Wednesday, February 29, 2012

At Home Fitness! (30 day challenge) "The Bug"

Based on the title of this blog, you may think I was hit with the workout bug!  Well, duh, I was.  But that was a long, long time ago.  This was a bug of the opposite nature.  This bug, quite literally, takes it all out of you!  In our house of 4 people, 3 got the stomach virus.  So how does that relate to 30 days of fitness?  Oh it relates!  It extends it for as long as it takes to move again.

Basically, today's blog is about what you do when you are trying to improve fitness and you get sick!  I stopped working out, to put it lightly. Not only did one of my children have it, but myself and my husband had it too.  This means I am now rebuilding my food intake, therefore my energy.  I will most likely going backwards to the fit test and starting week 3 over.  I want to make sure I get the most out of this.  But it all depends how I feel.  Today is the first day I will be working out again.  I am certain, based on my past experience, this will be a slow, weak day; but will be a quick recovery thanks to muscle memory.

Take heart, if you have to stop due to illness or injury, your body remembers, and will help you.  Just be kind to it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Untamed Book Review

One of my Multi-Purpose Mom tasks is book reviews.  I received this book free to review it!  Awesome deal!

 I have recently read the book Untamed by Lisa Harper.  The book is certainly geared toward women and a quick and easy read.  I would fit it in categories for high school or college girls, new believers, people looking for a refresher, and even a study for moms to do  together with a younger girl.

It really scratches the surface as a beginner study.  The author brings her own real-life experience in to make a genuine experience for the reader.  There are multiple depictions of his life  in situations we encounters proving Jesus walked through things we may experience and displaying how he handles them.  there was a strong female voice which, at times felt unnecessary.  It nicks the surface of biblical study but gives great points for further study.

It is definitely not a challenging book, but it does present questions at the end of each chapter allowing the reader to delve deeper if they choose.  It gets the reader into the bible and practicing finding scripture to relate to life.  A new believer or someone looking for a bit of a refresher would certainly benefit from this book.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

At Home Fitness! (30 day challenge) Fit Test #2

Week 3 starts off with a new fit test.  Again, you complete each exercise, as many as you can, in 50 seconds. Two weeks are complete so here are my second fit test results:

squat jumps: 62
push-ups (on feet): 41
burpees: 20
high knees (each foot touching the floor is 1): 135
switch lunges: 50
tuck (HAAAAAATE): 46
sit-ups: 33

These were my first week. There is some improvement.  There some areas of decline too!?  Maybe I was tired.  Or being lazy!  I always wonder with a fit tes,ts though, if you have pretty high scores, how much can you really improve with a 50 second time interval?  I can see my areas of weakness for sure though!!  LOL!

Squat jumps: 48
Push-ups (on feet not knees): 32
Burpees: 20
High knees: 152
Switch lunges: 54
Tuck jumps (I hate HATE HATE these with a passion): 50
Sit ups (the old fashioned way): 33

Either way, I will  keep working and sweating and feeling great! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

At Home Fitness! (30 day challenge) Week 2

I  am now about to complete week 2.  I just wanted to highlight a few things.

First of all, I  have kept my diet, as they put it, very clean!  I love that terminology because I am not an organic/ingredient checker. Clean, to me, means keeping my fats and sugars low, drinking lots of water, keeping my calories pretty low, and eating balanced: proteins, grains, lots of raw veggies like salads and raw carrots and peppers. I make my food (no pre-made or boxed/frozen) and I keep it balanced.  I have also let myself have a few "cheats" because if I don't, I will likely rebel and I definitely don't want that.  I do, however, have good control.  I can have 1 little treat and be totally fine for a good long while.  So that may not work for everyone. 

Next is my workouts.  I have only let myself have 1 resting day instead of 2 because if I take 2, I find I lose motivation and FAST!  1 active rest day and then on with it.  On the days I do not feel like I am challenged, I have chosen 1 or two of the rounds to repeat.  I am not that overzealous, but it has happened a few times.  I am absolutely feeling it and I love it.  I altered some exercises as I have noted and I will post a few today.

Last is my sleeping.  I try to get 8 hours.  I rarely get the chance to sleep straight through...such is the life of a mom, but that workout is like most people's chocolate in the afternoon, so I save it (sometimes) for later in the day if I know I am needing to be awake later than, say, well, after dinner!  HA!!

Has anyone else decided to try Body Rock?

***UPDATE***  Me and my non-techie self cannot seem to post videos just yet: :(  When I figure it out, I will post!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

At Home Fitness! (30 day challenge) Days 2-4

I have now completed 4 days of the 30 day challenge and I gotta say, it is curing my boredom!!  I mentioned before that I have completed P90X and Insanity (twice and then some).  What I don't like about those programs, (and probably the only thing I don't like), is how long a workout takes.  I am totally willing to work until I cannot move anymore, but I NEED to do it in a short time.  Like the first month of Insanity being 45 minutes was great!  I just don't have the time right now to devote to working out much more than that which is why I workout at home, playgrounds, or while pushing a stroller!  Anywhere I can fit it in.  That being said, I was initially a tad disappointed that Body Rock was so short because I was thinking, "Man, now I am going to have to find something to supplement with." But once I did day 3, I stood corrected.  Now, that doesn't mean I am not walking/running every chance I get, playing soccer with my 7-year-old, doing extra sets of pull ups and leg raises as I pass the pull up bar, and other such things, but those are moments and not a period of time.

As far as the workouts themselves are concerned, I have found myself in the kitchen, the living room, and in the doorway of the laundry room.  There is the usual run of the mill push ups, burpees, tucks, squats, lunges, but they add in the use of the sand bag, and as I mentioned last post, I have a home-made one.  They also make use of this dip station, which I must say, looks pretty cool; but I have made due with stools, chairs, and my pull up bar thus far.  It may be worth looking into for the vast majority of things you can do with it though!  The workouts still consist of 50 second intervals with 10 seconds of rest, but you can make them as hard or easy as you want.  You can add weight to the sand bag, you can go as fast as possible, you can hold things longer that are challenging.  She also gives several options if you find that the exercise is too difficult.  A lot of times it is even a difficult, medium, beginner level.  She also gives you options to do without the equipment.

I have pushed as hard as possible like  putting 2 bags of sand in the backpack and I do pull ups in place of her version of reverse pull ups, though I do like hers and have tried them. 

On day 3 I was given a surprise because there was a guy on there giving you a second workout for muscle isolation and all I can say is WOW!  His involved timing.  You do 15 reps of each exercise 3 total times.  You time yourself to see how long it took.  He took 14:15 and I took 14:50 so I was pleased.  This was on top of the regular workout.  I got exhausted though and on 3 different times, I only had 1 of the sandbags in the backpack.  That is saying a lot for me.  I do not like to be defeated by people on the TV!!  But that just proves I am being challenged and that is exactly what I wanted.  I feel sore, I sweat, and I feel it is time well spent. I am going into all of these blind with no clue what to expect.  Going with it!

Now as for food...I am not a flavor needy person with food and I also do not care about variety so simple garlic chicken in a tablespoon of olive oil makes my mouth water.  I do rice and beans and feel very happy :) I do lots of salads and I could eat a hundred raw red or yellow peppers.  I drink coffee in the morning but I rarely manage to finish more than a cup, though in most cases I want to.  I drink wine too but usually no more than a glass.  I do not eat late at night and I do not eat very much sugar.  I do allow some cheats here and there but with no regularity to their timing.  I try to keep it simple and it works for me.  I also began making egg muffins.  I scramble some eggs and chop up spinach and squash and fill up muffin tins and bake.  Then I put them in a big ziploc bag for the week. Pop them out and microwave!  Easy peasy!

Any simple menu ideas with few ingredients?  I have the worst time with lunch.  I usually end up with salad with avocado and almonds or garden veggie pasta with black beans.  Totally happy with those!
 I plan to do a few videos of some of my alternative exercises, though I do try to  make them harder if I have to vary.

Will report again in the next few days!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

At Home Fitness! (30 day challenge)

I suppose I have a lot of explaining to do!  A few people have asked where I have been.  Well, honestly, I began to feel my blog fall out of my control and thought I needed a step back.  I love writing and my blog began as a writing exercise and really turned into so much more.  After my months away, I have decided the best thing I can do is focus on specific areas.  This blog is currently going to focus on one of my biggest passions.  Fitness.  I love to write.  I love to work out.  Why no write about working out? 

Let me tell you a little about my fitness background.  I spent most of my life as a gymnast and a dancer.  This created a desire for performing.  When I was in college I was in characters at Walt Disney world.  There I spent more time dancing and performing and generally getting a feel for the performing world.  It is its own world, I can tell you that.  Through a friend of mine from characters I auditioned for a show called Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Orlando.  She seemed to think, because of my dance/gymnastics background, I would make a great aerialist.  When I observed the show and saw what this part entailed, i.e. climbing 28 feet off the ground, hanging by my neck, spinning around in a move called the helicopter (need I really say more?), I thought she may have lost her marbles.  However, I decided to give it a go.  In one rehearsal, I fell in love with the mid-air version of dancing!  I was hooked.  I spent the next decade of my life playing aerialist to audiences of thousands between the several different shows I began in. It was a dream job. 

During that time, I had my first child, to my greatest fear, via c-section.  I had to then, not only recover my pre-baby body, but also rebuild post major abdominal surgery.  This was daunting, to say the least but I was beyond determined to come back stronger and better than I was before.  It was 12 weeks post c-section when I returned to perform back in my first show as Jane in the Tarzan Rocks show.  I had the help of physical therapists and it was by far not my best performance, but I worked harder than I ever had in my life to ensure I was healthy and strong.  I did it and I was very proud of myself for how hard I worked.  These days, everyone and anyone seems to be an aerialist and I have since fallen away from that world.

That being said, without constant access to equipment and people and, well, let's be honest, time, it became difficult to stay in that kind of shape.  So this is where I begin.

I am now 35 years old and have had 2 children, both via c-section.  Both times, the second I could move again, I was on board, ready to work out again.  I worked out throughout both pregnancies and ate very, very healthy.  I gained very little weight; 20 pounds both pregnancies.  Both children were the exact same size at 7 pounds and 19.5 in.  I only tell you that because I have had many, many, MANY people wondering if I was healthy and eating right and basically wondering if I was starving myself so I wouldn't get "fat".  That would be pretty selfish of me to hurt my baby because of my body, now wouldn't it?  I often felt pretty offended by those comments.  I can assure you, I ate a perfect diet and exercised to the extent that was perfectly healthy for my pregnant body.  My youngest just turned 3.  I was pre-baby weight both times before 6 weeks were up.  I walked and walked and swam when the weather permitted. 

After baby 2,  I was not in the aerial world anymore, so I got into P90X at 6 weeks.  This was difficult post c-section, but I was not going to give in.  I modified for my situation and pushed right on through.  After P90X, my best friend sent me Insanity.  Now that was my favorite ever!  I have now been through Insanity twice and have begun doing double Insanity.  I do run sometimes, I do lots of work on a bar in my doorway, I basically try to find cures for my boredom.

Why do I do that?  Because I do not have a gym membership and at this point, it does not seem like something that will be in my future.  I have been very proactive in finding ways to work out at home.  This includes using water jugs, chairs, therabands, trees, park benches, playground equipment, children in strollers, any number of unconventional things to challenge my mind and body without paying for a gym membership.

I thought it might be a good idea to put some ideas out there for other people who may not have a membership, may have kids, and may have a busy schedule.  I am currently homeschooling a 7 year old and a 3 year old, I am in school for medical transcription, and still run my household since I am also a frugal mama!  It gets to be a challenge, but that is my specialty! 

I am now beginning a 30 day challenge with a program called Body Rock. (Scroll to the bottom to get to Day 1 week 1.)  Yesterday I took the fit test.  I felt pretty good with my scores coming off Insanity.  I will be posting here.  It think it would be great if some of you would join with me! We can post ideas, results, whatever you want!  I think having a little system of anti-gym folks would be awesome incentive!! It is an at home thing.  I did notice you need some other pieces of "equipment" but I will  be somehow modifying this.  For instance, day 2 uses sandbags.  Essentially they are in a backpack looking thing.  I took 2 large ziploc bags,filled them with sand, used packing tape to seal them, and put them in an old backpack I got from the hospital where I had my daughter. 

Here were my results from the first fit test.  Each exercise is done in 50 seconds with a 10 second break before the next one begins. Let me preface with the first exercise being a squat jumps, I failed to write that score down and didn't notice until halfway through.  I thought it was 45, but to be sure I put an acurate score, I went back at the end to re-do it!  So the number you see is actually after I did all the other exercises:

Squat jumps: 48
Push-ups (on feet not knees): 32
Burpees: 20
High knees: 152
Switch lunges: 54
Tuck jumps (I hate HATE HATE these with a passion): 50
Sit ups (the old fashioned way): 33

Feel free to go onto the Body Rock page. Scroll to the bottom to get to day 1, try it and then come back and post results or maybe ideas or thoughts!  I would love to have some people take the challenge with me!