Monthly Archives: December 2010

Shake Things Up: A fast at home full-body workout

The East is getting pounded by a major blizzard; the west is drowning under inches of rain. The middle of the country has seen freezing cold. This is a time of year when the wise and well-prepared have an emergency at-home full-body workout in their back pocket for times like this.

If you don’t have such a plan, here’s one that requires no fancy equipment and will get heart pumping and challenge your muscles.

Do these exercises one after another with no more than 30 seconds rest between them.  Sets of 10.  At the end of the entire list, rest for a minute and repeat up to 2 more times.

  • Hip  bridges .  Lie on floor, face up.  Tilt pelvis to flatten lower back, then continue lifting pelvis off floor until a straight line from knees to shoulders.  Squeeze glutes hard and hold for count of 30
  • Push ups.  Counter/desk pushups. Girl pushups. Real pushups. As challenging as you can go. (10)
  • Stable Lunge/Military Press.
  • “Bathtub step overs.
  • Chair dips.
  • Lateral jump-squats.
  • Y-T-As.
  • Ali Shuffle.
  • Single Leg Push.
  • Lateral to Front Arm raises.
  • Because it was WAY TOO WORDY to describe how to do these, I made you a little video. At 10 minutes, it’s a bit too long (sorry). But how do you demonstrate 10 exercises in less time?

    Enjoy. Give these a try. Remember, proper form and posture at all times.

    Have questions? Let me know in the comments.

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    2011 Focus: The Me of Now

    December Fitness Check-In

    125# and 20% body fat

    Two years ago, I had a remarkable late November and December.  In 6 weeks of heavy metabolic workouts and HIIT cardio, I managed to gain 8# of muscle while losing 10″ on my torso and a net 4″.  You’ve heard that muscle is dense-and that lifting heavy and doing HIIT burns fat?  This was the proof.

    Five days a week I headed to the gym for a one hour workout.    I would start sweating within the first 5 minutes and not stop until well after I left the gym-even after a cooling shower.

    This year, I’m sad to say that I’ve reverted to a more “normal” middle agedlook.  A year of injury and limited activity-plus my demon depression– has kept me from the gym. Not surprisingly, I gain back all the weight I lost and once again I’m back to 158#.

    Fitness Check In-12/24/10

    I’ve been feeling defeated -constantly looking back and comparing my current self with that past woman.  It’s my own personal form of self-abuse and I’m sure many women go through this: comparing themselves with their earlier lives:

    • their pre-college bodies
    • their pre-baby bodies
    • their 20 year selves when they’re 40.
    • their pre-illness selves -when they had health.
    • whatever keystone of their past where they hold them as being their very best self/where they are today.

    These comparisons accomplish NOTHING POSITIVE.  We will never return to that place.  More importantly, if tomorrow I were to wake up looking like my former self -but not having put in the work to get there- I could not now maintain it.  That body came from work -and was maintained by the same level of work.  It is the experience of growing to a good place that makes that place rewarding.

    Today, I am healed and getting back on the right track.  The challenge for me NOW is to accept where I am today -not looking back or forward.  I am choosing to start 2011 by focusing on the me of now.

    *You can view my monthly check-ins in my Flickr set.

    Tracking My Demon: Depression

    I have been blogging for something akin to 8 years now -on 3 different blogs in 2 different platforms plus my 5 year stint as a Contributing Editor for BlogHer.  I’ve been picked up by Huffington Post.  In that time, I’ve had periods where I have blogged multiple times a day, blogged on a schedule, blogged every weekday on multiple blogs.
    I’ve NEVER blogged as inconsistently as I have been over last year or so. This past year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about writing:

    • Do I think I have nothing to share with others about living a healthy life?  NO.
    • Do I feel irrelevant because the “back theme” of my writing is slanted to the impacts of menopause on healthy living?  A little.  With most in the blogging community in their 30s and 40s, that might put me on a specialized track.  But most of what I write about applies if you are 15 or 115.
    • Have I lost my passion?  No.

    So obviously the problem has nothing to do with blogging itself.  The challenge sits firmly in a different direction.  I believe I may have finally figured it out.

    Last week, I had my annual check up with my friendly and fabulous neurologist.  I was sent to him when I started reacting badly to the meds my doctor used to help me through my insomnia.  Since then, we’ve been adjusting my meds and anticipating changes.  Things have been quite good.

    We know that I use physical motion -exercise-to alter some of my neurochemistry and keep a bottom on my depression.  The forced limited activity I’ve experienced since the diagnosis of a SLAP lesion meant I lost much of that physical control over my condition.  At the same time, the constant pain increased some of the negative hormones starting a downward spin.  Frustration added to the stress.

    And I became isolated and lonely.  This has magnified dramatically since my surgery – taking disability to heal and losing all my clients in the meantime.  (no clients means no reason for them to welcome me back.  I’ve been let go.  Oh Joy!)

    The limited activity has also meant I’ve gained back all the weight I lost 4 years ago and am now the heaviest I’ve been in my life.  NOT the best way to inspire confidence in future PT clients.  Or myself.

    The result: a huge frakkin dose of depression that built so gradually I didn’t really notice it happening until I knew I was buried in a dark, deep hole.  A hole so all-encompassing that I couldn’t talk about it and couldn’t talk about anything else.  A funk so funky I could only spend the day dealing with coping behaviors, doing little or nothing to claw my way out.

    You may have noticed this only my silence.

    My doctor has offered me a couple options to get myself back up on my feet and moving again.  I am experimenting with drugs and dosages, but already think I know where this will end up.  In a couple weeks I’ll know for sure.  I’m encouraged because only a couple days out I could clearly see that the depression was fogging my brain so much that I couldn’t communicate.

    I’m not a bad blogger.  I’m a depressed blogger.

    And I’m getting better.

    So let’s hit “RESET” on this blog -maybe give me until 1/1/12 to nail some things in my brain down- and then get cracking again.

    I’ve learned a lot from looking back over my blogging history- but this is the first time I realized that I can actually track my mental health my reading what I’ve done and not done in the past.  Have you ever looked back to see what you can learn from your blogging?  Want to share an insight or two with me?