Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nutrition Tips for Exercise--a great link

A little minor setback:  I'm laid up with pneumonia.  After racking my brain to figure out what I can do at home to make getting back to exercise easier once I'm well again, I figured my best best is to focus on good nutrition right now.  Nutrition and hydration are vital to having a good exercise experience, feeling great after exercise, and improving health.  Although this link provides nutrition for runners, honestly, I find that it's great nutrition advice for any person doing any type of exercise:

You may have to "play around" with what nutrition/hydration choices work best for you and fuel your body the best.  I usually start my morning with two big glasses of water at least two hours before I go to meet up with the girls for exercise.  It takes two hours for liquids to be absorbed down into the large intestines and then get through your body, so that's why it's so important to drink lots of water at that time.  Your body will be much better hydrated when you go to attempt exercise. 

Then about 1/1/2 hours before, I'll have something with a protein/whole grain carbohydrate.  My first choice is 1/4 cup egg beaters and half of a whole grain English muffin.  I'll take some sips of water during that time, but you really don't want a lot of stuff sloshing in your stomach when you are doing your exercise--and you certainly don't want nothing in your system, either.  You want to eat it in enough time so that it gets absorbed into your body a bit.  Some of the other women like to eat a banana with peanut butter or a little bit of whole grain toast with nut butter.  Some of them have been experimenting with shakes they make with whey powder. 

During exercise, I drink water.  Some of the women I exercise with like the G2, zero calorie drinks, especially in the warm months. 

After exercise, again, I like to have something with a little bit of protein and a little bit of carb.  It's kind of important to try to have it in the first 30-60 minutes after exercise, but I think that depends on your intensity choice of your exercise.  My first choice after intense exercise is a small Greek yogurt about 25 minutes or so after I've exercised. 

Really, nutrition is just as important as regular exercise to keep you healthy--and help you recover quicker when you are set back (like me with this pneumonia--ugh!). 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Used to Feel Guilty...

It is a mother’s conflict:  the balance of time spent on oneself, one’s work, and  family.  Exercising/staying active can seem like a dispensable luxury.  When there are so few hours in the day to get everything done, it can feel selfish to spend one of those hours on something like an activity for oneself.  It certainly felt that way to me. 
I have been back and forth in both situations as a working mother and as a SAHM.  No doubt I will be going back and forth in those same situations in the future. Both situations are demanding.  I started to exercise when my children were little and then, out of guilt in being pulled in so many directions, I gave up exercise… until I realized that I wasn’t spending any more time with my family in that extra hour, I was spending more time feeling exhausted and going through the motions of the day.  I wasn’t enjoying each moment as it came along.  I wasn’t fully present with each conversation.  It was then that I realized that exercise for moms is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Running and Cross Fit

So the Tri-It Women are at it again--mixing up the routine to stay challenging.  This week we tried something that anyone can try.  Based on emails that one of the group's women had with a fitness friend out in Arizona, we created a run/exercise or run/watered-down-Cross-Fit type of work out.  We have a few outdoor running routes that we've already mapped out and have calculated the mileage.  Once you figure out a route for yourself, try our work-out on your own, mix it up with exercises that work best for you, and see what you think! 

We did the following along a 3 to 4 mile route twice this week:

Run the first mile.  At the end of the first mile, do 5 sets of 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 10 air squats (these can be modified to jumping air squats, etc.).  Run second mile.  At the end of the second mile, repeat with 5 sets of 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 air squats OR mix it up with 5 sets of 10 tricep dips (great if there is a bench at the second mile), 10 walking lunges, 10 situps.  Run third mile.  Repeat 5 sets of 10 pushups, situps, air squats.  If you have a fourth mile, run it and then cool down.  The key to the exercises is that they should be done fast--as in tabata.  We were able to do the whole work out in one hour at the most.  The fitness friend from Arizona does two miles of running with 20 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.  We are trying to see if we can work up to that, BUT for right now, this homegrown work out is definitely enough for us! 

Have a great workout! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Run Pics

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  May you be thankful for each day you have.  May your day bring all that is good your way.  May your blessings be plentiful. 

Here are pics from the Turkey Run earlier this morning.  Wa-hoo!!! 
People starting to fill the street, getting ready to line up and run (or walk).  Some people wore turkey hats, some wore homemade shirts with handprint turkeys, some wore Santa outfits, but the person who garnered the most attention was the guy who ran with a 20 pound frozen turkey in his hands, smiling all the way!  Yikes!

                                                      Many people run to honor others.

                                     Two men ran with one American flag and one black flag that read,
                                    "We will not forget...".   
                                        (Hey, guy in the orange hat, the race is going the other way... JK  )

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Swimming With Half of Yourself

What a wake-up call!  I smell like chlorine.  Today, our swim coach had us work with pool buoys, i.e. swim only with your arms, not your legs.  Down and back, down and back we girls went.  The hardest part was trying not to stop at each end of the pool and chat!  Our coach said we needed to not stop at each end, just continue and try to do a 100.  A 100 is down and back twice, without stopping.  My son does tons of these.  All of my kids swim these lengths in the summer, down and back, down and back.  I can barely do one.  Our coach says that we need to use our legs only the slightest bit as we swim or our legs will be fatigued by the time we get to biking and running.  It’s clear that it will take a lot of practice to be able to swim for either one of the triathlons that we are thinking of—February or May. 

For now, I’m getting psyched up for the Turkey Run this Thursday with several of the tri-it women!  Should be lots of fun--with people wearing turkey hats and feather costumes and houses decked out already for the holidays along the way.  My kind of run. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

"If The Going Is Easy, Beware. You Might Be Headed Downhill."--Anonymous

Okay, so this is how tired I was this morning--I showed up to meet my running buds with my exercise pants on inside-out!  Tags were sticking out and the inside zig-zag stitching was all over my legs outside the pants.  I wish I was kidding.  We were all meeting where any number of people could check out the crazy lady wearing her pants inside-out.  I was waiting for someone to make the remark, once prevalent in high school, "Hey, what happened to you?  Your mom not dress you today??"--only now I AM the mom, so thankfully everyone kept their maturity in place and that didn't happen.  Luckily, after mumbling to my wonderful friends that I am just so tired, they laughed a bit and then, were kind enough to just wait for me as I went in the restroom and changed. Yes, these are the kind of friends it is so good to have in my crazy life!

Oh, I was so tired.  After a weekend of painting rooms, cleaning, seeing extended family, and ushering to sports events, the last thing I wanted to do this morning was run.  Not motivated, I told my friends to just go at their own pace and I would follow.  I didn't know if I could keep up.  My legs felt like lead.  I ran a few slow, very difficult steps, then a few more and a few more, just up to the light, just up to the stop sign, just up to the mailbox and before I knew it, I had run my four miles.  I did it.  These are the days that are the hardest--the ones it takes more of yourself to get motivated and get out there.  Days like this aren't easy, but these are the days that you remember, that you imprint on your mind, and that pull you through future difficult days.  If you can do it today, you can do it then, too. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."--Abraham Lincoln

Okay, well I sooooo overdid it today!  Today, I woke up, did weight-lifting, went swimming with the girls, did a walk/run in the woods on my own, and then watched the kids play and ride bikes outside.  I don’t know why I did it.  Actually, I DO know why….the weather is so beautiful out, especially for November.  When I walked outside today, it just smelled alive.  My heart skipped a beat.  I knew I was in trouble right then.  How can it be possible to have such a lovely day here in November?  The squirrels are scurrying around gathering nuts.  The Canadian geese are stopped at tiny pools of water all around our area, resting as they make their way south.  The signs are all around that the colder weather is on its way.  It’s coming—soon.  Last year at this time, it was already here.  Today was not something to be wasted indoors, I rationalized.  Outdoor days are meant for outdoor things, there will be plenty of indoor days for all the indoor things.   The trouble is, though in my heart I am so young, tomorrow my body will be “creaking” and “crackling” as I pull myself out of bed.  I will have to make myself do it, though.  I will have to make myself get up and push through the aches, because the weather calls for another gorgeous day tomorrow….

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ran in the Cold Sunshine

We split up this morning, a third of us did spin (which is something I need to get up the courage to start trying in order to train for the triathlons!), a third did weight lifting, and a third ran.  I ran.  It was a great morning for it--a little bit windy, but a lot of sunshine.  There are clear signs that the colder weather is coming.  Groups of canadian geese could be seen wandering around in fields and near the small pools of water. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Morning Run

Well, several of us met to run a little bit.  It was a gorgeous morning:  cold, crisp air, frost on the leaves still left lying on the ground (after the historical snowstorm snow has melted) and LOTS of sunshine.  I'm a sunshine-aholic so I loved that part about it.  But my legs moved like lead pipes.  I was happy when we were done.

(Picture thanks to Microsoft Office Clipart)--I wish I could be running on the beach like this!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Tri (Try) - It Women Have a New Challenge

Today, the “Try-It” women showed up for our first triathlon swim training class.  It was a little splurge, but as we don’t normally take classes like this and several of us have not been swimming since we were children, and some of us have never been swimming at all, this was a necessary splurge.  In fact, I have to tell you that it felt completely strange to swim in a pool after years of mostly being on guard with kids while near water!  But leave it to these women to get me in that pool doing something I hadn’t done in years.  We each swam for our instructor and he said to us, “Well, I can tell you are used to running because you look like a bunch of runners trying to swim.”  I guess we need to learn a lot.  I was just happy that he called us “runners”.