The topic of PTSD has come up a few times in my feed this morning, and after reading a few
asshole, horrible, ignorant, uninformed comments, I decided I needed to say something.
I live with PTSD and have for about 2 years now. Although I’m pretty sure I’ve got a decent handle on it (and I know I’m kicking ass at doing ALL the right things to manage it) it’s still something I struggle with every day. The symptoms take my spark away sometimes. They can make my arms feel like they’re made of lead. Sometimes, it takes entirely too much effort to carry on a conversation or even leave my house. I’m better at it: but the things that used to come easily and naturally to me… well, they don’t always anymore. It’s not something I talk about often, but the ways in which it has changed my life are extraordinary.
I like wearing my workout wear for Halloween - it’s an easy way to stay comfy (even if my butt’s hanging out, I still get to wear my sneakers). It’s also easy to sass things up and make a new costume with a few accessory changes: gold painted running shoes, jewelery, wigs, leg warmers, etc. In the above pic, I went as a Workout ‘Video - Ho’ (I had shorts also, but the gold belt and shoes were the best). In the pic below, I was a Super Hero Fitness Instructor (cape not shown). This year was booty shorts, sweatbands and an over-sized sweater.
We’re all different and while MY costume might not be your thing, there are plenty of other fit-inspired costume ideas that require minimal stress IF you already have the equipment. So if you’re a ‘fittie’ like me, grab some of these ideas and make your own costume before you head out!
Great ideas from The Quickie Chick!
WHAT: Jennifer Beals from “Flashdance”
HOW: Black leotard, legwarmers, nude leggings, red pointy heels, oversize gray sweatshirt with the neck cut out and widened, draped over one shoulder. Plus- permed big hair, gaudy hoop earrings, bucket of water (you can choose to dump it on yourself or not).
CALORIES (burned for an average 140lb woman in 1 hour of dancing): 286
WHAT: Jane Fonda (or just an 80s Workout Girl)
HOW: Shiny g-string leotard, bright leg warmers layered over bright contrasting leggings, LA Gear workout shoes, a headband snuggled into your frizzy hair held in a pony tail by a brightly colored large scrunchie.
CALORIES (burned in 1 hour of aerobic exercise): 444
WHAT: Michael Phelps (or any other 8-time gold-medal Olympic swimmer)
HOW: Wear a spandex bodysuit, speedos, or an Olympic-themed shirt (speedos is best for the “sexy” look), swim cap, goggles, and drape 8 gold medals around your neck.
CALORIES (burned in 1 hour of swimming): 634 vigorous freestyle swimming
WHAT: Muscle Beach muscle head
HOW: Wear short tight shorts, a big arm hole tank top, and a wide belt. Add a dumbbell (even a fake one) to really drive it home.
CALORIES (burned during 1 hour of power pumping weights): 381
WHAT: Serena Williams (or another tennis pro)
HOW: Short soled color flared skirt or tank dress (white, pink or purple are best), matching headband, ponytail, Wilson tennis racquet
CALORIES (burned during 1 hour of tennis): 444
HOW: Bathing suit, spandex bike shorts, goggles, bicycle helmet, bike, polar watch
CALORIES (burned during half Ironman Triathlon): 4000
Because Healthy is Sexy!
More Quickie Tips for Halloween here: http://www.quickiechick.com/tag/halloween/
Here are a few tips that can help you stay motivated before, during and after your workout! They’ll help save you time, help you get a more effective sweat on and prevent oh-so-horrible burnout. :)
1. On The Warmup: Swap The Jump Rope For Squats & Pushups
Instead of jumping rope, jogging or other typical warm up activities, focus more on the muscle groups you’re planning on using during THAT workout. That means if you’ve planned pushups later on, do a few modified versions in your warm up. Body weight squats, lunges, kicks, punches etc. Warm up and target the specific muscle groups you’re about to kill.
Sometimes, especially if I’m doing a circuit, I’ll do an easy version of it during my warmup: modified pushups, burpees, body weight squats etc. In addition to raising my heart rate, it also pumps blood into those muscle groups.
Switching it up in this fashion can mean you’re able to do more reps, burn more calories, and put more intensity into the moves during your workout. Just one rule: conserve your energy. Don’t go full out! Do just a few reps &/or modified versions.
2. On Excuses: Shhhhh, Enough!
We’re all busy, sore, tired, lazy etc… The list of reasons NOT to exercise will always be longer than the list of reasons TO exercise.
If we only worked out when we felt amazing, most of us would hardly workout at all! We also all have cycles of feeling lazy, less enthusiastic etc. The real work comes into play when we push past those points.
Double check your excuse: if you’re procrastinating, feeling lazy or otherwise putting it off, call yourself on your own bullshizz. The best tough love comes from ourselves!
Tip: Commit to 5-10 minutes and see how you feel. Work on getting your head in the game and have FUN with it. Remember that while you might not feel like exercising right NOW, that can change after a good 10 minutes of moving.
3. On Long Workouts: All Or Nothing? Nah…
You don’t have to pack your workout into just one time slot and it doesn’t need to be a full hour to be effective.The more intense your workout, the shorter it can be. So add short sprints of high intensity, do intervals, or split up your workout into 2 mini-sessions if you can’t do everything all at once.
You also don’t have to do an intense workout each and every time you hit the gym! 20 minutes of something is better than nothing, and can certainly help you reach your goal faster. If nothing else, it’ll feel oh so good. :)
These are awesome lower body moves, and a few I’ve never seen before! Thanks Shape Magazine!
While they suggest an uber expensive bar to get the most out of your workout, you can also use a broomstick for balance.
Add a few sets of these into your workout this week!
Stand with feet staggered, left foot in front, arms extended behind you. Bring hands to a catcher’s position as you bend knees and crouch, touching right thigh to outside of left calf and resting chest on left thigh, back slightly arched (as shown). Return to start. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Crouch with feet hip-width apart, chest lifted, to start. Reach right hand to outside of right foot and mimic picking up an imaginary stick, then push off right heel and explode up, “breaking” the stick over bent right knee (as shown). Return to start; repeat on opposite side for 1 rep.
VERY interesting! Geeks with guns!
Apparently, gamers possess a unique set of personality traits that make them ideal gym go-ers and body builders. Patience, the thrill of the ‘mission’ and a craving to ‘conquer’. The website Fitocracy focuses on turning gaming geeks into fitness geeks with challenges, quests, points and more. It also provides them with feedback & a community to draw from.
As Vin Diesel wrote “We were all drawn to the game because it allowed us to become these characters, vastly different in appearance and in actions, but what kept us hooked was the search for the character that represented our higher self.”
It appears that like in a game, gamers approach fitness with the goals of getting stronger, faster, more efficient: i.e. BETTER at it. They are tactical, develop skills quickly and like to up their ‘scores’. In fitness, this makes them ideal candidates: they are driven, focused, have clear goals, specific objectives and they are motivated to seek information to help them get ahead.
Looks like the stereotype is a-changin!
Geek pride. :)
Excerpt from CNN.com
(CNN) — They’ve been trained to focus for weeks at a time on a single goal. They know how to clearly identify obstacles and form step-by-step plans to overcome them.
They’re obsessed with improving specific skills but judge success only by overall progress made in the world they’ve decided to conquer — as realistic or fantastical as it may be.
It’s precisely these traits that make video-gamers great bodybuilders.
Take a moment to laugh, if you must. Now hear us out.
Brian Wang and Dick Talens were the stereotypical video-gamers in high school. One was scrawny, the other fat. They grew up playing marathon sessions of “EverQuest,” “Counter-Strike” and “World of Warcraft.”
"I literally would wake up and play all day, eating intermittently," Talens said. "OK, when I say intermittently, I mean eating a lot."
But by the time the men met at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, they had traded an obsession with video gaming for an obsession with weight-lifting. As they shared stories at the gym, they realized their healthy transformation had been easier for them than for most.
Whew! Did anyone check to make sure she doesn’t have super powers or anything?
Amber Miller had two very big things on her mind recently; finishing the Chicago Marathon and having a baby. I just don’t think she expected to do both on the same day!
A nearly full term Amber finished the marathon in just over six hours, drinking and eating along the way to keep her energy up. Although the marathon was brutal, she said it was NOTHING compared to the labor afterwards.
Her healthy baby girl was born with no complications later that evening.
There’s been a lot of flack towards Amber for doing such strenuous activity so close to her due date, but ‘healthy’ is between a lady & her doctor. While it’s advised that most pregnant women avoid strenuous activity towards the end of their pregnancy, some women (specifically athletes) can maintain their training schedules up to delivery… with an all clear from a doctor of course. Because symptoms don’t always come in the form of pain or discomfort, it’s important not only to gauge how you feel - but get the tests to back it up.
Medical guidelines generally say that if a woman was a runner and healthy before she got pregnant, running is fine. However, medical experts agree that pregnancy is not the time to begin any exercise endeavors, such as starting marathon training for the first time. For pregnant runners, close monitoring by a doctor is recommended.
Everyone’s body is different & she was carefully monitored by a doctor (and cleared). What do you think? Awesome or nutso?
I think this is an important concept when applied to weightloss and healthy living.. or just living. I’ve explored it before, and TONS of you deal with it EVERY DAY (as far as I can tell from my Ask). The article below REALLY provides the science behind the phenomenon. This can explain why you spend all day as an A+ Health Star then BUCKLE come dinner time.
Decision fatigue is based on the concept of ego-depletion: the more we deny ourselves and the more decisions we have to make in a day, the worse we are at maintaining will power.
It applies to ANY and ALL decisions, big or small, important or non-important, life changing or inconsequential. Everything from deciding what to put on your sandwich to what shoes to wear: the more choices we have & the more choices we have to make can ACTUALLY exhausts our brains.
Excerpt from NY Times
These experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. When people fended off the temptation to scarf down M&M’s or freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, they were then less able to resist other temptations. When they forced themselves to remain stoic during a tearjerker movie, afterward they gave up more quickly on lab tasks requiring self-discipline, like working on a geometry puzzle or squeezing a hand-grip exerciser. Willpower turned out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really was a form of mental energy that could be exhausted. The experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation. To study the process of ego depletion, researchers concentrated initially on acts involving self-control — the kind of self-discipline popularly associated with willpower, like resisting a bowl of ice cream. They weren’t concerned with routine decision-making, like choosing between chocolate and vanilla, a mental process that they assumed was quite distinct and much less strenuous. Intuitively, the chocolate-vanilla choice didn’t appear to require willpower.
When it comes to weight loss or healthy living, it’s ALL in the planning. Planning helps take some of those on-the-spot daily decisions OUT (hmmmm…. taking the thinking out… sounds like something Ive said before, no? :)
The more you plan & limit the decisions you have to make on the fly, the more likely you are to stick to your goals AND have enough mental energy left over to make smarter decisions during UNPLANNED moments. Planning has more benefit than just knowing what you’re having for lunch: it can actually change how you react to temptation at snack time. :)
For more info about decision fatigue, click on the NY Times article here.
Pssst - If you get a chance to listen to it, I HIGHLY recommend streaming or downloading the ‘Stuff To Blow Your Mind’ Decision Fatigue episode. It will… well… blow your mind. :) Search for it in iTunes, worth it. :)
First, you learn what to do. Then you learn how to do it. THEN you learn how to keep doing it. Easy, right?
If only it were that simple.
Getting the most out of your fitness isn’t an easy process. There are tons of bumps and bruises along the way. But you can make it easier on yourself by utilizing simple tricks & tips to keep you on track AND get the most out of each of your workouts.
It takes energy to rev yourself up for each and every workout. Here are some tips that can help you take the thinking out and put your energy back where it belongs. :)
1. Workout to get FITTER, not to LOSE WEIGHT.
Switch the focus! Becoming an intrinsic exerciser means getting your workouts on for their own sake and NOT with a goal in mind. It means enjoying them & doing what makes you happy. When we’re striving to get better at pushups, lunges, tennis, biking, zumba or running we tend to put more effort into our workouts…& keep doing them. Intensity & consistency are the biggest factors in reaching our fitness AND weight goals.
If you’re too focused on results, and not the effort, you won’t get to where you want to go nearly as quickly. Studies also show that when exercisers focused on fitness instead of weight they were more successful than their counterparts in hitting their goals.
GOAL SHIFT: Try this: Warm up. Do each of the exercises below to your MAXIMUM (no breaks) and write down the number of reps you were able to do consecutively. For 30 days, add a few of these exercises to each your workouts, adding weights when you can. Take the test again in 30 days, trying to ‘beat’ your score.