SUNday

Being outside is incredibly important for our well-being, and I feel like with the fast-paced Life many people have nowadays, it happens less and less.  When I worked in Fashion, that was my fate also – I LIVED in my office, airplanes, and other people’s’ offices, basically.  I rarely had the opportunity to get outside and I definitely felt the effects of the lack of Vitamin D – lethargy, moodiness, less patience…it was just bad news.

Growing up, I watched my father do the same thing…except his days were even LONGER.  So what do you do..?  

If you can manage even five minutes – which may well be walking to and from the food place downstairs for lunch – it’s worth it.  

Or maybe it is a step-outside-to-have-a-quick-sip-of-coffee kind of breather.  I’m not saying it lightly either – I literally ate at my desk as if chained to it!  My only breaks were to run to the ladies room, or to the kitchen to get a second coffee.  The way that I worked was straight through, head down, nose to the grindstone – the concept of “hour lunches”…even “HALF hour lunches” didn’t register on my radar.

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But even just a few minutes of blue skies is a help – it’s a quick reset – and with the stress of jobs these days, it’s vital.  Some deep breaths of fresh air can make a world of difference when everything else is 24/7 realtime.  

And, since you probably fall short during the week…it is important to make time on the weekend!  Sitting indoors on a beautiful day is (for me personally) a crime!  Even if I’m exhausted, the air has a rejuvenating effect, and the sun beams have a lifting one.

My hunnie has an incredibly busy schedule and definitely doesn’t have two seconds to breathe during the work week… So two weekends ago we went to the park and just people watched – it was wonderfully relaxing (not to mention entertaining!), and absolutely uplifting.  He then had the awesome idea to buy a frisbee so the next time we could be out there playing too…

IT’S ON!!!!

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Sundays are my REST day.  I’m not great about taking time out for R&R – I train six days a week – so Sundays are the one day I force myself to relax.  Still, zero movement is hard for me – my body needs something, and being cooped up is a surefire way to make me nuts.  An hour or two in the park throwing a frisbee is THE perfect active rest I need…and it gave us that time to get some sunny, full breaths of fresh air.

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To add to the fun and healthy activity, we went to a now-favorite local haunt for a healthy lunch.  I’ve already decided I love their tuna, and so I got my “usual” – plain grilled fish on top of baby spinach (TONS of it!)  It was a massive boost of calcium, vitamin k, vitamin A, folate, B vitamins, potassium and protein.

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The Reward

Some days are really hard to motivate as far as the cardio goes… But as the years have progressed, I find that cardiovascular work is absolutely vital to my well-being.  It isn’t strictly physical either – I need it emotionally and spiritually as much as anything else.

The past few days made for a more intense week than I have had in a long time, though… I’m sore EVERYWHERE!  I’m not only continuing with my cardio and lifting, but also endeavoring to maintain my Taekwondo and Hapkido practice (test coming up!)  On top of all that, I also started two (to three) new Martial Arts, which are not only challenging on an intellectual level, but very much so on a physical one as well.

With Ninjustsu, JuJutsu and Brazilian JiuJitsu on the roster, that means new types of muscle recruitment AND extra exercise.  That said, I am not in a place ~YET~ where it can take place of some of the cardio sessions (I’d love it if that were the case but I still have to do my HIIT treadmill and spin time for now!)

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So despite the weariness and sore muscles, I pushed through – it wasn’t my best, and it didn’t have to be.  Getting ON a bike, or treadmill…stepping foot in a gym…it takes effort.  Just getting there is a huge hurdle surmounted, and I always encourage people at that point who feel like they aren’t doing enough.  You STARTED – you walked through the door, sat on the bike, hopped on a treadmill – that’s a big deal!  Don’t forget that you had the choice to stay home or do nothing, and you chose to be active – WAY TO GO! 🙂

Once you start, I find that you often are able to push more than you thought.  A friend of mine the other day said he hit a plateau with push ups – three sets of a certain number.  When he asked what I would do, I offered two thoughts:

  1. Get to that “I’m stuck number,” take a deep breath and squeeze out one more on each set…OR
  2. Try less reps, more sets, to pass the total number of the 3 sets combined.

He wrote me back to say he opted for less reps, more sets…and he beat the total by 7! 😀

My goal on the bike the other morning was 60 minutes – I normally stick it through and do 90, and I have habit of giving myself a guilt trip when I don’t get there… But listening to our bodies is what keeps us healthy – I could do a better job of that too!  As my Grandmaster says, “are you going to the Olympics?! No?  SLOW DOWN!

So I jumped on…put on the Sonos (thanks to my man!) and did it.  It wasn’t the fastest, or hardest, or all-around most ideal ride…but it was SOMETHING.  I felt better for the rest of the day knowing I got it in.  Honestly, that’s one of the biggest rewards of all – knowing you made the effort and pushed through even when you wanted to quit.  Proving to yourself that you have what it takes is like getting a trophy!

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I’ve also been doing activities like Aerial Yoga on the weekend, and one or two Martial Arts classes…so I’ve decided that there will be zero traditional cardio and weights for Saturdays and Sundays.  And when I need to sleep longer to recharge and rest my muscles…I DO IT!