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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[source]

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 XXV {When School Gets Crazy}

This weather has me OFF THE WALLS right now.

In a good way! I’ll gush about it more tomorrow, but today I’m coming at you with a recap of weekly moves and grooves from the past two weeks since I skipped last Sunday for Easter!

I’ve gone to the gym three times in the past two weeks just due to a hectic schedule. But I always feel better when I exercise, so I fit it in when I can!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

jog to the gym + leg workout

My butt and hamstrings were sore for THREE DAYS after this. Oh my word.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + circuit workout a la dorm

4 rounds:

  • 10 modified handstand pushups
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 modified v-ups
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 20 straight leg tricep dips
  • 15 supermans
  • 10 side crunches each side

This took about 23 minutes. I wanted to do a quick workout focused on upper body and core exercises to give my sore posterior chain some more rest. Oof.

Wednesday

sun salutations (lots of down dogs, planks, pushups) + bodyweight circuit + random burpees

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 16 jump lunges
  • 20 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 40 air squats

This was another workout in the dorm. I usually go to the gym with my buddy PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I skipped it this week because I needed an extra half-hour of sleep and extra time to study.

I still enjoy working up a sweat and getting my blood flowing before sitting in class for three hours straight though, so I did another bodyweight circuit workout. The pushups are what got me on this one! I finished in 15:00 flat.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Active rest/bodyweight workouts

I really don’t remember what I did on these days because Holy Week festivities are dominating any other memories of those three days.

{Easter} Sunday

Tabata workout in the dorm

4 rounds of each // 20 seconds hard work: 10 seconds rest

It was a glorious Easter morning! I slept in didn’t have much time to spare before choir practice, so I got the blood flowing in the dorm.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + 100 burpee challenge

I PR’d again!

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Wiped.

This time I broke it up into sets of 35, 15, 20, and 30. I had to dig deep to do 30 in a row for that last set.

Tuesday

circuit workout in the dorm

3 rounds:

A great, quick workout! This took about 18 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + upper body workout + rowing thruster workout

The upper body workout consisted of assisted pull-ups, arnold presses, bent over barbell rows, decline pushups, seated rows, and lat pull downs.

The rowing thruster workout was 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on the rower with 8 thrusters (40#) between each set.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

12 minute HIIT from Purely Twins + 8 minute ab tabata

I had approximately twenty minutes to fit in a workout [before showering] before class, so I went for it! The 8 minute ab tabata included v-ups, ankle taps, cross body mountain climbers, and spiderman planks.

20 minutes is all it takes these days!

Saturday

dynamic warmup + lower body + 8 minute ab tabata + squats and burpees

I went to the gym with my friend Christine (who has a blog too!) yesterday!

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We started off doing our own workouts first. So I did some lower body weights:

  • 4×12 lunges each leg (50#) (two sets reverse lunges, two sets front lunges) // 30 side jump lunges between each set
  • angled leg press: 1×10 (180#), 1×8 (200#), 1×6 (210#), 1×5 (220#) // 10 pushup burpees between each set

Then we met up for an 8 minute ab tabata:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spiderman planks

And Christine requested that we do squats and burpees, so we ended with 3 rounds of 15 goblet squats + 10 burpees.

We were both sweaty beasts beauties. 😉

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Off to do homework and stuff. I’ve been using the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate all day ahh!

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout/way you moved this weekend?

Have you recently had a workout that made you sore for DAYS?