Category Archives: Fitness

Yeah I Bit

Being 599 years old now (50) I have turned into one of those “I used to walk 5 miles one way barefoot in the snow to school” people when relating how “hard” we had it back in the day and how soft the yutes of today are. I love saying stuff like, “back in the day we had to look in a phone book for a number or call and get direction or use an actual paper map to get somewhere. These churn know nothing of the hardships we dusties born in the 1960s had to endure. But, let’s be clear, I love my tech. I love saying “ok Google, give me the best chocolate chip cookie recipe while listening to Spotify on my fancy wireless speakers. When it comes to tech and fitness though, I’m decidedly old school. I think the most important tech you need is a good pair of shoes for whatever your activity is. Tech fabric is good too for old hot flashing broads like myself but the wearables? Nah B I’m good. My Timex Ironman tells me how long and how fast I’m going and any course I’m on has mile markers on it. Yet a funny thing happened in March 2015. I had the bright idea to take my old self to the store and get a wearable. I didn’t do any research either. I know my Soror swore by her wearable and if it was good enough for my diva sister it would be good enough for me. So I copped me a Fitbit.

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Being a semi-doubter I wasn’t about to drop any serious coin, so I got the next to the cheapest model, the One. It was cool, easy to set up and use and the app was clean. I stuck it on my strap and headed out the door, every day, that I remembered and logged 35 to 45k steps a week. Clearly short of the standard 10,000 a day “they ” say we’re supposed to get. It didn’t help me do any more than I was already doing. Then one day I forgot I had it clipped to mon brassiere and threw it in the washing machine. It no longer worked but I was not pressed. I was busy anyway, working all those jobs trying to get my life together. 10,000 steps, let alone a Fitbit, was the last thing on my mind. Then it happened.

I blew up!

Being a petite fleur, 5 lbs shows up quickly and I was up about 25. Then my doctor was on my case about it so, I got another ONE. I wore it every day got the steps in when I could and reached that fanatic tipping point where I would turn my car around and go back home and get the blasted Fitbit if I forgot it. Who does that? Me and a bunch of other weirdos who want to track every doggone thing. I was full-fledge addicted and it was nothing nice.

I started adding friends on Fitbit, participating in Challenges, and watched my dad and that same Soror whoop me every week in step totals. Didn’t care though, I was actually moving more, was actually getting those pounds off and winning a challenge every now and then. All that “success” justified a reward, that reward was an upgrade. Amazon had the Charge2 on sale and I had to have it.

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I was in love. So sleek, so fancy, telling me when to get up off my fanny and move, it was the bomb! Until it wasn’t. I missed my watch. My regular big old Ironman. I TOOK it off and put my One back on and watch my steps turn well, weird. I could walk through Wal-Mart and get a thousand steps with the One and get MAYBE a quarter of that with the Charge2. I could do my hair for an hour with the Charge2 and get a thousand steps sitting down. I called bulls***.

The Charge2 is arm sensitive/driven. Do a lot of arm moving and waving and those steps go up. Walk with little arm movement or if it isn’t loose enough on the arm the steps are woefully under counted. There’s some user forums and documents and such that tell you to measure your steps and calibrate to address those issues. Then I remembered why I didn’t get a wearable for such a long time. I ain’t trying to do ALL THAT.

Now it’s May 2017. I still wear them both but use the Charge2 mostly for cardio and strength training and the One for walking. As of the day of this writing I haven’t worn either for a few days and it’s been GREAT! You see sometimes too much of a good thing is exactly that, too much. Fitbit had me stressing over how much sleep I wasn’t getting (which was also dead wrong), how I can smoke my friends step count and going into full scale panic when I didn’t have it on. Do I think wearables are useful? Absolutely, they can be a motivator and provide instant feedback on what you’re doing. However they can’t be wholly relied upon to starting or maintaining a healthy body/healthy life. In my experience, how my body and mind feel continues to be the best gauge of stamina, strength, flexibility and how rested and mentally well I am. Might be the same for you too.

Tell me about your experience. Do you use a wearable to measure your exercise, steps, heart rate and such? How’s it working out for you? Let me know in the comments or in the usual spots and until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be rocking my trusty Ironman and maybe a Fitbit hidden somewhere.

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P.S. add me on Fitbit ūüėÉ

Photos: MsThorns

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Back In Love Again

You may recall the¬†love I have for the sporting goods store and the fretting done over the loss of Sports Authority. Well, while missing¬†a turn I landed in the parking lot of a gigantic white box. I tuned up my nose and sucked my teeth. I knew that it was TOO BIG and could never replace my beloved SA or my back home fave Dunham’s Sports but I made note.

After a dryer situation over the weekend, I said I needed more essentials since my machine faileth me. You know what I mean, draws and socks, namely athletic socks. So I moseyed over to Big White Box, muttering I bet they don’t have¬†what I need, I bet they’re high, I bet they suck.

I roll up and they have some sort of industrial size feeders and grills outside and I prayed, please Lord Jesus don’t let this be a giant “Huntin/Fishin/Campin” store. Well folks the Lord heard my cry because Academy Sports and Outdoors has errrrrrrrrthang.

Full disclosure: they did not have the super thick Thorlo walking socks, but they did have the regular ones and every other type of Thorlo so I was stoked. I got some socks that I’ll¬†be doing¬†stuff besides walking in so they got a pass.¬†My next test was yoga mats.

The big box sports and¬†other retailers are notorious for having one brand and one type of mat, the 3mm which is¬†too thin for ye olde broad. Guess what? The heavens opened up and sent me a 6 mm antimicrobial yoga mat. I was ready to shout, but held on to it. There was one more test…

Tights.

Since I wrote about it a while ago I stepped my gear game up. I now actually match somewhat and have a lot more color. I still buy the majority of it at Walmart. ¬†Other stores and the online retailers have nice stuff, but those jawns are HIGH.¬†I didn’t expect Academy to be at Walmart pricing but, they need to be way under¬†$75 for me to be fully sold. I found some from 17.99!

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As much as I like a package in the mail sometimes I want/need those socks, bag etc TODAY. Fortunately now my hard earned fitness¬†dollars have found a new home at Academy Sports and Outdoors. The wait is a 10 minute drive and checkout counter away. If you have one in your town, check em out and if you don’t give some love to your local sporting goods store, they might just have exactly what you’re looking for.

Photos: MsThorns

Lamenting Authority

I’d heard a few months ago what was about to go down. I thought to myself haven’t they been there before? I didn’t Google it, didn’t want to know, didn’t want to confirm, didn’t want to believe but alas, ’tis true. I went by the spot and saw for my own eyes, Sports Authority is going out of business. I’m undone.

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My love for the sporting goods store goes back over 30 years. My dad took me to our local spot, Dunham’s to buy my first pair of running shoes. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I’ve shopped specialty stores and even worked in one back in the late 80s but the all purpose sporting good store has always been best for me especially as my needs changed. I got hooked on Sports Authority ¬†specifically because they:

  • Always had specials
  • Always had what I need
  • Weren’t so gigantic that you couldn’t get help
  • Staff was always cool
  • Locations were always convenient

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I tried that huge chain that starts with D and found success all of three times. When I was looking for the super thick Thorlos, Sports¬†Authority had them. Different thicknesses of yoga mats? Sports Authority. Reasonably priced gym bags, yeah they have those in spades. Stuff I didn’t even need but thought was cool, SA sold it to me.

Many of been shut down already, those that are not closed as yet? I won’t be going by for the “Going Out of Business Sale“, it’s just too much to bear. I have no plans of trying a big box substitute. If I need to go into a store, I’ll get that fix the next time go home. Going forward though, looks like that Prime membership is really going to get a workout.

How about you? Is there a spot in your town that you use to frequent, park, court, gym, store etc that broke your heart when it closed? Come let us grieve together in the comments, or here or here.

Until next time, see you online where I’ll be checking out my virtual cart of stuff I can’t touch until it’s delivered.

Photos: MsThorns

Skip the Gym with Ya Boy

I think it was the beginning of the year. Knee deep in work (already) and feeling a truckload of guilt and actual sluggishness in general I decided to get back on track, again. Though I was ready physically my mind was playing tricks on me when it came to going to the gym. I was NOT ready to do that, because it required me to get up too early. I checked out my favorites on YouTube but wasn’t really feeling them either when I stumbled on this young fireball Millionaire Hoy @yaboymillhoy.

He came up in search all the time but I ignored it because so many of the titles included HIIT which given my back and joint situations I figured they would be out of reach. I was wrong. Just so happens that at the time I finally took the leap he was running a monthly challenge was for beginners so I dove in and loved it!

What I dig about ya boy:
Intensity – the workouts are challenging for all fitness levels. There are mods and previews of the next exercise in the mini box. Your heart will be pumping and you will sweat.
Variety – Millhoy is prolific he has close to 800 videos on his channel with new videos published every Sunday thru Friday. With a new challenge every month. So if you only wanted to workout with him you will not run out of things to do. He is also contributor to Sweat Stream Collab on YouTube.
Personality – y’all know how it goes. You pull up a YouTube workout that looks promising only to find the instructor to be gross i.e. voice irritating, too loud, obnoxious or just appear to be STANK in general. Well, he’s none of those. Now he talks non-stop, but never induces any side eye. He’s quite upbeat, lively and bearable even in the early morning, which is essential for grumpy old broads.
What he is not – a hulk smashing, weight dropping, cussing dude. If that’s your thing, cool, but he ain’t that dude.

So, if you feel like skipping the gym but still want to get it in, I highly recommend Millionaire Hoy. Check him out and subscribe if you dig him.

 

 

Wrap It Up

Welcome to 2016, I hope that your year thus far is as happy as it was when the clock struck 12 on January 1. After the indulgences of the holidays and maybe a respite from your fitness program you’re probably rip roaring to go and take off what you¬†might have put on during the the festivities. Perhaps you did stay on track, didn’t pig out and stuck to your fitness program, if so good for you send some of that energy my way. I happen to be in the former group, having enjoyed plenty of food and wine between Thanksgiving and TODAY quite frankly I am now I’m ready to get it together. ¬†However, I know who I am and jumping right into the eat right thing isn’t happening so I’m getting started by getting ye olde body moving again. The thing is, it seems that this body requires quite a bit more assistance than it used to. So, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to the Abominable¬†Exercise Woman.

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Rocking the latest in hurting joint fashions Abominable Exercise Woman models elbow sleeves to prevent the recurrence of tennis elbow and to aid with proper alignment in all those pushups and chaturangas, a knee brace for the arthritic knee and wrist wraps to prevent trauma that can cause the recurrence of the scary sounding but mostly harmless, ganglion cyst. ¬†The injuries, the impending big 50 and this perimenopause/hormonal poundage got a sista HURTIN! However, I shall press on. ¬†Two weeks in and I have actually had some improvement in my back, it’s not nearly as stiff and achy in the morning as previously experienced, so I’ll wrap up if that’s going to reduce the aches and pains. Hopefully I can lose some of this fine attire as my fitness level increases.

Now as always I ask, what about you? What wraps, contraptions, potions and concoctions do you use in order to work out? Do you use them all the time or only when you’re hurting? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+. ¬†Until next time see you in the living room, where I’ll be all wrapped up, but moving somehow.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Just Say No

So I go to Walmart to get one thing and as is always the case and I came out with five. Creature of habit that I am I park in the same area and come in the same entrance. At this¬†entrance they¬†have produce on one side of the aisle and exercise apparel on the other. Those merchandisers are no dummies however, I AM¬†because on EVERY trip I peruse the apparel. I mean you can’t be $15 for tights right?

On this most recent excursion I spot a purple jacket and tank, which are must haves, because PURPLE. ¬†I ¬†looked for some track pants but there were none to my liking. For some reason I looked down one of the racks and saw what I like to call “yoga booty shorts”. Thinking since I’m old and hot, ie. prone to a flash or five I’ll try them. They had my size so in the basket they went.

Woke up the next morning for some yoga and decided to give the booty shorts a test run. They were light and and fit nice or so I thought…

Downdog #1 I felt them creeping
Forward fold #2 I felt them twisting
Pyramid #3 I felt them bunching.

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By Svanasana time half my azz was out. I had to snatch that out wedgie before I could relax.

Now I’m not about to say I’m going to say no to the fitness apparel at the Mart. However I will say a hellnawl to those yoga booty shorts in the future…

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Unless they are money back guaranteed to not ride up in to the nether regions of my fanny.

What about you? Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction with your fitness gear? Do tell in the comments and in all the usual places.

Until next time, see you on the mat where my hind parts will be fully covered.

Also: for more yoga follies check ye olde broad out on Instagram.
Photos: MsThorns

Have ALL the Seats

Summer Summer Summertime means¬† freedom. We’re free from the bad weather and drudgery of trekking through snow and rain and days of gray skies to enjoy sunshine, blues skies and and all things green. Summer time is NEKKID time err at the least, much fewer clothes time and for health and fitness enthusiasts we are freed from the gym. Boot campers, runners, bikers,¬† tail chi and yoga practitioners all head outdoors to do things in fresh air instead of the feet and azz smell of the gym. ¬†I especially looked forward to the summer of 2015 because I would NOT be training for Peachtree which means I could walk as much and as fast or slow as I want (yeah I’m still complying with the no running rule). I could stop and look at butterflies and squirrels and flowers and not worry about my time.¬† Yeah, this summer was going to be awesome, or so I thought.

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Thus far I’ve had to enjoy summer at a distance, you see ye olde broad’s body decided that it didn’t have the energy to do anything back in June because it has gone full tilt hormonal.¬† Things got bad enough that the doctor told me to have seat, i.e. refrain from any strenuous pursuits which resulted in my 195,675th hissyfit of the year. My dears, this is getting old.

She advised, I consented and am hopeful that the trip that necessitated this dreadful outfit will result in my health situation improving and permission to exercise.

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Getting old ain’t easy, getting old as a woman can provide some special challenges, but a good healthcare team, the good Lord, and of course yoga has made it bearable thus far. Hopefully soon I can join you kids outside again.

So what have you been doing this summer? Spending more time outside? Doing new and exciting things? Traveling?  Allow me to live vicariously through you and tell me about your summer in the comments.

Until next time, see you anywhere but the doctor’s office.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince on Vevo