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Tag Archives: fitness

Leg Week?

10 Aug

Is leg week a thing? I feel it should be a thing, I can’t be the only person who has done this…granted I did it by accident, but still, I’m not the only one, right?

leg day 1

Last Friday night (it is currently the next Friday) I had leg day at the gym. I hadn’t had one in a while due to scheduling and life and laziness so it was nice to get back to routine. I pushed myself, because what is the point of working out if you don’t push yourself? By the end of the workout I could tell I was going to be feeling the results of that workout for days.

I love that feeling. πŸ™‚

Saturday there was pain, there was using my arms to push me up from a chair, and using arms to take the weight off my legs when I would go to sit, and there was the knowledge I would probably suck at running if I had to run that day. But all that is good, because it is good pain, and it means I worked the muscles hard, the pain will fade, the results will stay.Β  Saturday is my rest day due to how my work schedule is so I didn’t do anything to really work the legs beyond normal day-to-day things.

Sunday I went for a hike after work, it occurred to me that might suck since my legs still had a noticeable amount of muscle pain but I went anyways. During the hike I noticed my legs started to feel better, stronger, they were benefiting from being worked again, even though I was still feeling the Friday night workout. I think, and I could be wrong, but I think the hike helped clear out some of the built up lactic acid and helped them stretch and basically just helped the muscles in their recovery. Yay for a good hike! The trail has a lot of ups and downs and uneven surfaces so not only did the larger muscles get worked but so did the smaller ones used for stabilizing etc. Also, part way in to the hike I noticed my stride was lengthening, I have a decent stride length but started the hike with a shorter stride due to discomfort, as the pain cleared my stride got longer, and I felt better.

Monday evening I did the Coquitlam Crunch which is like a less evil version of the Grouse Grind…which means nothing to you if you don’t live in Vancouver BC or the surrounding areas lol Basically it is a steep urban trail, with an elevation of 244 meters, that gives you a great and fast workout. So far my best time is one hour and two minutes round trip. My goal is to get that under an hour.

Then Tuesday evening I did a long walk with a friend after work. Which brings us to Wednesday where I did the Coquitlam Crunch with the same friend I walked with Tuesday. I had intended to go to Lynn Valley and hike the trails but that will wait for another day.

So, I inadvertently had, what is that, 5 leg workouts in 6 days? Um, oops? Sorry for neglecting you upper body, I swear I still love ya! lol

Normally I do a much better job of working out all my muscle groups, and its not like I have some driving desire to only work on my legs, they just somehow got all my attention this week.

I think the flaw in my workouts is that it is summer, and that means hiking, and trails, and all those lovely outdoor workouts can be done at any time of day, on any day, without worry about weather cancelling your outing, so I tend to go out on a trail instead of inside to the gym. I mean c’mon, if given the choice wouldn’t you go out on a trail, get some fresh air, see some pretty sights, maybe spot a deer or bear or some other fuzzy critter, rather than be inside the gym where yes, you get a good workout but all you really look at is equipment and yourself in the mirror?

The hiking gives me a chance to either ruminate on something that is bothering me, or clear my mind and enjoy the quiet for a while, whichever I need. I can be alone, with nature, infusing myself with the peace that comes from being surrounded by trees (seriously, what is it with trees that they are so soothing?) or I can go with a friend and enjoy a lovely chat while getting in a workout.

The gym, I love the gym, but to me it is more like work, or an expectation, or I dunno, a thing I schedule. I don’t mind any of that, I really don’t, but sometimes I like the idea of being out on a trail more. I know it isn’t as good of a workout as my gym time, and my muscle definition suffers every summer because of that, but I can’t give up my trail time, I enjoy it too much.

However, my enjoying of my trail time this week has resulted in a lot of leg workouts, and no upper body workouts, until Thursday that is when I was at dragon boat practice.

I’ve really got to take care to balance things a bit better because while Leg Day is a thing, a good thing, a thing to be done often, Leg Week is a teeny bit of over kill and maybe shouldn’t be repeated anytime soon…don’t want my back and arms and shoulders to think I don’t care about them after all! πŸ˜‰

 

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Forgot My Plan

7 Jul

Don’t forget your plan when you go to the gym, or in my case, to make a plan. sigh.

Usually when I go to the gym I have a plan of what I want to accomplish. It isn’t some set in stone can’t be adjusted in the moment kind of thing, but it at least covers how long I want to be doing cardio for and what muscle groups I plan to focus on when lifting weights. Within the muscle groups I know what moves I will do, but even those can be changed once I am at the gym.

The changes are usually because of not being able to access the equipment I need / want. So, say I wanted to run for 30 minutes but all the treadmills are in use, then I’ll go to the elliptical. Or say I want to do Wood Choppers using the pulley system but the proper attachment is nowhere to be found, then I’ll do them using a free weight or medicine ball, or maybe I won’t do them at all, maybe I’ll do Russian Twists instead.

It’s all about getting in the workout I want while making minor changes based on equipment availability and comfort level around the people that I am sharing the gym with.

By comfort level I mean some days the free weight section is crowded with jacked up guys who are doing super sets and moving from one exercise to another and they are taking up a lot of room with their little stations that they created. Or a bunch of guys are working out together and they kinda take over the space so some of them are working out while the others are hanging on equipment next to the guy who is working out while they all chat. I get it, they want to be social, but it sure can be annoying for the rest of us sometimes. *rolls eyes*

This was not meant to be a rant! Oops!

What I was trying to get to is that I always have a flexible plan when I go work out, ensuring I come away from my work out feeling like I have accomplished something and got in a solid session.

Until the other night.

I knew I was going to do my cardio, but hadn’t committed to which machine I wanted to use for it, in fact I kind of didn’t care what I did for my cardio. I ended up using the elliptical for 30 minutes, which is fine, but I could have done better.

Then I took a look at the free weight section and didn’t want to deal with navigating all the guys that were there so I went to a different room, it is a bit smaller but is a good space for free weight work. There were some guys in there but usually I’ll go in even if it is partially occupied cause, well, I can. But since I didn’t have a plan for which muscle groups I wanted to work on, and no real motivation to be there, I didn’t go in the room, instead I went to the stretching area, had a cool down, and went home.

I have never had such a short workout. And I can’t believe I let myself leave without getting some weight work done.

It was like, once there, with all the equipment, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what I wanted to do, or what I should do, and I couldn’t make a decision, so I left.

Maybe it was because it was at the end of a long day and I was tired and my brain just couldn’t make any more decisions. Maybe for whatever reason I had less motivation that day and I used that lack of motivation as a reason to leave after doing only cardio. Maybe I am just a lazy person at heart and I wanted to go home and be cozy in my pajamas while watching Netflix. πŸ˜›

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a great workout, and I think a big part of that is my going in to that gym without a plan.

The plan doesn’t have to be some big great detailed thing. Some days it is as simple as:

  • 30 mins cardio
  • weight work for arms, shoulders, and back
  • some core work
  • stretch

That’s it! That is all it takes to make a plan! Who knew something so simple could be the difference between getting a good work out in and only getting 30 minutes of cardio in? Not me, that’s for sure!

Lesson learned, plan, even just a bit, and my workout will be way better.

 

Yoga Fail

14 Apr

The plan.

There’s always a plan right?

The plan was to get up and go to morning yoga at my gym.

The reality was the alarm made noise, I didn’t even pretend to hit snooze, just turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Oops? πŸ˜‰

That meant to get my workout in for the day I’d have to fit it in after work, which is fine, it is when I prefer to workout. Only catch is I work until 9pm Saturdays and I start at 7am Sundays, so usually after work on a Saturday I really live it up by coming back to my place, showering, and watching YouTube or Netflix for a bit until I go to bed.

Not tonight though, no way was I missing a workout on the third day of this challenge!

Situations like this though are exactly why I decided to not be super strict about my definition of a workout, because instead of going to the gym I did a body weight (and ok I used a couple actual weights) workout in my living room.

The cat, in case you were wondering, was not impressed.

I could have done a workout dvd, and probably will at some point, but I wanted to see what I could come up with on my own. It isn’t exciting, but hopefully it was enough to count…I did get sweaty, not been at the gym killing it sweaty, but a light ladylike glow, so I’m going to pretend that means I accomplished something lol

My little circuit consisted of:

  • jumping jacks
  • squats
  • mountain climbers
  • russian twists (with my medicine ball)
  • push-ups
  • bicycle crunches
  • plank
  • overhead press (with dumbbells)
  • flys (with dumbbells)
  • and this thing I don’t know the name of, I lay on the ground, holding a dumbbell or kettle bell, arms straight above me (think right over my face), then I lower my arms while keeping them straight till the weight hits the floor above my head, stretching my arms as far as they will go. I don’t know what is it called but I love that one, you can really feel muscles engaging.

So yeah, that was my circuit, nothing fancy. I did a minute of each with no rest in between then a minute rest after the circuit was done. I did it three times, probably should have done a fourth but ya live an learn. I’ll know to do a fourth next time.

After that was done I cleaned the apartment, seriously, can my Saturday nights get anymore exciting? πŸ˜‰

I have a friend stopping by tomorrow and I wanted the place to be tidy for her. She is one of those people whose place is always gorgeous so the least I can do is make my little basement suite clean. It’ll never be gorgeous, but clean counts for something, in my books anyways lol

I may not have made the yoga class and stuck to plan that way but I still managed something resembling a workout, meaning Day 3 (or Day 42) is in the bag! πŸ˜€

cat yoga

Of the two of us, the cat is the only one getting some yoga in lol

Day 43 – Protein Smoothie Bowl

13 Apr

Before you ask, yes I will be posting updates randomly about my 44 Day Fitness Challenge here. Why? Well, I have to be held accountable somewhere, because if you think I can hold myself accountable and not cheat you obviously don’t know me very well lol πŸ˜‰

Day 2 in the bag! Or day 43…whichever way you want to count it. Down. Up. It is all the same to me!

Today was a gym session after work, leg day! I always forget other people go out and have social lives on Friday nights. When I get to my gym there are always a decent number of vehicles parked there and I internally start to bitch about how many people are going to be in the gym at 10pm but then I walk inside and there are maaaaybe 6 people? And that is a generously high number. Which is when I realize that the parking area is also used by people going to nearby pubs. Oops?

I mean c’mon, who wants to go to a pub when you can go to the gym? On a Friday night. Almost like you have no social life or something. Ok never mind, this is gonna go dark fast if I don’t start blabbing about something else lol

Protein Smoothie Bowl!

protein smoothie bowl

Granted, not the prettiest looking food item I’ve ever posted on here. But I’m sure it isn’t the ugliest…maybe…

It is a scoop of protein powder, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 small banana, and a tablespoon or so of plain almond milk. Blend until it hits a consistency you like, I prefer thicker so I’m eating it with a spoon rather than making it a drink. This way I can pretend I’m eating ice cream, only ya know, not as tasty.Β  Aww man, now I want ice cream! But even I, with my special quirky ways of interpreting things, can’t find a way to make ice cream an acceptable post workout meal. Too bad though, cause that would be an awesome post workout meal…don’t mind me while I daydream about ice cream for a minute…

Ok, done! For now at least lol

So yeah, two days sorted, only 42 more to go! πŸ™‚

 

44 Days

12 Apr

44 days until I put on a bridesmaid’s dress and celebrate my best friend’s big day.

44 days.

That is not a lot of time to magically improve myself so I look ok in that dress. And yet, if I was counting down to vacation and it was 44 days away I’d be moaning about how far away that is.

Funny how your perspective can change huh?

Now I know that the big day is not about me, and I should only be thinking of her and how much I want it to be awesome for her. But let’s be real here for a sec ok? I’m vain and I want to look good in that dress lol and so while a big part of me is focusing on how she is getting married and I want it to be amazing another part of me is wondering if it is a realistic goal to have 44 workouts in the next 44 days.

In case you’re wondering, I think it is a realistic goal.

I used to make challenges, or find challenges online and follow them. I’ve done 30 day fitness challenges, I’ve done “Lose a Pant Size By (insert date here)”, I’ve done Paleo challenges, I’ve done seasonal fitness and food challenges. Basically, name a challenge and I have either already done it or am up for trying it. But I haven’t made my own challenge in quite a while. The most recent one I took part in was the “100 Squats a Day for 30 Days”, which in case you’re wondering about that, I did it, it was fine. I squat a lot anyways so it wasn’t that hard of a challenge for me. In fact I’m doing a second round of it because a friend wanted to do it and I decided to do it again so she’d have a squatting buddy. Which sounds weird when typed or spoken out loud lol

While sitting here ruminating over the realization that the wedding is only 44 days away I realized I needed a plan. A concrete, have goals and a way to meet those goals, plan. I was recently reminded that having vague goals in terms of fitness (or anything else) doesn’t really work. You need a way to measure your progress towards reaching your goal so you can modify your plan along the way, giving you a better chance at achieving your plan, hitting the mark, grabbing your star, whatever cliche works for you… πŸ˜‰

So, I made a plan. And because I like visuals I made a tracker to put on my fridge. It isn’t anything special, just a 3 column, 15 row, chart that counts down from 44 to the day of the wedding. Each box has enough space for the number of days left, and room for me to write what workout I did that day. I also left space to make a comment about my eating for that day. Not enough space to list my food or anything, just enough space to make a comment about if I did well food wise. I suppose I could put my caloric intake there, be better able to track if my eating is matching my activity levels…I dunno, we’ll see what I do there. Mostly it is to track my workouts because I feel I’ve been dropping the ball with those lately and need something to help motivate me.

I pre-filled out my dragon boat workouts, because those are a given, and certain gym days that I always do. The rest of the days will be a combination of extra gym days and other workouts, so maybe one day I do a workout dvd, or go for a hike, or I dunno, walk the seawall. I’m not creating set-in-stone rules for what constitutes a workout, I feel that would be too limiting, and I want to leave room to listen to my body and what it wants. If I say only going to the gym counts as a workout but I have a day I can’t get there I don’t want to feel like my dragon boat practice, or a long walk, or even some body weight work at home, doesn’t count, or worse, is a failure, when it is in fact still a workout.

I’m trying to be less rigid in my definition of what counts as a workout…I don’t know how well I’ll manage it, but I’m gonna try!

Something I think I should do though is create an overall workout plan, so X number of leg days, X number of shoulder & back & arm days, X number of cardio sessions a week, that way I know that even with my broader interpretation of what counts as a workout I am still getting in a certain number of sessions per muscle group so my odds of hitting my goal increase.

Which, speaking of my goal, I do have them, goals beyond just fitting in the dress better I mean lol They are quantifiable, can be tracked and measured, and my progress towards them will be tracked and measured over the next 44 days. And if I don’t quite make it to those goals in time for the wedding, well, I’ll keep working on them, because ultimately I suppose it isn’t really about fitting in that dress (though part of it is!), so much as it is about getting in better shape and feeling better about myself.

So if anyone wants to join the challenge, feel free! I know 44 days will seem an arbitrary number to anyone not counting down to this specific wedding, so feel free to alter the number to your own deadline. Think of it as a very customizable challenge – pick your length of time, pick what you think counts as a workout, and commit to one workout a day for the length of time you chose.

Remember, success is 10% physical and 90% mental, it’s not your body that is tired and wants to quit, it is your brain and you thinking you can’t keep going. So keep going. Push farther than you think you can go, to prove to yourself you can keep going, and next time it’ll be a little easier and you’ll be able to go a little farther.

bd76c77e43b4d371ff50eb2505b6bb42

If a meme says it, it must be true.Β 

FitBit Love

7 Feb

I have had a FitBit on my wrist for about 4 years now and I love it just as much now as I did when I first strapped one on. Maybe even more now, since I have a newer, snazzier, version than the one I started out with.

My first FitBit was a Flex, the one that is semi-water proof and the display shows 5 dots. The dots light up when you tap the FitBit to show you how many steps you have taken that day. I had my step goal set at 10,000 steps per day so each dot represented 2,000 steps. While it was good, all tech has it’s flaws. It could go in to sleep mode if you were pushing a grocery cart across a parking lot (from the bumps I guess), it often thought my chopping vegetables was me stepping (it was amazing how many more “steps” I got on days I did veggie prep! lol), and well, it only gave me limited information. For detailed info about how I was doing that day I had to sign in to my app, which yes ok, not like that is a big deal or even hard to do, but c’mon, I’m lazy, which ironically enough, is why I invested in a FitBit in the first place lol

That first FitBit, I had epic plans for it. I bought it a short time before I was going on vacation, what was going to be a very active vacation, and I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I could rack up while in Northern Wales. Well yeah, that didn’t work, because it broke after I had it for a month or so? I was so upset! I contacted FitBit to let them know it broke, actually I think I contacted them to ask what I could do to fix it, and by default let them know it broke. They gave me some things to try, that didn’t work, and then they did something awesome…they sent me a brand new FitBit Flex for free!

Talk about amazing customer service! πŸ˜€

I didn’t get the replacement FitBit in time for my vacation, but hey, whatcha gonna do? *shrug*

Once I returned from my trip my new FitBit Flex and I became inseparable. Literally. The only times I took it off were when I showered and when it had to charge. I even covered it in saran wrap and wore it when taking part in a muddy obstacle course and more importantly, when dragon boating. Well, to be fair, I only covered it in saran wrap when dragon boating if it was pouring rain, on non-rainy days I just made sure to wear it on the arm that didn’t get submerged into the water with every stroke of my paddle. Splashing I knew it could handle!

Two Christmases ago I took the Flex out of it’s wrist band and tucked it in my clothes, in what I thought was a secure spot, because I was going to my work Christmas party and the band was not what one would call fancy looking. I absolutely couldn’t wear it with my dress, so into my cleavage it went. Don’t judge, I’ve done it before and it worked great! That particular time it didn’t work out all that well and somewhere during the night I lost it. Sadness. 😦 I tried calling the party venue, left them multiple messages, describing what it looked like, but nobody ever called me back so I’m assuming they either (1) didn’t listen to their messages, (2) didn’t care, (3) didn’t find it and didn’t care if they told me that or not. Which fair enough, why should they care that I was stupid and lost my FitBit and was now frantically hoping beyond all hope it would magically re-appear in to my life.

I was so upset I posted to social media about having lost it and someone I have never met, who lives on the other side of the country, said they had just upgraded their FitBit and no longer needed their Flex and get this, they sent me their Flex for free! With the band and charger and dongle!

People can be amazing sometimes. Absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€

When it arrived in the mail I was so incredibly grateful that I immediately sent them a Thank You card with a gift card inside. I mean wow, who does things like that not just in general but for someone they never met? Blows your mind a little doesn’t it?

Then another amazing thing happened, for Christmas that year I received a FitBit Alta as a gift from my parents. I had been wanting to upgrade but couldn’t justify or afford the cost and they knew this, so being the awesome parents that they are, that is what they bought me.

So now I had my replacement Flex and a new Alta. For a while I thought I would wear the Alta most of the time but swap out to the Flex when dragon boating but that didn’t really pan out. Instead the Alta and I became best friends and inseparable and now it only comes off my wrist when I am showering or charging it.

Then a crisis!

This happened…

fitbit flex

The strap broke! NoooOOOooo!

I wasn’t even doing anything interesting when it broke, the silicone part just came off of the clip part that attaches to the actual tech part of the FitBit Alta.

Travesty! The horrors! What was I to do??

Well I’ll tell ya what I did, I went searching for my crazy glue hoping I could fix it only to find my crazy glue had become a solid mass, I mean what, did it glue itself to itself? So then I started tucking the tech part in to my sock / boot / waist band / pocket (depending on what I was wearing) because I couldn’t be without it but I didn’t know how best to carry it around. I was constantly worrying it would fall out and I wouldn’t notice and then I’d not only not have a wrist band for it but I wouldn’t have the Alta at all! *cue the dramatic music*

Being the broke person that I am I chose to order a knock-off band from eBay instead of forking over $40 for a real replacement from FitBit and boy did I regret that. It didn’t fit as well, it was different material and not as comfortable, it was starting to give me a rash, just not good things.

So I did what I did last time I had a problem, I emailed FitBit and told them what happened. I didn’t ask them for a new band, I was past warranty and didn’t think that was right. But I did tell them the circumstances under which the band broke, and how it wasn’t fixable, and now I was wearing it tucked in my boot, and maybe they should look in to the problem because if this is a product flaw they may want to address it.

I got a very polite response asking me for some more information, which I provided, and then I got an even better email from them saying I was past warranty but sometimes rules are meant to be broken and they were going to send me a replacement band anyways!

This! This is why I love this company and will keep buying their products! Well, this and the fact that I love their products lol

Not only did they send me a replacement band they sent me the newer version of the band, so instead of a clip type closure it is a, umm, I don’t know what the type of closure is called, it is like a belt or a watch closure…here lemme put a picture in to show you what I mean…

fitbit band

See what I mean? My closure is like that, only my band is black, like I’d ever buy it in baby pink. πŸ˜›Β  lol

Now, my Alta and I are back to being inseparable…on my wrist, not in my boot! πŸ™‚

Here is a link to the FitBit Alta that I have on Amazon…in case you are interested in getting one yourself!

http://amzn.to/2E6jwaY

 

Day 5 of 20

24 Dec

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Fitness!

Lemme tell ya, this was a good one! πŸ˜€

I had a bunch of stuff to do around my parent’s place and earmarked today to be the day of getting shit done. Before that all started though I decided to go for a walk, in -12C (that is before windchill, I’m not actually sure what the temp with windchill was but the wind was going at 11km/hr and I sure felt it!), while it was snowing…I never claimed to make smart decisions lol

So out I went and I have to admit, I kinda liked it. It was cold, at about the ten minute mark I seriously considered turning back because the wind was cutting through my pants in a brutal way and my legs were burning from the cold but I know from past winters that if I just keep going eventually the pain goes away. It isn’t that I acclimatize, it is that my legs stop feeling temperature, or anything for that matter lol πŸ˜‰

I fast walked for about 20 minutes then had to turn around due to a road and weather. On the way back I decided to jog a bit so on the parts of sidewalk that were cleared I jogged. When crossing roads I walked because they were super slippy and I really don’t need to fall and get injured right now. Some parts of the sidewalks were un-runnable thanks to snow and ice but I think I got a pretty decent jog in there. I passed two people who were shovelling snow while walking in the one direction and when I was passing them on the way back at a jog they both looked at me like I was a martian lol Admittedly, I wasn’t dressed like a runner so maybe it was my outfit that was confusing them, and not that I was running in that type of weather?

img_6066

I got wicked windburn on my cheeks from this walk!

Once back at my parent’s place I shovelled snow from their back porch, the front path, and the driveway. By that point I was cold but wasn’t going to start feeling any colder so I figured might as well get it all done at once.

About an hour later you’d never know I shovelled since it had kept snowing and everything was white again *rolls eyes*

I did other things around the house that kept me busy but those two activities are what I am counting towards my fitness for the day for the challenge.

I’d say I can quite confidently check mark this day as a success! πŸ˜€

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