vacation. Take a break! Letting your muscles recover can often do more good than training every day. I’ve heard a lot of different recommendations but I stick to the breaking for one week out of every six or seven. By breaking I mean no exercising but continuing to eat a healthy diet with perhaps fewer calories so that it’s not too hard to get back into a routine the next week.

However, this summer has been completely varied in opportunities for exercise so I’ve been trying to get it whenever I can. The workouts I do, like my ones at home, pretty much stay under the 30 minute mark. I do a workout with Zuzka (see below), go on a 3 mile run, a brisk 3 mile walk (which takes a little longer), or practice some relaxing yoga, which is not just exercise but relaxation.

If you have determined that you want to workout while on vacation, decide on how frequently you will do it before you even fall asleep the first night and then stick to it. I decided that I would workout every other day but left the type and length of workout for the morning of. It’s good to still feel like you’re on vacation from exercise by giving yourself options. For the most part, while were still in San Diego, I went on a run or worked out with Zuzka but if I was having an especially rough morning, the yoga was enough. Now that we’re in Santa Cruz, however, I’ve been doing long walks on the beach. It doesn’t feel like exercise at all!

^ who wouldn’t want to take a long walk here?

And if your spending your day in transit, always take the stairs! You’d be amazed how much you can actually burn by skipping the escalator or elevator. < this is a personal rule of mine for everyday living.

Here is a list of the workout sites I frequent:

1. Zwows with Zuzka Light – some amazing, quick, body weight workouts that mean you NEVER have an excuse not to workout: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight/videos

2. My Yoga Online – cheaper and more comprehensive than any other yoga option I’ve seen. If you aren’t comfortable posing without an instructor, it’s a good idea to take a few classes first: http://www.myyogaonline.com/

3. Map My Run – a great way to track your running and walking from anywhere in the world: http://www.mapmyrun.com/

4. Map My Ride – same interface as #3 but for bikes! http://www.mapmyride.com/

And don’t forget to keep a smile on your face! They’re contagious.