Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Lesson in Warming-Up

It was one of those days - sitting for hours at my desk without a break to even take the dog out. Poor thing. So when I finished my work that evening, I took that pent up energy of mine to the stairway of my apartment building.  20 minutes, 8 flights, GO!

About halfway through my stir crazy induced sweat session, my left calf muscle began to tighten up, and at once I knew I should have done a warm-up.  “Oh well, too late now!” And I kept climbing. Up 8 flights, down 8 flights, up 8 flights… whew.   

Afterwards, as my dinner baked in the oven, I rolled out my yoga mat to unwind and release the tension in my calves. Stretches, done. Dinner, done. Damage, done!

The next morning I woke up with a fireball in my left calf, impairing me from going for a run and exacerbating my irritation from too much sedentary desk work. Luckily, my dog forgave me from keeping her inside and graciously let me borrow her tennis ball for a myofascial release. After watching this video from YouTube and whimpering screaming in pain, I have sworn to never begin another workout without first doing a good ole warm-up session.

Here’s how I’ll warm up:
·       Take a brisk walk and slowly ramp it up into a jog, lasting 5 minutes
·       Stretch out the hamstrings, quads, and calves using gentle forward bends, a standing quad stretch, and downward facing dog
·       Roll the ankles in circles going both directions
·       Forward and side lunge stretches for hip flexors

If I had included a warm-up before climbing the stairs, I probably wouldn’t have been sidelined for the following few days and could’ve been able to work out more! But until I can get back to doing cardio, I think I’ll practice yoga and use a moist heating pad to release the tightened calf. I should probably take the dog out too…

Have you ever regretted skipping a warm-up? 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Cuppa Coffee for the Eyes

My puffy morning eyes have met their match with 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.

Lack of sleep on too many an occasion and seasonal allergies plague me routinely with dark circles and puffy morning eyes. *not a pretty sight, though I can’t really open my tired eyes enough to see firsthand in the morning* Blindly stumbling into the bathroom, the first thing I reach for is my trusty tube of eye cream.

Organic ingredients from plant sources with a promise of no animal testing is what’s dabbed onto the puffiness, and instantly I can feel my eyes come awake.   

A one ounce tube will set you back $19, but I can tell you that this cream dutifully carries me through 7-8 months of tired mornings before it’s time to restock my bathroom.


Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Organic Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Rose Hydrosol), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehip Oil) Seed Extract, Organic Coffea Arabica (Green Coffee) Seed Extract, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Extracts of: Coffea Arabica (Coffee Cherry) Seed, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal), Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla Absolute) Fruit, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla Wax) 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fitness Philosophy

Confession time: Besides the revered “rest day”, I used to strive to workout (strength training + cardio) every. single. day.

Now, I approach fitness a different way.

The ultimate goal is to live actively.  This means being active in some way every day.  For instance, today I may walk the dog for a mile or so, and tomorrow I may pop in a workout DVD and sweat it out in the living room.  Yesterday I filled a few spare minutes of my day with a 20 minute yoga routine.  Next week I may take a spin class and kick things up a notch with some distance runs outdoors.  Stopping by the gym for dumbbell practice and using the StairMaster StepMill is one of my favorite ways of staying active.  For me, it’s about maintaining a lifestyle where physical activity is frequent and varied.   

A lifestyle like this keeps working out from becoming boring, and it creates muscle confusion (avoiding plateaus are a plus!).  Set some goals like running in a local 5k, and work to make it happen.  Add in a strength training session here and there and you’re on your way to living an active lifestyle! Having an active lifestyle does take some planning in advance, but if you are serious about your commitment to fitness, it will turn out to be a real investment in your time and health!

P.S. Think of every workout as an adventure ;)