August 5, 2014

1,500 Minute Challenge - Results

It took me 32 days, but I finished my 1,500 minute challenge! I prioritized exercise and noticed some significant changes:
  • My recovery time is much faster. While high intensity routines are still challenging--as they should be--I need fewer breaks and I can maintain constant movement during the active rest breaks. At the end of a full body routine, I still had energy to do a short strength-building set.
  • I missed working out! It took me 32 days because there were some days I couldn't fit it in and when that happened my body noticed. I craved the movement.
  • Working out is not a chore! This is about mindset and proves a lot of the habit-making theories. I'm now one of those people who likes to workout out! The Whole 30 Challenge helped, especially the group support and accountability, and this solo challenge has solidified the habits.
  • My metabolism has improved. After a week-long trip to Argentina where Mr. Crying Cook and I indulged in excellent wines, a lot of fried empanadas, and even more steaks, I'm still feeling great. Yes, the siestas helped along with the average 5 miles walking around Buenos Aires every day, but it's the fact that my body knows a new normal now. Can I also brag that we worked out on vacation too!? I just did!

Delicious Empanadas de Lomo

Unrelated, the blog hit a bit of hiccup last month when I went on a digital cleaning spree which resulted in my accidentally deleting all the blog's photos. I was able to restore them, but please leave me a comment if you find a post with a broken image or link.

July 3, 2014

1,500 Minute Challenge - Day 15

It's the half way point through my solo challenge and there are so many workouts I look forward to and there are some I dread. I don't ever want to dread a workout and I had an epiphany: I don't have to do workouts I hate. I am trying to differentiate between ones that are just really challenging from those that make me feel frustrated. I want these 1,500 minutes to make me feel motivated to workout in some way every single day, so reflecting on the differences is so important.

Here are two moves that challenge me:

My form on toe touch crunches needs a lot of improvement.

My split leg downward dog creates about a 45 degree angle.

When I bought running sneakers, the super-smart-sounding sales associates told me my tight hips probably caused my feet to roll inward. I wonder if those tight hips makes these moves hard for me. I just have to keep practicing. Stay tuned.

June 26, 2014

1,500 Minute Challenge - Day 8

Somehow as finals creep up on me again for this summer semester, I have worked out for 403 minutes and 50 seconds. Don't take those 50 seconds away from me--I earned them! Eight days into my 30 day challenge and I'm +3 minutes and 50 seconds to meeting my nearly ridiculous goal of 1,500 total workout minutes. If this were golf, I'd have an eagle. I'm an eagle!


I have done a great variety of routines and I'm feeling pretty smug because some have felt "easy." What I realize has actually happened is that my baseline fitness level is higher than it's ever been in my life. Cheerleader me at 17 years old has been surpassed and that feels really good. That cardio workout below felt like the proverbial walk in the park.

Bodyweight Cardio Calorie Blaster

Of course, I'm no where near feeling like a HIIT routine is anywhere near easy. I doubt it could actually be called high intensity interval training if it were anything but, well, high intensity.

I did this routine again and I'm not at double butt kickers yet. I'm still on four beats, but I feel myself getting stronger and I have much better stamina.

Barre Workout

If you're looking for something lower intensity, I liked the barre routine above. Tiny ballet pulses really burn during round two, as did the flutter kicks. Barre workouts seemed to explode last year--at least in New York--but I haven't heard much about them lately. Well, you can try a year old trend for free thanks to Fitness Blender.

June 21, 2014

1,500 Minute Challenge - Day 3

I've worked out for 176 minutes and 50 seconds over the past 3 days and I'm feeling good! Getting it done first thing in the morning works best for me. The weather in Brooklyn has been incredible, so I see more running in my future too.

I've tried two new workouts: a lengthy, full body routine by in-your-face trainer Jillian Michaels and a much-needed hip opening yoga class. When that woman has her knees practically flat on the ground in butterfly, mine are a good six inches hovering above the floor. I'll be returning to this one often.

I recommend both of these routines, probably best for a weekend morning when you have more time.

Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones

Ekhart Yoga: 45 Minute Hip Opening Class

June 18, 2014

1,500 Minute Exercise Challenge Take Two

At the start of the month, I set out to exercise for 1,500 minutes. Then, reality struck. I had to press pause and focus on work and grad school. Fortunately, I'm over a big hump with a truly gargantuan amount of work, so I'm trying again.

The summer semester isn't over, neither is my teaching school year. Still, I'm ready to try again. Falling off completely made me feel pre-Whole 30 sluggish and added to my stress. I hope getting back to regular exercise even in the midst of more moderately busy schedule will help with that.

I worked out for 57 minutes today--cardio and yoga. It felt great to focus that time on my body. I'm thankful my body is fully functional and capable of so much more than I'm doing now.

1,443 minutes to go.