Tag Archives: hot yoga

365 Days of Fitness: Strong Curves

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Just coming on really fast to update you all on 365 Days of Fitness. Yesterday, I completed Day 216 AND the Strong Curves 12 Week At-Home Bodyweight Program!! The last 4 weeks were KILLER, but sooooo worth it!! I’ve experienced such great progress and strength gains. When I started, I couldn’t do ONE unassisted chin-up. It’s not easy, but now I can do 3 sets of 3!!

And the strength I have gained in my legs, arms, back, and core are paying rewards in yoga!!

Crow to headstand to chatarunga to upward dog to downward dog flow.

Compass pose done the first time EVER. Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Day 217: Compass pose done the first time EVER.
Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Now, to take a break. NOT from exercising silly ;)!! Just from Strong Curves! It’s been an intense 12 weeks of doing Strong Curves 3 days a week and I haven’t been eating the best, because it makes me so hungry! So, my weight has stayed pretty much the same (with some up and down on the scale). In order to get my eating back on track and to give my body a chance to recover, I’m going into an active “rest” week. I originally planned to do 20-30 minutes of Vinyasa Flow yoga a day with a DVD I picked up about a month ago on Amazon, Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow. I really like this DVD because it has seven 20 minute practices that you can do solo or mix and match. You can also follow pre-set programs that do the mixing and matching for you.

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I may still do this only, but I’m also feeling like I may throw some hip thrusts and cardio in there too. We’ll see how I feel and how the week plays out. But, I will definitely do at least 20 minutes of yoga every day. If I can do what I did above with one practice a week, I wonder what I could accomplish practicing every day!!

Okay, before I go, wanted to share two more things. I haven’t taken an after picture for Strong Curves and it may have to wait until next week … because the bloat is on, if you get my drift. But, I figured I’d share some more before and after pics from April and August. You’ve seen the abs in the past, but this is the first time I’ve posted my leg progress on the blog. You see, my lower body takes a lot longer to respond to exercise and diet. But, I’m getting there and I’m hoping that next week’s shots (plan to do a full body comparison to May … after a good week of eating *fingers crossed*) will look even better.

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And last, but definitely not least, two weeks ago, I decided I was going to start a new 10 minutes a day 365 Day Challenge. I have a dear friend with two very small children whose beloved 34 year old husband died this past week after an unexpected 9 month battle with leukemia. About three weeks ago, they placed him in an induced coma and I went to see her at the hospital. Her sadness, pain, and suffering hit me so hard. I tried my best to say the right words and tell her to keep faith and keep praying and God is a healer and performs miracles. But, I felt so helpless to really comfort her (though she has told me several times that my visiting that day and talking with her over the months has given her hope and kept her going). I just didn’t feel well-versed enough in scripture to explain why these things were happening and why, despite all their best efforts, things just went from bad to worse.

I had been praying for my friend’s family since her husband was first diagnosed, but I’ve never been comfortable with or good at praying on my own. After that visit with her, I started saying little prayers multiple times a day, awkward as they may have been and felt. The Sunday after I visited her, I was watching In-Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley (I really like him because he is a teaching pastor). I needed some spiritual encouragement and direction. He was doing a sermon on “A Strong Church.” In it, he spoke about the need to have a church where you bring your Bible and you study it. A few moments later, as I was preparing to leave for hot yoga, I started posting the following poster as a fitness inspiration:

inspiration_tomorrowstartstoday

And something clicked. Yes, this applied to fitness, but it also applied to me and something that I’d been thinking about for years. I was really ready to work on developing a closer relationship with God and Jesus. I thought, “Just like I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my physical health, I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my spiritual health! I mean, shoot! I spend 30-40 minutes on Facebook and IG every morning!! I need to give some of that time to God!”

And 365 Days of the Word began that very day. I asked for suggestions on what books or apps might be helpful and several people recommended YouVersion The Bible, which is chock full of reading plans. I started The One Year Bible that day and completed Day 15 this morning.

YouVersion_TheBibleYouVersion_TheBible_Day1and2

Now, instead of waking up and grabbing my phone to check Facebook and Instagram for notifications and turning on the news to create background noise, I start my cup of coffee, say a prayer, and spend some quiet time alone with God and the “Bible.” I still have to stop myself from checking FB and IG and turning on the TV first … in fact, I turned on the TV yesterday and had to quickly turn it off. But, I’m working on replacing my old habits and routine with a new one, just like I did with fitness … one day at a time.

Okay, I have fifty gajillion other things I could share about this, but I know that I have started to ramble! This post ended up being far longer than I initially intended … but that’s how it almost ALWAYS is with me. Once I start, it’s hard to stop me ;) and I thought it was important to share this new journey. I hope that you are glad that I did so.

Okay, that’s it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I need to go wash this hair and maybe …. maybe … there might be a blow-out in the immediate future that I’ll be sharing ;).

Lata Gatas!!

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I Did That!!

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Last week was marked with achievement for me as it relates to my ongoing personal fitness goals!! It began the Sunday before last when I was able to do side crow for the first time ever in hot yoga!!!

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“OMGosh! OMGosh! I can’t believe I’m doing this!!”

And, I didn’t do it just once; I did it THREE times!!! I was able to do it on both sides during practice and then my bestie/yoga buddy take this pic of me doing it again after class ended!! Okay … so, I haven’t been able to do it since … but, I now know that I can do it and can do it again!! I also tried scorpion (assisted against the wall and with my arms strapped around my elbows) for the first time! And, it was pretty good for a first try!! Woot Woot!!

So, at the end of yoga, my bestie tells me about this Superhero 5K in Morristown the following Saturday. She knew I finished C25K (she was 5 weeks in and we were talking about signing up for the Morristown Warriors Dash). She is also well aware of my love of comics/cartoons and knew this would be right up my alley. How fitting would it be that my first 5K in life be superhero themed?!?! So, when I got home, I looked it up and saw that the 5K was not only fun, but to raise money to bring clean water to Africa and Central America. Superhero-themed and for a good cause? Sign me up and call me Batman!!

superhero5K

Oh! How could I forget?! Part of the reason this came up was because of a belated birthday gift from my buddy Fernando! Batsocks!!

And so, this past Saturday, I ran my first ever 5K!! And, I did not walk once!!

(Click pics to enlarge/read captions)

 

Let me tell you, those hills are a b@#$!! LOL!! But, I am very pleased to say that I ran it in 34:40.92 minutes, which was an  11:09 mph pace! So, this is right about on par with the 5.5 mph pace I’ve been running on the treadmill! And, I was came in 114th place out of 498 women!!! Woot Woot squared!! LOL! My goal is to be able to run a 5K in 30 minutes or less … but one day at a time :).

So yeah … great week for me personal fitness challenge wise :)! And, as of yesterday, I’m 3 months/84 days into this working out for at least 10 minutes every day!! When I started this, I was just trying to get past the 3 week hurdle. I am totally ecstatic that I’ve come this far and don’t see myself stopping now!

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Have you recently accomplished a health and/or fitness goal? Dish!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 50-70

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Day68

Okay, I have to get ready to head to the gym in a few. But, I know I have been seriously MIA on the blog for the last several weeks. So, I wanted to give a quick update in regard to my personal fitness challenge. First, I have now worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 70 days in a row. More importantly for me, I completed C25K on Friday!!! I did C25K in 2011, but think I fell off of it the last week/week and a half. I didn’t fall of because I ran into a wall (no pun intended ;), but because I took a break immediately before competing in a Rugged Maniac 5K obstacle race.

Anywho, I’m very excited to say that I am now running for 30 minutes at 5.4 mph! It ain’t quite easy yet, but I can do it!! I’m NOT happy to say that my treadmill broke at week 7 of C25K and I have yet to get my new one. So, I had to start going to the gym to run (yeah … I don’t run outside … yet. Now that’s it’s warming up, I’ll give it a try on the weekend). I should have my new NordicTrak by this Wednesday and will be happy to not have to run back and forth to the gym at 6 am.

Okay, it’s about time for me to get dressed to get out of here. But, here is a pictorial rundown of Days 50-70. If you want to get details of what I did each day, check out my Instagram or Facebook pages (I think you can check-out Instagram w/out being a subscriber!).

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The scale has been stuck the last few weeks … I went down to 134, but have been up and down the last two weeks. I know it’s because I’ve been pretty lackadaisical about dinner and have been relaxing my eating on weekends. So, this week, I’m going to get back on track with consistently eating a balanced dinner and watching what I eat on the weekends. Regardless of what’s going on with the scale, I’m definitely seeing progress.

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And finally, I’m really going to try to give some hair updates this week! I plan to do a post every night after work, but I’m just so exhausted and have no desire to focus on a computer long enough to compose a lucid and worthwhile post!! So, I just do quick hits on IG, which I share on FB and Twitter!! If you follow me on any of those, you know that it has been an eventful few weeks in regard to wash day. I’ve tried new products, new techniques and had a traumatic detangling experience last weekend. Visions of a third big chop were floating through my head. But, I survived with (most of the) hair on my head! So yeah, I might not write as much as I usually do, but I’m going to really try to give you guys a little something! Thank you for your patience!!

Lata Gatas!!

Nike Studio Wrap Pack: Yea or Nay?

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So, I’m a big fan of hot yoga. Started doing it in 2011, fell in love, bought a whole bunch of classes on sale, fell off, and just started going again this past Sunday after a long “hiatus.” Anywho, my sister (Shana again ;)) posted the pic on the above left on IG today. At first, I was like, “Nah. That looks like too much work.”

However, being the curious person I am, I had to investigate further. I found the following review post on RenewedFitness.orgThe New Nike Studio Wrap and in it was this video:

via Wendy Lam


Hmmm … the wraps are not necessary? Maybe I spoke too soon …

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And they come with a wash bag too …

nike_studiowrap_laydown_14881FRICK!! Now I want a pair!!!

But, these jokers are $110 on Nike Store! So … playing the waiting game for the sissy to tell me when they are at the Nike Factory store at the outlets ;). The cover flat is more of a summer shoe anyway ;).

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Any other “Hot Yogis” out there? If so, whaddaya think? Would you give the Nike Studio Wrap a whirl?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 1-7

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day2Day 1 and Day 2

Not much in ways of mileage, but I am trying to build my endurance back up and work out the kinks muscle tightness. Did 25 min of walking and 5 minutes of jogging on Monday. On Tuesday, I did 7.5 minutes of jogging (five 1.5 min. jog/1.5 min. walk intervals).

day3Day 3

12 minute Kettlebell Full Body Blast with Lauren Brooks. I went to south Jersey on Tuesday night for the funeral for a member of my church family (RIP NaNa). But, I took my kettlebell and DVD with me. Couldn’t be missing days already. But yeah, 12 minutes. That’s all. Kicked my butt. My legs were sore immediately and the rest of the week. 

day4Day 4

Did five 1.5 min jog/run intervals again. I  increased my speed in last jog interval. But, I didn’t pick up any distance or burn any more calories than Tuesday. I think this was because my warm up started off slower. My thighs were tight and SORE!!

day5Day 5

Did 20 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minute Abs of Steel. I passed out after work on Thursday night!!! Between a sore body from resuming working out and the long day Wednesday (funeral in south Jersey and the CurlyNikki meet-up in NYC), I was DONE!!

day6Day 6

Did my old 20 minute 300 Calorie Treadmill Routine. It wasn’t pretty. I had to reduce speed for last half as my heart was coming out of my chest. How far they have fallen!! Anywho, it’s still a great short workout!! Check it out via the prior link, if you’re interested in a quick workout for those days you don’t have a lot of time! Also, a lot of people complained in the comments of the Fitness mag post that their treadmill only said they burned 160 or so cals. The treadmill can’t calculate calorie burn from interval training. It also is not accurate as there are various factors (sex, weight, height, muscle mass, metabolic rate, etc.) that are needed to accurately determine the number of cals an individual will burn with any given exercise. So, the 300 isn’t necessarily accurate either. These things rely upon averages and are not exact. If you’re not “average,” then they are just estimates.

day7Day 7

75 minutes of hot yoga (Vinyasa Flow) with my fave instructor, Colleen, at Younique Yoga. I didn’t do too badly even though I’m out of shape and haven’t been in forever!! I was even able to do a headstand and did it again when I got home!! It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!!

It’s been a pretty good week for my diet as well. I ate a little WAY too much granola yesterday, but everything I’ve eaten has been healthy. I’ve planned my meals for the most part, have been eating fruit, veggies, low fat/zero fat Greek yogurt, walnuts and have been drinking lots of water. I reduced my coffee from three cups a day to one cup in the morning to jump start me for working out (well, except Friday, when I needed a second cup!). Oh, and I’ve been getting in bed by 11 pm and waking up at 5:30 am to exercise in the morning prior to work!

And now, it’s time to hit the shower and clean this body and wash this hair (pre-poo has been “marinating” since yesterday!).

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Okay, how did you ladies who “signed up” for the 28 Day Fitness Challenge do week one? 

As for week 2, LET’S GET IT!!

Project Scale Down: Day 28 …

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… put me on my butt!!! I did hot yoga again last night. My thighs and boo-tay were already sore from Sunday and I was done towards the end of the class and in child’s pose for the last couple of segments. When I got home, I couldn’t function afterwards. I took a shower and tried to recover on the couch for 20 minutes, so that I could get up, eat and write posts for today. The only thing I did was halfway sit-up on the couch, eat most of a Salmon Lean Cuisine, started to feel a bit nauseous, drank some water and crawled to bed for the night. So, I’m writing this post, gonna try to do two of the posts I planned for day and then get to work!!!

Day 28:

  • 75 minutes hot yoga. 

(I’d feel more enthused if I had made it 28 days straight, but after missing not 1, but 2 days, this is feeling a little like an empty victory. Nothing to it, but to do it! Or try it … again!)