Friday, November 5, 2010

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself...

...instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." Famous words from a famous woman. Can you guess? Judy Garland. (Why else would I post her lovely picture, right?) I honestly can't remember where I first read that quote, but I found it to be an appropriate follow-up to yesterday's post on wellness as it reiterates the idea that we need to live our lives to their fullest, that we need to do everything today to ensure a positive and wholesome tomorrow. That we need to be true to our bodies and ourselves—in essence, we need to embrace wellness in every corner that we can. But we've already talked about that, so I'll move before I bore you.

Speaking of boring, being sick has put a huge black cloud  of dust over my fitness routine. I taught on Monday, didn't do anything on Tuesday or Wednesday other than work—and so I've been feeling very lazy as of late. Yesterday, I managed to get myself up (and my sinuses cleared) in time for 45 minutes of light cardio before I had to start my shift, which then included 20 minutes of mild lifting in my Fit After 50 class. Today, I'm scheduled to teach my Circuit Sculpt class and I'm really hoping it goes well. I'm feeling better comparatively, though I still sound like a barking dog-frog of sorts. I've started drinking green tea (actually forgot I had some).


I'm hoping the antioxidants within will push me back over the hump to good health. That way, I can get back to my workouts. Which brings me to another point—I haven't posted any workouts lately. Ack! So sorry.

So what follows is a very quick, minimal-equipment workout that covers all your parts and pieces without taking up all of your day. It goes great with any cardio you might be in the mood for. And if you're not in the mood for cardio, get your body moving for at least ten minutes. This is important—you never want to go into a strength training session with cold muscles. Always give yourself at least ten minutes of cardio or active stretching. Walk a treadmill or find a path in your neighborhood. Jump on the step machine or walk the steps in your house. It doesn't have to be intense, it just needs to get your heart pumping and consequently your blood flowing (to your muscles, in fact). And remember, active stretching is essentially just movement. Think leg kicks and arm swings, shoulder rotations, gentle squats or running in place. And then move on to the following:

1) TICK-TOCK LUNGES: Start with your feet hip-width apart. Using your right leg, step into a forward lunge. Stand up and move immediately into a backward lunge using your right leg once again. This counts as one repetition. Complete 12 repetitions using your right leg, then switch legs and repeat.

2) WIDE-SQUAT/BICEP CURLS: Grab a set of hand weights well-suited to a bicep curl. (If you don't have hand weights at home, find a two-handled bag and fill it with books until the weight is appropriate for your level of strength. Backpacks work best.) Hold the weights (or bag), arms extended toward the floor. Squat quite deeply 12 times, holding the last squat. At this point, begin your bicep curls. Not only will you be working your arms, you'll be getting a deeper burn in your leg muscles. Particularly your glutes and inner thighs. Complete 12 bicep curls before releasing the squat.

3) TRICEPS DIPS: Really, they're the best triceps exercise around. Forgo your love/hate relationship and find a chair or bench that you can sit on comfortably. Complete 12 repetitions.

4) ZIGZAG PUSHUPS TO PLANK: I know, pushups suck. (Trust me when I say that these are more fun.) Get into pushup position, making sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders. Abs and legs tight. Bend your right arm to balance on your forearm and elbow as you bend your left arm to do the same. Now you're in official plank position. Push up with your left, then your right hand to return to pushup position. This is one repetition. Repeat, starting with your left hand. Complete 12 repetitions. After your last repetition, lower yourself once more into plank position and hold it there as long as you can.

5) CALF PRESSES: All you need are some stairs for this one, and you can hold that bag o' books in one hand if you need some added resistance. Just let your heels hang off the step, in fact you want the balls of your feet right on the edge. Lift and lower 15 times.

That's it, just five exercises! Go through them once, then repeat one...maybe two more times. It's a great little routine when time is of the essence. Or if you're traveling. And speaking of traveling, I forgot to mention that we drove down to South Bend on Sunday to partake in all things trick-or-treat. I know it's a few days gone, but I just uploaded some snapshots from my camera.

My parents tend to get hit hard by the kiddies, though when we pulled up they were just sitting on the porch with a big bowl of candy in their lap. No kids in sight. I so wish I had snapped a picture of it. Alas, I had only taken pictures of the following:

Jason and I carved pumpkins and we brought them along for the ride. If you look close enough, I'm sure you'll be able to identify his masterpiece. Here's a hint: look at the mouth. And here's another hint: Batman. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I tried the whole pumpkin seed butter thing and it didn't work. Not only did I roast them in the oven for a bit, I let them whirl in the food processor for a good eight minutes. I ended up with a bowl full of finely chopped pumpkin seeds which, as it turns out, makes an excellent crunchy topping for my morning bowl of oatmeal. At least I still have some Pumpkin Butter from Trader Joe's left!

Question: Are you a fan of green tea? If so, do you put anything in it to spice things up? I sometimes get bored of it and could use some new green tea ideas.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Agave nectar. Sometimes when I want something cold with more flavor than water I just drop a Tazo Zen (green, lemongrass, and speariment) tea bag in my glass of water and let it sit for a few minutes. It's very refreshing!!

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