Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s Friday!!!

It’s Friday, which I don’t have to announce, but I wanted to share a few rambles on how my week has one so far and my weekend exercise plans. I’ll keep it short, no need for a whole documentary.

I have had three workouts so far this week. Monday was couch to 5k (c25k) that was a rather tough one for me that I blogged about this week. Tuesday was a Pilates class that was a bit tough. Wednesday I gave my body a break. Even though that really wasn’t the plan but the day kind of got away from me and I was okay with not forcing myself to hit the gym. Last night I was extremely excited because thought I was going to a kickboxing class but when I got there I realized it was a body pump class instead. And hey I was okay with that! The instructor wasn’t nearly as hard as the guys that teach on Saturday mornings, but I’m pleased because I can still feel the burn. Today I’m scheduled to hit up the gym with my gym buddy (maybe do weights and c25k) and then tomorrow we’ll do body pump and yoga.

I’m excited to go back to my home gym! I feel like I haven’t been there in such a long time and it’s always a good time when my buddy and I hit the gym together. I think I should introduce her to you all? We’ll ask and see what she says. She is a major part of my journey. Many times I haven’t wanted to work out and she wasn’t hearing any of my excuses! And when we go out to eat or I’m craving something she does give me the side eye or even sometimes verbally say “Now Nisha, really? Do you need that?” I plead my case, roll my eyes and continue with my original plans or agree with her. But I really appreciate her looking out for me because I know it’s all love!

So that’s my week rundown. I really was hoping that this would be my 7 day workout week, but if today and tomorrow go as planned I’ll be pretty happy with that. But I am trying to work out 5-7 times a week instead of 3-5 times. Reach for the clouds!!! So how did your workout plan go this week? What areas can you improve in and what areas are you happy with? Personally, my Pilates technique can really use some improvement. Some moves I bend like a 2 x 4. But I’m happy with my number and variety of workouts this week. Happy Friday everyone!

Don’t fail me now (Please)

This year my fitness goal was to officially become a runner. There’s no official way to be declared a runner, but in my head if I could run a 5k I would be able to confidently call myself a runner. So that’s my goal that I’ve been working towards off and on since about March. I have to say I really think it’s getting the best of me. I’m not at a point where I want to quit, but I am at a point where I can see myself quitting in the near future. Sometimes you just have to declare defeat, you can’t be good at everything, right?

Each jog is getting harder, not easier. I have an old ankle injury that bothers me so I usually wear an ankle brace when I do my walk-jog. So on my last attempt at running my knees started bothering me in addition to my ankle, uh-oh. I really need all of us to work together at these goals so knees, ankles and any other body part that is on the brink of mutiny please don’t fail me now. (Yes that was a personal message to my body. I’ve tried everything else so why not plead with them?)

The last time I went to the doctor for my ankle he gave me a brace and a prescription for the pain. Clearly that was not a long-term solution, but I hope that one day my ankle pain will magically disappear so my running goal could be that much easier for me to obtain.

My pain made it necessary to look up causes and treatments for minor knee pain. So this is what I found

First of all, I’m talking about minor and annoying pain. You should call a doctor if you:

  • Can’t bear weight on your knee
  • Have marked knee swelling
  • Are unable to fully extend or flex your knee
  • See an obvious deformity in your leg or knee
  • Have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
  • Fall because your knee “gives out

After thorough research checking out Mayo Clinic Online, I decided that my pain is probably caused by me walking abnormally because of my ankle or because I’m not at a healthy weight. The online doc recommends ice, elevation, compression and rest to soothe my achy knees. Last night I soothed my pain with the help of a muscle relaxer and soak in an Epsom salt bath. That was a great TEMPORARY relief. If knee pain persists I will start wearing knee braces during my adventures in jogging. I am going to look all beat up running with an ankle and knee brace, but if it stops the pain I’m down. I will attempt to keep pushing on until the pain becomes unbearable and I need to see the doctor.

Another solution could be to pick a lower impact activity to conquer. Pilates has always been difficult for me; but for some reason I have this new-found adoration for runners and I would LOVE to be one! I hate people who peek at my treadmill but I found myself doing so last night. This guy did 5 miles in 35 minutes! I was totally in awe! How cool is it to say I’m a runner and I do a 10k in ___ or I do a marathon in __. What would I say if I did Pilates? Man I can hold my plank for like 5 minutes. <– who cares? That is my own personal opinion and I hope I didn’t offend any Pilaters (see they don’t even have a word, I’m just saying) out there in the blogosphere.

Maybe if I keep pleading with my body it’ll stop trying to sabotage me! Have you ever had any physical limitations that you had to overcome?

How’s your exercise plan coming along this week? It’s hump day! Two down and two more to go!

“I WAS HERE”

Inspiration strikes again by song. This time the song bird is Miss Beyoncé Knowles or should I say Mrs. Carter? This song brings so much inspiration to my whole life. I know health and weight loss is my main priority now but I do have a life outside of that. I pride myself on my volunteer efforts […]

Let’s lift and separate

Photo by David Lawrence

It’s hard enough for busty gals to find a regular bra that lifts and separates properly. But when you add moderate or vigorous exercise without the proper support— Houston we have a problem! As I do more jogging and less walking (feel free to add the applause here!) it is becoming more and more evident that I am in need of new sports bras. The ones I have are suitable for working out in the gym, my new body pump class or any other low impact exercise. But when I jog and get into a good rhythm it’s terribly annoying when I’m distracted by unwanted extra bounce… So the hunt begins.

If you’re not overly busty God bless you! But for those of us that are it is important to have the proper support especially during exercise. (And nothing can mess up a good outfit quicker than the the wrong undergarments.)

Tips to find the perfect sports bra:

  • Wide straps and racer backs are best for the heavily endowed
  • The bra is too big if the material wrinkles or bunches
  • The right size may not be the size you normally wear, try on a few
  • Sports bras should fit snug but not cut into your skin
  • A proper fit allows you to slide two fingers under the straps
  • For high impact activities I prefer bra sized sports bras instead of shirt sized (S-M-L), they seem to have a much better fit
  • Higher impact sports bras will not have a stretchy material on the breast and will also have a snap closure (if it’s stretchy enough to pull over your head it’s not giving you maximum support)
  • Look for moisture absorbing fabrics to avoid chafing instead of 100% cotton that will hold moisture
  • And I like when they have two separate compartments (my girls don’t play well together)
I ran across this article and found it very interesting, it says that a ‘D’ sized breasts can bounce an average of 6-8 inches when running! I really loved the Shock Absorber D+ Max Sports Bra that was suggested on that site and  I found it online for only $39.99. Unfortunately it was not available in my size, so the hunt continues. I’ll let you know when I find one that meets all my needs and costs less than $60.

Shock Absorber D+ Max Sports Bra

Any busty ladies found the miracle sports bra that I’m in search of? If you have an amazing sports bra please share! Happy Friday!

Ways social media can help you get fit

Today I ran across this article in Anytime Fitness magazine that I wanted to pass along that talks about how to use social media to help achieve your goals.. It’s quite clear that I’ve utilized media to stay fit but maybe excerpts from this article will help you all use social media to help reach your goals. Happy reading!

“3 Surprising Ways Social Media Can Help You Get Fit”

   Maybe you don’t associate sitting at your computer with getting in shape. But you’ll be surprised to know that social media provide incredible opportunities to make fitness work better for you. The next time someone asks what you’re doing online, you can tell them, “I’m working on my fitness!” Read on to learn how.

1. Get Informed

   To get in shape, you first need some basic knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. How can you keep up with the latest fitness news, tips and techniques? Social media make it easy.

   You’ll find many leading authorities from the health and fitness world on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once you follow or “Like” them, you’ll get their latest posts right in your newsfeed, alongside updates from your family and friends. It’s a convenient way to stay informed without having to go out and visit a number of different websites.

2. Get Inspired

   Knowledge is important, but it does no good if you’re not inspired to go out and reach your fitness goals. Thankfully, you’ll find an abundance of inspirational resources online if you know where to look.

   For example, the blogging community is rich with success stories that will inspire you to better fitness. For more inspiration, why not change up your routine? New exercises not only cure boredom, they also exert your body in creative ways to improve results. Anytime Fitness often shares an entire exercise video library, available on YouTube anytime you need it.

3. Get Support

   Don’t underestimate the value of support and accountability along your journey to a healthy lifestyle. It’s a well-known fact that announcing your intentions to the world (or at least your friends) is key to realizing your goals, and social media are the ideal platform to do exactly that.

   You could start your own weight-loss or healthy living blog. Or simply share your goals and provide updates to your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Anytime Health. Your online network can then easily track your progress, offer encouragement, and even provide some good-naatured ribbing along the way.

   You can also use social media to recruit a fitness partner, so you can hold each other accountable. Once you’ve found your “accountabili-buddy,” you can push each other to better health and fitness, both online and off.

Thank you all for being part of my support team! Has this article inspired you to look at social media in a new light?

 

Adventures in Body Pump

I did not plan to take this class, I think the class had its own plans for me. Saturday morning I made my way to the gym for a Zumba class followed by yoga. But after Zumba I was notified that yoga class was switched to the body pump class. What to do? We read the class description on the wall…

“BODYPUMP is the original bar bell class that strengthens your entire body. This 60-minute workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like Squats, Presses, Lifts and Curls. Great music, awesome instructors and your choice of weight inspire you to get the results you came for- and fast!”

I have to admit I was a bit scared but still intrigued enough to try the class (maybe it was more that my gym partner wanted to stay and try it). When I peeked into the room and saw weights and aerobic steps I was terrified. But I thought I always say I love a challenge, and this was my chance to prove it.

We were obviously first timers so the instructor gave us a brief run down of what to expect. He informed us that there would be ten songs starting with a warm-up and ending with a cool down. Each of the other eight songs would target a different body part. I’m thinking okay that sounds good, right? Well that’s not what I was thinking as we got about half way through the first song. I knew these would feel like the longest ten songs I’d ever listened to.

It didn’t take long for me to think what did I get myself into? As the songs progressed some areas were more difficult for me and some were less difficult, but none were easy! When it was cool down time I didn’t think I would have the ability to get myself to the car and finish the rest of the things I had planned for the day, but somehow I made it.

This was definitely the most challenging workout I’ve done in some time, and if you talked to me or saw me this weekend I’m sure you are aware of my aching body. I was sore all day Saturday, but when I woke up Sunday I felt like I had a run in with Floyd Mayweather.

With all that being said next Saturday morning you can most definitely find me in body pump class! You may think I’m crazy for wanting to put myself through this again, but if you read Friday’s post then you’d understand! I have to be honest today it hurts so bad that I’m really not feeling the good part yet. But I’m hopeful that tomorrow will be better. Regardless of my temporary pain, my body will be thanking me later for my improved muscle tone, greater endurance, and body fat loss.

You should try a body pump class if you’re looking for a high impact, high paced class where you can literally feel the fat burning off. Spectrum claims a 60 minute class burns 600 calories. I wouldn’t suggest you try this if you don’t have any experience in weight training. But if you aren’t a stranger to the weight room and you want to shake up your regular weight training routine definitely give this a try.

So…care to join me Saturday for body pump? You can be my special guest, I have no doubt that you’d feel the burn! Speaking of burning calories… have you planned your eating and/or exercise goals for this week? Did you meet your goals for last week? I fell short one 5k last week so I’ll tag on an extra one this week. I can’t dwell on that one missed day, I have to focus on all the goals that I WILL meet this week! Happy Monday and Good Luck!

“When it hurts so bad”

I love Lauryn Hill’s album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I am aware that I may be one of the few people that have this album on their current playlists, but if you haven’t heard it you just don’t know what you’re missing. I remember having this album on repeat during my 8th grade band trip. I don’t remember many details of the trip other than the dreadful dresses we were required to wear and listening to this album during the long bus ride. This particular song, “When it hurts so bad” from that album comes to mind…

When it hurts so bad, when it hurts so bad
Why does it feel so good?…
What you want might make you cry
What you need might pass you by
If you don’t catch it

Being a “closet romantic” these lyrics have multiple meanings for me, but only one is relevant to this post. I often find myself humming these lyrics after or during a demanding workout. And why do you ask? It’s the sweet burn of pushing your body farther than you thought it could go and then feeling the blissful sting of soreness as a reward for your hard work. And I know that may not sound like a desirable feeing to some, but if you are a person who loves exercise as much as I do I’m sure you understand exactly what I mean. I consulted with my doctor (WebMD) for their professional opinion on the issue and here’s what they said…

“Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.”

For all of you that are addicted to exercise I’m sure you can more than understand the high it gives you. I believe people can get addicted to exercise but I think only rarely that becomes a bad thing. Out of all the things in this world people could be addicted to if they chose exercise I think that’s a pretty good decision. (Except if that addiction is along with some type of eating disorder. I do NOT promote unhealthy eating habits in any way.)

Have you ever felt the painful ecstasy of a good workout? There’s no time like the present so what are you waiting for? Join the club and feel the burn! Or if you are a heavy exerciser do you agree that it’s addictive? I know I’m addicted are you? Happy Friday y’all! Let’s make this a fun and active weekend.