Tag Archives: Physical exercise

I Am Not A Failure If I Don’t Complete TurboFire

26 Aug

I’ve been having a battle with myself lately. I’m midway through month two of TurboFire and I posted recently that I was getting tired of it. This past week I haven’t been very good about getting those workouts done. A few of you suggested it might be time to change it up.

But, would I be failing myself if I gave up TurboFire before completing it? At first, my gut reaction was yes. Of course, I simply had to complete what I had started. What was the point if I was going to give up halfway through?

Here’s the thing though. I’m not giving up. I’m changing courses. Maybe. I might only do another workout for a day or a week and then go back to it. That’s okay. I know at this point in time I need a change to regain focus. I tried the “giving yourself a day off” to shake things up, and that didn’t seem to be enough. So, I’ve come to the decision that it is okay for me to change courses. It doesn’t mean I failed. It means I needed a change.

I’ll be borrowing a friend’s set of Insanity dvd’s and am going to give that a shot sometime this week. Who knows, maybe it will reaffirm my love for the fun dancey ways of TurboFire. Or, maybe it’ll help me push to a whole new level. I think what is most important is that I keep pushing myself. Keep fitness and my health as a priority in my life. I don’t necessarily need to follow one set series to do that.

We’ll see how this goes!

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It’s Okay To Take Rest Day: 6 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Give Yourself a Break

21 Aug

We all need days off– to let our muscles recover and repair and to mentally give ourselves a break from the routine. Most people schedule their rest days into their week. But, how do you know if you need one?

1)      You feel the “twinge” that something isn’t right: I mentioned yesterday that on Sunday when I was working out my lower back started not feeling right. I continued my workout as low impact but high intensity as possible, and when I didn’t see much positive progress with it yesterday I made it a rest day. It’s okay to switch around when your rest day is based on when your body is asking for it.

2)      You’re lethargic or you have trouble sleeping: Sometimes, becoming overly lethargic throughout the day or not being able to sleep soundly at night is an indicator of over training.

3)      You absolutely dread working out: Now, there’s a difference between the usual “ugh I don’t want to get out of bed and go running this morning!” and the absolute dread associated with exercise burn out. Make sure you’re sure that it’s the later before you give yourself a rest day—and don’t let it turn into a regular excuse.

4)      Progress has slowed significantly: This may seem counter intuitive but sometimes if your progress has slowed or come to a halt it might be that your body needs a rest.

5)      You’re sick: If you’re suffering from a terrible cold or other illness, it’s okay to give yourself some time off to heal. Just make sure that as soon as you’re feeling better you get back into it!

6)      You’re becoming obsessed: Remember it’s about balance. If you are overdoing it and exercising is all you can think about, it might be time to give yourself a break and reconnect with your friends, families, and other hobbies or interests you may have neglected.

This all comes down to listening to your body! And, as always, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Remember, just because you took one day off doesn’t mean you’re going to fall off the wagon completely. Rest days should be a part of your regular exercise routine. You can also do active recovery on those days, like light walking, stretching, or yoga.

How often do you take rest days? 

Using a Pilates Ring to Build Strength

7 Aug

Thank you all for the support yesterday when I revealed my weight. That was a challenging thing for me to do, but I feel better now that it’s off my chest.

I’m super sore today. This weekend I picked up a Pilates Ring (aka Fitness Circle or Magic Circle) at my mom’s house and played with it for a while as I watched the Olympics.  It really gave me quite an unexpected workout! If you’ve never used one before, it’s essentially a metal ring that is flexible and coated in plastic.  It really makes a normally routine movement much more challenging.

Curso de Instructor de Pilates

Curso de Instructor de Pilates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of us without access to weights or a gym, I find resistance bands and items like Pilates Rings can be really great for strength building. By adding them into your regular routine you can increase the burn and really feel your body changing.

That’s what I like about being sore. I know I worked hard. I know I’m making progress and forcing my body to adopt, change, grow, and get stronger.

Have you ever used a Pilates Ring? If so, what was your favorite exercise to do with one? 

Endurance & TurboFire Fire 45 EZ/ Fire 55 EZ Workouts

31 Jul

I’ve never had very good endurance. When I ran indoor track & field (I was actually good! I know that’s probably hard to believe.) I was a sprinter, of the very shortest distances. The 55 meter dash was always my specialty and the 4×200 meter relay was about my limit. Asking me to run the 4×400 meter relay was just trouble. I simply don’t know how to pace myself… and have never been in good enough shape to be able to sprint all out for very long.

English: Harvard University Gordon Indoor Track

English: Harvard University Gordon Indoor Track (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TurboFire has two workouts that have this lovely little “EZ” at the end. Let’s get this straight right away. They are not easy. And, they also aren’t very similar so I’m not exactly sure what the EZ even indicates. Except, for me, I know when that’s on my schedule I’m going to have a tough night.

TurboFire Fire 45EZ is the worst. There are no Fire Drills in it, and I guess I’ve really come to rely on the 30 second to 1 minute recovery time after them. It’s strange how I’d rather push myself 110% for 15 or 20 minutes like in the HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, then to keep going at a moderate-difficult cardio pace for 45 minutes.

TurboFire Fire 55EZ isn’t quite as bad, but certainly isn’t my favorite. This one has a couple (I think three) drills in it, which helps me. There is also some significant cool down (finale combos) that take up a chunk of time at the end.

My personal take away message from these “EZ” workouts is that I really need to work on building my endurance. But, I still think they should change the deceiving name!

Do you have good endurance? What are some of your favorite ways to improve it?

Accountable Sunday: Week 1 TurboFire & Results

22 Jul

Time to look on the week that’s passed and to plan for the week ahead.

I made it through week one of TurboFire. I did six days (with the one scheduled rest day) as planned– mixing up the order a bit based on how much time I had that day to work out. Week one workouts vary in length from a 15 minute high intensity interval training to longer 55 minute cardio workout. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out even when it was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I also ate better than usual and upped my water intake.

Weight and height are used in computing body m...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, my weight went up. I’m a little frustrated, but I know that a million things come into play with what shows up on that scale. So, I’m just going to keep on going. I know working out and eating healthy is the best thing I can do for my body right now and eventually the weight has to go down, right? Going from not working out at all to such an intense workout might have my body in shock. Or something. I’m not going to get worked up about it yet. Hopefully next week is better!  I have to remember, the scale is only one way to measure progress and I know I’m moving in the right direction (even if the scale said otherwise!). Have you ever gained after you started working out?

Today, we went to see The Dark Knight at the theaters. Tips on how to make your trip to the movie theater as healthy as possible to come tomorrow, so check back for that. More detail about this weeks workouts can be found below:

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Exercise: Time, Consistency, and its Effect on Blood Sugar

20 Jul

I know there’s a lot of different schools of thought about what time of day is the best for exercise. Should I go for a morning run right after waking up or should I take that aerobics class after work? If you ask me, it’s whatever time of day I can actually get my butt moving and of the couch.

But, it’s really not that simple. Especially when you take your blood sugar levels into consideration. As this article in Health magazine explains “Exercise Causes Blood Sugar to Go Down — Most of the Time.” Of course, all of our bodies respond differently to exercise and we all know that we’re supposed to be exercising. In fact, this article says “exercise can even cause a drop in blood sugar for up to 12 to 24 hours). But, our blood sugar levels reaction to exercise is also very individualized.

RUN Hills Pullover in action!

RUN Hills Pullover in action! (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

Surprisingly, the article explains that the time of day you exercise can also have an effect on your blood sugar and what is best for you might not be best for the next person (whether they have diabetes or not!). If you’re having trouble figuring out when your body reacts best to activity, add it to your list of questions to ask your doctor.  My doctor, for example, suggested that I might do well with exercising after a meal to help with any post-meal sugar spikes. By finding this ideal time for exercise (both physically and mentally ideal, hopefully!) and making it into a routine will help with consistency. For those of us with diabetes, the consistency has added benefits. It helps us keep our blood sugar levels at a good level, without lows or extreme highs that can be caused by random bouts of activity. To put it simply, your body begins to adjust to the activity level and even to expect it.

To me, what’s important about the consistency is that it provides a regular routine. Something you can hold yourself accountable to. I’m still trying to figure out what mine is– but I was really proud that I woke up early this morning to work out since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my TurboFire in this evening. TurboFire is giving me a scheduled workout to fit into my day (with rest days scheduled out too), and now I need to figure out the best way to make it a routine that can last. Part of that, is finding my own “ideal” workout time of day.

What time of day do you like to exercise?