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.

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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

Using the right exercise equipment

Having the right equipment makes all the difference.

When I got to the gym this morning I realized I forgot my clip shoes. Ah, bummer. I probably had time to go home and get them. But I decided to just deal with regular shoes.

I had to use my regular tennies on the spin bike a couple of months ago when I had a broken clip and couldn’t get my shoe into the pedal.

It is such a different feeling in regular tennis shoes than clip shoes. I can feel the pedal under my feet, my control is different, I get foot cramps more often, my feet sometimes fall asleep, I don’t feel as sturdy.

I also feel that way the my newer yoga mat. For years I used a Gaiam yoga mat I got at Target. It got the job done.

But as I started practicing yoga more and going to a studio regularly I knew I needed a better mat. The Gaiam mat is quite slippery. And my hands never stuck very well the to “sticky” mat.

So I invested in a nice Jade yoga mat. Yes, it is expensive. But it is sturdy and high … Continue reading

Foot cramps are cramping my style

I get a lot of foot cramps. I have high arches and I blame the arches on my feet cramping up.

According to eHow.com, People with high arches are more likely to get leg cramps while sleeping. they will also have pain in the calf, knee and hip.

Hmm, does that mean my arches cause foot cramps? I can’t seem to find anything that directly says this is so. Maybe I am just a person who gets a lot of foot cramps. But high arches seem to cause some other issues.

I do get a lot of Charley horses in the middle of the night. Man, those hurt. According to Wikipedia, a Charley horse is painful spasms or cramps in the leg muscles, typically lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours.

If I get one while sleeping I force myself to get out of bed and stand up. It is gone instantly.

My feet were cramping a lot in body conditioning on Thursday night. We were doing a lot of squats and lunges, which was putting pressure on the feet, toes and arches.

According to this Livestrong article, endurance forms of exercise are more likely to … Continue reading

All by myself

The shuttle schedule at work recently changed. The second shuttle switched from leaving South San Francisco at 5:35 to leaving at 6:10. That’s a huge difference and makes for an even longer day than I already have.

In the past I would be done with work about 4 and head down to the gym until the 5:35 shuttle arrived. (Or I take the 4:15 shuttle home and hit a 6 p.m. yoga class.)

But 6:10? That’s just too late. And that means I would get home around 7:30, possibly later. That doesn’t work out too well when I have to go to bed between 9:30 and 10 to get up at 5:30. And when I get home I have to shower, make dinner, eat dinner, get gym bag ready for the next day along with work clothes and blog. Whew! Oh, and if I am lucky relax a little with some TV watching, reading or knitting.

So today for the first time in a long time I headed to the gym and did a workout 100% all by myself. (Cue Bridget Jones. OK, it wasn’t that dramatic. But that movie and scene crack me up.)

I prefer classes as … Continue reading

Working through sore muscles

Last night and most of today I have been doing what I call the “old lady walk.”

On Thursday night I worked out with Jenn and Monica. I am pretty much sore all over. But my thighs and butt are what are really feeling it.

I knew after the hour-long program we did I would be feeling it later on. All day yesterday I could feel it deep in my muscles. I went to yoga last night and it was difficult.

Before I went to bed last night I was doing the “old lady walk.”

I did a little more than 10 minutes of stair climbing today before spin as part of a work wellness challenge. Spin was tougher than normal with the sore butt, thighs and abs. Then my usual 30 minutes of abs. I was gonna skip out on body conditioning as I didn’t think I could handle weights or squats or lunges. I did the class. But wow, that hurt.

I have been switching back and forth between ibuprofen and Aleve. I have also been using my heating pad, which I normally use for my back pain and cramps.

In this WebMD article, it mentions … Continue reading

Committed to eating healthy

I am having a food intervention with myself.

I am coming along great with the exercise. I exercise 6-7 times a week and I vary it with yoga, spin, weights, abs and body conditioning.

When I was working on losing my 30 pounds about five years ago the first 20 pounds I lost without any exercise. I lost 20 pounds by portion control and making better food choices. The last 10 pounds lost was a combination of my “diet” and exercise.

Many things that I have learned over the years I continue to practice. Such as dressing on the side; Splenda instead of sugar; at least eight servings of water a day; fruits and vegetables make healthy and filling snacks …

I feel like I am not fully committed to my healthy lifestyle. I need to be fully committed, not partially committed. I know how to lose weight. I know how to maintain my weight. I know how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is some will power involved. And I just don’t always practice will power.

Planning meals and regular grocery shopping are a big part of maintaining my healthy eating. I don’t enjoy cooking and wouldn’t say I … Continue reading

Ms. Crabby Pants comes out …

Work has been busy, exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, etc. lately.

Sometimes I deal with stress well and other times I don’t.

I have been really trying to and focusing on practicing yoga “off the mat” while at work the past few weeks.

Sometimes I am successful and other times not so much.

I wrote about practicing yoga off the mat a couple of weeks ago as well.

I have been focusing on my breathing and to not instantly react or say something but to take a breath or two or choose my words wisely or choose not to say anything at all. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not.

And when I am not successful Ms. Crabby Pants comes out …

But I am working on it and thinking about it almost constantly.

I wonder if the excess caffeine is a good idea or a bad idea? Hmmm.

I have to say that I know my spinning and yoga practice are helping to keep it somewhat at bay. I am able to work out some of my frustrations as well as work on my breathing and practicing calmness.

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6 days of yoga

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. This week has been an exhausting week. Work was crazy busy with a few nights of coming home and working some more.

My goal was to hit yoga seven days in a row from last Friday through Thursday.

I had to go into the office on Friday, which meant I wouldn’t be home in time for the evening yoga class. And I figured a day off would be just fine.

I worked from home on Thursday and planned to attend a 10 a.m. yoga class to make it Day 7 of yoga. I was so busy that I wasn’t able to make it to class. And we had our Corporate Counsel in town from Switzerland. A group of us took him out for drinks and dinner. So no late night working or workout that day.

So I skipped exercise Thursday and Friday.

I slept in today until a little after 7, which is “late” for me. I still felt tired and knew I could go back to sleep if I really wanted. But I decided to get up and hit the gym. I did my usual 2-hour Saturday routine of spin, abs … Continue reading

Making goal while biking at work

Today was Bike To Work Day. At least it was in the Bay Area. Did everyone have Bike To Work Day today?

I did not bike to work today for many reasons, including I live more than 20 miles from work (I don’t think you can ride your bike over the Bay Bridge); I would feel very unsafe riding on the streets; I really wouldn’t want to do something like that; and the biggest reason … I don’t have a bike.

On the shuttle ride on the way to work I saw many cyclists. It was pretty cool. There were stations set up all over the Bay Area called Energizer Stations.

Even though I didn’t participate in Bike To Work Day I still biked 19 miles on the spin bike today. After I hit 16 miles I reached my century mile 500-mile goal before the end of the challenge, which closes on Monday.

The challenge was to complete 100 miles in a two-month period walking, running, biking, dancing …

Once I hit 100 I decided to challenge myself and try for 500 miles. At one point I wasn’t sure if I would make it. But I did it today!

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