Category Archives: Fitness

Washable shoes

Speedo Zip Walker Water ShoeWhen taking a shower at the gym, I wear slip on shoes aka flip flops.

My problem with that is that they aren’t washable. I want something that I can wash every time I use them. I started searching online for an appropriate shoe that could be washed after every use. Based on the reviews I’ve read, I do believe I’ve hit on a winner. It’s the Speedo Women’s ZipWalker Water Shoe! They should arrive today. I can’t test them out today, since I promised my daughter that we would have movie and dinner after I came home from work. However, I do plan to go to the gym tomorrow and will test them out in the sauna and the shower. I’ll be curious to see how they hold up over time. I’ll be sure to post my results after a few weeks of use.

Jump Rope: Feeling the Burn

The past few weeks, I’ve been incorporating jump rope exercises into my fitness routine. You really don’t need to go to the gym or use fancy equipment to stay in shape. You can use your own body to do that.

The above video gives you some great options of what you can do with a jump rope. I’ve found jump rope to be one of the best cardio workouts. It might look “Easy” but it’s definitely a lot more challenging than it looks. I jump rope for fifteen minutes daily. This morning, my calves are really feeling the burn and that’s great. It shows what I’m doing is working. Start at your own pace and keep moving.

Soccer — keep moving

Yesterday was my daughter’s first soccer game.

She was a bit nervous, as were many on her team. Her team didn’t win, but they didn’t give up either. I told her that’s all that matters. I went on to say that after a while of playing together, her team will improve, and they won’t be as nervous.

The team they played against plays throughout the year, and it showed with how they played. Our girls are only together for the soccer season but as they practice together they’ll improve. I see this happen every soccer season, first games they’re getting into the groove. Last year they did extremely well, and went all the way to the championship matches.

Yesterday, I was planning on bringing some knitting to the game, but decided to wait. However, I’ll have my knitting with me next Saturday, after all I don’t need to look at simple knitting patterns to knit.

I love sports. I don’t like sitting on the sidelines, so you won’t see me watching it on television or attending a sports event — unless it’s my daughter playing. I played sports throughout school. I would say I was an aggressive player, and extremely competitive. I was also a team player. My daughter is a lot more laid back than myself, and I’m fine with that. I let her go at her own speed. She’s asked me to help her… and I will. A few years ago, we enclosed an area in fence, and it’s her ‘soccer field‘. I’m looking forward to attending her soccer games, cheering and knitting, and occasionally nudging her along, when I think she needs inspiration.

 

Exercise: Similar routine; different location

Precor EFX 5.31 Premium Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer.jpg

I’m happy to report that exercising outside of the home is going very well. Exercise has always been a part of my life the only major change I’m seeing is getting back into the gym. I’ve been a gym member with the same exercise facility for the past ten years. The last year I have done the majority of my workouts at home. Thankfully I have a gym at home, complete with a treadmill, free weights, pilates machine, workout bench, so the exercises I am doing at the gym are similar. Of course, there is additional equipment available at the gym but the workout (and the intensity I always bring) is still the same.You don’t need gym equipment to work out at home. Sometimes I do simple exercises like pushups, sit-ups, scissor kicks, ab exercises. All you need is your body to complete those.

Cardiovascular activity

Although I’m a free-weights lover, I do realize the importance of cardiovascular activity and make an effort to include it in my daily lifestyle. It’s been part of my routine since I was a child. As a child, the cardio activity  involved some type of outdoor activities such as gardening, mowing the lawn, biking, running, hiking, and sports (team related and pick up groups started with my friends). As an adult I picked up additional activities; inline skating, cross trainer, and the elliptical trainer.

A nice bonus for staying physically active and following a healthy diet is I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. I’m still the same size I was at 17 (size 4) and the benefits of staying fit is amazing. When I was pregnant, I added twenty-two pounds of weight, and dropped it within two months after my daughter was born. I worked out through pregnancy. When I work out at the gym, my cardiovascular activity is usually getting on the cross trainer or elliptical machine for 25 to 30 minutes. Around the fifteen to twenty-minute mark the amount of fat burned increases significantly, since cardio is part of my routine excessive fat does not have a chance to accumulate. The bodies metabolism decreases as we age, but I really haven’t noticed a difference.

Cardiovascular activity can still be done at home. Jumping jacks, jogging in place, squats, scissor kicks, are a few exercises I do at home. It keeps you active, your still burning calories, and you’re reaping the benefits of exercise.

Cardio exercises at home

 

Recommended Home Workouts:

  1. Zumba

 

References:

  1. MSN Health: Triggering Your Body to Burn Fat

Three ways exercise can improve your health

barbell.07.08.10.gif

Besides, the obvious benefits of exercise; weight loss and a toned body. There are numerous other health benefits related to exercise. I thought I’d make a short list of the “sometimes overlooked health benefits below.

  1. Exercise boosts the Immune System
  2. Did you know doing moderate exercise will actually boost your immune system? Yes, it’s true. Doing some moderate form of activity actually increases the macrophages (those are the cells that attack bacteria.) Research has proven that if you consistently work out exercise can lead to a significant boost in your immune system.

    I know for a fact that this is true with my daughter and me. We are rarely sick; however, the few times that we have gotten sick, we usually bounce back within a few days without medication. I’ve observed this with my father also. He exercises a lot and although he doesn’t make all the healthy choices that I do he rarely gets sick. My mother and brother are a different story. Any germs that are going around will find a great home in their bodies.  I think part of it’s due to their lifestyle choices. They don’t make healthy choices regarding their food choices, and they don’t exercise.

  3. Exercise can improve Your Mood
  4. Ever been around someone who’s always seems to be in a toxic funk? They’re so much fun to be around right? If you aren’t careful they can affect your mood too. Don’t let them, if you’re able, distance yourself from negativity. Research has shown that exercise can improve your mood.  Occasionally we all encounter stress. How are you dealing with it? One of the ways I deal with stressful situations is exercise. Exercise gives me a chance to think about the troublesome issues while I’m getting a great workout. My outlook on the issue is usually a lot better after my exercise is over. I don’t let stress control my life.

    Several years ago I read an article that said exercise helps stimulate certain brain chemicals. I couldn’t track down the article or I’d have linked to it. Anyway the stimulation can help you feel happier and more laid back after your workout. If you continue to exercise, and make healthy eating choices chances are you’ll improve your appearance, and be healthier too.

  5. Exercise can improve your sleep
  6. I’ve noticed when I exercise I sleep much better. I usually work out in the early morning, however sometimes I can’t get a workout in until the evening. These days I rarely have problems falling asleep. Healthy eating and exercise play a role here.

You’ve got to love the added bonuses one receives from exercise, right? If you’re new to exercise, start slow encourage your friends to join you. Find online forums that can motivate and give you great fitness tips.

Exercise at Home

 

The beauty of exercise you can do them from numerous locations. How cool is that? You don’t have to join a gym to get a excellent workout.  You can do exercises at home. Exercise can improve your health, and you most likely will feel good about yourself also.

Exercise with your children

My daughter and I spend a lot of time outdoors and yesterday was no different. We get a lot of exercise through the various activities that we engage in, both indoors and outdoors. In her case her exercises our games that we play; Tag, jumping, silly pose yoga, etc.,

I’m trying to get her into the mindset that she should stay active. Since I’ve introduced physical activity into her life at an early age. Now she thinks it odd to be cooped up in the house continually. If she saw that I wasn’t physically active she would think something was wrong with me. She would be correct since that is the only time I’m still.

Question: Have you noticed any benefits from your exercise? If so, leave a comment.

Upcoming post; Exercises you can do at home

In the post Getting motivated, What’s your inspiration? I mentioned that you don’t have to go to a gym to good workout. You can get just as good of a workout at home.

exercise-geek.07.29.10.png

Fit Gamer

This above cartoon made me laugh out loud. I titled it “Fit Gamer.” A few of my real life buddies fall into this category. They love video games, so do I. (I just don’t get to play them too often.) Anyway a few of them, aren’t as enthused about exercise like myself, however, they do like the benefits that come along with exercise. To make their workouts more entertaining they have managed to successfully make connections to games. I think they reward each other with in-game items too. It keeps them motivated. I discovered this cartoon earlier today, and naturally I sent it to them.

Yesterday was extremely busy, I had hopes of squeezing in a gym workout, but that wasn’t in the cards and so I worked out at home. I did a combination of cardio exercises and free weight activity. My heart rate increased, and the sweat was flowing, so yes yesterday was a great fitness day. I enjoy listening to music while working out, so I had my iPod on and listened to my “workout music”.

I received a few emails from people, via the Celebrate Life contact form, asking me about the different workouts that can be done at home. Although I had been working on posts that covered home fitness workouts, I had put them aside. However, because of the recent emails. I’ll be working on completing one of those articles by the end of this week.

Question: Leg raises, squat jumps, V situps, and walking lunges are a few of the exercises I do at home. What are some of your favorite workout at home exercises?

Photosource: xkcd

Getting motivated; What's your inspiration?

Flo-Jo.07.28.10.jpgThis week I decided to take a break from my normal gym fitness routine. Which are free weights, with a healthy side of cardiovascular activity. I decided to reverse my routine. Which means I’m doing a heck of a lot of cardio with a side order of free weights. I really enjoy mixing up my gym workout routines, they get boring to me if I’m doing the same thing constantly. I thrive on variety.

Each day this week, I’ve decided to devote around forty-five minutes to an hour of intense cardio routine. Yesterday I landed on the cross trainer, and although I usually just set the ramp on the highest incline (20) and just let it stay there. This time was different, I manually switched between 20 and nine, doing the same with the resistance. Vacillating between one and ten, I ran full speed the entire time. Running top speed is something I always do, but it was nice to add variety to my normal cross trainer workout. I’m definitely feeling a slight soreness in my leg muscles today. I did some things the same such as swapping between running backwards and forwards, and not holding onto the sides. I never hold onto the sides.

The beauty of exercise is that you don’t need to be in the gym to get a good workout. You can exercise at home even if you don’t have workout equipment or fitness tapes. Yeah, yeah I got bold happy there, but I did it for emphasis, mkay? At times, I do get annoyed when people whine about not being able to exercise because they don’t have a gym membership, or they don’t have fitness equipment at home. Please note I never voice this out loud to folks, it’s just something that plays through my head occasionally. I will offer tips on exercises they can do at home.

In my early twenties, I did exactly that (worked out in my home with no gym equipment.) I was living downtown in a small studio apartment. I hadn’t been out of college that long, and a gym membership wasn’t in my budget. I did pick up a few books from the library that showed me the types of exercises I could do at home, all that was required of me was too simply… do them! Imagine that? Motivation can be tough; yeah I know. I’ve been there before, and will be there again in some aspects of my life but you know what, my goals aren’t going to get accomplished sitting on the sidelines of life waiting for someone to do them for me. No, I need to get off my lazy butt, take the initiative, and get out and actively work at achieving my goals.

Do I need motivation to workout? No, not really I haven’t encountered that in years. But, at times I do need motivation in others aspects of my life (more on that later.) Exercise is a habit. Simple as that. It’s been ingrained in my life since I was a young child. In those days, my form of exercise was some type of play. I still do that, since physical play can be a workout. It’s something I’ve instilled in my seven-year old daughter too.

Technology has grown amazingly since I was a kid. People can spend hours, if the let it, glued to a seat with very little physical activity. I don’t let that happen. Those early and extremely active childhood days, carried over into adulthood too and so even if I’m required to be stationary for x amount of hours, you’ll still see me getting up to take breaks simply to move around. I don’t feel right when I don’t workout. You know something health-wise I don’t feel as great either, sitting on the “I’ll workout tomorrow sidelines” while I watch others “just do it” when it comes to physical activity isn’t going to happen for myself. Just remember folks, exercise is only part of it. You need to make healthy food choices too and take care of your mental health also. It’s all connected, surround yourself with positive folks, avoid the negative drama, you don’t need it.

Ok back to motivation…

There are times I do need motivation in other areas…

  • Decluttering my living space.
  • Remembering to actually list the recipe ingredients as I prepare a meal.
  • I create my own recipes; I’m used to not writing down the exact measurements.

  • Working on alternate streams of income.
  • I’m a single mom who works from home. Working from home can take motivation. It’s not for everyone. The great news about working from home is that I can work from anywhere? You want to know the bad news? I can work from anywhere, yes that includes the few vacations I take too.

    median longterm unemployment.07.28.10.png

    Checking out the news can be sobering, unemployment hasn’t been this high, in the United States, in several years. So yes, now it means I’m cutting into my “me time” (not to be confused with time I spend with my daughter) but time that I could be reading, gaming, etc., Some of that has been whittled down as I focus on some of my goals and turning some of those dreams into a reality. I believe I’ve set well thought out goals for myself (followed up with a few mentors/friends that will be brutally honest with me.) I know I’ll be able to accomplish them, in time. I simply have to stay motivated. I set positive mental images in my mind of the things I want to accomplish and steadily work on attaining them, if I stumble. I pick myself up and keep moving forward. It’s the only way I’ll attain the goals I want. Sticking my head in the sand aka putting things off won’t help me since my tasks will still be waiting when I comeback to reality. Since that’s the case, it’s important that I stay focused and keep working on the steps needed to achieve my goals.

In my local gym, I have a few visual sources of inspiration. Two folks that really stand out in my mind. The first is an elderly woman that has cerebral palsy, she uses a walker to help her get around (the walker has gotten smaller over the years) but you know what, she’s still there working out. She’s improved a lot, and she doesn’t mind asking for help if things get a little complicated for her. Guess what, people are more than happy to assist her if/when it’s needed. (I’ve helped few times myself.) She doesn’t ask a lot. The second source of inspiration is a man confined to a wheelchair. I first saw him at the gym about three years ago, I looked at him and thought, I really cannot be whining about how things are “just too hard,” can I? 😉

Speaking of motivation; Bloggers worth reading…

I love being around inspirational folk, we might not be following the same path but I can still be inspired by what they’re doing and keep that as motivation in my own mind when things get challenging. When I think about bloggers there are two that really stand out in my mind.

  1. Waist Whittling Wordsmith
  2. The WaistWhittler is inspiring; she’s taking control of her health and fitness too. Putting yourself out there isn’t always easy, but it can be a motivational tool to keep you honest. I’ve enjoyed watching her progress as she actively works at attaining her goals. She’s a talented writer. I really enjoy reading what she has to say, Check out The Doers, the Dreamers and Me and I’m a Turtle and Goals for the week…

  3. MonkeyBird
  4. I met Maira via a Wordless Wednesday post, as customary I stop by anyone who leaves a comment on my blogs. I find a post that I enjoy and leave a comment. Just like the Waist Whittler, I really didn’t have too look long, since I found numerous posts that I liked. I enjoy how she weaves tidbits of her daily life onto her blog. My Wolf (my Lupus story) and Sorry Lupus You Will Have To Wait were inspirational she was sharing personal aspects of her life with the public (that’s not always easy.)

Many thanks to the both of you, and the many others within my life who continually inspire me to do my best, may we all achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves.


Florence Griffith Joyner aka Flo Jo; Gone but not forgotten…

PhotoSource: US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics