Exercising

Tips and nutrition advice on exercising and working out.

Why I Love the Seasons

Cycling through my favourite trail this morning, I was overjoyed to see the trees and plants in full bloom at last. To have my cycle path back and to be free of a multitude of layers of clothing.

Spring Cycle Path

 

Maybe one of the reasons I was so happy to be here and see this is the fact that it’s been so long since I have seen it. Oh, so very, very long. Initially I was excited about the upcoming winter and a season of Christmas, snow, skiing, skating and cosy nights but it went on too long and was a touch too cold. The snow is great, the ice …. not so much. Asides from skating, it’s more of a hazard than anything else. So I’m ready to break out the summer gear and embrace the change.

Spring, once it kicks in, has to be the best time. Long evenings and cooler temperatures are perfect. And after all, we do need a little transition from the extreme cold to the extreme heat!

My brother and his family moved to Singapore just over a year ago. Since they’ve been there, every day has been the same. Initially I was envious of them in shorts every day, swimming and hot temperatures. But as time went on, I find myself less envious. I know I would tire of the humidity, the constant heat and the monotony of the same weather. God grief, what would we talk about if we didn’t have the weather fluctuations?!

Now, I’ll enjoy reading on the porch, yoga on the back deck, cycling on the paths and above all, built in entertainment for my kids at the playground. Happy Spring everyone!!

 

 

Just Breathe

A remarkable thing happened this morning. With serene calmness, I got both girls ready, packed up and down to school ….. early. How? You ask. How indeed. For those that know me personally, this is a very rare event. I’m never early. Much less with serene calmness.

It was thanks to a new type of yoga I have recently found and an early morning practice at Breathe Yoga. This practice is mostly self-guided but in a studio with other practitioners. The class runs for 2.5 hours meaning it’s essentially a drop in class and you stay as long as you like. There is still a teacher giving individual instruction so for the time the teacher guides you, it’s one on one. The usual type of class is a teacher giving instruction to everyone all the time.

Welcome to Mysore Yoga.

It might not suit everyone but for me, it’s perfect. Since I spend my days in a loud, chaotic environment, the peace is a distinct change. There is nobody putting demands on me (whether that comes from a 2-year old, 5 year old or a yoga instructor) and best of all, it doesn’t matter if I’m late. Oh joy. Too often, I’ve spent the first 10 minutes of a yoga class just trying to relax after a frantic panic to get there on time or I’ve skipped it entirely not wanting to embark on that frantic panic.

It’s not a relaxing practice, it’s hard work. If you’ve done any of the Ashtanga series, you’ll know it’s a challenging series. The idea of Mysore is a meditative self practice of the Series. But the meditative part comes through so much more than any other yoga I’ve done before. A sense of calm patience literally stayed with me all day.

After finding this wonderful place, it seemed unbelievable to find this on my newsfeed (it’s now a print out on my fridge) later this morning. Did the words suit my mood or is this really something I can live by? Today, all of these can come naturally but tomorrow I may have to work harder.

Affirmation

I will try by remembering these words. And on those days I can practice yoga as I did this morning, I know it will come to me easily.

Thank you Tori for sharing this list!

 

 

A Warm Smile

My objective was met. I dedicated myself to this blog during 2013. Once finished, I looked forward to reading a novel. In one go. I chose the Midwife of Venice. It wasn’t very good. It just goes to show how hyped up some things can be.

Anyway, it’s nice to be back and I appreciate your comments. Thank you.

So, like 187 million others apparently, I’m cold. Too cold to go outside so there’s a been a lot of basement yoga. It’s kinda nice to hibernate a bit after the busyness of the holidays.

I’m sure there were many houses that looked like mine. Chaotic for 2 full weeks. Thankfully it’s more organized now and the decorations are packed away, the boxes cluttering the garage for another 50 weeks.

Yoga makes me relax. Although I find outdoor exercise relaxing, I don’t physically relax  my muscles. But in yoga you do. You notice facial tension more, points on your body that feel tight and uncomfortable.

You don’t need yoga to relax these muscles, just occasional mindfulness throughout the day. Right now, rest the tip of your tongue behind your top teeth and consciously relax your forehead. Feel different? Sometimes, this is all you need to encourage a smile on your face. Set a timer throughout the day and just practice this simple exercise. If nothing else, it will tell you how you are feeling at that moment.

The Need for Water

Another 10cm of snow today. Enough that I found a way to get out for another ski run while my younger daughter was napping. The sun was shining today so it really doesn’t get any better.

It was a bit warmer today but it’s been pretty cold for Ontario this early in the season and it’s been hard to drink water. The last thing I want coming in from the cold is a cold glass of water. To rectify this, I leave the Brita on the counter to ensure it stays room temperature. I’m also drinking a lot of herbal teas to ensure I stay hydrated.

Even if you aren’t exercising enough to sweat, it’s still important to keep up the water intake during the winter months.

Ask yourself these questions?

1. Do you wake wishing you had more energy to get up?
2. Do you get a 3pm slump at work?
2. Are you afraid of hangovers?
3. Have you come across anybody fighting a cold or a flu?
4. Do you get bloated and gassy from the seasonal treats around?
5. Do you suffer from dry skin or headaches?

All of these, ALL, can be helped by drinking more water. Dehydration can result in low energy, lack of concentration, hangovers, lowered immunity, poor digestion, dry skin and headaches.

Keep drinking ……… and enjoy the Holidays more.

A New Sport

With a closed yoga studio and a 2 year old with me all day, it’s hard to get in a good workout at the moment. I used to enjoy a power walk with her, she would tolerate a fast run in the stroller or on the bike but since the weather has gotten so much colder, it’s become far less enjoyable. The colder it is, the louder she complains and the sooner we get home.

This week, I didn’t even try.

So I’ve been feeling sluggish and cooped up. I feel the difference when I don’t get outside enough. Today, however, it’s been snowing all day and we have a good base to do some cross-country skiing. I can’t wait to get out there as I have new skis, an early Christmas present.

Cross-country skiing is the perfect sport for me. Since I hate heights and being a stay-at-home mom means I don’t have a lot of disposable income, it’s a great alternative to downhill skiing. I can ski in my own neighbourhood without the need for a lift ticket. Plus the equipment is not in the same league cost-wise as downhill equipment.

And with all this snow around, I’m pumped for the morning!

Efficient Exercise

Yesterday, I told you to move away from the computer and get outside. Today, I’m really not trying to be difficult but I’m going to say the opposite.

A little while ago, my favourite yoga studio had to close. I was away while they are setting up their new location but I was sad to see it is still not up and running. I love yoga even more during the winter months for the warm and the stress relief at this busy time of year,

So I started searching for a yoga app to shake up my basic home practice. I found a few options, including one called Yoga Class which gives different sequences depending on what level you need or, I love this part, how much time you have free. But, in the end, I went with rave reviews for All in Yoga and it’s a wonderful asset for me to have. Essentially, for the cost of a yoga mat and the app, I have a workout ready to go right in my own home. Can’t beat that.

A NEAT Idea

One way to increase your NEAT is to Christmas shop by going to the store.  Remember the old days? The stores are open later so there is time in the evening and it is quieter then as well. Online shopping is yet more screen time and let’s face it, it’s probably being done at 10pm anyway. On the couch.