Mini Movie Monday #3 – Exercises for My Back

Welcome to my first official post in October….not counting the non delivered Currently September post that showed up on Saturday instead of Friday as planned. But enough about technological mishaps…today we are here to talk about Yoga and our glorious spines!

As always, this is not advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having problems with your back.

I'm practicing against the wall in order to try and get my feet to face more forward with the heels on the ground, but really I look like the Unabomber as does anyone in a hoodie.
I’m practicing against the wall in order to try and get my feet to face more forward with the heels on the ground, but really I look like the Unabomber as does anyone in a hoodie.

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m off to a great start on the 30 Days of Yoga October. I plan to write more about it later this week, but for today, here’s a hilarious photo I let my 3yo take of me this morning while practicing Garland pose before our run. Have a great Monday and leave you’re thoughts below!

Day 7 – Loving My Leg Day!

Today is my 7th straight day of Yoga! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read here to find out:

30 Days of Yoga

Yesterday I spent some serious time in Wide Leg Forward Bend or Standing Straddle Fold. The pose has a million English names. In Sanskrit it’s Prasarita Padottanasana “prah-sar-ee-ta-pah-doe-than-ah-sa-na“. image-120While there I was contemplating a lot of things, but especially saying to myself….Don’t Judge. But mostly I was feeling my hamstrings and noticing that as I hold the pose for awhile I begin to get weak in the knees…..or rather weak in my holding of the knees. You’re supposed to be long and strong in the legs, but soft in the knees. It’s confusing to be almost fully extended in the knees, but not locked out and I often start to sag.

When I was done with my five minutes of thinking about the quote from yesterday and reminding myself not to judge myself or others, I immediately thought something positive about my legs Continue reading “Day 7 – Loving My Leg Day!”

Mini Movie Monday #2 – Saving my knee

Happy Labor Day to all of you in the US! I can’t believe that it’s already September and that fall will soon be here!

I have been talking all summer about this knee and the weird things that have happened with it. I’ve been telling my friends, my family, and my coworkers/students about how out of whack my body is. So, for today, here’s a little video on some of the yoga poses and other exercises I’m doing before my yoga workouts and after my runs to help with that knee issue. Our next Mini Movie Monday will show you some yoga poses and other exercises I’m using to combat the problem with my back…..

As always, this is not advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having problems with your knees.

My yoga practice update for Labor Day weekend: Lots of deep meditation going on with the Gates book for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday….a post about these is coming tomorrow or Wednesday.

You Mean Pilates Was a DUDE?!

This is the third in a series of posts about Men’s Health and Fitness. I read some articles recently in the IDEA Fitness Journal that sparked this series of posts. Of what I read, one statement stuck out to me the most:

Before Anthony Dominici, a Los Angeles-based executive producer and filmmaker, discovered that Pilates was named after Joseph Pilates, he thought ‘pilates’ “sounded a little ‘light’ for a workout.”

Continue reading “You Mean Pilates Was a DUDE?!”

Rio in My Backyard

Tonight the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will open. Like Caitlin at Fit and Feminist I have some mixed feelings about the coverage of the Olympic games, how host cities are chosen, and the overall commercialism that dictates what is supposed to be an amateur athletic event. I’ve enjoyed laughing at the TODAY show and NBC Nightly News as they cover the “amazing” number of female athletes competing for Team USA.

Are we still that far behind?

So, tonight I introduce the Olympics to my children. Continue reading “Rio in My Backyard”

Fave Reads Friday #6: Mind, Body, and Bowl

I may change the name of Fave Reads Friday all together to fit better with the theme of this blog. Tell me what you think. I’m still behind on some reading, so some of these are a little older…..Here are some suggested readings for you to suit your


I’m still working on catching up on my blog roll reading and so this one is a little older, but still great! I totally agree with what Erin’s Inside Job is talking about here in all aspects of our life, it’s also why I hate the term “HEALTHY”.

Let’s Stop Labeling Habits

And another one from the ladies at Fit is a Feminist Issue which I needed to read that will be incorporated into a future TOLT post….

Act Now, Think Later (Guest Post)


Because I’m already working on this area for improving my running and because STEPHANIE is one of my besties! I’ll be changing up my routine again in a few more weeks and some of these moves are ones I’m already doing and some will be subbing in.

Build your Glutes with this Strength Training Routine

and Bowl

Because I’m on a kick to try and figure out what kind of eating works best for me…I enjoyed this article from NASM

Protein for Vegetarian and Vegan Athletes

And I finally finished this book:

The End of Overeating by David Kessler, MD. This is not a diet book by any means, but it does help you understand why diets don’t work and what all is at play in your head and your body while you eat. If you’re not already upset with the food industry, this book will make you furious at the way that (at least in the US) they have such a blatant disregard for what is good for the consumer vs. what is good for business. The book also offers some really great strategies for rethinking the way that you eat although I disagree with a few of their recommendations. First, I never like to demonize foods (and they actually suggest doing that in one section) and second, I feel like food rules can become obsessive (they also address this issue). However, their “Food Rehab” plan is one that I am taking some notes on for working with my clients. I’m a big believer in the many different steps involved in behavior change and in cultivating discipline from within (we’ll talk more about this next month in Meditation Mondays) and this book has some great info and ideas on that topic.


What’s the best thing you read this week?

Want to share something of your own?

Do so in the comments below! I’ll read it!

Tone It Up Tuesday #24 – More Sets, Plyos, and Arms

Last week was terrible for me and my running….. I took too many days off and too many 1.5 hour naps. Something was keeping me down. So, Saturday I took to the road and pushed through the best that I could. The weather is getting warmer here and I realized that I’m not so much a hot weather exerciser as I once was. So, I’m going to have to go back to the early morning stuff of my winter runs. Saturday’s run was my 3.14 mile course which I still need one more try at under 9:00/mile before moving on. It was hot and my legs didn’t feel right. After 20 minutes I walked for 2 minutes and finished the rest with a 9:16/mile pace in total.

Monday I was back at it and did intervals which I had to talk myself through. Then, it was back to the exercises. Last week I had finished my first 6 weeks of glute work and this week I added more sets, plyos, and arms. Here’s the plan for the next 6 weeks of training:

Running: M, W, F, Sa runs progressing up to over 4 miles and hopefully beyond. Mondays will be interval days of which I am at total of 5 intervals (approx 1/5 mile) and a total distance of 2.2 mi. Wednesdays and Fridays will be the planned progressive runs trying to improve distance at under 9:00/mile. Saturdays will be a free for all. Sometimes it may be a short run, sometimes long and not for time, and other Saturdays will be cross training with a bike ride.

Body weight exercises: M, W, F continuing with the glute exercises from before, but more sets and added plyos.

bridgeOn the ground: Bridges x 15, Left leg bridges x 15, Right leg bridges x 15, Bridges x 15, Left leg clams x 15 (plus a set of lifting to the left leg), Right leg clams x 15 (plus a set of lifting to the right leg), Bridges x 15



squatStanding Up: Squats x 15, Right leg squats x 15, Left leg squats x 15, Wide squats x 15, Right leg step ups x 15, Left leg step ups x 15, Squat jumps x 15





Uppers: Modified push-ups x 15

mod push up
Note the alignment here. Ears, shoulders, hips, and knees at the starting position and holding the body all the way through.

Yoga: Teaching Tu, Th and later this summer I will be adding; a yoga flow to the mix

I haven’t gotten to the point where I can add in the swimming component that I’d like to, but it’s coming this summer.

What does your next 6 week training block entail?

TOLT #33 – More than Running and Yoga

Sometimes I feel like all I focus on are running and yoga. I try to do other things, but with limited time running and yoga have sustained me. In fact, I’m so sore today from all the yoga I taught yesterday (including 30 cycles of Sun Salutations: aka burpees of the yoga world) that I sometimes wonder if I need something more…..

The answer is yes!

So, a really short list of three fitness goals for this year that aren’t for running or yoga, but will effect both.

  1. 25 full body push-ups. I haven’t done that many good ones since I was a freshman in college. I want to feel as good as I did when I was that young and fit. And I actually really like push-ups.
  2. In that same line of work….burpees. I haven’t ever really tackled them well, although I have made some attempts (see here). I don’t expect them to ever be easy, but I want to work on them. This also means going back to my HIIT workouts I used to do on Fridays and figuring out where they fit in.
  3. Finally, better squats. There are some articles in my inbox about squats and how to perform them correctly (apparently I was taught wrong at some point or science has changed).

My resolutions this year have mostly been intertwined and a lot of this involves becoming a better runner, yogi, and fitness professional. It involves turning inward and asking what I need, starting to push harder, and following through. It means that I am being appreciative and finding the good in the things that I do and the people that I do them with. I’m hoping that each of these tiny goals and steps forward will make 2016 my best year ever for health and wellness.

Day 27: Fitness outside of running and yoga

Are you still doing your NY resolution?

What kind of fitness routine do you like best?

Can you do 25 full body push-ups?

A big THANK YOU to Amanda for hosting this TOLT!

Tone It Up Tuesday #20 – Fitness Challenge #5 – Do More by Doing Less

If you don’t know the true history behind this holiday, note that it’s not all about the cervezas and tortilla chips. Please click here to learn more. Either way, we’re here on the first Tuesday of the month to review last month’s fitness goals, set new ones, and set for the fifth fitness challenge for the year. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can click here or scroll to the bottom of the page to find the other four fitness challenges thus far.

April Review
Last month I aimed to do some HIIT training and you can read about my experiences with it here, here, and here if you’d like. The final outcome was that I plan to use some Metabolic Strength Training through HIIT while I travel. This month I don’t know if I will be traveling for any workshops, but I do have one scheduled for the first full weekend in June and I can’t wait to deploy that workout again!

I also completed my mileage goal with the help of some biking, which I plan to do much more of in the month to come. I suffered some set backs with my other training due to the overload of teaching last month and also that dreaded overuse injury that I still deal with from time to time thanks to my shoes which desperately need to be replaced…..that’s coming in May as well.

New For May
I plan to keep things about the same this month. Here is a recap of the program I’m using with some updates:

  • 20 modified push-ups
  • Pilates ring exercises for biceps and lats 3 sets of 20 each exercise and each side rotating
  • 20 physio ball hamstrings curls
  • 20 bird dogs each side with opposite arm and leg
  • 20 Pilates scissors
  • Three Mondays in May walk the 4.13 mile loop at Greenfield Lake with Brittany and run one of the 4 miles (first two Mondays will be miles 2-3, last Monday will be mile 1-2). (yesterday=check)
  • Log a total of 80 miles or more (that’s 20 miles more than last month’s goal, but the addition of biking will help with that, plus it’s slightly more than May 2014:79.5miles)
  • 50 forward lunges with rotation while holding the Pilates ring (25 each side)
  • 5-10 each side balancing single leg wood choppers with the Pilates ring
  • 20 repetitions of supine hip add/abduction

I also plan to ride the bike for at least 10 miles each week. That’s not a lot, but my good route is about 14 miles and my short split route is about 6 miles total.

Cautions for May
Things I need to be concerned about this month include watching my overuse injury of my hip to make sure it doesn’t flare up again; keep my teaching and exercising within reason; get new shoes; and keep things up while I travel. I’m going to my mom’s house for several days and driving there and back in the middle of the month. She will also be here for a week at the end of the month and I have the little guy’s birthday which always seems to throw a wrench in things.

Resistance Training Days this month: 5/3, 5/6, 5/9, (skip 5/12 for teaching), 5/15, 5/18, 5/21, 5/24, 5/27, and 5/30.

Fitness Challenge #5
From the title of this post, you may think that this is about HIIT training again, but it’s not. Have you seen the annual 30×30 challenge going around again? They ask you to get outside and into nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 days of May….which is funny because May has 31 days. Our challenge this month involves this 30×30 challenge, even though we’re already 5 days into the month. Your job this month is to look at your original goal and see how getting outside can make that goal happen. Then, dedicate 30 minutes each day to getting outside and getting it done! Remember that you must post about your plan and/or experience with the challenge in the comments to qualify for the end of the year giveaway and it’s not too late to start. Just click the links below.

For me, I want to be stronger. This means a lot to me as far as getting outdoors and into nature. I am trying to keep all of my runs, walks, and rides outside and in parks or other non urban areas. Sunday I did my resistance training workout in my backyard. Monday I was at Greenfield Lake for the walk/run with Brittany. Today I plan to take my evening yoga class outdoors. Also, I am working on my gardens (wait to see photos of that later this week). The fresh herbs and vegetables and fruits we are planting in our yards are helping us to get stronger as a family and me to get healthier and stronger in my food choices. Weeding also takes some serious fortitude of the body to stay in squatting positions. So each day I am not exercising in a green space, I will be weeding in a green space. And if I have neither to do each day I will get back to my meditations in an outdoor location. That way I can commune with nature a little more.

I will put down all of my other duties for that 30 minutes each day to do more for myself by doing less of tv, computer, etc.

How can getting outdoors benefit your 2015 goal?

Fitness Challenge #1
Fitness Challenge #2
Fitness Challenge #3
Fitness Challenge #4

HIIT Day Two: Power or Precision

It’s late on a Monday night and I’m burning cds for teaching yoga in the morning. My right hip and knee have been giving me trouble of late and I’m wondering how that will impact my teaching tomorrow. The good news is that I teach and that’s all I’m asking my body to do tomorrow. Today was my second day of HIIT training this month. I had my regular Monday walk/run with my friend Brittany and it went well considering the children and the alligator sighting.

Then I came home and got right to my HIIT. I chose to do one that was based on strength training this time around as I had already done 4.13 miles of walking and running. Neither the walk nor the run was up to my usual par, so this sample workout that I found from ACE wasn’t about to push me over the edge, but would still get my heart rate back up from the lower end it was at earlier. You can find the workout here: Maximize HIIT With Metabolic Strength Conditioning.

I was a little confused by the wording of the workout itself and I am emphasizing that I’m just trying HIIT out this month to see if it’s something I plan to add to my future workouts as a regular thing. I did each of the exercises as written, but as I don’t own hand weights….I improvised. Mostly I used body weight for the lower weighted exercise and then used something around the house for the heavier weighted round. I waited about 2 minutes between each pairing, but I think I should have waited the two to three minutes before performing all three pairs again. I chose only to do one round for today.

So, what did I like about this vs. the RBT I did last time? Well, this time I set a timer and I didn’t know when it was going to stop. For me that was more motivation to keep going. The last time it was nice to just start pushing all out and then rest when I needed to, but I never knew how long I had gone for. I also liked that the exercises changed with time instead of just a number of repetitions and that there was built in rest. Again, I like to know when to stop and go.

What did I not like about this workout? Well, as a trained and degreed fitness professional, I’ve always been taught to do exercises with precision and correct form. For me this meant that the strength exercises (first two in each pair) were done a lot slower than what I imagine a HIIT workout to be like. That being said, I know that if I’d had the proper weights around they would have been more intense than they were.

The verdict? I loved this workout and it’s simplicity. I definitely will be doing it the next time I’m in a weight room and haven’t already done another workout in the same day. I’d like to see if I could reasonably “hiit” three rounds.

Have you ever focused on strength during your HIIT workouts?
Do you like rest based or time based intervals?
Any alligators in your neighborhood?