Archive of ‘gym’ category
When I was swimming last week, I started thinking about my swimming “isms”– the things I “always” do, pretty much without thinking, during my swim workout. Exercise is so personal. We all have our favorite class, machine, run route, gear, time of day we workout, and quirky routines. Our exercise-isms and habits are unique and also what makes our workouts personally satisfying. I have a ton with pretty much every exercise I do. Have you thought about yours?
Here are my swim-isms. Tell me if you agree or you do these differently.
Swim Goggles– wear contacts or no contacts? I prefer not to wear contacts under my goggles and swim with blurry vision. When I wear my contacts, I’m always afraid I’ll get water in them (even though I usually don’t), but it does make watching the clock much easier. If the pool is empty, then I can get away without wearing contacts (hard to share a lane with blurry vision). Most of the time though, I end up wearing my contacts underneath my goggles.
Swim Towels– I always take two. I don’t use the second one until later when I get into the shower, but even so, I always take two when I arrive.
Swim Tracking– Do you count per lap or by minutes/time duration? Since I’m not training for anything, I usually just swim for a specific amount of time and don’t count laps. When I try to count laps, I usually lose count mid-way through and it gets a little frustrating. Plus, by not counting, I can fully zone out and let my mind wander.
Swim Stroke– I usually just do a mix of the crawl and breast stroke. Very rarely, I’ll add some backstroke or kickboard action in there. Do you vary your strokes?
Swimming Pet Peeve– Ugh, this one keeps happening to me! My pet peeve is when you’re sharing a lane with someone and they keep stopping at the end of the pool when the finish their lap, wait there until you get to the end, and the turn around to swim right when you get there, so essentially, they wait to start their next lap until they are even with you and you’re swimming side by side. It is so annoying!! It happens all the time at my gym. If you’re sharing a lane, space out your laps!
Swimming Time of Day– I finally found the sweet spot for an empty pool and lane of my own! If you get there at 7:30/7:45am, the pool is almost completely empty until about 8:30am. I can only do that on days I work from home, but it’s nice when it happens. Friday nights are my second favorite swim times. I’m usually too tired to go out, the pool isn’t very crowded, and it helps me shake off the stress from a long week.
Swimming Reward– The glorious hot tub!! Seriously, it is the very best reward and I think about it before and after my swim. 10 minutes in there feels like such an indulgence. I absolutely love the hot tub.
the best reward!!
My next swim is “scheduled” for Friday! We get the day off work for Good Friday and I am so excited to swim and relax! Do you get the day off?
I want to hear about your workout habits and “isms”! Running, cardio machine, swimming, etc……tell me….
– What are your Pet Peeves? Do you count per mile/lap/distance or by time duration?
– What’s your favorite workout reward?? Hot shower? Snack? Hot tub?
– When you swim, how many gym towels do you use and is there a time when your pool is empty? Do you keep your contacts in?
We’re only three days in to this brand NEW year, but a new year is an incentive to open a new chapter and try NEW things. I get stuck in my regular habits pretty often, but this week I’ve made a point to acknowledge and celebrate the new things in my life.
Sooooo….in honor of the NEW year, here are 5 NEW things from the past 3 days…
1) I went to a kickboxing class last night!
I haven’t done kickboxing consistently since college (ever since my college class when a girl punched her arm out of the socket right next to me, I’ve been haunted with that image every time I go back…ugh….but I digress…). Last night, i got home early (no traffic!) and Jared was at an event, so I checked the gym schedule and laced up my sneakers for an hour of kickboxing.
You guys, it was such a good workout! And fun too! 15 minutes in, covered in sweat, I was wondering if I would be able to finish…..and then it just became fun and I spent the next 45 minutes figuring out how I could rearrange my schedule every Wednesday so I can become a regular! It’s not offered any other day or time, boo.
Last year around this time, I started my “Gym Class Challenge” and challenged myself to try as many new gym classes as possible. I went to arial yoga, spinning, and a random class called BodyArt…but I never found anything I loved. Trying new gym classes isn’t something I do very often, but this time it was a success!
2) New Vitamins.
I’ve been watching Dr. Oz recently (I guess that’s a new thing too?) and he often talks about certain vitamins, including milk thistle Milk Thistle aids our liver and our liver is so key to our entire bodies. Soo…I needed new vitamins and ordered a few, including milk thistle, to my vitamin list. Hopefully they’ll all be good, healthy additions!
3) New Book.
I started a new book yesterday…The Age of Miracles. I really like it! (so far, I’m only a few chapters in). It follows a girl and her family when they find out the world has stopped rotating, the days are becoming longer, and how it changes the whole world (sounds random, but really good and read-able, I swear!). Finding a good book always encourages me to read more! Def a good thing for the new year
Okay and this is my favorite NEW thing that I’ve been working hard on the past few weeks……
4) Dog Toy Drive Event!
I’ve mentioned my Dog Toy Drive a kazillion times on the blog in the last 2 months and we’re just about finished. People have been so generous! And if any of you donated THANK YOU. Amazon weirdly doesn’t tell you who donates something from your wish list so I keep getting packages and don’t know who to thank
To close the drive, I’m hosting an event next Thursday! It’s at a great happy hour spot and we’re hoping to get a big crowd to drop off toys and stay for a drink or two. If you’re in SF, you MUST come!!
and lastly, but importantly…..
5) A new camera!
I haven’t actually gotten it yet (hence no photos in this post) but after breaking two cameras last year and going for the past 7 weeks without one (the iPhone camera+ app and I are bffs now), I am so excited to have a regular camera again! I had gotten so used to carrying my camera with me all day every day and taking blog photos that I’ve really missed it the past few weeks!
I have no idea what 2013 has in store, but I hope it is full of new adventures, new discoveries, and new joys.
Oh and can I just say that it was light out at 5pm yesterday and it made me SOOO happy to see that it actually is geting a little bit lighter every day! Every little bit counts on our way to summer!
So tell me…
- What’s new in your 2013 world?
- What vitamins do you take?
- What charities are you involved with?
- What gym classes do you take?
I hate to admit this, but no less than one day after Jared proposed my mind went immediately to….”Crap, I need to lose weight for the wedding.” I’m sure I’m not alone in this mindset. Everyone wants to look their best on their big day and to be fully honest with myself, I look no where near my best. I’m about 7 pounds over my “happy weight” and there’s jiggly stuff on every part of my body.
Because I’ve been obsessive and extreme about my weight in the past, I refuse to go down this road or even come close to it. But I still want to be proud of how I look when I walk down that aisle. Proud meaning I’ve been healthy and “loving my body” the months beforehand.
yay, i get to walk down the aisle to this guy!! i really can’t wait!
I googled “wedding diet” and “lose weight before wedding” and of course, a thousand things come up. It’s all the same advice you’d give anyone trying to lose weight– cut out sugar, ramp up your exercise, eat more protein, etc. We all know there’s no magic switch. It takes really hard work. And lately, I’ve shyed away from that hard work part a little bit. When I started blogging a year ago, I thought it would actually make me more committed to a healthy lifestyle. But over the past 12 months, I hate to admit it, but I think I’ve leaned the other way instead. Life feels like it’s moving so fast, a constant whirlwind, and I haven’t gotten the balance part in check yet. Plus those 40 hours of commuting every month where I just sit in my car doing nothing has added so much to my stress levels and inactivity time.
So what to do about it?
1) Stop Complaining. I’m so sick of hearing myself complain and make excuses, so enough already.
2) Clean Up My Diet in “small” ways. Too many restrictions don’t work for me (or anyone) so I’ll just focus on a few things.
eat more of this
- Gluten free– I’ve *mostly* given up gluten these past few months. Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe not. I was getting killer stomach aches regularly for the past few YEARS and had other tummy problems, and on the advice of a gluten-free friend, I gave it up for a month last year. Then I started eating it again, started getting stomach aches again, and then finally recommitted in October (post my September birthday cake eating). I still eat it when I’m at someone else’s house or at a party, or if something just looks too good, but I’m about 80-20 right now and I haven’t had a single stomach ache since then. Wow. So, I need to recommit though and make it 90-10….aside from stomach aches, the less cookies and pastries in my life, the better.
- Nuts- I know they’re healthy, but I have an unhealthy relationship with them and can eat like 10 servings at a time. Goodby nuts and nut butters. I love you, but this just isn’t working and it’s just not healthy. I’m sure I’ll still eat them once a week, but by saying no, I’ll save myself those extra handfuls and licks of the pb spoon.
- Fake sugars– I gave this up years ago and now that Jared and I live together, they’re creeping back into my life. He always makes crystal light fruit punch or iced tea in a big pitcher and I went from avoiding it completely to drinking one or two glasses every single day. And I even started drinking diet hansons soda again occasionally. What the heck?! That is so not good for me.
- The extras. I have a sugar and snacking problem pretty often. Those handfuls of chocolate chips I eat after dinner have to go. So do the miscellaneous snacks I eat at my parents’ house solely because it’s just something different than the things I buy (aka, a scoop of their ice cream, a handful of raisins, a few bbq chips, etc). Not to mention, I have a bad habit of stealing Jared’s fries or extra bits of his “boy foods” and that’s just not necessary. It adds up.
My parents always seem to have ice cream in their fridge….ugh!
3) Exercise– Yeah, I know I’ve said it often lately, but I need to get more of this into my life.
- A lot of people talk about their exercise journals. I think I need one. That way I can be proud of myself and more motivated. So….I’ll print out something on excel that I can check off each week.
- Start saying no more. Sorry friends, but I’m overcommitted lately and need to start saying no to more things so I can leave enough time to go to the gym daily. I feel better and happier when I have a schedule that allows this and I need to take care of my mental and physical self now.
- Take more workday walks. Sometimes I’m really good at this and leave my desk for 30 minutes to walk a few miles around the neighborhood. With the constant rain and yucky weather lately, I haven’t been doing this as often. But this can be part of my checkmarks on my journal too.
- Wine nights to Walk nights. When I lived within walking distance of the beach and the golden gate bridge, I’d often meet friends after work for a “long walk and talk.” Our loop was 5-6 miles, took under 2 hours, and we’d get all our chatting in plus some bonus fresh air. I don’t live that close anymore, though there are plenty of other loops. We’ve all gotten into a wine habit and so now I’m insisting we move back to Walk nights.
From a walk night to the bridge oh so long ago
And that’s it for now…..I don’t wan to be too hard on myself or make too many “rules,” especially because if I feel too restricted, I’ll probably have me rebelling into becoming unhealthy. I also think it’s silly to be hard on myself. This year was great and crazy and busy and I did my best. I did well considering. So it’s not about being angry about the past, it’s just about making the future the healthiest it can be.
We’re 95% certain the wedding is Memorial Day Weekend (we’ll be 100% once we officially sign the venue contact) so I have 5 full months of body clean-up ahead of me. I have to admit that I feel weird posting this, like I’m destined to fail or something, which is a silly way to think, I know. But I’m going to do my best and make ME and my healthy a top priority again.
– Do you steal bites from your friends, family, SO, etc?
– Are you at your happy weight?
– What am I missing from this equation?
– How much weight did you lose, if any, before your wedding?
– How long was your engagement?
Sooo, the weekend. Yes, it was a good one. Mellow and full at the same time.
Saturday night, we went to a wedding. Let me just say, going to a wedding in SF instead of having to fly across country is sooo ridiculously nice. Hopping in a cab and sleeping in my own bed afterward, yes please.
Me in the cab….
The cab guy thought I was nuts. Look at how little I managed to bring in my purse. I usually have way too much stuff and it’s bulky. You too? Or are you good about not bringing a lot? gJust the essentials- lip gloss, liner, ID, keys. Oh yeah and a granola bar for Jared who came directly from training…(yes, he showered)
Really pretty wedding, I won’t bore you with the details, but here’s a few shots:
me and my date
loved the cake with the SF skyline!
Okay, now on to other things. Let’s talk about the gym.
Yesterday when I was on the treadmill (ummm, watching reality shows while I ran), I realized how thankful I am for my gym. Last year at this time, I was massively hating my gym. It was tiny, crowded, and the machines were out-of-date. There were no tvs, the stretching mats were dirty, and every time I was on a machine, the trainers would hound me to sign-up with them (I’m not opposed to them offering their services, it was just overkill). Going to the gym wasn’t relaxing anymore. The only good part was that it was close to my apt and my friend belonged too, so we would occasionally go to yoga classes together.
BUT, in February, another gym was offering a special and so I bit the bullet, quit my gym, and I signed up. HOLY COW, it makes such a difference to belong to a gym you love. Now I can’t wait to be there, have so many class and machine options, a pool, sauna, etc…..it is so nice and my exercise routine has really benefitted from it.
Even if you love your gym to pieces, it’s always really fun to explore a new one. Whenever gyms have free passes, I always like to go– changing routines is fun and I figure, why the heck not?! Anything to beat gym boredom factors.
24-Hour Fitness (have you been? Their gyms are sooo nice around here!) is offering a free pass, no strings attached. You can sign up through here.
Not meaning to sound too much like an ad , but thought I’d offer it to you guys in case you were interested.
– What’s your favorite part about your gym?
– Have to you been to more weddings far away or around your area lately?
– How many weddings did you go to this year? I had 9 in the past 13 months- yikes!
In the next segment of my Gym Class Challenge, I went to “BodyART” last night.
I was pretty excited after reading the description:
BodyART: “Ying meets Yang in this class that blends cardio, yoga, and dance based principles. This workout is therapy for over-exercises and perfect for anyone looking to improve the functionality of the body from head to toe. Use deep work training to release tension in the body and return it to the roots of what makes it one efficient and functional unit.”
Dance, yoga, and make my body an efficient unit? Yes, please!
So here we go: BodyART:
If you’ve ever tried discretely taking photos in a class, you know it’s not easy one bit! I took two, but they’re terrible quality, so no judgements please
And what was it like?
The class was just what it said– a lot of yoga moves (lunges, downward dogs), a lot of ballet-style dance movements (plie, dance-like arm movements).
The first part of the class was more yoga inspired but with very flowing movements. Cat & Cow, warrior positions, squats– all with a more dance-like quality to them.
We did 5 minutes of cardio in the middle. Only 5 minutes? Yep and it was great to push yourself because you knew it wouldn’t last long. One of the fun cardio moves– in plank position and then start running with your legs. It was pretty cool, def gets your heart beating, and actually fun.
After every segment throughout the class, we came back to child’s pose, which was really nice and relaxing.
Child's Pose. Though looks like everyone in the mirror is doing something different- ha
We ended with stretches, some ab moves, and some dance-like moves. I’m not a dancer so I have no idea what to call the moves.
Verdict: It was different. It felt good to stretch, I liked the music, and it’s fun to dance and get away from “normal” yoga. My friend who I went with loved the class and plans to go regularly now.
Would I do it again?: Probably not. It was fun to try, but I got bored and felt like I could have stretched better on my own. Also, I’m not into all the classes where they try to strengthen your thighs lately (aka, chair pose and squats) because let me tell you, my thighs are plenty large and muscular…..I want them thinner and those positions don’t seem to be a good fit for my body.
But once again, it was so fun to try something new. Gym Class Challenge success for a Monday night!
Want to read about my other Challenge Classes?
Cardio Tai Box , Spinning , Aerial Yoga
Have you tried any new classes or workouts lately?
Ummm, Anti-Gravity Yoga– what the heck does that mean? With Wings? No clue.
Whatever it is, sounded perfect for my “Gym Class Challenge.”
This class is immediately following my regular yoga class and I always see them bringing in these white hammocks. I have been sooo curious what it’s all about, so I decided to try it this past weekend.
Of course, I looked it up before I went.
Here’s the gym’s official description ”Anti-gravity yoga wings combines traditional yoga principles with elements from aerial acrobatics, dance, Pilates and calisthenics. …..using a flowing fabric hammock as a soft trapeze, you’ll learn simple suspension techniques to move into seemingly impossible inverted poses to relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe.”
I took some pics, but was trying to be sneaky and they didn’t come out amazing, so in case you’re having some trouble picturing what it looks like, here you go:
I walked in and everyone was already ”expertly” hanging up their own hammocks and floating in them.
The room set-up was pretty neat. The instructor (there were two of them– one to lead class and the other to walk around and help people. The second one also went around with incense so the room smelled very zen).
Sneaky in-class photo while we were setting up the hammocks
The first half of class was more athletic. We sat in the hammocks pushing our bodies in different ways, using the hammock as a guide. We did lunges with one leg resting on the hammock. We flipped into a “mission impossible” type pose low to the ground.
The second half was more restorative. We swung on the hammock like a swing. We did modified downward dogs. We sat with our legs stretched out.
Another shot of the room
The flips were really fun and I felt a little like I was in cirque de soleil or in my childhood gymnastics class.
It was also really hard. They say it takes a few times before you get the hang of it, but learning the postures and finding the right balance with the hammock was a challenge. The hammock allows your body to work muscles (especially some stomach and arms ones) that you can’t reach in regular yoga. I am sooo sore today! It’s a good feeling though and so this is definitely a good workout.
My verdict? It’s very unique, a good workout, and if you are bored with yoga, it’s a great way to try something new. The instructors were great and very helpful. I’m so glad I tried it! Was a really neat, new experience.
Will I do it again? I’m not sure. I like my normal yoga class. This was different, but I don’t think I liked it enough to go every week.
I’m so happy that my gym offers this class– I’ve said a few times that I’m not a big fan of my gym, but way to go! I’m def going to tell all my friends to try the class– everyone should do it once.
Do they offer Anti-Gravity Yoga at your gym? I know it’s taking off in NY and LA, but not sure if classes are offered in other cities yet. And regardless if they do or not– think you’d try it?
Gym Class Challenge Update— Remember how I was going to try all those new gym classes to get out of my rut?
Believe it or not, this past weekend, I finally tried the one class I was dreading the most— SPINNING!
This isn't my class, found this online
This was actually sorta big deal for me. As I mentioned before, I had a weird fear around Spinning class. It always seemed so hard core and intense.
When I’ve been at the gym, doing my thing on the treadmill, I can often hear the music blasting through the walls of the spin room and the instructor yelling at everyone. The people in the class always looked like they were frowning intensely. And when they finished, the spinning door would finally burst open amd every single person seemed to be dripping in sweat.
I wasn’t sure that was for me. I was happy on my treadmill.
Sure, I like to ride a bike. But I like to do it more leisurely, like in the form of let’s say take a ride to the ice cream store, not while being yelled at.
But people seem to love spinning, so maybe it’s not so bad? And besides, trying something new was the whole point of my glass class challenge. I decided it was time that I gathered my courage and actually tried it. It also helped to keep telling myself, “it’s only an hour…..”
So, enter- Gym Class Challenge: Spinning
And the result?
It was fun! I actually kinda liked it.
I got there a little late so there was only one bike left. The seat was high and I tried to move it, but it wouldn’t budge before the instructor started blasting music and yelling at us, so I just got on anyways and started pedaling.
And pedaled and pedaled. Hanging in at 100 mph.
The hour flew by!
My attempt at taking a photo without anyone noticing
The music made it so fun and high energy. The class started at 7:30 am on a Saturday– but even though I came in still sleepy, it only took a few minutes I was wide awake.
I don’t think I put enough resistance on the bike when we were “riding up a big hill,” but it was still challenging. I could feel the burn (especially in my butt).
Afterward, I was surprised not to be dripping in sweat, but I’ think that’s mainly because the room was freezing cold. I was sorta happy about that. And I left the gym ready to tackle my day and feeling energized.
My verdict? This was a great example of why this challenge is good for me. I tried something I had been intimidated about and it was actually fun! It was also a good confidence booster to do something I was unnecessarily afraid of (though now I can’t understand why I would be afraid of the spin room?).
Will I do it again? Maybe.
I’d still rather go on a leisurely bike ride, but if I feel like doing something different and high-energy, yes, spinning class can do the trick.
Yay, I FINALLY tried spinning!!!!
What’s your take on spinning? What were your thoughts after your first class? Any classes or workouts you’re sort of intimidated to try?
As a San Franciscan, I just had to write about this– The SF Airport just opened the VERY FIRST airport Yoga Room.
Yep, you read that right. While you’re waiting for your flight, you can pop in for some downward dog and pigeon poses. No more flipping through magazines while your flight is delayed. Instead, you can stretch out those legs.
Yes, us San Franciscans are very zen. So zen that we need a respite from the stress of travelling.
Airport designers recently decided that travelers should have a FREE place to relax and find balance in an otherwise stressful environment. And Voila! We now have our very own yoga room.
The room is, “bathed in calming blue light, with a floating wall said to symbolize a buoyant spirit and enlightened mind. Lights in the room are low and warm — to counteract the bright concourse — and loaner mats are supplied.” source
Signs of a person in a lotus position are all over the airport directing people to the Yoga Room.
They even had an opening this week that featured granola and fresh fruit. Instead of a ribbon cutting, they did a sun salutation. How very un-airport like!
Random or Cool?
Here were my initial thoughts/questions—
- Um, I sometimes do travel in sweats, but not really yoga clothes. Are there going to be people there in jeans and business suits? Or is this place only for those in yoga-friendly clothes.
- Who has that much time in between flights?
- Because I most definitely will NOT be travelling with my yoga mat, do you think their mats will stay clean? I doubt it’s the first priority of the airport janitorial staff and travelling makes you extra dirty anyways….so that could be really, really gross.
- It’s really random. I’m not sold yet and think the space might better be used with, say, a FREE MASSAGE ROOM, but the more I think about it, the more I think it could be a neat idea.
If you want more details, check out THIS article. All photos courtesy of SFO.
QUESTION—– SOOOO- What do you think? Cool and you’d use it? Or wayyyyy too random?
Regardless of if I do any poses, I’m totally gonna pop my head in and check it out the next time I’m at the airport.
Last night, I decided to change things up in my gym routine and went to “Cardio Thai Box,” which is really just a fancy name for kickboxing.
We kicked, punched, jabbed, and uppercutted our way through the hour and I was dripping in sweat. I felt great after. It was so much fun and a great workout. I used to do kickboxing a lot in college, but haven’t really been since. Can’t believe I had never gone to this one at my gym before!
Random story– in my college kickboxing class, we were doing punches and the girl standing next to me punched her arm out of the socket!!! It was just hanging there and she was screaming! Always makes me cringe when I think about it.
Anyways, I’m usually big into my normal routines at the gym and like to workout on my own. Plus, I’m admittedly a little intimidated by some of the classes. I don’t know what to expect, I’m not the most coordinated nor can I catch on to a routine that quickly, and truthfully, I probably also have some laziness (hey, I love the elliptical so I’ll just stick with that). I’m that weird person who loves to workout, but has never been to a spinning class, never done a boot camp, etc. But since my gym offers a bunch of great “unique” classes (ummm, there’s even a Pole Dancing class), this brings me to……
Blueberry Smiles Gym Challenge!
I need to change up my routine a bit, SO I’m challenging myself to try EVERY class in my gym. That includes spinning, “Strip Bar,” and the “Buff Girl Workout.”
There are 15 classes, all at varying times (hopefully most I can make work with my work schedule) so I’ll have to be creative to fit them in.
I’m giving myself 6 weeks (until the end of Feb)– I’m house-sitting for the next week, so might not be able to go to any classes, but we shall see. I’m super excited!
I’ll write reviews of the classes, I’ll prob mess up a bunch in them, but hopefully I’ll find a class that I unexpectedly love (I’m guessing I’ll find a few that I really don’t love either- ha).
Here are some of the classes:
- Vinyasa Heat- (I love yoga, but have weirdly never done a Bikram class)
- Antigravity Yoga with Wings- using a fabric hammock as your prop and as a “soft trapeze.”
- Body Web Bootcamp with TRX- “not only push, pull, hang, and suspend your way to a better body with the TRX, but add a strength training element.”
- Buff Girl Workout- Combo of pilates, ballet, bootcamp, and vintage aerobics
- S.T.A.R. Treatment- Spinning, Toning, Abs and Relaxation
- Strip Bar- Happy hour of sexy, hot cardio. “This class takes striptease to the next level with the body bar as your prop. Oh yeah, we’ll make you sweat.”
Want to do the challenge with me?
Are there any classes you’re intimidated to try (or just plain, think you won’t like) at your gym?
What’s your favorite class?