Uncategorized

PiYo Week 4 Recap

(This is a non affiliate post and based solely on my personal experience using the Beachbody PiYo program developed by Chalene Johnson. Results may vary.)

Things stepped up this week in my PiYo program. I started a few new workouts that were brand new to me and pushed me to new limits. I really noticed changes in my strength, flexibility and the way clothes fit especially in my core and thighs.

I’m still in England and trying to fit workouts around our very busy schedule during the trip. I missed ONE day of PiYo this week and am proud of that accomplishment. Each day has been packed full and so even on the day I missed I logged 18,000 steps. The pedestrian lifestyle of England is really enhancing my workouts which is great because I’m not able to perfect the PiYo diet while abroad (although I am really trying!)

I started this program with very little flexibility. I was a distance runner in my younger days which is horrible for flexibility training. It takes me a little longer to work up to some of the poses because of that, but this week I was able to do more and see some payoff because of my consistency. Part of the appeal of PiYo for me is the low impact movements and the ability to customize poses based on your needs. Earlier in the program I was more apt to modify the poses, but I can complete and entire regiment without modifications now which proves that things are going well.

Here’s a look at a flexibility feat from this week:

In this pose, the leg on the floor should be slightly bent to allow for a crouching push up when I fold at the hips.

Some observations from Week 4:

-Some of the poses that were originally really difficult are easier than before.

-I am getting better at holding tension poses for longer and keeping my feet flexed whenever my legs are in the air.

-I did a set of 10 regular push-ups for the first time EVER!

-Downward Dog can be a resting pose.

-I need to honor my RIGHT NOW and not worry so much about missing a workout…and then GO HARD on the days when I’m able to work out.

You can check out posts from previous weeks below:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

This week things continue to step-up and poses and tension get more intense. I’ve previewed the days that lie ahead and I anticipate some sore buns and legs coupled with sculpted muscles and core. I can’t wait to continue to share my progress with you!

The Ameri Brit Mom

england, Fitness, Uncategorized

Hoola Fit

One of my favorite parts of this summer’s stay in England has been my weekly Hoola Fit class with my Mother-in-Law. She has been taking the class since January so she has been kicking my butt. My first week was a bit rough, but each week I’ve progressed. I was bound and determined after a sixty year old woman out-hula’d me that I would work on my skills.

It may not seem that difficult, but one hour of continuous hula and cardio is one heck of a workout. At the end of each class I’m winded, sore, and ready for the five minute yoga cool down.

Once I thought I was doing well and catching on the instructor started having me throw in moves with the arms and legs, then pivots, and finally gallops all while keeping the hula hoop revolving around my core. My first week I spent much of the class just chasing my hoop, but with each week I’ve grown stronger.

I love the simplicity of this aerobic workout. All you need is a hoop and some good workout music!

The Ameri Brit Mom


 

Fitness, Uncategorized

The New Fitbit Alta

I’ve been an avid Fitbit user for two years. In 2014 I received a Fitbit Flex for my 24th birthday. For the past 730 days I’ve sported that thing almost every day. Challenging myself to hit daily and weekly goals has made using a Fitbit an enjoyable experience. Just the simple act of tracking fitness has given me the extra motivation it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For example, where before I may have parked my car closest to the door to a shop I’ve now gotten into the habit of adding a bit of a walk whenever I can. Seeing my steps add up has given me a competitive spirit about working out and getting healthy. All of the tracking is made easy through Bluetooth syncing with the Fitbit App for my phone. The interface is easy to use and can be customized based on your personal fitness goals. Additionally I enjoy competing with friends and fellow Fitbit wearers through the App.

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For two years the Flex has served me well. I never had any trouble with charging, synching, or troubleshooting. It has been a faithful little device. However, this year Fitbit released a new model the Alta. And for my 26th birthday I decided to upgrade my workout device and I am now the proud owner of an Alta.

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Some major differences between the Flex and the Alta:

  1. The display screen-the old Flex model I had did not possess a display screen. Progress toward goals was displayed via dots which appeared when the device was tapped. The Alta screen displays a clock, step progress, battery life, and many other selected statistics. This is really nice because I can have a quick look at exactly how much physical activity I’ve completed each day.
  2. Auto detection– the new Alta recognizes the movements of your wrist and knows when you are looking at it. Each time you turn your wrist the clock or statistics automatically appear. The only tapping you must do with the device is the scroll between different stats (i.e. steps, calories, active minutes, etc.)
  3. Accessories– The Fitbit bands are all designed to be worn as an attractive accessory, however, the Alta has a little more flair to it. Not only do the bands come in multiple colors, but they come in multiple materials as well. Currently there are plastic, leather, and stainless steel bands for the Alta. They are all so cute!

If you have any questions about the Fitbit products I’ve reviewed please comment below and I will do my best to reply accordingly.

What product(s) do you use to stay motivated?

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Fashion, Uncategorized

Nike Workout Gear

Nike Workout Gear

 

I can’t believe I did it.I was so close to writing out the story of running from my life. I had come to terms with the fact that running was a thing of the past. No hard feelings. Then, a random message of conviction caused me to go back on my commitment to never run again. An old friend with good intentions made me do it. I can’t believe I caved in.
Over the weekend I found myself in a conversation with an old friend. During our conversation she mentioned she was running a quarter marathon in April and needed a partner to join her. In a moment of weaknesses I said I would do it, and that’s how I got myself into this pickle.
For a little background, I ran competitively in high school and post-high school I participated in a couple of half marathons and a dozen 5ks. However, since I had my daughter I have not done anything of the competitive sort. I’ve dabbled in running, but the time commitment has kept me from really taking training seriously. Over the winter I tried to do some runs, but found my knees aching and hips in pain as a result. I had more or less thrown in the towel on the idea of ever really competing again until this weekend.
But now that I have decided to give it another try I’m in need of motivation to get out there and do the work necessary to go from couch to quarter marathon in a little under two months. So how do I plan to motivate myself?
1. Running Buddy– Having a friend to run with keeps me accountable for finishing each workout. Some days the weather is less than ideal for running so finding accountability with another runner helps motivate me to run regardless of the conditions outside. Luckily, I have a few friends who also enjoy running and I plan to do a couple of runs each week with another person.
2. Set Weekly Goals– Having a long term goal is important, but sometimes I need to set smaller goals to keep me motivated on a daily basis. In the past, I would set weekly mileage goals or set a goal based on the amount of time I planned to run that week. These smaller goals help to give purpose to every single run. Each mile (or minute) becomes a step toward that weekly goal. I also love rewards. A great reward for hitting my weekly goal is giving myself a day of rest. (Example: If I can run 25 miles before Friday I will take Saturday off.)
3. Cute Workout Clothes– Who isn’t motivated by looking good? Recently, I went to a sporting goods store to pick out some soccer gear for my daughter. In the process, I found myself drawn to all of the brightly colored workout clothes for women. From sports bras to leggings there were so many adorable styles. I’m in need of a shopping spree to amp-up my workout wardrobe. (I’m a Nike girl if you haven’t guessed from the picture above.)
What is your favorite piece in your workout ensemble?
Fitness

Return to the Running Realm

What a lovely alliteration that I feared may never again be reality for this momma.

This year I have resolved to return to an old pastime, the art of running. In school I was a competitive runner. I’ve raced anywhere between 400 meters to 13.1 miles. I have many accomplishments from my younger years like:

1 mile League champion in track

4 time Regional Qualifier in Cross Country

2 time Ohio State Qualifier in Cross Country

2 time Half-marathon runner (sub 2 hour times)

and I have run or placed in probably over twenty non-school affiliated road races.

These are things I am very proud of, but they are also things I do not often speak about. They are a reminder to me about how I’ve allowed myself to fall out of shape and how I’ve been incapable of keeping a constant workout routine over the years. I have not competed in any type of racing atmosphere since I got married. Work and adulthood have gotten in the way of continuing a hobby I once enjoyed. The first year of teaching is the hardest, and I found it really hard to keep a routine of any sort in my life. I feel like after that year ended I continued to let work become my excuse. And then there was a baby.

It took me months after the delivery of my daughter to get my body back and to retain the ability to exercise in a vigorous manner. It was probably nine months or so before I even tried to do an isolated run here and there. The idea of exercise and finding time with a newborn was overwhelming so I didn’t try very hard at making it happen.

But I am done with making excuses. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I am tired often. Yes, I am out of shape, but when a workout can be completed in twenty minutes or less there is really no excuse.

When it came to setting some New Years Resolutions (2015) I had two things I wanted to accomplish: 1. Publish some of my writings and actively participate in the writing community and 2. Run a 5k. Over the past few months I have been semi-committed to that second goal. It’s been a terrible winter and running outside has been next to impossible, but I have maintained my fitness through various indoor workouts such as walking the long halls at my school, elliptical training, and cardio/core workout videos (Jillian Michaels). I’ve written on here before about my progress in those areas, but it is now time to update on my outdoor running stats!

Well, so far there isn’t too much to update you on. There have been a few days hit or miss that the weather has been decent enough for an outdoor running endeavor. Last week before my allergies acted up I ran for twenty minutes in my neighborhood. I felt out of shape and sore for the next few days. On Sunday of this week I woke up to beautiful weather and a huge desire to get outdoors and push myself. I ended up running 3.1 miles through my town/neighborhood in just under 28:00. Now this isn’t ideal, but it is progress toward my goal nonetheless.

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The weather has been very bipolar this week. Last night when I wanted to do a run it was snowing…so I did a quick, but intense elliptical circuit. Today, my plan? Another couple of miles outdoors. It’s 46 degrees Fahrenheit we will see how it goes.

Anywho…keep me accountable, blogging community. I would love to see myself complete a 5k or two this summer in times around 24 minutes. In order to get there I know I have a lot of stamina and consistency to build. 2015 is all about reaching goals for me so I hope to see myself back on the road racing away soon. I’m not aiming to become a super-runner or anything, but I would like to see myself return to a love of mine. The art of RUNNING.