Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2016

Shred day 8: 5 Reasons to Embrace Your Elliptical

I'm happy to report that my knee felt fine after yesterday's run. Nowadays, you just never know so I took my cautious-self to the fitness center for my low carb day low impact sprints.

The fitness center is less than a mile away from my dad and stepmom's house, so I walked there and counted it as my warm up. I enjoyed every step.

I was thinking that being out of China for such a long time would mean having to reacclimatize to the tropical weather. A few days in Florida and it's not such a big deal anymore. The humidity here will keep me ready for the humidity there.

At the fitness center (which is kind of small), I quickly jumped on an elliptical. The workout ---> 25 sprints using 20:20 sprint/recovery interval. I worried about my Gymboss timer beeping and annoying all the retirees there working out the whole time. I couldn't wait to be finished and not because my legs were burning.

I read a comment recently that said (paraphrased), I had to do my run on the elliptical today and I never feel like I get a good workout. This made me sad mostly because I used to feel the same way. The elliptical is a great piece of equipment, so today I'm sharing why I have embraced it.

1. Low impact workout. Obviously this is a must for me and anyone else dealing with an injury, but even healthy athletes need to give their joints a break once in a while. The elliptical is a great cross-training option.

2. Great for indoor sprints. Ever try to do timed sprints on a treadmill? It's challenging and hard to get the full interval. Sprinting on an elliptical is nearly the same as sprinting outside: you decide the start and stop. (Reasons to sprint ---> click here)

3. Have a killer workout. If you want to glide aimlessly you can, but if you are hoping to feel the burn, all you have to do is increase the resistance and increase your speed. Trust me, your legs will feel it.

4. Twofer workout. Get two workouts simultaneously. I don't use the handles, but grab them for a great upper body workout while working your lower body at the same time.

5. Excellent aerobic workout. Ellipticals offer the same cardio workout as the treadmill. You can burn roughly the same amount of calories, but with considerably less perceived effort.

I followed up my sprint workout with a 30 minute cool down walk. I walked the trail again before walking back to the house. For fun I made a hyper-lapse video of part of the trail because it is really pretty.

We ran some errands today. I stocked up on some of my favorites at Ulta and even came away with some free stuff and then grabbed some goodies at the grocery.

What I Ate today:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, pb&j rice cake, coffee

Lunch: salad, veggie burger, celery, hummus, diet dew

Snack: turkey breast

Dinner: leftover grilled chicken breast, broccoli, diet dew

Dessert: This ice cream (if I had some, haha). Low calorie, low carb, low sugar, and high protein, 

Elliptical fan or foe?
Have you tried Halo Top Ice Cream yet? What did you think?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Three Reasons to Love Planking

Each week I leave my apartment with the hopes that someone will be waiting to join me for a run, but lately it has been just me. I used to walk to the meeting place for the running group, but today it dawned on me that I really should be running. I hate to admit it, but I figured no one would be there, and it seemed silly to waste my time walking.

After waiting about 10 minutes, I continued to do one of my regular routes to the Peninsula light house and then down to the mermaid statue and back. Even though the sky looks kind of ominous in the picture, it was nearly a perfect day for running. If the temps are going to stay in the 70s, then thank you very much for cloudy skies.

Today's prompt for the Holiday Sweat Challenge asked, what's your favorite strengthening move? For me, without hesitation, it's the plank. When I got to the lighthouse, I thought it would be a perfect backdrop for a plank photo and that got me thinking about why I love planking so much...besides the obvious strength benefits.

1. I can stop and plank anywhere (as demonstrated above). This makes it convenient to do even a little strength training at home, in the gym, when traveling...ANYWHERE!

2. There are so many ways to plank that it's very easy to keep it fresh and new. In the photo I'm doing a standard plank, but I also like to challenge myself with some dynamic planks like spiderman or up-downs.

3. No equipment needed. This makes it easy to do planks anywhere because all you need is you! No need to worry about buying weights or finding a gym, just stop, drop, and plank! *On a side note, adding props can increase the difficulty of a plank. For example, balance hands or feet on a bosu, medicine, or stability ball.

PopSugar has a great 1-minute video that shows how to do 12 plank variations:

I mentioned the other day that my right calf was feeling tight and a knot had formed on the inside. Add a lot of jumping at Zumba last night and it was feeling tighter. Before my run this morning, I foam rolled my whole body, but spent extra time on my calves, then I stretched. I recently read that it's just as important to stretch after foam rolling as it is after your workout.

My calf felt much better during today's run than the last couple of days. After completing my daily F2F Challenge workout, I brought out the stick and spent just a couple more minutes rolling it out.

One part of the Holiday Sweat Challenge is to track your freggie (fruit & vegi) eating habits. I don't eat nearly as much as most people. Today I tossed some spinach into my scrambled eggs and felt pretty proud of myself.

What's your favorite strengthening move?
What do you love about planking?
Favorite way to sneak in more freggies?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Running Loops, Planking and Beets BLU

I expected it to be raining when I woke up this morning, so I was pleasantly surprised to see dry walkways when I looked out the window. I didn't waste any time lacing up my Mizunos and heading out. It's a holiday in China (70th Anniversary of Victory Day), so the streets were bare compared to the normal rush, even at 6:30 in the morning.

Hanging out with my MRTT group while in the states and reconnecting with the SWIC hiking group, has inspired me to start a running group! Today I scoped out a possible route that would loop us through town and keep us in the shade. It was a little short of the 3 miles I was hoping for, so I will try to fine tune that on my next run. I was also thinking of doing a 1 mile loop/out-n-back that would be more flexible for varying experiences because we could repeat it but give runners the option of what distance they want to do.

My post run planking continues to be successful. I'm getting daily motivation from the challenge I joined. Here is a clip of day 3 just for fun. I also timed how long I could hold a standard plank. I'm hoping to improve my time by the end of the challenge.

On my last few few runs, I have been testing a new heart rate monitor from Beets BLU that I was given to review. I have used it with a couple of different apps and it has worked exactly as I expected. There is no hassle to link up the device (just a quick read of the instructions) and my heart rate was visible instantly. I really like the compatibility of this device as I often switch between different workout apps. I also like that you DON'T have to use the Beets BLU app since it can work with so many others, but the Beets BLU app is good too.

Do you prefer running loops or out-n-backs?
Do you use a heart rate monitor when you work out?

Disclosure: I was sent a Beets BLU Wireless Heart Rate Monitor for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's What We Make Of It

Yesterday I did not go sight-seeing or to the fitness center.

Long story, short: We had a power outage in the middle of the night. Being awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night makes me feel like a zombie the next day. You get the idea.

Oh, and the thunderstorms that were forecast for Thursday were a day late. It's been raining and storming all day.

Days like this can make me feel a little lazy. Two days in a row and I start feeling like a slacker.

But then I was talking to a friend who reminded me that we don't have to run/bike/swim every single day. There are other ways to get in our fitness. Just cleaning the house can be a workout. Fitness is what we make of it, not how much we can do!

This made me think about what I did do on my so-called lazy days:

1. I foam rolled

2. I did more trigger point therapy on my VM

3. I did some strength training: stability ball, core, knee strength exercises

4. I took walks

5. I let my body rest ---> it's true. Rest is important!

I also did some more reading on the vastus medialis and learned a few more things. Like, a weak VM can cause the knee cap to not track properly and a tight VM can lead to knee pain.

I found a couple of exercise videos that focus on strengthening the VMO, but liked this one the most. I'm sharing in case you are dealing with the same symptoms and because we all need to protect our knees with strong quad muscles.

But I also liked this one from Popsugar ---> leg strengthening workout. 

My left leg is still very weak compared to my right. I'm now on a mission to change that. Otherwise, I fear my knee problems will continue to haunt me.
Ever since my knee surgery in December, my range of motion has been limited. This makes doing a simple quad stretch extremely uncomfortable and awkward. The added knee pain made me drop the ball and stop stretching.
I had no idea how tight my quad had become or how much relief my knee would feel after dedicating a couple of minutes to this simple stretch.

Today I'm thankful for resting, trigger point therapy, and stretching. My knee continues to feel better. And that makes me happy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Training Truths: Driveway Workouts

A lot of people I know go to the gym to workout. Maybe it's because I spend all my time cooped up in a classroom all day, but I love to do my workouts outside. The neighbors probably think I'm wackado for jumping around in the driveway, so sometimes I recruit family members to join me.

Even though I don't let the seasons deter me from doing outdoor workouts, I do get outside more frequently now that it's warmer. This week only the rain kept me inside.

Monday -  30 minute walk, side lunge jumps and ab ninja workout

Tuesday - 3 mile run (fueled with Vega Sport SFE) with negative splits (9:15, 8:58, 8:56), side lunge jumps, and side plank lifts.

Wednesday - The rain chased me inside today - 30 minute walk, side lunge jumps, side plank lifts, jump rope(less) side to sides and ab ninja workout.

Thursday - 5K run (in my new Wave Paradox!!) and glider oblique pikes (ugh!). Fueled my run again with Vega Sport SFE and was even speedier than Tuesday (9:08, 8:58, 8:34)!

Friday - much needed rest day with a little vino!

Saturday - Ran two awesome 5Ks: one on the way to the Kickoff to Summer 5K where I met up with littleC. Both 5Ks were speedier than I expected (#1 8:50, 8:39, 8:15 and #2 8:56, 9:47, 8:38), so I'm beginning to think the Vega Sport SFE is working even more than I originally thought. After the race, lateral slide burpees in the driveway.

Sunday - Side lunge jumps, in & out squats, yoga stretching

Everyday - #PlankStreak - 1 minute every day!

Where is your favorite place to workout?

Monday, April 8, 2013

#TrainingTruths: Flying Pig Week 4

We made it through Flying Pig Training week 4. 

I say made it through because the weather tossed some challenges our way and teased us a little in the process. So despite some crazy windy and cold days, we were able to get in all of our scheduled runs and miles.

#TrainingTruth: You either find a way or you find an excuse

Treadmill TuesdayI underestimated the windchill factor when I packed my running bag on Tuesday morning, so when I saw flurries flying out my classroom window, I knew I would be heading home. I missed my husband by 15 minutes, so I hit the treadmill until he got back from his run. It wasn't as fun as running together, but it was nice & easy. 

Solo Thursday: This was my first run without a partner in a long time. When I found out that I would be running solo, I'll admit, I got a little nervous. I thought I would be uncomfortable running alone through town and I might struggle with my pace. I don't know if it was because the weather was gorgeous or that I got to wear shorts, but it was a great run and I was speedier than I expected.

Fun Friday Hula-Hooping! After reviewing my goals for the year and seeing how poorly I have been doing at adding strength training to my workouts, I remembered that I have a sports hoop. This thing gets your heart pumping and gives your core a good workout while burning calories. You can read about the benefits here. My goal is to hula at least 4x/week on my non-running days.

Long Run Saturday: We normally do our long runs in the morning, but we woke up to cold temps and 20+ mph winds, so instead we postponed our 8 miles to the afternoon (which is not my preference, but what can you do?). I was worried that we would feel sluggish after running errands all day and hitting up our favorite smoothie spot, but it turned out to be an awesome run. My husband is really working hard to improve his miles and overall fitness. 

How was your week?

#TrainingTruths is not just about me. We all like to see what everyone else is doing and use that information to assess ourselves. It's not judgement. It's a way to share and learn and make changes when necessary.

To participate all you have to do is share your #TrainingTruths:
  1. Tag a Twitter post with the hashtag #TrainingTruths
  2. Comment on the Running Escapades Facebook page 
  3. Leave a link to your own blog post in the comments
I look forward to reading your #TrainingTruths!