Saturday, December 18

Leave Your Attitude At The Door (But Please Bring Your Deodorant)

I had a very enjoyable night last night, falling asleep somewhere in the wee hours of the morning only to rise again at the sound of a 6a.m. alarm.  OK, to be fair said alarm was snoozed until 6:30 - but still.

The brief sleep didn't put me in a terrible mood, per se, but it did make getting a move on my morning a difficult proposition.  Especially when it came to the workout.  I debated skipping it altogether, dreaming instead of losing myself in a batch of cheesecake-chocolate-chip cookies courtesy of a certain nephew's school fundraiser.  But my guilt and desire to attempt to stick with my ongoing progress won out in the end.

I made it about ten minutes into my yoga routine when I began thinking, "Huh.  I don't know why I always psyche myself out of working out.  I always feel better once I'm doing it."  This thought was immediately followed by arms going up in an overhead stretch and a smell of... yuck.  I hate it when I forget to put deodorant on before a workout!

I battled through the sleepies (and the smell) until I made it to the end of the routine.  After I put my arms back down to my sides it dawned on me that I no longer feel like a sloth reaching for a morning caffeine kick to jump-start my day.  I'm suddenly awake, feel like I've accomplished something and am ready to take on the next project with gusto.

Funny what a little morning exercise will do.

Friday, December 17

Shop Till You're Thin!

In about an hour I am going to make the trek out to the mall for some Christmas shopping with a friend, the same as Mr. Kawaii and I did earlier this week (although I was too busy to blog about it afterward - bad Denise!).  Although it may seem odd to post mall-shopping as an exercise, the truth is that you burn a pretty fair amount of calories while shopping - whether at the grocery store or at the mall.

Shopping, particularly extended shopping (an hour or more) includes some of the very same exercise moves that you loathe at the gym: walking for extended periods of time, lifting objects of weight, and if you're trying on lots of clothes there's squatting, over-the-head reaches, and any number of other odd movements you might make trying to get a good look at yourself in the mirror.  

Don't believe me?  I looked up some information on shopping as exercise - every woman's dream - from Nutrition ATC and found an article that backs up what I'm talking about.  In an article found on their site (originally published by StarBulletin) they state that a 200lb person can burn as much as 750 calories during a 3 hour shopping trip at the mall just by slowly walking from store to store and standing in line.  They also note that a "super shopper" who is more active (fidgeting in line, picking up and inspecting merchandise, waving to friends or flustered mall staff) may burn an additional 100 to 250 calories during the same time-span.

All that adds up to a workout that can't be found ordering Christmas presents online.  Who needs a better excuse to get out and get shopping?  A word of warning though - avoid the food-court lest all your shopping exercises be undone by pretzels, cinnamon rolls and fried foods.  I'll see you there!

(And I promise to try to find an hour somewhere in my day to do some yoga too.)

Saturday, December 11

Elves, Reindeer and Calorie Burn

Today was a day for the exercise books.  Not only did I get some running in, some squats, a bit of jumping and crouching, but I got to do all of it while shooting at elves and being backed up by my reindeer peers.  Heck, I even got to take photos with Santa!

No, I didn't bump my head on the treadmill and spend the day in a Christmas-themed coma.  I went to a paintball event called Elves Vs. Reindeer and got to play outside all day!  Happily, the rainy weather took a break this afternoon during the second half of the event, and there was a great turnout so there were plenty of folks to shoot paint at.  It was fun, and I burned a ton of calories!

Another big bonus is that my newest pair of paintball pants, which I had purchased a size too small (they were on major clearance a few months ago) fit perfectly now.  I was able to zip & button them up and run around in them all day without any pinching or "sucking in" of my tummy.  Exciting!

Thursday, December 9

ReBooting the 21 Day Yoga Challenge

As it often happens, the day after I initially started the 21 day Denise Austin Fat Blasting Yoga challenge I came down with a terrible chest/head cold that kept me in bed for almost a full week.  Even though I've been up and about for a couple of days now, anything too strenuous was sending me into coughing fits and so I avoided exercise like the plague.

It wasn't until this morning that I felt confident in giving yoga another shot and re-starting the challenge to follow a 1 hour yoga routine 3 times a week for 3 weeks.  I blew my nose, grabbed a glass of water and very tentatively started the workout.  I made it through most of the hour, only having to take a couple of breaks to de-congest after hanging out in a downward-facing-dog position for a little bit too long, and surprisingly feel better now than I did when I woke up.  The tightness in my chest and back is still there from all the congestion and a week of coughing, but it is lessened and I feel much less stiff in my shoulders and neck as well.

I am hopeful that the gentle exercise will help to jump-start my ability to breathe fully again, and hopefully wipe out the remains of my cold before I head out to play paintball in the rain on Saturday.  The idea of shooting wet elves and reindeer with my paintball marker during a drizzle will sound much more appealing if I'm not having to blow my nose on soggy tissue paper the entire afternoon.