When the weather is nice in South San Francisco (and that can be iffy) there is a small but mighty group who walks together on Wednesdays.
The regulars come and go and come and go and new people trickle in.
I am not a huge walker and personally would rather not walk.
But if it is with a group of people it makes me much more motivated. (And with our wellness program you can earn points, which eventually earns you prizes.)
I can’t walk every Wednesday as on alternate Wednesdays I have Toastmasters. But when I can I join.
There are so many great reasons to be part of this group: meet new people; meet up with co-workers/friends you don’t see as often; get away from your desk (I rarely take a lunch break and usually eat at my desk while working); fresh air; and, of course, exercise.
According to this Mayo Clinic article, walking helps you maintain a healthy weight; prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; strengthen your bones; lifts your mood; and improves your balance and coordination.
The Mayo Clinic article has some great tips. I recommend you read it.
According to this Livestrong article, a regular walking routine lowers your blood pressure, prevents cardiovascular disease and helps you maintain weight loss after dieting.
And just about anyone can walk. You don’t need fancy equipment. Just the outdoors or a treadmill.
Good shoes are a good idea. And it is really best to get fitted for the right kind of shoes. In the end it is worth it. I just recently got fitted for a new pair of Asics. Probably the last three or four pairs of shoes I have had have been Asics.
Get out there and start walking …
I practice yoga regularly–about three times a week. Sometimes more.
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) is a regular pose in my regular practice in both Hatha and Vinyasa classes.
Every yoga pose has an anatomical focus, therapeutic application and many benefits. On the Yoga Journal website many poses are broken down step by step on how to get into the pose, including Triangle Pose.
The site also includes contraindications and cautions; beginner’s tip; variations; modifications and props; partnering; preparatory poses; follow-up poses; and how to deepen the pose.
According to the YJ site, the anatomical focus is the thighs. (Great for part of this month’s Monthly Challenge.)
The therapeutic application is for stress. (Sounds like I should be practicing that pose more often.)
The benefits of this pose are great and endless. When I read a list like this I am reminded again that yoga is incredible and powerful and adds so much more to my life than just exercise.
The YJ list of benefits on Extended Triangle Pose are: stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles; stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine; and Stimulates the abdominal organs; helps relieve stress; and Improves digestion; helps relieve the symptoms of menopause; relieves backache, especially through second trimester of pregnancy; and therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica.
Listed under modifications and props on the website: If it isn’t possible to comfortably touch the floor with the bottom hand or fingertips, support the palm on a block.
If you notice the photo on the right, I am much more rotated and open while using a prop, a yoga block. Props are an amazing way to help someone in a pose or to help you get much deeper into a pose.
I have struggled with the exercise part of this month’s Monthly Challenge. (And a little with the water part since I have was traveling and drinking a lot of beer. But I am back on track with the water intake.)
Travel usually makes it difficult for me to keep up with healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise.
While I was at my hotel in Austin I got to the gym a couple of times and made sure my exercises focused on butt, hips and thighs.
I learned my lesson while in Dallas and have decided for now it is not a good idea for my knee to run.
(I need to try glucosamine and get that in my system before I try the running again. According to Wikipedia, glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints and the marketing is targeted to people suffering from osteoarthritis.)
While I was in Austin last weekend I did a quick walk with an incline on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, then lunges with biceps curls, squats while holding extra weight and dirty dog while lying on my side, which is described in this Livestrong article as side lying hip abduction.
The article also talks about walking lunges and the regular dirty dog move while on all fours. All great for the butt, hips and thighs.
Last Sunday I did a 45-minute fast-paced walk with a decent incline.
Since being back in my regular routine I have gotten back to most of my regular exercise classes. No body conditioning this week, which will guarantee to work the butts, hips and thighs. This week I practiced yoga four times (lunges and squats in all forms) and spin twice (cardio and great work for all of this month’s exercise focus).
I have talked in the past about how I don’t wash my hair every day.
Washing my hair is quite a chore. Plus washing your hair every day is so bad for you hair and scalp.
But this post isn’t about why you should or shouldn’t wash your hair every single day.
Today I am reviewing dry shampoo. And not just one or two. I am reviewing five different brands.
Worst to best:
Bumble and Bumble: The concept of this dry shampoo makes sense. Too bad in reality it doesn’t
work and is quite messy.
B&B colors their dry shampoos for blondes, brunettes, red heads and those with black hair.
When I used this dry shampoo the brown spray got everywhere. There were brown dots on my face, hands, all over the sink counter.
I was always worried that when I sweated at the gym I would have brown running down the side of my face. That never happened. But when I dabbed the sweat on my hairline my towel turned brown.
The product was sticky and messy. But at least there wasn’t a smell.
Tresemme: I tried two versions of this brand of “dry” shampoo. The thing I like about these is that they work really well if your hair is wet. You know like when you are sweaty after the gym and many of you want to wash you hair.
(Hey, it’s just salt water. Rinsing your hair is fine. Doing nothing is fine. Or try this dry shampoo–you might like it.)
These “dry” shampoos go on wet. One is a spray and the other is a mousse, which is super easy to apply.
If perms smelled good that’s how I would describe the smell of the shampoos. Not terrible, but not great either.
Smells are a big deal for me as I have a high sensitivity to smells and perfumes. So I can’t have any lingering smells as I get raging headaches and nauseated.
Suave: This dry shampoo is super cheap and works well. This shampoo goes on with little powdery residue.
Some of the dry shampoos go on white. And when you have dark hair the white can be an issue. I personally don’t want to look like George Washington.
The only negative of this one for me is that it smells like grapefruit. The smell is intense. And you know, I have that dang sensitivity to smells. (But if that doesn’t bother you this one might be the one for you.)
The next two dry shampoos are a toss up. They are both amazing for different reasons. And I regularly use them both.
Salon Grafix: This shampoo is a little more expensive than the Suave or Tresemme. But you get what you pay for most of the time.
This one goes on clear with no powdery residue. So I can use it right before I leave the house and not have to worry about sporting a George wig.
It is hard to explain the smell. It isn’t perfumey. It almost has an earthy (dare I say dirt) smell mixed with some sort of spice. The smell isn’t too bad and it tolerable.
This is a great dry shampoo. If you can get over the smell it should be in your bathroom.
Tigi Bed Head: The Rockaholic Dirty Secret Shampoo is my favorite of all the dry shampoos I have tried and one I have been using for years.
The only negative is the powdery residue. How I solve that is by spraying on my hair at night. So when I sleep the shampoo blends in. I absolutely love the smell. It has a fresh smell–like you just shampooed.
Sometimes I spray the dirty secret under my hair to give it a fresh smell. I have even used it on clothes to get cigarette smoke out while in Las Vegas. And it was quite successful.
I know there are more dry shampoos out there. But I couldn’t possibly buy and try them all. If there is one I didn’t review that you would like me to review or one you know is amazing and you think I should try it I am happy to take on donated product. Contact me via e-mail (email@example.com) if you are so inclined to send me something.
I was thinking about this month’s Monthly Challenge and how I am not super jazzed about it. And based on the participation and minimal updates I am guessing GFG! readers feel the same way.
It’s difficult to come up with exciting challenges for exercise and nutrition every single month, which I have been doing for nine months now. Sometimes the ideas are great and sometimes they are just OK.
(My favorite so far has been going old school with hula hooping, jumping rope and jumping jacks, which was April’s Go Fit Girl! Monthly Challenge.)
So I am coming to my wonderful readers and asking you to give me ideas. What kind of challenges do you want? Do you want to challenge others? Or challenge yourself?
And to make this more fun, let’s make it a Comment Contest Tuesday.
For every idea you post in the comments below you will get your name thrown into a hat for a drawing. So the more you comment, the better chance you get to win a prize. Please make sure to come up with both exercise and nutrition ideas.
You can win a prize and I have some ideas to store away for future Monthly Challenges.
You have until Tuesday, May 28 noon my time (Pacific) to comment away. Only posts in the comments below will count. E-mails, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, in-person comments don’t count.
After more than a week traveling for work and fun I got back home last night.
And today is the day I got back to my normal and healthy lifestyle.
I was in Texas. First Dallas and then Austin.
Dallas was for work and I thought I would add Austin to the end of my trip and see the city for the first time and hang with my cousin Alex.
Yes, I ate a lot of meat and drank a lot of beer.
And according to my father-in-law I just might be turning into a redneck. Beer, steaks and moonshine all in one week?
I also hung out with my friend Regina and her fiancé and son one day. Texas martini, anyone?
I worked from home today to ease back into life.
Because my friend Monica is still out of commission from the gym for a bit and I had calls throughout the day, which meant couldn’t attend the Monday noon class I have been wanting to try, I decided to take Baxter’s Monday night Hatha Yoga class instead of the usual evening body conditioning class.
It was a great way to ease back into my exercise routine this week. I normally take Baxter’s class on Wednesdays. So now I am really looking forward to his class on Wednesday.
It’s amazing what you can do with a sand bag in a yoga class. (I am used to using them for Restorative Yoga.) Using extra weight makes poses deeper, dare I say better and in some poses ahhhh, so relaxing. Like Child’s Pose with a sand bag on the back.
And once again today I got back to monitoring my food intake and made better food choices. Though I do have to say that was quite a challenge. (I have already had my healthy, protein-filled dinner and yet I really want to snack on something.)
I feel the need to detox a little from all that meat I ate last week. Man it was good. But I don’t normally eat that much beef and pork in a month (or, frankly, for months) in what I ate in a week.
And I am afraid to admit how much beer I drank along with a little wine, margaritas and moonshine mixed in.
It’s always OK to enjoy life and take time off of the healthy lifestyle. Just as long as there is a plan to get back to it within a reasonable amount of time.
Here’s to good food, good water intake and good exercise.
I spent 5-6 days in Dallas for an international trademark conference.
I allowed myself to enjoy food and drink. And boy, did I. The day I arrived and Day 2 I hit the gym at the end of the day.
And then the gym time went down hill after that. Late nights, early mornings and long days … There were days I had a few hours for a break in between meetings, sessions and dinners and I chose a nap over the gym.
I left Dallas on Thursday and headed to Austin to meet up with my cousin Alex, who used to live here. He and I have been excited about this trip for months.
So far the eating and drinking is going great–as in, I am eating a lot of delicious food and drinking a lot of beer. I even tried moonshine yesterday. Check goes on the bucket list.
I did hit the gym this morning and plan to tomorrow before I take off as well.
And Monday I will get back to my healthy lifestyle routine.
But the reason for this post is that even though Alex and I were only in Austin together for a short period of time it was a great bonding experience. In the past many years Alex and I have gotten close and have each other’s back. I am so happy to have our cousin/friend relationship grow over the years.
There is something cheesy on Facebook I have seen about how your cousins are your first friends. And, wow, that is so true. Here’s the quote: Cousins are your very first friends … They are like childhood friends. Nobody will understand the craziness of your family better than your cousins.
Thanks, cousin, for joining me. Let’s meet here again soon.
When I checked into my hotel in Dallas on Friday evening I was given a choice to decline regular house keeping for environmental reasons.
There is a reward of points to decline. Frankly, I don’t need points to agree to that.
I don’t make my bed every day. And I don’t need anyone else making it.
(A note: I do make my bed when we have company over. I don’t want people thinking I am messy or anything. And I feel when you invite people to your home it should be clean and welcoming. But as a kid I had to make my bed every day so I guess this is my adult rebellion to not regularly make it. And, really, what’s the point?)
And I really don’t need clean sheets on my bed every single day. I don’t do that at home. How many people do?
At home we also don’t use a towel once and then throw in the hamper. So why have that when staying at a hotel?
Wow, what a waste of so many resources with washing sheets and towels and replacing every single day.
And with all of that washing things get worn out and have to be replaced more often.
My usual practice when staying at a hotel is to not have the sheets replaced and only have the towels occasionally replaced.
This is such an easy way to be environmentally friendly.
As I am writing this I am sitting at a restaurant at the Oakland airport waiting for my flight to Dallas.
I am attending the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting. The past two years I have attended the Trademark Administrator’s Conference. But because they are revamping that conference/training there is not one this year. So I decided to attend the annual meeting.
This is a great learning opportunity for me along with networking. Tomorrow and Sunday I am attending all day training on international trademark law, which is something I really want to focus on and understand better.
(Have I ever mentioned my occupation? I am a patent and trademark paralegal at a biotech. Feel free to check out Onyx Pharmaceuticals. And yes, if you are confused, I did get a degree in journalism and worked in newspapers for seven years. )
There are some sessions Monday through Wednesday that interest me along with networking and meeting up with a friend or two along with lots of parties. AND I am in Texas, so you know I am gonna get some barbecue.
For the next week and a half I have given myself permission to eat and drink pretty much what I want. And I have a date when I will get back to that regular healthy lifestyle I am accustomed to.
I did pack workout clothes. And both hotels I am staying at have gyms.
I will be in Dallas for the conference. After that I am heading to Austin for a few days to hang out with my cousin. I have never been to Dallas or Austin. So I am looking forward to it.
Not sure how often I will post. Unless you all really want to see pics of all the amazing and unhealthy food I will be eating … But rest assured, I will be back, my dear readers.