You know how people (and by people, I mean the bendy yogis) always say they had a beautiful practice?
Can I start calling my exercise pretty? Like…instead of ‘I had a sweaty strength set,’ can I start to tell folks I had a ‘gorgeous weight lifting workout?’ Or, how about, a ‘breathtaking (ha, pun totally intended) cardio session’?
I think I’m going to anyway. Just to shake up the zen vibe all of those yogis have going on.
I’ll be back with a real post later this week after I’ve recovered from a less than restful trip to Nashville! Good news is I still got my workouts in this weekend — and not just because Nashville is much hillier than I anticipated or because bachelorette parties require a lot of dancing in heels.
Happy Monday, y’all!
This week has felt all over the place, and it’s only Wednesday! Either way, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. So this week I…
Have felt like I worked a lot, even though I’m not working any more than normal.
Put off finishing my maid of honor speech for my sister’s wedding about 20 times. And it’s this weekend.
Delayed two workouts earlier this week and am now trying to frantically cram them in before I head to Michigan for the wedding. Probably not ideal.
Have not posted anything, and have been fairly MIA from Twitter and Facebook.
Ordered Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet — Recharged! from Amazon since this past week a few not-so-hot foods have snuck into my diet, and I need to really get focused after the wedding this weekend for the competition!
Drank way too much coffee.
Started the 30 for 30 fitness challenge with my readers!
Jammed out to this Auburn song about 80 times since I downloaded it Sunday.
How’s your week going so far? What have you accomplished? And what are you working on?
On Wednesday of last week, I was about to head to Michigan for Thanksgiving, and I was running all over the place, trying to figure out when I was going to get a workout in. I was in a rush to get home to finish packing so that I wouldn’t miss my train (uh, almost did, and it would have been the third time I’ve done something like that so I’m glad I got lucky!), but I knew that fewer workouts would happen when I got to Michigan and just wanted to hang out with my family, so I HAD to sweat that day. I had started work at 5am that morning, and I didn’t feel like I was moving at my normal pace, so I had no idea how a good workout was going to happen in the short amount of time I had.
But when I got to the gym, I got inspired (ok, maybe there was some coffee involved, too) and I went to work. This workout took me 25 minutes altogether (OK, so not exaaactly a quickie), MAYBE 30 since I didn’t necessarily hustle to the treadmill to do sprints. To get the most bang for my buck, I warmed up for 3 minutes on the bike and jumped right into the strength routine. As soon as I finished my last triceps pulldown, I jumped right on the treadmill and was breathing hard in no time. [Sidenote: I’m learning that although I’m not running distance right now because my body HATES it, it seems to have no problem with me doing sprints. Plus when I’m cranking out a fast mile, I feel kind of badass.]
This workout is perfect for when you wake up late for work (if you’re one of those morning people) or get a last minute invite to dinner when you haven’t had a chance to hit the gym yet. Seriously, you don’t need a ton of time, but you DO need to work hard. Keep your body moving and your heart rate up, and an effective workout can be had in 30 minutes.
Quickest Workout Ever
15 Dumbbell Squats ( I used 25s since there was no bar in the area in which I was exercising), but go as heavy or as light as you need to)
20 double punch sit-ups
(do all x2)
15 lat pulldowns
20 hamstring curls on the ball
20 plank jacks
15 dumbbell chest press on ball (20s)
15 triceps pushdowns
10 minutes of alternating run/sprint, 1 min each
Another reason this workout is perfect if you’re super crunched for time is because it fits all of the important stuff in. You get your warmup, your cardio intervals, and strength training for all of the major muscle groups with cardio bursts in between. Because you’re training unrelated muscle groups you can move from one exercise to the next with no rest, ensuring you keep your heart rate up. This also helps increase endurance since you don’t stop moving, even though it is for different moves.
I was SORE after this workout, so I’m going to remind you: Don’t forget to stretch! I find that if you’re really running late, you can stretch those hamstrings in the shower as you rinse your conditioner out.
What are your favorite quick workouts? What are your favorite killer strength moves? What do you do when you only have 30 minutes?
Who else is glad that it’s FRIDAY?!
This week hasn’t exactly been stressful, but I guess it’s just been one of those weeks for me. This weekend, I plan on getting some good workouts in — boot camp tonight, training session tomorrow — and catching up on my writing and blog reading. And in general, I’m just going to try to pull it together! I want to make some more of my mom’s fab turkey chili too, and if I do, I’ll be sure to post a recipe! Or maybe just a picture because I’m still amazed that I haven’t minded being in the kitchen lately.
What about everyone else? What are you up to this fine fall weekend? Give me the details! I hope for your sake it’s something more exciting than what I’ve got going on!
And last item on the agenda… I need your help! I did some deadlift-y move the other day, and ever since, my hamstrings have been crying/screaming/preventing me from walking appropriately. I know I can foam roll and do the usual exercises, but anyone else have a creative or just really GOOD stretch that will restore my normal range of motion? Help!
So… I’m going to honest here. I have nothing to write about today. Nothing.
I’m in a fab, it’s-almost-the-weekend mood, but my brain is just fuzzy from general contentment. Plus I’ve been super busy from work, making sure we still would have a place to live on October 1st (we found a roommate, so HOORAY, we don’t have to to move), helping other people move, ramping up my workouts, being sore from said workouts, and just running around trying to get a few other things in order. Also, I think maybe got my ranting all out on Wednesday. Whatever the case may be, I have nothing of importance to contribute today.
But these folks do!
Bess brought back her weekly Ferosh Female Fridays (which I LOVE, btw, because, well, how cool does that just SOUND?), and gave shoutouts to some lovely lady bloggers (including me!) for being fearless this week, and just kind of made me proud to be a woman who knows other women who support women. My lengthy sentences confusing you yet? Just check her out!
Laura and I must be on the same wavelength lately, because she’s talking body image and dismissing the silliness that is the BMI chart. My favorite line? “I could weigh 105-119 pounds, as the charts suggest in “optimal weight” terms (ha!), but I’d look like a stick with a big fat wad of gum stuck to its lower half. Or a kebob skewer stuck into a melon. You know what I mean.” Girl, I feel you on having a booty and thinking BMI truly is ‘a pile of poo’
Despite my raging sweet tooth, I rarely crave baked goods. Until today, that is. Rachel’s got me wanting to throw on my not-yet-purchased apron and whip up some of these white chocolate cupcakes while only speaking in double entendres. And Jenna at EatLiveRun has got me craving something hot off the griddle with her whole wheat butternut squash pancakes, which I usually only do when staring at a diner menu on a Sunday morning after a rather late Saturday night.
Over at Hollaback Health, we’ve had a whole slew of awesome posts lately! Read all of those, but start with AJ’s second installment in her set of guest posts, ‘I Call It Visibility,’ about her experience as a blogger with the intersecting identities of queer, vegan, and runner. Which, appropriately enough, the name of her blog as well!
I’ve been thinking a lot about running lately and how I need to try some other exercises for a few months because I keep getting injured (well, hello, new possible case of plantar fasciitis, please meet old cases of tendonitis and a stress fracture) and because I keep SAYING I’m going to take a break, and I never do. (Now it looks like I have to take a break, right during the BEST running weather in the midwest because I have really screwed up my feet). Well, apparently, Ashley from Fashionably Fit has been thinking the same thing, because she rejoined a gym and has been having a love affair with the classes and their efficiency and they fact that they play nice with her joints.
Kristen’s post pretty much summed up my experience with weight loss in the past, and I felt like she was practically writing my story on her blog! Kudos to her for learning how to eat intuitively! Still working on that one….
Last, but not least, Nicole’s post on Special K was so informative that I wish college me would have read because I was SOLD on the low-cal Special K crap, not realizing that while I got skinny, I was putting some scary stuff in my body. Also, I really think all of you will crack up at her title and the picture she posted to go along with it!
I like the idea of giving out a little link love to finish out the week, so happy reading! And for the sake of discussion, since we all know I loooove talking, tell me what you’re doing this weekend– healthy or not! What fun stuff do you have planned?!
So I recently read an article on Self.com about a study published in Psychological Science showing that people tend to be happier when they have less down time. Those that are busier and have a rather full plate seem to be in a better mood than those who are constantly searching for something to do. Interesting, right?
I thought this was a pretty fascinating little find and wanted to discuss it with you, dear readers, but I was putting it off — until this morning. I was putzing around online, clicking through some of my favorite sites while trying to convince myself to get out of bed and be a productive member of society. When I visited Glamour.com and read the same thing on the Vitamin G blog and then again on BlissTree, I realized this might be more than just a little blip on the psychological health front. So I decided to do a little further research on the topic and here’s what I found:
Being busy –even the ‘OMG, how will survive until Friday?’ kind of busy — tends to work in our favor and causes a boost in those feel-good vibes.
Those who find themselves bored more often also find themselves bummed more frequently. The study suggests that not having much to do leaves plenty of time for ruminating on our lives — especially on what’s wrong with them!
Having a million things to do (and getting them done!) can give us a sense of accomplishment, which, at least for me, is a key component to happiness.
A packed schedule not only makes us feel accomplished, but it’s stimulating to our brains and increases our endorphins! And as we all know by now, endorphins make us happy!
According to the actual Pyschological Science article, even doing pointless activity will make us happier than doing no activity at all.
None of the articles specifically addressed how this makes us healthier, but my hunch is that, in general, when we’re happy, we’re healthy! We tend to have lower stress levels and we tend to take better care of ourselves when we’ve got smiles on our faces. Now, I’m definitely no psychologist, but I can tell you from my own experience that I’m way happier and healthier when I’m crazy, ‘I don’t have a second to sit down’ busy. I love seeing a long to-do list, and I like crossing each thing off even more. When I was a senior in college and constantly sprinting from class to an activity to a sorority function to the gym, I was deliriously happy! I was simply in love with life, and I was probably the fittest I’ve ever been. Even though my schedule was practically bursting at the seams, I made time to get everything done, including taking trips to the gym and making (mostly) healthy meals. And I even had a social life (we all know friends are good for overall wellness).
When I left college and moved to Chicago, I suddenly found myself with more free time, even with a 9 to 5. And at that job (oh, and the next one), I was incredibly bored because my work was mindless. I never felt a sense of accomplishment, I had way too much time to think about everything I wanted to change in my life, and I was so drained at the end of the day, that I just didn’t want to do anything — even the things I knew were good for me, like going for a run or visiting with friends. So when I switched to personal training, I was crazy busy all day, and I experienced this huge surge in those happy hormones! People I knew even noticed and kept commenting about how much happier I seemed and how I appeared to be more like ‘the old Heather.’ Now, I’ve switched to two slightly lower stress jobs with fewer hours (and no sales quota to hit, but that’s another story), but I’ve filled my schedule with other things I’ve been wanting to pursue, like my writing, exploring the city, and (gasp) having a social life. So, I’m keeping busy, but I’m not as stressed (best of both worlds!). I’m definitely happier AND healthier!
So I guess, in short (but really, when is it ever short with me?), I agree with these findings! If I’m bored, I start to brood, and I get cranky. But if I’m whizzing around getting stuff done, I feel great! What about you? Do you thrive on flitting around like a hummingbird like I do? Or does your perfect day include a little time to be completely sloth-like? Spill!