I love to try new workouts, to get out of my rut, challenge myself and see what's "out there". So, with that in mind, I signed up for a TRX training class at my local YMCA. This is where I teach classes and my "boss" was leading the class, so I was excited. What, you may ask, is the TRX? It’s a tough form of an intense workout using parachute like straps as a suspension system. Don’t let this apparatus fool you. You will be feeling all those muscle you didn’t even know you had. TRX is another great tool to help you strengthen and take your fitness to another level. It’s a mobile gym you can take with you everywhere which is very effective, dynamic and absolutely a “no nonsense” workout. Using the straps, your body, gravity and ALWAYS your core, you perform chest flies, squats, jump squats, abdominal, oblique and other tortuous moves. It is definitely total body workout. As an instructor, I really wanted to learn correct form and not embarrass myself. Easier said than done. Not to mention the fact that my "boss instructor" was right there watching my every move, and left no room to skip a set or cheat. All I could hear was her voice saying, "do just one more!" Arrgghh I have to admit, it's been a couple of days since I did this workout and I am (embarrassingly!) still sore!
For many of the exercises, you are holding your body up with the straps as your body as angled toward the floor so that if you lose the grip with your hands, you will surely fall into a faceplant and a sure broken nose. Others may have you angled backward holding the straps for pull-ups or squats. An example of one of the abdominal exercises begins in a full push-up position with your feet elevated in the straps. From that position (which already has your core engaged) you pull your knees into your chest. While I found this exercise almost bearable, the next move was to throw in a push-up between each knee to chest crunch. After a couple of these you wonder why in the world you would actually Pay to do this. I have a very small competitive edge so I was adamant not to let this aparatus beat me. I continued with the awful elevated crunches and push-ups for what felt like an eternity (but was only 30 seconds I believe). I did manage to finish, but not before peeking at the other participants - some of whom had completely given up and were flopped face-down on their mats in surrender, right where I wanted to be! I left the class tired, sore but ready for more! I give it a THUMBS UP. I will definitely be back next week . . . if I can walk!
What workout kicks your booty?
These past few days have been just no fun, bummer days. I know I am getting older when things start happening to those around you that you know and love. However, out of all bad things comes some good and often inspiring lessons. I just want to share a great quote that came my way:
"DON'T CRY BECAUSE IT'S OVER; SMILE BECAUSE IT HAPPENED."
This morning I got inspired to do a track run when I dropped my oldest son off at his school for an away football game. The track was there calling my name, and the stadium is perfect for getting that extra bit of booty and cardio work at the end. Yesterday, I taught a Body Sculpt class, and as I always tell my class NOT to body sculpt/weight lift two days in a row, today's workout needed to be cardio. Sounds like the perfect way to begin a Saturday doesn't it? Well, by the time I returned home to get my hubby (who is NOT a morning person) and got back to the school track, it was closed for some school event, as was the next closest school track. Big Bummer which caused my nose to get out of joint just a bit. The next best thing was to return home and run from our house around a nearby park. Normally, we walk together on this route, but I indicated we needed to do some interval running - so, we agreed to run for one song on our ipods and then walk for a song. As I am not a great runner, and definately not a "long-distance" runner, this was perfect. Most songs are 3 - 4 minutes long so this is an easy way to insert some intervals into your workout. I love interval workouts for their effeciency, results and the short duration of pain before a rest! I tell myself I can do anything for 3 minutes! Intervals really boost the calorie burn, not only while you are exercising, but for hours afterwards.
At my Fit in Fifty Sessions the whole premise is that we can get an entire full body workout that really torches calories in only 50 minutes using interval training. It works to rev your metabolism, strengthen your heart and continues burning calories for hours afterwards. AND you can throw in interval training with with any choice of cardio exercise: walking, biking, treadmill, elliptical, you name it. You can get more benefit from just 20 minutes of an interval workout than you can from a longer slower paced routine. Just google "benefits of interval training" and you can see a world of research and articles supporting this type of workout.
Our workout lasted 50 minutes (isn't that ironic?) and my handy, dandy calorie counter indicated I burned 750 calories. WHEW!! Did I mention there were some really steep hills on this route? But even better - by the time I showered I had burned another 200 calories! Surely, I have earned a Saturday night glass of wine. . .
So, the next time you hit the pavement, treadmill, stationary bike, or your choice of heart pumping exercise, put some "umph" into your workout and up the "antee"! You'll do your heart, body and metabolism good. You, too, will earn a glass of wine or other treat for your hard work! And, if you see me huffing and puffing up that darn killer hill near my home, just honk and give me a "thumbs up"!
***And please, consult your physician before starting an exercise program or adding intense training to your routine***
P.S. That is a photo of my "baby" T-Bo running the bases at an Atlanta Braves Game. Isn't he cute??
What is your favorite way to get in your cardio?
Welcome to my Non-Blog, Blog! I promise to not start blogging to you about random stuff I am doing or thinking because you have more to do than care about ridiculous stuff. However, I am such a nerd about reading and researching anything health related, that I just love to share it with anyone who will care to listen. I try to educate the male masses in my home, but they just roll their eyes, even if I try to share tips from some baseball or football star athlete. So, as we get back into Fall and all of the routine that comes with this time of year, we all are thinking about getting back to exercise, eating healthier and getting out of "summer mode". As I am all about reigning in our Summer habits, an old issue of one of my favorite magazines, "Outside" has a great article highlighting three easy ways to "outrun the effects of aging". As I come from a pretty poor gene pool, I work extra hard to fight those bad genes and am convinced that my lifestyle can beat any "born with" odds. I truly believe, and this article supports my theory, that lifestyle choices we make right now determine not only how quickly we age but how long we will live and, most importantly, the quality of our life.
Although there is no avoiding aging altogether, who doesn't want to develop habits to prolong its effects? Here are 3 habits we can all do that may help us be around to see just what kind of parents AND GRANDPARENTS our kids will be!
1. CUT CALORIES - The evidence is stong that animals and primates who ate less lived longer than those that did not. And it's just not keeping the weight off - "even mice bred to stay fat, when given low-calorie diets, lived longer than obese mice eating normally". So, that simply means watch the portions. We DON'T need to supersize a meal! We don't need that third slice of pizza or second helping!
2. BOOST ANTIOXIDANTS - Antioxidants "mop up the free radicals" that cause age-advancing cellular damage. Apparently, eating antioxidant rich foods (apples, berries, good veggies) helps preserve our ability to function late in life. So, get to the farmers market! Or if you live in Buckhead like me, go to Lucy's Market and get some fresh veggies!
3. BE POSITIVE - This is so great . . . A recent study found clear and compelling evidence that people who have a feeling of well-being in their life and who are optimistic, have harmonious relationships and minimal stress, outlive those who are anxious, stressed out or unable to enjoy themselves. In a nutshell, SMILE! Be happy! We can always find something, even in a really bad day, to smile about. The glass truly is half full!!
Read "Outside" magazine, June 2011
These are good tips, huh? Let's see what we can do with them!