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Posts Tagged ‘Workout’

Christmas, for me, isn’t an excuse to skip out on my health. And since I took yesterday off (usually Sunday is my rest day), I had to squeeze in a workout today.  Most gyms are closed, I didn’t get home til after dark (so no outdoor workout for me), and I needed cardio, so I had to resort to the one full-length cardio video I had, TurboJam.

Trust me, this isn’t an ad for these videos. I find the instructor annoying and her martial arts skills scary bad, but hey, it makes me sweat and works my abs, and I only have to use the video 1-2 times per year, so TurboJam it is.

Yes, I know, diet is more important, but that can be hard when eating away from home so much, so my workouts help keep me semi on track, my blood sugar in  decent check (staying away from the sweets), and my stress level low.

 

 

Photo of Turbo Jam exercise video playing on my TV

Ohhhhh I’m not looking forward to this…

Photo of a BeachBody workout video warning that reads, "You should always warm up for a few minutes before beginning any workout, and you should never exercise beyond the level at which you feel comfortable.

I know what they mean, people can take it too far, but part of the point of exercising is to push your limits, slightly.

 

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I’m an efficient person by nature, but I realized something recently about my workouts: I choose the classes I go to because I not only get my training in, but because I also learn a new skill.

  • From martial arts I learn self-defense, self-confidence, body-mind connection, etc.
  • From Zumba I learn to be a better dancer
  • From yoga I learn balance and flexibility
  • From Pilates I learn better posture

All while getting my daily workout in.

I’m not saying the other classes aren’t good or that I don’t do the traditional weight-training/cardio, but why not kill two birds with one stone?

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Someone doing yoga with the Dead Sea in the background

Dead Sea yoga by Ian Bothwell from flickr Creative Commons

 

A couple of years ago, I took a yoga class from the self-proclaimed “least flexible yoga instructor ever,” which gave me comfort since the friend I took it with might as well be Gumby.
During balance moves, the instructor (who also admittedly struggled with balance) told us the trick was to focus on some unmoving point to maintain balance. The more I practice yoga, the more I find this to be true. If I focus on another student and they start to falter, so do I. But if I pick something unmovable, such as a mark on the floor or the base to a stand of weights, my ability to balance increases significantly.
One particularly insightful morning last week, I was finishing my karate circuit training workout with some yoga and it occurred to me that, within this simple yoga rule is a powerful life lesson: if we focus on things that center us, we have a better chance of staying balanced.
This could be major truths, which in my life include the existence of God, faith in humanity, the need for hope, etc. But it could also be things like family, friends, children. It could also be moments, such as a warm breeze making the leaves on the trees sing with it’s presence.
Whatever it is, take a few moments today to contemplate what centers and balances you in your life.

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Welcome to hell….this is my super-intense workout that I do to prepare for an extreme sporting event. Typically, I used this circuit training workout when preparing for karate tournaments, but I’ve used it for other things as well. You can easily swap-out the cardio drills for drills specific to your sport.

I don’t recommend doing this workout for more than 3 weeks at a time.  Like many of the other high-intensity workouts these days, it can cause a lot of damage to your joints if you do it long-term. And, you need to vary your workouts often for them to be effective.

Basically you use very light weights, high reps for 60 seconds straight, then immediately transition into a karate drill for 60 seconds straight, then go to the next muscle group and continue rotating between lifting a light weight per muscle group for 60 seconds straight and then doing a drill for 60 seconds straight. When you work through all the muscle groups, you start all over and go through 3 times.

So…chest exercise, front kicks, back exercise, footwork v drill, shoulder exercise, v drill and so forth. Use fast-paced music and DON’T STOP the entire time!
I typically do the upper-body one day, then cardio the next day, then lower body the third day and keep rotating for six days. Then one day of rest and start all over!
Finally, I find this circuit-training routine for karate makes me lose weight and burn fat fast, so if that’s not your goal, eat more (good food)!
Post below if you have any questions.

Here's the routine for upper-body days

Circuit training lower body

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This No Sugar Oat Drop Cookie recipe quickly became my go-to breakfast after a friend introduced it to me a few years ago. I go to the gym and then to work, so, because I’m hypoglycemic and because muscle repair is so important, I eat one of these and drink a glass of milk (much-needed protein) after my morning workout each day.

With all that said, I always wondered how the nutrition on them stacked up.

Below is the nutrition for them care of SparkPeople Recipe Calculator. As a side note, I happened to look at the coconut flakes I’m using and they are SWEETENED! Ugh! I’ll be looking for unsweetened next time.

 

Nutrition Facts 

User Entered Recipe 

  12 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 223.9
  Total Fat 10.3 g
  Saturated Fat 3.5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 3.9 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 135.6 mg
  Potassium 250.7 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 29.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
  Sugars 15.9 g
  Protein 2.7 g
  Vitamin A 0.5 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 10.5 %
  Vitamin C 5.4 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 9.4 %
  Calcium 1.9 %
  Copper 5.5 %
  Folate 1.7 %
  Iron 5.8 %
  Magnesium 5.5 %
  Manganese 10.0 %
  Niacin 2.0 %
  Pantothenic Acid     0.9 %
  Phosphorus     3.4 %
  Riboflavin 4.0 %
  Selenium 0.7 %
  Thiamin 2.5 %
  Zinc 1.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

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espnW’s Sarah Spain recently published an article on the S.E.L.F.I.E. Method she created.

Here’s what I like about the method:

  • It emphasizes getting to the gym, which is a critical element of weight loss and health.
  • The group aspect allows for accountability.
  • The donation to a politician you DON’T agree with add an extra incentive to do you workouts. I know that would personally motivate me!

Here’s what I think it lacks:

  • A diet aspect. If you are looking to successfully lose weight, diet has to be a part of it. I’m not sure how you could easily incorporate that into the S.E.L.F.I.E. Method, but if you want to lose weight successfully and fast, you have to eat healthy and consume less calories.

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Sometimes it’s just fun to watch human behavior. I’ve seen this scene play out time and time again. I’ve seen a gender switch of this too, but that’s for another day.

The scene: Beautiful athletic woman and a man that is semi-athletic. He’s come to the gym with her to impress her. They are doing her workout.

Phase 1: They walk in and the man is ready to go. He’s got this.

Phase 2: They start doing her workout. He starts to realize that, although he lifts weights, doing her workout is much different and really hard. He tries to keep up.

Strategy 1: He starts making jokes, “HOW many more of these are we doing?” and laughs. He keeps joking like for a while hoping she will ease up.

Strategy 2: Strategy 1 failed. Now he moves on to try to distract her with conversation. He wants to tell her about his day and ask about hers. He’s suddenly interested in how her mother is doing. Especially if there are breaks in the workout, he will keep asking her questions to try to extend those breaks. If not, he’ll try to distract during the workout.

Strategy 3: Strategy 2 sort of worked, but she’s still hell-bent on finishing the workout. He now moves on to compliments. “Wow, you work out really hard,” “You have such an amazing body anyway” and then expresses concern, “I don’t think you are drinking enough water. Here, have some water. I need some too” or “Maybe you are working out too hard, maybe your body needs to rest. Let’s be done for the day.”

Phase 3: Strategy 3 worked. They walk out and he’s happy it’s over and she feels great about herself.

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