Archive for September, 2013

So yesterday I went for a 16 km bike ride around the Bay to Bay Cycleway with a friend. We only did the Strathfield section but plan to do the whole way to Botany Bay another time. This was the first time I’d been on a bike at all since The Infamous Bike Incident of 2007 (otherwise known as the time I rode a bike in Strasbourg, France, forgot how to brake and ended up knocking an old French lady down. And then rode into a tree. I’ll never forget how to say “I’m very very sorry” in French as a result).

Picture this: the sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, the cycle path was really quiet and it was basically bliss. Kind of like this:

Awesome, right?

Awesome, right?

And the thing that surprised me? It was SO. MUCH. FUN. I didn’t even ride into any old ladies or trees! And I (mostly) kept my balance.

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t going flat-out – there was a fair amount of talking while riding. But it was still exercise. We rode for over an hour and it didn’t SEEM like exercise.

I’ve decided I need to do more of this – not exercise for the sake of exercise, but exercise as incidental to the FUN.

But next time, I’ll invest in some padded cycling shorts …*hobbles away *…

I learnt my lesson the hard way...

I learnt my lesson the hard way…

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

My heart rate monitor, that is.

What is a heart rate monitor? It pretty much does what it says on the tin – it monitors your heart rate, and calculates how many calories you have burnt based on both your heart rate and your body weight. It also keeps track of time, like a regular watch, and it can act as a stopwatch (particularly good if you’re doing Tabata training).

You wear the heart rate monitor on a band that sits underneath your chest, and the watch on your arm to track your progress.

HRM

My beloved heart rate monitor. I call it heartie. Not really.

Before I bought this baby, I just kind of pottered about in the gym, doing what I thought I should be doing. Sure I sweated and huffed and puffed, but really not so much. Then I bought my HRM and realised what I was doing was not burning calories. So I started doing short, hard bursts of cardio coupled with weights and my calorie burn skyrocketed.

Now I’m not saying that burning calories is the be-all and end-all, but it’s a nice goal to have. Now I also have strength goals (I leg pressed 50kg this week, pretty happy with that!) but when I was first starting out it helped me to figure out what I should spend my time on.

I would highly recommend the Polar Heart Rate Monitor, but there are loads of others out there at all different price ranges so you can shop around.

I wouldn’t be without mine, and it’s sure not going anywhere soon.

HRM love

That’s right!

What’s the one piece of gym gear you can’t live without?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I can often be found surfing the interwebs for ideas, motivation and just something interesting to think about in relation to health and fitness. So I thought I might share some of the good stuff I’ve found in the past few months.

Welcome to the Internet

Start here …

Deadlift

Inspiration – look at that weight!

  • This article I found via Fit Bottomed Girls helped me focus this month on other options rather than just the gym (I particularly love the idea of hiking, Just need to make the idea a reality!)

Go hiking

Do you have any links to favourite articles or blog posts you’ve loved lately? Leave a comment and let me know!

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

So this morning I thought ‘well it’s a lovely Saturday morning, the sun is shining, it’s going to get to 30 degrees celsius today and it’s the first week of Spring so I might head to the gym’. But first I had to vote in the Australian Federal Election. This time around, it’s a really tough choice, as both Liberal and Labour are screwed in my opinion. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. I say go the Greens! I got my stuff together, picked a random workout I’d found online (sorry, can’t remember where, I wrote it on a Post-It note!) and arrived at the gym fairly keen after voting.

Voting in the Australian elections

So disappointed.

 

After 40 minutes it’s fair to say my eagerness was lying in a heap on the floor. As was I. This is the workout I did, and boy was it a killer. But, it means I can enjoy a couple of well-earned vodkas tonight at our engagement drinks (which may end up being an Election Day Commiseration Party), so it was totally worth it 🙂

Warm up – 2 minutes walking on the treadmill
Run – 1 min Level 8.5 Elevation 4/1 min Level 10.5 Elevation 1.5. Do this for 8 minutes (so 4 minutes each Level & Elevation)

Then 4 sets (resting 1 minute between each set) of:

5 burpees
10 sit ups
20 second wall sit
10 push ups
10 tricep dips
10 squats
10 walking lunges

Stretch and roll out on a foam roller.

Then go home and drink A LOT of water and take a cold shower.

Good luck!

Getting there

 

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Today nothing went right. It’s Father’s Day in Australia, and my parents were flying back from Queensland. I wanted to surprise my Dad at the airport but their flight was delayed. Then I went for lunch and everywhere was booked (NEVER try to go for lunch on Father’s Day, unless you’ve booked somewhere). Then we finally found somewhere and they didn’t bring us menus for 10 minutes, and still hadn’t come over to take our order when we decided we’d had enough and left 15 minutes later. Then the door handle fell off the balcony door at home. And so on and so on…

We’ve all had days where nothing goes right. Sometimes there’s whole weeks where life sh*ts on you from a great height.  And it’s hard sometimes to pull yourself out of the bad mood that goes with it. Even worse are the days where the existential crisis hits – “what am I doing with my life?”, etc.


Don’t panic. Everyone has days like this. Some people have YEARS like this. I’m currently trying to get over my negative self-talk and start up a part-time business. Other people I know are having health issues, work issues, trouble finding a lasting relationship … I could go on. My point is: everyone, whether ‘successful’ or nor, is dealing with crap every day of their life.

Well fine, you say, but how do you combat the down times we all come up against? These are some of the ways I get out of a funk. And by no means do they always work, but they’re worth a try, right?

  • Exercise. I know, predictable. But the endorphins after exercise seriously make you feel better. And if they don’t, at least you’ll look fit while you’re sad/angry/down.
  • Read a book. Ok, I am a book nerd, but I think this works for a lot of people – when you escape into a good book, you forget your own problems for a while at least. This also goes for watching films.
  • Speak to your significant other or call your mum, dad, sister, brother, friend, random person you met the other day. And just vent. This is probably my favourite way of getting rid of bad moods. It also helps you get a different perspective on your problems.
  • Cook. I like baking, or making a soup which requires slow-cooking so it’s a project to get into.
  • Go to the beach and stare out at the ocean. Even in the middle of winter, even in the rain, this can be cathartic.
  • Write a list. A list of the negative and positive elements of your life, or a To Do list for a positive project or a new direction, or a list to help you make a decision. I love lists – they focus you and give you an action plan.
  • Get a massage. It’s good for your body AND mind. I once had a remedial massage therapist who talked all the way through the massage, about how we keep negative feelings inside our body, and at the end of the massage I felt like I’d just walked out of a counselling session, refreshed and energised.
  • Look at old photos. I like doing this. Not only do you see how far you’ve come but you remember good times.
  • Clean. I find this particularly therapeutic for problems that can’t really be solved but you want to not think about them for a while. Admittedly, this isn’t for everyone 🙂
  • Do something you’ve not done before. Whether it’s being a tourist in your own city, going paddle boarding, attending a yoga class or trying a new food, it will get you out of your comfort zone and might make you realise you CAN do anything you want to do, you just have to try.

Need a bit more motivation to help you get out of a funk? Check out these words of wisdom from Andre Jordan – a man who has been on a very interesting journey through depression and is living his life in a very different way now:

 

Most of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are actually pretty bloody brilliant! So you know what, try thinking of all the awesome things you’ve done in your life, who you’ve met, what impact you’ve had on the people around you. And if you think that needs work – begin. It’s not going to be easy, but as Katherine Hepburn said – life is hard. After all, it kills us.

What does success look like?

Do you have any tips for getting through difficult periods in your life? Any ideas for things you can do to get out of a funk?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x