Friday, December 21, 2012

First Experiences: Calorie Crusher!

Calorie Crusher is best described with one word: intense. It's a 55 minute calisthenics/aerobics class that can pack a major calorie burn-if you work for it. It's held a few times a week at my local gym, but can easily be done on your own or even at home.

When you walk into calorie crusher, there are 10 sheets of paper taped to the floor-to-celing mirror. Each sheet has the name of one type of exercise on it. Each exercise is performed for 60 seconds, and then you progress to the next one until all 10 are complete. At which point, the instructor will scream something such as "Rip it down, or we'll do it again!" Someone will run up and rip the #10 exercise down.

Then we go through exercises 1-9 again, each for 60 seconds. At the end of this round, someone (hopefully) will rip down #9. And so it continues until all 10 rounds have been completed.

 Each class, the specific exercises change. Some of them are familiar, such as:
  • Run/March in Place
  • Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
  • V-sits
  • Planks
  • Burpees
  • Pushups

Others are less familiar, but easily learned:
The class has taught me a lot of new exercises, and has challenged me to go outside my fitness comfort zone (which typically revolves around cardio only). It can easily be done at home as well, although it isn't quite as easy to stay motivated without having an instructor hollering at you.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Goals #9

#1. Drink more water. I took a body fat % measurement today, and it had an additional measurement called a body hydration index. Mine was -0.72, and a normal amount is in the single (positive) digits. While I'm not sure how this number is calculated or how accurate it is, I already know that I don't stay hydrated enough. To help this, I bought quite a few store-brand sugar free vitamin waters at the grocery store this week. I'm much more likely to drink them than water, and they are easy to refill at work.
Report out: I did much better with this because I prepared by purchasing and bringing in bottled vitamin water to work. I would drink most of it before lunch, then refill it 1-2 times in the afternoon. Having a physical, disposable bottle helped a lot. I was sick with the flu (or something) this weekend, but tried to drink as much as I could keep down.

#2. Strength train 2x this week. Ideally this would be a session of yoga and then upper and lower body each once. I went to a strength training class yesterday, and it felt really good. I'm still sore. Should be ready for yoga tomorrow night though as it will have been >48 hours between sessions by then.
Report out: Done-yoga on Monday, and legs/butt on Friday. I was going to do abs and upper body this weekend, but decided not to do to being sick.

#3. Take a half hour walk at lunch at least 3 days this week. This helps prepare me mentally for the afternoon, and helps to break up a day of sitting at my desk.
Report out: Only did this once. It is a start (sort of).

#4. Go to gym at least 5 out of the 7 days this week. If I can do all of them, even better. Unless the weather is good enough to go outside on the weekend.
Report out: I believe I did 4 of the 7 days. I took a break due to soreness on Thursday, and then got sick this weekend.

#5. Learn the basic outline of putting together major release data at work. This is the one major aspect of my job that I have not done yet, and now is a good opportunity to learn, as things are slower.
Report out: I would say I did 10% of this. It's a start.

#6. Find a way to measure an important response for a study I'm doing. We may or may not have the right tool in house, but it is the next major step in the study and I've been busy (procrastinating).
Report out: Done! On Friday, I stumbled on a measurement method that was stable, repeatable, readable, had the required resolution, and -best of all- inexpensive. Now that we have a good measurement system, we can move forward with the analysis.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reflection: Life is Good

Tonight, I am especially grateful for life. There's no guarantee of the next day, and so each morning that greets me is a gift. Another day to improve, another day to grow, another day to be alive. Despite the difficult and tough parts of life (and there are many), it is still good.

Goals are an important part of life for me-both small and large ones. I want to take a moment though to focus on how grateful I am for the life I have right now-to reflect on the many things that give me joy. I'm one of the lucky ones. I've had a tough life, but a very good one. In no particular order, I am naming some of the things that bring me joy and for which I am grateful.

The comfort of a morning cup of coffee
The greeting of our cats each morning and when I return from work
The satisfaction of getting things done at work
Being enveloped by my husband in a hug
The ecstasy of music, which is the closest I've experienced to heaven on earth
Organizing my desk after a good day's work
The soreness of muscles after a good workout
The warmth of a hot shower after a cold day
The way my nieces squeal with delight when they see me
Sitting in the same room as my husband, each of us engrossed in a book
Reading in bed before falling asleep
The realization that while I have felt alone at times, I was never really alone
Finding a quote that resonates with me
Observing human conduits of God's love in a broken world
The hope of redemption

Life is good.