sarahmichigan: (Default)
My darling [ profile] dionysus1999 has bought me several exercise DVDs over the course of the last 2-3 months. Most recently, he picked me up a cardio kick-boxing DVD and a dance aerobics DVD for a buck each at the dollar store. I didn't want to be a complete lump yesterday, so I decided to just "preview" the kickboxing DVD. I followed along for the short segment where the instructor shows you how to do four different punches and two kicks, and then decided I could at least do the warm-up as well. I ended up doing the warm-up and about 15 minutes of the the rest of the DVD and then fast-forwarded to the cool-down. I skipped the brief ab workout at the end. And still, I ended up pretty sweaty when I was done. Today, my middle back and inner thighs really feel like they got a workout. If doing only about half of the DVD got me that sweaty and sore, I think I obviously need to work my way up gradually to doing the whole routine.

I really appreciate J. being my exercise buddy. We are at different fitness levels, but we still rely on each other for motivation to get to the gym 3-5 times a week, or to do some yoga, walking, or aerobics when we don't make it to the gym. I know that I would probably be really tempted to skip the gym a lot more often than I have been doing if I wasn't concerned about disappointing J. and getting him off-track with his fitness goals. I appreciate you keeping me supplied with a variety of exercise DVDs, too, honey; variety is the spice of life!


Jan. 8th, 2007 09:53 pm
sarahmichigan: (Default)
Here I am, trying to strengthen my abs with Pilates and other "core" exercises, and one of the fitness experts at says that if you do other kinds of exercise regularly, there's no reason to do crunches and sit-ups, and in fact, they have a higher chance of hurting your spine than they do of helping you get a flat belly:

"You may think it strange that I advise you to ax your ab exercises. That’s because you do not need to do crunches, curls, sit-ups, Pilates moves or any other kind of specific ab-muscle strengtheners to exercise these muscles. Plus, there is a real risk of overloading your spine from doing too much ab work. And even if it doesn’t hurt your back now, you could be overstressing spinal discs in a way that leads to damage later, especially if you are doing lots of repetitive back-bending motions.

You can get by with skipping ab work because any time you run, dance, play a sport or use a cardio machine like an elliptical trainer, you work those muscles—especially if you try to consciously engage them. Most strength exercises from pushups to squats to biceps curls also use your core—particularly if you are standing and/or do the exercises one arm or one leg at a time (the instability causes the muscles to kick in more). As long as you maintain good posture and try to tighten these muscles to help support your spine as you move, you can save those minutes for exercise more suited to help you meet your fat-loss goals."

I am, obviously, taking this with a grain of salt, but it's interesting.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
I started tracking "self-care" goals back at the end of October, and as I've been looking over the past few months of the information I'm tracking, I'm mostly pretty pleased with myself. I must be doing something right as far as stress reduction, because my fingernails are the longest they've been in years. My cuticles are a little raggedy, but one thing at a time.

My most successful goal has been boosting my activity level. I had a blip in late November and early December because I had that abscessed tooth and the root canal, and I just felt too lousy to exercise much for a few weeks. But other than that, things are going swimmingly. I've increased the number of days per week, on average, I'm getting a cardio workout, the duration of my cardio workouts, the number of days per week I'm doing weight-lifting, and the number of reps I'm doing when I'm weight training.

the boring statistics: )
sarahmichigan: (Default)
My husband, our friend R., and I do about half an hour to forty minutes of yoga at our house each Sunday. Sometimes I write out a program and lead it, or sometimes we follow a tape or DVD. We occasionally mix things up and do a belly-dancing DVD instead.

Recently, our friend purchased "Yoga: Just My Size," and we tried it out this weekend.

Here's my review: )

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