Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Weekend Link Love – 05.01.2011

Bloggy Stuff – Recipes, Health, Fitness.

Nail Polishes… (These are just a bunch of colors that caught my eye.)

Randoms – Books & More.

What are you loving right now?

Healthy Monday Tip #4: Walk for Exercise!

Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Syracuse University. HM’s goal is to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives. For most Americans, the week begins on Monday. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.

I mentioned yesterday that I quit the gym and got tons of great responses. In keeping with the “quit the gym” and “fit for free” theme, today’s Healthy Monday Tip is…

Walk for Exercise!

I wrote about this once before (walking for health). Walking is something that you can add in to your daily routine no matter what – no matter how old you are, how fit you are, where you live, or how much time you have. I am a 24 years old, I work full time, I’m moderately fit, and I live in New York – and I walk every day.

How to Fit in a Daily Walk

  • Walk to work.
  • Walk home from work.
  • Take a 20 minute walk in the morning before your morning routine.
  • Take a 20 minute walk after lunch and/or dinner.
  • Have a date-walk with your significant other and chat about life instead of plopping on the couch to watch TV.
  • Go to the park and walk around with a camera; take pictures of pretty flowers.
  • Walk around your city or town and check out all the Christmas decorations.
  • Go window shopping (might be a good idea to leave the wallet home).

Why You Should Walk

  • It’s heart-healthy (apparently so is a 3/4 cup serving of oatmeal).
  • It’s good for your brain – as we get older our brains shrink… but the shrinkage is less for people who walk more. (I’m not kidding.)
  • It puts you in a good mood and fights depression.
  • It’s good for your bones (weight-bearing activity).
  • Walking a mile requires the same amount of “work” as running a mile. So why run if you can walk?

How to Walk?

  • Make sure you have proper posture. Stand tall as you walk; don’t lock your knees. Think of how monkeys walk (but don’t overdo it that much or else you will look like a goof).
  • Walk with your arms, too. It’ll increase the exertion.
  • Short and fast steps are good if you want to get your heart rate up, but…
  • Slow and steady steps are good too. Just get moving.

That’s all for today’s Healthy Monday. I’m off to… walk to work.

How much walking do you do?

CSN Giveaway Winner

Random.org picked a winner for the CSN Giveaway… Click here to see who won!

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I’m not sure if I will have a long post for you today; I have a ton to do at work and later today a best friend is coming to stay with me. She’ll be here until Saturday. Tonight we are both going to concerts (I’m going to the Belle & Sebastian one in Williamsburg) and then we are going to have lots of fun tomorrow (facials!) and Saturday. Hoping to take her to my gym at least once.

Speaking of my gym, these are the classes I’ve taken since my last update:

  • Tuesday: Yoga. I love this class and I am going to try to take it once a week. I would take it more but I’m pretty sure he does the same flow for all classes in a set week, and I like to vary it a bit more.
  • Wednesday: Vinyasa Yoga. This was a really interesting flow – I will probably go back to see what else he comes up with. It wasn’t a sweaty flow at all, but it was a cool combination of poses.
  • Thursday (today): Cardio Sculpt. Awesome class! Just enough cardio and weights for my liking (it was only 45 minutes) – I did not walk away wanting to die but I did get in a great workout and was very sweaty.

I am off to work. I also have to do a quick clean sweep of my house before my guest gets here tonight.

What’s your favorite workout class?

Updates

I updated my pages:

Go check it out! Tell me what you want more of. (I might not listen though. It’s my blog, not yours.)

Other things…

  • I updated Operation Wedding with pictures and results :) More wedding stuff coming tomorrow.
  • I also updated my blogroll! I added some new favorites.
  • I got to see this lovely lady and she put me in a wonderful mood yesterday.

Aaand I got these moccasin boot things this weekend and I love them (they look kind of weird in this picture but they are not in real life):

I also got these keds at Anthropologie:

Let’s get some shoes.

Goal Setting

I’m in an ambitious mood today, so here we go. My goals for the next few weeks (I want to see at least slight changes in all these areas by mid-September… my 24th birthday):

Going to Sleep Earlier

I am not really a night owl by choice, but night after night I fall into bed at 1:30am or later, only to roll out of bed at 7am bemoaning my existence. I took a class on sleep with my friend Mel down at Brooklyn Brainery a few months ago (BB is awesome, check it out if you are in NYC) so I do know that sleeping is incredibly important!

Goal: I’m going to follow the usual tricks – 1) get up at the same time every day, 2) set a routine for night (read for 20 minutes starting at 11 to get me sleepy), and 3) do this for at least 10 days in a row to get in the habit. I think ideally you’d do more than 10 days, but that is a start.

Food Less, Live More

I want to talk about some other stuff on the blog – I like food, but it’s not good to think about it too much. Maybe this is me being more intuitive.

Goal: Blog about other stuff every week!

More Fitness Fun

Been slacking a little on fitness, but I’ve been getting in some walks. I try to do 5,000 steps a day on a low day. 10,000 is better! I usually hit that. I’d like to do some more yoga, too. It keeps me sane, even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.

Goal: 20 minutes of yoga a day 5 days a week + at least 8,000 steps a day.

More Music Fun

Sometimes I listen to a song that just makes me happy. One of my (current; there are many more) favorites is:

  • Defying Gravity – this is off of the Glee Soundtrack. Actually the entire soundtrack is mood boosting. At least it is if you are like me, and you were a music nerd back in high school ;)

Goal: find a new song every week and play piano for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Were you a music nerd? Do ya miss it? I sure do. I have an audition for a choir tomorrow night, so I’m excited to (hopefully) have that back in my life. Favorite songs?

What are your goals for the next few months?

Are you good at following through on goals, or not so much? Why do you fail or succeed?

The Perfect Slice – of UES Pizza

*If you didn’t see it already, check out my guest post over at A Nourishing Glimpse – it’s part of Danielle’s Plates From Around the World series. My post is on Asian food in the Bay Area. Thanks again, Danielle!*

I first went to Slice Perfect pizza back in May. It’s very vegetarian/vegan friendly and we adore the food. We actually liked it so much that we considered having them cater our wedding – but we ended up going with a local place because it was easier to coordinate. Last time I got a delicious salad and just had a few bites of pizza and bruschetta; this time I actually got a slice.

This (above) was my slice. It’s called the “Wizard” – it’s a bruschetta pizza on honey whole wheat crust. The crust is topped with all-natural marinara sauce and fresh bruchetta (tomatoes, red onions, basil, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar & olive oil). It was delicious. Needed some cheese though! I love cheese. So I had some of this too:

This (above) was Bobby’s first slice, the “Expert” – it was an herb crust topped with all-natural marinara sauce, free-range sesame chicken, part-skim organic mozzarella, and fresh basil. Lots of cheese, lots of yum.

We also got the “Beginner” hummus pizza (below) – herb crust spread with lots of organic hummus, then topped with caramelized onions and kalamata olives. I ate the olives (and some of the slice); Bobby doesn’t like olives and always forgets to ask for them on the side.

You can’t have pizza without ice cream, though. We stopped at Tasti D-Lite on the way home, and when Bobby checked in on Foursquare he happened to get a BOGO coupon! So we each got a chocolate and vanilla swirl:

I had to help him. He was full. How can you be too full for Tasti D-Lite?

Exercise of the day: walking to and from work (2.8 miles total) + a video TBD (hopefully about 30 minutes of yoga/pilates/something similar)!

What’s your favorite pizza? Favorite ice cream?

Brunch at Sacred Chow (Again)

This morning I met up with 2 of my fellow New York bloggers – Marina and Missy. We get together for brunch every once in a while and we like to go to yummy vegetarian/vegan places. Today we headed down to Sacred Chow (I’ve been there with Bobby and my brother – sacred chow salad number 1, sacred chow salad number 2!).

Instead of salad I opted for a brunch special – I got the tofu scramble with fruit (instead of home fries) and salad with lemon-miso dressing (I think) ($13.75). Poor Marina ordered a glass of orange juice that came out to be $8 – ridiculous! The scramble was delicious though. I almost finished it (and of course finished the fruit and salad) and brought a few bites home for Bobby (he just ate it with toast). We actually all got the scramble. Last time we got together we all ordered the same thing too.

On my way home from brunch I picked up a decaf coffee at Whole Foods – no matter how much coffee I try, Whole Foods’ coffee is always my favorite. I like it with soy milk (just a splash) and Z-Sweet (a natural zero-calorie sweetener).

(Source.)

The coffee was hot, and it is *hot* again today (90s), so I poured it over ice when I got home and enjoyed a cooling fresh iced coffee.

Exercise of the day: the first part of Crunch: Burn & Firm Pilates (the cardio segment; ~35 minutes). The instructor is Ellen Barrett (again! yes she is my favorite!). This workout is a short warmup (<5 minutes), cardio (~30 minutes), and mat work (~10 minutes; I didn’t do this part). The cardio is with weights but I didn’t use weights (I don’t have them) and it was still a sweaty workout. This is yet another free Netflix exercise video. I also walked about 20 blocks or so (1 mile) to get to brunch from Union Square. Yesterday’s EotD was Ellen Barrett’s Self: Slim & Sleek, Fast! (again).

What do you do for exercise on the weekends? Do you stick to the same things you do during the week or do you play it by ear? I tend to do more walking on the weekends so I don’t always do a video/podcast.

More Tips for Beating IBS: Soothe Your Tummy

I had no idea my “help your tummy tips” would be so well received. I got so much wonderful feedback that I want to go on about this a little more.

Go Dairy Free book

(My review of Alisa’s book here.)

Many people suggested that I might be allergic to something – and you are probably right. I spent most of last year dairy-free (my macrobiotic experiment), and during the dairy-free times my symptoms were much less severe. I also tried food combining last year, which helped as well, but for various reasons I stopped doing that.

So I’m going to try something yet again. One commenter (hi Kim!) has a great website about how she deals with her IBS. When I was diagnosed (back in 2004, when the cafeteria food at college made my stomach a writhing mess) I kind of ignored it. My doctor didn’t tell me there was anything I could do; he just suggested that I stop eating the cafeteria food.

The longest respite I had from the syndrome was from 2005-2007. To solve my problems I just didn’t eat much. Great for my digestion, but not that healthy in general – I was too thin.

Now… I’m going to buy a book Kim mentioned on her site called Eating for IBS. From what I can tell, it’s about food combining (but not in the raw sense), trigger foods, and having a happy stomach. I will come up with a plan and post it – if you have IBS too maybe you can try it out as well.

And here are more tips that you all had for calming IBS and pissy stomachs:

  • Don’t overdo the fiber
  • Drink tea (peppermint is particularly helpful)
  • Get checked for food allergies (dairy, gluten, etc…)
  • Stress is a trigger… so chill out
  • Small snacks can help, but don’t snack too much
  • Don’t eat past the point of fullness
  • Careful with whipped cream
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Rubbing your belly in clockwise circles
  • Get some exercise each day – get moving to get moving one might say :)
  • Cat/cow yoga stretches
  • Don’t forget about probiotics (supplements)

I am going to try to follow them!

Tonight I have a date with Bobby (I have hardly seen him all week) and tomorrow I’m going to New Jersey to do some wedding tasting with my 2 best girlfriends, my sister (my MOH), and my mom (my wedding savior). Bobby and I are going to Miami next week (oops – think I forgot to mention this) so I need to get lots of stuff done this weekend (work and otherwise).

What are your weekend plans?

Easing a Grumpy Tummy… Who Knew It Could Be So Easy?

I have a love-hate relationship with my stomach. I know I’m not alone. I feel like half of the blogs that I read are written by young women with similar problems. And we’ve all been told we have IBS, the all-encompassing (and oh-so-unhelpful) diagnosis for grumpy tummies that will not cooperate no matter how hard we try. (Aside: my stomach happens to be misbehaving right now, this very minute. Sigh. Will have to try these tummy tips.)

I’m not going to say I have a definitive solution, because I don’t. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me keep my disobedient stomach in check. I’ll share my top 3, and maybe if I find more I’ll do an Ease-My-Tummy-Tricks Part 2.

  1. Do NOT snack. I find that the more often I eat, the more my stomach bothers me. Forcing myself to eat 3 meals a day (and 3 meals a day only) and possibly an afternoon snack, if desired, definitely offers major improvements to the stomach situation. When I am eating constantly my digestive system never needs a rest. I give myself rest each day, so why not do the same for my stomach? It makes sense.
  2. Do NOT overeat (especially fiber-y foods). Yes, salads are great – but in moderation. If you eat a salad for every meal you will be uncomfortable. You’ll also start to think that over-fullness is normal. I spent years overloading with almost too many veggies, and now I’m still trying to get used to being satisfied when I’m not stuffed. The Japanese have a great expression to summarize these healthy eating habits: “hara hachi bu” – which means precisely, “eat until you’re 80% full”. I look up to both Bobby (who is half Japanese) and his mother for their ability to eat moderately.
  3. Yoga twists. If all else fails, this is what I turn to, because in addition to helping my tum, yoga stretches are soothing for me. One of the best ways to massage and ease the digestive tract is to breathe deeply while in a twist. My favorites are…
    • supine twist: lie on your back. Pull one knee into your chest. Drop the knee to the opposite side (right to left for example) and look away from the knee (if you’ve dropped your right knee to the left, look right). Take 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
    • seated twist: Cross your right knee over your left. Twist to the right. Take 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. Make sure your back is elongated and upright; your shoulders should draw down the back. As you breathe out each time, twist a little deeper.

Does your stomach get angry at you? What are your tricks to calm it down?

How to Exercise Without Realizing It

My favorite exercise is walking. For me, walking isn’t a chore; it isn’t boring; it’s not ever something that I force myself to do. Walking comes as naturally to me as sleeping (and also yoga, but that’s for another post).

Do you think you hate to exercise? Maybe you’re just bored of the usual suspects – spin, pilates, aerobics, kickboxing, and so on. Here are my favorite ways to exercise without even realizing it.

  1. Walk. Walk your heart out. I can easily get in upwards of 10,000 steps a day (that’s about 5 miles) if I just make a little bit of effort: get off the subway 1 stop early, go on a walk to the farther coffee shop (Organique’s free-coffee-Wednesday perhaps?), walk on your lunch break, walk after dinner (this is great for digestion), walk to meet a friend… You get the picture.
  2. Dance. Dance in the kitchen, in the living room, the bedroom, and any other rooms you have. (I only have those rooms because I live in Manhattan, but if you live outside the city you probably have a lot more space.) I like to turn up the music while I cook dinner or clean the house and as I cook/clean I spin around and move. It’s fun. It’s also really uplifting and will make a bad day good really fast.
  3. Skip the elevator (at least once a day). Okay, I have to admit that at work I usually take the elevator. I work on the 12th floor! But I try to take the stairs at least a few times a week. I usually have to do this when I know my co-workers won’t see me coming out of the stairwell because they’ll think I’m crazy. I happen to live in a 4th floor walkup which is also good exercise.
  4. Stretch. Instead of sitting on the couch while you watch TV, sit on the floor and stretch. Do some yoga poses to feel better. Try a triangle pose or standing splits. I like doing these Diance von Furstenberg stretches that I found in her old Book of Beauty.

Hope this will encourage you to do more fake exercise. I actually think that getting into the habit of adding in unrealized exercise will keep you fit and healthy for life. These are all things that anyone should be able to do at any age. I want to be walking, dancing, skipping, and stretching for many many years to come.

Do you like to “exercise” without realizing it?