Showing posts with label 21dayarms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 21dayarms. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Transformation Tuesday and Other Random Fit-bits

It feels good to get back into the swing of things after missing my regular fitness classes to last week's crazy schedule.

I got the day started with some laundry and an arm workout.

21-Day Arm Sculpting challenge
Day 20: rest
Day 21: 15 reps 3x
I made (with a couple extended breaks) it!! I probably should have taken some measurements or at least better pics for the big before and after, but I think my arms look toned.

I recently saved three new challenges from Popsugar (two are 30 day challenges and one is two weeks) and found a 14 day yoga challenge, but I'm not sure when to start since we are headed home on Sunday for almost 3 weeks. I think I will save the 30 day challenges for May and maybe start the 14 day challenges when I get to Ohio. Decisions, decisions.

Pilates at Vitality
I only missed once, but today felt sooooo hard. I used to get frustrated when I had a tough run. My running friends would tell me that the next one would be better. I'm learning that all forms of exercise is this way.

Lunch: protein smoothie and left over quinoa & tuna. About an hour after lunch, I snacked on some sweet potato chips. My smoothie maker isn't very big, so I'm thinking I might need to make two from now on to prevent snacking. 

The rainy weather yesterday delivered a pretty spring day today, so we took advantage of a breezy afternoon walk along the waterfront. I tried to catch a butterfly who was probably trying to escape the construction on the other side of the fence. 

Exercise equipment is just too tempting to not give a try. I love that these little areas are tucked in all throughout the apartments courtyard.

Dinner: Taco Tuesday! Blogger fail :( I did not take a picture before chomping on my tacos. They're so good, mrC had one even the he doesn't really like hard shells.

People ask me all the time if I like (real) Chinese food and what I eat in China. I do like Chinese food, but it is intimidating to try to order without help from a Chinese friend. For example, the menu will not tell you if the meat is boneless or not (and most often it's not). Here in Shenzhen, there are lots of options for foreigners. Like tonight, we had Mexican, but keep walking and you will see Italian, German, Indian, Irish and Thai. 

Have a great Tuesday!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I Do Not Give Up

I'm pretty sure that mrC and I just had the busiest week ever. I didn't even get to a yoga class.

We planned every part of our upcoming trip to the US. Believe it or not this took the whole day. We have to coordinate everything with his employer since he will be working for part of it and that takes time. Lots of time. But we finally booked everything.

Had pretty much every part of our apartment cleaned or maintenanced by the landlady (the wood floors, the AC units, the plants) and even had a couple of random girls come in and try to sell us a cleaning product! We thought the landlady had sent them too, until they started asking for money.

Went back and forth to Hong Kong three times. This meant being out the door around 7 AM to get the 7:45 ferry to Central, walking about a mile to catch another ferry to Kowloon, and then walking a few blocks to our final destination. 

Spent a day in Futian (about 45 minutes away) taking care of some of mrC's yearly work stuff. It was a lot of waiting around, but we did have lunch in a Chinese dining hall with the company handler helping us order and showing us how to wash the dishes. 

Needless to say, we were both worn out.

Today, I finally had the time and energy to do a workout and enjoy it. 

First we went for our first walk in days. It felt nice to stroll along, not rush, and enjoy the morning. I also enjoyed this new pair of Lululemon Align yoga pants I picked up in Hong Kong while waiting to catch the return ferry to the mainland. They are simply the softest pants and feel like they're barely there. 

30 Day Pilates Body 
Days 29 & 30!!
And I'm done! I was so distracted by our busy week that I put off the last two days of this challenge, but I do not quit! I loved that the final workout pulled everything together. 

My reward for finishing was an overdue pedicure which felt so good on my tired feet.

21 Day Arm Sculpting 
Day 19
Another day of 15 reps, but the extra rest must have helped because my arms felt better.

So maybe I finished a 30 day challenge in more than 30 days. That doesn't bother me at all. The point is, I finished. I didn't let a couple of days of no workouts derail me. Sometimes, people get caught up in the need to follow workout schedules perfectly and when they see or feel that they can't, they want to give up. I hope I can show people that getting back to it is not always easy, but it can be done. As they say, one workout is better than no workouts. And, I think one workout early leads to two, three...Before you know it, it's a habit.

I'm hoping to get back to regular workouts, like yoga, this week! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in Shenzhen all weekend. These are the days you wait for all winter and after a week of rain, they were so needed.

We enjoyed a morning walk on Saturday. We sat and warmed ourselves in the sun for awhile. I can understand why cats seek the sunshine for a little nap.

We hiked Nanshan Mountain on Sunday. It was a busy place, but we were there early enough to beat most of the crowd.

On Sunday evening, we went for a sunset walk and enjoyed some people watching. The skyline has changed a lot since we arrived almost a year ago and more new buildings are still hiding behind the old ones.

30 Day Pilates Body
Day 25: guest (inner thighs)
Loved this workout!! The crossing of my legs really made me feel my inner thighs working. 

Day 26: pick a favorite 
I picked day 25 to repeat. Why not use a good thing when you have it at your fingertips? My inner thighs need the work. 

21-Day Arm Sculpting 
Day 17: 15 reps!!
Had to channel my TI Fitness peeps to get through this one.

Day 18: rest

Day 5: standingL
These are tough. Balance, flexibility, and strength all in one.

Day 6: revolved half moon.
Seriously tough. I tried to make it fun by doing it on the side of the mountain. I entertained the little Chinese ladies doing their tai chi. 

We had dinner out on Saturday and picked up some Easter flowers on the way home. 

I hope all of your baskets are filled with happiness and peace today and always!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Birthday Boy and Favorite Protein Sources

Happy 13th birthday to my retired running buddy (I guess we are both retired now). In a perfect world this guy would be living with us in China, but we know he is being spoiled by our family in Massachusetts. 

Today I warmed up with flow again, but I had coffee first. I like how this challenge adds a new pose to the flow sequence each day.

day 3 - triangle
My muscles were feeling stiff this morning, maybe from staying up later than usual last night but waking up at my normal time.

After flow, I went right into my strength. I had two arm workouts today.

21-day Arm Sculpting
day 15 - 14 reps again
I'm in the home stretch and hoping to finish strong. The reps are getting harder to do after about 12. 

30 Day Pilates Body
day 23 - arms
After using 4 pound weights, you'd think weightless moves would be easy, but not so much. Death by repetition! 

I'm always looking for new ideas to stay motivated and focused on my fitness goals, so I signed up for a free webinar being presented by Robin from The Balanced Life. I'll be sharing the tips I plan to use, but you should check it out yourself.

It was raining when I went to yoga, but thankfully today's class is in the studio right across the street from our apartment. I still need to get a comfy pair of rain boots. It's on my US shopping list.

Mindfulness Yoga
The class was held in a smaller room today, but the light and the view (see the kitty in the window?) were so nice. The session focused on simple poses that build strength but don't require a lot of movement and more stretching which felt really good for me today.

I don't always eat enough protein, especially when mrC is on a trip (like the one he's been on all week), so I try to find easy ways to add it to my daily diet. Today I made a quick smoothie for lunch and some quinoa and tuna for dinner.

Berry Protein Smoothie Recipe:

1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1/2 c. frozen blue berries
1/4 c. almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c. spinach
1/4 c. greek yogurt

Cheesy Quinoa and Tuna

Cook 1 cup quinoa, then add
2 tbsp. greek yogurt
2 cans tuna 
1/4-1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Do you have a running/workout buddy?
Ever taken a webinar?
What's your favorite source of protein?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pilates Tuesday: Abs and Arms

The doors to the office make a beautiful backdrop for my fitness photos and it's fun to squeeze in a workout in there. There's more room lengthwise, but I take my yoga videos to the main living area.

30 Day Pilates Body
Day 21 - abs
No sit-ups or crunches. Plank variations, down dog abs and tabletop V-ups! 

21-Day Arm Sculpting
Day 13 - 14 reps x3!!
Kickbacks are getting harder. Full disclosure: my weights are 2kg or 4.4lbs. It doesn't take heavy weights to get the muscles burning.

I enjoyed a light breakfast on the balcony. We have a much broader view of the water and today I watched the harbor fill up with fishing boats. That usually only happens when there is bad weather coming, but I haven't heard about anything other than a lot of rain this week.

Tuesday is Pilates at Vitality day.
I look forward to this class because it kicks my butt every time. The focus seemed to be on the glutes/hips today, which I need. Ooh, the burn!

After class, I stopped by the salon to get my nails done. They were busy, so I walked home for some lunch and then went back after the bottled water was delivered. I went for a Spring color.

Are you seeing signs of Spring yet?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fitness Interrupted, But We Were Moving!

I actually started this post a few days ago, but

When I left off, I had just completed:

30 Day Pilates Body challenge 
Day 16: arms
Reformer on the mat. Wow, this move is tough.

21-Day Arm Sculpting challenge
Day 9: I'm now up to 12 reps.  

Mindfulness Yoga class. 
Same reformer on the mat arm moves as day 16. Love when that happens. And I'm loving this class. It's always small which means lots of personal instruction and adjustments. It's one of the reasons I'm doing better at yoga.

All that was from Thursday. So much has changed since then.

The warm air has started moving into southern China making everything sweat! Literally. The walls and floors in the building common areas look like they've just been mopped. Thank goodness we have a dehumidify option on our AC unit and we keep our doors/windows closed.

There are more flowers blooming again. Love, love the colors.

And, we have a new address! On a whim, we decided to look at apartments in the hopes we would find something a little bigger and in our price range. We scored!

After a couple of days packing, meeting with new owner, old owner, moving, and being without Internet, I finally got back to my regular fitness workouts today.

I resumed the 21-day arm sculpting challenge (day 10 rest and today day 11). No catching up on this one since it follows a planned progression with built in rest days. 
Bent over reverse fly is frustratingly tough with my tight shoulders.

Then I got caught up on the 30 Day Pilates Body challenge (days 17-19). Since each day focuses on a different muscle group it was easy to do all of the videos in one day. So today I did a booty workout, a reformer on the mat workout, and repeated my fave from the week (legs). 

Oh, and I'm super excited about my new workout space. 

There was even a casual morning walk taking place today. I love seeing what the people are doing: fishing, running, walking, dancing, tai chi, dog walking. 

Unpacked, stocked up and cooking. First meal made in the new place. 

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Potato Chips and Fitness

There's a lot going on here in my expat world, some good and some stressful. Sometimes it feels like I just can't handle another thing on my plate. This was in my Instagram feed yesterday, and I knew it was meant for me.

When I'm stressed, there are two things I turn to: fitness and chips.

Yesterday was National Potato Chip Day! I happened to have a bag of Kettle Brand gluten free chips on hand to cope, I mean celebrate. I'm a chip lover, so I'm grateful that the international stores near the apartment carry this brand and they carry a pretty good selection of the different flavors. 

And since I can't eat chips all day (even though I'd like to sometimes), I turned to fitness to help me de-stress a little.

30 Day Pilates Body challenge 
Day 13: stretch and relax day
Not really the workout I needed, but it is what it is. Best part was this stretch. A.MA.ZING. Really good after doing reclining pigeon first.

We actually spent most of the morning at the police registration office. In China, everyone has to register as a resident in the neighborhood where you live. We should have done it after receiving our resident visa, but mrC's company didn't tell us. Our apartment agent went with us to fill out the paperwork. It was pretty painless and now we know to do it every time we renew our visa.


Completed day 7 of the 21-Day Arm Sculpting challenge. I'm getting the hang of this one. Every other day is a rest day and every four days the reps bump up. 

30 Day Pilates Body challenge
Day 14: abs
Oh my Obliques!! 

Then I walked to Pilates class. 60 minutes of the Chinese drill sergeant. The abs work today was not as intense as last week, but we did a TON of bridges. I hope I can walk tomorrow.

After class I dropped in on my chiropractor who is in the same block and got a quick adjustment. It's one of the conveniences of living in China. No waiting. Most of the time, I don't even make appointments for things like manicure, pedicure, massage. Life here is much more walk-in, do business in a face-to-face way. 

I grabbed the mail on the way up to the apartment and found a much needed note from my mother-in-law. It might have taken more than a month to get here, but the timing was perfect.

The weather has been cold, gray, and just plain icky lately, so I've been curling up in my favorite blanket and marathoning The Blacklist on Netflix.  I love shows that carry over to the next episode like this one. 

After a couple of days of chips, Netflix and fitness, it's hard to stay stressed right?

How do you deal with stress??

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Embracing New Things

Life has kept me pretty busy around here lately and my blogging has suffered, but it has been for a very exciting reason. I promise to share an explanation soon!

Before I recap my last couple days of workouts, I want to share the new delicious, Lenten approved dinner I made last night. Cajun shrimp with spinach parmesan pasta. It was a hit!

I turned to yoga after my knee injury sidelined my running, but I didn't know how much I would come to love it. I look forward to walking into yoga classes now.

Wednesday: Flow Yoga class
Thursday: Mindfulness Yoga class

Both yoga classes this week showed me that my arms need work. I found a new 21-day arm strength challenge to supplement my yoga practice and help me strengthen my upper body. 

I decided to document my starting point. Here's how I looked on day 1. I'm already on day 4.

I haven't missed a day of the 30 Day Pilates Body challenge.
Day 9 - upper body
These side push-ups were new to me, but just as hard as regular push-ups. 

Day 10 - booty
Oh em gee! My booty was lit up with clams, tilted clams, and finally clams with leg extension.  

Day 11- a yoga workout (yay)
It was a nice muscle warming flow and it felt good to move through the poses with confidence.

Yoga Camp is almost over. These last couple of weeks, I've been saving the videos for days that I didn't attend a class. The daily practice has changed my body. I can now do poses (some easier than others) that in the past I couldn't or just barely did them. Camel pose from the day 29 video is one of those poses.

What's new in your life?
(recipe, exercise, workout, anything)