What’s Your Exercise Type?

This morning I played with Weight Watchers’ eTools checking out the fitness section. I discovered a fitness quiz designed to build a personal activity profile and training guide. A quiz? Fun.

The first time through, I’d answer the questions honestly to get my profile. Then I’d run through the quiz multiple times to see the different types of personalities I am not. Why? I’m a marketer. It’s what I do.

The multiple-choice questions were pretty simple: last time I exercised regularly, do I like working out with other people, outdoor vs. indoor workouts, and am I competitive.

From what I can tell, quiz takers fit into one of five categories: competitor, explorer, individualist, joiner, and perfect partner.

(You can take the activity profile quiz if you are a subscriber to Weight Watchers eTools. Otherwise, take the poll to choose your exercise type.)

Well, it turns out I’m an (drum roll, please)…Individualist!

I can see that. Working out is a time for me to clear my thoughts. Also if I’m exercising with friends I’m more likely to socialize than get a great workout. I know my limitations!

As for the suggested workouts, some I’m already doing like hiking, walking, yoga and strength training. But some suggestions intrigued me: biking, hitting balls at a driving range, water workouts (suggest exercises for the pool), and inline skating.

The last time I rode a bike?  About 20 years ago.  Now I did buy a bike in 2010. Where’s that bike now? Sitting in a shed. How sad. Maybe this fall I get back on that horse.

There’s a pool and driving range near out house. Perhaps a couple of times a month I try swimming and hitting golf balls. It certainly breaks up the monotony of walking and yoga everyday.

As for inline skating, all I can say is “Yikes!”  I’d say that’s a big, fat no for now. Until I master the bike, no way in hell I’m getting on skates.  Now that doesn’t mean never. Maybe it’s something to try next spring.



Small Victory: Push-Ups

I actually did push ups today.  I did my plank pose and then 5 push-ups during yoga.

Yes, both the plank and push-ups were the modified versions, but the fact I did them is what counts. In about a week, I’ll try the non-modified plank pose. But for now, I’m sticking to my knees.

Baby stepping one step at a time.

Namaste! Knee Pain Gone But Yoga Still Kicking My Butt

Image courtesy of Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

My knee feels great. No more pain, swelling or tightness. The 3-week break from walking, the yoga and a liberal application of ice did the trick. This afternoon I plan to test the knee with 30-minutes of yoga followed by a 10-minute walk at a moderate pace.

The yoga workout is full body, so I’m thinking that the more intense stretching (compared to my stretching before the injury) is what the doctor ordered for my knee.

If all goes well, I plan to walk 2 more times this week. If no pain, then I’ll see about bumping to an every other day schedule – but keeping to a moderate pace. I want to wait a couple of weeks before I start thinking of speed again.

Plank Pose Is Bane Of My Existence!
I’m still not able to do all of Level 1 on the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD – damn you Plank Pose! But I am getting better. I’m still on my knees for plank, but now I can do the modified sideways plank.  But full plank followed by push ups…I’m just not there yet with the upper body strength. My goal is to do the full, non-modified Plank section of the DVD by the end of next week.

Modified 30-Day Sit Up Challenge
After pleas from some family members, I decided to do a more modified version of the 30-Day Sit Up Challenge. So yes, it is still challenging, but I’m not running the risk of injury. Instead of increasing the number of sit ups by 5 a day, I’m doing the same number each day for a week and add 5 for the next week. This week, it’s 10. Next week, that number will bump to 15. I’m also breaking them up in to sets, taking a short break in between for water and stretching. I’m getting a workout, but no pain or Charley Horses.


Yoga Kicked My Butt…And I Liked It

Stretching isn't the same without my yoga toe socks!

Stretching isn’t the same without my yoga toe socks!

I woke up to a very tight right knee.  That means one thing: YOGA TIME!

I popped in my Yoga For Beginners DVD. For some reason this morning, I’m not very patient. This DVD just wasn’t doing it for me. The first five+ minutes consisted of me lying on my back breathing. Why did I have to get out of bed for that?

I know meditation is important in yoga and I actually enjoyed it during class. Perhaps I was just anxious about my knee and wanted to start stretching. So I popped my other yoga DVD, The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga.

I’ve never watched the show and didn’t know what to expect.

The DVD allowed me to customize my workout, so I could select sessions to play back-to-back. Awesome! I decided to try the 5-minute warm up and Level 1 (20-minute core session).

Even though I followed the guy doing the sissified version, this routine kicked my sorry, not-so-little ass.  It’s  amazing how much flexibility I lost since May! I met my match during the Plank Position. I was so worried about my knee I didn’t realize my wrists were as week as kittens.  It didn’t matter that I did Plank on my knees. My wrists couldn’t handle it. Then Trainer Bob got all psychotic on me and added push ups to the Plank Position. By the time the last Plank set rolled around, I just dropped into Child’s Pose.

My body trembled during each pose. I always feel nervous when that happens. To me its a sign I’m doing the it wrong. Shouldn’t I be  smooth like everyone on the DVD?  Thankfully Trainer Bob said that the shaking means your muscles are feeling the burn.

Overall, I loved this DVD, at least the warm up and Level 1. Truthfully, Levels 2 and 3 terrify me so I’ll wait before attempting those. I’ll do today’s set 4 times this week.

Only one little glitch with the workout. Spider, my evil overlord cat, was in the room and bit my ankle during of all things, Downward Dog Pose. Little bastard! I promptly kicked him out and continued.

Since my butt got kicked this morning, it’s time for a low carb breakfast – Eggs over easy served on asparagus with a side of crispy bacon. Yum!

Yoga And The School Of Hard Knocks

Image courtesy of Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Ambro and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When I decided to make my health a priority last year, I went from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one overnight.  Bad move.

I severely limited my physical activity in 2012 thanks to pulled leg and back muscles, and knee and Achilles tendon injuries. My doctor recommended I start with yoga to increase my flexibility and mobility.

I got myself a membership at a yoga studio and felt better after my first class. I ended up going 3-4 times a week. I saw improvements in my flexibility and energy level. I became more confident with each class and stayed on track with my food program.

If it was so great, why did I stop?

While I loved doing yoga and could see results, in May I decided not to renew my membership at the yoga studio.  It just cost too much money.  I know you shouldn’t put a price tag on your health, but when you are a one income household, prioritizing where every penny goes is a reality.  Sure I looked at other yoga facilities. But all of them were just too expensive.

Power walking became my sole form of exercise. After all,  I don’t need a membership to walk. Now that’s stopped thanks to my knee. But hey, I saved some money. Oh crap!

Yes, I’m still kicking myself because I didn’t keep the yoga going. There are lots of free online yoga videos, why didn’t I try them?  Why didn’t I spend the $8 on a yoga DVD? Would I have injured my knee if I still did yoga?

Shoulda coulda woulda. Ugh! I’m tired of second guessing myself. What’s done is done. Time to move forward.

Yoga is back on the workout menu. I dug my yoga mats out of the closet and ordered a beginners DVD from Amazon.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to check out my knee. I know that yoga can actually help with the healing process, but until I have the all clear the hero pose is off-limits. Once I get the green light, yoga will once again be a big part of my fitness routine.

Kicking My Plateau’s Arse

Dot to Trot's smooth yoga moves? Nope. An image courtesy of ponsuwan/ FreeDigitalImage.net

Dot to Trot’s smooth yoga moves? Nope. Image courtesy of ponsuwan/FreeDigitalImage.net

If you are trying to lose weight then at some point or another you will hit a plateau. Plateaus are my mortal enemies. The quickest way to spell the end of my diets – hitting that damn plateau. They are just so maddeningly frustrating to break through.

I experienced a hellish one back in January. For nearly 7 miserable weeks the scale seemed stuck at 280. Oh, it would tease me and dip to 278 only to sucker punch me the next week to 282. No matter what I did food wise, I was stuck.

My normal M.O. when a plateau crosses my path is to give up. Not this time. Why? Attitude.

My only thought was how bad I was going to kick this plateau’s ass. People were going to feel sorry for this plateau when they realized how far my foot was up its butt. I knew I was on the right path – my clothes were all loose, I had way more energy, I didn’t want to eat unhealthy foods. Nothing was going to stop me.

So how did I kick this plateau’s arse? Yoga.

Because of my injuries, I lost weight just by eating right. However, come January, my metabolism settled in and my body got use to what I was doing. I couldn’t cut back without feeling hungry all day – not good when you are a fat chick! Eating healthy was no longer enough. Thankfully my doctor give me the clear to do yoga. I started doing yoga 3 days a week. And then, like magic, the scale started to cooperate.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve added daily walks to my routine, kicking my metabolism up a few more notches.

Obviously, the closer I get to my goal weight, the slower the weight will come off. While I’ve been averaging a loss of 3.5 lbs the last few weeks, I don’t expect to keep that up. Also, I know my plateau will come back someday. So I plan to be better prepared to give it another ass-whupping.