Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

How to Add More Fun Into Your Life – In Just 4 minutes

Written by Kate • December 16, 2011 •
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Towards the end of my work out recently, a good song came on my iPhone. I was in the final few reps of the last set for the day and I was so close to being finished. But something about the song just made me dance. And it was so much fun!

So I decided to go with it and just dance to the music. After just a few seconds of giving myself over to the music, I was both feeling great and having fun. After the song was over, I quickly finished the remaining reps and was done with my work out for the day.

And then I thought, that was so fun, let’s just dance! So I found a fun song on my play list, hit play, and danced for the next four minutes. It was a blast and it really loosened me up, both physically and mentally. I flung my arms around with abandon, moved my hips in crazy ways [really loosening up my hips],  and just moved in crazy ways. I was probably the “worst” dancer but I was moving and grooving. I was fascinated by what I let myself do on the dance floor when I knew no one was looking.

I am normally more the Type A who’s got my morning routine all set: artist’s page, creative writing, work out, stretching, meditating, shower, breakfast..then the rest of my day. By adding in something different and fun but so doable, I really changed up my day. It was a wonderful variation to my day that added so much joy.

What can you do to add a little joy into your day?It really doesn’t have to be a big effort or cost you anything. Sometimes joy is just a dance or 4 minutes away.

 

 

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The 7 Chakras- Working on the Root Chakra

Written by Kate • June 21, 2011 •
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Image thanks to Rodessa4

Clarity Through Action

As Marie Forleo likes to say, clarity comes from action, not learning. If you’re anything like me, you read about the chakras but didn’t actually work on any of them the first time around. But getting clear, it’s in the doing, not the reading about doing.

So let’s take another, deeper look at how to heal the root chakra. In today’s and Thursday’s post, I’m going to create a 10 minute routine in which you can ground yourself with stillness and some serious self-love, through affirmations and movement. I absolutely know that trying to create another daily ritual for ourselves can be screamingly difficult, but taking care of yourself is a priority.

Creating Your 10 Minute Routine- Action

For the first 10 minute routine, you need to commit to the 10 minutes for just two days. Can you do that? I think you can and here’s how. First, create a game plan that you can really live with. So create 10 minutes for yourself for just Wednesday and Thursday morning, afternoon, or evening, which ever suits you best.

But truly figure out and commit to the 10 minutes you’ll take for yourself on Wednesday and Thursday.  And everyone can find 10 minutes in their day. So visualize it. Is it first thing? Right after you exercise in the morning? Is it just after you shower? Is it at lunch, before you’ve eaten? Is it the final 10 minutes before you go to bed?

On a Personal Note – My Routine

For me, my routine is in the morning. I get up and exercise immediately. No negotiating with myself, I just get up and exercise. Then after my blood is flowing and I’m no longer feeling the least bit sleepy due to the exercise, I meditate for 20 minutes.  Exercise and meditation- every day. It goes hand in hand for me.

But no matter when you do it, commit to your 10 minutes for just two days. Commit to doing imperfectly.

Root Chakra – 10 Minutes of Healing

Find Stillness/Grounding

  • Meditate for 5 minutes each day. Put the timer on your phone for 5 minutes and then release. If you’re new to it or not that good at it, don’t worry. Everyone starts from this place. The monkey mind wants to reign supreme and we all, all of us, get caught thinking rather that meditating. Just release that too. As you may know, there are plenty of ways to meditate. The important thing is to release thoughts as they come and be in stillness for just these 5 minutes.
  • After your 5 minutes of imperfect meditation, say the following loving-kindness affirmations to yourself -three times. This should take less than 1 minute. But put your heart into it and really bless yourself with these loving affirmations.
    • May I be well.
    • May I know peace.
    • May I be free from suffering

Bless Yourself and Your Day

Take the remaining 4 minutes and bless yourself and your day. Don’t worry if you’re not religious, or if you are. I don’t mean it in the traditional way.

I got this from Christie Marie Sheldon‘s, who’s Love or Above– in reference to David Hawkin‘s Power versus Force, I highly recommend.

  1. First, close your eyes and connect to your higher power – whatever that feels like for you. Let this higher power permeate through your entire body.
  2. Hold up your hands, bringing them together and then apart again and again until you can feel a ball of energy between your hands.
  3. Imbue the ball of energy with light and love and then naming it your day.
  4. Call on all the things you want for your day, including abundance, focus, loving feelings, power to complete projects, guidance from your guides, charisma, peace, restfulness – whatever you need to help you have the best day. Seed them into your day.
  5. Then bless this day with love, life, and source energy. Bless it 3 to 4 times, with feeling.
  6. Finally, put the ball of light into your heart chakra and have it suffuse your entire being with elements you seeded your day with.  Breathe it in.

And then enjoy your day, feeling grounded and peaceful!

 

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Just Do It –

Written by Kate • August 26, 2010 •
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Photo by mikebaird

I normally exercise 5 to 6 days a week and I really love moving my body, getting my head clear, and –of course – the infusion of endorphins after a nice effort.   For years I’ve been running/biking and doing some weight lifting in a “go with the flow” style.  However, I noticed during my May rock climbing debut that my strength, especially in my arms, is not where I’d like it to be. So I’ve been slowly implementing a strength program to help me get those toned and strong arms I’ve always wanted.

To that end, I’m starting a new exercise program called “Core Performance”.  It has an equal focus on mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and regeneration [rest]. So it calls for lots of varying types of exercises and I wanted to see if its focus beyond steady state cardio would help me loosen up, get stronger, all while doing a wide variety of exercises. I’m on week 4 which is the week where the program seems to ratchet up the intensity, but in a good way.

I already had my “off” day on Monday so there isn’t another rest day for me this week, according to both the Core Performance and my own preferences. But yesterday, I got up late and decided to do exercise in the evening.  Well, by about 10am I talked myself out of my plan and instead made the decision that I was going to be just too tired at the end of the day, that I deserved the time at the end of the day to relax, and get to bed on time, and begin anew tomorrow.

I noticed that as the day wore on, I began to become really unhappy with the fact that I had missed my work out for Wednesday. I was getting downright mopey about having missed it despite being on the new Core Performance program, my commitment to it, and that I got up late.  And then just as I was getting ready to leave the office, I realized –truly woke up to the fact- that I could just do what I had intended to do and actually keep my commitment on to exercise most days of the week. I was immediately happier, walking toward the car with a light step. I went straight to the gym and had a great workout, and I wasn’t the least bit tired. It was just all in my head, that little yet convincing voice that says just relax, don’t stress out, you can do it tomorrow, and then tomorrow and then tomorrow and before you know it, a week, or a month, or even a year  has gone by, without having done what you set out to do.

I marveled that I was bummed about a decision I had made and kept making throughout the day when I could have turned it around by simply noticing the effect that not following through on my commitment had on me and changing my perspective.  And getting to the gym that evening felt like a true victory for me, so I also made sure to acknowledge myself for finishing what I said I’d do.

Which leads me into what I’ll be writing about next, Completing the Task.

Are there times when you’ve almost put off what you intended to do but were able to get back on track?

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Trying Something Out of the Ordinary – I loved it!

Written by Kate • August 3, 2010 •
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I’ve been exercising regularly for most of my life. My Mom put me in various sports when I was a child, including gymnastics and soccer. I tried a lot of them but only soccer held my interest. I loved loved loved playing soccer and ended up playing at least one season a year from ages 6 to 18 years old. After graduating high school, I timidly tried out for my college’s soccer team but felt it was too tight knit a group and I felt quite intimidated and not very welcome, and truth be told, I was in relatively terrible shape. I remember being so winded during the sprint exercise and I definitely felt my “teammates” sense of disapproval at my time trials. Nonetheless, I made the team but with my conditioning, I never started a game. And with the continued sense of being an outsider, I just stopped showing up at practices and I’m not sure if anyone ever minded. I didn’t get any follow up, “where are you, Kate?” phone calls.

I soon began to miss the exercise however and started to run around the track, going for time rather than speed as in I’ll run for 30 minutes rather than saying I’ll run 3 eight-minute miles. I find it hilarious, in retrospect, to think of the start of my solo sports adventures, to think of me exercising in my sophomore year as I would get up in the morning, shower, spend a good 45 minutes on my hair, getting it shellacked all to hell with hair spray and then walk 40 minutes to campus only to run another 45 minutes and shower again, taking care not to ruin my “do”, in which nary a hair had moved since first shellacking it more than two hours prior.

I became, at age 18, a runner and I loved it. I had no plan, no goal, just the love of exercise, the sport, and being out “there”.

Nearly 10 years later, while I was serving in Peace Corps in West Africa, Benin to be specific, after close to two years of being away, I came home to attend my sister’s wedding. Side note, thanks again Chris for the miles on Delta and for making it possible for me to attend my sister’s wedding! While in California at my parent’s place, the ancestral manse, and going through monster amounts of culture shock, I decided to go running to clear my head and get grounded. My sister-in-law, who’d also flown in for the wedding – but from Indiana- asked if she could accompany me on my 5 mile run. I was more than a bit surprised as Cathy is a far faster runner than I have ever been and typically ran a sub 7-minute pace. At that time, I was happy with my 9-minute pace. I explained the obvious about my 9-minute pace. I’ll never forget, she said, “No that’s ok, I need to keep pace with a slower runner since I’m not supposed to run fast”. You see, she was 6 months pregnant at the time. So we hit the road, running together the whole time at her easy, breezy 9 minute pace and me realizing that perhaps my 9 minute pace was a big too difficult for me and perhaps I really ran an average of 9.5 minutes. She was enjoying the “slow” run and I was sucking wind. What a great lesson in perspective.

Here I am, 13 years later. I no longer run even a 9 or 9.5 or even a 10 minute pace. I’m down to an 11 minute pace and I’ve been hit with plantar fasciitis too, for the better part of two years. 8 months after having been treated for it, I am now back to running 5 to 6 days a week. But then I thought, what about that life long dream of being in truly peak conditioning? Why continue on my same steady state running/cycle lifestyle? What’s wrong with running with intensity for shorter periods of time and working my way up to 30 minutes again but at a greatly increased average speed? Let’s try it!

So last week, I took my scheduled 15 minutes of running and hit the treadmill instead. As I was beginning my run, I wasn’t even sure I could run a 7 minute mile for even a few seconds. I got nervous that maybe my plan was too ambitious and began thinking “but what if I can’t do it?” And instead of chickening out, I thought, we’ll know soon enough! You know what, I can run a 7-minute pace – for 30 seconds at a time. What a revelation! How fun! It was a lovely run. Three minutes warm up at a 10 minute pace, and then 10 minute of intervals of 30 seconds at 7 minutes and 1 minute at a 9.40pace, ending with 3 minutes of the 9.40 pace.

I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to be able to run a full mile at the seven minute pace but I’m excited to try it out.

If you don’t try it, how do you know you can’t do it? And as Steve Pavlina says, start with acts of courage that fit your current level of courage ability and begin training yourself to become more courageous with more bite sized efforts – appropriate to your level of training. It feels great!

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