All posts filed under: Fitness

Belly Up to the Barre

Doing Barre classes 4 times a week for 4 weeks created surprising changes in my strength – both physical and mental strength.

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Shakeology: from Skeptic to Devotee

Ok, I’ll admit it: I was a Shakeology skeptic. That is, until I tried it for myself. Here’s some straight talk about the benefits, nutrition, ingredients and expense of Shakeology. When I first started doing challenge groups more than a year ago, there were a bunch of people doing Shakeology for breakfast everyday. It not only seemed boring (the same thing for breakfast EVERY DAY??) but we were all so focused on healthy clean eating… How could something so… Not only not whole but….powdered actually be healthy? I was eating some great healthy breakfasts (Greek yogurt oatmeal parfaits, mini omelets) why change a good thing? Then I decided to buy my first Beachbody workout, Focus T25. I learned the challenge pack was on sale which meant for the price of a one month supply of Shakeology, I would also get T25 essentially free. So I decided to give it a try and see if it really did what they said it would do: reduce food cravings, help build muscle, and aid in digestion. Well first …

Yoga was my Gateway to Fitness

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –Lao Tzu While in my 20s, I tried yoga a couple of times. It drove me crazy. The breathing, the laying there, the sort of doing something physical but not getting sweaty. I felt like if I was going to take the time to put on athletic gear I might as well sweat. Fast forward September 2013. At the time I had been working out routinely twice a week (cardio step and body pump). I felt like if I could squeeze one more workout in per week I’d be at an every other day schedule and would maybe break plateau. Being in my 40s, I was feeling a lot of aches and pains in new places and thought the yoga might stretch me out a little bit.  And, I was super stressed-out between work and kids. Not only did I need a little Saturday morning time out of the house, I needed a way to de-stress. I had tried to do some mindfulness/breathing and …

Fit Data (for math nerds, and non-math nerds)

At work, I strongly believe in using data to validate hypotheses,  measure success, and provide foundation for future assumptions.  I’m not sure why it took so long for me to recognize that principle and use good data and/or evidence to measure success with my fitness goals. All those years, I had it wrong.  I relied on the scale no realizing that the scale is a terrible measurement tool.   I love weight watchers and lost a lot of weight on it – so I’m not knocking the principle that you need to regularly check in against your goals with DATA, but I am knocking the method of measurement that the scale provides.  On weight watchers, there were weeks where I didn’t eat breakfast or keep up with my usual water intake – for the sake of wanting a “good weigh in.”  A good friend turned me on to “smooth move” tea, which helped me, um, clear things out before weigh in.  I recognize these are ridiculous little rituals, sort of like football players who don’t shave …

Strong Mind; Strong Body

I first started doing Les Mills Body  Pump classes at my gym because the timing of the class worked well for me and because it wasn’t cardio-focused I knew I wouldn’t have to jump around a lot. I was just beginning my fitness journey at the time with the goal of finding workouts I didn’t dread doing. I would dread cardio. Pumping some weights – no dread, plus I got a night off from the kids’ bedtime duty. At the time, I didn’t know the benefits of strength training, but hey, it was a workout and any workout at that point was better than no workout. If you’re not familiar with Body Pump, it’s pretty hardcore. You use barbells (like the long metal stick with round metal plates that you attach to the end). The workout follows the same basic format each class: warmup, squats, chest, back, triceps, lunges, shoulders, abs, and cool down.  Every so often Les Mills comes out with a new release which sets the entire workout to different music (meaning different …