Healthy living at 40

Right now in my life I am the healthiest I have ever been in my whole entire life.

And I’m 40.

I’m at a healthy weight. I eat pretty healthy. I drink alcohol in moderation. I rarely have soda. I exercise regularly. My stress levels are fairly low. I drink a lot of water. I practice yoga almost every day.

I teach five cycle classes a week. That means I do about an hour of cardio five times a week. I have a home yoga practice where I practice the sequence I teach four to six times a week. (I squeeze in a yoga class as a student myself occasionally. Wish it was more often.)

I am not the lightest weight ever in my adult life. (I am about 35 pounds lighter than when I first started my quest to lose weight in October 2006.)

But just because you are skinny or thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Ever heard of skinny fat? I believe I could have been skinny fat, when I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and not gain weight.

I wrote about skinny fat in the past titled, Skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny … Continue reading

Momentum is not a muscle

This is gonna be a smorgasbord of a post …

First, I am now an LA Fitness employee, a yoga and cycle group fitness instructor. Starting soon I will be teaching three cycle classes and one yoga class with the hopes of adding some more yoga classes.

I’ve been taking yoga classes at the town house community fitness center. And I have had the opportunity to sub three of those classes already. I subbed a yoga class at another gym near me.

I took a body conditioning/body sculpting class on Wednesday. I have the possibility to teach this class as well after some training.

I haven’t taken a class like that in more than a year. Wow, two days later and I am still sore.

As we were working our weights the teacher reminded us that momentum is not a muscle. That really stuck with me.

Sometime back I wrote a post about how it is important to use form and not momentum when weight training.

I just might have to steal that phrase and remind my students one day that momentum is not a muscle.

Use form, not momentum when weight training

If you asked me 10 years ago if I would ever regularly exercise I would probably have laughed and said no. So the thought of working the weights never occurred to me.

And even when I first started working out I wasn’t into weights. Cardio machines, especially the elliptical, were my exercise of choice. I added yoga and abs and eventually spin.

Once I worked in some weights work I was only comfortable with the machines.

Now I am comfortable working free weights in classes or on my own.

For the past couple of years I have added body conditioning into my exercise regimen, which is a mixture of cardio, weights, squats, lunges, etc.

Some of the classes I take regularly are pretty hardcore and push me to work hard.

What I know about working free weights (any weights or really any exercise) is that you should feel challenged. It shouldn’t be too easy or too hard, but just right. Momentum shouldn’t be used when lifting weights.

At the gym I notice huge dudes lifting weights while grunting and looking like they are about to kill themselves. In some of my classes I notice women lifting weights heavier than they … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Shake Weight

I got my hands on a Shake Weight®. It was a gift at my work White Elephant lunch. The recipient didn’t really want it and let Go Fit Girl! take it and try it out for a review.

I have tried it out and done some research for my readers.

The box claims you just need to use the Shake Weight six minutes a day for great arms. But I can’t find anywhere on the box or website that tells you how often or for how long you need to use the Shake Weight to achieve those great arms.

The weight came with a DVD, which gives the basics on how to use the weight. It also includes the 6-minute routine, which I tried three times in one week.

Beginning of the video claims the shake weight will work your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders. When using the weight I felt it most in my shoulders when doing the 6-minute routine.

At the end of the workout, Lindsey (from the DVD) probably has us do the basic Shake Weight routine for about 30 seconds and tells us this move will make us feel like our arms are getting tighter, stronger … Continue reading

Getting back to healthy lifestyle feels good

Last Monday I put myself back on plan.

Back to my healthy lifestyle of regular exercise, eating better and tracking food/exercise.

And I have to say I feel so much better maintaining a healthy lifestyle than that month that I just went nuts. I felt tired and just crappy.

I still feel tired and crappy, but in a different way. Does that make any sense?

Last week was probably one of the toughest weeks to start back on the healthy plan AND try to lose weight.

Even though I have had many challenges this past week: two lunches out; dinner out; drinks one night, which turned into a light dinner; home cooked meal by an amazing friend; cruddy and busy week at work I still managed to get my regular exercise in and keep my calories in check.

AND the best part was I lost weight. I am back on track to get to my goal weight again.

As I have said before: If you have the tools and knowledge and you want to lose weight you will. If you don’t want to lose weight you won’t. I know it doesn’t seem that simple at times but really it is.

Continue reading

I love my carbs, booze

Recently at the gym I ran into one of my spin teachers one early morning. As he and I were chatting I told him I had gone to a body conditioning the night before and then was back at the gym first thing in the morning.

His response, you must really like to exercise.

Uh, no. But I love my carbs and booze.

Believe me, if I was “skinny” I would eat and drink whatever I wanted and be a lazy ass on the couch.

But lucky for me, that is not the case. As I have tons of knowledge on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which makes me so much healthier than my skinny self would be.

Because of my regular exercise, which includes weights and yoga, I have some definition in my arms. And I kinda like having definition in my arms. I’m no Madonna, which frankly, I am OK with. But I am still pretty awesome.

I can still enjoy my carbs and booze in moderation while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I love to eat and drink.

There are things I won’t give up no matter what. I try to only drink alcohol on the weekends. … Continue reading

What kind of muscular development do you want?

It’s a good thing I pre-wrote some posts over the weekend in anticipation of a busy week.

Between work, working on the shuttle bus on the way home, coming home and working, getting exercise in, visiting friend’s cat while she is away, being dressed suitably for work each day and still eating healthy I really had to do some planning over the weekend.

And it helps that I stole this directly from a Facebook post from In-Shape City (my gym):

 The amount of weight you lift should be dependent on your desired muscular development goal. What does this mean?

If you want to build muscle size and strength–heavy weights, which you can properly lift approximately 6-10 times is the most effective, resting at least one minute between each exercise set.

If you want to tone your muscles–lighter weights, which you can properly lift approximately 12-20 times is the most effective, resting less than 1 minute between each exercise set.

Remember! Mix things up to prevent plateaus: light weights, heavy weights, super-sets, stability balls, boss ball, kettle-bells, etc.

I feel like attending classes really helps me mix things up. Sometimes I work … Continue reading

I earned my beer at the gym

Tonight my friend Monica and I decided to try a class fellow gym friends have been raving about. One of our friends has lost 6 pounds by taking the class, is so much more tone and her booty looks amazing!

This is how the In-Shape City site describes Total Athletic Conditioning: A full body workout with an emphasis on increasing Cardio, Endurance, Strength, Agility and Balance. (50) Minutes of continuous movement with a Sports Conditioning Approach. It’s really 60 minutes and then we stretch.

Wow, talk about an amazing cardio and strength workout. We were drenched in sweat, tired and felt good.

There was a lot of jumping, lunges, weights, squats, kicks …

Tomorrow late morning I have a doctor’s appointment to get some vaccines before we go to Mexico City next month. One of the shots is a tetanus and pertussis shot. So my arm will be sore afterward and I won’t be able to go to my regular Friday night yoga class. I thought about taking the 6:30 a.m. class. Then I looked at the schedule and see that it is the same instructor as tonight and Total Athletic Conditioning. I asked Will about it. He said the … 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