Tuesday, October 28, 2014

T is for Take a Bite into a Run

A Need to Run

I'll never forget! I was in the 4th grade and every day after school, my friends and I would get on the bus to head home. 

That day was no different. School ended and we walked towards the bus, got on for the brief ride until our stop where we got off to walk the rest of the way to our destination. The only difference with that day was the loose dog that was standing at the corner.

I had always been afraid of dogs and I guess dogs can usually sense fear on a person because it came and started sniffing me. That was when my running days began.

I never ran so far and long before until that day.  It was luck that my best friend's brother was at the front of their building because if he hadn't been holding the door open, I probably would have gotten bitten by the dog. 

Recently, I started on this running journey again; but only indoors and on a treadmill without the encouragement of a mean, barking dog running after me. It started out as intervals of walking, jogging and running and now I have gained stamina to run 41 minutes straight. I think that is pretty good considering, I am not your average runner and have yet to try a long distance run that is all terrain. But I will!

Take A Bite Into Running

So here are some things to think about when running . . . 

1. Running requires your arms to be moving as well so if you are on a treadmill holding on to the bars and running, you are not doing the cardio workout correctly
2. 4.0 on a treadmill is fast paced walking, not running.
3. Warmup before and stretch after. You might feel achiness in your knees when you are done. So make sure to stretch them out or strengthen by stationary bike riding with good resistance. 
4. Good sneakers made for your feet are important. Make sure they have good traction. You will know you need new sneakers when the foot support is not the same and you start feeling cramps in your feet or ankles.
5. Running is a great exercise to shed belly fat. So if you are trying to lose your stomach; run. 
6. You can experience a bit of what all terrain running is indoors by adding incline to your treadmill run; the natural earth has incline. But, the best way to experience it is to challenge yourself, change your environment and get outside. 
7. You can burn over 500 calories with just 45 minutes of running. Your heart will be thanking you for each end every second of it. 

Running  Idea

By the way! 

I am no longer afraid of dogs. I am strong enough to put my fear aside and to not let even the biggest bark to send me running. 

What I failed to realize back then is the power I have in my stance. So much power that I could've thrown that loose pet harder than a pitch by Ventura of the Kansas City Royals and left it feeling the dog days. Now how does that bark bite? Lol! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

S is for Strength

You do all this work trying to bust your ass just to get the pounds off. You shed the pounds but then you see skin hanging that needs to be trimmed. That's when I realized; cardio is great but so is strength training.

Sure we can lift our own selves up to carry our own weight. Well barely! How many times have you gone up a flight of steps and been left huffing and puffing as if you just ran a marathon? Sure you could lift yourself out of bed in the morning to face the rising sun, but could you lift your own body from the  ground if you fell? God forbid the movie "2012" was our reality and our only option to survive was to carry our entire world on our backs while racing to China towards the spaceship. Would we have the strength to carry on? 


Recently, I attended the Circle of Sisters Festival at the Jacob Javits Center in New York and the Marines were there. They were recruiting and giving out information and one of the things a person must be able to do to be a part is a pull-up. And so I tried it. 

I could barely pull my own weight up. Knowing that it is hard, made me consider my little 8lbs and 10lbs weights that I do strength training workouts with. 

Married to the Weight

Today, I made an adjustment. 

I married new weights; fifteens for the first time.

My something new; New resistance! Borrowed strength from God to lift them through each rep and I got the blues because of my sore shoulders. But I can't complain. I want them toned arms and the strength and I am doing it!!! :))) 

And when it comes time to get into that race for my spot on that spaceship in China, nobody will be able to stop me. I've become a pro at doing superwomans. I can thrust forward with swiftness. I have the strength!!! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

R is for Ready, Set, Yoga

I just love Autumn. The things I love most about this season are the beautiful weather, the colors, the outdoor energy (fairs, outdoor musical events), the fashion and the workout opportunities. Autumn is a perfect time to fall back into fitness. So let's make sure to get that heart pumping and keeping our minds and bodies healthy.

Wherever You Are

The gym may not be for everyone. It might seem too tight and confined for some who find joy working out in other places.

Running or weight lifting may not be for everyday.  It is good to do, but maybe adding different types of exercises to your lifestyle that also affect different muscles in your body, might not only enhance the experience, but keep your mind geared toward continuing on your fitness journey.

So how about taking your workouts outside!

Ready, Set, Yoga

Have you ever tried yoga?  It is a great exercise that can stretch every muscle in your body and also make you more flexible.  What I found to be great about yoga is that it teaches you how to breathe effectively so that when you are doing harder cardio workouts, you find the breathing process to be much easier.

Yes, yoga is meditational and yes it can bring you peace of mind. No, not all forms of yoga will put you to sleep and yes, your body can actually benefit from it. And it is a great exercise to do anyplace and at anytime.

Some questions you might be wondering is, how many downward dogs do I have to do for it to be considered yoga? Can I snap my neck doing head or shoulder stands?  Do I actually need a mat to do yoga? Following an instructor is best at the beginner stage. Guidance is helpful to get a hang of different yoga positions; but once you get a hang of it, anytime and anyplace a yogi sees fit.

I took it outside to Canarsie Pier and in the midst of my time there, I realize I did not really need a mat at all.  Through this experience, I have now found a name for my car: YOGAMAT.

This post was inspired by MAMAKAT's writing prompt on the five things I love most about fall. The top love would be working out though there is not really a season that is dedicated to it; it is an everyday passion.  This post was also inspired by National Name Your Car Day which falls on October 2, 2014 this year. Fun idea to use these  images to come up with a name for my vehicle.  (Photos are courtesy of EJ Haughton Photography)