Tag Archives: exercise

GOOOOOOOAAALS

It’s January 12th, in the Year of our Lord 2018, do you know where your goals are? Some, and I hope many, are crushing it right now. The rest of us mere morals may have already faced tests. Let me know if any of these scenarios are familiar.

It’s the 1st, no one really starts today anyway. 

Is that you? If you’re off work on 1/1 you may be hungover and don’t have the head nor the stomach to do anything other than get past it. If you’re not hung over and at home you may just be feeling like a lazy snack monster and munch all day, throw in some college football and it’s a wrap on the diet tip for the day.

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It’s the 2nd, you go to the gym and it is packed!

If you are a consistent gym goer, you know the deal. All the resolution folks are there. On top of it these noobs are using “your treadmill, your leg press etc., ” so you’re out of your routine. Your attitude is now stank and the subsequent workout is trash, because you’re focused on them using “your” stuff.

The holidays are over except at your job. It’s your co-worker’s birthday, cake and ice cream are being served.

You just got back to work, ready to roll on your new program, or restart your old one and of course without fail, here comes the birthday cake.  There is always a birthday at work or some event that first week that involves food. I’m not talking about nuts and berries and salad but cake and ice cream and other sweet/salty/rich delights.  Whatchu gone do? Eat the cake/chips/enter junk food name here of course.

 

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I’m here to tell you that it will be okay. The universe is not out to get you and your love handles, this is just life. As a HUMAN we are always tempted by the stuff we are not “supposed to have.” Also as a human, you have choices and there not either or, nor punitive just be flexible. Hungover? Yeah you should probably take it easy. Noobs filling the gym? Celebrate the fact that they made a decision to get moving. Use their addition to the gym as an opportunity to do something different.  Try some different equipment.  Take your workout outside (weather permitting OR workout at home.  There are tons of videos on-line for FREE that will do you just fine.

Don’t throw in the towel folks.  Keep up the good work and if you fell off, get back up and try it again.  Being healthy and fit isn’t a one day affair, it’s a lifetime of healthy habits.  I know I’m going to keep it pushing.

Until next time, see you at the gym, the trail or somewhere else, because there ARE options.

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Photos: MsThorns
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Skip the Gym This Season, Seriously

Let me tell you what an old broad hates about the holidays. People and their cars. Yeah mugs are generally all ’tis the season to be jolly” and such, there’s just too many of them. During this time of year I generally avoid retail establishments other than the grocery store like the plague and even that can be dicey. Now I do happen to be fortunate to a) have a gym that’s not close to popular retail establishments and b)an old broad body that wakes up early sans clock most days to get to the gym, allowing me to avoid said people and cars. However some of you may not be as fortunate. Your gym may be next to the mall or worse, Wal-Mart and you just don’t want to fool with all the hoopla. Well guess what? You can skip the gym and get those reps in…

AT HOME. Surely you didn’t think you were going to get a pass did you?

Believe it or not gym rats there are tons of fitness channels on YouTube. (Now if you already know this, this post is not for you, but feel free gift this to someone else). I’ve been working out with YouTube folks for maybe 5 years now and enjoy the convenience of rolling out of bed jumping in clothes and getting it in right at home. Any type of workout you want can be found there, strength training, cardio, HIIT, kickboxing you name, as well as the more centering practices of Yoga and Two Chi. So to help some of you nOObs along, here’s the YouTube trainers I currently workout with now as well as some of my tried and true faves.

HASFit – Coach Kozak and Claudia are the dynamic duo behind HASFit. They have over 1000 FREE videos on YouTube and a variety of them, HIIT, Cardio, Strength you name it.  Kozak usually does the high intensity moves, Claudia the lower intensity.  These two are not the “HEY C’MON LET’S GET IT” types, they are quiet assassins.  They calmly whoop your tail and you’ll love it.  I do most of my strength training with these two, most recently this.

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BodyFit by Amy – I came upon her by accident, looking for a Kettlebell workout.  I had done most of the ones that I like with my old standbys and was looking for somebody, anybody else and Amy fit the bill.  She has a wide variety of workouts by type Cardio, Strength etc, but also specialty workouts like her prenatal series. I did one of her prenatal cardio kickboxing workouts on a day when I was really sore and it was great to for getting in some light cardio. I generally do Kettlebell and strength training with her, most recently this.

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Lumowell – My standing workout schedule includes 3 days of walking per week.  Some days, due to work, fatigue and downright laziness I can’t make it out of the bed at 0 dark thirty to go to the gym.  Instead of wearing out my carpet with household laps,  I looked for walking workouts on YouTube, found a few that were good but a few years old, then Lumowell popped up. I was like whaaattt is this???? Well the trainer is an animated lady or gent (haven’t done one of his yet), with voiceover ques.  The exercises are great and include modifications. For the workouts I suggest turning the sound down and using your own music if you like exercising to music.  I most recently bumped some House doing this one.

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Now for my faves, my tried and trues, the ones I ALWAYS go back to week after week after week

Yoga – Yoga by Candace, Fightmaster Yoga, YogaTX, Yoga with Adriene – I’ve been ALL over YouTube trying various Yogis, subscribed and unsubscribed to many, but these 4 I go back to every single time.  I can’t tell you why but these are the ones that are best for me and the way I wish to practice right now.

Favorite HIITMAN – Millionaire Hoy.  This dude is non-stop work, energy and talking!  I have never seen anyone do what he does and talk like that at the same time.  What I like, is that he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s working as hard as the viewer.  Every now and again he’ll let out a little scream which is HEEEEELARIOUS to let you he’s feeling it.  I dig him so much and believe in what he’s doing that I joined the BOOM Fist Bump family on his Patreon.  MillHoy has incredible HIIT workouts, cardio, targeted body area workouts, themed workouts and as of late a lot more strength training which, if you can tell I’m starting to ALMOST enjoy.  Check him out, his energy is contagious even at 5:00 am in the morning.

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Do you have enough tools now to skip the gym but NOT skip your workout?  I hope these resources help and that you find the right trainers for you and your lifestyle.  If you have tried any of these folks or would like to make some recommendations, I would love to hear from you in the comments and in all the usual spots.

Until next time, enjoy time with your family during the holidays, but don’t forget about yourself, put in that WORK!

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Photos: YouTube screenshots of trainer pages and MsThorns

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 😃

Photos: MsThorns

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

Giving Thanks

Shortly after the last post, my doctor released me into the wild and instead of going HAM as is my usual fashion, I took it slow. A couple of walks with some yoga.  Went back to the gym which was sorely missed to work on regaining my Queen of Treadmill title because its too freaking hot here to walk outside in the evening and I even hit the weights, machines of course and boy I got a lonnnnnnnnngggg way to go to get some strength back, even so I am THANKFUL.

I have explained to some and damn near shouted to others who don’t get it that a person who is use to moving can be in a bad way when they’re not.  Let me tell you I was SALTY as a mug during that time I was down. I was drinking all the haterade and was downright indignant watching folks running and biking and lifting and doing all things physical from the sideline.

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MsThorns

I was a sorry patient and a depressed one.  I knew sideline time wasn’t final, nevertheless it sucked.  During that sucky time, I learned that my ability to move should not be taken for granted. You think I would have learned it before but these time, well, was just different.

I count my blessings now.

I actually DO stop if I see bunnies and butterflies, I actually do listen for the sounds of birds and crickets, I actually do look at every flower and stay on the look out for Smokey and Yogi because it seems every summer there is some bear running around, usually in Sandy Springs but still I watch 🙂 I still work out my problems on the trail and EVERY time I have a little talk with Jesus because a lot of times, actually most times I need him to fix it.

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MsThorns

I’m thankful for this body I live in it and all of its perfect imperfections.  I’m thankful that it can move and that it serves me well in all that need and want to do. It’s the only one I’ve got and you best belief I want it to to keep moving.

What are you thankful for? What lessons have you learned on your journey.  Let me know in the comments and all the usual places.

Until next time, see you somewhere, I’ll be the one moving with a smile on my face.
 

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

Appointment with Dr. No

Oh the travails of aging.

The week of Valentines Day I got sick. Not flu or anything but sick enough to be home a few days. Well that little nastiness continued to linger and by the time I attempted that headstand I felt worse afterward and my nose was doing some unusual things. Being one of those nuts who Googles symptoms I was convinced that I had some awful/horrible/dreadful illness and promptly sent a couple of panicky emails to my PCP. By the next day was in front of her.

Turns out that the nose was no biggie just rhinitis and since I was there I asked her what types of exercise are safe for me to do considering this degenerative disc stuff. Dr. Diva turned into Doctor NO when she said NO to:

Squats
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LungesJan3
Anything that requires me to be airborne (running, jumping jacks, which is most things in any HIIT workout)Jan2

and headstands, at which point I entered my final plea:

Me: well can I do squats and lunges with no weight, I’m going to do them unless you tell me no.
Her: I thought already told you that.

Truth be told, I already knew the answer to my question, but as a stubborn old person I’m not changing unless it is required and now it is required.

Until next time see you on the floor do some old school doggie kicks or something like that.

Photos by MsThorns – thanks to Jan B. for being my fitness model 🙂