Tag: competition

A walk, jog, walk/jog kind of day with a 5k finish!

A walk, jog, walk/jog kind of day with a 5k finish!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to post about this week because I hadn’t given it too much thought, but after doing several walks and jogs with my boyfriend over the weekend I thought I would do an entry inspired by him.  He does more running than me because truthfully I don’t really like running unless it is on outdoor trails in nature in the middle of nowhere where I can clear my mind and soak up the sun in the woods!  I guess I get that side from being an outdoor enthusiast and lover.  Call me crazy, but something about being in nature on your own running provides some major freedom and relaxation.  (For me, anyway!)  Anyway, back to this week’s blog.  We often go on walks together throughout the weekend, but we don’t typically do runs (because I don’t like them) and because we usually do our own workouts during the week and do less strenuous workouts during the weekend.

This weekend we were pressed for time, but still wanted to fit in some fitness, so we set out on our usual walking path and decided in order to meet our walking goal and finish by the time we needed to be done we would have to run at least part of it.  I think it may have actually been my idea!  I know that’s shocking since I just said I don’t like running! 😉  Maybe I hate running, but I just love fitness!  That was on Saturday, but we set out for another walk on Sunday afternoon.  Not nearly as cool as the Saturday evening walk/jog and basically no breeze to counteract the heat so we decided we better run at least part of it again.  We started out walking, but he suggested we run to beat the heat to get back to the house faster.  It was his idea this time to run, which was fine.  It didn’t seem so bad since we had just done it the night before.  This time not only did we run much more than the previous night, but we also managed to run almost the entire time.  We weren’t really trying to run the entire time, but it was pretty warm and then I had to go pee, so I wanted to get back.  You’re probably thinking what’s the point of telling you all this, right?!  Well, the point is that someone that is as much of a wellness, nutrition, and fitness enthusiast as myself still doesn’t find much pleasure in running because I consider myself a cross trainer and much prefer cross training and interval exercising.  I think this could become a trend for us because we actually enjoyed it and while it wasn’t my “typical” crossing training, it did have a cross training like feel because we walked and jogged.  Walking and jogging in intervals has actually been proven in many studies to be as good and in some cases better than just running or jogging.

I think this is a great example where starting something new that may not seem that appealing (like running, in my mind) may turn out to be a new hobby or a fresh start to a small workout that can be enjoyable and quick.  You might start off hating running (like me) and then gradually decide it’s not so bad.  In my case, I am sure it didn’t hurt having my boyfriend beside me since I know he enjoys running so it is something I can do with him to enjoy time together.  He loves 5ks and is much better than I would be at them because I don’t find pleasure in running nor do I enjoy competitions against others.  I LOVE competing against myself, but with others in a crowded atmosphere on roads or in cities has no appeal to me at all.

The flipside to 5k competition runs is this:  My boyfriend and I eventually plan on doing a “fun” 5k together such as a color or graffiti run, glow run, zombie run, warrior dash, mud run, cupcake run, or something of the sort.  I would like to do a graffiti run, but obstacle course and fun 5k runs are perfect mergers for beginner runners, those who don’t love to run, or even cross trainers because they often are “stop and go” runs meaning you run for a short period and then stop to do the obstacle or color/graffiti at stations along the way.

Happy walking, jogging, and walking/jogging.  Remember a 5k can be a fun finish or a fun goal to work towards even if you don’t run the entire thing.  After all, life is about having fun AND making a few healthy choices that are fitness, nutrition, and wellness related! 🙂


A healthy {March Madness} competition with yourself!

A healthy {March Madness} competition with yourself!

I was thinking about the blog and March Madness (well, mostly March Madness) because I love sports.  Tennis, basketball, football, soccer, baseball (in person), if it’s on, then I want my television on, but sitting and watching television for hours (let’s face it, sports games aren’t always short…at least 2 hours or more) is not exactly healthy.  Several weeks ago I was working out and thinking how much I enjoy a little competition with myself.  I am not a huge competitor against others (I don’t like comparing myself to others) when it comes to exercising, so running against others or entering events that are timed races are not my cup of tea.  However, I DO love a great competition against myself.  What exactly does this mean?  I love improving the amount of reps I do when I exercise.  For example, if I do 3 sets of 50 crunches, then next time I want to do 3 sets of 60 crunches.  I like the extra push and how I feel once I have surpassed my previous amount of reps.

So, now you might be thinking how does March Madness and having a healthy competition with yourself fit together?  One involves a lot of sitting and the other involves health and competition.  As an avid sports freak and exercise lover, I thought it might be fun to put them together and have a little game against yourself during March Madness.  Why?  Because it’s a great opportunity to combine March Madness and health without allowing yourself to sit for hours at a time!

My challenge to you is to make an exercise bracket when you make your March Madness bracket.  For example, lunges versus squats, see which one you can do more of in a 1 minute interval.  Consider push-ups versus crunches, burpees versus jumping jacks and so on.  Fill out an entire bracket with exercises competing against each other.  I suggest placing the exercises you choose on an actual bracket and have your March Madness basketball bracket with it because here’s how it will work:  You will do each exercise that you have corresponding to the game on your basketball bracket.  For example, if Oklahoma State and Gonzaga are playing, you would have two exercises written next to them.  Lets use squats and lunges for this game.  At some point during the first half you will do squats for 1 minute and write down how many you achieved and once the second half begins, you will do lunges for 1 minute and write down how many you were able to do.  Like with the basketball games, whichever exercise got the most reps during the 1 minute wins and moves on to the next round! 😉  Keep doing this until you have a winning exercise. Get creative, there are lots of exercises you can use, you might consider one yoga pose versus another.  Remember, it’s all in good fun AND it is all to get our butts up off the couch as we sit and watch the upsets and unpredictable outcomes of March Madness unfold!

Here’s an example of an exercise bracket if you are having a hard time coming up with exercises or can’t quite picture it.  Remember you will do the corresponding exercises with the corresponding game that’s on your March Madness basketball bracket (one first half and one second half).  You can either do each exercise for a one minute interval and count the reps for each or choose a goal and see which one meets or comes closest to the goal.  Have fun with this and realize it’s to keep you from sitting the entire time during March Madness!

EAST (yoga): high plank hold v. low plank hold, cobra v. downward dog, spinal balance right v. spinal balance left, tree pose right v. tree pose left, triangle pose left v. triangle pose right, warrior pose left v. warrior pose right, bird of paradise left v. bird of paradise right, staff pose v. mountain pose

WEST (strength training): pushups v. squats, bicep curls right v. bicep curls left, tricep curls right v. tricep curls left, lunges v. wall sit, bicycle crunches v. floor crunches, side pushups right v. side pushups left, right leg balance v. left leg balance, shoulder raise left v. shoulder raise right

MIDWEST (cardio): high knees v. butt kicks, jumping jacks v. burpees, mountain climbers v. russian twists, pogo right leg v. pogo left leg, squat jumps v. plank walks, side2side squat heel touch v. side2side ski jumps, scissor runs v. standing leg kicks, one arm push up left v. one arm push up right

SOUTH (misc): jump rope v. hula hoop, arm circles front v. arm circles back, standing calf raise left v. standing calf raise right, chair left lift right v. chair leg lift left, left arm punches v. right arm punches, wall pushups v. marching in place, right leg lift and hold v. left leg lift and hold, right leg kick v. left leg kick

Hope this provides some March Madness inspiration!  Happy bracketising!  Enjoy your exercise bracket and your basketball bracket.  Hope your basketball bracket is doing better than mine! 😉


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