Back into the Groove with Indoor Cycling

What makes a group indoor cycling class so ideal?  This past Saturday, because I sorely miss my Saturday morning long runs and wanted to fill the void, I decided to go to my neighborhood YMCA cycling class.  Before I had kids, besides work and hanging out with my husband, I had plenty of time to explore other modes of exercise besides running – Swimming, Cycling, Yoga, Pilates, and different classes offered at the gym that I found interesting.  I love to run but my body currently requires a low-impact form of exercise yet still challenging, so I returned to one of my favorite ways to cross-train – Indoor Cycling.

And here is my Top 5 Reasons why I love it: Continue reading “Back into the Groove with Indoor Cycling”

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Fitness Inspiration from Oprah

“Tell me, what do you know for sure?”  This was a question asked to Oprah in 1998 during an interview with Gene Siskel.  Quite a loaded question and one that Oprah couldn’t answer the moment it was asked.  It’s a question she pondered for years with the outcome of a book she wrote last year, What I know For Sure.

200+ pages, a quick and easy read full of life lessons – insightful, engaging, powerful and simply inspirational.  I can see how she was able to transform herself to become a very successful woman despite the hardships she experienced in her childhood.  In the section under Clarity, she discusses a 10-day business trip where she completely abandoned her exercise regimen due to her busy schedule.  Along with her inactivity, she also made bad food choices.  By the end of her trip, after the inevitable weight gain and feeling drained of energy, she realized:

When you nurture and support your body, it reciprocates.  The basis of that support is exercise, like it or not.  The more essential benefit is more energy; weight control is a bonus.  I know for sure that taking care of your body, no matter what, is an investment, and the return is priceless.

Our bodies are designed for movement.  Observe a toddler such as mine who is in a constant state of motion.  Her bones and muscles are still developing hence requires physical activities in order for them to grow stronger.  Young children seem to be naturally inclined to strengthen their bodies by being always on the go, until alas, we expose them to sedentary habit.

Recently, we’ve been made aware of the risks associated with ‘sitting’ even if you exercise and how ‘sedentary behavior is the 4th leading risk factor of death’.  Therefore incorporating movement throughout the day is key to maintaining a healthy body.  Find an activity you enjoy – walk, run, jump, dance!  Whatever it is that will keep your body moving.  I feel fortunate I no longer have to sit in front of a computer screen all day.  My children makes sure my day is filled with activity (less sitting around).

Going back to the question, “What do you know for sure?” In the context of running, I know for sure To Run is Me Time.  It’s my time to connect with myself, my body, my heart and my mind.  And as an added benefit, it’s also a time for me to connect with friends.  A gift my body gave to me, the ability to run; A gift I give back to my body for strength and preservation.

BELIEVE

New Year. New Goals. New Experiences. New Milestones (from my girls who are 1 and 4).  Each new year brings forth a sense of renewal and sheer determination to achieve our goals and aspirations.  This year I decided to keep a training journal.  It’s been 7 years since I had one – back in 2008, I wrote in a blank notebook the details of every meal, my running workouts and the amount of sleep I got daily.  It helped me tremendously which I think contributed to my marathon PR.  So, for Christmas I requested from my parents Lauren Fleshman’s bright red training journal called “Believe”.  It’s filled with running advice excerpts, a section for goal-setting and plenty of blank spaces to log my thoughts.

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And speaking of goal-setting, I finally wrote down a few items I would love to achieve for the year:

1). This is definitely my “Dare to Dream” goal as I plan to chase after new PRs in every race distance I intend to run this year.

2). Build dynamic strength – “Make muscles smarter, Make muscles stronger and Spring”.  This is based off the book “Anatomy for Runners” I am currently reading and another subject for a future blog entry.

3). Pave the road towards eating clean!  My worst enemy is night-time snacking when my body screams for more calories.  I think it’s because this is really the only time I can eat peacefully without having to tend to my kids.

These are my 3 significant ones with regards to training, so I have plenty of work to do before this year ends.  Every month, I will revisit my goals to check how I’m doing.

On a different note, yesterday was my first Saturday run with the San Diego Track Club.  This is my fifth year with the training program and it always feels awesome to be part of a wonderful organization.  This year’s theme is an inspiration for all of us to “DREAM, BELIEVE, AND ACHIEVE” (coincidentally jibes with my training journal, BELIEVE) which is imprinted on the back of the t-shirts each member received for being part of the training program.  A great reminder for all runners to see!

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