Tag Archives: Pilates

I am a Healthy Living Blogger.

8 Aug

Yep, that’s right..I am a healthy living blogger! I blog about all things fitness, health, wellness, and food related interspersed with my own quirky thoughts on everything from fashion, reality TV, sports, books, crossword puzzles, and normal life probz of a maturing 22-year old woman.

Where is this coming from? An afternoon yoga class with my mother and an instructor whose message had a direct path to my heart. Her words before we started our practice:

breathe. take a moment to listen to your body. set the tone for your practice. what do you wish to accomplish today? can you erase the negativity, the cannot’s, the I wish’s and focus on the positives, the I’ll tries and I can’s, and the gratefulness. it’s just you, the mat, and your strong, beautiful, and capable body. let’s go.

A couple of doctor’s appointments, a prescription, and a new workout routine seemed to help some symptoms I’ve been experiencing. There’s nothing wrong with me! Good news-not that I wanted there to be something wrong but at least I would know why I’ve been feeling so blah, time and time again-always looking for the easy way out I tell ya. My doctor did another blood test on me and everything is A-OK. We talked about everything I’ve been experiencing and she thinks it’s just stress. I agree 110%; stressing about my next move- new friends, old friends, working, exercising, eating, sleeping- can cause a body to stop producing what seems like EVERYTHING and over-tax all systems. I’m getting back on BC to regulate estrogen and progesterone levels, taking Caltrate (a calcium supplement) to increase the calcium and vitamin D in my bones as well as drinking milk and eating calcium-rich foods, and starting my day with a hefty dose of Miralax. Simple enough and semi-all natural.

Revamping my exercise routine to listen to my body more. I’ve taken a break from lifting weights (Get Ripped DVDs and Body Pump since I’ve been home) and instead, adding more body weight exercises and classes to keep me toned, strong, and my perception of the “ideal look” that suites me. Yoga, Pilates, cycling, running, and resting are my main gig’s currently. I’ve taken a break from weight training because, in my opinion AND for my liking, I was too muscular, especially in my upper body. PLEASE DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I think a toned, sleek, and sculpted body on a woman is sexy and attractive but for MY body (my height, genes, type of body and shape), it was a little too much for me. Everyone has their own definition of fitness and this is mine. I’ll never erase weight training from my routines, but am taking a minor break from it; add in the fact that I’ve been doing Body Pump and Get Ripped for going on 6 years now. This also will give me new goal (to gain back the strength I may lose) to work towards when I decide to add it back in. Plus, my mom likes to do classes with me and she can’t handle the impact of a weight training class, especially when it’s pre-choreographed and the instructor can’t or doesn’t know any better show you variations.

So back to that (one of many) life-changing experiences; it was like an “aha” moment for me. Key words: BREATHE, LISTEN, YOUR BODY, STRESS, NEGATIVITY, POSITIVE, TONE, GRATEFULNESS. All of these words are antonyms of PRESSURE. I’m putting too much pressure on my body. On top of the mere pressure of existing, I’m adding EXTRA to

  1. exercise
  2. blog
  3. start graduate school
  4. maintain a social life
  5. meet new people
  6. fit everything in
  7. make everyone happy

But why? Why can’t I just take the classes to enjoy them anymore? Where, when, why, and how did this mind-set come from; I went from looking at fitness, health, nutrition as something I enjoy, is a passion of mine, and was,is,and will be my career to my becoming own personal drill-sergeant.  I use to pride (and thought I still prided) myself on my attitude towards exercise and balance. To be honest, I think the “healthy living blog” world is a major culprit. I read these blogs and so many bloggers have ED’s, restrictive eating or the like (*NOTE-I am NOT judging, assuming, and/or prescribing ED’s; these are serious and life-threatening diseases and not a joke. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers and I pray for a recovery). I think it took a toll on my own views and opinions and how I need to act in order to be considered a “healthy living blogger”  and gain readership.

Blogs are a personal place where the author has the freedom to write and share about anything they choose to, and I get that and respect their opinions and views. But I want this blog to focus on the positives of fitness, health, wellness, and nutrition and be a place where readers can visit and take the information away with them without feeling like their doing something wrong, not doing enough, or getting caught in that awful comparison trap.

So that’s it. I am a Healthy Living Fitness Blogger who just wants to share my passion and knowledge of fitness, help as many people as I can reach their goals, be their “go-to” guru, and just keep doing what I’m doing!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! 🙂

Day 29

28 Jun

Traffic can make a good day go bad-especially when the accident isn’t even on YOUR side of the road! Damnrn rubberneckers! Good thing I had this  and saw this  on my Pinterest board when I logged on this morning :).

Although I wasn’t planning on riding a stationary bicycle, I did plan a cycling class that I’m teaching on July 19, Cycle & Stretch (I’ve said the exact date because it’s a GOAL of mine; always a work in progress and motivation to perfect it-keep me accountable!). 45-minutes of cycling and 15-minutes of stretching is the ideal cycling class for me because I’m not (actually never) excited about taking a cycling class (I feel violated when I come off the saddle) and it’s completely out of my comfort zone. I hope you’ve noticed-I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately; step I.T., cycling, yoga, Pilates, and aquatics are all formats that I’m conversant of and participate in regularly, but teaching them is a whole new ball game. In this internship experience, it’s okay for me to mess up; using the wrong terminology in step class, sprinting to a song that’s more fitted for a climb, wearing a two-piece to a pool plyometrics class..all are “oopsies” that I’ll take and learn from so that they don’t happen again. I want no regrets, no “I wish I tried that”, no if only’s in regards to this internship; I’m learning, growing, and evolving and I challenge you to do the same with your respective careers! Will you try? 

I wanted to do a homemade strength workout before a training session; as much as I like taking the classes here, the sculpting classes tend to do the same thing (not complaining though!) and I’m not feeling challenged as much. There’s nothing that a little digging through my exercisebrary can’t fix! The workout went a little like this:

  • side squats and reverse lunges (combo of the two)
  • up, up, down, down push-ups and push-ups with a knee tuck on the stability ball
  • BOSU bent-over rows
  • dead lifts and biceps curls
  • step downs with a knee lift and anterior raises
  • BOSU step ups with overhead presses
  • triceps kickbacks and glute extensions
  • single-leg bridges

In and out in an hour!

Girls night is back and the plan is sushi and a concert series! Have a great night!

Day 9

24 May

Last week I was searching through Craig’s List to find anyone in need of a healthy living/fitness and wellness blogger and came across a few that I sent my resume to. Not really expecting anything in return, I received an email from one of the ladies yesterday about blogging for a lingerie store! Now, I don’t know the first thing about lingerie but I do know how to get and stay fit, dress for your body type, and exude confidence, regardless of what you’re wearing-or not 😉. We spoke on the phone and it seems like a perfect fit! She was looking for a blogger who could post once a week about health/fitness/wellness with it all relating back to lingerie; exercises, healthy recipes, how to dress for your body type, and learning to be confident in oneself are all things that I feel qualified to blog about. I start next Monday and will post every week about a new topic regarding fitness and lingerie; check her website out!

I would really appreciate it if the sun would grace NC with its presence! Seeing the sun through my window makes waking up at 6:30am so much better. But so does knowing I’m training my one and only client!  I had an early morning PT session that took place at my old stomping grounds; always nice to go back and visit, however, I had to clean out my office area which left a bitter taste in my mouth :(. So many memories with great people there!

A bowl of overnight oats with cookie butter was awaiting me back at home! Apple on the side for a little crunch with a hot cup of coffee is the recipe for a kick-start kind-of morning. I was at work by 9:30am, working away on my seminar. I’m really enjoying learning how exercise can help lessen stressful situations; it amazes me what the body is capable of and how quickly stress can become a problem.

I attended Pilates today and really reaped the benefits of core strength, body awareness, and flexibility. By really I mean- my mother and I have a tape (yes, a VHS tape) of a Pilates routine that we do at home, so I felt pretty confident that I knew the exercises coming into class. I’m not saying the tape wasn’t Pilates but being in the actual class and having the instructor explain what we should be feeling and where and staring at me so I get in the correct position made the workout much harder! I’m all for workout DVDs but being in the setting with an instructor who has more time to explain the poses helps me focus more (since mind/body formats aren’t my strong suit). My favorite Pilates move is the teaser-so challenging! It’s not only a physical challenge, but a mental challenge as well to stay in that position for even a second; all of the participants in the class tried the third level and held it for 5 breaths-woo!

I also attended Pool Plyometrics after Pilates. I successfully reached my goal for the week to make it to one aqua class and even managed to keep my hair dry (SCORE!)! Pool plyometrics is meant for the more-advanced participant because it still requires jumping, bounding, lateral movements, coordination, and over-all strength, but has less of an impact on joints compared to plyometrics on land. The instructor taught on land but gave us a visual of what each exercise looked like; she broke the workout into 3 segments of 4 exercises. We did each exercise for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of complete stillness (try that in water..) Some of the exercises included tuck jumps, front kicks, split squat jumps, flutter kicks, and hamstring curls-very creative! I may convert into an yogiaqui 😉

Not only was I completely out of my element in the pool, but also wearing a bikini (DON’T JUDGE!, I just picture a few of you shaking your head..). I don’t own a one-piece! I wore the most conservative two-piece I own and tried to make it work. Let me tell you-remember the jumping and bounding I mentioned earlier? Yeah, imagine doing those movements, in a pool, while the water is pulling everything south, and you’re trying to keep everything covered. It.doesn’t.work.in.your.favor. I honestly feel bad for anyone wearing goggles who accidentally peeked over under the water because they definitely got a glimpse of my bootay! You live and you learn. I guess it’s a good enough excuse to go to Dick’s and buy a bathing suit?

After both workouts, I was more than ready for lunch- a turkey, avocado, mushroom, tomato, sprouts, and mustard sandwich between 2 slices of too-burnt bread, a side of ginormous grapes, and a travel-sized pack of pistachio’s was waiting to get in my belly!  Have you seen the travel-sized bags of pistachio’s at your grocery store? Perfectly portioned and great for grabbing them on the go; love the portability! Pistachio’s are one of the lowest fat, lowest calorie, and highest fiber nuts AND they offer more nuts in a serving compared to others-another fourtwo-fer!

 

Day 6

21 May

The week starts off much better when the sun decides to shine-not in today’s case! Oh well, nothing like a hot cup of coffee to take its job ;). This morning began much earlier than usual; I had a doctor’s appointment at 8:20am to have my thyroid levels checked and am anxiously awaiting the results. Little did I know blood had to be drawn for the test (how else would they test Katie!), but I didn’t mind. I’m one of those freaks that likes to watch the needle be inserted; I can handle pain when I see something happening-just another one of my weird quirks!

Before the appointment, I ate 2 scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, a buttered bagel thin, and an apple. Eating at 7:30am compared to 8:30am was a lot different; I almost wasn’t hungry! And when 10am rolled around, I felt like I hadn’t  eaten in hours. Do you ever notice when you eat at a different time than normal it almost throws your whole day off? I try to stick to a somewhat regular schedule so my body knows when food is coming but don’t over-obsess about it.

It’s a busy couple of days for the professionals at my internship; a majority of them are in training until Wednesday so I won’t be seeing them often. That means I get to work on my special project AND take classes! Hopefully I can make it to a variety of classes; my goal is to try one of the aqua formats by the end of the week. If you know me, I’m not too keen on getting my hair wet, especially in chlorine! I’m a natural blonde and my hair decides to turn blueish/green; Smirf-like? Yes. Attractive? No. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll give in and purchase a sexy swim cap ;).

Here’s a list of classes I plan on attending; a final version and review of each class will be posted on Friday:

  • Monday- Cycle
  • Tuesday- Interval Training
  • Wednesday- Back to Core & Stretch, Step I.T.
  • Thursday- Pilates
  • Friday- Body Sculpt

Have a great start to the week!

Raw, Toasted Almonds

10 Mar

I hope your weekend starts off on a relaxing yet healthy note!

First off- GO PACK! NC State beat Virginia yesterday 67-64! They’ll be playing UNC today at 1pm- show your support for the Wolfpack!!

Today (Wednesday) started out with a spur-of-the-moment run around North Park. When I’m home, exercising is at the end of my to-do list. I don’t know what it is but I’d rather spend time with my family than carve out an hour to myself. Instead of pushing myself to workout when I know I won’t put 100% into it, I listen to my body and go with the flow. The flow this morning was urging me to go! The high in Pittsburgh today is going to be mid-60’s; perfect weather for a run and to see the unveiling of the Mario Lemieux Statue!

If I was going to run, I wanted to complete it earlier rather than later so it wasn’t on my mind; my dad and I have plans to bar hop this afternoon! He’s on vacation and I’m on Spring Break so it’s only fitting we both live it up!

Breakfast was a hearty bowl of overnight oats made with Trader Joe’s honey Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned oats and raw, toasted almond slivers. Have you ever had these from Trader Joe’s? They pack so much flavor! When I first saw the word “raw” on the label, I was skeptical that these almonds would be on the bland side and I’d have to toast them in the oven. Wrong. They are pre-toasted with no seasoning so the almond flavor really bursts. Fantastic for oats, salad, or mixed into yogurt!

Last night after my mother came home from work, she wanted a quick circuit to complete before dinner. Because she’s family, I didn’t charge her but she’s lucky! My mother did the following workout for 30 minutes; 45 seconds each exercise, 3-4X through.
1. Side squats w/ tubing
2. Push-ups w/ rows
3. Reverse lunges and biceps curls
4. Glute bridges and triceps skullcrushers.
5. Planks

You- Katie..there’s no shoulder work?
Me- Ahh, yes. Long story short and in lamens terms; my mom has no cartilage between her vertebrae. In fact, she has no balance mechanisms throughout her spine, neck, or head. There have been times when we would be yoga-ing and she completely fell over. Funny but very serious! My mother has been to every doctor in Pittsburgh and no one seems to have a cure for this. Prior to, her exercise regime was similar to mine; we’d do DVDs together (weights and cardio), walk, practice yoga and Pilates; now, she’s limited with weights workout (nothing overhead, lateral, or bent over arm movements), no high impact plyometric exercises, and anything that will cause her to strain her neck is out of the question. She enjoys swimming because it’s low impact enough that she doesn’t feel like a semi hit her the next morning yet it increases her heart and provides toning benefits. Yoga and Pilates are comfortable for her too, she just has to watch her alignment and ease into the postures.
Like everyone, my mother has good days and not-so-good days but there’s never a day that goes by where she’s sedentary because of her minor-limitations. My role model.

Have a great Saturday! I’ll be writing up another Ripped review in case you needed a new DVD to add to your collection :).

Things to stumble upon:

AFAA Apex Weekend 2012 & IFTA Events

5 Feb

Attention Raleigh, Cary, Gardner, Apex, and surround areas: 

Looking for a less-expensive way to become certified in Group Fitness or Kickboxing?  University Recreation is hosting AFAA Apex Weekend February 10-12! Register through AFAA to take advantage of these amazing deals!

  • Primary Group Exercise Certification, $99
  • Kickboxing Certification, $99
  • Practical Pilates- learn the importance of core stabilization, muscle balance, proper alignment, strength and flexibility while integrating the concept of mindfulness, fluidity and grace.
  • A Taste of..Biggest Loser Live Training Workshop- providing fitness professionals with an introduction to the knowledge, tools, and fundamental skills necessary to successfully work with larger clients and participants.

Already an AFAA instructor? Earn 5 CEU’s for each certification or workshop!

This is a fun-filled fitness weekend where you’ll gain tons of knowledge and meet other trainers and participants with positive attitudes. I’m attending the Biggest Loser workshop and can’t wait to learn lots of new techniques, training ideas, and how to train larger-individuals safely and effectively.

IFTA Events:

Saturday, February 18 at Quest 4 Life Wellness Center. 1031 Morganton Blvd STE A. Lenoir NC.

  • 10:45am-12:45pm. Cardio Blast: an intense cardiovascular training for beginners to athletes. Energize and revitalize your basic choreography and give it a blast that will create the ultimate experience for sustained aerobic conditioning and balanced muscular endurance training.
  • In addition to registering, you’ll receive a “Kata Cardio” DVD!

Sunday, February 19 at Armfield Civic Center 873 West 52 Bypass, Pilot Mountain, NC

  • 9-10am. Kata Cardio: true Martial Arts aspects from “Katas” that are modeled into a group fitness cardio experience.
  • cost is $20.

 

  • 10-11am. Strength Camp: muscle conditioning using a mix of dumbbells, body bars, tubing, and a mat.
  • cost is $20

  • 11am-12pm. Stretch-Tone-Core: standing, seated, balance, tone, core all in once class to increase range of motion and abdominal strength.
  • cost is $20.

 

 

IFTA Events for January 21 & 22

14 Jan

Attentions fitness enthusiasts!

The first IFTA blogging event will happen..

 Saturday January 21 at Camden Overlook Complex, 4703 Summit Overlook Dr. Raleigh NC.

  • 11am-5pm. Learn to Teach Group Fitness Certification- study guide/notes are included. IFTA Safety Requirement or CPR is required!
  • this certification includes a lecture of study materials to prepare you for the exam, an aerobic workout/practical and a written test.
  • cost is $99 plus the $65 text fee- Great price! Register here.

Saturday January 21 at Fitness Flow 7946 Market St. Wilmington, NC. This is a LADIES ONLY gym!

  • 9am-2pm. Mat Pilates certification- study guide/notes are included.
  • this certification includes a lecture of study materials to prepare you for the exam, hands-on training and Pilates movements and a written test.
  • cost is $99 plus the $20 text fee. Register here.

Sunday January  22 at Camden Overlook Complex, 4703 Summit Overlook Dr. Raleigh NC.

  • 11am-5pm. Personal Trainer Certification- study guide/notes are included. IFTA Safety Requirement or CPR is required!
  • this certification includes a lecture of study materials to prepare you for the exam
  • cost is $99 plus the $30 text fee- Register here.

*IF YOU REGISTER FOR BOTH THE GROUP EXERCISE AND PERSONAL TRAINER CERTIFICATIONS, YOU’LL PAY $175 PLUS TEXTS!!

If you’re in the Raleigh and Wilmington area, HURRY and register for these upcoming opportunities! This is a great time of year for fitness!!