creepy blond spin instructor

This morning I was on a roll with health care-related phone calls to the east coast and didn’t want to stop until I was done.  Finishing up business combined with not really feeling like bouncing around in the water made it easy to skip swim class.  However, I still had my 10am Hebrew lesson at the JCC so I packed up a bag with both gym and swim items so I could chose what I wanted to do.  After taking in as much Hebrew as my brain could handle, I decided I still didn’t feel like getting wet so I tried one of the fancy spin bikes that has video workout screens installed.  I sat on the bike and followed instructions from a blond cyclist who grinned at me, looking as if biking through a blue nothing-ness accompanied by out of balance techno music was the most fun he’d ever had.  I chose a level 1, 20 minute workout (yeah, not really pushing myself today!) and did most of what the instructor told me to do, keeping my RPM in sync with the computer and coming out of the saddle for a few of the climbs.  I was far from worn out at the end but felt satisfied for today.

Next, I picked up 3 lb hand weights and did two sets of several arm and shoulder exercises then concluded with a short stretch.  Feeling good!

the workout: 20 minute spin

10 reps x 2: squats w/ shoulder press, forward lat raise balancing on one leg, bent arm lat raise standing balancing other leg, dumbbell curls w/ slow squats, backward tricep extension, bird-dog, chatturanga push-ups on knees

shoulder exercises

They’re getting easier by the day!  I just completed my Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVD and was shocked when the “keep it up” shoulder exercise at the finished and I wasn’t even fatigued.  Yay for all those shoulder strengtheners in yoga class.  The exercise in this DVD consists of holding arms straight out to the sides, making fists with thumbs pointing up and doing small shoulder circles.  Keep it up for about 5 minutes.  Jane at Yoga Tree, where I take my Wednesday classes always talks us through four different types of shoulder strengtheners  while she reminds us we won’t be able to put our babies down just because our arms are tired.  One of these days I’m going to post some of these on my core page.  In the mean time, build those muscles!

Anyway, the rest of my workout today didn’t feel quite as good because every time I moved, my hip reminded me to take it easy.  I had to stop the hip rotations and leg lifts and one point to rest but other than needing to move slowly, I survived!  My stomach muscles (yes, they’re still there somewhere) must be staying semi-strong because none of the core work felt remotely challenging and let I mention again… my arms and shoulders are in good shape 🙂

the workout: 40 minute strength training DVD

eating in the mountains

Hmmm… what to blog about today?? I haven’t been movement-inclined lately. We spent most of Christmas cooking & eating (with a short walk afterward), then went for a nice walk in the park with MC yesterday before we took a lengthy drive up to Tahoe, slugging our way through traffic and stopping for a food break in Davis. This morning I woke up at 5am feeling as though I’d been hit by a truck. I was too stuffed up to breath and my hips were hurting, as usual. At 6am my stomach started grumbling, so I came upstairs for a snack of almonds and a satsuma. I fell back to sleep sitting up for a couple of hours, which relieved both stuffy nose and hips, then enjoyed a cup of tea before a morning walk. I was huffing and puffing even though we walked very slowly and after we’d been out only 20 minutes I turned us around. Didn’t want to overdo it my first morning at altitude. After a day out (which naturally involved more eating and shopping) we came home to snack and relax. I decided it would be a good time to pull out my perfect pregnancy workout DVD. I did all of it, except the end 10 minutes of shoulder exercises, laughing with MC while she read by the fire and likened the music to a porn soundtrack. It felt good to move and the baby in my belly finally fell asleep!

As I read over this, I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t be writing a food blog instead of an exercise blog?!

the workouts: a little walking, 45 min strength training

the perfect indoor workout

I tried a new spinning class at the Richmond YMCA today and loved it.  It was heart rate training specific and actually felt like a training ride instead of an aerobics class.  We did a good 45 minute endurance ride plus warm-up and cool-down and it was strange to watch my heart rate stay in what used to be my zones 2 and 3 but feel as though I was working.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I did quite a bit of research online and and spoke with my OB about workout heart rate during pregnancy.  Most health care professionals agree that heart rate is less relevant than perceived level of exertion or body temperature, so I focus mainly on how I’m feeling.  Still it was fun to strap on a heart rate monitor and see how hard I was indeed working.  What I learned is that I could probably push myself more than I’m doing, but that I’d rather be comfortable these days.  The issue of bike shorts digging into my belly (and bladder!) is an entire other comfort issue.  I wonder if anyone sells maternity bike shorts?

the workout:

45 minute endurance heart-rate spin class

core work:  crunches leaning on bosu ball to keep head above heart, side crunch, quadruped birddog  2 X 10 each

upper body strength training: shoulder press w/ dumbbell while doing wide leg squats (toes pointing out to maintain neutral spine), front arm raises w/ dumbbell, single are dumbbell bicep curls, tricep dips   2 X 10 each

looking absurd

I decided to give my body a break today and go for a walk.  I accompanied my husband across the park to catch the train to work, ran some errands over there, then took a long meandering route home.  Midway through I decided that I should try using my shopping bags as arm weights and do a little upper body work while I walked.  At first I was tentative, a bright pink target with bulging belly doing silly things with shopping bags, but I quickly realized I looked like every other crazy person in the park and stopped caring.  My walk became a muddy scramble when one path dead-ended and I climbed up an embankment- only to find more fences and be forced to retrace my steps.  I kept my pace up the entire walk and was careful at all times not to overextend my back as I lifted the bags while walking.  I actually worked up a sweat- but that may have had more to do with my scarf and raincoat than my “workout”!

To try this at home, all you need is a small shopping list and two bags, walking shoes and a je n’aime pas attitude.  Have fun!

the workout: 45 minute walk, arm/shoulder strength training w/ shopping bags,

3 X 10 each:

side lat raises, curls, front lat raises, shoulder press, shoulder roll

gaining strength

The cold weather moved in today and my swim class was cancelled this morning (which I discovered after I’d risen early to get to the pool!), so after my afternoon nap I pulled out my new prenatal workout DVD.  I watched the instructions, put on running shoes, flipped my yoga mat to floor-side-up then collected the necessary chair, pillows, and cans of pumpkin (in place of hand weights).  I was charmed by the instructor’s French accent as she told her history with her twin sister in Cirque du Soleil and her plans to be back in shape 6 weeks after the baby’s arrival in order to film a new act.  She looked spectacularly good for 8 months pregnant and was totally inspiring.  Check out The Perfect Pregnancy Workout if you’re expecting anytime soon!

I stuck to most of the beginner modifications and only had to stop midway through the second set of tricep dips.  There was never a rest. For example, when I moved into child’s pose between sets of push-ups, I was instructed to do kegels and after my quads were burning from too many squats, I was told to hold the last squat and guess what was added?  Yep, more kegels.  The grand finale came in the form of arm circles for something like 5 minutes to “prepare my body for labor”.  I was encouraged to keep everything else loose and and my focus on the breath while my shoulders and arms fatigued.  This video is a complete body workout and I look forward to doing it regularly so I can become advanced 🙂

getting buff

I walked all over the place to run errands today and decided to stop at the gym on my way home and get buff.  Not that I truly believe my 5 lb dumbbells are going to turn me into a bodybuilder but I have to start somewhere, right?  (Just to clarify, I’m not actually trying to become a bodybuilder, just redefine some of the muscles I used to have before triathlon took over my life!)  Speaking of triathlon, I did all three sports in the past three days!  We biked across town Saturday to run errands and find the sunshine (it was just past Park Presidio).  Besides, we knew if we moved the car, some lucky attendee of the Outside Lands festival would snatch our space, not to be recovered until midnight.  We racked up 11 miles and saved 1/4 galon of gas!  On Sunday we ventured back to the Presidio pool but I was dismayed to find that the pump hadn’t actually been fixed yet and the water was still freezing.  After 600 cold yards, I called it a day and excused myself to the warmth of the shower.  I’m not going back until I have confirmation of warmer temperatures!  Today’s walk was brisk, much like what I would do instead of running at the end of a long triathlon 🙂 and I found myself out of breath as I raced to my appointment while chatting on the phone.  So I’ll call it aerobic.

the workout: exercises at the gym

bosu right-side up for 1 foot balance, upside down for two foot balance and squats while doing various exercises: shoulder press, lat raise front and side, curls,

one leg lunge and balance back and forth with shoulder press

core- quadriped regular & with one leg extended w/ opposite arm tri curl, side and regular plank

leg raises lying on side angled in front of body, parallel & back

fly machine- forward lunge w/ 2 arm chest press, one arm back fly