So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



I'm trying! Follow my quest to OVERCOME LAZY!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: We Made Memorial Day Memorable

This is why we live here.
 I love the southwest.  Yes, it's stinkin' hot in the summer, it's a barren (by most people's definition) desert, it's hard to grow a lawn or garden here, and the AC bill can be a shocker... but those are about the only bad things I can come up with.  Here's what it's not:  swampy, humid, excessively snowy, rainy, buggy (as in insects, creepy crawlies, etc.) or polluted - outside of the casinos, anyway - just to name a few things.

The point is, there's good things and bad things to living in any locale; we just try to concentrate on taking advantage of all the good stuff in our neck of the woods.

The girls decided they want to be "love bugs, not

It's no secret our family loves, LOVES, LOVES Red Rock Canyon and we spend as much time as we can out there.  A few weeks back we'd signed up to participate in one of their clean-up efforts but just couldn't make it that day.  The girls were so disappointed... mostly because they didn't get to use the princess hats and work gloves we'd gotten for the outing.  Quite the let-down.

So today, on Memorial Day, we decided to go do a clean-up of our own.  We found enough trash to fill two bags of garbage and just had a great time hiking, scrambling and throwing rocks.

That's me.  Waaaaaay up there!

I've decided that one of my favorite (if not my all-time favorite) workouts is vigorous rock scrambling. While the girls paused regularly to launch the sandstone rocks and watch them shatter against the boulders (absolutely thrilling for them; they never get tired of this), I would take off to go scrambling a little farther up the mountain.  It's an amazing workout. You use your arms, legs and really challenge your balance and agility.  The best part, though, was stopping occasionally to catch my breath and take in the stunning view. 

Exhilarating to say the least.  I feel so invigorated when I'm out there... and very UN-lazy.

The water bottle was his gift to me for my long
training runs. 
Who needs stinkin' diamond jewelry!?
Flowers?  Bah!

For our recent anniversary, my gift to K was a couple of books on discovering more excursions in the Las Vegas area.  We've done some cool things but know that even more "adventure is out there!"  And we're gonna find it, by golly!

So I say to you:  do some Google searches, check out some books, talk to friends and see what awesome outdoor activities there are in your particular area.  That way, when the weather is spectacular, you can get out there, soak up the good life and OVERCOME LAZY!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Zzzzzip it!

The following is the Lazy Trainer version of the above clip:

Lazy Me:  Why settle for abdominal bracing exercises when I could skip straight to full on... (pinky to corner of smirking mouth) sit-ups.
Smart Me:  Abdominal bracing is more important than you think, Indolent Ovaries (my adaptation of the NN insult).
Lazy Me:  All right, zip it.
Smart Me: Every ab exercise should, in fact, start with ab bracing...
Lazy Me:  Zzzzzip it.
Smart Me:  We should have braced abs any time we do ANY exercise...
Lazy Me:  Ladies and gentlement of the jury... exZIPit A.
Smart Me:  Any exercise physiologist will back me up on this...
Lazy Me:  Look at me, I'm Zippy Longstocking.
Smart Me:  Even when we're just sitting we should...
Lazy Me:  When a problem comes along you must ZIP IT.

Okay, okay, enough of that.  I certainly want to stop before coming up with an reenactment of the "zipple" portion of that clip.

The zipping reference does become relevant... just keep reading...

This whole time I've been languishing under my cloak of agony (dramatic, huh?), I've been mad at my neck for giving me such grief.  But as I am emerging and becoming unfettered from that constant pain and tingling, I realize that I'm the one who really has given my poor neck a LIFETIME of grief.  Thanks to my habitual bad posture, my poor neck's been having to tote around a 10-lb (maybe 11 lb. - I'm pretty smart) noggin mostly in an incorrect position. 

The therapy that has been helping me heal has focused almost entirely on postural improvement stretches and exercises.  This is all stuff I know is good to do, but it's stuff that takes time and effort that I just haven't wanted to give it.  But let me tell ya:  life is the great equalizer and it's usually true that if we aren't doing what we should be doing, at some point we will be FORCED to do what we should be doing.

Let's all be smart and try to do the right things BEFORE we suffer the consequences of our lazy ways.

Good posture is paramount to our overall health.  Certainly for preparing us to exercise properly, but also to go about our mundane daily tasks, as well.  Throughout the day, we should give ourselves periodic posture checks to make sure we're lined-up the way we should be.

These are four simple things that I'm going to incorporate into my daily existence:

Zzzzzzip it!

1.  Zip it. Pull your tummy in tight like you're zipping up a tight pair of pants... or brace your abs like you're preparing for someone to punch you in the gut.
Good thing I have abs of steel.
2.  Pull it.  Imagine there's a string tied around your breast bone gently pulling you forward.
3.  Squeeze it.  Keep your shoulders relaxed (not shrugged) and gently squeeze your shoulder blades towards each other to keep your shoulders from rounding forward.
4.  Stretch it.  This really opens up your chest so you have the flexibility to maintain good posture.  Plus if feels soooooo good!

These pictures might help.

First, look at this horrible posture.
This is seriously how I usually stand.

But look what happens when I "zip it" and "pull it".
Miraculous.  I've grown about 2 inches and don't look pregnant any more.

Just yer basic tube rowing but all I'm focusing on is squeezing my shoulder blades together.

Find a corner, step forward with one foot and feel that wonderful stretch. 

This one's just a gratuitous showing-off picture.  This is the Fila tank I won for free!

Good posture definitely helps me look, feel and act less lazy.  So, everyone, just Zzzzzzip it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Kegels - Not Just For Women, Y'know!

These men reported that they do their Kegels 3 x/day
to avoid soiling their Speedos

Okay, they are mostly for women, because, although they offer some surprising benefits for men (do your own Google search if you really want to know), I don't see many males jumping on the Kegel bandwagon.

But us women, especially mothers, definitely should.

Here's how it went down this week:

I sneezed.  And I peed.

And it didn't produce just a slight little dampness on my undies.  No, this time, I had to change my underwear AND pants because it'd soaked through.

I say, "this time" because it's happened before.  Several times.  It's happened when I laugh, when I exercise and plenty of times when I sneeze.  Mostly I've been brushing it off after the fleeting thought, "Oh yeah, I should do my Kegels" flits through my head to be quickly replaced with the more pressing thought, "Man, how did I ever think Steven Tyler was hot.  He looks like an aging transvestite!"

However, the fact that it seems to be happening with more frequency, and the result of this latest power sneeze, have made me realize that I need to get serious about making it a part of my daily fitness routine.

The thing is, I've never liked to do them.  They're not hard to do at all.  In fact, you can even do them seated while vegging in front of the TV (a well-earned rest after your rigorous workout, of course) or undetected while in your board meeting (get it? "bored" meeting).  I don't know - to me they just feel weird when I do them, so I don't very often.  Because I don't like feeling weird.

But I've decided to do them daily.  For real, this time.  I figure that for my best chance at longevity, I need to attach them to an activity that I'm already doing on a daily basis so that when I engage in that expected activity, I know that it's also Kegel time.  I plan on doing them while I brush my teeth.  I CAN chew gum and walk (and even run!) at the same time, so I'm thinking I'll be able to pull this off.  I've included some instructional pictures that I hope will be helpful to you:

Warming-up before.



This totally exhausted me.

Whew.  Tough work.

By the by, did you know they're pronouced "KEY-gulls".  A long time ago I thought they were KEH-gulls.  Just FYI.  Anyway, these are important for all women and men who want to maintain strength in their pelvic floor muscles.  These muscles are important because they support the uterus (N/A for men), bladder and bowel. 

Strong pelvic floor muscles = clean underwear.
Weak pelvic floor muscles = Depends for underwear.

Women who have been pregnant and given birth either vaginally or by C-section are particularly vulnerable to this condition and can benefit greatly through the miracle of Kegels.

I think most people know how to do them by now, but here's a great link to the Mayo Clinic for some good instructions.

Do Kegels with me this week (and beyond) and let's whip our lazy pelvic floors into shape!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Almond Joy

Sometimes you feel like a nut.

Mmmmmm.  Almond Joy.  Wonderful coconutty, chocolately richness with a happy little nutty prize on top.  Oh, wait, not THAT Almond Joy. 

Since my recent neck drama has rendered my workouts pathetic, I've been forced to concentrate more on the nutritional side of the health equation.  So far, I'm not declaring myself victorious in this regard by any means (thanks a LOT, Easter Bunny), but I've been finding a few things helpful in my quest to lower calories and sugar in my diet while maintaining high nutrient integrity and not compromising the all-important satisfaction and YUM elements.

A while ago I discovered the wonders of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk from Blue Diamond.  I think it was Hungry Girl who opened my eyes to the existence of this delightful nectar.

I add Fiber One to my awesome healthy homemade granola.
I'll share that recipe soon!

This stuff is rich and creamy and I use it in place of milk whenever I can.  It has 40 calories per cup compared to 90 calories in skim milk (less than half!), 2 grams total carbohydrate and 0 grams sugar compared to skim milk’s 13 grams of total carbs and 12 grams of sugars.  It does fall short of skim’s 8 grams of protein (it has 1 gram) and does have 3.5 grams of fat compared to skim’s 0, but it is the “good” unsaturated fat and has no cholesterol unlike even skim which has 5 mg. It’s even lactose and soy free for those that care about that stuff.

I am not eschewing skim milk by any means.  I still love to drink it straight with my meals, but I’ve found that Almond Breeze is a fantastic way to get the yumminess of milk in my snacks and recipes for less than half the calories and way less sugar.  My favorite ways to use it is on my cereal*, in my oatmeal and in my shakes/smoothies.  But I use it in just about any recipe.  The 40-calorie unsweetened comes in Vanilla and Original.  I’ll use the Vanilla for sweeter dishes and the Original for the more savory kind. 

Just as much Vitamin D and even more Calcium than milk.
Great for the kiddos.

I’m not gonna lie:  my daughters get plenty of sugar in their diet.  More than they should.  I try to ensure they eat healthily but, in my opinion, it is so hard to avoid excess sugar without being a cruel and unusual parent.  So any chance I get to consciously control their sugar intake in sneaky ways, I do it!  One way is using it in their pancakes and waffles (I love Trader Joe’s Multi-Grain Baking Mix!) I’ll use Almond Breeze as the liquid.  They’re also on a chocolate milk kick lately and even the Nesquick with no added sugar still has plenty of it, so I’ll mix it with the Almond Breeze and they’re none the wiser!  It at least helps cut some of the sugar.

Not all stores carry it (the Albertson’s that I shop at finally keeps it in stock) and it’s not as cheap as cow’s milk but it is so worth it.  I find that a little goes a long way when I use it in conjunction with regular milk.

One scoop for a low-cal snack; two scoops and banana
for an occasional meal replacement.

One of my favorite treats is soggifying Nilla Wafers or Graham Crackers in milk and, while I try not to indulge too frequently, I can feel a little less guilty when I do by using the Almond Milk.  It’s INCREDIBLE!  I swear, my protein shakes and smoothies taste like ice cream shakes when I use this.

I just had to share my love of this good stuff.  Almond Breeze is my new Almond Joy… most of the time, anyway!

*I used to not eat a lot of cold cereal because the small amount in a serving never satisfied me, so now I add a serving of Fiber One original cereal to a serving of my favorite cereals because it’s low cal, high fiber and makes my bowl a lot fuller for far fewer calories, sugar and fat.  Add some fruit to the bowl and it helps even more!  Yum!