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Posts Tagged ‘Aqua aerobics’

bilbl_superAs you guys know, I have a torn fascia, along with PF, which means being on my feet for too long leaves me in quite a bit of pain.

Even things like shopping for too long can leave me debilitated later. The other day I walked around Target for about an hour and spent the rest of the evening in terrible pain. So…walking is out.

The podiatrist told me that the PF is going to take 3-4 months to fully heal, and I don’t want to stop working out for that length of time. I’m close to my WLS goal requirement, and I don’t want to let this injury prevent me from getting it. Ironically enough, one of the treatments of PF is losing weight.

My go-to workouts lately have been biking (both outside and on the recumbent bike at the gym) and swimming. But those are so limited. As the weather turns cold, I’m less likely to want to wet (not to mention the curly hair factor). Biking is good, but it can be so boring, no matter how great the workout playlist I’m listening to is.

I know I need to hit an aqua aerobics class, but again, the being-wet-and-cold-in-winter factor. I think I’m just going to have to get over that one and not be a wimp.

So, I’m turning to you guys. What suggestions do you have for “off my feet” workouts that can help me get my cardio in?

(Keep in mind that I’m not supposed to be barefoot, so as much as I’d like to do yoga, I don’t think it’s an option right now).

Amber @ Hungry 4 a Healthy Life suggested working out with a big exercise ball, which reminded me that I bought a series of DVDs 3 years ago that use the ball. I think most of those are strength training, but there might be a few heart-pumping moves I can check out.

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This week I only have two outfits to share. I’ve been having a great time this week at home – organizing, working out, relaxing, and just hanging out. No fancy fashion required.

Tuesday, December 27th – I was going to a movie with a friend, and I wanted something that would look nice, but would be comfortable to sit in a movie theatre seat for 2+ hours. Before I get to the outfit, I wanted to focus on the hair/makeup. I usually use a quick, cat’s eye swoop of black liquid liner. It’s easy, and it’s my signature. But since I had the time on Tuesday, evening, I broke out my Ready Eyeshadows Palette in Playlist from Bare Escentuals and mixed a few browns together. And then I did something I never do – I put eyeliner on the bottom lid. I usually avoid this because the cat’s eye looks better without anything on the bottom and somewhere along the way someone told me that it made my eyes look smaller. But I kind of like the change. Using shadows and pencil liner took WAY more time than I am used to, but it was fun to try.

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I had to show the little afro puff I was rocking that night as well.

And now for the outfit:

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Earrings: Kohls; Necklace: Macy's; Top: Roaman's; Dark Rinse Jeans: Style & Co (Macy's); Shoes: Uggs

Wednesday, December 28th – Right before aqua aerobics class. Normally I would never capture my aqua class clothes on film, but I wanted to show the gloves and shoes off. Mind you, I don’t wear terrycloth capri sweats in the pool but there was simply no way in hell I was going to take a photo of me in the bathing suit. It’s under there, believe you me. You can see the top of the bathing suit, which I covered with a cardigan when I was in public, for modesty’s sake and because it is wintertime, even in the Bay Area.

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Gloves: Speedo (Amazon); Halter bathing suit top: Torrid; Bathing suit bottoms (not pictured): Woman Within; Terrycloth sweats: LB; Aqua Shoes: Speedo (Amazon)

I won’t even ask which outfit is your favorite this week.

From here on out, I think I’m going to scale back the OOTW posts, because I am running out of new looks. I mean, I can go a couple of months without repeating tops, but now it’s getting to the point that I’ll be repeating outfits. And no one wants to see the same old thing, I’m sure. So if I happen to put together a fun, new look, I’ll share it, but other than that I won’t be resuming these posts regularly until I go down in sizes and need to buy new clothes!

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I woke up this morning and decided that since it was the day after Christmas AND a Monday, it was definitely time to jump on that scale and face the music. For the past several weeks I’ve been “sort of” biding my time until after Christmas by “sort of” staying on my program and “sort of” exercising and “sort of” sampling lots of Christmas goodies. And the past two days were a full-blown food fest. I wasn’t concerned with how many glasses of wine I drank or the fact that I ate way over my calories. And then when I got home last night and I was looking at the photos that we took, I saw this photo of myself and died a bit inside:

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Granted, the angle is terrible, but this is really shocking. It’s a definite “before photo,” and it’s the catalyst I needed to get my ass really going. Couple that with the fact that my jeans have been fitting much tighter and I knew the scale wasn’t going to be pretty.

And I was so right.

20111226-094706.jpgWhich means that I gained 12 lbs since the last time I weighed in, which was November 27th. Wow. It means I have 35 lbs to go to reach my pre-op weight, 30lbs before I can call and tell them “I’m almost there.” And it really sucks because it means that I am now over 300 again.

I know that some of this is my body’s reaction to all the wine I drank these past two days – 4 glasses each night, at least. Plus all the carbs I consumed. And some of it is water retention because of an increase in sodium. But really, it’s because I have been too lax in following the things that I know I need to do in order to lose weight.

But don’t think this means that I’m getting down on myself or that I’m depressed. Because I’m not. If anything, this has lit a fire under me that will carry me for quite some time.

20111226-111347.jpg I bought these magnets from Artsyville a couple of weeks ago, and the messages couldn’t be more perfect for me.  They’re hanging on my refrigerator as a constant reminder of what I need to do.

“I know what I need to do.  Now I just need to get out of my own way so I can do it.”

“Get up. Get going. Get moving. Get grooving.  Right now.”

If you haven’t been to Arstyville’s Etsy Store, you should really check it out.  She’s got so many encouraging, motivational “doodles.” To me, they’re decorative and cheery, but they’re also the impetus I need to keep my focus laser-sharp on my goals.

All the motivation in the world is only as good as the actions that it inspires.  I’m happy to say that I received a few things for Christmas that are going to help me with the “action” part of that statement.

I didn’t make it to aqua aerobics last week, but you can bet that I’ll be going this week and every week from here on out.  I’d put these items on my Amazon Wishlist, and I’m so glad that my mom bought them.  I’d actually forgotten that I’d put them there, but I am so thankful that she got them for me.

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Aqua gloves and aqua shoes, both by Speedo

The gloves are cool because they add resistance to the aerobic workout, increasing the heart rate, but they’re not as clunky as the Styrofoam dumbbells that the gym offers.  Have you guys ever used those types of dumbbells – they’re not easy to maneuver.  These will just glide through the water, and since they’re gloves, they won’t come off.  They’re easy to put on and take off, even one-handed, which is great.

The shoes are a must-have for anyone doing aqua aerobics, so that your feet don’t get torn up from the bottom of the gym pool. Plus they make running, jumping, and kicking a lot easier in the water.  I had a pair that someone had given me, but they were green/clear and too big.  These are maryjane-style and they match all of my bathing suits. Because why not add a bit of fashion sense to a workout if you can?  I can’t wait to use these on Wednesday evening, which will become my regular, weekly class.

Another fitness-related gift that I got was this Biggest Loser DVD that I had on my Amazon Wishlist:

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I like the tagline: "From beginner to winner in 4 weeks."

20111226-094738.jpgSo I started this morning, before I even made the coffee.

I was in my pjs and sneakers and I completed Week 1 – Monday: Warm-Up, Cardio #1, and Cool Down.

It was 20 minutes of good cardio (my heart rate was elevated even during the warm up and cool down).

And because 20 minutes isn’t enough to burn the calories that I need to, I added in another of my Biggest Loser DVDs – the 30-Day Jump Start.  That one is 10 solid minutes of cardio (with a slight warm-up).

I had even thought that I would add in the Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD, but after 5 minutes of that one, I decided that it was a bit too much for me on Day 1. I don’t want to burn out  before I even begin

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I burned 518 calories in 35 minutes with these two DVDs, all before 9am!

I felt good when I was done, as I always do with a solid workout.  I’ll also take Sofi on a 30-40 minute walk a bit later today, which will help me get to my 60 minutes/day of cardio.

The other great thing about the exercise?  By the time I was done, I’d completely forgotten about how bad I felt on that scale this morning.  Because I was actually doing something about it.

Maybe that’s enough to get me back on the “Nice” list.

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It has been far too long since I’ve made (and stuck to) a true workout plan.  Since I have these next two weeks off from work, I definitely wanted to get myself back on track in that area.  Plus, after two weeks of solid workouts, I’ll be in a nice routine.  That way, I can begin the new year (and go back to work) with a nice little system set up. More on this week’s workouts in a minute.

I have been writing about it a lot lately, but for some reason as soon as I get overwhelmed, the first thing to go is my workout plan.  And it shouldn’t.  If anything, I should hit the gym more.  Because nothing helps me de-stress like a good workout.  It helps me clear my mind, release any frustrations, and feel so much better about myself (and maybe even the stressful situation).

The main thing is to make it a priority, even in the midst of a busy schedule with lots of other responsibilities.  I was talking about this with my sister last night and with her help, I’ve decided that I have to change up my “plans” during the winter, when the days are so short.  The main issue is getting home from work in enough time to take Sofi for a walk while it’s still light outside (because it’s still dark when I leave for work).  I have to also factor in getting more daily grading done. Because this year has been really tough on me in that area.  Having 3 honors classes (and the workload associated with them) is killing me, and by the time I get home I’m so mentally exhausted from the day, that the last thing I want to do is grade essays.  Which gets me behind, which stresses me out, and so on.  So, here’s what I’ve come up with.  It’s a very realistic, workable plan that will allow me to get everything I need to done and not feel like I’m letting any one area of my life slip.

  • On my “early” days:
    • 12:10-2pm: grading/planning
    • 2:30-3:30 gym time – elliptical or the bike for 45 minutes
    • 3:45-4:15 (or so) – walk Sofi
  • On my “late” days:
    • 2:25-3:00 (or so) – grading/planning
    • 3:30-4pm: walk Sofi
    • 4pm-5pm: workout DVDs/Wii
  • Saturday:
    • 10am: Zumba
    • 11:30-1pm: Clean the house
    • 2pm: Walk Sofi
  • Sunday:
    • “Rest” day
    • Walk Sofi
    • Grocery shop
    • Meal plan

My sister made me put in a set rest day, because as she pointed out, if I don’t, it’s way too easy for me to fall into the bad habit of just saying, “oh, I’m tired, today will be my rest day.”  And then continuing to do that for 3-4 days.

You’ll notice that the plan doesn’t have any of the classes that I love taking.  That’s because the ones that I can go to are in the evenings, and when I’m tired from working all week, and it’s dark outside, I am more than likely not going to be motivated enough to go out into the cold night and go to them.  If I decide to hit a class every now and then,  great, but I wanted to make a plan that would be very realistic for the way that I know my life is.

Since I won’t be going to my favorite classes on a regular basis, I want to make sure to fit them in these next two weeks, so here’s what I’ve come up with:

Monday, 12/19: 5:30pm – Zumba
Tuesday, 12/20: 10am – Yoga
Wednesday, 12/21: 6:30pm – Aqua Aerobics
Thursday, 12/22: 9am – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Friday, 12/23: 10am – Yoga
Saturday, 12/24: 10am – Zumba

Monday, 12/26: 5:30pm – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Tuesday, 12/27: 10am – Yoga
Wednesday, 12/28: 6:30pm – Aqua Aerobics
Thursday, 12/29: 9am – Workout DVD/Wii  at home
Friday, 12/30: 10am – Yoga
Saturday, 12/31: 10am – Zumba (w/Kim!)

I haven’t taken yoga at the gym before, but the teacher at 10am on Tuesdays/Fridays is my favorite Zumba teacher, and I’m sure she’ll make yoga just as fun.  She’s really good at giving directions and showing the moves, and that will be helpful in yoga, too. I’ve really enjoyed the bikram and yin yoga class I’ve taken at the studio, and since 24 Hour Fitness offers this yoga class as part of my membership, I might as well take advantage of it.  Yoga is a great de-stressor, and after the last month, I need all the help I can get in that area.  Look for a post about my thoughts on this yoga class later in the week.

This schedule works around plans that I’ve already made with friend, and I’ll make sure to work any new plans around this schedule. It’s just that important, and I want to look at my exercise time as MY time; a way for me to treat myself well and take care of myself.

Getting intense workouts in consistently is the final piece (and what has proven to be the most difficult aspect) of what it will take for me to lose the weight toward my goal(s).

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(photo courtesy of Scale Warfare’s cool photo editing skills)

What a week this has been.  I really put the idea of Adventures in Fitness into practice which made me feel like my very own superhero!

Saturday, March 27 – Ish asked me if I wanted to go on a walk with her at this spot in Palo Alto that she passes on her way to work.  She mentioned there being a “killer hill,” but I had no idea she was talking about walking/hiking The Dish at Stanford.  I had never been, but the hills at The Dish are infamous – and not for the weak of heart (literally and figuratively!).  I wish I had taken my camera so I could show you just how steep the hills were, but trust me when I say that I was out of breath soon.  (Although I was actually quite proud of how long it took me to get out of breath, as I thought it would’ve happened much sooner than it did). Ish told me that her co-worker had said that we should go clockwise (it’s a big loop) for an easier time of it.  As we found ourselves climbing one huge hill after another, I asked her if she was sure we went the right way, because at the fork in the loop we passed earlier, it seemed as if the other trail was a lot gentler.  But Ish said she was sure the co-worker said clockwise.  We aren’t sure exactly how far we walked, but I’m guessing it was about a mile, roundtrip. I wish I had worn my BodyBugg, because I know I burned a ton of calories walking this monster for 45 minutes.  My legs were cramping, and the next day my calves were screaming, and I was walking around like an old lady.  😉  Oh, and after checking some sources to add info to this post, I found out that, “Entering the loop from the Stanford or Gerona gates, turn counterclockwise for a gradual ascent to the Dish or clockwise for a more vigorous workout.”  I told her that next time we’re definitely taking the counterclockwise trail, at least, until I’m used to them.  Still, I earned 4 Activity Points, so it was definitely a great workout.  Here’s a photo I grabbed from Google to show you why this trail is called The Dish:

This path shows what must be the "gentler" trail, which I didn't experience. LOL

Sunday, March 28th – It was another glorious, sunny day today, and because rain was in the forecast for later in the week, I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy it while I could.  Since my calves were incredibly sore (see above), I decided that a nice, leisurely bike ride on Lola was the perfect way to burn calories without overdoing it with my calves. I haven’t ridden my bike since last summer, but as the saying goes, I quickly picked it up.  I was set to go for 30 minutes, because it was a rather windy day, and I knew that would factor into the calorie burn.  As I made my way down the first street in my neighborhood, I quickly realized that somehow my gear shift had broken off.  Luckily, it was stuck in 2nd gear (my beach cruiser only has 3 gears). Riding up some of the small hills in my neighborhood were harder than they would’ve been if I could’ve downshifted, but I just kept telling myself that I was burning more calories that way.  The other thing that was a bit problematic was that I had on my Skechers Shape-Ups because the shoes have about a 2-3 inch base, which means that my legs were bent in sort of an awkward position in the bike, but I got through that too.  I think the most daunting part was dealing with the traffic and the hoards of drunken Sharks fans on their way to the Tank for a game.  LOL.  I felt great when I finished, and I could definitely feel the blood pumping through my veins (or my heart beating a mile a minute, as the case may be). I’m going to have to figure out how to fix that gear shift before I go out on a long bike ride, because it just doesn’t seem safe to ride a bike that only has one gear. Activity Points earned: 3Update: upon further review (after trying to remember how I used to shift gears) I realized that the gear shift wasn’t broken, I just forgot how to change gears.  😛  You just move the grip at the end of the handle bar.  Doh!  Glad to know that the bike is fine and I don’t have to go crazy trying to fix it.

Monday, March 29th – After a full day at work and the soreness from the weekend’s activities still with me, I figured I’d take it easy and do the Wii FitPlus at home.  I recently found out that WW’s Activity Tracker now has Wii FitPlus on it (it also has EA Sports Active), so I did my FitPlus workout a lot differently than I normally do.  In order to count the minutes on the AP tracker, I had to do at least 10 minutes of a certain activity, so that’s what I did.  I chose 3 of my favorites – Advanced Step (2x), Rhythm Boxing (earned over 1000 points – my highest score ever!), and Rhythm Kung Fu (6x) and did each of them for 10 minutes.  It wasn’t as much fun as my normal FitPlus workout (doing lots of shorter activities), but I did earn more APs than normal.  Plus, my heart rate really stayed up, so I knew I had a good exercise session. For 30 minutes of the Wii FitPlus workout I earned 3 Activity Points.

Tuesday, March 30th – Off day.  I was originally going to try to go to the Aqua class, but it was rainy, cold, and I wanted to just get home and get my sweats on.

Wednesday, March 31st – Another off day.  Unplanned.  I was at work later than I expected and then HAD to go grocery shopping, because there was nothing in this house.  By the time I got home I was starving, so I just had dinner, relaxed, and went to bed.

Thursday, April 1st – I started TOM and had that crampy feeling, but because I hadn’t worked out the past two nights, I knew I really had to do something tonight.  So, even though I had just come from the stylist who gave me an amazing blowout, I decided that I should definitely get some APs in.  Another Wii Fit night.  Even though I earned a decent amount of APs the other night, it just wasn’t as fun.  So tonight I did a mix of yoga, strength training, balance games, rhythm kung fu, and then did the island cycling for 17 minutes – it takes a LONG time to find all 27 of those flags.  🙂  All in all, I did it for 40 minutes and earned 3 APs. (I’d rather do 10 more minutes and enjoy myself than do it the other way).

Friday, April 2nd – I have to say that this blog post is what motivated me to get up and do a DVD this morning.  Luckily it was my late day, so I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn.  I decided to give the BL Jump Start DVD a shot, since it’s been over a week since I’ve done it.  Man!  it really gets my blood pumping.  The only thing I don’t like about it (and this is such a small thing, really) is that I have to put on my sneakers to do it.  First thing in the morning it’s sort of nice to just go barefoot, like I can on the Wii.  But, I had already done the Wii twice this week, and I like keeping it fresh, so the sneakers went on.  I did the 10-min. beginner cardio, 10 minutes of abs, and 10 minutes of upper body. I figured that my poor lower body had enough of a workout earlier in the week.  (Ugh, my calves were aching for days).  I earned 4 APs all before 7am this morning! (That’s the same as when I was doing the RLR workouts).

So, with 5 days of at least 30 minutes of activity, I earned a total of 17 APs, which is darn good.  I felt really good about myself all week, and while I wish I wouldn’t have taken both days off in a row, life happens, and at least I got back to it on Thursday.

I have more fun things planned this coming week: one new activity (if I can summon the courage and my coordination), and I’m going to shoot for 6 days.

What have you been doing to move your body?

P.S. – If you have any ideas of workouts/classes you think I should try, let me know.  I belong to 24 Hour Fitness, and I have Netflix (for renting workout DVDs), so if there’s something you think I should add to my repertoire, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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3079716157_b1fa6ba419 Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day around the house doing laundry, cleaning up a bit, and fooling around on the computer.  It was 4pm before I knew it, and I hadn’t done any exercise.

So, I decided it was time to get some swimming in.  While I was getting changed, I figured that I might as well go to an Aqua class afterwards, since the timing would be perfect.  I’d already be in my suit and my parents’ pool is halfway to the gym.

I also wore my new suit that I got on sale from Avenue.com:

0309_83535_mm It looks nice on me, although the top is a bit lower cut (more cleavage-bearing) than it shows in the photo here.  I’ll try to get a photo of me wearing it, so you can see how it fits.

When I got to the pool there was NO ONE there the entire time!  It was so nice to be able to swim and swim and swim and not worry about getting in anyone’s way.  The pool area was so serene, and it was nice to be out there when the sun wasn’t quite so intense, although I did pick up some color anyway.  (With my olive skin, once I get a base tan, I tan very, very easily).  I swam 26 lengths, or 13 laps and felt so refreshed.  I got some good reading in, and listened to a few new tunes.  Heaven!

download-2 I got a pedi the other day, and I love the red color.

Around 5:45pm, I got ready to head to the gym for the Aqua class.  I had never gone to the Tuesday evening class, and I am so glad that I did.  This instructor told us that his class was “intense” and that he didn’t allow “bouncing.” I worked hard throughout the class, but I loved it.  The moves were so much more straightforward than the other classes I’ve taken, and I really felt like I was working it.

When I was done, my fingers were prunes, and I was so tired, but in that good, “I moved my body and burned calories” kind of way.

I’m planning on going to an Aqua class again tonight and swimming with Neece tomorrow and with Ish on Saturday.

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OMG! I had so much fun tonight at the Aqua class. There were people of all shapes and sizes at the class, and it was so nice to feel like I wasn’t the heaviest one in the room, for once. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, which was great. I can’t even tell you how many compliments I got on my suit, which was so sweet.

I got to the gym and was changing into my suit and started to feel a bit self conscious about taking off the towel I had wrapped around me. My fears were totally unwarranted, though, because as soon as I entered the pool room, I saw lots of women who were bigger than me and didn’t seem to have any problem showing their bodies. I really admire their confidence. I think this class is going to do so much for my image of myself and my body.

The only complaint I have about the class is that the water was really COLD! Talk about a shock to the system as soon as you get in. I have to wonder why our gym fees are so high if they’re not really going to heat the pool. I mean, it wasn’t freezing cold, but it wasn’t anywhere as warm as I expected it to be. As soon as the class started, though, I warmed up right away.

I was surprised at the number of people who were in the class; I’d say there were at least 25-30 of us in the pool tonight. There were a few men who took the class, but most of them were older, or had some sort of injury and they didn’t make me feel awkward in the least. Really, I can’t say enough how kind these people were.

The regular teacher was on vacation, and tonight’s replacement wasn’t awesome, but the group of people in the class are so much fun, so they made it fun. I think another substitute is going to be there tomorrow night, and supposedly she’s like a drill sergeant, so I’m sure to get a good workout in. This teacher wasn’t the clearest with her directions and explanations of how to do some of the moves, but you know what? I wasn’t upset in the least that I couldn’t do some of the moves perfectly well. Since some of the instructions tonight were a bit difficult to follow, I figured as long as I kept moving, that was all that mattered.

There were so many times during the workout that I noticed myself really short of breath, which is always the sign of a good workout! I haven’t had that feeling in a long time because with walking, I’m so slow that I don’t build up enough speed to really lose my breath. This was great tonight. In fact, I looked it up on WW eTools, and 1 hour of Aqua Aerobics earns the same number of APs as 1 hour of moderate bike riding! That’s really phenomenal.

I left the gym feeling as if I had really used my muscles, but I didn’t feel overworked, in pain, or sore. I felt so free in the water, and it was an amazing experience. The whole thing was so positive, which is so good for me. I needed this tonight. I needed to start feeling good about my workouts and what I could do with my body.

I’m definitely hitting the Aqua class again tomorrow night, and I think I’m going to make it a regular thing on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.

amc0507l

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