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Monday, March 31, 2008

Early time for Spinning

Well, I posted that my spinning class (7:15 am) was ending and I had to decide what to do. So... tomorrow I am meeting at 6:00 am to spin. I have everything ready that I need for tomorrow laid out- my workout clothes, my change of clothes, my swimsuit and towel (just in case I decide to go), my breakfast, my coffee thermos, cup, my lunch, my snacks, my bills to be mailed. Yeah, it took me awhile to get all of this together. But there will be no dilly dallying around in the morning when I get up. I usually like to get up and move about in the house- you know fold a few clothes, straighten the cushions on the couch, check my email, put away some dishes, etc. Not tomorrow, it is get up and go. Today at FF, Xand had us do something that I am still finding very difficult. This is starting out in a pike- this means you are standing up and bending over like you are touching your toes. Then you walk your hands out into a pushup position, drop your hips and do a pushup and then walk your hands back into the pike position. UGH!!! Try doing 8 of those. Then.... since he did not think that was hard enough, when you walk yourself into that pushup position instead of going down in a pushup, go down to a slow count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and then pop back up on 8. Needless to say, I just could not do the second round of this. And we only had to do 8 of each. But it was hard!! I do love to be challenged. I love this class because we all work at our own level. I am up to working with 8 lb dumbbells. I like to raise the weight, but not if it means neglecting my form. I need to have two sets of dumbbells. So that when I start to get sloppy, I can switch to the lighter weight and continue on. I start out on the heavier weight to keep me working harder to improve. It feels great to know when you are getting stronger. And it is great when you can accomplish more than you did last week. I compare myself to me and try not to compare myself with others. I am not them, and they are not me. I just want to be a better me!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Busy Day

What a busy day!!! I began early this morning by leaving my home early to get gas. I made it to the pool and was swimming by 6:15. I swam for about 40 minutes and then after washing my hair I was ready for my FF class. Today we did a workout using a medicine ball with twisting, squatting, lunging, and reaching. Then we worked out planking ourselves on the stability ball. Whew!!! What a workout! As a favor to my youngest son, I went to his place and cleaned it for him. I overheard him tell a friend that his maid was there! Ha! It will be payback when I need some help with the yard. I hope I can collect. So.... I am kinda give out this afternoon. No walking for me today. I hope to get in a bike ride this weekend. Hope you are all enjoying these beautiful spring days with getting some outside exercise.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have to mention one of the best exercises and that is doing yardwork. I work in a dental office, and I see people of all ages. The patients I serve that are in their 70's and 80's that come in with a bounce in their step are the ones that do one of two things- they either walk daily or they do yardwork. They have done this for years and they continue to do this as they age. This age business will just kinda sneak up on you. I see people in their 30's and 40's and 50's who don't do any type of physical activity. These become the people in their 60's and 70's who walk stooped over, take baby steps, and cannot get up off the sofa without the use of their arms helping them. So..... I have a choice on who I want to be as I age. I am learning from these older people that I too must either exercise or get out and do some yardwork. So.... I just returned from my FF class and right now I am outta here- out to work in those flower beds.

Working Your Core

My fitness fusion class works alot of different muscles, but the primary group we work is our core muscles. This is essentially the abdominal muscles- upper, lower, oblique, internal, external- there are lots of muscles here. Always when you are doing exercise, you want to think about holding your belly button in. This takes the stress off of your back muscles which will try to do the work if you let them. My trainers keep telling us that if you hold your belly button in often enough, it will have a memory and it will start to do it without you even thinking about it. And they are right. Many times when I am about to hold mine in, it is already in. The fitness fusion class works muscles that you need in your normal everyday life- bending, squatting, reaching, pulling, pushing, lifting, stretching, and lunging. Though my weight is not coming off, I continue to see progress in my strength and stamina. Of course I would like both, but if I have to choose, I would much rather be stronger and give out less and have fewer injuries than just losing weight. So.... I continue to do what I do to be a better me. There is just no replacement for being fit- not even being thin.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Encouraging or Nagging

I have to ask myself," Am I coming across as encouraging or nagging?" I don't know if it depends on what or say or who I am talking to. I don't know if it has to do with me who is doing the talking or the person who is doing the listening. For example, if I say anything to my husband about exercising, is it coming across to him as me trying to encourage him to get started, or does he think about it as something else for me to nag about? But... if one of his friends would say the same thing, then it would not be a nag. I have come to the conclusion that my words need to be few or none at all. I just need to keep being the example. This means that he sees me getting out of bed early in the morning, getting my gear together, and walking out the door to my exercise class. No words are needed. He knows where I am going and what I am doing. I will continue to do what I am doing, and I don't need to say a word. When he gets to the point that I got to a few years ago, he will get going.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spinning is Ending

I found out today that my 7:15 spinning class is ending. There is not enough participation in this class so they are cancelling it. I will have to go at a different time or do something different. I have options that I will try. I could just quit the spinning altogether and make this the day that I swim. I could join another class. I definitely know that the spinning class has helped me in my cardio stamina and also helped me for when I want to do a real bike ride. I seldom have a hard time pedaling after what I go through in the spinning class. Today our trainer Xand thought he needed to make our FF class harder than Friday's. Like I mentioned before, on Friday it was such a workout that I sweated up a storm. Well today was a repeat. And I could just not do some of the pushups he had us do. He wanted us to go down in the pushup to a slow count of five and then pop back up and go down again. I think he wanted us to do 8 of them, and I might have done 3. Very, very hard!!! So if your routine is starting to be easy, then try this variation of the pushup. I no longer do the "girl" pushups- you know where you start from the knees instead of the feet. But I am still not great at them. I cannot go all the way down to the floor. I do keep my body planked correctly with my hips down, but I cannot go all the way where my chin touches the floor. I do always try to do the proper form on my exercises. Today I increased my weight with the dumbbells to 8 lbs. I hope to be able to continue to do the exercises properly with a heavier weight. Oh, and by the way... I did have my much missed Dr. Pepper today! Yes, it was very good, but I plan to quit them altogether. I now know that I can do without them and so I plan to eliminate them from my diet. My walking friends last week increased the walk to 5 miles. So today I joined them and we walked that 5 miles. It is amazing that the more you get in shape and walk, walk, walk, the easier a longer distance is. Actually the 5 miles was really no different than the 4 miles other than we were walking longer. We talked about increasing the distance vs. increasing the speed. Since a couple of us would rather not spend as much time walking due to other responsibilities, we favor increasing our walking speed. What about you, are you constantly changing, getting better, doing more, challenging yourself? Don't you want to say, "I'm not getting older, I'm getting better!" Hey... I do too!

Friday, March 21, 2008

First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring. It has been a beautiful Good Friday here in the east Texas pineywoods. The wind was not even blowing hard today. The weather has been cool in the mornings (low 40's) and warm in the afternoons (70's). I am loving this weather because I know that soon it will be so hot here. It has been almost a week since I last posted. Let me see... what have I done this week? Last Sunday I worked in the yard. I had to pick up sticks, and when I did it, instead of just bending and stooping, I tried to make myself lunge forward to pick up the sticks or do a side lunge to pick up the sticks. This is much better on the back. Monday was my fitness fusion class, Tuesday was my spinning class. On Wednesday, I took the day off from the gym to do some business at home and I went for a 10 mile bike ride at home later in the afternoon. Thursday I skipped my spinning class and went and swam for 28 laps. Yes, I would so like to do more, but I am still having a hard time getting enough rest. I really need someone to push me more too! I don't push myself hard enough. Today I went to fitness fusion, and oh my gosh.... it was so hard! Xand worked us out so hard that I was sweating up a storm. We all felt like we had accomplished alot when we finished. Tomorrow I am going with two friends to ride bikes to a local place to have breakfast. We are going at 7:00 am and it will be a 15 mile round-trip ride. I just like mixing things up. Yes, I would so like to become thinner, but I do so just love to know that I can get out and do what I do. You know the saying, "Use it or lose it." I certainly see how that is true. I hope to keep using as long as I can.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't Forget the Weekend

Hey, don't forget to do some exercise on the weekend. I am saying that to myself because I have to schedule it in. Since I don't have a class on the weekend, I don't feel accountable to anyone. Therefore; I must remember that exercise counts on weekends too. Yesterday I managed to make it on a leisurely 10 mile bike ride. I went with a friend who just recently got a bike and has only gone 6 miles. So, I did not push myself to make it in a certain amount of time. We just got out on my walking road and enjoyed the beautiful weather. She did not tell me until afterward that she had been worried she could not make it this far, but I knew better anyway. She works out regularly, and I know pretty soon she will probably be passing me up. Anyway, although it was not strenuous, it was great to get some Vitamin D and work those muscles instead of sitting on the sofa or spending money shopping. Last Thursday I skipped my spin class to make it to my weekly swim. I made it 24 laps and changed up my routine somewhat. I am trying to get where I completely swim doing the crawl instead of other strokes. This time I did a sequence of 4 crawls up there and back, then 4 crawls up there and breast stroke back, then 4 crawls up there and left side, right side, breast stroke, back stroke coming back. I repeated this until I had done 24. Friday was FF, and again we were doing circuit training- lots of lunges, balancing, some flys, pushups, throwing the medicine ball. I was sore in my chest this weekend from this workout. Tomorrow is FF and I am looking forward to it. I just love the variety my trainers provide, and I love mixing it up at home. You all keep it up, tomorrow starts a new work week. So if you haven't started yet, do it tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Exercise Can Be Fun

You all do know that exercise can be fun. I must say that exercising alone is just not alot of fun for me. Being in these classes and having so much variety makes the class alot more fun. Watching people of all sizes and ages working toward a common goal is just a good thing. You know I started swimming last June. Swimming is hard, but it can also be fun. I got my bike last summer, and bike riding can be fun. Unlike plain ole exercise, bike riding is fun even if you are alone. It just feels good to be riding on a beautiful day with the wind blowing your hair. Now, my new summer exercise is going to be canoeing. We are looking into either borrowing one or buying one. I love to be on the lake or river and paddle a canoe. I can't wait. I also have another idea- after being at the softball park last Saturday (where I rode on the bike trail), I want to take my skates and spend some time burning some calories skating around the park. I do have elbow and knee pads, and wearing a helmet might not be a bad idea- at least until I get better at it. Maybe, I can even try again to water ski. You see how exercise can be fun. And hey... don't forget some of the most fun and best exercise there is- dancing!! You can do this in a class, with a partner, in a line, by yourself, in your bedroom, at a wedding, a reunion- dance, dance, dance, and see how you work up a sweat and what fun you will have!

Looking Like Spring

Boy, with daylight savings time, it is starting to look like spring. I am enjoying the longer days of daylight. I wanted to go swim today before my FF class, but...yeah, you know how it is to make yourself crawl out of the bed even earlier than usual. It is hard!! So... I only made it to the FF class. Today Xand, our trainer, seemed to indicate that he has a higher opinion of us than we thought. He wants to push us more and have us do exercises of more difficulty. We did exercises that the ball blast class does at 5 and 6:00 a.m. We are lying on our back on the stability ball and doing different abdominal exercises. Yes, some of the exercises were difficult, but I have to agree with him. We all seem to be able to do these exercises. Later today I joined my walking buddies and we added more distance going about 4 1/2 miles. It was a beautiful spring day and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Okay, here I go again.... I plan to make it to the pool tomorrow. I don't know if I will make it to spinning class afterward because spinning is very strenuous for me. I just don't know if I can pull a double duty on spin day. But I am looking forward to the swim.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Local Bike Trail

I made it to my FF class on Friday. It was spent doing more circuit training in several different stations. Most of the exercises were working on our core and our triceps and biceps. I had quite a workout, but found that I seem to be stronger than I thought I was. I like that we continue to mix things up, and my class never becomes boring. Yesterday was a beautiful day although it was still cold, especially with the wind blowing. My walking partner mentioned taking our bikes into town to our new local bike trail. I had never been on this trail before, but I knew that it was a mountain bike trail, and I would not be riding fast on it. I debated whether I should wear a helmet or something to keep my head and ears warm. She seemed to think that I would not need the helmet. Well, let me tell you.... I was certainly challenged on this bike ride! It was going up and down small hills, going through wet and muddy terrain, crossing narrow bridges, dodging trees and working my quadriceps to keep my bike from stalling. I felt like the trip was 15 miles long, and was surprised when I learned that it was only 3.6 miles. I did not time myself, so I am not sure how long it took me to ride it. But I did really enjoy it! The volunteers who made this course did a great job, and I will look forward to riding it again. Tomorrow my schedule changes in that I work tomorrow when I am usually off. However, that does not mean a day off of exercise. So.... FF is tomorrow, and if I feel good I may do double duty tomorrow and swim too. Hmmmmm.... I don't know..... this is the beginning of daylight savings time, and my body just does not adapt to these time changes. We shall see what tomorrow shall bring.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. I was driving to work today thinking about my age. I just thought, "Can this be? Am I really this age? I don't feel this old." I am wondering, when you get to be 80 or 90, do you think the same thing? I do know that at 49 years of age, I had a big revelation. I said to myself, "You know you are not going to ever be any better than you are right now if you don't make some changes. This is as good as it will get." This is when I launched into a regular routine of exercise. Now, I don't mean I have consistently exercised for 7 or even 5 days a week since that time. But I do mean that since that day I have been active- exercising from 2 to 6 days a week. It has been part of my life. I started out with walking. For over a year my neighbors and I walked from 6-7 miles a day. Then I joined a health club and worked out with weights at least twice a week along with my walking. This past summer I started swimming. And now I into my fitness and spin classes. So even though I have different modes of exercise, it has consistently been a part of my life for several years. I plan to continue this until the day that I die. If you are not doing anything, then just know that today is going to be the best you are going to feel. This will be as good as you will ever be unless you make those changes. How thankful I am that I had that thought and I made those changes in my life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Finally Posting

Gosh, it has been almost a week since I posted. I might have to rename this blog. My daughter surprised me and came to town this past weekend so I did not get to exercise this weekend. Again.... I did not get much sleep, due to catching up with her. But on Monday, I made it to FF. I did go for a walk, but the weather was much colder and windier than I anticipated. I was finally warming up as I was walking, but I got my shoes wet, and I did not want to walk further in wet shoes. So instead of 4 miles, I made it about 2 miles. On Tuesday, I did make it to my spin class. Today, I planned to do double duty and go for a swim before my FF class. NOT!!!!!
I was feeling so good sleeping that I just did not want to get up. But.... I do plan to go in a couple of hours to swim and then back home for a 4 mile walk. Now, I guess I am in either week 7 or 8 in my exercise, and I seldom get sore. But yesterday my quadriceps and my glutes and hamstrings were sore! We did lots of lunges- front lunges, side lunges, and back lunges with a twist. This has got to be what did it to me. Okay, tomorrow is spin class. I am making all of this a habit and trying not to lose enthusiasm. It is great to be able to move and to have lots of energy- exercise will do that for you.