Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Reset

Yes, almost. Here comes Tuesday.

The best thing about today? A dance party at Jazzercise at 5:30. Hands in the air, let it all go, better-than-therapy workout. Yesssss.

My weekend was semi-productive. A little Hausfrau-ing, a little football, a little napping. I made it to a yoga class on Saturday and that felt great. I need to do more of that. Jazzercise on Sunday and I needed that because I baked some utterly decadent chocolate chocolate chip cookies with salted caramel sauce. They were so good I didn't even get a picture because they disappeared so fast. The leftover caramel sauce is in the freezer and I hope I can resist diving into it in the middle of the night.

Also this weekend, I went to  the movie, This is Where I Leave You. I just finished the book and usually I find books are better than movie versions. But in this case, I think the movie was better than the book. It was hilarious and the casting was spot-on. I love Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda was great. (And, geez, she looks uh-mazing!)

The worst part of the weekend? George Clooney is officially off the market. Doggone it.

And, I did a little seasonal decorating. Bring on October!

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's the Friday before a Husker game day so of course, I'm rocking the (Go Big) Red. My fellow Jazzerciser and Personal Shopper Denise King picked these out for me at a consignment shop. And since they came at the bargain price of
99 CENTS, I'm going to have to go shopping now and find some new shoes to go with them.

Here are some random Friday thoughts.

  • Eat That Frog. I'm a list-maker. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, lists of music I want to download, lists of lists. Now I'm trying something new. I'm actually scheduling what's on my list. And every day, I try to do the hardest thing first. That's the one of the suggestions in this book. I plan out my day and my week and then tackle the tough stuff right away while I've got the energy. Eat that frog first and then enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Did I mention I'm taking piano lessons? It's good for your brain to try something new and challenging. I took lessons as a child and again when my son was little and now I'm at it again. Maybe I'll invite everyone to a recital. Or not.
  • I really think this has to happen this weekend. I mean, anything with pumpkin, donut and muffin in the same sentence has to be good, right?
  • Last weekend, I wore my brand new Husker shirt and ran into a random girl downtown with the same shirt. So we had to take a picture.
  • I've already scheduled my weekend workouts. (See Eat That Frog above.) I'm going to yoga on Saturday morning at 10:45. I'm still debating Jazzercise at 7:30 a.m. (because it's Fusion which is my FAVORITE format.) But Saturday mornings are usually reserved for sitting around in my robe with coffee, the paper and my iPad so that may not happen. But I WILL be at Jazzericse at 4:30 PM on Sunday.
  • And there will be some of this over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Office Gym

I really thought my daily hour of exercise would do it. Not so.

According to a recent study, regular exercise doesn't counteract the detrimental effects of sitting all day. Health problems associated with sitting include an increased risk of heart disease, poor circulation and back problems. However well-intentioned, my hour of exercise doesn't make up for six hours of parking my butt in a chair at work. Darn it.

The remedy? Turn the office into a gym.

There are wonderful stand-up and treadmill desks out there but they're pricey and certainly not in the budget at work. I also use a huge computer monitor that doesn't work with any of the adjustable arms on the market that allow you to raise or lower your monitor. So I had to get inventive.

My stand-up desk hack is a wooden shelf that I painted Husker red and a new chair that raises and lower so that I can sit or stand.

As a result, I stand about half the day so I cut my hours of sitting from about 6-7 to 3-4. Much better. I usually take my shoes off and stand on my yoga mat (yes, I have a yoga mat at work) and that makes it a little more comfortable for the long haul.

I added a few other daily routines to break up the blocks of time I sit every day.
  • I set up my mini-trampoline in the corner (next to Lady Gaga.) It's fun to kick off my shoes and jump on it for a minute or two. The trampoline is right next to a window so I can look outside and enjoy the view.
  • I started using the bathroom in the basement of my building. I'm on the third floor so that's a lot of stairs. Eighty stairs each way, to be exact.
  • I'm trying really hard to follow a goal I set for myself as part of the Choose Your Own Adventure fitness challenge. I'm trying to take a walk at work at least three days a week. I get up, lace up my tennies, and head outside, even if it's just for ten minutes. (We'll see if I can stick with it all year. It might be a challenge when the snow falls!)
So that's the plan to get me on my feet more at work. Now I just have to figure out what to do when I'm tempted to veg out at night in front of the TV! Jumping jacks during commercials, maybe.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Reset

This is how you need to face Monday, with coffee and a smile.

And this morning, I did it. Yay, me!

Part of what helped the New Attitude (think Pointer Sisters) is a good but relaxing weekend.
I also owe a huge thank you to Denise King, one of my Jazzercise friends and the Queen of Consignment Shopping. Yesterday after Jazzercise, Denise pulled some fabulous bargains out of the trunk of her car...for me! I can't wait to wear them all, especially this outfit that will make its appearance with tights and boots once the weather is cool enough.

The coolest thing is that Denise thought about me when she was out shopping. Who does that?!
It made me think about the benefits of a workout program, besides good health and a body that fits nicely into my skinny jeans.
  • A stylist and personal shopper. Thanks, Denise!
  • Friends who encourage me and make me laugh.
  • Accountability. When you make plans to meet, you show up.
  • Like Cheers, a place where everybody knows my name. 
  • A fitness family. They always have your back.

What else happened this weekend?
Gorgeous day to walk the dogs.

 And this. Don't judge me.
Pumpkin chocolate chip bars.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's Mandatory

If you read this blog, you already know I like to mix it up. Boot camps, running, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, the Climbing name it, I've probably tried it. I like variety. Jazzercise is my consistent, go-to routine, but even there, I seek out different formats and instructors because it's fun and healthy.

Any exercise program I'm part of has to have these four elements.
  • Cardio   Yes, intensity is important. If I'm able to sit on a bike at the gym and read a magazine, I'm not working hard enough. I admit to being slightly obsessed with my fitness watch that and I use it to check my heart rate. But you really don't need any equipment at all. The Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale  is a way of self-monitoring based on how you feel during exercise. Are you able to carry on a conversation? Are you barely breaking a sweat? Legs starting to shake? The point is, you want to be aware of how your feel and use that to push yourself harder or ease up. Jazzercise uses a "perceived exertion chart" to rate how hard you're working during class - whether you can still talk comfortably or are gasping for breath, for example. 
  • Strength   The temptation is to focus only on cardio but strength training is such an important element in overall fitness. You increase bone density by adding stress so you can avoid osteoporosis. No falling and breaking a hip. And face it, toned muscles look great! You can venture into the weight room or just use your body weight, no special equipment involved. Just do it. 
  • Flexibility and Balance  What's it good for? Reaching up to pull something off of a high shelf. Preventing injury. Stress reduction. Improved circulation. Not falling this winter when it's icy. (See above note about broken hips.)  Jazzercise does a good job of incorporating active and static stretching, along with balance moves but I'd like to do even more in this area. Maybe add a weekly yoga class.
  • Enjoyment  I've learned that if I don't like what I'm doing, I won't do it. End of story. I'm not a fan of treadmills but give me a chasse, a pivot turn and some Latin hips and I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Workout Recap and Other News

This was me last night.
Labor Day always signals the end of summer for me. There are still plenty of warm days ahead but I’m starting to look forward to throwing open the windows and enjoying the cool crispness of fall, as opposed to oppressive heat and humidity that makes it feel like a tropical jungle. I  want to go buy school supplies and bake pumpkin bread.

You can't see it very well but it's a pretty, pale green. Trust me.

I’m working on yet another home redecorating project: turning my son’s old bedroom into my studio/office/comfy-place-for-feeling-zen room. Right now it’s decorated in "garage sale style," incorporating furniture and stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else. As soon as it cools off enough to open the windows, I’m going to paint the room a pale lavender and then add green accents. So this weekend, I painted and distressed an old desk. My husband kept telling me I did a terrible paint job. He doesn't get the concept of distressed furniture. But I like the way it turned out.

Brittany and John on a rainy but glorious day!
Of course, I watched football. How about those Huskers?!

And went to a lovely wedding of a friend and co-worker. It was an outdoor wedding on what turned out to be a stormy evening but the “I dos” were said before it started to pour and a good time was had by all.
Brittany was stunning and both of them 
looked so happy.

I managed to work in three Jazzercise classes over the weekend, including two Fusion classes. Fusion is a circuit class that alternates cardio with strength. It's my favorite format because it appeals to my love of multi-tasking. And it burns mega-calories!

Not sure how much it helped on Labor Day, though, because I went grocery shopping and made the mistake of buying the limited edition, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreos. (I was only going to have one or two. Right. )  They are to-die-for. DON'T buy them.

This very blurry picture is Tria teaching Fusion on Monday, wearing sassy pants. I want them. 

Got a lot of other stuff done - and a fair amount of sitting on the deck with a glass of wine. Face it, three day weekends are the bomb. Right?