Tag Archives: yoga

REDJanuary is over

It’s done, January is finished and with it my exercise challenges. At the beginning of January I signed up for REDJanuary – run every day. I didn’t plan to run every day, but rather, I planned to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day including running, walking and yoga. 

Guess what? I did it! I exercised every day! I ran at least 3 times each week, sometimes 4 and recorded 74.5km of running on my Garmin. On the days I didn’t run, I walked for at least 10 minutes. I also completed a 30 day yoga journey True with Yoga with Adriene.

As I am more interested in improving my fitness rather than losing weight, weight loss wasn’t a goal. Just as well really as I didn’t lose anything. However, thanks to the regular exercise, I have actually lost inches round my waist, hips and belly. Actually, my hips and belly are the smallest they’ve been for 24 years!

So, what now? Do I just stop because January is over? Tempting, but no. Now I’ve got the consistency of exercising every day, I want to keep going. I am aiming to run 2 to 3 times a week and keep up the daily yoga practice. I’m also going to add one strength training session each week with a long term goal of strength training twice a week. One small change each month should make them easier to incorporate and maintain in my everyday life.

Today was a good start to February with a 4k run. 

Did you reach your January goals? What are your goals for February?

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Menopause?

*WARNING* If you don’t want to read about periods and lady things then stop reading NOW!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you keep on reading.

OK, so this is really happening, probably … menopause has started.  I’m actually OK with it.  I mean I have had the one and only child I am ever going to have.  Trust me, I’m not starting again in my mid-40s, I really couldn’t go through all that again!  As it is my hands-on parenting days are going to last a lot longer than most without the patter of tiny feet.

When my step-daughter, Becky, started going through early menopause last year (she’s blogged about HRT so I’m sure she won’t mind the mention), I spoke to my mum about it as Becky wasn’t getting much, if any, advice from her Nanna who, apparently sailed through with no problems.  Unfortunately, my mum wasn’t any help either because she (and my grandma) sailed through it too!  Great!  Let’s hope I sail through, that would be nice.  It’s not looking likely that I’ll get through unscathed.

So, the symptoms include (only listing the ones affecting me right now if you want to see the list click on the link to the NHS website):

Night sweats – I have those which is really disconcerting when I have to wear socks to bed, until I warm up, because I also have Raynaud’s Syndrome which mean I have cold hands and feet, a lot.  Oh, and I have a really warm husband who emits a lot of heat – I don’t need any more heat, please!

Difficulty sleeping – well, duh, thanks to the night sweats I’m waking up!  Apparently this can make you more irritable during the day.

Headaches – nothing new there, I get headaches with my period anyway and always have.  That’s just something I have lived with for over 30 years.

… but there’s more …

Most of us know that your periods start getting a bit hit and miss, right?  OK, I can cope with missing periods and not knowing when it’s going to come along next.  What I didn’t know, until I googled it because it started happening to me late last year, is that your periods can get more frequent (like every 2 to 3 weeks!) and longer!  What?!?  Yes!  I am one of the “lucky” ones who has gone from a 28 day cycle to a 23 day cycle and the period itself lasts 7 days!  Oh, and the first 2 days are *heavy*, like goes through the super plus extra tampons in 2 hours heavy.  The NHS website helpfully says:

You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

I wish I’d known that earlier.  Ah well, I know now.

Here’s hoping that this will be the extent of my symptoms as I don’t seem to be getting hot flushes but you never know that may come.

Apparently, a good diet (avoiding caffeine and spicy food) and exercise can help with the symptoms and yoga/meditation helps with mood swings and irritability.  Well, I don’t like spicy food and I don’t drink tea or coffee, although I do like my diet coke so maybe it’s time to find an alternative or maybe I’ll just start out by cutting down the amount I drink.  I also have a healthy diet, most of the time after all you have to have treats occasionally.  With regards to exercise, ever since discovering parkrun I’ve found that I actually like running and as of 2nd January I have been taking part in Yoga with Adriene’s True 30 Day Yoga Journey.  I’ve really been enjoying my daily yoga and will be continuing it into February and beyond.

It’s Saturday so …

it must be parkrun day 🙂 I’d like to say it was a lovely parkrun day but it really wasn’t.  There was hail!  At least I think it was hail, if it wasn’t it was heavy rain which hurt like hail.  At least Poppy Coffee were there for post-run tea (for Adam), chili mocha (for the Man) and hot chocolate (for me).

After finishing 2017 with two good runs of sub-31 minutes, I was a little disappointed to run 32:08.  However, as I only went for one run this week instead of the planned 2-3 and I reduced the running interval to 3 minutes, we have been doing 4 minutes, with a view to running faster (the rain and wind meant the running interval wasn’t faster) a 1:20 drop in time for 5k wasn’t too bad.

I got Jeff Galloway‘s Run Walk Run book for Christmas and have been reading it.  I’m a great believer in run walk run and all of my running PBs have come from run walk run intervals and Adam has never completed anything longer than 1 mile as a constant run, and his 5K PB is 30:18!  From reading the book, it looks like a 7-minute mile pace is achievable on 3 minute run, 30 second walk, that would be around 21 minutes for a 5K! I don’t think I’ll ever get that fast but I’m going to work on bringing my intervals down to that and then aim to get the running part faster.  Next week, I’m going to try 3 minute run, 55 second walk.  I’ll be borrowing the interval timer I bought my husband for Christmas for that 😉

After getting cold and wet at parkrun, we walked home and while Adam and my husband were having their showers I thought I’d do day 5 of True (Yoga with Adriene).  I’m loving this “me time” which I have created by doing the yoga.  For the first 4 days, I made a conscious effort to turn off the TV between 9.15 and 9.30 pm so I can do the day’s practice before going up to bed at 10 pm.  I’m hoping this will become a regular routine which will continue after the 30 day journey/challenge is over.

So, this is also day 6 of REDJanuary completed 😀

Are you still meeting your goals this week?

Motive …

Yesterday was day 1 of Yoga with Adriene’s new True 30 day yoga programme with the theme of Motive.  If you sign up to the programme via the website, you get a daily email to help you get the most out of the practice (today’s theme is Trust).  In yesterday’s email, and through the 24 minute practice, Adriene asks:

What is your motive for joining True?

Now, I hadn’t really thought about it but, having followed 9 days of one of the previous 30 day challenges in the past, I know that daily yoga helps me in so many ways.  It isn’t only the stretching, although that certainly helps, and it is more than the self reflection.  It helps my mood, my running, my posture, my body has less aches and pains.  It’s time for me to concentrate on me for anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes before I go to fight with Adam about bedtime.

I also find that yoga practice also complements, and maybe even enhances, all the other changes that I have made/am making to my life.  I am, usually, careful about what I eat.  I don’t eat “clean” but I don’t overeat and I don’t eat cakes and chocolates as much as I would love to.  I exercise on a regular basis with running or walking most days, if not every day.  I am aiming to add strength training back into the mix too but at the moment the yoga will have to fill that void.

However, this time round, I think my main goal/motive is to get further than day 9 and, maybe, even get to day 31!

If you haven’t done yoga before, or even if you have and haven’t found Adriene yet, check out her youtube videos.  The runners’ post run practice is a must for me and, when I have time (and I’m not doing a 30 day challenge) the runners’ yoga is great too.  What I really like is that Adriene tells you to do what feels good to you, you don’t have to stay and hold a pose with out moving, if you want to wag your tail while doing cat/cow then do it!

Day 1 of True was completed last night.  Bring on day 2 this evening.

Going to Make 2018 … HAPPY!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on 2017 over the past few days while I’ve been sitting, cooking, walking and running.  The main thing I can claim about 2017 is that I was happy.  Sure, I set goals and met some of them but the vast majority of the time I was happy and enjoyed my life.  I did things that made me, and my nearest and dearest, happy.

So, how am I going to build on this going into 2018?  First, I am going to do more of the stuff I was doing towards the end of 2017.  Namely, running with a great group of people on a Tuesday and Thursday morning, continuing with parkrun (I only missed 2 of the York parkrun events this year and either ran or volunteered at the rest), continue in a job that I love and which is flexible enough for me to continue to be my son’s primary carer, continue to be a Tupperware lady 🙂 it will probably never pay the bills but I have enjoyed the fairs and parties I have done this year.

I have also been scrolling through Facebook and Twitter, as you do when you have time off from work and not a lot of stuff to do, and found Action for Happiness’ HAPPY New Year Calendar – January 2018 so I’ve printed that off.  There is one simple task every day so let’s see how far I get through the 31 days …

happy_new_year

I have aslo signed up for Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day yoga journey – TRUE which starts on Tuesday 2nd January.  I have done Adriene’s 30 day challenges/journeys before and loved them.  I regularly do her yoga for runners and found that it has helped with my running.

A final goal for January is to continue the “exercise every day” streak which I started last week as part of the REDJanuary.  The goal is to run, or do some form of exercise, every day.  My goal is to run 3-4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) as well as walk 1-2 times per week and practice yoga every day.  That will give me at least 20-30 minutes of exercise/activity every day.

What do you do to make you happy?  Do you exercise?  Do you meet up with friends and family?  Do you take time for you?  Do you volunteer and help others?

Zero to Hero: Day 23 – Round Up

zero-to-hero-badge

Today’s challenge: Publish a roundup post that links to posts on at least three other blogs, and tell us why you love the posts — and why we should read ‘em.

Here we go with Day 23 of Zero to Hero.  When I first read this task I thought ” Oh really, do I have to?”  Then I thought, “You know what?  I’ve read some really good blogs this month, I should share some of the posts.”

First up is Sam from Midsummer 365 Project.  Sam is trying to get “fit enough to dance in a mask” and decided to start her project in the middle of the year rather than the beginning and aims to do some form of exercise every day and blog about it.  Sam’s posts are funny and always include photos of what she’s done or where she’s been.  She inspires me to get out there and do something.  Oh, and she’s mad enough to try doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred with 7.5 kg kettlebells because she didn’t have anything else to use!

Next is Debz from Deb’s World.  I love her posts in which she compares her life to that of her daughters, Melanie, Sarah and Eliza,  and her mother’s at the age they are now or, in the case of her mother, her mother at the same age she is now.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve also been trying to increase my overall flexibility, especially in my legs.  I used to be very flexible and able to do the splits, get my legs behind my head and all sorts.  In fact, you could say I suffered from hyper-extension of practically every joint in my body.  Since I started running more regularly, my muscles have got tighter and shorter and I’m not happy about it.  I still have hyper-extension in my arms and shoulders, not always a good thing believe me, and when I am warm I can still put my palms on the floor when I bend over with straight legs but my hips are really sore.  So, thanks to Fit for 365, I found the Runner’s World Yoga Center.  I’ve tried all 3 routines and liked them all.  I think, once I’ve done them a few times and can do them without looking at the screen, they will really help.  I also found that I haven’t lost as much flexibility in my legs as I thought I had.

Finally, there are times when I’m glad that the tiniest improvement is something to shout about and I wonder what it would be like to feel the pressure of meeting expectations of learning and progress that other parents face.  Last week Louise at Baby Gates Down wrote about Mommy-Daughter Math Nights.  Louise writes with a lot of humour and makes me thankful that my son is 19, not 4, and back then we didn’t have these free classes to take our children to before they even started school.  Secondly, we were still trying to get him to meet the development targets of a 12-18 month old when he was 4 so we had different pressures to other parents anyway.  Like, we need to get him out of nappies before he starts school because we couldn’t get him a place at the special education needs one for his Reception year and the mainstream school won’t let him go in nappies.  What they’d rather change wet clothes and mop up the floor than change a 4 or 5 year old’s nappy?  I know which I’d prefer.