One last Fitness 5 on Friday

Fitness 5Better late than never, right? It’s time for one last Fitness 5 on Friday, a link-up courtesy of JVKom Chronicles. This week, Jen asked us:

1. Have you ever taken a fitness class? Not a general fitness class, although I’ve taken yoga and dance classes.

2. Why do you workout? I’m a health nut, and exercise is an important part of a health regime. It helps me sleep, maintain strength and flexibility, and relieve stress.

3. What is your biggest motivator? I just plain feel better after I exercise. I try to stick to activities I really enjoy – if it’s something I don’t like, I’ll avoid it.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration from? The teachers at my yoga studio are incredible people. In addition to holding regular classes, they teach individuals with disabilities, returning vets with post traumatic stress disorder, and others with special needs. They are upbeat, positive, and generous with themselves.

5. Do you have routine physicals? (it’s very important to check your health). Yes, but I’m not as good about it as I could be. Definitely an area I need to work on.

Thanks again, Jen, for another fun month of link-ups. Visit her site, JVKom Chronicles, to join the Friday 5 linkup and read other posts.

Fitness 5 on Friday

Fitness 5It’s Friday, and time for another Fitness 5 on Friday link-up courtesy of JVKom Chronicles. This week, Jen posed these questions:

1. What is your favorite time of day to workout? Morning, for sure. The farther I get into the day, the less likely I am to get that workout in.

2. What is your favorite Super Food? I think I like them all, actually, but I eat almonds and kale almost every day. My kids will eat at least a head of kale a day if I make it into chips. (They’ll also eat it in a salad).

3. What are some of your fitness goals? I want to keep my strength and mobility as I age, because I want to be able to do those all-important things like lug a vacuum cleaner up the stairs. I used to have a lot of trouble with my back, but it is in really good shape now and I want to keep it that way.

4. What is your favorite vegetable? I love beets, also acorn squash, kale, avocados…actually, it’s a long list. I prefer vegetables to fruits.

5. What is something fitness or health related that you’d like to work on? I am a yoga fan, and this year I’ve been working on learning to love headstand again. Adding strength training to my routine has really improved some of my yoga poses, including this one.

Visit JVKom Chronicles to join the Friday 5 linkup or read other posts.

More of the Fitness Five

Fitness 5I’m late with my link-up for the Fitness 5 on Friday. The kids’ summer break wreaks havoc on my schedule – my workout schedule, too. Here are my answers for this week’s link-up:

1. What is your least favorite exercise and why? I hate to run, even though I want to love it. I have crabby knees and I’ve accepted that running is never going to be my thing. I can jog a little, but that’s it.

2. What is your resting heart beats per minute? (to calculate count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4). Low typically, around 60. Last year when I was hooked up to a machine during a medical test I set off an alarm because it was only 55. (The nurse was not alarmed.)

3. Do you prefer to exercise alone or with company? Both. I love classes, but then I don’t get out much and I like the social factor.

4. What is your go to exercise outfit? Yoga pants and the t-shirt of the day from Old Navy. I am a fashion wonder!

5. Think about this time last year. Are you more or less active than you were a year ago? About the same. But with the kids off school it’s a challenge to stay on a schedule. I find I sit a lot more in the summer, but at least it’s usually at the beach.

Hope you’re all having a fabulous, fit weekend. Ours is full of baseball (unless it rains) and a dance recital (rain or no). Happy Saturday!

Still on the move

imageWell, I’ve wrapped up my participation in the May Fitness Challenge, and I’ve learned a few things. I liked the premise of this challenge, working twenty minutes of activity into each day, and the idea that it didn’t have to be formal exercise – it just needed to be movement. I definitely gained a new appreciation of how often I’m in motion.

When we started the challenge, I set two goals: 1) to get back on my exercise schedule – yoga, strength training and walking/running on the treadmill; and 2) to work some yoga into the days I’m not in a class. I met the first goal but not the second. I’m still struggling to establish a home yoga practice, and I probably always will. Guess I’ll have to stick to sneaking a little yoga into my day.

But I did become more aware of the physical activities that are a routine part of my day like housework, yard work, and running around with my kids. I learned to acknowledge that after several hours of strenuous yard work I won’t feel like jumping on the treadmill, and I shouldn’t feel guilty about that. And that vacuuming my house, which is no small chore, gets me moving, stretching, bending, reaching – hey, it may be mundane, but it is physical! And there are worse things than feeling virtuous after vacuuming.

All in all, I think I’ve gained a more holistic view of the movement in my days. I’m doing OK, and I feel good.

Thanks, Jen and Samantha, for the opportunity. Next up for me – the  Blogging University daily Writing 101 challenge. Exercise the body, exercise the mind.

This post is part of the May Fitness Challenge sponsored by:

Jen at JVKom Chronicles

Samantha at 24to30

Exercise by the yard

imageI classify our year into two seasons: Winter and yard work. The nagging knowledge that the yard is untidy sends everyone around here into a frenzy of activity as soon as we have a few nice days. It is also why I breathe a sigh of relief when we finally get that first frost.

Our lovely, wooded lot is a beastly amount of work. There is always weeding, pruning, planting, digging, or raking to do. And this last week, that’s where I focused my daily activity.

I devoted Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday to yard or outdoor work. Tuesday I went to yoga and Thursday to strength training. Snuck a little yoga in on Wednesday, too.

Today I woke up as stiff as a board so I took it pretty easy. Yard work uses muscles you pretty much forget you have the rest of the year. Still, this is probably the closest I’ve stuck to the 20×31 challenge and if the weather holds, I’m thinking I’ll be just fine in the home stretch.

This post is part of the May Fitness Challenge sponsored by:

Jen at JVKom Chronicles

Samantha at 24to30

Twenty minutes to stand still

imageWeek 2 – May Fitness Challenge

Well, I didn’t do a great job this week accomplishing the goals I set last week. I did get to my scheduled workouts – two yoga classes and a strength training session – but the second goal, of working some yoga into each day, went by the wayside.

This brings out the dirty, little secret I don’t share with my yoga teachers or fellow students – I have no home practice. I used to have a home practice, sort of, but it more or less disappeared as soon as my first child learned to crawl.  I can remember sitting on the floor in a particularly challenging pose and having my toddler land square on my knee. Not exactly a restful experience.

Now the most I manage is a few deep breaths from time to time, or a quick twist when I’m in my car at a stoplight. I had a teacher years ago who generously called this “sneaking a little yoga into your day.”

I did learn something important about myself, though. I never stop moving. At least not when I’m home. I run around all darned day. Which made me wonder whether I ought to consciously schedule twenty minutes each day to stand still.

Visit these terrific bloggers to learn more about the May Fitness Challenge:

Jen at JVKom Chronicles

Samantha at 24to30

 

So…define fitness?

My friend Jen over at JVKom Chronicles is starting a May fitness challenge. The goal? Twenty minutes of movement a day. She’s asked us to track and report our activity.

I have to say, I don’t know where to start. My quest for fitness is more like an imageobsession, something to feel inadequate about when I do it, and guilty about when I don’t do it. (And it is ridiculous – anyone else out there feel guilty when they skip yoga class for the treadmill? Pathetic.)

Not that I’m that dedicated. (Jen’s statement that we could count twenty minutes of housework got me wondering whether twenty minutes working a crossword puzzle would count.)

For exercise, I alternate yoga with the treadmill and once-a-week strength training. But it’s the sheer running around I do that kills me. I know I stand a lot, but am I really moving? Or am I just propped in front of a cutting board exercising my forearms as I dice vegetables?

Ever since I had the flu in March, followed closely by spring break, I’ve been off my game. I decided Jen’s challenge is an opportunity to do two things: 1) get back on a schedule; and 2) work some yoga into the days I’m not in a class.

We’ll see how I do.

 

Y is for Yoga

work-at-homeWorking at home delivers me a huge advantage – it allows me to go to yoga class. Not just any yoga class, but the class I actually want to attend, which at my studio takes place in the middle of the morning.

(This class is largely attended by retirees and empty nesters who have their mornings free. One of the only places I am considered a youngster, another clear advantage.)

Yoga is great training for a working parent. The poses, or asanas, help you build the flexibility and strength you need every day:

  • Standing poses – Wonderful prep for standing in the back of a gymnasium while your children participate in an endless “dance night,” or for those networking events where you must position yourself on the perimeter of a large group of chatting people for some period of time.
  • Inversions – Good for keeping your equilibrium when your day inevitably gets turned upside down.
  • Restorative poses – Practice for those times when you have a few minutes to collapse on the couch before the kids get home, so you can maintain enough awareness not to snore or drool.
  • Seated poses – Great preparation for sitting at the computer all day, and in the car or on the bleachers all evening.
  • Arm balances – Conditioning for those moments you are carrying a laptop, a purse, an empty coffee mug, three bags of groceries, and a baseball bag all at the same time.

Namaste.

This post is part of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. See who else is Blogging from A to Z

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Read the work-at-home personnel manual

T is for Treadmill

work-at-home

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I moved my office to the basement in order for my youngest to have his own room. Unfortunately, I have an office mate. I have to share my space with the treadmill.

I like the treadmill. The treadmill and I have spent some quality time together. But I wish it weren’t in my office.

On the mornings my husband uses it I have to air the place out before I can begin work. Frankly, if I don’t, the place just smells like gym shoes. It’s a little like setting up to work in a locker room.

But I’m stuck with it. In our house, there is no other place for the treadmill to go. And given its similarity to a hamster wheel, maybe there’s a sort of poetry to having it here.

This post is part of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. See who else is Blogging from A to Z

Read the series

Read the work-at-home personnel manual