Here’s to a healthier May!

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Let’s face it, this month just did not go as planned. I was injured, and am still healing from tendon and ligament damage, and one of our cats who was a mammary gland breast cancer survivor had a relapse and didn’t survive the second round. My fitness challenges went out the window. Life happens. 

My ankle and heal are still unstable so I don’t want to commit to too many online challenges, or worry about advancing miles or speed. But I need to commit to some plans for the upcoming month. My body feels neglected. 

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Plans & Goals

💠I already started a new meditation challenge 5 days ago. The *21 DAY MEDITATION For Weight Loss Challenge. The meditations are very simple, very easy going and inspiring. I’ve actually focused a lot this month on personal development and meditation. Perhaps my injury in the end was a good thing because I feel amazing mental focus now and seem to be handling anxiety challenges better and better. I really recommend this challenge, and it’s FREE!

After the 21 Days I’m going to try and do *Gaia’s am/pm meditations with Rodney Yee. Since we subscribe to the channel I should make more use of it lol. They are each about a half hour long. I know it’s an added chunk of time taken out of the day, but when it’s for making the quality of the days and my life better, it doesn’t seem like lost time. I’ve done some Rodney Yee meditation before and I’ve really enjoyed it. His delivery is very calm and gentle. 

💠*Potterhead Running Club’s *Penseive 10k’s (virtual running event) official date is May 2nd. I am not at all able to do all the miles for a 10k (about 6.3 miles) all at once with my injury or it will just delay healing even longer, but the nice thing about the PHRC is that they believe it’s perfectly ok to run it in chunks and even have a tracker for it. I plan to start on Monday and do a little every day. I have to build strength in my ankle back up. I ripped it up pretty bad when I twisted it weeks ago. 
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💠I also have a new schedule set up for May to get back into setting a routine. This is kind of my go to schedule. It works with our lifestyle. We don’t normally have time for hikes or climbs until the weekend. 

Monday: Run/Walk & Yoga or Les Mills Bodyflow
Tuesday: 90 minutes - Les Mills Bodypump
Wednesday: Short Run/Walk & Les Mills Bodyattack
Thursday: 90 minutes - Les Mills Bodypump
Friday: Run/Walk & Yoga or Les Mills Bodyflow
Saturday: 30 minutes - Les Mills Bodypump & other (hiking/yoga/climbing/etc)
Sunday: Rest day or hiking/climbing/etc

💠 And weekly sound baths, meditations and tea with Buddha (weekly sangha) is always on schedule for mental health, physical well-being, furthering my own sense of zen, and expanding my spiritual knowledge. 

Photo by Paul Davis.

*Thich Nhat Hanh explains that sangha is more than a community, 
it’s a deep spiritual practice.
A sangha is a community of friends practicing the dharma together 
in order to bring about and to maintain awareness. 
The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, 
harmony and love

Here’s to making May a healthier month that April!

*Reference
21 DAY MEDITATION For Weight Loss Challenge
Potterhead Running Club
Penseive 10k
Lions Roar
Gaia – Rodney Yee’s am/pm meditation

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

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1. Burn More Fat

Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do a good weight-training program your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for hours afterward. The increase in muscle aids you in burning fat! Having more lean muscle means your body will burn more calories at rest. 

2. Changes Your Body Shape

While genetics play a huge role in determining your physique weight training can chisel your physique and give you definition in all the right places.

3. Boost Your Metabolism

The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long. 

4. Get Stronger and More Confident

Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying the kids, lifting your groceries and carrying them into the house, and picking up heavy items much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger within 6 months. Being strong can be very empowering. Weight training will boost your self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build Strong Bones

It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age. Bone health gets more and more critical as we age. 

6. Improve Mood

The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Endorphins lift your mood naturally and with better self esteem, your mood will just continue to improve. 

7. Improve Sports Fitness

Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities. Sportsman or not.

8. Reduce Injuries 

Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. 

9. Get Heart Healthy

More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve the way your body processes sugar by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood.

 

7 Best Alternatives For Running From Bearbody Living Plus My Additions

running-alternatives

 

This is an awesome list from Bearbody Living to get you started on a great cardio fitness routine that isn’t running. Most of these are a mix of cardio and strength training. That is exactly what everyBODY needs! You need both for optimal fitness and health.

 

 

 

So why no running you may ask?

  • Boredom – everyone needs a break from the run once in a while. And it’s a good thing to add in strength training and to work on different muscle groups.
  • Adventure – Some, like me get restless with routine. If and when the run starts to lack joy I quickly move on to another type of workout. And just as quickly I’m then wanting to run again. But I tend to try and incorporate 3 or 4 different types of activity so I never get that restless feeling.
  • Injury – With some running injuries running is out for a while, but other types of physical activity are allowed.
  • Group Activity – It’s nice to get out of solo stuff and be with a group training or enjoying an activity, like repelling or climbing.
  • Just Don’t Like It – Enough Said…

 

I have a few additions to Baran’s list

hiking

Hiking

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CrossFit

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Indoor Rock Climbing

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Stair Repeats

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Skateboarding (at a rad skaepark, not just rolling down the street)

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Zumba 

Pumpkin Workout?

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A Total-Body Workout You Can Do With a Pumpkin in Just 15 Minutes

I am definitely going to try this! Yayy the great pumpkin season! Anyone else tried this yet?

Try It Out