Backyard Coffee Talk #1

Hello People!

Yep, it’s me.  After a super long time of disappearance, I have resurfaced from the ashes.

Rather than go into a long explanation here, I’ll let you view my video and hopefully that will answer any questions. Since I made the video (about 2 weeks ago) I have been staying on track and doing well.  Hopefully, you are too.  If you are new to my blog, welcome and please join me on my weight loss journey to lose weight once and for all.  My intention is to inspire healthy habits for everyone.

Exercise Plan

Exercise Monday: My Current Exercise Plan

Hello People!

I wanted to update you all on what I am doing in the exercise department.  I told you a while back that I was doing an 8 week challenge series that was really toning up my body.  I finished that one and am on to the 2nd one and love it!  It is by FitnessBlender and here is a video showing the results of people who participated in these programs:

Basically, it is a lot of strength training and cardio alternating days with different body parts.  They include about 3 days worth of high paced interval training (hard!) and alternate with days of not so strenuous stuff, like, standing abs, or kick boxing routines.  It has really changed the shape of my legs and butt as I can see in the mirror and the fit of my clothes.  I have not lost weight doing it, that is my fault – not theirs, but if I had, my body would be smokin’!  It is average about 5 days on, 2 days rest, although they give an alternate 6th day of pure cardio.

Also, I have not been walking my dog as much due to the extreme heat of the summer lasting well into the night (he has a weak heart and gets overheated easily).  But I did add walking myself at night briskly for one hour.  I usually do this on days I’m not doing the FitnessBlender workouts or if I am up to it, I do it in addition.  That was the summer though, and I was not working as much as I am now, so that may change soon.  Time will tell.

I am not disillusioned to the fact anymore that exercise will keep my weight down.  I have written numerous posts on why that is, but the fact is, I love the feeling of exercise and I feel better about life and myself when I move around.  Plus, I love the shape of my body better.  Having more muscle does help the metabolism, but that will not take the weight off – it will be diet alone that does that officially. Remember: 85% diet and 15% exercise is the recipe.

Workout Apps

Today’s Exercise Monday Post:

App IconHappy Christmas Eve to all!  As I write this, it is indeed Christmas Eve at 9:30 at night.  I’m just about to finish wrapping my last present and go into the kitchen to make some special treats that I also give as gifts.

I didn’t want to let the day go by again without posting something important that I feel I should share with those that read this little blog.  Today it’s about my favorite Apps (right now) that I downloaded from iPad Apps.  I’m not sure if these Apps are also for the iPhone or Mac, but it works great on my iPad because the screen is the perfect size to see all the moves. Nevertheless, try to find them because they are such a great tool to use especially if you are traveling like I currently am.

They are called Daily Workouts and they are produced by Daniel Miller. At first I downloaded the FREE versions and they were a great incentive to get the full version.  The FREE ones work great, but I wanted a little bit more variety and more options. Actually, truth be told, I initially got the Yoga App and decided to check out the other types after I had been using it for a few months.  I would label these workouts as beginner to intermediate in terms of difficulty.  But you could add extra weight to the exercises and make them more challenging. I have the Ab Workout, Butt Workout, Leg Workout, Workouts (whole body and stretching), Cardio, and Simply Yoga programs. You can choose between 5 minutes,  7.5 minutes or 10 minutes for each body part.  You can also mix up the workouts so that you don’t do them in the same sequence every time.  If you want to buy the full version of these, they cost around $1.99 each.  I think that is a good price for shaping a body while on the go. They have programs that use kettle bells and exercise balls too.

Sample of CardioJust for the record, today after my long walk to CVS, I came home and did the Leg and Butt Workouts and then did 7.5 minutes of Stretching.  Tomorrow I will do Upper Body and Abs in addition to some undecided cardio.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!

Heart Rate Zones & Monitors

Today’s Exercise Monday Post:

Polar_RS400_Heart_Rate_MonitorIf you are already a whiz at cardio vascular exercise and know-all-about-it, then this post is moot for you.  But I would like to say that if you don’t use a heart rate monitor, you should be; and that’s all I will say on the matter to you.

For the rest, I think that you should get acquainted with a heart rate monitor if you have been exercising (cardio) for a good amount of time and feel ready for the next challenge.  It is crucial that you go to the next level when you body feels ready for it.  Don’t try and push it.  Why do you need a heart rate monitor? Because you want to be checking your heart rate zones regularly throughout your exercise sessions. This will ensure that you are working out hard enough and not just spinning your wheels.

There are many to choose from.  Get one that fits within your budget and does the job without breaking down too quickly.  They run on batteries that need to be changed every 2 years or so; at least in my experience.  I have one that is generic, one that can go under water and has alarms, and one that tells me the caloric burn I’m getting. They all/most strap onto your chest and transmit a frequency to your wrist band.

Here is my video on the subject where I discuss in detail about heart rate zones and the levels you should be aiming for:

P.S. The heart rate monitor should strap onto your skin underneath clothing. I usually place it right under my exercise bra strap so that it doesn’t slide down while I’m working out.

Get Moving People!

Work it Out!

I’m sure you’ve read millions of posts like this before.  The author imploring the reader to get out there and exercise!  Well, add this one to the list because maybe you (and I) need to hear it again.

I will never try and tell anyone what type of exercise is best because there simply is no such thing.  You see, for the longest time I thought that running/jogging was the only type of cardio that could only burn off enough fat to be effective.  But what if you hate running and the thought of it wants to make you crawl into a hole?  Then perhaps it is not so great after all.  One must find movement that makes sense to their body and be able to sustain that motion for a long period of time for it to be effective.

Different strokes for different folks.  What may be my ultimate cardio blast may be your idea of hell on earth.  So what?  Find what makes sense to you no matter what anyone tells you!  Not your spouse, trainer, friend, parent, child or whomever. You must explore different types of exercises to make a choice though. Don’t write anything off before giving it one good try especially if someone is recommending it.  For example, I always heard that cycle class would build my quadriceps to mammoth proportions and that the class would be too difficult to do because it is “SO HARD!”  Well, guess what? One day someone invited me to try their spinning class and I loved it and don’t care if it develops my quads more than dance or swimming would. It is fast paced, full of awesome energy, music is pumping and working out with others can be very encouraging.  No matter that I am not at the same level as the gal next to me.  Who cares?  She wasn’t always at her level either. She worked to get there and so will I.

If you are new to exercise, start small and work your way up the mountain.  Don’t go full out or you may burn out and become completely discouraged.  Try walking at a medium pace.  Alternatively, you could ride a bike casually around the neighborhood.  Also, try going in a pool and “running” back and forth across the shallow end; it will feel like more of a bounding bounce, but it will get your heart rate up which is the point.

So, you want to do things that get you moving for an hour or so a day and you want to get a good burn at the same time.  I will post soon about heart rate zones, but for now try to work-out at a level where you can still say your name and address at the peak of exertion, but not easily. If you don’t break a sweat, you aren’t pushing enough.  There should at least be some light dampness on you at the end. Don’t worry about it, just try and if you don’t like it, try again with something else.

What is your current favorite form of exercise?