Exercise is like brushing your teeth.

Exercise should be like brushing your teeth, something you do daily. That’s how I think about exercise. Besides not brushing your teeth for a a month or two would be pretty gross and you wouldn’t do that. At least I hope you wouldn’t. Sometimes you have to change how you think about something to start getting it into your life.

Exercise is good for you that’s something we all know, its the implementing of it that is difficult. I rarely hear an excuse that someone was just way too busy to watch the current episode of Game of Thrones, but my they were too busy to exercise. Really it should be the opposite or try combining the two. I watch movies or shows while I peddle away on the stationary bike.

I’ve been told how consistent of an exerciser I am and that is because I made a point to become one. This did not happen overnight but over years. Now I feel off when I am not active, it doesn’t feel good. Yes, there are days I don’t want to but I’ve learned that most of the time and by most I mean 99% of the time I am happy I have exercised.

There are a lot of Tv show and movie workout out there. Game Of Thrones is an easy on to do this for, try this next weekend while watching the season premiere.

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Lost your Exercise Mojo?

Sometimes you just lose your exercise mojo. For whatever reason you just do not want to exercise at all. Those favorite activities become a chore and just something to go through the motions with or skip it completely. It happens, sometimes the exercise mojo just goes away. So what do you do when that happens?
 photo 23520d60-2dde-4055-9acd-e5a6e88729e0.jpg1. Take a rest week. Do not exercise and if you have been eating at a deficit eat at maintenance for this week. Its about long term health, sometimes losing the mojo is a sign we need to rest.

2. So you took the rest week and still don’t have any mojo. *raises hand* Dial it back. This is not the time to push your limits. Keep a minimum of activity going on formal or informal. I’m currently in a dial it back phase as my mojo is so fracking missing.

3. Do something different. Try a new class or exercise routine. If you love vinyasa yoga try relaxation yoga. That different thing might be more rest days if you already exercise consistently.

4.No judging or blaming yourself. Being stern with yourself is not going to help. Mojo loss is not the usual hemming and hawing about exercise, don’t yell at yourself. What would you tell a friend? I bet you would tell them to rest and dial it back.

5. Mojo loss is temporary. You will want to exercise again, don’t worry, it will come back. Not wanting to exercise at all means to me that my mind and body are trying to tell me something, especially when I finish a workout and still feel blah or tired.

When all exercise sounds awful listen to your body and mind. Taking some time to rest, de-load, or dial back is healthy and in the long run better than forcing yourself through mojo loss.

Mixtape Sunday – March

Mixtape Sunday the March edition is brought to you by St. Patricks day. I decided to do a Celtic mix for the month. Most of the CDs are in storage and not on the new laptop. The names of couple of bands and a few songs are going to be sketchy. I knew this month was gong to be challenging as some songs do not have lyrics and there are a couple of independent releases. I’ll fill them in when I find the CDs, but most of it is there. Don’t ask me why I picked the Ides of March for the title.

Ides of March
Bottle of Smoke – the Pogues
Stick to the Craythur – Green Fields of America
John Barleycorn Must Die – ??
Whiskey in the Jar – ?? They are from Canada, parents saw them in Calgary.
Billy’s Bones – The Pogues
The Sleepless Sailor – Kate Rusby
Stolen Apples – Lunasa
Willy’s Lady – Martin Carthy
Young Ned of the Hill – The Pogues
When the Kye Came Hame – The Tannahill Weavers
Puirt A Beul – Sileas
The Humours of the King of Balleyhooley – Patrick Street
Finnegan’s Wake – That dang Canadian band again.
Logan’s waters? – Off a Scottish compilation.
Botany Bay – Kate Rusby
Jolly Coachman – ?? Same guy who did Barleycorn
Merry Sisters of Fate – Lunasa
Unknown name and Barleycorn guy again
Come by the Hills -Lorena Mckennit
I am Stretched on Your Grave -Dead Can Dance

Weekly Groove: Dynamic Warmup

Weekly Groove is the Dynamic Warmup. Ever since a dynamic warm up appeared in NROLA (New Rules of Lifting Abs) I’ve been hooked. I’ve created one to warm up with weights that is a mix of NROLA, NROL4L (for Life), some GGS (Girls Gone Strong), and stuff I like. There is also one from Runner’s World that I use before running.

If you are just starting out the dynamic warm up is going to look a lot like a work out and probably feel like one too. It was tough getting started with the dynamic warmup it felt hard but after not using it a couple times I realized I feel more prepared to lift or run. The running one is a very subtle feeling of being more ready to run.

Here is my current dynamic warm up that I use before weights. It takes me a bout 10 minutes.

10 Walking Crossover toe touch
5 Squat to stand
10 1- leg 1/4 squat
10 Side lunge with touch
10 Glute bridge
5 Knee to armpit (supine)
5 Rotation form quadruped
5 Bird dog each side
5 Down dog to spider man
5 1/2 kneeling thoracic rotation
5 inch worms
5 reverse lunge with twist
10 Grande battement
10 March in place
10Butt kicks

Staying Active in Winter

Staying active during the winter can be challenging. It is cold out, there is weather, and less daylight. Working runners often end up running in the dark morning or evening, add in a nice warm house or bed. Who wants to get out and run. Heck who wants to go out to a cold car and drive to the gym. No one. Here’s how are my top 5 tips for staying active during winter.

I know I’ve used the Yoda picture before but he just nails it.
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1. Schedule your workouts. You wouldn’t skip a meeting or doctors appointment, would you? Think of your workouts the same way.

2. Have the right gear. If you are going to run through winter or do outside cold weather activities get the right clothes. Cotton holds sweat and will have you cold before you know it. I have wicking underwear for winter, how I survived before them I have no idea.

3. Do a Challenge. I did a squat challenge last year that was a lot of fun. Other years I did a cookie challenge. For each cookie I ate I did an extra minute of exercise. It really makes you think before you gobble a bunch of them up.

4.Keep it flexible, yeah I know I told you to schedule them but if time is short and you planned on an hour you don’t have, change your plan. Even 15 minutes of exercise is going to make you feel better.

5. Rest is important do not neglect it. If you feel under the weather or still beat up from your workout take a rest day. Should I workout while sick is a question that gets asked a lot and I respond that your workout is to get better if you are sick, rest if you are sick. Take the time to nurture yourself when you need it, it will pay off.

Be a Light Weight to be a Heavy Weight

Just lift heavy gets tossed around a lot and as beginner I didn’t really know what it meant or what to do. What they were telling me to lift was too heavy but I kept trying to lift that amount that was heavy, because that is what the magazine told me to do. I hated it. It didn’t make me feel strong or better about myself. I felt worse so I stopped lifting.

I didn’t lift for years. I did yoga and ran. Fast forward a couple of years and I was struggling with the fact that my body wasn’t changing at all. I felt like a blob who had an excellent aerobic base. What I was doing was not working and I was not happy with my progress.

Enter New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW.) I committed to lifting weights for the six months it took to complete NROLW. What I did not do is start heavy. I started light even for me sometimes. Starting light did something that starting heavy never did and that was give me confidence. I could do it and it felt good.

What I realize now is that as a beginner form is where it is at. Actually form is always where it is at, good form is good. Starting out too heavy had me sacrificing form and that isn’t good. Build good habits when you start, unlearning bad habits is harder.

NROLW changed how my body looked drastically and I didn’t change my diet other than eating a bit more. The jiggly bits were no longer so jiggly. I no longer felt like a blob and everything in life was easier to do. Weight lifting wasn’t what I loved but it became a staple for what it did for me and to me.

Eventually I was hooked and weight lifting is one of the three things I really love to do. Lifting heavy will come with time and work, don’t force it. Sometimes you have to be a light weight to get to the heavy weights.

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