Our bodies need energy, fuel

Like a car we need to fuel our bodies.

I was talking to a friend recently telling her how I am teaching five cycle classes a week (among numerous yoga classes). Her next question was, are you in crazy great shape? (That’s not a quote. But she said something like that.)

I told her I am maintaining my weight and am content. (I like to eat and drink … in moderation, of course.)

But because I am not currently tracking my food I need to be careful and make sure that I am still eating the right things and enough even with my regular cardio workout.

When the cardio increases and/or the exercise gets intense we need to make sure our bodies have enough “fuel,” such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, fat and even saturated fat, among many other nutrients.

I am a big believer in protein. I can tell when I haven’t had enough of it. And I know that I need a well-balanced diet.

Protein has a lot more functions than repairing and growing muscle tissue. … Protein increases satiety at meals, which can lead to overall decreased calorie consumption, according to an article in Muscle & Fitness.

According to … Continue reading

Supporting, encouraging & challenging students is what teaching is about

I am currently working at LA Fitness (and soon another gym) as a cycle and yoga teacher. Click for my schedule here.

I have taken indoor cycling classes as a student for seven to eight years.

Indoor cycling is a cardio workout on a stationary bike where the students are guided by an instructor to ride hills, sprints, jumps, etc.

Even though I have started to teach regularly I still try to take a class occasionally from another instructor. I like to just be a student sometimes. And I can also get ideas from other teachers and maybe even hear a new song.

My philosophy as a cycle teacher is very similar to my philosophy as a yoga teacher. I believe you take care of your students in a loving manner. You remind your students to honor their bodies. You encourage, support and challenge but never humiliate or make them feel bad. Things, of course, can be misinterpreted at times. We are human beings. I try to be careful as a teacher to never make my students feel bad when I ask them to make adjustments (whether in yoga or cycle).

Before I moved to Portland I was a fairly … Continue reading

Back to healthy, clean living

Oh man. I feel like I have been writing these posts too often lately.

I have been allowing myself to get out of my routine way too much recently.

Yup, I usually have a good reason or “excuse.”

And we all fall off the wagon and experience life.

And sometimes I give myself permission to get “off plan.”

Today I told myself that I had to get back to my routine, which includes healthy eating and exercise.

Last week I had plenty of excuses to do neither. Such as the BART strike, hectic and busy time at work, which also included staying later than normal.

In a little less than four weeks I am going on a beach vacation, where I plan to pig out and drink a lot.

But I would like to start out the vacation back to my healthy self, enjoy my week and get right back into a healthy living routine.

The BART strike is over (at least for 30 days), work is still busy and hectic. But today I got back to healthy eating.

I stayed at work later than normal tonight, which meant I missed my regular 5:30 p.m. body conditioning class.

But I … Continue reading

7 minutes turns into 45

The exercise challenge in this month’s Monthly Challenge is to try out The Scientific 7-Minute Workout.

The timing of the routine itself I don’t agree with. But with some modifications I think it is a good and legit exercise routine.

My recommendation is to do each exercise for a minute instead of the 30 seconds the article states. And I also think to make it a good exercise routine is to do the routine three times instead of just once.

I finally had a chance to try out the routine on Thursday night.

I performed each exercise for a minute and I did the routine three times. It came out to about a 45-minute exercise routine. It was tough and sweaty and definitely a full workout. I was sore the next day.

Because I was using my phone for music and it was attached to my arm I didn’t have exact time on each exercise. So I just counted.

The original article states that between each exercise a rest should be done. I don’t think you need to rest between each one. But when you need to take a little break you should. I know I did, which is … Continue reading

Working those butts, hips & thighs

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 Continue reading

Full workout at home

My routine was completely out of whack this week.

I got sick on Sunday and even though I felt better on Monday I decided to skip the gym and make sure I was back to healthy. (Plus I had a fever on Sunday, which broke Sunday night or Monday morning, and didn’t want to infect anyone else.)

Tuesday I hit my regular yoga class. Wednesday I had to stay at work later and planned to hit a later yoga class. But once I got home I was beat and had some work to do.

Thursday and Friday I had a training in the city (San Francisco). It went until 5 on Thursday and I knew I would never make my 6 p.m. spin class. I decided to wear a camisole tank top under my blouse. I shoved my flip flops and yoga pants into my purse (yup, it pays to have a big purse). I went straight from the BART station to the yoga studio with about 5 minutes to spare and quickly changed into my yoga clothes for class.

Last night Curt and I had a dinner to attend and I likely would not have made the evening … Continue reading

Start jumping!

One of our exercise challenges this month in Go Fit Girl’s April Monthly Challenge is working the jump rope.

If you want a major cardio workout, jump rope for 3 minutes (or longer).

Jumping rope requires and builds coordination, is an easy and quick cardio workout and can be done almost anywhere.

According to WebMD, jumping rope can be lower-impact exercise on knees than jogging.

For years I have wished I was a runner. It’s easy cardio and you can do it anywhere. But I am now realizing that is the same with the jump rope. I can throw one in my suitcase. It travels easily and doesn’t take up any room.

According to some calculations on Livestrong, which attributes to Mayo Clinic, I will burn about 150 calories for jumping rope 15 minutes. (The average calorie burning in a 60-minute spin class is 500 calories.)

This site gives all kinds of fancy moves with the rope.

The American Heart Association sponsors a program called Jump Rope For Heart event, which provides heart research program and education.  The fundraising event helps kids learn skills to jump rope while raising money for the American Heart Association.

Continue reading

Dealing with expected/unexpected challenges

On Saturday I wrote about how I had an upcoming challenging week: dinners, lunches, possible lack of exercise.

Sometimes we can plan for our challenges other times they are a surprise. I try to take them all in stride and accept that sometimes you fall off the wagon. At some point you get back on and as long as you do all is good.

Well, I had an unexpected additional challenge hit me this week.

I was hit by what I am calling a mini-cold. Luckily I didn’t get bogged down by a major cold. But I have had the congestion, I feel tired and my eyes hurt a little. I had a headache one day.

I feel lucky because many  I know have gotten hit pretty bad. But my mini-cold was annoying enough to interfere in my life somewhat.

I did attend the Monday night work holiday dinner and Tuesday’s White Elephant/Ugly Sweater Contest lunch. (My ugly sweater tied with the trees and I was awarded with a fruit cake, which I gave away immediately.)

I had planned to go out on Thursday to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday. But by the time Thursday hit I was pretty tired … Continue reading

It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

Continue reading

Yoga subs can be a real treat

Have I told you lately how much I love and enjoy practicing yoga?

Last night Vickie’s class had a sub, Sadie. Sadie is a regular Saturday teacher at the studio–but I hadn’t had the privilege of taking her class … until last night.

One of the best things about a sub is that you get to practice with a different teacher and a different style. And I usually learn something new.

Sadie is spunky, fun, funny, has a great energy and just made class really enjoyable.

Here’s something I find interesting … she doesn’t know sanskrit … and she has a normal body. Now I strive to have a “yoga body,” which will likely never happen. But it is always refreshing seeing a yoga teacher or gym instructor more like the rest of us.

Sadie loves to make adjustments and gets her yoginis deeper into a pose. Oh man, I absolutely love that.

If I didn’t regularly take spin on Saturday mornings I would try to adjust my exercise schedule to take Sadie’s class. And I love my spin class and my spin friends … so ditching won’t be happening.

On Sunday I took my friend Jen–who was in … Continue reading