Rekindling a Love of Running

I don’t run often … but when I do, I’m reminded of why I enjoy it and why I should be incorporating it into my workout mix.

I started really enjoying running in high school. Each day at the start of cheerleading practice, we would run a mile and a half before getting down to business: dancing, stunting, weight lifting, etc. I joined the track team (why, I have no clue — I was a sucky runner) sophomore year and ran the 800. I was terrible — coming in dead last in all but one race throughout my high school career–but I ran nonetheless. I ran during hot summer mornings, cold winter nights … I ran, and ran, and ran. Continue reading “Rekindling a Love of Running”

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Ah, in my 20s …

This past Sunday, I knew we were likely going to have a sub for Zumba. Since the Sunday class is during Maya’s naptime anyway, it’s usually easy for me to take an hour and get my fitness on. I figured I’d go and if the sub wasn’t one of the ones whose class I love, I’d just do the elliptical with one of my good friends and call it a day.

Sure enough, we did have a sub. So I got cranking on the Cybex trainers with the intent of doing 20 fast and furious minutes and then getting outta there. I was dying within minutes — I forgot how much I hate being “grounded” to a machine! Now that Zumba is my fitness routine of choice (3-5 classes a week), I really can’t stand the machines. Continue reading “Ah, in my 20s …”

Pay for Play

Confession: We pay a babysitter so we can both work out each Thursday.

Of course, I never thought I’d be one of “those women” who pays someone else to watch her kid(s) while she goes to the gym — yet that’s exactly what we do.

Luis has racquetball league Mon/Thurs (7:00) and I have Zumba Tues/Thurs evenings (7:30). Like many of my friends who both enjoy working out and trade off evenings or mornings with their spouses, we tried that approach for a while — each of us missing a class/session a week. It worked out nicely: we would have some quality family time when we got home from work for dinner and a walk with Maya and Rocco, and then on Thursdays — the night our workouts conflicted — whoever stayed home would take care of her bedtime routine; the next week we’d switch.

But then it stopped working. Continue reading “Pay for Play”

The ROI on $86 Yoga Capris

Here’s my theory. I don’t have a perfect figure — not even close. But when I work out, when I wear form-fitting yet functional clothes (i.e.yoga pants and body-hugging long tanks), I feel like I move better and get a better workout. I feel leaner, stronger, more toned than when I wear a T-shirt and baggy pants.

Since beginning Zumba in May 2011 — where, instead of pounding the pavement outside or doing mindless spins on the elliptical, I dance in front of a mirror and 20 other women 3-4 times a week —  it’s been important to me to dress appropriately for class. I observed other women in the class and my instructor. Most of the gals, especially the “regulars” (and regardless of size) wear form-fitting yoga pants or capris and body-hugging tanks or Ts — clothing that allows them to move freely but also helps them watch their form, which is key during any fitness class.

As a result, I’ve been acquiring yoga pants and capris and tanks from Target, Gap, Old Navy — and they’ve been awesome additions to my fitness wardrobe. But I’ve always been curious about Lululemon. I’d heard such amazing things about their running/yoga gear and was eager to get in a store and try some things on.

This weekend, I lost my Lulu v-card in Chicago. It was truly life-defining. Continue reading “The ROI on $86 Yoga Capris”

Making the Case for AM Workouts

A conversation with a dear friend on a walk last night reminded me of why I desperately miss my morning workouts … and why I need to find a way back to them.

You see, prior to getting Rocco, I never had a problem with morning workouts.

A lark by nature, I loved the idea of getting my workout out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of my day. It set the tone for my day and it energized me. It made me feel happy and whole, and any walks in the afternoon were just a bonus in terms of physical activity and a positive jolt to my mental well-being. When I worked out in the morning, I ate better and slept better.

But then things changed.

Once Rocco joined our family, he was like a baby — waking a few times at night in the beginning and he’d cry if he heard anyone up. So I stopped working out in the AM because I knew I’d be walking him later in the day and didn’t want to risk waking him up. Plus, I was tired all of a sudden. Bone tired, like never before.

Little did I know … Continue reading “Making the Case for AM Workouts”

Weather, Mood & Exercise

winter_depressionI don’t know about you, but now that it’s getting darker so much earlier, I’m having trouble adjusting to the time change.

But here’s something exciting: with the usual annual stress brought on by the time change, I think I’ve finally bid “Perfect Girl” mentality.

I used to wake up at 5:15 to the alarm with no trouble. Now I can’t even do it. It’s like I turned 29 (in October) and ever since, haven’t been able to do it.

In fact, I don’t even bother trying; I’m enjoying evening workouts and with my husband in class twice a week or studying, I am finding time each weeknight to go — even when I have my own dinner plans or after-work commitments.

This is a new “me” in so many ways. I’m not beating myself up for my inability (or lack of desire) to wake. This is huge, monumental!

Of course, when it’s cold out, all I want to do is be inside with my husband, the warm fire, a good book and a mug of cocoa. In fact, as I write this, the snow is coming down and it’s icky out. But I know I will hit the gym tonight; it’s in my DNA. Exercise makes me tick. I need it. I crave it.

I worried that with this recent “loosening the reins” mentality that I’d find myself skimping out on exercise, but rather, I am finding ways to work it in rather than building my life around it. Continue reading “Weather, Mood & Exercise”

Fragrance as “Fuel”

There’s a woman at my gym who, for various reasons having absolutely nothing to do with her age or physical appearance, annoys me. (I realize that would be ridiculously hypocritical given this week’s posts about branding ourselves and banning body snarking!)

Aside from her irritating behavior like eyeing up everyone at the gym left and right, wearing glitter lotion to work out (who does that?!), blatantly flirting with anyone with a male appendage and wearing just a sports bra and tight pants that showed off all her assets … she’s one of those people that just grates on me, and I pretty much like everyone.

(I don’t care how fit or hot someone is –“I see skin, and it’s not in!” Sports bras are not made to be worn outside of your basement gym, just my modest opinion …!) …

So you’re probably wondering, ok … so … what’s her biggest “offense?”

Well … she’s a spritzer. Continue reading “Fragrance as “Fuel””