Tag Archives: workout

Beat Treadmill Boredom

8 Feb

As you know, I’m a runner. I’ve run a whole marathon, a 10 k, a couple of 5 k races, and am doing my first half marathon in May. I love running outside, especially when it’s warmer and the days are longer and I can run outside, into the country. But this time of year, runnign outside is less appealing. I still do it, but in winter, outdoor runs make up less of my weekly workout schedule. It’s cold, and it’s harder for me to make myslef run as far or as fast as I’m used to. So I turn to the treadmill….

Now, as much as I enjoy running, plain old treadmill runs just can’t compare to running outdoors. Even if there’s something really great on the tv at the gym, I’d still rather be outside. However, there is one treadmill workout that I really enjoy. This one ( from one of my favourite blogs, Carrots and Cake) makes 45 minutes fly by. And even though it’s been about a year since I started doing it, it still leaves me sweaty and winded at the end. What makes things really fly is that you’re constantly changing speeds and inclines. I never run at the same speed/incline for more than 5 minutes at a time. So, instead of counting down to the end of a 45 minute session, I’m counting down to the end of this interval of 5 minutes (or less), and before I know it, I’m already on the cool down. It is tough sometimes, but I always manage to push through it. I’ve now done this workout so many times that I have it memorized! Usually, I don’t do it more than once a week so my body won’t get too used to it.

Last weekend, I tried something new on the treadmill. I just wanted to 20 minutes before doing a class, so I hopped on the treadmill and warmed up for a minute walking at a speed of 3.5 mph, incline 1. Then I cranked the incline to 10 and kept the speed. Even though 3.5 isn’t fast, you can really feel the burn at such a high incline! After 10 minutes, I decreased the incline to 3 and bumped the speed up to 6 mph. After five minutes of that, I went back to incline 10 and 3.5 mph for the last 5 minutes. This was a great 20 minute cardio session. I’ll definitely do this again on the days when I don’t have time for a whole 45 minutes of cardio, or if I’m just warming up for a class. It challenged me, but didn’t become tedious as I was switching it up.

I will never be a treadmill junkie, but workouts like this are a great way to prevent treadmill boredom from setting in. In fact, I really do enjoy a treadmill session like this. What are your feelings about treadmills – love ’em, hate ’em? Any great workouts you use?

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Hula Hooping

21 Jan

So I do not consider myself athletic (some people would beg to differ and think that I must be, after all, I ran a marathon)….I was always the “fat kid in gym class,” and I always joke that the only reason that I passed gym was because of health!

But starting in late high school, and even more so in university, I’ve gotten a lot more active. And one of my key strategies to being active and staying fit is to try new and different things. So when my gym started offering hula hooping classes back in November, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be good to start when the class was brand new, then at least I would be on an even playing field with everyone else.

The first time (well really, the first couple of weeks), I was pretty bad. It was sort of like being back in gym class, being the slowest one to pick it up. I even got a really nasty-looking bruise (not too painful, but HUGE). Judy, the instructor, says that it is normal for some people, but no one else I talked to got a bruise as bad as I did, and you should have seen the looks I got when I showed people! But, I stuck with it, and slowly got better.

It was interesting to see how the middle-aged women picked it up so quickly. Many of them said they hooped as children. I think my sister might have had a hoop, but it was never really something I did.

I missed 3 weeks in a row in December (holiday craziness and being sick), but other than that I’ve been going once a week. I feel like I’ve really improved. I wouldn’t say I’m best in the class, but I actually enjoy it now and my hoop isn’t constantly dropping. Judy has incorporated some new things, like walking in a circle or passing and bouncing a foam ball.

It’s a great core workout, as you have to keep your abs tight and braced the whole time. You have 2 power points (where your body presses the hoop). If your feet are side by side, then you are pushing side to side. If you have one foot in front of the other, you are pushing forward.

And these are not the light and flimsy hoops that kids use. Judy and her husband made these out of plastic irrigation pipe (they weigh about 2 pounds each), so they are easier to use than the lighter ones. The picture in this post isn’t showing Judy’s hoops, I just found it online. Judy has her hoops for sale though on kijiji if you want to take a look. And I heard this week that she had an interview with Canadian Living magazine, which will be published in May.

I am glad I took up this new hobby…it’s good to try something different, and my core needs all the help I can get!

Do you consider yourself to be athletic? Would you (or have you) ever tried hula hooping?