Reinforcing Lessons About Exercise

There is currently a fly buzzing around the kitchen, which makes me equal parts mad and sad. Mad because it wants to get at my banana bread mug cake. Sad because flies are gross.

Alright, I have some foodie talk this morning before we get into the meat of the post.

First of all, I ate classic overnight oats in a sunflower seed butter jar (with 2+ tbsp left in the jar) for breakfast yesterday! It might be one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. I enjoyed it in my backyard since it was such a gorgeous and mild morning. Very few things could have made it more perfect.

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Secondly, I think pita bread needs to be on people’s grocery lists more often. That’s right, I’m asserting my opinion over your grocery list. *smiling purple devil emoji* For good reason though! Pita bread takes sandwiches to a new level. The fluffy, doughy factor is superb, AND you can fit more oddly shaped foods inside.

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inside the pita: avocado, pork souvlaki, mint yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and sriracha added later

Let me know if you buy some pita bread now. If you do, I’ll look into marketing and advertising as a side job.

Speaking of jobs, I want to talk about some lessons that my physical therapy internship has taught me/reinforced. There is very little doubt in my mind that physical therapy is what I want to continue pursuing as a career, and it’s thanks to my summer internship experience and what it has taught me!

Besides everything I’ve learned about anatomy, diseases, and therapy techniques, I’ve sort of re-learned a lot of lessons about taking care of our bodies through movement.

Health Lessons Reinforced Through My Physical Therapy Internship

  • Do not dismiss seemingly easy exercises. Go back to the basics and re-check your form/range of motion. Try an exercise that you’ve never done before, even if it looks easy. You’d be very surprised how well certain exercises can work those smaller (yet still very important!) muscles.

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like these…they kill those smaller glute muscles you never knew you had

  • Flexibility is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to bend backwards until your head is through your legs, but flexibility is certainly important for your overall health and fitness. A full range of motion will help you in your fitness endeavors as well as in injury prevention.
    • P.S. Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. That is the minimum for lengthening to actually occur. You can hold it longer, but it won’t make any difference. 30 seconds is the magic number!
  • Almost every injury or anatomical issue can be aided by core strengthening. Planks, y’all. Your core protects your back, promotes good posture (which also protects your back), supports your legs, and helps with balance.

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speaking of form…

  • Form is everything. I’m sure you all knew this already, but this is just to reiterate. Don’t go for another rep or for the advanced variation of an exercise if your form is off. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Oh, unless…DON’T DO IT. I’m guilty of bad form, and I have indeed injured myself as a result.
    • Also, make sure to learn proper form before performing an exercise. I’m guilty of this as well, and guess what. I hurt myself because I didn’t know what I was doing.
  • Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This is especially for people recovering from injury or getting back into an exercise routine after some time off. You might feel great when exercising, so it is easy to over-do it and agitate your body. You have to think about how your body might respond later. 
  • It’s all about progressThe looks on patients’ faces when they can walk without a limp or raise their arms completely overhead for the first time in months— it is the best part of the job. Exercise and movement is about YOUR progress. You will be filled with so much more joy if you just concern yourself with that rather than everyone else’s abilities.

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even if it’s literally one step at a time up a mountain

  • Be thankful for the ability to move. Exercise is nourishing for our bodies (in healthy amounts, of course). Whatever you do to move, keep safety first and rest when you need to. Exercise doesn’t have to be about getting big, getting skinny, or hitting PRs. It can just be about joy. It can just be about necessity for health. In any case, be thankful for movement and don’t disregard the “easy” stuff. Every form of exercise has its place.

With all that said, my PT internship has helped encourage me realize that there are so many ways I can move my body and improve its fitness without pushing it too hard. I can work on flexibility/mobility, balance, and strengthening those smaller muscles.

Kayyyy I’m done talking…typing…whatever. Hope you all have a grand ol’ day!

So tell me:

Do you like pita bread? What would you put inside?

What is one way you’ve progressed with your exercise/fitness recently? Resting more counts 🙂 

{Disclaimer: All information I learned is from two physical therapists with their doctorate in physical therapy. One is also a certified personal trainer.}

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIV {First Run of the Spring}

Friends!

It is truly therapeutic to be blogging right now. Thank you for being here to listen to me. I hope to be back with a post tomorrow, but just for now, here are the usual…

weekly moves and grooves

…!!

Sunday

jog to gym + dynamic warmup + 8 minute ab tabata + leg workout

The tabata was 10 seconds of rest/20 seconds of work:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • reverse leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spider man planks

Leg workout:

Ended with lots o’ stretching!

Monday

Active rest // walking and jumping around outside to keep warm during intramural softball

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + 1000 Rep Workout from Peanut Butter Runner

Jen’s 1000 rep home workout might just be my favorite bodyweight workout ever. It’s fast-paced, has some of my favorite exercises (*ahem* burpees), and it leaves you feeling accomplished! I finished in around 35 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + upper body + stretching 

For the upper body portion, I started with a 10 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout:

  • Minutes 0-3: 5 assisted pull-ups + 10 squat jumps
  • Minutes 4-10: 3 assisted pull-ups + 20 jump lunges

For the pull-ups, I alternated between regular pull-up grip (palms facing away from you) and neutral grip (palms facing towards each other). I used 70# assistance to help me get up there. I don’t work on pull-ups as much as I did when I was at home, but slowly and surely I will get an unassisted pull-up again!

(My lats were so sore the next day!)

Then I did:

  • 3×12 alternating side and front shoulder raises // 15 tricep dips between each set

After trying a few more random exercises to see what else my body was feelin’, I decided that I just needed to stretch, so that’s what I did for the rest of my time at the gym. Flexibility has been on the back burner recently, but I need to change that! Not only do I want to maintain a little bit of the dancer flexibility in me, but I also want to make sure I can prevent injury through mobility and flexibility.

Thursday

4.31 mile run

WHAT. I ran again!? First run of the spring, folks! It was a “hot” 43F here in Boston in the morning, so I took advantage of the beautiful temperature to go for a run by the Charles River.

I must admit, I loved the run. I turned on the RunKeeper app, but didn’t check it at all during my run, and I think that’s why I loved it so much—I didn’t feel any pressure to keep a certain pace. I just ran for about 40 minutes and enjoyed the peaceful morning and fresh air. I ended up running 4.31 miles with an average 9:10 pace. I’ll take it!

Friday

Active rest

I did 4 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, 20 sit-ups, and 10 burpees throughout the day.

Saturday

12 minute burpee workout + random exercises throughout the day

Yesterday was a long day of homework for me (and it was also blizzarding outside— yay spring), so I did a quick and intense workout in the morning and then took study breaks to do some more plyometrics, pushups, and burpees.

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Cheers to another week ahead! And happy Palm Sunday/Holy Week to those celebrating!

Trying to count the blessings rather than the paragraphs of my essay I still need to write. BANE OF EXISTENCE x100000.

So tell me:

Do you ever run without a Garmin or app telling you your pace?

Did you have active rest days this week?

 

 

 

Weekly Moves and Grooves X {Bodyweight Pyramid Workout}

Hello!

Before anything else, I must announce the second winner of the Arctic Zero voucher giveaway! I completely forgot that there should be two winners, not just one. My apologies. 😐 The second random winner is… David!

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Congrats, David! Shoot me an email at dailymovesandgrooves [at] gmail [dot] com !

Now onto this week’s workouts! There’s a new bodyweight workout in there that I want to share with you all!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

5 min. row warmup + Julianna’s lower body and ab workout

I wanted to switch up my lower body workout this week so that I wasn’t just doing the usual pistol squats and hamstring curls. Julianna’s workout came to the rescue! Those plank jack burpees are secret quad killers, let me tell ya.

Monday

7 min. jump rope warmup + bodyweight pyramid workout + 1 min. high plank + 1 min. low plank

Hooray for outdoor workouts! It was a gorgeous day on Monday, so I took advantage by working out outside by the river at the “jungle gym” area.

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I came up with a pyramid workout before heading out, and it was a fun and challenging one!

bodyweight pyramid workout

I went down, up, and back down the pyramid (not repeating the 50 lunges at the turn around). It took about 25 minutes to complete!

Tuesday

20 min. elliptical + 10 min. treadmill + stretching/mobility

On the elliptical (level 10 incline the whole time):

  • 5 min. level 10 resistance
  • 5 min. level 12 resistance
  • 2.5 min. level 13
  • 2.5 min. level 14
  • 5 min. level 12

On the treadmill: starting at speed 6.5, increased one notch every minute throughout the ten minutes and finished with a sprint.

I was debating with myself for the whole 20 minutes on the elliptical whether I should throw running into my workout or no, but I obviously bit the bullet and just did it. I’m planning on putting together a post about my thoughts on running. It’s a complicated relationship.

My body was crying for a stretch, so that’s exactly what I wanted to focus on this day. Holy smokes, I need to stretch more! Yoga once a week is not gonna cut it. I need to embrace my inner physical-therapist-to-be.

Wednesday

5 min. row + shoulder mobility + 100 burpee workout from Lori and Michelle

My shoulders were also wicked tight, so I did some stretching and drills with a light bar. It felt glooooorious. And then I tightened up my shoulders all over again with the burpee workout. At least they were limber during the workout! I finished the 100 burpees in 10:40. I love that there are four variations of burpees to keep things interesting!

Thursday

Yoga {rest}

Friday

5 min. row + 5 rounds of Jess’ 1000 rep workout + a heck of a lot of dancing at the Halloween party

That 1000 rep workout is no freakin’ joke. If you’re pretty wiped after two rounds, that’s when you know. Jess is iron woman,  and even she says that this is a super tough one. I used a 35# DB instead of a kettlebell and a 20# DB for the single-arm thrusters.

Then came the evening when I danced my huge grandma booty off at the Catholic center Halloween party. It was insanely fun!

Saturday

Quick ab workout + random sports inside {active rest}

I joined some of my friends for some indoor soccer and basketball…using the soccer ball. So fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

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More movin’ and groovin’ workouts from yours truly!

Quads on Fire Workout

’13 Ab Workout

10-15-20 Workout 

Strength and Cardio Workout

TRX Arm and Core Workout

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So tell me:

What do you like to do as active rest?

Do you work on flexibility/mobility often?

 

 

Things I Learned Yesterday

Yep, it feels like summer.

I usually look around and realize how much I have to do, but yesterday I looked around and realized how much I DON’T have to do. In one sense, that was liberating, but in another sense, that made me anxious. I like to be productive (or at least feel like I’m being productive), so this threw me for a loop.

It was a relaxing day, but I did find some fun + not-as-fun things to keep me occupied. Idleness ain’t cool. So this is what I learned yesterday as I found things to do:

I’ve lost so much flexibility.

I did this 60 minute yoga video, and some stretches that used to feel awesome felt…not so awesome anymore. I mean, I still got a nice stretch, but man was it humbling! I guess it’s a gentle/painful reminder to keep stretching.

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I can do a headstand {against a wall}! 

Then I try to get my toes off the wall and I’m down in three seconds, yay! But hey, at least I know my noggin can handle the weight.

My burpee wound is finally healed enough for me to not wear a bandage. 

It’s ugly and scary though.

Nectarines are naked peaches. 

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I always thought there was a slight difference in flavor between the two, but nope! They taste exactly the same. Peaches just have the fuzz.

I can do a dead hang pull-up!

It has to be at the right time, and it sorta looks like I’m fighting to not fall off a cliff, but I finally got it!

I still don’t like to vacuum.

I vacuumed yesterday so I could be useful around the house. It was fine, but it’s still my least favorite chore. It’s really the mile-long cord that’s the biggest obstacle.

There are dragonflies outside my house that could be mistaken for mini dinosaurs.

What the heck.

Brie + jam sandwich ➔ “where have you been all my life?”

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Do it if you haven’t yet. Do it if you already have.

June is over.

That’s not even possible. So many awesome things have happened this month, but it’s been such a whirlwind that I haven’t noticed that the calendar days keep flipping.

I have so much to read this summer!

Mostly books related to faith/meditation, but books nonetheless! I’m actually excited to read those kinds of books. I might throw some fiction in there for spice and everything nice (I’m usually more of a memoir person). The Rosie Project, Paper Towns (recommended by Jeannine!), and Hungry look interesting! Oh, and maybe I’ll finally finish Catching Fire… but chances are slim.

Hope you all have a lovely day!

So tell me:

Do you work on flexibility often?

Any recent fitness goals reached?

Brie and jam?!

What’s on your summer reading list?