Laughter – The Best ~Ab~ Medicine

Abs = laughter

Is there anything better than laughing so hard your stomach hurts?

I love my workouts but this is how I feel one hundred percent!

I’m fortunate enough to have, honestly, the most incredible friends: my work mates, my besties, my boyfriend, my family.  I believe that laughter can keep us young and healthy, and I’m fortunate enough to spend most of my days with people who like to laugh.  In fact, my lunch breaks are almost always spent with one of my best friends and we laugh non-stop.  I’ve said to her before “Do you think people see us walking thru Town and are jealous at how much fun we are having?”  I mean, honestly, we are laughing nearly continuously.

Last year we were in a shop during our lunch break and having a bust-a-gut moment and a guy kept staring at us and grinning.  Eventually he approached us and told us he wished he could spend his afternoon with us; that we seemed to be having a very good time.  I thought that was great – especially coming from a complete stranger.

Laughter is infectious.  It’s good for the mind, body, and soul.  Laughter is good for your heart, and it’s good for relieving stress, and for healing a sad or bad mood.  And it’s an excellent way to burn a few extra calories.

I’ve gotten into the habit of laughing at everything (myself included)…it’s so much easier to turn a bad moment into a good one.  I’ve even started laughing out loud at the T.V.  I mean, if it’s funny…why not?

Try not to take things too seriously (if you don’t have to).  Enjoy yourself, enjoy life and it’s moments.  And laugh with the ones you love.

Some benefits of laughing: Laughing is wonderful way to get in a little cardio.  And I think laughter is beautiful and adds to our beauty.  People who laugh a lot are healthier – physically, mentally, and emotionally  Laughter is attractive and infectious (go ahead and brighten someone’s day).  Also:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body.  A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems
    • Boosts immunity
    • Lowers stress hormones
    • Decreases pain
    • Relaxes your muscles
    • Prevents heart disease

~Fit Bitch

Commitment

COMMITMENT

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I take my fitness regime seriously.  But, as I continue to work at getting beyond my workout addiction (yes, that’s a thing), and struggle with a few health issues, I’ve weened myself off of my every-single-day workout habit. There are days that I am still at the gym much longer than I need to be, and there are days when I still exercise because I feel like I “have to”, but for the most part, I am very happy with where I am today compared to where I was a year ago.

That being said, I have certain days that I commit myself to working out, and as I’ve mentioned in a recent post or two, I’ve committed myself to running at the gym) several times a week (once I’m running outside it won’t be a commitment, but a pleasure) so I’ve had to dedicate myself to this schedule and staying on track.

That means I’m at the gym whether I want to be or not. That means that Friday nights I’m at the gym.  That means that Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings I’m a the gym.  That means that aside from teaching boot camp and participating in other classes, I’m at the gym.  I’m running and I’m lifting and I’m sweating and I’m loving it.

InstallingMuscles.

I still feel that exhilaration when I’m working out.  I feel accomplished when I’m completed my fitness task for the day.  A long time ago I committed myself to a better life.  I made the commitment to get fit and be healthy and stay active.  Sometimes that means sacrifices.  There are still a good many days that I want to come home after work and schlump on the couch or Friday nights when I want to just get the freakin’ weekend started.  But, like I said, I committed myself to these goals and really, what’s another hour or two?  Friday night will still be there when my run is complete.  Sunday coffee dates will wait until I’ve finished in the weight room.  There is room in my life for sacrifice.

~Fit Bitch

Don’t be THAT Person!

My title should really be “Don’t be a Dick!!” but I thought it might be a little inappropriate for a headline.

I’ve been teaching my boot camps for almost a year now and, I’ll be honest, I have had such incredible luck having such sprite, positive, wonderful participants in all of my sessions.

…Except for that one person.

You know who I’m talking about, that person who doesn’t really seem like she wants to be there, who stands – purposefully – away from the other participant, who just brings so much negativity to the class.

I’ve had one of those.  Just one, thankfully, but one is enough.

Starting off, she is an acquaintance.  She’d heard about my classes through someone else and contacted me to register.  She turned down my offer to send her registration forms (medical background info, waiver, etc.) as she said she didn’t have access to a printer.  I told her to arrive to the class a few minutes early and to bring a yoga mat or a thick towel (so she won’t have to work off the dirty floor).  The first night of the new session she arrived to the class late and when I gave her the forms she said she didn’t have her glasses and would have to take them home with her to complete.  Uh…yeah, that’s really not how this works, lady.

Because we were about to get started I had a quick private conversation with her asking if there are any health issues I need to know about (heart, lungs, joint, etc.) or if she had any limitations with her exercising.  All answers were no.

She also didn’t bring a yoga mat or a thick towel.

Part way through the class I announced that we would be doing squats next.  “Uh, no we won’t!” She said.  I looked at her and said “What?”  She replied “I am not doing squats!  I have bad knees!”

Ohhh…okay, so when I asked you if you had any joint or health problems or any limitations with your exercising you thought I was joking?  (This is the part where I want to call her an asshole!)

I’m sure you can imagine how the rest of that class went.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The next class, when I arrived at the venue she was outside waiting.  I said hello to her and she ignored me.  When we got inside she shoved her partially-completed forms at me without saying a word.  While everyone else was arriving I went over to speak with her in private, asking her how she felt after the last class (I had also emailed her a day or two after the first class).  “Fine.” was her reply and she turned her head away from me.  I said or asked something about her knees and she looked at me and announced “I know what to do!!”

She also (still) did not bring a yoga mat or a thick towel.

That’s when I sort of lost it.  In a calm-yet-nearly-condescending tone I shot back to her: “I understand that you say you know what to do but as your trainer AND as a fitness professional I need to be aware of your issues and limitations so that I can work with you and so that I am not responsible for your injuries!

I am usually quite tame.  My classes are meant to be fun but this person is so damn negative I want to throat punch her. In all honesty, I really wouldn’t have hurt feelings if she decided not to continue with my classes.

So, for all of you fitness (or any type of) class participants, please don’t be that person.  Go to your class, participate, mingle, have fun, and don’t act like you know it all when someone else is (technically) responsible for you for that time.  Just have fun.  And if you’re determined to be a downer, do everyone else a favor and maybe just stay home.

:) :)

~Fit Bitch

MOM-spiration

When my mother was very young she was hit by a car.  A hit and run.  The driver never came forward and my mom spent a very long time in a children’s hospital in recovery.  Because of that accident she has two very bad knees.

My mother is a hair-stylist which means she spent most of her day on her feet for many years.  Because of this it has caused her knees to worsen and she’s often in a lot of pain.  She’s had minor surgeries which are likely, leading up to an inevitable bigger surgery.

A few summers ago my mom fell off the deck at our house (home will always be home) and landed flat on her face with her arms underneath her.  She broke her nose, both arms, a wrist, and broke her elbow completely off (*barf*).  She had several surgeries and now has a prosthetic elbow.  Unfortunately, her jackass surgeon “fixed” one of her arms wrong and now she has very limited mobility in that arms and has to hold her fork/scissors/toothbrush like a wingnut.

Aside from all that, she’s doing great.  She started walking every day in the fall and continued through most of the winter. Y’know, except on the days that Nova Scotia was completely-friggin’-buried under snow.

A few weeks ago I had a free class for people to come try out the boot camp before the new sessions started.  My mom came.

I really didn’t want her to come because I worry about her and I was worried about her limitations with her arms, and about her getting hurt.  I never want to see my mom in pain.  But she fought me on it and came (and I took great care of her).  “I want to come out and support you.” She said.  (Uh, so you come to the free class?  Thanks Mom!!)

Mom did great at the class.  We worked on modifications and she didn’t push herself past her limitations.  But she came and she worked her ass off!  I was very proud of her.  And she was extremely proud of herself.

The point of this little anecdote is that we need to stop making excuses*.  If my mom, after all she’s been through, can get through one of my kick-ass classes, then we should all be humbled and get out there and take advantage of gorgeous weather or fitness classes or gyms or sports teams and have ourselves a great workout and better our health.

Let my mom be your inspiration today.  She’s been mine.

(*Please note that an excuse is not the same as a legitimate reason.  If you have health issues or injury, etc. be sure to contact your physician before beginning a workout program.)

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

~Fit Bitch

Painful Crave

Painful CraveTonight was the start of a new session of my boot camps.  I had mostly new girls, with one or two returning to exercise after a few months’ hiatus.

Some of these women haven’t exercised in many years.  But they came, they gave their all, and they had fun.

And because I’m super awesome I gave each one of them a little wrapped back of Epsom salts…to help relieve their pain tomorrow. ;)

It was such a good class.  I am so inspired by the commitment of these ladies.  They all gave me props at the end of the class and let me know how great they felt and how nice it was to exercise again and they’re looking forward to the next class.  I guess we’re in the same boat because I can’t wait til next week.

~Fit Bitch

Goal Crushing

Goal CrushIt seems I’ve been MIA the last little while.  Between working, teaching, participating, and studying for my Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist certification, I’ve been a little zonked.  But, I’m here now.

I decided a while back that I wanted to get back into running again…like, full-on like I use to run.  I want to be completely committed to my running and I want to participate in the Harvest Marathon in October….something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while but something always seemed to have been priority that weekend (it just happens to be Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada), my parents’ anniversary weekend, and my nephew’s birthday weekend – so, it’s pretty busy).  Not this year, though.  I’m doing it.  I’m committing myself to doing it and that’s that.

Unfortunately, I have a few hurdles to get over:

1) We’re still partially buried under some snow here in Nova Scotia.  Not nearly the amount we initially had a few months ago but enough that the ground is covered in a lot of places and extremely soggy in the places that it’s bare.  So, I’m working with what I have.  I’m hitting the treadmill at my gym.

2) I have tarsal tunnel syndrome.  I talked about this back in September when I was participating in the Zombie Run and honestly, it just got worse from there.  My ankles sometimes vibrate and ache for days after I run, and I need to keep them elevated and iced (and sometimes medicated).

3) I’m battling a chest cold.  Since I started exercising many years ago I now rarely get sick. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a cold in 8 or 9 years.  On the rare occasion that I do get hit with something, it’s something I’m already prone to like bronchitis or pneumonia (I have a virus in my lungs left from the whooping cough when I was a baby and I get either one or both of these nearly every year), or some weird flu that completely kicks the crap out of me.  But right now I have this crappy chest cold that hasn’t quite come to full surface yet but is sticking around to kick my butt anyway.  I’m not happy.  I would be happier, honestly, if it would just completely rear its ugly head so I can move on and be better.  Right now it’s in the “linger” mode.

So, with these three obstacles in my way I’ve been pushing on.  I have committed myself to running at least 3 times a week.  (This is week is the first time I didn’t get my third run in, but I did get a speed walk in on a lunch break earlier in the week so I think that should count – especially since right now I am a total mouth breather and am still sticking with it. Stupid cold!)  I’m running on top of my regular workouts and teaching, so I don’t feel 100% bad that I didn’t fulfill my goal for this week but there’s still that small part of me.

The first week or so that I started my 3-day-a-week runs my ankles were atrocious.  They were rattling and vibrating and aching to the point I almost wanted to give up.  I stopped wearing shoes at work (as much as I can get away with), and I have my feet elevated most of the day.  And it seems that my ankles have strengthened!  They’re conditioning with each run and getting stronger and the tarsal tunnel is almost not affecting me at all.  Positive vibes, y’all!

Since I missed out on that third run I made sure today would be a great gym sesh – to make up for my absence.  And what a great workout I had.  I had a nearly steady run – only stopping once to blow my sad little nose*** (again, full-on mouth breather here) and got right back to it.  I had a steady pace, a good incline, and I ran like the wind.  I hit my target and when I finished I got some good strength in – and completed some crazy box jumps – which I’d never even thought about doing at the gym before (another goal!).  I felt accomplished – and exhausted and wiped out – and proud at the end of my workout today.

Tomorrow is Monday and the start of a new week – which means completing my 3 runs on top of my other workouts.  Once this cold is gone and I feel more confident in my ankle abilities I plan to increase my runs to 4 times a week.  By this time the snow will be gone and I won’t have to venture all the way to the gym to accomplish this.  Also, a friend and I are going to attempt to get some runs in on our lunch breaks when we can.  Right now is perfect weather since it’s not too hot yet – I don’t want to go back to work looking like a sweat hog – but a mid-level run during lunch can certainly help with the new goal(s).

On top of all the running, there’s so much more I want to explore with exercise – in and out of the gym.  Today I tried a couple of new things and I was happy with the results.  So, as long as I set the goals, they’re mine to crush!

~Fit Bitch

***SPEAKING of blowing your nose at the gym – last weekend during a run the dude on the next treadmill decided to blow his nose…..right into his tshirt.  Who does that?  I’m all for wiping your sweaty brow with your shirt if you have to but blowing your nose into your clothing is disgusting – especially since the room is full of paper towel dispensers and there are washroom facilities available.  Gross.

The Times they are a-Changin’

Don’t let this be you tomorrow!

daylight savings

I cannot believe the time change is already here.  BUT, I guess that means we’re that much closer to Spring and outdoor activities.

I kid you not, I am STILL surrounded by mountains of snow but the sun has been shining here and there (although I think it’s supposed to snow again today *sigh*) and I’m dreaming of warmer weather.

So, even though we’re losing that hour tomorrow, be sure to make the make the effort to fit that workout in.

~Fit Bitch

My Mind is Getting a Workout!

Y’know, when I signed up for my Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist course at Christmas time I honestly thought it would be a breeze.

bookworm21

This particular CanFitPro course is all online – except for the classroom day which, by the way, is next Saturday – and I thought doing an online course would be a piece-of-cake.  I was wrong!

First of all, I hate online courses.  This is my first and likely my last!  I really love having a book – like, an actual paper book that I can flip through pages, highlight notes, write in the margins, and refer to certain page numbers for reference.  This is something I am unable to do right now.  Aggghh!!

Second, depending on what device I’m using – computer, iPod, or tablet – the layout AND page numbers of the online manual are different.  THAT is a complete pain in my ass.  I am a huge note-taker and I really like being able to make a note, write down the page number I found it on, and refer back to it for more info later.  This is also some I am unable to do right now.

Thirdly, depending on the day, the site is sometimes down or I get a page error.  Hello??  WASTING MY TIME!! Not an option!!

I am frantically working my way through this course, trying to get it completed as it is a requisite for next Saturday’s class.  Please be patient with me.  I have not forgotten you.  I have so much to tell and share.

Sadly, it’s Friday night and I will be sitting right here with my computer working away for the next several hours.  Wish me luck.

~Fit Bitch

Snow Workout

I’ve clearly been getting some extra cardio and strength workouts in this past week:

Yep - there's a car under there.  MY CAR!

Yep – there’s a car under there. MY CAR!

We had a major blizzard here in Nova Scotia (and other parts of the Maritimes) last weekend.  Obviously I was snowed in for a few days which means I had to cancel my classes and miss the gym.  So, on top of the crazy home workouts I did, I got to shovel a whole lot of snow.  Like, a whole lot.  A.TON!

Fortunately, the majority of the snow in the photo above was cleared by a plow but, as you can see, my car was almost completely buried and digging my way to clear a path to get to the car was a feat in its own.  I felt totally accomplished by the end.

~Fit Bitch

30 Day Plank Challenge Starts TODAY!!

My last post was an intro to the 30 Day Plank Challenge….and it.starts.now!

You have an easy 20 seconds to do.  Start planking.

via source

via source

The great thing about this (as with most) exercise is that you can only improve.  (Unless, of course you suffer injury, and please, let’s all avoid that!)

You can do each day’s challenge once or several times.  Become a master!

And you can do it anywhere….I will find no shame in dropping down by my desk to plank for 20, 30, 60 seconds.  :)

No excuses for this one (again, unless you have suffered an injury, especially to your lower back.  With a physician’s approval, however, planks are excellent for strengthening back muscles  – along with the rest of your muscles).

I CHALLENGE YOU ALL TO THE NEXT 30 DAYS!!

~Fit Bitch

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