Tag Archives: Exercise

A Walk – No. 1

Two days ago I got a hair cut. I really like it. Gal pal Kristine is a rock star! But that’s not what I’m writing about. I took a picture of my hair to share with my far-away sister (cause we like to do that sort of thing) and I noticed an un-ignorable pudge above my waist band. I was embarrassed to send the picture, but did anyway because, hey, it’s my sister, but went to bed feeling sad about my wintery weight that is always inevitable but never quite welcome.

This morning I woke to the sounds of birds chirping (actually it was my BBT thermometer) and sunshine pouring through my window. After briefly thinking that perhaps today would be the day I get back into my workout routine, I swiped alive my phone and loaded up Facebook instead. To my glee horror, there on my Facebook wall sat the loaded coincidence that I needed to get my lazy butt going.

john muir

Seeing as I live a mere block from the beautiful Iron Horse trail, I felt that I had no excuse to sit at home on another gorgeous morning, so away I went on a quick four mile power walk stroll.

I took some pictures which I thought I’d share. It appears that spring is on its way!

Iron Horse Trailwild flowersflowering treeflowering treewild flowersiron horse trail

When I got home, I decided to write this post and upon downloading the Facebook photo I noticed the quote was by John Muir. Seeing as I just moments ago walked past a hospital named after the Scottish born author, I’m thinking I did exactly what the universe was suggesting I do.

I guess good ‘ol John Muir was right! We often do find more than we seek, or perhaps, in my case, exactly what we’re looking for!

Laura

Happy Summer Solstice

It’s the first day of summer!!! Yay! And mother nature is sure letting us know here in the East Bay. I’m not sure what the thermometer will cap at today but it’s 9am and already pretty hot out, which is why I woke up extra early to start my pre-pre-wedding workout or “get skinny before the first fitting.” Not that I don’t have plenty of time before the wedding (479 days to be exact) but I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately and it’s time to get back with the program.

I’m ashamed to admit that my lack of motivation is partly why I haven’t written much lately. It’s difficult to lead by example when you’re dragging yourself along the trail. But I think I’m out of my rut and using the first day of summer as a landmark to get back into my old healthy habits and keep a more steady pace on my path of wellness.

I’m really digging our new apartment. There are no windows facing ours so I am able to keep the blinds open at night and when the sun rises it shines right on my face. It’s a great alarm clock if you ask me. So today, 7am, rise and shine, followed by a bit of morning texting to my sister (the only thing I like about the 3 hour time different) and off on a 3 mile jog. It felt good. As I’ve said before the first day out is a bit of a struggle. I was a little out of breath and there’s a hill at the end of my run that is mine to conquer. Hopefully I’ll be sprinting up it by summer’s end. (But let’s not go wishing anything away to quickly).

I found a 6-month wedding fitness plan on The Knot which I’m using as a guide for my workouts. It’s a little basic for me  (20 minutes cardio three times a week to start, then up it to 30 minutes, then add toning like push-ups and crunches, etc, etc.)  I went ahead a did 45 minutes this morning, followed by crunches and sit-ups. I’m also taking the The Knot’s advice to  journal my progress and take my measurements (eek!). They say to also weigh yourself but I don’t have a scale and I don’t much care about what it would say anyway. Keeping track of my measurements will do just fine. I’m looking forward to being toned once again!

Here’s the workout for anyone is interested in getting back on track. I think it’s a good one. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Oh yeah. I never updated you about my cleaning plan. It didn’t go so well. The methods are a success but there is no way I can clean everyday. Friday’s have become my cleaning day. Oh well.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Laura

Happy New Year!

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.  ~Hal Borland

The cliche of the New Year is upon us.  December came and went being exactly what it always has been and January followed obediantly, bringing with it promises of a great year and resolution successes.  I for one have never much bought into the hype of a new number at the end of the date meaning it’s time to change my flaws and become the best I can be. But, for the sake of conformity, I did give thought to a pattern or two I may be able to change.  So here’s a little list of New Year’s resolutions I hope to pay a little mind.

Laura’s New Year’s Resolutions

1. Text less, call more

2. Blog daily

3. Exercise regularly…starting with my “Turning 30, 30 Day Fitness Challenge” to begin on January 5th

Nothing too complicating.  Just a few things that I believe will strengthen my ability to “cultivate my wellness.”

What are you promising yourself for the New Year?!

Laura

“Wanna Go for a Walk?”

The time was 4:26 and we just finished watching Notre Dame lose to Michigan (tear). The USC game didn’t start until 5, giving us exactly 34 minutes until kickoff against Ohio State. As I sat there on the couch next to my favorite football fan, waiting for the next Saturday game to begin, I thought to myself, “We can sit here for half an hour and channel surf, or we can do something constructive with our limited time.”

I turned to him and asked, “Wanna go for a walk?”

To my surprise and delight he said yes, so the shoes went on and off we went for a stroll around the block. Upon our return, with 4 minutes to spare, I could feel the tingle of blood-flow in my legs, the comfortable throb that lets you know you just did something good for your body, and I sat back in content. Maybe I’ll do this everyday.

walking

According to the latest joint American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines on physical activity, “all healthy adults ages 18–65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week.” Among these activities, walking is one of the most highly recommended and you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to do it. All it takes is a pair of shoes and you’re on your way to:

  • – Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
  • – Improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • – Improving blood lipid profile
  • – Maintaining body weight and lowering the risk of obesity
  • – Enhancing mental well being
  • – Reducing the risk of osteoporosis
  • – Reducing the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • – Reducing the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

The American Heart Association is so convinced that walking is a great way to regain your health, they came up with Start!, a great program that encourages walking. Their website invites you to Start! your walking routine, find paths in your community, meet up with other walkers and even track your progress. There’s also a program to help companies set up “Start! Walking” routes in and around the workplace. With new concerns about health care, this is a great way for companies to cut back on coverage costs while their employees receive a new chance at a healthy lifestyle.

For more information about how you can “Start! walking for a healthier lifestyle,” as well as other ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, visit their website and remember: there is always time to go for a walk.



Laura

All it Takes is the First Breath

Meditation: what does this word mean to you? Is it a way to relieve stress, find peace, reach enlightenment? For some, it may sound like something only for yogi masters or monks in the Himalayas. For me, meditation is about finding a quiet place and resting there a while, not asleep, just silent.

I have heard time and time again from patients that they try to meditate but find it too difficult. They can’t relax enough, their minds wander, they just can’t do it right! I say that meditation doesn’t have to be this way. It can be easy, and enjoyable, and you don’t have to kayak to Peru to do it. It starts with something each and every one of us do all day, everyday: Breathing, but maybe not quite the way that you’re used to.

What many of us don’t realize is that our breathing may actually be contributing to our stress, anxiety and even muscle tension. We first need to learn how to breathe properly in order to begin our journey of health and meditation.

Exercise:

  • Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your eyes closed.
  • Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your lap.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 5, drawing your breath into your abdomen to fill and expand it.
  • Hold for a count of 2.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose for a count of 5.
  • Hold for 3 counts.
  • Repeat for one minute or about 8 breathes.

Make sure that your shoulders remain relaxed throughout the exercise. If your mind wanders, bring your focus back to your counting.

Practice this every day. Do it in the morning when you first wake up to get an energetic boost that will help you start your day, at work to help you de-stress before a meeting with your boss, or before bedtime to help you wind down and forget about the day.

As you start to become more comfortable with the exercise, add another minute or two. Try to work your way up to at least five minutes daily. Sound like a lot? That’s just slightly longer than the average commercial break and less than the time it takes to boil water.

Before long you may find yourself wanting to sit longer, or maybe adding a mental image or mantra to your breathing.  However you do it, remember that there is no right or wrong way. Don’t be hard on yourself if you find your mind wandering. This time is for you and for whatever you want it to be. Whether you’re striving to find your own inner nirvana or wish simply to have a minute to yourself each day, this exercise can help meditation become an easy and enjoyable part of your every day.

Laura