Archive for the ‘Aqua aerobics’ Category

Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan. I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal. Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Saturday. Saturday mornings I go to Zumba, so I’m already focused on health and fitness; it’s the perfect day to weigh in. Plus, Saturday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Saturday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

Week 3 on Jenny was a good one.  I’ve settled into a nice routine in terms of keeping my food organized and my veggies prepared.  It was another busy week at work, and I’m once again really grateful that JC is so well organized and all I need to do is check my food plan on my fridge.

That’s great, Bella, but what were the results on the scale?!!

This morning I weighed in at 302.2, which is a loss of 1 lb this week. Which means I have 21 pounds to go to reach the pre-surgery requirement. I’m not thrilled to see this small loss, but I also know that I’m PMSing.  Usually I gain weight this week, so it’s great that I actually lost.  My 3 week total is 11.6 pounds, which is fantastic.

Last week I didn’t fit in as many workouts as I should have.  In fact, I only worked out twice.  Part of that was that I had tons of grading to do, and part of it is because I think I have a heel spur.  I’m going in for an X-ray early next week to confirm it, but from all the research I’ve done online, I have all the symptoms.  It’s incredibly painful at times, but I know I can’t use it as an excuse if I want to see better numbers on the scale.  I think Alieve is going to be my friend until my doctor and I work out a treatment plan.

Tomorrow I’m going to Hot Hula with BeautyJunkie824 and I cannot wait!  She and I have so much to catch up on.  Plus, I haven’t gone to a hula class since school started, and I know I’ll have a great time.

Now that I’m entering a slower time for my grading workload (it comes in waves), I’m determined to workout every single day this week.  I’m taking Monday off (we don’t get Columbus Day off of school in my area), and part of the plan is to hit the gym for a morning aqua aerobics class.  This week I’d also like to go to Zumba, U-Jam Fitness, and fit in an elliptical 5K at least once.  OnDemand kickboxing and walking Sofi will fill in the gaps.

Until next Saturday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!


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Last Saturday I tried a new class in my ongoing Adventures in Fitness (AIF): Aqua Zumba!  It seemed like the ideal combination of two of my favorite activities – Zumba and aqua aerobics.

Even though I’ve  taken many Zumba classes, I still didn’t know exactly what to expect from Aqua Zumba.  But I knew that if all else failed, I would just move my body in the water and have a good time doing it.  Luckily, I caught on quickly, and I did really well in the class.

The music was amazing, as it always is in Zumba classes: upbeat, high energy, and fun.  The instructor, Miggy Zumba as he’s known on FB, was absolutely the best.  He kept it fun, but pushed us at the same time.  He made sure to move around the pool deck so that everyone could see his instructions, no matter which side of the pool we were on.  He encouraged, motivated, and made us laugh, and when I can do all of that while I’m moving my body, I can forget that I’m “working out,” and I just enjoyed myself.  Here’s a clip of Miggy Zumba teaching an Aqua Zumba class (not the one that I went to) to give you an idea:

The pool at my gym is filled very high at about neck level (it doesn’t help that I’m a shorty at 5″3′), so some of the moves were more difficult to master because I was trying to keep my head above water, but now I know to get to the more shallow section of the pool next time where the water only reaches about chest high. It will make doing the footwork that much easier, I think.

Someone asked me to compare the Aqua Zumba to both Zumba and aqua aerobics, and I’d say that I still like regular Zumba more, because there’s nothing like moving your body to the rhythm of the music, while pushing yourself to get the footwork down.  But I liked the Aqua Zumba 100% more than standard aqua aerobics, which can get really boring; it all depends on the teacher.  You can tell from the smiles of all of us in the pool that we really enjoyed the class and the hour flew by.

Can you find me in the photo? Hint: I'm one of the shortest ones. BTW - those are my yellow weighted gloves in the foreground. 🙂

The class was a 1-day trial at my local 24 Hour Fitness to see how much interest there was.  Well, with 72 of us in the pool that day, I’d say there was interest.  I would absolutely take Aqua Zumba again, especially if Miggy Zumba is teaching it.  I enjoyed his style so much that I’m going to go out of my way to take a regular Zumba class from him later this week at a location a bit out of my way.  He was that dynamic!

If Aqua Zumba is offered near you, I’d absolutely give it a try. It will be 60 minutes of non-stop fun, I’m sure of it.

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This morning I got up a bit later than normal, and in the past that would have put me off of my workout plans, but not today!  Today I reminded myself that this week’s workouts were my gift to myself.  So I put on my bathing suit, grabbed a quick cup of coffee and a light string cheese, and headed to the gym.

Today’s aqua aerobics class was really good.  The usual teacher was back, and she pushes the class really well, which I like.  I do think I like the evening classes better because the class is younger, the instructors use music, and I feel like I’m getting a better workout.  So next week I’m going to try to hit a couple of those, if I can.  And even though I was the youngest person in the class by about 25 years, I just told myself that the workout would be as hard as I made it.  If I wanted to push myself, I could, not matter how slowly the rest of the group was going.  And I did.  And sure, some of the little old ladies were talking about how much splashing I was doing or how many waves my arms were making, but you know what?  I didn’t care at all.  I was there to do me, and that’s exactly what I did.

After the class my mom came by my house to work out plans and a menu for 4th of July.  My parents are hosting it, but we’re having it at my house, because I didn’t want to leave Sofi alone.  (4th of July is one of the worst holidays for pets.  So many dogs get freaked out by the fireworks and noise and end up running away.  I definitely wanted to make sure we were here for Sofi and Minnie, to make sure they were comfortable).

Once our party planning was finished, my mom and I took Minnie out on a good walk.  We walked all through my neighborhood and enjoyed commenting about how beautiful the houses and yards were.  I’m not positive about how far we walked, but we were going at a fairly good clip for about 30 minutes or so.

Then went to Target to get a few essentials, and we headed to this little beauty supply place that I like.  Since parking is hard in this little downtown area, I told my mom I’d meet her at CVS (where they have a great parking lot).  I didn’t realize just how far the beauty supply was from CVS, so I ended up walking another 10-15 minutes.  Then in what can only be described as my mom’s version of I Love Lucy, my mom and I were literally walking around in circles trying to meet up with each other at CVS.  Long story short – she didn’t know how far down it was.  So when I finally called her to see where she was, she decided to park the car and walk to CVS.  I was waiting in the back of the store, she was waiting at the front, and we circled each other twice before we finally met up!!! And after we got a few items from CVS, we walked all the way back to her car.  Whew!

So, I definitely got my activity for today in – some planned and some unplanned.  It’s just as well, too.  The scale hasn’t moved since last week, and I’m hoping that increasing my activity this week will help those numbers drop by Wednesday.

What was YOUR workout for today?

Don’t forget to enter the naming contest to help me figure out what to call this blog.  There’s even a prize for your efforts if I use your suggestion.

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I’m so proud of myself right now! Not only did I go to aqua aerobics and show them a thing or two about elevating the heart rate, but I also went swimming with my dad. I love unplanned, bonus workouts!

This morning’s aqua class was mostly grannies (which I say very lovingly), but the problem was that many of the people around me seemed like this was their coffee klatch, minus the coffee, and in the pool. One woman literally flitted from person to person just treading water and socializing. Which I wouldn’t mind except that she kept talking loudly and bumping into me. Still, I felt great and it was good to know that I hadn’t gotten TOO out of shape.

After aqua, I decided that since I was already wet, I might as well go swimming. So I asked my dad if he wanted to join me, and soon enough we were splashing around. The cool thing was that I could see a huge improvement in my breathing and breath-to-stroke ratio. Progress!

All told, I burned 831 calories, according to LoseIt, which is fantastic. Especially since it was over 100 degrees here today. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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It’s been a while since I’ve written an Adventures in Fitness (AIF) post, so it’s about time, don’t you think?

The weather outside is pouring rain and fairly chilly at around 50 degrees (I know that’s downright balmy to lots of you, but give me a break, I live in CA), which makes me somewhat unmotivated to do much more than snuggle on the couch and read a good book or watch some trashy t.v.

So, to counteract those instincts, I’m heading to the gym today after school.  In about 30 minutes, actually.  I packed my gym bag and I’m ready to go as soon as the parking lot clears out.

I’ve decided that today I’m going with the tried and true workout – a little elliptical time, followed by some ab work and then a small amount of weight training (arms).  As much as I love all the group exercise classes that I take at the gym (see the list below), sometimes nothing is better to get the blood flowing and the sweatyface going than a good, old-fashioned session on the elliptical.

I have next week off of work for Presidents’ Week, and as ScaleWarfare pointed out, I’m quite lucky, because most people only get Monday off.  Knowing that I’m going to have lots of free time on my hands with very little planned during the day (because most of my friends/family will be working), I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try out a bunch of group exercise classes at the gym that I haven’t ever taken/haven’t been to in a while.

My goal for next week is to get into the gym each day, M-F.  I know some days I’ll be exercising twice, because LC and I have a few evening yoga classes planned.  I’m going to make the most of this time off and treat it as a mini boot camp/preview of summer.  Plus, staying active in the gym means that I’m not going to spend my entire week shopping, so my wallet can stay “healthy” as well.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Saturday: Zumba (natch!)
Sunday: off from the gym.  Maybe some Wii, if I’m feeling like it.
Monday: Bikram yoga in the evening with LC
Tuesday: Muscle Blast @ 9AM – Feel the burn in this class! Hand weights, barbells and your own body weight will be used to help you develop muscular strength for the upper and lower body.
Afro-Belly Boogie @ 6:30PMThis workout combines high-energy conditioning and rhythmic movements of African dance with the sensuous muscle isolations of Belly Dance to create a low impact, spirit boosting, high cardio workout. The workout features rhythms and sounds from Africa, Caribbean, Middle East and even current club beats. You’ll have fun while you burn calories, tone your core and strengthen your upper and lower body all while dancing to the beat.
Wednesday: Step Jam24* @ 9AMTime to get ‘step crazy’! Step Jam24 is totally original and fun! New to step? Don’t worry. In this workout patterns are user-friendly. Suitable for all fitness levels.
Thursday: my first-ever spin class @ 9AM!
Friday: old-fashioned cardio + weight training & abs

Tuesday I’m doing double-days, with workouts in the morning and the evening, but I think I’ll be alright.  The morning workout is strength training and the afternoon is cardio.

*I know that my last attempt at a step class didn’t go well, but since this one says it’s perfect for beginners, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep up with it a bit better.  If not, I’ll just hit one of the cardio machines instead.

That’s my workout plan, what’s yours?

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Ever since my sister and I went to the gym on Saturday, I’ve had a fire within me that is amazing. I’m feeling inspired, renewed, and invigorated. And better yet, I’m ACTING on it. I’m not just “making plans,” but I’m completing them.

And I’m proud to tell you that yesterday I went to the belly dancing class on my own, by myself; not because my sis was joining in, because she wasn’t able to come along.  I enjoyed myself and I can feel that great muscle soreness today, which is no doubt a combination of the Zumba on Saturday, the belly dancing on Sunday, and the two long walks each day.

A quick picture of me before belly dancing.  The hip scarf really helped me get in the mood.  It’s actually purple, not blue, and I think it’s beautiful. I figure that if the people behind me have to look at an “ample” butt (to put it mildly), at least it can be nicely decorated, right? 😉  I definitely felt more “official” by wearing it.  The class was fun and I was confident throughout it.  I may not have had all the movements down exactly right, but I felt as if I was able to keep up well even though I was the largest person in the room.

I love it when I can actually feel myself changing mentally. I turned a corner this weekend, and I have unlocked something within myself that means I’m going to move out of the “planning” stage into the DOING. (Bella Does Life!)

With that said, I’ve asked ScaleWarfare to keep me accountable from here on out. I sent her my workout plan and I’ve asked her to call me out if she doesn’t see that activity on my daily log. And then I thought that I should really make it public so that you guys could help out with the accountability checks. If you’d like, follow me on Twitter so that you can tweet me a kick in the pants this week.

Workout Plan, Jan. 23 – Jan. 28:

Sunday – dog walk*, SharQui Belly Dance (done!)
Monday – dog walk, Pilates**
Tuesday – dog walk, Wii Zumba
Wednesday – dog walk, Intermediate Step or Aqua***
Thursday – dog walk, Physical Therapy
Friday – dog walk
Saturday – Zumba, dog walk

*The dog walks have been about 30-45 minutes and a fairly good clip. I usually burn about 180 calories, which is decent.

**Tonight’s Pilates class will be my first one ever! I’m nervous about it, but I’ve been curious to try it and the only way to find out if I’ll like it is to go to it. Any suggestions you can offer before I take the class would be much appreciated.

***Which one should I do? I’ve never tried that particular step aerobics class, but I love doing step aerobics. (Fun fact: I had to take PE in college, and one of the classes I took was step aerobics). I also love the Aqua class. Decisions, decisions… help me figure this out and vote in the comments.

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I’m not sure if you guys have noticed or not (there’s a widget on the sidebar), but my mantra for 2011 is, Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act. If you click on that link, it will take you to an awesome site that has 101 ways to be healthy (& revolutionary).

Today’s focus –

Don’t let yourself get run down, depressed, negative or reactive. That’s when immunity drops, inflammation rages, and unhealthy tendencies strike.”

This back pain (and the numbness associated with it) is really beginning to get to me.  I feel old, decrepit, and unhealthy.

I hate that I am afraid to go to the gym and workout on certain machines or take certain classes, or heck even do the Wii Zumba, because I’m worried that I might tweak my back further.  Which I know sounds rich coming from me, because I have found lots of excuses in the past for not working out, but that was different; I had the ability to go, I just chose not to.  When the ability seems to be taken away, that’s what  becomes so frustrating.

But I am reminding myself that I have my appointment tomorrow with the doctor, and while she may not have the “magic cure” tomorrow, at least I’ll be on the road to recovery.  I’ve also been trying some of the suggestions that you guys left in the comments in regards to engaging my abs whenever I want to get up or move a certain way, and that has been helping with the back pain.  (The numbness seems to be getting worse).  So I am managing.

And rather than getting depressed about what I can’t do (or don’t want to risk doing), I am going to focus on what feels alright to do – walking and aqua aerobics.  As soon as I get home from work today I’m going to take Lulu on a long walk and then I’m going to make sure to take myself to the aqua class at the gym tonight at 6:30.

Sometimes it’s all about mindset, and so I refuse to let this back problem take my juju.


In other news, today is the first day that I’ll be watching my nieces until my sister gets home from work.  I’m looking forward to it, although I am hoping that things go smoothly.  The walk with the dogs should be a great way to get some of their extra energy out while we all talk about how we spent the day.  I’m hoping it will be a good way for us to release some extra energy so that the 8-year-old can then sit down and get to work on her homework while the 3 1/2-year-old does something quietly at the table and I grade those few remaining essays.  (I did sit down yesterday and I got most of them done – I only have 7 to finish, which is simple).  Cross your fingers that it all goes well.

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For about a month now, I’ve been having quite a bit of pain in my lower back, on my left side.  I’d get a  terrible twinge each morning when I would try to rise from bed, and when trying to get up after sitting in one position for too long.  I attributed it to getting older, being obese, etc., and didn’t really think much about it.

Until Thursday morning when I woke up and the annoying pain was much more severe and my right arm from shoulder to fingertips was numb and stayed that way.

That was scary!  I can handle pain, in fact I have a very high threshold for it, but the numbness is something that worries me A LOT.

I made an appointment with my doctor and I’ll be going in on Tuesday.  Until them I’m trying to manage the pain and numbness as best I can.  Most of the time the paint is more like a dull ache, similar to bad cramps, but every so often I’ll move a certain way and I get a zing of pain.  The numbness can come on at different times, too.  It has been happening every morning when I’m going to the bathroom (sorry for the TMI).  But it’s actually happening right now as I sit at my kitchen table and type this.  So I get up, move around a bit, and the numbness goes away.  If I stand too long in one spot, the pain rears its ugly head.  It’s terrible.

I’m trying to figure out what caused this in the first place.  I know that it all started right around the time I was working out with the trainer.  I’d feel a twinge in my back like I needed to stretch out the muscle, and he’d give me a few stretches to do and didn’t really make it out to be a big deal.  But it was only happening when I’d first wake up in the morning (trying to get out of bed) and sometimes if I had been sitting for a long time, like in a movie theatre.  I did move a few heavy boxes recently when I was helping my sister pack and then again when I was putting all of my Christmas decorations away.  And so I’m wondering if the combination of the two actually made the problem more severe.

Either way, I’m looking forward to going to the doctor and figuring out what this is.  Because this?  Is not something I want to live with.  I can’t bear it.

So until I start feeling more like the old me, I’m going to be careful with my workouts and limit them to mainly walking and aqua aerobics.  Just bending over to clean the house this morning was painful, so I don’t want to take a chance with anything that’s higher impact or more intense.  Plus, I’m doing well on the scale, so as long as I keep strict with my food intake, I should be just fine in that area.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 13Action
When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

This prompt is perfect for me because I am someone who is full of good  great phenomenal ideas but who sometimes lacks the follow through on said ideas, especially when it  comes to weight loss.

Since I always have lots of ideas brewing and bubbling, I’m just going to focus on the one that seems to give me the most trouble – working out.

2010’s mantra for weight loss was Take Action.  And I’ve made significant strides towards that aim, but if we’re talking strictly in terms of results, the mantra wasn’t very successful.  And one reason why is because I tend to have grandiose plans that I can’t realistically accomplish.

So in keeping with that, I’m going to try something new – keeping it simple.

24 Hour Fitness has streamlined lots of their procedures in order to make things simpler for their members, including check-in.  Now instead of having to remember my card (or remember where I last put my card), all I have to do is type in my phone number, and along with a scan of my fingerprint, I’m all checked in.  Easy peasy.

And getting to the gym really isn’t as difficult as I make it out to be in my head (why do I build it up to be this big deal?).  I have the gym bag packed with clothes, shoes, headphones –  even a towel – all I have to do is drive there and spend 45 minutes or so giving it my all.

In order to make this action – working out at the gym – more pleasurable and something that I’m inclined to look forward to I’m going to start trying out the classes they offer because they’re more fun than just hitting the elliptical machine for 35 minutes.  Although some days that’s a perfect workout, too.  But when I’m feeling more social, nothing beats a fun group exercise class.

So for this week, (which is all I want to commit to) here’s the plan: All of the days will include walking Lulu, but if I have no other organized exercise, I’ll walk her for 45 minutes.

Monday: core (deadbugs, crunches), elliptical
Tuesday: off day
Wednesday: Aqua Aerobics
Thursday: Bikram Yoga
Friday: off day
Saturday: Zumba
Sunday: SharQui – Belly Dancing

Now that the plan is in place, all that’s left is to turn it into action.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 12Body Integration
This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Swimming.  This summer I relearned how to breathe while swimming and in doing so, I was able to experience exactly what Patrick Reynolds is mentioning in his prompt.

Swimming, more than any other activity, allows me to become one with myself.  When I’m under the water, I’m not thinking about anything by exactly what I’m doing.  I’m in the moment.  I enjoy the feeling of the water on my skin.  I relish the way my body glides through the space in the pool.  I feel free, alive, and able to do anything.  For me, nothing else compares. It’s almost like a spiritual experience.

So in the summer of 2011, when the pool I use reopens for the season, I will be there as often as I can – daily if possible.  Now that I live so much closer (literally 3 minutes by car), there is no reason not to incorporate some laps into my daily routine.  It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to about summer (I say as I’m typing this in December on a cold, gray day).

Until then, I’m going to make sure I hit more aqua aerobics classes, because it’s the closest I can get to the water this time of year. Those classes do make me feel very empowered and energetic, too.  It’s in those classes that I can be the star athlete that I wish I could be in others.  You know what, I think I just decided that I’m going to go to an aqua class at least once this week.

Have you ever felt completely “one” with your body?  During which activity?

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