Posts Tagged ‘health’

FITNESS GOALS: JOIN A TEAM

Monday, October 26th, 2015

join a team | Where is June?

Typically I tumble into a fitness rut in the fall.  I launch the kids into a new school year and then begin to hibernate.  Last year I found it near impossible to pull myself out of it come spring, so I knew I needed to do something different.  I think age has a lot to do with and I have learned I can’t really take “time off”.   There is no bouncing back anymore, so my commitment to fitness must be steady.

In an attempt to break my nasty fall habit, I joined a TRX Team in early September.  The team ran for six consecutive weeks, meeting 3 days a week for an hour.  Our final class was last Friday.  Our fearless coach asked us to send her a testimonial regarding the team and our experience.


 

My testimonial:

I joined the TRX team in hopes that my historical fall slump could be avoided.

I have found that the commitment has been exceptional for me in many ways.

1. I had noticed that my focus on cardio exercise, namely running, had left me with little to no arm and core strength.  I began to see definition return within the first two weeks of the class.  I can only imagine how strong I will be by the end of six weeks.

2.  I have structured my days around the Team workout and have found I am extremely productive.  All areas of my life have benefited from a structure and schedule.

3.  I don’t weigh myself, so I can’t measure my progress in pounds.  I can measure it in energy.  I feel great all day long, including the afternoon when typically I slump.  I have been sleeping great and my clothes are fitting quite comfortably.


 

I am stronger, much stronger, six weeks later.  Additionally, the team increased my productivity and my energy.  For me the real work begins today.  Without the structure of a team I will need to be self-motivated.  My plan is to create my own weekly schedule, so that I have an allocated time and activity for each day.  Wish me luck!

In the end, accountability to my coach and fellow teammates was great motivation.  While we didn’t all have the same goals, the support and encouragement from the other women on the team was just what I needed to keep showing up.  Do you have fitness goals?  Whether big or small, I strongly suggest finding a team.  Find an established team or form your own.  Heck, form a team of two.  Just you and your bestie training for a 5K or taking 30 yoga classes together.  In the end you will be strong, happy, and connected.

 

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A BOOTY CHALLENGE

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

A Booty Challenge | Where is June?

A challenge just in time for the holidays!  Following up on core and arms, it is time to focus on the booty!  Keeping it simple, the exercises and repetitions stay the same all month. You just need to find the time time.  No weights, no equipment needed.  Put aside 10-15 minutes a day during this busy holiday season.  You will thank yourself come January 1!

I have included links as a reference for each exercise.

Wall Touches//Walking Lunges//Speed Skaters//Mary Katherine Lunges

 

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AN ARM AND BACK CHALLENGE

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

arm and back challenge

Ok, you super fit, beautiful things!  It is time for another 30 day challenge.  I have been feeling under the weather with an extremely vicious head cold, so I decided not to model the exercises.  Please forgive me.  If you were part of the Core Challenge last month, you will remember that I asked my friend Amy to help build a challenge that: 1.  Will take less than 15 minutes a day.  2.  Require little to no equipment.  3.  Will give us noticeable results.

I am thrilled that this challenges focuses on arms and back!  In an effort of full disclosure, I am a bit obsessed with my arms looking fit and toned. It is one of the first things I look at when I see a picture of myself.  I am sure Amy would give me a fitness based reason why it is vital to have strong arms and back, but my motivation is mostly for appearance sake.

This month Amy did add small hand weights.  She gives alternatives in the printable workout if you don’t have any at home.  Also, I tried to find images that matched Amy’s exercises- but since she is so crafty it was hard to do.  Be sure to read all of Amy’s tips on how to complete each exercise.

Start today, start tomorrow, or whenever you feel ready for it.  Download and print the latest 30 day challenge here.

I’m in!  Are you?

 

 

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A CORE CHALLENGE

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Where is June? Core Challenge

It’s October 1st.  The first official day of hibernation season.  If you are like me, fall is the start of a long, slow trip.  Destination: Sofa City.  In the Spring and Summer, I can bounce out of bed before my kids are awake and go for a run or workout with friends at boot camp.  Fall and Winter?  Not so much.  So in hopes of breaking the vicious cycle, I asked my friend Amy from Orbit Fit for a monthly challenge.  I had a few requirements:  1.  The challenge will take less than 15 minutes a day.  2.  The exercises require little to no equipment.  3.  After 1 month there will be noticeable results.  If I had my druthers, this month’s challenge would be focused on arms.  However, Amy pushed me to chose a challenge that would actually…challenge me.  Hmmph.

A message from Amy:

Think you could go do 100 sit ups, 50 oblique twists, 50 Plank leg lifts and 100 leg raises? No? Follow this plan and I guarantee you’ll do all of that and more 30 days from now. Nearly 80% of people will talk to their doctor about low back pain at some point in their lives … prevent this conversation by strengthening your core! Set an intention this month for a strong core. An intention isn’t a goal, it’s a way of being… stand tall with a strong core, sit with good posture, and do the following exercises that take less than 15 minutes per day. 

So here it is.  The first Where is June? challenge.  Start today, tomorrow, or whenever you feel ready for it.  Download and print the 30 day challenge here.  Need visual aids.  I bravely demonstrate the four exercises below.

Sit ups

forearm plank

leg raises

oblique twists

So there you go!  I am starting today.  Are you in??

 

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STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY

Monday, June 9th, 2014

stronger than yesterday

Today is Day 1 of a ten-day boot camp.  My workout this morning totally made my day.  Not because of the physical exercise, but because it reminded me of how much I love being physically active!  I had a particularly hard winter, not for any reason in particular.  I found it VERY hard to motivate myself to do anything active.  That was not a good feeling.  As summer approaches I feel ready to be healthy, strong and committed once again.

I did this same boot camp last year.  I pushed myself too hard, often doing 2 workouts a day.  Combined with all the exercise,  I also did a cleanse and cut out all dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.  I was crazed.  At the end of two weeks, I had gained 2 pounds and lost no inches.  Total astonishment!  On the last day I found myself in tears.  Later, upon reflection, I realized that I missed the point…entirely!  I was stronger, faster and I had spent 10 days working out with an amazing group of women.  AMAZING women.

This year, my focus is entirely different.  One of my goals is to be supportive.    There are many women who are stepping outside their comfort zone, pulling on those workout pants and showing up.  I was so proud of them today.  It isn’t easy to start and the key is to just keeping going.  One more lap, one more push up, one more minute, one more day.  Those women inspire me to push a little harder.  I hope I can inspire them in some small way.

Here are my four goals for boot camp. They are simple and focused on overall health.

1.  Drink water.  {Goodness, when will this NOT have to be one of my goals.  I am so bad at it!!}

2.  Complete my training runs. {I am running a half marathon in August so I have training runs I need to complete.  This means an extra workout four of the ten days.}

3.  Plan to eat every 2-3 hours.  {No cleanse for me this year.  I am planning out meals and working to eat BEFORE I am starving.}

4. Be supportive and have fun! {I totally missed the fun last year.}

Everyone’s goals are different.  If you took on a challenge like boot camp, what would your goals be?

The only person you need to be better than…is who you were yesterday.   Stronger than yesterday.

Just keep moving.  xo-denise

 

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A GOOD STRETCH

Monday, April 21st, 2014

MHB

One of my greatest joys in life is being physically active.  It saves my sanity.  I run, attend boot camp, love barre class, and ride a spin bike occasionally.  In the past, I have trained for road races {including a marathon} and triathlons.  I find that although recovery may take a bit longer, I am still doing pretty well with endurance, strength, and balance.  However, my flexibility needs a ton of work and it only seems to be getting worse.  Growing up as a gymnast, I suppose I have taken flexibility for granted.  My hamstrings and hips are so tight I cannot do a static stretch without my legs quivering.  Not good.

I recently read that flexibility can help your body reach its optimum fitness level, may play a role in injury prevention, and can even contribute to staving off conditions like arthritis and more serious illnesses. Ok, time to take my flexibility more seriously.

I am committing to add stretching into my life {somehow}!  I would like to a yoga class {or DVD} at least once a week and stretch 10 minutes a day.  I can do that, right?

Do you find you are struggling with flexibility?

Here are a few resources I found interesting/helpful:

1. How to improve Flexibility

2. Increase your flexibility and improve your life {Bold statement!}

3. 6 Stretches for a long, limber body  {Yes, please.}

4.  Leg Stretches that Increase Flexibility for Dancers and Gymnasts  {Going to use this for my 10 minutes of stretching.}

retro gymnastics

Top image: Mary Helen Bowers from Ballet Beautiful

 

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EXPLORING SUN PEAKS ON SNOWSHOES

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Lake McGillivray

I don’t downhill ski.  Funny thing is, my family takes a ski vacation every year.  What is a girl to do?  Snowshoe!  We just returned from a stay in Sun Peaks, Canada.  I spent our days there on my snowshoes taking in the sights!

I find my time snowshoeing relaxing and invigorating at the same time.  The views are often breathtaking.  The valleys are peaceful, yet the workout is strenuous.  This year I took on a challenge.  A 12km trek to a wilderness lake.  My friend Jeremy and I left the village at 10am and returned just after 4pm.  Yes, that is 6 hours on snowshoes.  Even with an hour break for lunch, it was still a hell of long walk in the snow.  We had heavy snow fall, then bright blue skies, and deep snow.  Our destination was McGillivary Lake.  Frozen over in the winter, we were able to walk onto the ice and snap some pictures.  We enjoyed a delicious warm lunch in the warming hut that our guide, Robert, packed for us.  We signed the Nordic log book and visited with the cross country skiers that were eating lunch as well.  Funny thing, they were all from the Seattle area.  Guess the snow is better in Canada!

I will admit the walk back was LONG and my left hip flexor was screaming.  By the end I was no longer chatting, but simply daydreaming of the beer that awaited me in the village.  Sore feet and muscles were certainly worth the awesome day we had on those advanced mountain trails!  The pictures don’t do this hike justice.

Lake McGillivary Canada

The rest of my trip was spent solo on shorter trails.  With my ear buds in and music pumping, I rarely saw another hiker.  I enjoyed the time alone.  And the views.  Man, I can’t get over the beauty of new snow and brilliant sunshine!  I feel so lucky to have found a sport to enjoy while my boys are making turns up on the mountain.  {A happy wife = a happy life.}

Sun Peaks on Snow Shoes

P.S.  We HIGHLY recommend Sun Peaks, Canada for a family ski vacation.  It has a wonderful village, tons of skiing, virtually no lift lines, and lovely people.  You truly can’t go wrong.  {Sun Peaks for life!}

Interested in the guided snowshoe tour to Lake McGillivary?  Book with Adventure Centre.  Robert was a fantastic guide!

 

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JUICE BOX: A DAY OF JUICE

Friday, February 14th, 2014

juice box 1 day cleanse

So yesterday was a day of juice.  And nothing else.  My brother has been raving about the benefits of juicing for well over a year.  He decided to do a massive juice cleanse after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.  I have not seen the movie and, frankly, am a little frightened to watch it!  My brother loves the way he feels when he is “juicing” and he looks healthier than ever.  Of course when any one is looking great, you are tempted to try it too!  Not willing to invest the money in an expensive juicer, I decided to try a local company that presses their own juice and delivers!  I ordered a 1-day juice cleanse from Juice Box {Seattle}.  I considered doing a three day cleanse, but thought it might be smart to try it for just a day and see how it goes.  You can do anything for a day, right?

My juice was delivered to me in the morning.  The cleanse includes six-16 oz juice bottles.  You are to drink them throughout the day.  No food, just juice and water.  Have you considered doing a juice cleanse? Wondering how it went for me?

1.  96 oz of juice is a lot of juice to drink.  I was going pee about every five minutes.

2.  I did not feel hungry during the day, which was a pleasant surprise.  I was famished around 7:30pm.

3.  Not surprisingly, the juice largely consisting of fruit juices were delicious.  My favorite was carrot, orange, turmeric root.

4.  I was completely scared of the green juice.  Maybe a pretty glass and cute straw would make it easier to drink?  Kale, romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, apple, lemon.  Nope, not even the stripey-paper straw helped with this one.  I am not a fan.

5.   I worked out {a barre class} and had plenty of energy.

6.  Almond milk with local raw honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg was delicious for lunch.

green juice

Could I do it for two more days?  Probably.  {My brother did his cleanse for 10 days. That’s just plain nuts.}  If you are interested in learning more about a juice cleanse, the Juice Box blog is a must read. It details interesting information about juicing, body types, and nutrition.  Moving forward, I will most likely drink pressed juice after a high-intensity workout.   I do highly recommend Juice Box-Seattle and I look forward to visiting the Juice Box Cafe.

Photos by Where is June?

 

 

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BALLET BEAUTIFUL

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

ballet beautiful

I am not sure exactly how I stumbled upon Mary Helen Bowers‘ Instagram account, but I started following her and I am continually gobsmacked with her elegance, strength, and athleticism.  She danced throughout her entire pregnancy.  Her images make me want to be a ballet dancer!  Just look at her long, lean, powerful body!  She is the professional ballerina who trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan.  She danced with the New York City Ballet and is the founder of Ballet Beautiful.

Ballet Beautiful is “a total body workout from Mary Helen Bowers, Natalie Portman’s trainer for her Academy Award(R)-Winning Role in “Black Swan”! Get a tight, toned and elegant body with this ballet inspired workout! Sculpt sleek and strong legs, arms, butt, abs and upper body. Shape a lean and graceful dancer’s body with targeted mat work and standing exercises that lengthen and tone.”

OK, yes!  Sign me up.  I just purchased the Body Blast DVD and did two of the workouts yesterday {The DVD includes four-15 minute workouts}. It is very similar to barre classes if you are familiar with that type of exercise.   The Swan Arms workout was so incredibly difficult.  With no weights used, it is deceptively intense.  You simply moved your arms like a ballerina.  2 minutes into the work and my arms were burning!  I also did the Body Blast workout which included abs, bridges and arms.  All of the work includes small controlled movements in targeted areas.  It is going to be perfect for days that I have to squeeze a workout in at home.

I wonder.  If I buy ballet slippers and leg warmers do you think my legs would lengthen by five inches?  Hope so.

All images from Ballet Beautiful//Instagram.  Follow her.  You will love it!

 

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SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

seattle

Fall and Winter weather and the lack of light bums me out.   Now you may laugh since I live in Seattle where it is gloom and doom from November until June. What do I expect?  The picture says it all!

For me, it is a bit more than the winter doldrums.  I think I may have Seasonal Affective Disorder {referred to as SAD, very appropriately}.  Of course, for now, my diagnosis comes from Internet surfing and the very knowledgeable professionals at WebMD and the MayoClinic.  Man, disorder sounds bad, doesn’t it?

SAD is described as a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.  For that last few years, at least, come October I hit the wall.  This year I expected it and sure enough as soon as the leaves starting changing colors I started to feel down.   Just kind of – blah.

Some of the listed symptoms:

Feeling sad, grumpy or moody.  {Sorry to say that’s me.  Just ask my kids and husband.}

Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.  {The big one for me is exercise.   I am barely getting in one workout in a week.  Totally unlike me!}

Sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime.  {I drank a cup of coffee at 5pm today.  I could barely keep my eyes open.}

Eat and crave carbohydrates.  {It is ugly.}

Loss of energy.  {Even with 9+ hours of sleep I feel like I am running on empty.}

Wow!  Don’t you want to hang out with me?   I really am fun, I swear.

Do any of you suffer from SAD or know anyone who does?  How about Light Therapy and light boxes?  Other treatments?  I am eager for any and all information.  If I could feel better this year and prevent it next year- I am all in.

 

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Where is June?

 

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