Sunday, January 31, 2010

LEGS Do it Challenge: Week 1

TODAY starts Day ONE of my Legs Do It! Challenge! Today I am going to outline for you what I plan on doing this week to sculpt, stretch and strengthen my legs!

Everyone is different, I LOVE to stress that in my blog--it's SO true! Some of us are athletic, au natural & some are red carpet ready!



We all know by now (or should be reminded) that all shapes and sizes can be heathy and fit. We can't help if we are tall or short if our legs are slinky or stalky, I can't help my knobby knees! But we can help how fit we keep the legs we've got. Let's get to it!

Monday (today)= Stretch:
I have really come to love stretching, yoga and even am a new pilates convert (see post later this week!) and can feel a huge difference in my body and all my other fitness activities when I do practice my flexibility!

Stretching and flexibility is essential to our overall fitness in a way that a lot of people may not realize. The yoga program I am following today is doubly good because it is stretching AND strengthening! I am snagging it off Exercisetv.tv and doing it right here on my computer. The Routine is below! It's 45 min and you can just press play and make it full screen!



Tuesday=Sculpting:
Probably one of my least favorite things to do, but the results of sculpting legs are my favorite! This is what makes those jeans just a bit looser and your calfs look dang good in your new heels on Friday night! A key to sculpting is using light or body weight and doing a high number of reps. I will be upping my reps as I work my way through the month!

I am starting out with a little cardio just to get warmed up:
50 jumping jacks and
15 burpies to get the blood pumping!
20 Calf raises on a stair, box or aerobic step
30 regular lunges on each leg
20 side lunge with ball
30 Pendulum Step over using bench or chair


Thursday= Strength
The key to strength is to use weight and do fewer number of reps, that is also what makes it so different from sculpting! I am noting what the barbell weight is behind each move. Cater this to how much you know you can lift and if you know you can't lift weights, you can do all the moves without!

50 jumping jacks
15 dead lifts (35 lbs)
15 walking lunges TURN 15 walking lunges back to start (35lbs)
15 squats (50 lbs)
Rest and repeat once or twice more (ONLY if you can!)
Walk .5 mile on treadmill at brisk pace
stretch


Saturday=sculpting:
50 jumping jacks and
15 burpies to get the blood pumping!
20 Calf raises on a stair, box or aerobic step
30 walking lunges TURN 30 walking lunges back to start
30 Pendulum Step over using a bench or chair


There we have my outline for the first week of the challenge, I will check in and see how we are doing, I think so far we have at least 15 people who have chimed in that they are going to do this along with me which is great!! These are exercises that I know I can do and have engaged in before, if you have any questions or concerns:

Disclaimersville: Always remember to LISTEN to your BODY and if you have questions or concerns about doing an exercise, consult your trainer, doctor or fitness professional before hand. Information listed here is NOT a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician. Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader!

Happy Monday, let's make for a great week of this new challenge!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Newest Vision board

The newest edition to my group of vision boards! I found all these already clipped or ripped out of magazines and in a blank folder right before Christmas. I am not surprised that the things I had been thinking about and focusing on in the prior 6 months were still ringing true!

JOY
Travel
Living Fearless
God as my source
Creating a home
Having direction
Overcoming obstacles
Family
Living Large and
Creating space in my life for what is supposed to be!

Space, time and money to have a fuller life and bless others!

Family, future, joy and a job description for life!

Doing what I am supposed to, helping others, creating a home,
reaching goals and checking more off!

Do your dreams and visions have reoccurring themes
or do they change a lot?



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legs Do it Challenge


Many of us are a month into trying to create some new habits...how's it going?

January can be a hard month, hopefully yours was a success!

February can be hard too (here in MN!):
  • it's still cold and snowy
  • still DARK
  • there's that chocolate and candy-coated holiday
  • & it will be another month and a half before anything really starts to thaw.

With all our resolutions still out there, why do another month long challenge? Well, because even with all my resolve, there are still times where I lose it, like loose change down the cracks of the couch.

So, whether it's cold, dark, I can't catch a bus or don't want to run outside,
there is always something I can do!




Squat, lunge, jump, press, lift, stretch, bend, extend--Just Do it!
And Legs all do it together for the next month!

The Deets:

Aside from my cardio (spin when I can and running during the week) I am going to challenge myself to do these three things at least 4 days of the week( I will obviously double up):

  • Strengthen: using weights with my legs: lunges, squats, dead lifts etc!
  • Sculpt: Step, lunge, & lift my way to sculpted legs
  • Stretch: Yoga, or stretching at home to help build lean muscles and reduce injury!

I will post what I am going to do on what day, the beginning of the week starting February 1st, so if you want to join me, you can!!

If you want:

1) Drop me an email and let me know you are in it for the Legs Do It February Challenge! And I will keep track of who is taking part!

2) Grab the Legs Do It challenge button for your blog & let others in on the challenge too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Activity Pyramid and You!

Everyone is different!! Thank GOODNESS we have different:

bodies
shapes
metabolism
& fitness goals

Not everyone should work out in the same way, which is why you should always consult your Dr. and get help starting an exercise routine. Did you know that 50% of Adults in the US don't meet the 30 minutes of moderate activity that is recommended? Fifty percent is huge! But you can always consult the Activity Pyramid for a jump start on your activity.


One of the main reasons that people don't get the right amount of physical activity is that they are confused on how much they need!

If you are starting at square one of a sedentary lifestyle your needs will be different from someone who is already active. If you need to lose weight, maintain weight or train for an event, these are all factors in how much activity you need.

The Activity Pyramid is a great place for everyone to start to have an active lifestyle regardless of your needs and goals for the future! It's also an excellent reminder for people who are already active to add:

  • cross training
  • stretching
  • & resistance training into our week!

Plus it is a great reminder to use our daily activities as a way to fit in a little more vigorous activity like taking the stairs, walk the dog more briskly and park farther away from the store.

Daily activity is vital for us to live a balanced healthy lifestyle!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shopping from home!


Ok, so this may not be what you're thinking, but I am hoping you guys enjoy it! It goes along with my Great Purge of 2009! I am now learning to shop from home--from my own closet that is!!

I have started choose a fun outfits before I go to bed for the next day! This makes for 1) more creative clothing at work! and 2) consciously using more of what I have! SO, since I have always loved to play dress up, I decided to post the unique ones or ones I really like at Clothed in Kindness, a picture only blog! There is a link on the side of Fit this, girl too!


Since then I have purged a number of other area's of my house:

Junk for craigslist and donation!! This is one time I WANT the junk in the trunk and then out the door!


More misc. junk--notice the shoes! :)


Picture shelf, before and after



Entryway shelf before and after


Goodbye books!

Almost everything (shelf etc) will get one more run through and I have been successful in not bringing anymore in or buying any more clothes, save for a black tank and one pair of brown tights. I cleared those purchases with Mom. :)

Onward into a simpler 2010!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Night Fun: In the Cinema


Hey! Thank Goodness it's Friday, am I right?

I have a busy weekend ahead of me, but for tonight I am hanging with my bestest buddy, Ryan!! He is in a band called In the Cinema and has been making music since I met him over 10 years ago when we were in college together. We never really hung out, he was a Drama kid and I was a Lit chic, but now we are fast friends! Check out his website to hear the music and get his brand new CD on Itunes!!

At our friend Jennifer's wedding a few years back!

We started with a casual dinner at Rainbow a great Chinese restaurant on Eat Street in Minneapolis!


Dinner was excellent and the atmosphere was so nice! There was an older couple having dinner and drinks right next to us, it was SO cute. I had Chicken Curry which had pea pods, onions and a curry with coconut milk. I also had a coffee with condensed milk. It is a great treat!


Ryan had homemade ginger ale! This is him being patient with me taking TONS of pictures!

Super cute suspenders Ry!

My Curry....drool...

Then we headed over to an art opening! The gallery is a small warehouse space in south Minneapolis that was converted into a gallery & attached to a "micro-cinema" a theater that only seats 50 and showcases classics and cult favorites. Ryan's band is having his CD release party there in March. How cool that In the Cinema is having their CD release AT a refurbished mini movie house? I know... awesomeness.


Ryan is SUCH a trend setter.

He wanted to get my pic outside the gallery, he said "Just like Carrie Bradshaw, right?"
Minneapolis is a hoping metropolis.

The attached gallery is The X, Y and Z and the artist was Tonja Torgerson. The show was called Sick and showcased pieces that dealt with a girl going through a prolonged illness. It was moving and very good, I felt like she had a lot to say and conveyed some really important issues through her work.

I love buying real art and from local artists. Cut Short is a piece that I would have taken home if I could have afforded to!

Cut Short

Ryan and I love to talk about all the things we are doing in life, we are both very goal oriented and something he has started doing is writing down a few things he accomplished at the end of the day. He encouraged me to do it before bed, so I can go to sleep with my accomplishments, no matter how few, on my mind. What an awesome friend and supporter. So, here goes:

I had a good outlook all day
I played with the kitties
I did some important reading
I sent an important email

Yay, what a great Friday indeed, happy weekend! What are your plans?

The Joy of Running


When I was a kid, I loved to run. I mean like when I was like 4 or 5, my Mom tells me that I would just go outside and run circles around our house, that I loved it like that. Over the years that I have been a runner, I have experienced the ebb and flow of the good and bad of it.

Sometimes I burn out and need a break, some days I don't want to go for a run, I feel sluggish and tired, I feel slow, I need walking breaks. Other times I run like the wind is carrying me, tireless, effortless, I taste that runners high like sugar on the tip of my tongue and I can go for hours.

Through all of these ups and downs, ebbs and flows, do I love it still?

Yes, and even more than ever.

It's a place for me to reconnect with myself. I can get inside my head for an hour and work something out. Or I can unplug for an hour and think about my breath, the way my foot strikes the ground and the breeze on my face, leaving the day or week behind me.


Through all the years I have been a runner, through the good and bad, I realize that it was not the running that got harder or more elusive. It was not the run that changed, it was me. The run is still there same as it has always been: full of possibility, ready to be molded, waiting. It was me who got distracted, lazy or complacent. It was me who was focused on time, got too wrapped up in the bells and whistles of it. Checking the clock instead of listening to my internal clock and concentrating on my legs, the movement and the connection.

Sure, I like PR's and I like a good pace, I have celebrated and blogged about these things. Still somedays I need to get back to the basics of why I am running. The joy I find in it, the love I have for it. The shoes, gadgets, and gear are great. But if I get right down to it, I just need my legs and half a path to really run.

Today, find a sidewalk, a trail or a path and just run for a bit. Whether it's 10 minutes or 10 miles, you will find yourself there. Times and garmins and goals laid aside while you hear your breath, feel your heart pound and feel the weight of who you are with every step.

You are a runner, you are on a journey, you are unique.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Overnight Oats!

Is this all the rage or what? In all seriousness, I just ran across this in a few blogs and thought I would give it a try! I am working hard on being a morning person, and Overnight Oats seem like a great way to eliminate some of the hustle bustle to my mornings!

The idea is you put the oats together and leave them...overnight in the fridge! I tried mine cold the first two days and think I will heat them up tomorrow! Just to get WILD with it...


I added:
1/2 Cup of oats
1/2 Cup of Soy milk
3/4 a packet of Chocolate Amazing Grass Super Food (!)
A dash of Chia seeds and a
squeeeeze of Raw, Blue agave sweetener!

Mix it up, slice a little of my nearly over-ripe pear into it and stick it in the fridge!

Viola! Over night oats! They were a great consistency and very tasty! I have been experimenting with adding protein powder like Amazing Grass into my regular oats too and I love it!!

Day two was:

1/2 Cup of oats
1/2 Cup of Soy milk
a spoonful of Almond butter
a dash of Chia seeds!

A little more plain but just as good! I think I will opt for adding the fruit morning of next time and cut back on the potential sogginess! The pear was a bit lost!

How do YOU take your Oats /cereal?




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Healthy Cleanse part 2

Day two of talking about cleansing. I just want to preface this by saying two things! Hopefully we are all eating healthy as it is and these can just be some good idea's to add in your already healthy routine! Second is that I do not consider this a diet or crash diet of any kind. When I have done this in the past I ease into it, cutting out things I want and ease back into a more moderate version of my healthy eating style. It's not for losing weight!! I just want to let you know I do not condone crash diets or diets really of any kind. The cleanse is a reset and refocus! Let's go!

Yesterday, I left us off with talking about what to eat to aid your body in a cleanse. Here are a few examples of what I have done for a daily menu*:

After waking: 1 cup hot water with 1/2 squeezed lemon and 1 T. ground flaxseed

Breakfast: Puffed rice with raisins, flaxseed and almonds OR Smoothie with pear, rice milk and rice protein powder

Snacks: red peppers and hummus, Apple juice diluted with water, grapes, rice crackers & goat cheese, rosted sweet potatoes, melon & brown rice.

Lunch: Brown rice, quinoa or barley with broccoli, onions, roasted peppers and brags liquid amino acids. OR Vegetable soup with no additives and no sodium.

Dinner: Steamed Broccoli, beets, sesame seeds, kidney beans and avacado over mixed greens/dandilion salad OR organic tuna steak with baked sweet potato & baked zucchini over brown rice.

Drinks: warm Braggs Apple Cider vinegar cut with water nightly, water with ginger pieces, rice milk, veggie broth, Dandilion tea, and water, water, water!


A few very important things to keep in mind when you are doing a cleanse and that is that you must drink enough water. A detox diet is not just intaking new good foods, but at the same time flushing out all the excess, all the toxins that are currently in your body. A good key to drinking water is to intake half your body weight in ounes of water. For example if you weigh 160 pounds, you should strive to drink 80 ounces of water a day for optimal health and cleansing. If you can’t make that just make sure you are drinking 64 ounces.

Another real key is rest. Second getting proper rest when you are detoxing is vital. Your body is probably going to go through withdrawl of some of the chemicals it is used to having and will be working hard to eliminate those (caffinee, sugar, etc.) Give it the upper hand by getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Do some meditation, some yoga and some reading you enjoy! Relax your brain too and use this time to think about new goals and directions in life that you would like to take!

Fitness should be easy and controlled as your cleanse, you don't want to wear yourself out. So walk and bike and do some easy stretching and yoga, but doing long runs or intense workouts during a cleanse may leave you feeling more fatigued than before!

Other helpful things to do while cleansing are:

  • Skin brushing with a gentle pair of exfoliating gloves. They are handy because instead of using a cumbersome brush you slip the gloves on and just used your hands naturally to brush your body down removing dead skin cells and toxins.
  • Using a Sauna to draw toxins out is also an excellent way to help your body along. Not only are you sweating out the toxins, but it increases circulation at the same time.
  • Alternating shower temps--3 min in hot and then cold water three to four times a week will have the same effect on your circulation.

All of these things will help you feel as well as you can while you are cleansing, your body will thank you later!


* keep in mind I am not a registered dietitian or nurse, so please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes
*images courtesy of sfwater.org and callinglakes.ca.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Healthy Cleanse


A few times a year I always reset my body's eating habits, whether it’s a 30 day cleanse or just a few days to reset my body and mind and start fresh. There are those days when I know I have had too much coffee that I haven’t had enough water, or a few too many pieces of pizza made me feel a bit over the top.

Beyond the occasaional junk food purge, there are a lot of reasons to do even a mini cleanse or detox: to feel better, to help jump start a new food plan, to try and rid your body of environmental and diatary toxins. What ever your reason, a cleanse can make you feel better all around.

There are so many kinds of cleanses and you can cutsomize them to your own needs. You can eat only raw food, you can do a acid detox where you only intake alkaline food, and you can cleanse specific organs. I have never personally used any of the internal cleansing kits you can purchase, but instead take a more simple and manageable approach--eating healthy and eating naturally.

Shouldn't I already be doing that?? Yes! And I do for the most part, but any average person may get off track and that can leave us looking to have more energy and overall feeling of wellness. Balancing out our diet can help & doing a mini cleanse won’t really cost you more than your regular groceries do and infact may even cost you less because you will not be using prepackaged or processed foods. Sticking to a cleansing plan like the one below is simple and effective without being cumbersome in your busy day to day.

When first staring a cleanse you may want to ease yourself into it. We are exposed to and take in so many chemicals we may not realize. You may experience headaches or feel sluggish or irritable the first few days. You may even feel a bit ill, but that is because your body is riding it’s self of the dependance on things like sugar, caffinee and working hard to eliminate chemicals and preservatives from your body.

I usually still leave some caffeine and other items (chicken, a bit of dairy etc) in my diet the first two days and then ween away from even those. Then for 5-7 days, follow my self made cleanse and then slowly add back in anything that I want to reintroduce in more moderation. For me, this is usually coffee. :)

The best advice I have for you is stay away from processed foods!! If it comes in a box, a mix, jar, or can-- CAN it! The closer the food item is to it’s original state the better! Think about God or garden, the closer it is to each the better.

Next, eat colorfully! A rainbow is the way to go when it comes to food. The richer the color the richer the food is in nutrients and vitamins. I recommend picking a few things to cut out the first time you detox. My favorites are: processed sugar, caffinee, dairy and meat. What? Then what do I eat you may ask! Hold fast, don’t think about what you can’t eat, think about what you CAN eat and use this as an exercise in trying new foods.

This is getting a little long, so tomorrow I will post a sample menu and some other helpful things that I have done in the past to reset and cleanse! Stop back!!

* keep in mind I am not a registered dietitian or nurse, so please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes
*images courtesy of hunkerdownusa.wordpress and womensday.com

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gym time


My Gym membership is back in full swing and wouldn't ya know it, today, the first day I go back, it's 34 degrees out! How I love Minnesota weather! Below zero one day and people running around in shorts and 34 degrees the next!

Believe it or not (believe it--I do!) I never actually made it to the gym at my college to use the equipment that I planned on doing over the last 2 months of being Gymless. I should have known better 1) it is a 20 min drive and I was depending on a friend's schedule and 2) it was over the holidays when I was SO busy. Luckily that just forced me outside more for some winter running, check out the post for 3 guidelines for successful running in cold weather.

I am really grateful for having weights at my house, including a 34 pound old school barbell for weighted squats, lunges and good ole curls! I also have a little weighted medicine ball that is great for anything ab related!



Tonight was Body Pump and a run outside! I actually killed 2 birds with one stone and ran to the gym, Body Pumped it up and then ran back. It was 3.5 miles total with an hour of weights in the middle. Amazing! My legs were pretty tired running home, but it was a great workout! Now for dinner and a relaxing night! I am just super PUMPED to be able to get back to the gym!


What were you Pumped to do today? Did you start out your week feelin' good?



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Disclaimer

Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.