Spinning Class for Vacation Fitness

Hubby and I decided we would try some different fitness activities while we were on vacation this year. Today we took a spinning class at Fitness Studio in Ocean Isle, NC. Our niece, Lindsey (another fitness enthusiast in our family) decided to join us.


We got there a little early so we chose our bikes and stretched a little. Soon Stacey, our instructor came and helped us adjust our seats and handlebars. The class filled up fast and I was surprised that most of the participants were older than us. I had done a spin class at my local YMCA once but Bob and Lindsey had never done it before. They were in for a fitness treat!

The class we were in was a resistance class. It focused on hill climbing over speed. After a good warm-up song, we did our first hill climb. This consisted of adjusting your resistance until it was “sticky” and you had to push AND pull to make the pedals spin. We climbed in ride position, race position and standing. My legs were unhappy, but my cardio system was loving it. You could set your resistance to whatever you were comfortable with. I thought maybe I should back down a little after the first hill climb!


The music was great and it kept me motivated to keep going. After two hill climbs, we did a song where we travelled a flat road. We set the bike to lighter resistance and concentrated on speed. It was a nice “break” from the hills. We finished with a third, more intense hill climb. I was excited because now I had my second wind and was able to crank the resistance up higher than I had it on the first hill. It probably helped that I knew we were almost done! After a cool down song, we crawled off our bikes and had a nice stretch.

Both my workout partners liked their spinning experience. Bob said even though he is in good shape from working with a trainer, trying  a new exercise routine really made him work. Lindsey said, “It was really fun, an awesome workout and the music made it seem like we were dancing at times.”


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

5 Tips To Plan an Effective Workout

Please welcome Hattie Smith, guest poster from guestpostu.com

So, you are in need of a new workout plan, or a workout plan? You’ve looked up what you should do online, in your favorite fitness magazine, and consulted your nearest and dearest. Now, you need to make this plan actually work out so you can achieve what you want. How do you do that? Well, here are some great tips on how to plan an effective workout.

1. Know your goals before you even start

Do you want to lose weight? Increase muscle mass? Do you just want a reason to get outside more often? Before you start the routine, you need to have some goals in mind. This will help you as you plot how to work out as well as keep you on track when you are tempted to stray

2. Know your fitness/energy level

Do you love a morning run or a cardio workout? Or, does the idea of running on a treadmill make your stomach churn? Before getting started, you need to know what your fitness or energy level is. The most effective workout is going to be one that works with where you are now. If you get winded walking up stairs, a heavy intensity cardio workout is not your starting point. As you progress, you will reevaluate what your levels are and adjust accordingly.

3. How often

Will you be working out every day, or just a few days a week? You should at least try to start at 4-5 days a week, even if it just a 10-20 minute slot. Workouts that are more frequent, even if they are shorter, will help to build your stamina. This will help as you progress so that you will be able to challenge yourself further.

4. What exercise will you be doing?

This decision will be made after you decide some other factors, including the above mentioned three. Do you love swimming or riding your bike? If you are trying to tone muscles, what exercises will you want to do to help achieve this? Since this can be difficult to figure out, you may want to consult a fitness professional. They can help you plan the most effective workout.

5. How often do you want to evaluate?

For some, having “check points” is really important. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, do you want to weigh in once a week, or twice? This is also something to factor in, especially for weight loss programs. Keeping check points at specific intervals will help you monitor progress, and see where you are at.

Hattie Smith loves singing karaoke, going to salsa clubs, and just got a great rate on insurances at healthinsurancequotes.org

Exercise and Fitness: Try Tabatas!

Tabatas seems to be the new buzzword in fitness circles these days. Put in the simplest of terms, Tabatas is 20 seconds of exercise at 100% intensity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is repeated for a duration of four minutes. You should start your session with a 5 minute warm-up and follow your session with a 5 minute cool down.

What are the benefits of Tabatas?

Tabatas improves both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Pure cardio only improves aerobic capacity. When your anaerobic capacity is improved you can train at higher intensity levels for a longer period of time. This increases your calorie burn during AND after your workout. You create an oxygen deficit while you do Tabatas that HAS to be replenished after you’re done. The harder you work out, the harder you breathe and the higher your heart rate goes. As a result, it takes more time (and calories) to get things back to normal. Cool science eh?

The really nice thing about Tabatas is you can get a great workout in a very short period of time. You wouldn’t want to do this type of workout every day. It’s recommended that you take part in Tabatas once or twice a week tops. When planning your workout, use exercises that involve large muscle groups.

Time for the disclaimer: You should always check with your doctor before starting a work out program like Tabatas to make sure you are healthy enough for intense exercise. Ok, that’s out of the way…

When I tried Tabatas for the first time, I decided to do “Tabatas light”. I did 15 seconds at 100% intensity and rested for 15 seconds. I did six minutes at this intensity level. My plan is to work up to the real deal.

A traditional tabatas is 20 seconds as hard as you can go with 10 seconds of rest.

Here’s the workout:

Squats: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
Push-ups: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
Crunches: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
(these were “criss cross” Elbow to opposite knee)
Mountain Climbers: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds

I did three sets of the above. The total time for the workout was 16 minutes, including my warm-up and cool down.

Here’s the cool tech tools that enhanced my workout:

i-Pad 3 with the following apps

Bit-timer: You can set your work time, your rest time and how many times you want it to repeat. An audible beep counts down to start each exercise round.

Songza: I used the “Drop-a-beat” workout playlist.

Give it a try! (see disclaimer) Then let me know how it goes by sending me a comment.

If you like this post and would like more fitness challenges, tip and tricks, follow this link:



 

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Exercise and Fitness: My first 5K

My niece, Mackenzie, sister Nancy, friend Brian, me, hubby Bob

I did my first 5K over the weekend. I decided to do 5Ks to give me extra motivation to exercise. Since I don’t like to run, I planned on brisk walking. The day dawned sunny and cool, a great day for a distance race. Hubby and I got to the starting line early. Good thing because our registration I sent weeks ago must have gotten lost. They didn’t know anything about us! We had to quickly re-register before race time.

The mood at the starting line was excited. Everyone was buzzing. After some brief pre-race instructions the gun went off and we were underway.

We started out at a good pace and moved up to the front of the walkers. We were keeping the last of the runners in our sights. The first two miles went smoothly. By this time the runners had made the turn and were coming back so we had to walk single file. During our final mile, hubby asked if I was ready to turn it up a notch. I said sure and started race-walking. He couldn’t keep up unless he jogged slowly. I didn’t know I could walk that fast. We passed a few slow runners. In the end I almost came in 3rd place for my age group (it was a small race). The woman who finished in front of me was RIGHT in front of me.

I had a great time and I will enjoy walking again in the Freedom Run/Walk in Southport, NC.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Online Fitness Coaching: 5K Prep Two Weeks Out

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Hope this post finds you enjoying some great outdoor activities. This weekend starts the gardening season where I live. Saturday morning meant a trip to the greenhouse to pick out some new perennials and annuals.

Gardening is  great exercise! Bending, stretching, lifting, and walking. There is also something very satisfying about digging around in the dirt. Even though it took me all day (I had to dodge two thunderstorms) to get the flowers in, I got it done and they look great now.

This morning hubby and I went to early church so we could get a 5K walk in before it got too hot. We will be walking in the Train Wreck Trek 5K (I hate to run) on Saturday, June 9. We did the course we will be walking for the 5K. It’s flat and shady and will be good for the runners to PR. This will be my first one so it will be my base time. Today we walked about 17 minute miles at 3.5 MPH

Hubby on the Train Wreck Trek trail.

I’m looking forward to doing this 5K. I would never run one but I can hardly wait to walk it.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Online Fitness Coaching: Get Your Zzzzz’s!

Happy Weekend!  On the exercise and  fitness front today, I took a three mile walk to get ready to walk a 5K.  It was another perfect day for a long walk.  Then I came home and did ChaLean Extreme.  I’m on the lean circuit now and that one is the most intense.  You get a weight and core workout at the same time.  It really has increased my metabolism. My weight is consistently 3 lbs. lighter since I increased my weights during this round. Woo hoo!

I had a whirlwind Thursday and Friday.  Our family hosted a choir member from Hofstra University Thursday night.  My daughter, Katie is in the Choir at her high school and the Hofstra choir came and workshopped with them, did a concert that evening and left the next morning. I got up extra early to take Leah (who sang beautifully by the way) to catch her bus.  I worked all day, then changed clothes and drove an hour and a half to see “Menopause the Musical” with  some gal pals.  The show was an absolute hoot!  If you are female and over forty, you owe it to yourself to see this one.

I didn’t get home until 12:30 p.m. and had to wake my daughter at 3:30 a.m. (I know get the toothpicks for the eyelids) to go on a bus trip to NYC to see “Sister Act”.  Needless to say, I am feeling a little bit sleep deprived today.  Thought this would be a good time to share an infographic from frugaldad.com on the dangers of sleep deprivation.  Studies show if you average only 5 1/2 hours of sleep per night in a year, you will also average a 12 pound weight gain? YIKES  Another good reason to get your Zzzz’s

sleep

Source: http://frugaldad.com

 

Online Fitness Coaching: Walking My Way Through a 5K

I’ve done a lot of blogging about setting goals when making your fitness plan.  Helping people set goals is a big part of online fitness coaching.  I feel like it’s time for me to set a new goal for myself.  I’m feeling the need to have something new just over the horizon to get ready for.  If I have an event coming up, it will help me keep working out and staying in shape.

So….this summer I am going to sign myself up for two 5Ks.  One is called the Train Wreck Trek and it is run on a railroad bed (no rails anymore) in the tiny town of Reedsville.  The other one is in Southport, SC.  It will be held over the Fourth of July Weekend.  Unlike most folks who take part in 5ks, I will be walking.  I am just not a runner, but I love to walk.  I haven’t done anything of this length since I use to take part in the 12 mile walk-a-thons for hunger in the 70’s.  Yes I have just dated myself!

canine walking buddy
My daily walking buddy, Mocha.

My usual fitness routine is weightlifting 3 days per week, cardio twice a week and an ab rountine once a week.  I walk my dog almost every day for at least 20 minutes.  I spend an hour or two each week ballroom dancing.  I am in pretty good shape so I don’t think I will have any trouble walking a 5K.  I do want to start getting a long walk in once a week.  I need to get a baseline time and see if I can improve on that to be “race ready” in June.

Success!  My goal is now in writing and I have told others about it.  It’s your job to keep me accountable!  I’ll be updating with posts on my progress from time to time.  Have you ever walked a 5K?  What tips do you have for me?

How to Start A Fitness Support Group on Facebook

Here’s a tip from your online fitness coach:  It’s always easier to stay with your fitness routine if you have likeminded friends to support you and keep you motivated.  Did you know you could use Facebook to make your own private fitness group?  It’s a great place to bring in your friends, set some goals, track your workouts and be creative to keep each other motivated.  Here’s how to set it up.

Step 1  Go to your “home” tab in Facebook and click on the “Create Group” tab in the left sidebar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2   Now create your group. Give it a name and invite your fitness minded friends.  Then make sure you make it a secret group!  That way whatever you post is only seen by the people in your group and no one else.  Posts will appear in their timeline, but no one else will see them.  Genius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 Click the “Create” button and you are ready to get started.  In my next post, I will give you some ideas on events you can start within your group to increase motivation and keep people exercising.

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

This week’s featured blog of the week is Meals and Miles.  This blog was started by Meghann Anderson.  Her story is familiar to many.  She was active in high school and college, but was not that concerned with healthy nutrition.  After graduation came a desk job. She wasn’t getting any exercise and slowy put on 20 pounds.

This wake up call got Meghann motivated to change her eating habits and start running a little.  Her goal was to lose those 20 pounds.  She did that plus 5 more.  During her journey to get healthy, the blogging community was a big support, so she is giving back by blogging about her newfound healthy lifestyle.

This blog is well organized.  There is a section where you can read about all the races Meghann has participated in and recipes she has tried.  There’s a blogroll of her fav blogs.  She has some really nice reviews of fun things to do in Orlando, Florida and oh yes…she’s getting ready to get married and there’s a nice section on that.

So check out Meals and Miles.  If you are starting a fitness journey, Meghann can be a big help to you.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

The Wrap-up to My Good Food Mood Experiment

After crunching the numbers, I discovered that not getting enough sleep affected my mood, stress and energy level and self-confidence more directly than what I was eating.  Take a look at the video and see for yourself.  Try your own experiment and let me know how it goes!