Monday, January 16, 2012

Just keep moving.... keep moving

Every once in a while I feel like calling it quits.  I am just so tired of waking up early, washing gym clothes, washing and drying my hair, rushing to get ready for another workout.  Sometimes I'm just tired of being happy and being positive or motivating others. Sometimes, I'm just tired.

But I'm an optimist, a fighter, hungry for happiness and always searching for whatever will put me back in that zone of happy energy.  I challenge tired days and fight off the desire to just sit and do nothing because I realize that in the end I will not feel any better if I stop moving.

Today, as I do every day, I woke up at 5:15 am.  My body is programed to wake up at this early hour to prepare for either a class or a run.  Yes, EVERY DAY, I wake up early and I have to decide within a few minutes, if I am going to get up and get moving or stay put and maybe, sleep a little more.  Well, I can decide all I want, once I wake up, I'm up and I can lay there all I want, I am now awake.

But today was a little different.  I woke up, stayed awake but did not move from my pillow for another hour.  I didn't have  to teach anything but I knew I had to run.  Not sure if my running buddy was going I got up and got ready, just in case.  Yes a little workout buddy pressure doing it's job.

At 6:30 am I ate a little honey... it's one of those little tricks recommended by Runner's World Magazine, meant to give you a little boost in energy without adding too many calories or fluids.  It works for a short 3-4 mile run.  I ran one mile with my Lab, Honey and felt sluggish, pushing harder than usual and not really going very fast.  I turned around and went home.  I just wasn't IN the run.  I ran two miles at nine minutes per mile.  While that may sound fast for a beginner, for me it was a little on the slow side, but worse than that, it was hard and I felt like I was dragging the entire time.

Despite feeling like I didn't want to run to begin with, actually felt more like I wanted to turn back after the first 1/4 mile and like I couldn't wait to finish the two miles, I realized that getting up and moving this morning was important for several reasons - #1 maintaining the momentum of a daily routine; #2 I felt energized;  # I did something...I kept moving.

Moral of the story -- it doesn't matter when you decide to exercise, do what works for you, pick a time and just go with it.  Do it enough and your body will get you out the door for you.  It becomes sort of an addiction, a GOOD habit you'll want to keep doing.

Just keep moving... know that you could either sit out or BE IN the game.  I chose IN!

Stay Well,

Common sense disclaimer:  Don't ever ignore your body's natural signals of illness and disease.  My tiredness wasn't disease, simply laziness, didn't want to go alone, boredom. Know when you're experiencing fatigue, exhaustion, and follow doctor's instructions to help you recover and get you back in the game.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for fitness after the holidays

New Year, New You!!!

OK, well, it's not that simple.  Ha! I wish! But for the new you part you actually have to do some work.  My goal just before the holidays is to make it through the events without gaining weight.  The only way to make this work is to exercise more than usual and TRY to make good food choices.

My problem wasn't the food ... those adult beverages can be worse than most meals!

Anyway, I took some time off in December to go visit family in the states... in many states.  Driving long distance with the kids usually means eating and drinking not so healthy foods.  Sure I could have made better choices but remember, we live in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and we don't have most of what you take for granted in the states so I gave in each and every time.

I ran twice, walked several times and drove for 10 days, at least 3 hours a day.  I put on a few pounds, nothing to cry about considering.

Now we're back on island and it's time to get back on track.  Knowing very well it would be a painful week, I hit the ground running.  My goal coming back was to do some type of activity every day for 7 days because once I'm on the road to a successful fitness routine there's no turning back.

Day 1-- Diving for one hour
Day 2--Spinning and Core work and Latin Dance Fit
Day 3--Total Body Conditioning (aka HIIT)
Day 4--Run 4 miles and Latin Dance Fit
Day 5--Total Body Conditioning
Day 6--Pilates
Day 7--Hiking the Ridgeline with the dog

Done! This is truly extreme and most of what I did I had to do because it's my job so my motivation was my desire to motivate others and lead my students on a path to healthy living.

What can you do? Starting from scratch? No problem... here are some tips to get you started:

1. Track/Journal - either use an online program such as (also available as an App) or use a notebook.  Write down your activity and food intake.  This is a helpful habit because you can see your strengths and weaknesses, therefore, helping you to make better choices.  It's motivating to see progress in writing.

2. Get Moving - Start exercising or increase whatever you're currently doing.  Walk further or faster, run, swim, bike, attend classes, get a buddy, share your goals with family and friends, dance... keep moving everyday and each week add resistance, time, or distance.

3.  Eat to fuel your body and not to feed your cravings.  Eating six meals a day keeps you energized and satisfied and keeps you from hitting those pesky, mid-afternoon, pitfalls.  When I say meals I don't mean 300-400 calorie meals... three meals should be your main meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and the other three should be snacks ( fruit, yogurt, pudding, vegetables, cottage cheese, etc...)

4. Get some rest and recover.  Your body and mind need rest.  Sleep well, sleep in, and allow your body time to recover.

5.  Stay hydrated.  I know juice, coffee, tea all contain water but you should just drink water and avoid the excess calories added with flavored drinks.  Just drink water.

I hope these come in handy but if you have other questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Stay Well,