bosu ball

One of the biggest parts of my new years resolutions is to be healthier and finally lose this damn baby weight.  I can not tell you how sick and tired I am carrying around this extra 30 pounds.  There is no more time for excuses and although the weight isn’t flying off as quickly as I would like, I am dedicated to integrating exercise into my daily life, if for no other reason than it makes me feel really good and gets me out of the house by myself most days.

There is definitely something to be said for the peaceful, all consuming loudness of being alone with my mp3 player.  It’s almost as good as the silence below the bath water.  Very restorative and the sweat and chemical release is great too.

I am also counting and logging my daily food and exercise, but I will cover all that in another post.

For me, saying things out loud helps me to keep myself accountable.  With that, here is my exercise routine.

Finding the right environment

The first thing I did was change what gym I went to, or really changed gyms so that I would start going.  My old gym was one of those neighborhood jobbies and although the equipment was really nice and it was never busy, it also wasn’t very inspiring and they didn’t offer any classes.

I was also paying an extreme amount for two yoga classes a week at an Iyengar studio near my house.    Although I really enjoyed these classes, I just wasn’t sure that Iyengar was the style of yoga I wanted to pursue long term.  Also, although challenging I didn’t feel like it was really contributing to my weight loss, which at some point just needed to take priority.

So, I joined a gym very close to my house (one of the major chains) that offered  yoga and other classes included in the price.  In the end we are paying a little more for the gym but a lot less for yoga and in this economy and with my weight loss goals for the year, I think this is the best fit.

I do miss taking yoga classes at a studio.  It is a totally different experience and much more serious and I fully plan on finding a studio to join after I have reached my weight loss goals that is more aligned with the style of yoga I would like to pursue going forward.

Vinyasa Yoga Classes

I attend 2 Vinyasa power yoga classes a week and would like to add in one more on Sunday mornings, but realistically this will most likely be an on and off thing as weekends are really family time and that needs to take priority.  But, if we are just sitting around doing nothing on a Sunday morning, then I will try to hit this class once in a while.

I have done a bunch of research about how many calories are burned during a vinyasa yoga class.  I found varying numbers from 300 to 500 calories and hour.   It would be significantly more if this were a hot class, but alas it is not.   The class I take is 90 minutes and so I usually log 500 calories for the class.

Cardio 

My cardio machine of choice is the treadmill, but I would really like to add in some biking as well.  Maybe even a spinning class one morning a week if I can ever get Ian to stay in the child care room there.  

Anyway, I have been good about getting two additional hour long cardio workouts per week, but this really needs to be three.  Maybe as the weather gets nicer, I can take this one outside –  A long walk with the dog or a heavy duty landscaping work day or a bike ride on the Burke.

I do interval workouts alternating between running, walking, hills and sprints.   An hour gets me about 450 calories, but this should increase as my abilities increase and I can up the intensity.

10 minute mini workouts

My next step is to add a quick 10 minute mini workout at some point each day.  This is an opportunity for me to target a certain area or get in an extra strength builder or do some of the yoga poses that I no longer get to do taking an all levels gym based yoga class (mostly inversions).

Some of my options for this are….

Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer –  I have these videos but I haven’t really used them much.  They do seem like a great way to get pretty intense 10 minute workouts that cover a diverse spectrum of exercise.  I like how Tony Horton doesn’t use the same old same old techniques, but incorporates yoga, pilates and multi-dimentional exercises into his workouts.    It may just be time to pull these videos out.

Bosu Ball Daily Dose – I really like the Bosu ball and am looking for more ways to use it.  The Daily Dose is a set of three exercises repeated in circuit and can be modified to increase or decrease the intensity.  It’s pretty fun and a good workout.

Core Workout – I really like the Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer Core workout.   There is also a bosu ball core workout that looks interesting.   And although I am really not into the design on this site – it makes me a little dizzy, they do seem to have lots of core exercise examples.

Quick Yoga Series – I am really missing head stand (Salamba Sirsasana), shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) and plow pose (halasana).  These were some of my favorites, but in the gym class environment it just isn’t possible to do these poses, so I am going to try and incorporate them often, hopefully daily at some point.

Just a note, my old yoga instructor said that it is very important to do shoulder stand after you have done headstand – something about balancing things out and such.  They go hand in hand I guess.

Combining these with a forward bend, a mild back bend and a twist would make a lovely little restorative sequence.

So to get down and dirty with my year long resolutions, by the end of the year I would like to be consistently taking 2 yoga classes a week and a spinning class.  Ian starts preschool in the fall so that will open up a morning a week to take a spinning class.  I would also like to be doing 2 additional cardio workouts and 5 mini workouts a week.  

With all that said,  I also want to keep in mind this years overall goal of not getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand.  I will push myself strongly, but also be forgiving.  If I get overwhelmed or start feeling bad about my results or not going to the gym some night, I will give it up and that just simply can not happen.  So as I have been telling myself over and over and over and over again lately “remain calm and think positively” and hopefully I will learn that it is ok to give myself a break sometimes.

This is my favorite Bosu Ball Workout I have found.  I also like to sit on it in boat pose while watching TV and it provides good additional support for roll ups as my abs have a serious case of the baby makers.

Note:  The titles and wording that I use may be different than the official video.  Please don’t hold it against me.

Daily Dose – 10 min Total Body Bosu Workout

Sit Down/Get Ups

  • Stand in front of the ball. Tighten your abs, square your legs, arms out in front of you.
  • Sit down on the ball and lean back until just before you would tip over
  • Use your hands on the ball by your hips for support if you need it, otherwise arms stay out in front
  • Using your abs and hips pull yourself up to a squat and then use your legs to lift you to standing. Be careful of your knee position to avoid injury.

Open Down Dog to Push Up

  • Stand behind the ball with your legs spread wide. Place your feet on the ball in front of you. A down dog with an open stance.
  • Stretch your tailbone toward the sky and support yourself strongly with your arms, shoulder moving towars your waste and into the shoulder blades.
  • Move one knee to the ball walking your hands out in front of the ball and do a push up.
  • Return to open down dog then alternate with the other knee.

Stand on the ball

  • Stand with both feet on the ball, hip width apart. Hands at your side.
  • If this is difficult, stay here and move on when you feel ready
  • Lift your hands and arms slowly out and over your head then bring you hands down through the center of your body, breathing in on the way up and breathing out on the way down.
  • When you have mastered this try looking up at your hands at the top of the movement.
  • When you have mastered this, try the whole thing with your eyes closed

The goal is to do four sets of 15 reps of each exercise in curcuit.

Watch the full video for detailed instructions, form essentials and beginner and advanced variations and modifications.

I have a confession to make.  I collect exercise paraphernalia.  I am one of those people.  I see some new piece of exercise equipment or workout video and I fall right into it’s trap and before you know it, it is in my living room.   Yes, I even had a Tony Little Gazelle at one point.  I’m so ashamed.  It’s a good thing my house isn’t bigger or things might get ugly.

I have made a vow that at some point I am going to create the ultimate workout, incorporating them all.  Maybe it will make me millions.  I could make quite the circuit workout using the circular floor plan of my house. Hmmm, that’s a thought.

In the meantime, I have just discovered an alternative and fantastic use for all this crap.  This morning I pulled out the mini trampoline, which I actually do use while watching tv.  It’s fun, what can I say.

By the way, have you caught the The Starter Wife mini series that led to the new tv series on USA.  I ran across it Monday morning by accident and I have to say, I really like it.  I think I am going to tivo the series even though I can’t imaging having more TV I feel obligated to watch.  No wonder I’m so fat.

Anyway, I digress.  So,  I am making lunch for the kids after preschool today and all of a sudden the wining for food and milk and crackers and “I’m hungry” and “When’s lunch” etc.  came to a halt and all I could hear was laughing coming from the living room.

This, I had to check out.  What did I find?  Ian was happily bouncing on the mini trampoline and Ada had turned over the Bosu Ball in the trampoline’s spot in the corner and was balancing, struggling, falling off and trying again.  I also saw the pilates ball that they love to roll around and chase, usually leading to them chasing each other and the bands which make for great, if not a little dangerous, tug of war ropes.  It was a little bit of an aha moment.

CIMG2840

This stuff may go to good use after all.  See, I live in Seattle and if you know nothing else about Seattle, you probably know that it rains a lot here.  And I mean a lot.  It is cloudy and dreary and a stay inside day here more days than not.  Why do we live here?  You got me?  No really,  there are lots of really great things about living in Seattle, the weather just isn’t one of them.

Anyway,  heading into the winter months with small kids has to have all Seattle moms a little nervous.  Without the backyard or neighborhood park at our disposal, how do you keep the kids and yourself from going completely stir crazy?  Well, I think that I may have just found myself a solution.

The exercise equipment playground has erected itself in our living room.  A little messy?  yeah.  A little rambunctious?  Yeah, but just for a little while and the tired satisfied look of children that just had a good romp and now are ready for a nice long nap is priceless and worth an hour of chaos any day.

And you know the best part? I can’t wait to play with them.  Exercise and family fun for everyone. Ahhhh.