Archive | May 2014

Day 341: New Toy!!

Wednesday…day of the new distraction ย toy tracker!

It finally arrived, my Basis B1 2014 edition fitness tracker that I bought to replace the doomed fitbit force!

IMG_3971[1]

this was me attempting to wear it and charge it at the same time…ironically tethering me to my computer…

ย it looks much better than that without the charger clipped over the top of it…

It claims to be the worlds most advanced tracker…and It certainly gives you a large amount of data!

woohoo Data…I love data!!

It measures:

Steps
Heart Rate
Skin Temperature
Perspiration
Calories
Sleep

It differentiates between walking running and cycling.

It automatically recognises when you are asleep.

It also tells you the time without having to press a button (just like a real watch) and the date and day as if it knows I am rubbish at keeping track of these things!!

I quite love it!

basis

fancy…with sensors and everything!

It has fancy pants sensors on the back which utilise some sort of technology magic to keep track of all of these things and it uploads them to my phone via an app and shows them all on the website dashboard which produces pretty graphs!

It also allows you to set lots of different goals that it calls healthy habits. every time you achieve one, ย you get points and a certain number of points unlocks a slot to allow you to track another habit ๐Ÿ™‚ it is addictive and slightly plays up to my competitive side!!

basis activity basis habits basis patterns basis sleep

 

there is a vast amount of very distracting data…it is making me want to do more just to look and see what the little graphs do!!

The other thing that happened on Wednesday, was dancing ๐Ÿ˜€

Awesome dancing!

we were practicing for this weekends dance outs (of which there are two) and unlike this time last year, I am in nearly every dance!

I danced:
Maiden Castle (x2)
Earth Mother
Summerland
End of the World
Thor’s Hammer
Broomstick
Triskele
Raggle Taggle Gypsy
Witch Hunt
Our Henry
Star of the county down
Fanny Frail

which was a lot of dancing!

thankfully…it was squat challenge rest day ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 341 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 340: The day I tried Yogalates…

This is another one of my cheap DVD experiments…

and it is another one that I am not 100% sure of… I think I like it, but again, I will have to give it more than oneย chance ๐Ÿ™‚

yogalates person

this is the person who invented it, and teaches the dvds and has a voice that will take some getting used to.. (click for info)

it is a “fusion” of yoga and Pilates…

I have put the word “fusion” in quotes because I don’t particularly like it in this context…however that is just me being odd. I should probably edit this bit out…I probably won’t…

it was much more calm and traditional than Jillian’s Yoga, it was a combination of yoga poses and pilates exercises.

Yes, I know…that was probably obvious from the whole fusion description but sometimes these things need saying…

yogalates

it did have horrible side planks in so it wasn’t easy!

I did enjoy it, and it wasn’t an easy work out. I think in general, I am still trying to get my head fully around slower workouts, especially ones I do at home…

the DVD is split into two workouts, 1) is core and upper body, and 2) is core and lower body, I did both and I think they work well together. All in all it was an hour of stuff ๐Ÿ˜€

there is also a bonus core blast-y thing which I will give a go next time ๐Ÿ˜€

As with all of these, if you use them as part of an overall routine, for a change they are good supplements and they stop you having to think too hard about what to put in your home workout ๐Ÿ˜€

However, as I have mentioned before, I would not rely on this (or any DVD) as my only source of exercise, and I feel the claims made on the box may be slightly exaggerated…

as well as this, of course, there were squats…

Tuesday was:
100 regular
50 Close
50 Wide
50 Plie

and then Day 340 complete ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 339: Running in the Rain!

Monday was the day I ran in the rain… real rain too not just drizzle!

It was even raining before I set out, I made a conscious choice to run in the rain…

which possibly makes me crazy…

or a bear…

running_bear

this is a highly accurate depiction of me running in the rain…except of course, I was wearing running shoes…

this bear seems to be happy running in the rain…

I was too…at first, then I wasn’t, then I was again!

Basically I spent the entire run flipping between:

“woohoo I am running in the rain it is so much fun and quiet”

and

“wet…I am so wet…soggy all soggy, it is raining, why am I out in this I hate being wet!”

there was a lot of indecision!

on balance I am proud of myself for running in the rain, and I think the majority swung towards the liking it, but the overwhelming soggy did win out in the end and I cut my run short after 5km…

IMG_3980[1]

I stood in a puddle to prove it was raining…

ย and that sentence there shows how far I have come in a year…

this time last year the idea of cutting a run short, and it still being 5km would have been completely unheard of!

I ran shorter intervals this time (5 min run 1 walk) as I hadn’t been for a couple of weeks, and this pattern seems to make me quicker. I did struggle a bit finding my stride, but that might have been because of the overwhelming sogginess!!

Once I had finished my run, and got dry… I did, of course have squats to do!

190 Standard squats
50 plie squats
50 plie squats on toes

Day 339 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Day 337 & 338 A weekend of walking and being a cat

OK…I wasn’t an actual cat…I didn’t dress up or anything…

cat person

yes…I could have put in a picture of catwoman…I didn’t.

Day 337 Saturday

Saturday was my cat day…a day of sleeping, studying, more sleeping, more studying and a bit of crazy moving about!

For a good deal of last week, I was surviving on not enough sleep, despite my continued resolutions to be better at this, and I think Saturday was the day it all caught up with me!

For a start it was rainy, horribly rainy, too rainy to want to go outside and do anything at all! SO I decided to dedicate the day to studying. I need to get through my nutrition course so it was not a silly thing to do anyway.

On the plus side, I managed to get through 3 lessons of my course, on the down side, I managed to fall asleep in between them!

Now for the bit where I moved about like a crazy person!

I decided to make use of as much of my home gym equipment as possible…

ok…no I didn’t, I just ended up using a lot of it!

I started with tabata:
2 rounds of:
Side skips (possibly also known as gallumphing)
Squats (because it was squat challenge rest day so I had to do so somewhere)
Skaters
Lunges (now I wish I had done a fourth exercise beginning with S but never mind)

then TRX circuit:
2 rounds of:
10 x chest press
10 x narrow row
10 x standing roll outs
10 x muscle ups
10 per leg slow mountain climbers

then I did a 1 min wall sit, to see if I could…

I doubt I looked as enthusiastic as this...

I doubt I looked as enthusiastic as this…

next tabata round 2:
2 rounds of:
Plyometric diamond jumps (squat jumps but you clap your feet together on the jump)
Kettlebell swings (2 kettlebells)
Burpees
Kettlebell Clean and Press

At to round the whole thing off I did some single leg dead lifts, first 5 per leg with no weight then 5 per leg with a 5 kg dumb bell in each hand.

as I mentioned, it was my squat challenge rest day, so no more squats ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 338 Sunday

Sunday started as Sundays tend to with Pilates ๐Ÿ™‚

It was an enjoyable class, as always, apart from the side planks, side planks are never enjoyable but I understand that they are good for me…

we did some new standing arm work with the resistance bands which was good, although I did get a little tangled up at one point and nearly wrapped a resistance band all the way around my neck…

It was complicated!

No I am not just uncoordinated!

After Pilates there was some walking.

and by some walking, I mean 11.5 miles of walking ๐Ÿ™‚

Riverside walk

Riverside walk

It was a lovely sunny day (in complete contrast to saturday) So I suggested that we (my husband and I) went and tried out the Horsham riverside walk. I walk a tiny bit of it at lunchtimes and was interested to see where the other 10 miles of it went!

So we set off on our adventure, like Hobbits leaving the shire ๐Ÿ™‚ only with less peril and more hope of returning home at the end of the day!

It was an interesting walk, Horsham does not have one river along which you can walk 11 miles. It does however have a surprising amount of rivers/becks/streams/ along which you can walk a little way and join them all up in a circle.

we kept going from seeming complete countryside to the center of town and back again. It was interesting to join up lots of places we have been in a very unexpected way ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3976[1]

 

Along the way, we met a veritable plethora of dogs, birds, sheep and other appropriate countryside creatures.

We even met a very friendly non killer squirrel!

So none killer that he eve ate out of my hand!!

He was a very tame little chap with a poorly paw and was happy to share my seed bar ๐Ÿ™‚

all in all it was a very good day, despite the fact that I discovered that my walking boots need to be broken in a little bit more as they dig in the back of my calf.

and my step total for the day was 29.5 thousand, a total of 13 miles ๐Ÿ˜€

so…after 13 miles with a hurty calf, what would you do in the evening?

Yes…that’s right squats!!
day 25 of the squat challenge:
180 standard squats
60 plie squats

๐Ÿ˜€

Days 337 & 338 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 336: Its Yoga Jim but not as we know it…

Friday’s activity of choice was yoga…but not as I have ever tried it before…

its-life-jim

yes I know that says life not yoga…just pretend…also…Spock with a cat!! ๐Ÿ˜€

As you might have noticed I have a tendency to ignore youtube as a source of videographic instruction for exercise, and invest in dvds instead…I can’t explain this really, except that I sometimes forget that youtube exists… so with this in mind…I bought a new (well actually 2 new but I am only talking about 1 here) Yoga dvd. This particular one was Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. No, I am not obsessed with Jillian Michaels, I just liked her approach to other workouts. The jury is still out on this one however. yoga meltdownI have a strong suspicion that traditional yoga practitioners would hate it. However I am not a traditional yoga practitioner so I didn’t hate it. I am not 100% sure I liked it, but it was ok. I will have to give it another try or two before I really decide! It was much faster and less calm than any yoga I have done before, and it was made more dynamic with repeated movement in and out of the poses and a 15 hold of the pose at the end. There were traditional elements in it like the sun salutation, only with the spiritual side of things taken out…which appeased my inner cynic I have to say! It was much more of a workout than other yoga I have tried, it is harder work, and you do feel it afterwards which is no bad thing ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I am erring towards liking it, but it is not for those who want a soothing yoga experience ๐Ÿ˜‰

of course…there were also squats… I nearly forgot…

how could I forget :-S

Day 23 of the squat challenge, done:
170 standard squats
50 Plie squats
50 Plie squats on your toes…

plie squats on toes are still awful!

Day 336 complete ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 335: The day mountain climbers were deemed a rest…

Mountain climbers are not a rest!

mountain climber gif

this is not a rest…or a sensible way to climb a mountain…

I’ll come to why they were a “rest” in a minute…

In case you hadn’t guessed Thursday was PT day ๐Ÿ™‚

After traditional amt warm up plus mobility flailing, I did a warm up set of:

Squats, mountain climbers, press ups, lunges, spider plank knee to arm pit thingies, Plank step foot to outside of hand thingies.

Yes, I know I should learn the technical names of some of those things..

Following this I had to balance and lift stuff at the same time…

swiss-ball-chest-press

one armed swiss ball chest press

I did 10 per arm 1 armed chest press on a swiss ball (8kg)

10 per arm single armed bent over row (12kg)

waiters walk across the gym and back, 10kg per arm.

8 x 25 kg clean and press with the bar.

Next cam the deadlifts ๐Ÿ˜€ I love deadlifts!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I did 3 @ 60 kg, 3 @ 70 kg and 3 @ 75 kg ๐Ÿ˜€ they are just awesome everyone should do them!

After the awesome, can the bit where mountain climbers were put in as a rest :-S

It was HIIT with 20s work 10s rest, and the exercises in theory were supposed to be really high impact interspersed with lower impact for a “rest” and they went like this:
1) squat tuck jumps
2) mountain climbers
3) 360 split squats
4) spider knee to armpit thingies
5) burpees
6) press ups…

apparently numbers 2, 4 and 6 were designed to bring my heart rate down…

mountain climbers are not a rest!

andway…I went through the HIIT cycle twice then moved on to someย boxing ๐Ÿ™‚

we did the same sort of boxing as last week, it was still the same punch defence combos as normal but Matt had boxing gloves on instead of focus pads, which made the whole thing quicker and more realistic, especially in terms of the defence parts!

This is lots of fun, it is harder work than it was with the focus pads but very much fun! Especially after Matt stopped looking worried about throwing the punches I have to defend against…I pointed out it is very easy to defend against something that you know is coming because the other person looks really worried just before the move!

LAst, but by no means least, we did some gymnastics type strength and agility work…

TRX narrow chest press
Crow hold (which I managed for 1s)
180ยบ Jumps from squat
360ยบ Jumps from squat (I actually only managed 270ยบ but I tried)
Dive bomber press ups
180ยบ Jumps from a bosu to the floor
Narrow bosu press ups

then, after all this, because I had been telling Matt about the plank things we were doing in my core training course, I had to proveย demonstrate that I could do plank first with my hands on a med ball and my feet on the floor, then with my hands on a med ball and my feet on a bosu…I should really learn to keep my mouth shut!

THat was all before work…

after work of course, I had to do squats!

160 standard squats
140 plie squats

and with that, day 335 complete ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 334: Have I mentioned I never learn?

I never ever learn!

I say…”oh next week I will not wait until after dancing to do my squats”

I say “I will be organised and do them in the morning, or at lunchtime”

I say all sorts of things…

yes, Anya, I really think I might be!

yes, Anya, I really think I might be!

And yet I still end up doing squats at 11pm ย after dancing for 2 hours!

but before that lets talk about dancing ๐Ÿ™‚

It was (in theory) a regular practice, we even have a dance free weekend this weekend ๐Ÿ˜ฆ , so have no particular event to practice for. However, for reason of holiday and randomness we were very short on people!

IMG_3934[1]This meant I got to dance a lot, which was awesome, it also meant that we got to teach a lot of the dances to the newer members of the side, which was a good thing to do ๐Ÿ™‚ It is nice to be able to do that with no pressure once in a while ๐Ÿ˜€

So it meant that all the dances (more or less) were done with a walk through first. Those dance were:
Maiden Castle
Triskele (x2)
Spank the Monkey (x2)
Raggle Taggle Gypsy
Our Henry (x2)
Standing Stones
Witch Hunt
Broomstick
Fanny Frail

All in all it was an excellent practice ๐Ÿ™‚ and we were interviewed by a man from a paper ๐Ÿ™‚ so fame and fortune awaits!

So that was the fun bit!

Next came the stupid bit!

the bit where I had to do:
150 squats
150 plie squats

yes…that’s right, 300 squats…

It hurt!

A lot!

But I did it, day 21 of the bombshell bottom challenge is out of the way!

and

Day 334 Complete ๐Ÿ™‚

PS…I am doing a survey in relation to circuit training, and people’s perceptions of it. I would be very grateful to get your help, it will only take a minute ๐Ÿ˜€

Click here for my lovely survey please

 

Day 333: Sporting reference Tuesday!

And with one single reference, I betray my age and nationality ๐Ÿ™‚

333 was the highest test match batting score of the great ย English cricket player Graham Gooch.

graham-gooch-180711It was in 1990 against India, he scored a total of 456 runs in that match…and I remember it well! I was (for some reason) standing in the upstairs hallway in my house when he wasย out, I think we may have been decorating! I was 14!

What does this have to do with my Tuesday activity…

well nothing at all!

The number always reminds me of this and I thought you all needed to know too!

Yes…I do like cricket!

Yes…I do find it interesting!

Yes…Really!

really1

 

Yes!

Really!

anyway…on to Tuesdays exercise

It wasn’t cricket, cricket is hard to play on your own and noone wants to teach you at 37!

So what did I do?

Well, as I missed out this week on my Sunday resetย I decided that Tuesday should be a walking day.

I say decided, that makes it sound much more planned than it was!

What happened was, at lunchtime I went for a walk, I walked for 43 mins, went 2.7 km and had a nice breath of fresh air. I had the intention of doing more exercise, eitherย gym or running in the evening.

However…

THe builders who are currently extending out loft, told us yesterday afternoon that they needed access to the bedroom inside the house so the electrician could work…

no problem you think…

it was a lot like this...only there were only two of us!

it was a lot like this…only there were only two of us!

well no problem if you are not an inherently untidy person who then had to spend the whole of her evening sorting clothes and carrying things backwards and forwards and up and down stairs!!

Not conventional exercise, but you could call it functional training…

It definitely wasn’t restful, and at least I had walked and 43 mins walking definitely counts ๐Ÿ˜€

It was Squat rest day too ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 333 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 332: A tiny bit of unfortunate squat planning

After the weekend, I woke up aching! For the first time in ages, I had achy abs, and arms, and legs…

yes...I know!

yes…I know!

My guess is it is all the circuit training…

and the core training…

and yes…I am aware I am stating the obvious…

Shhh…you and Mr Spock both!

It is OK…I know what to do about aches!

Go to body pump of course…

Yes Mr Spock really!

Of course I went to body pump, it was Monday! That is what happens on a Monday!! ๐Ÿ˜€ habits are great aren’t they!!

SO body pump was body pump, it looked like it was going to be a really quiet one at first, with only 3 of us in the class…luckily some more people turned up before to long ๐Ÿ™‚ some new people too which is awesome!

IMG_3924[1]

 

that bottom left hand picture was take right at the start, the place filled up a bit after that!

I stuck to my normal weights, it was not the day for upping anything!!

I also learned from last week, and didn’t try to use the same weights for the shoulders that I had just used for the lunges!

I survived it, I even enjoyed it, but I definitely felt it! I was tired by the end! Partly because I keep insisting on doing this with the maximum weight Iย can possibly manage, and partly because of the aforementioned aches!

So that was Monday..

or was it…

well, yes it was Monday, but it was not the end of Monday!

I still had day 19 of the squat challenge to go…

140 Squats
100 Plie Squats

that was bad planning directly after Body Pump!!

My legs did not thank me for that…but I am sure they will eventually ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 332 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

Days 329 – 331: What a Weekend!

This weekend was one of fear and excitement and fun and being holed up in a basement learning things…

But I’ll come to that!

Firstly Friday Day 329:

Friday was a low energy day, one of those sleepy, and vaguely apprehensive days when I was a) tired and 2) worrying about the weekend and being too tired to do anything other than make myself look like an idiot!

So Friday turned into a walking day.

IMG_3901[1]

 

It ย was a lovely day and I headed out during my ย lunch breakย ย for a walk, I went for (as it turned out) 42 mins and 2.7km

It wasn’t the longest, but it was enjoyable. It was sunny and, active, and away from my desk!

and it was what I needed on Friday, as both an antidote to the crazy PT and many squats of Thursday and as preparation for the weekend ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3861[1]

my house with its scaffolding ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of the days activity was around climbing on scaffolding, a task that was harder than it had been previous;y as I was on my own this time, with no (tall) husband to assist me…

the main bulk of the problem was around getting the ladder down from the first level of scaffolding where it was stowed to stop random people just climbing up!

No…I am not random…it is my scaffolding!

In the end I solved the problem with some jumping, standing on the scaff bar intersections and hanging from the bottom of the ladder until it over balanced…after that the ascent to the roof was a piece of cake ๐Ÿ™‚ (although I did not in fact get any cake!)

Day 230 (Saturday)

circuitSaturday was the scary day, it was the day I thought (again) that I might show myself up and be judged as not fit to be doing the course I am doing…

I was or course wrong…again!

Saturday was my Circuit Training Training Workshop assessment! ๐Ÿ˜€

Slim Jims... I didn't meet Jim...

Slim Jims…
I didn’t meet Jim…

For this one I had to travel up to london, otherwise I would have had to wait for months!!

So, despite it being the weekend, I had to get up at 5:30 am to be able to catch the train!

it was, however worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

We learned how to structure a class, what circuit training is, and what types there are available, we learned about sensible warm ups and cool downs and styles of teaching ๐Ÿ˜€

As well as the theory, in the morning, we did one whole class circuit training class set up by the trainer as an example. It was hard but not incapacitating!

gym

this was where we were..in a room off to the side that I forgot to take a photograph of!

In the afternoon, we were split into two groups and given a themed circuit training class to plan and teach. Our group got Ski-fit and the other group got boot-camp!

Of course, the one we weren’t teaching we had to do! So I did another circuit class in the afternoon, a boot-camp style circuit class!

which was hard…and more tiring than the first one!!

During the teaching, we had to do demos of the exercises, we had one each to demo and motivate, I got plank jacks…or should I say…I chose plank jacks because it was entirely my own fault!

which meant, as well as two full circuit training classes, I did many plank jacks… and planks… and the intermediate step where you walk your legs in and out ๐Ÿ™‚

I also ran the post stretch part of the class as we all had to take a specific part so we could be assessed on our delivery ๐Ÿ™‚

It was an excellent course, and it just served to reinforce my believe that circuit training is awesome, not just in specific circuits classes, but in many training situations ๐Ÿ˜€

I passed the course by the way (woohoo), so now all I have to do is find me a circuit class to teach ๐Ÿ™‚

What would you do when you get home from a day like this?

Yep…thats right, squats!!
Day 17 squat challenge, 130 squats ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 331 Sunday

IMG_3902[1]

Sunday was another early start, another train / tube journey to the centre of that London.

Another day of learning interesting fitness and exercise related stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

This time the course was Core Training.

There was much more theory on this course, more about the core muscles and how they work and their functions, how important it is to train them and train them evenly!

Most people think of “core” as abs and getting a “6 pack” although I don’t know why a 6 pack is iportant…rectus abdominus (the main ab muscles that run down your front) is split into 8 segments…

anyway…

It is essential to train the front and back components of core muscles to keep things balanced.

I have also learned how bad for you sitting down is, you put something like ย 300% extra force through your lumbar spine when you are sitting, and even more if you are sitting unsupported!

There is no wonder there are so many lower back problems amongst the office workers of the world!

Well…the good news is a well trained core can help support your back and ease this sort of pain!!

During this first part when we talked about pressure on the spine and potential damage, I became moderately terrified and wanted to lie on the floor immediately…

I didn’t…

no of course I didn’t!

the rest of the day was spent learning to do and to teach many different types of core exercises.

these are just some of the levels...

these are just some of the levels…

did you know there are 18+ different levels of plank!? I didn’t!

Admittedly the first on is just laying on the floor while bracing your core…

One of the later levels was plank with hands on a medicine ball and feet on a fit ball…

I tried this, I don’t think I held it for more than about 0.5 seconds…

but then neither did most of the people in the class so I didn’t feel too bad about that!

this picture was hard to find...not many people seem to do this...

this picture was hard to find…not many people seem to do this… (Click for source)

we basically spent about 1.5 hours doing different variations on planks.

I mean, not constantly for 1.5 hours, that would be insane!

We also learned the core bracing technique which is taught in pilates and using it makes all core exercises more effective ๐Ÿ™‚

after lunch we carried on learning different core training techniques, for the different planes of movement ๐Ÿ™‚ there was a lot of core training going on, even though we only did a few reps of each, there were ย lot of different exercises!!

The course its self was incredibly interesting, and useful! It was not a pass / fail sort of thing, but there was an optional exam at the end to turn it into a City and Guilds Qualification…which I took. I’ll let you know if I pass when I find out ๐Ÿ™‚

And at the end of the day…what else but more squats (at home…I didn’t do them on the course…)
day 18 Squat challenge, 135 Plie squats!

Day 329 – 331 Complete ๐Ÿ˜€

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hayleymorcom.wordpress.com/

simplifying a happy healthy lifestyle

bloominolive

never perfect. always progressing. keep bloomin.

The Warrior Project

Become the modern warrior in what ever you do.

imamotherrunner

My journey as a mother and a runner