Showing posts with label pilates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pilates. 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!

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?

Monday, March 21, 2016

How I spent my rainy day in China

I was woken up this morning by a thunderstorm. Our new apartment is on the 11th floor and that feels a whole lot closer to lightning than I like.

I retreated to my new workout space for a little while.

30 Day Pilates Body
Day 20 - stretch and relax
This was the perfect way to start the day.

After a cup of coffee it was still raining, so I looked up a yoga video to replace my Monday hike up the mountain. No way I was going to do that. One thing I learned quickly about living in Shenzhen is that when it rains everything becomes slippery. It helps to clean the bottom of your shoes regularly, but you still have to be careful. 

Tone Yoga from Yoga with Adriene
I like the way Adriene guides you into a pose and then explains how your muscles should be engaging. Like in triangle pose, today I realized that my core should be doing more work than I realized.

Right after yoga, I watched the Xavier basketball tournament game on Slingbox. Sadly, they lost in the final 2 seconds. 

Still rainy outside and lacking no desire to go out in it, I signed into Booya Fitness in search of a video workout to burn some restless energy. It's so easy to find the perfect workout since there are so many videos to choose from. Use my link to join free for 30-days and see what I mean.

Flex Barre Total Body Express
I liked this one. It was a total body workout, but my legs felt it the most. 

The description for this workout listed calorie burn between 250-300. I had some internet streaming issues, but I wasn't even close. My resting heart rate is around 55, so I did get a good cardio session. 

Today was also the start of a new yoga Instagram challenge with the added bonus of prizes from Lucy Activewear and RunersLoveYoga. 

Day 1 - warrior 1
One of the hard parts of yoga for me (besides my tight muscles) is hip alignment. For example, when I'm doing a pose, I feel like I'm positioned correctly. Then I see a picture.

The rain came off and on all afternoon along with the Bosch repairman. On his second visit he told (my rental agent on the phone because he only spoke Chinese) me that the washing machine that the owner just purchased needs to be replaced. Ugh.

And that's my rainy day in China.

Hope you had better weather where you are! 

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??

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Double Pilates & Taco Tuesday

When I wake up in the morning, I put on my workout clothes right away to make sure I don't lose my motivation to do my morning workouts. It works most the time ;) I have to do the work if I want to get stronger right?

Reporting in on my 30 Day Pilates Body challenge.
Day 7 - abs
It felt like a quick and dirty workout. Just when I thought I couldn't take it, it was over.

I did not do my daily yoga camp video. Part of me wanted to chill after my core workout, the other part wanted to pick up where I fell asleep last night Netflix-ing Gossip Girl . Ultimately, I ran out of time to do yoga before my meeting with a friend about writing a press release for her friend's company. They hired me for my English skills, not surprisingly, a common practice here in China. Other than the occasional sponsored blog post, this is my first "job" in China.

I headed back to Vitality for another fitness class. On my way there, I ran into a friend who offered me my first scooter ride. It was super sweet of her to give me a ride and fun, but the people at Vitality are probably thinking I don't know how to tell time. Since I was early (again), I had plenty of time to check out all the magnets on the side of the beverage cooler.

The class. I took the Pilates class today. Overall, it was just what I like, challenging (including being completely in Chinese). I like walking out at the end feeling like I did something. The instructor covered everything: booty, legs, abs, arms. Her style was more drill-like than I've had here, but it helped me keep pushing when my muscles were on fire. She took a picture of the class. I did not.

We often go to our favorite Mexican place for Taco Tuesday, but since mrC was getting back from his trip I was inspired to bring Taco Tuesday home. A quick stop at the butcher and the international store on the way home from Pilates, and I had everything we needed (although my tacos are pretty simple).

Happy Tuesday friends!
Do you taco on Tuesday?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fitness Accountability and a Bike Ride

I started the 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge today.

The challenge actually started on March 1, so I had a couple of workouts to do before time zones start messing with things. By that I mean, when I wake up on day 3, it is still day 2 in the US and I don't have the day 3 email yet. I work out in the morning. Yada yada get the idea.

So today, I reached out to my BFF in the US to sweet talk her into joining the challenge too. She will be my workout buddy (aka accountability partner). My other accountability partner is YOU, my blog friends. I promise to share something from each daily workout to help me stick with the program.

Day 1 - legs
I honestly had a flashback to Booty Barre. In less than 10 minutes my legs were shaking and burning. Ah, I miss that.

Day 2 - arms
Ok, I have done triceps dips on the floor, but never while raising one leg into table top. Wowzer, that is hard and my arms are going to feel that later.

After my little Pilates workout I grabbed a quick breakfast. I am so excited that we found GF Cheerios at our favorite international store. These are perfect on days like today when I have a bike ride date with mrC.

We finally rode all the way to the Mangrove Ecological Park located on the Shenzhen Bikeway. 

Shenzhen is an interesting city with large districts that feel like they could be cities on their own. We left Shekou behind us, rode toward Futian and that's Lohou in the distance.

One of my favorite parts was the Coconut Grove, a perfect spot to escape the sun, have lunch and/or take a nap.

Because biking and selfies always go together, right?

Who/what is your fitness accountability?
Do you bike ride?