Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Work-Out Secret

Truth be told, I don't have an exercise routine.  When I feel like working out, there are some very legit moves that I do, and I repeat them often, until my body is the way I desire it to be.  But I will not be sharing those moves with you today.  Most adults I know don't have time for gym memberships or strict, repetitive regimens.  Who has time for that nonsense? 

I do, however, have a different type of nonsense that you may have time for...here's a little secret of mine for getting into shape:

Move!

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many perfectly good opportunities to move we pass up every day.  Just because you work, it does not mean you can't move in some form.  Wiggle your fingers, tap your toes, start shaking your whole body in your seat while you read this. Do it!  Don't tell me you don't have time.  How many times do you stop and check email, or check your phone while at work, or go to the bathroom?  All you gotta do is move a little prior to, or immediately after, doing those things.

Wiggling is so underrated, and so ideal for many situations.  I'd say, "dance" but that often scares people, so I prefer the term wiggle.  Call it what you will, but if you would just shake that body a little every time you check your phone or your email, you'd be moving a hell of a lot more than you do currently.  If you are in line at a store, march in place or sway side to side. 

At home and have a few seconds to spare? Roll your shoulders, clap your hands, do 3 jumping jacks (I didn't say 10... I didn't even say 5.  I said 3.  You can do it) 

Hop to the laundry room, dance to the kitchen, skip to the garage.  I don't care what you do, just freakin' move!  Get into the habit of being mobile in some way, all the time.  I'm not going to lie, you will look ridiculous.  But it may make you laugh, and as we know, laughter burns calories.  Laughter will also instantly put you in a good mood, so it's a fine trade off. 

One of my more ridiculous moves is rolling.  I have been known, on many occasions, to roll on my floor during commercials, and even sometimes during the show I'm watching.  How do I roll exactly?  I lay on the floor and just start rolling all over the place, like a little kid hyped up on pixie sticks.  I roll all over the living room floor.  There is no science to it.  I don't roll to one end of the living room and back 10 times, change my position, then repeat.  I just roll as ridiculously as possible, all over the place, for as long as I can.  Sometimes I'll switch it up and just lie on my back and  kick into the air, or pretend I'm being chased and pedal my feet like I'm riding a bicycle to get away.  If it gets my adrenaline really going, I'll jump up and run in place, or dance, or...something.  Anything.

Is this going to get you into great shape?  Absolutely not. 

What it will do, though, is get your body into the habit of moving.  It will also increase circulation throughout your body, which will give you more energy and clarity of mind.  With all this new energy and mind clarity, you may now have the motivation to start some legit exercise moves, eh?  See, moving in frequent and very small ways does have benefits.

Start incorporating different types of movement into your daily activities.  Forms of movement that are often overlooked:

wiggling
clapping
stomping
jumping
hopping
swaying
kicking
hitting/punching (Grab an old pillow...and just beat the shit out of it)
skipping
tip-toeing
rolling
crawling
bouncing


Oh, one more thing I must say...
If you are a mother (or father) and you have had to  A. pick up your children's toys   or   B. give them a bath today, I give you props.  How dare you do those things and claim that you did not work-out!  Give credit where it is due.  It is, quite literally, a pain in the ass (and back) to bend back and forth over a tub to wash your child.  Same goes for bending over repeatedly picking up toys.  Go on and pat yourself on that aching back. 
You definitely deserve it. 










Saturday, March 10, 2012

Overly Ambitious Goal for 2012

I had decided at the beginning of this year to read more.  After having a child, the opportunities to get lost in a book for hours (or even 30 minutes) become very rare.  I believe I've read less than 10 books, fully, within the 4 yrs of Adalee's life. I have a terrible habit of starting 5 books at once, and whichever book can hold my attention the longest is the one that I finish.  The other 4, half-read books get tossed to the side and forgotten.  I decided to try my hardest not to do that this year.  Start one; finish one. 

The first book I started was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Aside from the very far fetched plot (a young boy wandering all over New York,  going into strangers homes to find clues that he believes his dead father left behind for him...)  I really, really enjoyed it.  I finished it in less than 4 days, which was... invigorating.  I hadn't finished a book in less than a week in years.  It felt so gooood.  I started having all kinds of crazy thoughts.  At this rate, I could read 2 books/wk.  And, technically, that would come out to 8 books/month... 96 in a year!  I am going to read 96 books in 2012! 

Hence, my overly ambitious goal for 2012 ;)

I have since settled down.  My momentary high from finishing one book has waned a bit.  The high has died down to what I would describe now as a mere buzz, which still feels excellent.  I still want to commit to reading on a regular (preferably daily) basis. 

Since reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I have finished 2 more books.  And I am half way through 3 more (yes, I fell back into my habit of juggling multiple books, but instead of choosing 1 and dumping the rest I am committed to finishing them all)

So, my new goal is to read 2 books/month, as a minimum.  24 per year compared to 96 is pretty sad, but at least it's realistic. And, it's much better than the previous quota of 2 per year.  If I can finish the 3 I am half way through before April begins, I will still be on track.

2012 Book List:

1.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- finished




2. Angela's Ashes- finished
Excellent memoir of a young boy growing up poor in Ireland






3.  The Hunger Games- finished

Yes, I finally caved and began this teen series.  I was very hesitant, due to the popularity of the Twilight series and how disappointed I was in those books.  This is much different.  Still, it is very obviously written for young teens, but the plot is much more appealing than that awful, vampire, love triangle story line of Twilight.





4.  Mockingjay- currently reading- 2nd book of Hunger Games series 
Update:  Finished




5. Attaching in Adoption- currently reading


6.  Jane Eyre-  currently reading  (I read in high school and wanted to relive it)



Update:

Bad news:  I began 2 new books before finishing #5 and #6
Good news:  I FINISHED those 2 new books :)


7.  Catching Fire (3rd in Hunger Games) - finished



8.  The Lost Boy - finished
by Dave Pelzer (same author as A Child Called "It")
A Child Called "It" chronicles Dave's childhood as an abused child,
being raised by a mentally unstable and alcoholic mother...
The Lost Boy is his experience going through the foster care system
after escaping his mother's abuse.