Tag Archives: fitness

Natural Hair Warrior – CANCELLED

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NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

CANCELLED

JULY 10, 2014 UPDATE: The event scheduled for August 2014 has been cancelled. A future date will be announced. Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for more details!!

NHW

A couple of weekends ago, I went to my 20 year college reunion. One night, I ended up hanging out with my curlfriend Scarlett of Wonder Curl and her friend Rica of  Boston Naturals. Well, Scarlett, Wei, and I started talking about the Rugged Maniac that we did a few years ago. Scarlett then tells us how Rica is doing a similar event in Boston called the Natural Hair Warrior with a yoga class, obstacle course race, and a swag bag of natural hair goodies for the participants. Of course she told us that that we should totally do it.

Now, the thing is, I’ve been on my C game with my fitness routine the last few months, doing the least while still doing something. As to my diet, I’d been bringing my F game to that (as in, I get a big, fat F), eating anything and everything that I wanted (y’all know about my love of all things buttercream). However, after learning about the NHW, getting fed up with the 20 pounds I have put on since my wedding in December, and not working out one day for the first time in almost a year and a half,  I decided to get back on my A game. I dusted off my C25K plan and my treadmill and started interval running 3 days a week. On the days I run, I do 10-20 minutes of yoga flexibility, on the days I don’t run, I’m doing 30-45 minute Vinyasa Flow yoga practices because #365daysofyoga is still going strong despite that one missed day. And, I have to say this, up until this week, I’ve been doing yoga exclusively since March, and I can tell it has kept my body tighter, stronger, and fitter, despite the weight gain, because I had no problem running again.

So, all that being said, just popping on here quickly to let y’all know that I fell off the wagon a little, but I’m getting back on and getting ready for ….

NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

AUGUST 23, 2014

11:30AM – 4:00PM

Boston, MA

(Get your early bird tickets at half the price until July 12th!!) 

Now that’s a natural hair meet-up with a twist!! Who’s with me?!?!

Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for details and tickets!!

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28 DoF Final Check-In: Week 4

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Yesterday was the day!!! It was the end of our 28 Days/10 Minutes a Day Fitness Challenge!! So, how did you guys do? Was it harder or easier than you thought? If you missed a day, did you get back to it the next? Do you want to do it again? Are you going to set a longer goal? Time to update us with your Week 4: Days 22-28!!

I’m still not going as hard as I have in the past, but I was mostly back to morning workouts this week, if I remember correctly. They were just short ones though … but hey, that’s the point right? Even 10 minutes a day is worth it!! So, this week, I decided I really want to work on improving my hip flexibility for yoga as I felt like I had kind of plateaued in my practice lately. I really want to be able to do the cross-legged full lotus pose. So, that was somewhat my focus this last week.

WEEK 4 RECAP

Day 22 / 342:  Hot Yoga / Vinyasa Flow at Younique Yoga studio in Sparta, NJ (75 min). 

Day 23 / 343: Lauren Brooks Kettlebell Joint Mobility Warm-up and 12 Minute Full Body Blast. But, I switched it up. Since I didn’t have time to do 2 rounds of the short routine, instead of taking the 30 second rest between each  1 minute set, I jumped rope during that “breaks” instead. This kept my heart rate up through the entire 12 minutes.

Day 24 / 344: Jump rope (5 min – whew!), 12 reps x 3 sets of rows with door jam “suspension trainer,” 12 reps x 3 sets of “superman” back extensions, Developing Lotus Flexibility video (10 min), forearm tripod inversion for 30 breaths (total: approx. 20-25 minutes).

via YogaVidyaEnglish

Day 25 / 345: Developing Lotus Flexibility video (10 min).  I did the video in the morning with plans to get some cardio in the evening. Well, I’m sure glad I did that in the a.m., because I was on the road for 4 hours for work and when I got home, passed out on the couch at 8:30 p.m. I woke up, thinking it was 10 or 11 … it was almost 2 a.m.! Needless to say, I hit the sack, counting myself lucky that I had done the video in the morning!!

Day 26 / 346: Developing Lotus Flexibility video (10 min) and Lotus Hips video (20 min). 

via Eckhart Yoga

Day 27 / 347: KeiraLashae Kickboxing video (10 min), jump rope (5 min), and Developing Lotus Flexibility video (10 min).

Day 28 / 348: Angie Miller Kettlebell Bootcamp sets 1-3 plus 32 alternating hand swings and 16 two-hand swings (22 min).

So I’m also going to include a little of Day 349 / 29 (Hot Yoga Vinyasa Flow – 75 min) in this post, because …

Yeah, I know the video is kind of crappy, but I didn’t have any help today!! LOL! But, the point is, those hip opening stretches are already paying dividends!! Today was the first time that I’ve even come close to this one leg arm balance (Koundiyanasana)! Usually, I can’t even get that front foot off of the ground!! So, I’m kind of excited and, after I finish this post, think I’ll be doing some more hip opening stretches. Hey, I’m home alone while many are starting to enjoy Superbowl parties, small and large. So, why not? Think I’ll catch up on last week’s Justified and Community too ;).

Lata Gatas!

(p.s. Don’t forget to check out our FB Events page where many folks update daily! You can find lots of ideas for home, outdoors, YouTube, DVD, app, and gym workouts to mix it up and beat boredom!! If you aren’t on Facebook and/or want more ideas, check out the Fitness Playlist I created on my YouTube channel to share fitness videos that I like!)

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How did you do the last 7 days of the challenge? 

Who is still going to continue and for how long are you planning? 30 days? 100? 365? 

Who wants to try again, because they didn’t make it all the way through?

Who wants to do it for the first time?

If there is enough interest, I’ll keep this going for another 28 days with weekly update posts for accountability and inspiration!! 

28 DoF Check-In: Week 3

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Sookie Sookie Now!!! Only one week to go chicas and chicos!!! Time to update us with your 28 Days/10 Minutes a Day Fitness Challenge progress for Week 3: Days 15-21!!

And don’t forget to check out our FB Events page where many folks are updating daily! In a work-out rut? You’ll can find tons of ideas for home, outdoors, YouTube, DVD, app, and gym workouts to mix it up and beat boredom!! If you aren’t on Facebook and/or want more ideas, check out the Fitness Playlist I created on my YouTube channel to share fitness videos that I like!

As for my week, the struggle continues. I’m still not getting up as early as I’d like. A 5:30 am wake-up can be beastly in the winter when it’s still very dark and cold and especially when it seems to be snowing EVERY OTHER day in NJ! Ughhh!! So, I was still fighting the time crunch most of the week and ended up doing late night workouts on Friday and Saturday.

WEEK 3 RECAP

Day 15/335:  Hot Yoga / Vinyasa Flow at Younique Yoga studio in Sparta, NJ (75 min).

Day 16/336: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 min). In my defense, I cleaned house ALL day … well, I mostly dealt unpacking (ummm … see, what had happened was … Okay. I have no excuse. I just fully unpacked from the honeymoon on MLK Day. I know. Sad. But, whatcha gonna do?). So, I sorted, organized, and shred a lot of mail/paperwork and washed, folded, and put away a crap-load of clothes.

Day 17/337: 10 Minute Kickboxing with KieraLashae (don’t get it twisted, you will get your sweat on with these 10 minutes, IF you give it your all).

Day 18/338:  Lauren Brooks Joint Mobility Warm-up and 12 Minute Full Body Blast x2 (29 min).

Day 19/339: FitSugar’s Treadmill Pyramid Intervals to the 22 minute mark, then 6 minutes to cool down (28 min).

Day 20/340: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 Minutes)

Day 21/341: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 Minutes)

Day338

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We’re in the home stretch now!! How did you do Week 3, days 15-21? 

What are your plans for your final week?

28 DoF Check-In: Week 2

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Woot!! Woot!! We’re at the halfway point folks!!! Time to update us with your 28 Days/10 Minutes a Day Fitness Challenge progress for Week 2: Days 8-14!!

And don’t forget to check out our FB Events page!!  The home, outdoors, YouTube, DVD, app, and gym workouts continue to roll in!! I tried a new 10 workout myself last night!! And, if you aren’t on Facebook and/or want more ideas, check out the Fitness Playlist I created on my YouTube channel to share fitness videos that I like!

As for my week, I’m getting back into the groove of morning workouts … but still not getting up as early as I’d like. I went from a 6:30 am rise time to 6 am. So, that was good. But, my goal this week is to get back to 5:30 am. If you remember, I’m also doing a personal 365 Days of the Word challenge with YouVersion’s One Year Bible. So, I do my reading and prayer first (along with my cup of coffee ;)), then workout.

WEEK 2 RECAP

Day 8/328:  Hot Yoga / Vinyasa Flow at Younique Yoga studio in Sparta, NJ (75 min). I hadn’t been to hot yoga in 2 months, so I was bit nervous. But, I didn’t do too badly! I definitely was tighter than I had been, but I’ll work out the kinks soon (I hope ;))!

Day 9/329: Lauren Brooks Joint Mobility Warm-up and 12 Minute Full Body Blast x2 (29 min).

Day 10/330: Run on treadmill – 5 min warm-up; then 5 min at 5 mph and 10 min at 5.5 mph at 1.5% incline; 5 min cool down (25 min total). I would have liked to run longer, but I was short on time. I know it’s better for me to get a shorter workout in the morning than try to wait until after work for a longer one and end up doing NOTHING!

Day 11/331: Angie Miller Kettlebell Bootcamp with 15 and 20 pound bells (45 min). I was using the 15 lb bell for the entire workout, but am progressing and working towards using the 20 lb bell for the whole routine.

Day 12/332: FitSugar’s Treadmill Pyramid Intervals to the 22 minute mark, then 5 minutes to cool down. I was short on time again!!

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Day 13/333: 60 seconds x2 sets of bicycle exercise for abs, 15 recline leg lifts, and 20 “superman” back extensions in the am (5 min); Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel in the pm (10 min)

Day 14/334: Cardio Crush Workout by BeFit on YouTube (10 min)

Feeling good!! I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do when my 365 days are complete. Will I keep going or start taking off days? Hmmmm … I’m feeling like I’ll keep going. But, I’d like to challenge myself in a different way. Maybe run 365 miles in a year … or, what I’ve really been thinking about is doing a different fitness challenge each month for 12 months. Or … maybe a year long daily yoga challenge as it’s amazing to be able to do things with my body that I’ve never been able to do in my life! Hmmmm …

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Okay my peeps!! How did you do Week 2? Give us the rundown of days 8-14!!

What victories did you achieve this week?

28 DoF Check-In: Week 1

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It’s that time!!! Time to update us with your 28 Days/10 Minutes a Day Fitness Challenge progress for Week 1: Days 1 -7!!

Now, a lot of you have been updating our FB Events page and that has been absolutely awesome to see the variety of things everyone is doing to get in their 10 minutes!! If you haven’t checked it out, please do!! The variety of home, outdoors, YouTube, DVD, app, and gym workouts is great!! And, if you aren’t on Facebook and/or want more ideas, check out the new Fitness Playlist I created on my YouTube channel to share fitness videos that I like!

Okay, now let’s get to my update! But, before I do, let me preface this by saying that I was oversleeping this week, because what I thought was my 5:30 alarm was my 6 o’ clock alarm!! And then, when I figured it out … I still slept in a couple days. Ummm … yeah, so, I ended up just barely getting in my 10 minutes several days this week. And, when I got them in, I didn’t want to do anything that made me sweat because I didn’t want to have to take a shower late at night and have to take another one the next morning. Because, the plan was always to workout in the morning … ended up being the failed plan most days last week.

Anywho … here’s my quick run down … remember, I’m doing this concurrently with my 365 Days of Fitness, which I haven’t yet completed.

WEEK 1 RECAP

Day 1/321:  10 Min. Fat Burning Kickboxing with KeairaLaShae - I got this one from one of our challenge ladies who posted it on my FB page on Day 1!! It’s not the most polished of videos, but it got the job done! I broke a NICE sweat!!

Day 2/322: 60 secs x 2 sets of bicycle for abs in the morning;  20 min walk on treadmill (5 min warm-up; 5 min @ 3.8 mph w/4% incline; 5 min @ 3.8 mph w/8% incline; 5 min cool down).

Day 3/323: FitSugar Treadmill Pyramid Intervals workout (as pictured above) (30 min). I got this one from my sister who was a varsity runner in high school and just did a half marathon in December! She was impressed with how it improved her performance. I was fine the first half, but once those “rest/recovery” intervals picked up to 5.5 mph, I had to take them down to 4.0 in order to recover from the 7, 8, and 7 mph again sprint intervals!! And, I added 5 minutes of additional cool down to the end! 4.0 mph is a cardio walk pace! It is NOT a cool down!! LOL!! And, anyway, I did the first minute of the program cool down at 5.5 mph and the second at 4.5 mph. You can always increase or decrease the speed to accommodate your fitness level when doing any High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Day 4/324: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 min)

Day 5/325: The Biggest Loser Cardio Max Level 2 Workout (40 min)

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Day 6/326: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 min)

Day 7/327: Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel (10 min)

And that was my “Week 1!” Started week 2 pretty well with a 75 minute hot yoga class this morning! So, hopefully, that will be the kicks I needed to get back into waking up in time to exercise in the morning, before going to work!! Wish me luck!!

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Okay folks!! How did your Week 1 go? What did you do Days 1-7?

Most importantly, how are you feeling? I hope great :)!!

Building Defined Abs

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Jan_Dec2013_AbsAbs progress Jan-Dec 2013 (148.5 lbs to 122 lbs)

I often get asked about what I do for abs. I’m hourglass shaped and tend to hold most of my excess weight between the area beneath my navel to mid-thigh. So, my upper body and abs are the first to show the results of weight loss/strength training. If you are more apple-shaped/top heavy, then it will likely take more work for you to see results in the abs just like it takes me more time to results in my legs/glutes. With that caveat, here are the things that I do to get defined abs!

1. LOSE WEIGHT/FAT: Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym?” It’s true. 90% of getting defined/tight abs is losing weight/fat. You’re not going to see muscle covered by fat. If you do a lot of ab work, but still have a tummy/gut/Dunlap disease (your waist “dun lapped” over your belt … LOL!), then it’s likely your six-pack is hiding under subcutaneous fat and losing weight will make them come out of hiding. Cardio is a necessity to burn calories and strength training helps boost base metabolism. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way to burn calories and boost base metabolism! A simple 25-30 minute HIIT treadmill workout for beginners is: warm-up walk for 5 minutes; 1 minute sprint (fast as you can) followed by 1.5 min walk/jog, repeat 6-8 times, cool down walk for 5 minutes. I used this C25K week 1 treadmill workout as my time guide.

2. ABS OF STEEL by TAMILEE WEBB (VHS): I’ve used this tape for 20+ years. It has three 10 minute workouts and I’ll do it 3-5 days a week (abs don’t need rest/recovery every other day. 1-2 days of rest in a week is adequate). I recently found that the VHS I use can be found on sale on eBay (pink box/blue leotard) and you can download it to your computer at TamileeWebb.com!

3. BICYCLE EXERCISE FOR ABS: I just added in the last few months because my lower abs were not progressing in strength the way I wanted or had experienced in the past. I realized that this was likely because I wasn’t doing the Captain’s Chair lower leg lift exercise that I used to do 1-2 days a week when I worked out at a gym. I corroborated with some online research that this is one of the top three effective exercises for abs as proven by EMG testing (see article here). So, I started to think about buying a Captain’s Chair for my home gym. But then I looked at the #1 exercise (Captain’s Chair was #2) and discovered it was something that required NO equipment, can be done anywhere, and is the most effective for the total core (upper abs, lower abs, AND obliques). It was a no brainer. I started incorporating one to two 60 second sets (60 sec rest between sets) into my workouts 1-2 days a week. I saw my lower ab strength increase within a week or two and that resulted in improved performance during running and yoga (especially inversions).

Bicycle for Abs Demo

via LiveStrong.com

So yup! That’s what I do for defined abs. But again, remember number one is the most important!! Case in point, I’ve been doing Abs of Steel almost every day for the last several weeks, but barely doing cardio and still eating like I’m on the cruise! So … the abs aren’t looking like they did in December!! So, it’s definitely time to get the eating back in order and cardio back in effect for real! With that, time to get on the exercise gear and hit the basement for The Biggest Loser Cardio Max for Day 325 of 365 Days of Fitness (and Day 5 of 28 Days of Fitness).

Lata Gatas!!

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How do you get “six pack”/defined abs?

Ready, Set … GO!!

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Hey ladies!! Just coming on here really quickly to OFFICIALLY kick-off our 28 Days/10 Minutes a Day Fitness Challenge and to let you know that I created an Event Page of Facebook!! So now you can join the “event,” share updates, progress, pics, workouts, information, links, words of encouragement, inspirational stories, etc. with your co-participants all in one place!! Just click the pic above to go to the page!!

LET’S GET IT!!!