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I run “x” miles per week which averages “x” miles per day at a pace of “x” minute miles. My long runs are on Sundays. I am going to leave specific numbers out given that the numbers are neither finite, nor may they be relevant to your specific needs and goals. What I have noticed is that a long run is defined by the individual who is running and what the individual is training for. Both the body and the mind must be trained properly to run “x” miles per day and “x” miles per week. As a runner progresses so will the perception of time, distance and speed.
A long run is like an impulse dye job, without proper instruction and previous participation it can lead to one big damaged mess. Yet, with the right plan you’re golden….maybe even platinum! If you are curious about running but the idea of running 5-miles, 3-miles or even 1-mile makes you cringe do not try to run 5-miles, 3-miles or 1-mile. Now, for those of you reading this entry who have not run before and do not cringe at the idea of running 5-miles, 3-miles or 1-mile, also do not go out and attempt to run 5-miles, 3-miles, or 1-mile. You want to start slow. I recommend trying the following:
(Warm-up for 5-minutes at a 1% incline)
1.) 4 minutes at a brisk walk with a 1% incline
2.) 30-seconds to 1-minute running at an “easy” speed with a 1% incline (do not try to sprint)
REPEAT until you reach 30-minutes
(Cool-down for 5-minutes at a 1% incline)
This workout will introduce both your mind and body to running. You can now define YOUR “x.”
One of my favorite healthy eating tips is incorporating fruit into my breakfast. (My tip was actually published in Shape magazine back in 2005! ) In addition to being nutritious and delicious, eating fruit for breakfast starts your day off on the right foot. It’s so much easier to select healthy foods throughout the day when your first meal includes something nutritious like fruit. Fruit is also low in calories and high in fiber, so it keeps you full and may help you eat less during the day (if you’re trying to lose weight). Fresh fruit has lots of beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals, which research suggests, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer and other age-related diseases. Finally, fruit is exactly what your body needs for energy first thing in the morning. Fruit is easy to digest, and the sugar from fruit (glucose) is in a form that your body can quickly turn into energy. Make sure you combine your fruit with some sort of whole grains as well as protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied all morning long.
Carrots ‘N’ Cake
Healthworks has secured two race entries for the 113th annual Boston Marathon, and we are looking for participants! The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, and will take place on Monday, April 20, 2009.
We are looking for runners to participate as part of the Healthworks team, and to raise our goal of $10,000 ($5,000 per runner). All money raised will fund the Healthworks Foundation, with non-profit centers in Codman Square and St. Mary’s in Dorchester, Massachusetts. If you already have a number for the Marathon, join the Healthworks Foundation Team and help give women and children an opportunity to get healthier!
Healthworks at Codman Square holds countless after school programs for children, and since the opening of the center in October 2008, over 650 women have joined! With club usage growing so quickly, we need your help to raise money and give every woman the chance to be healthy, happy, and the best version of herself!
Click here to fill out your application: http://www.healthworksfoundation.org/marathonapp.htm
An ABC News story released today covers new fitness trends and features a spotlight on Healthworks’ zumba class. Healthworks fitness instructor Tavia Patusky is interviewed in a video as she explains the benefits of Zumba. According to Patusky, “Zumba feels like a dance party. It’s a joyful experience, and you leave feeling good and knowing that you burned calories.” The zumba class is one of the many unique fitness classes available at Healthworks that can offer a fresh and fun way to get fit.
Watch the video here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6943045
They say 90% of success is showing up.
It’s certainly true with fitness.
You know how once you get the inertia of attending a gym three to four days a week on a set schedule; you get into a certain rhythm. It becomes easier to keep up, you’ve reshuffled your work schedule, and you notice a considerable difference in your mood and energy levels.
Then something happens in your busy life and you skip a workout. Then two. Then three. Notice how considerably more difficult it is to get into that rhythm again? Feelings of guilt and annoyance emerge and a little voice starts whispering in your head, “Hey, you are paying for a gym. You should go. You are getting fat and lazy…but you are tired, you can wait another day and start on Monday…”
There is no magic trick to silencing that little voice. There is only one action to take. Schedule a date to go to the gym, like an appointment, on a day and time you are most likely to follow through.
Then don’t go right away. Give yourself time to get excited about it, so you’ll be eagerly waiting for your fitness fix. Like a day or two. This mental game will help you to look forward to a workout. Because otherwise, it will be a waste of your time and a waste of equipment, not to mention a deepening loss of motivation.
Immediate gratification is impossible with fitness—it takes time to develop toned arms and killer thighs. Especially after a long slump.
But it is possible to get that instant feel-great high from just one workout—by making movement as much fun as possible, not calories burned or pounds lost.
Make that your goal.
Show up and move. Don’t stare at yourself in the mirror, judging and criticizing. Don’t give any excuses for beating yourself up.
Whatever gets you going, do that. If you like group classes, pick a favorite and go to that. If you like cardio machines, give yourself some short amount of time, like twenty minutes, and step on. The goal is to enjoy this as much as possible, so don’t schedule unnecessarily hard or long workouts. To avoid being overwhelmed, get specific. Work on your biceps and shoulders only, for example. Or do lunges and abs. Or only one mile on a treadmill. Being specific will focus the momentum and you won’t get bored or indecisive. Your time on the fitness floor is better spent actually working out, not trying to pick a machine or remember a weight-lifting exercise.
If after twenty minutes you feel like continuing, voila. If not, feel free to leave—while the anticipation of a great workout is still tingling in your muscles. You’ll be counting the hours to get back into it.
After the workout, reward your body by stopping by the sauna, steam room, or whirlpool. Even five minutes of relaxation will feel luxurious—for your soul, your muscles, and your further motivation.
Little bursts of inspiration beat carefully laid out plans that are too structured to follow for our hectic schedules. Small workouts add to substantial benefits over time. The key is to figure out what gives you the most joy, and do that as much as possible. Once the rhythm is back, increase the intensity and work on variety.
Don’t fight yourself. Just show up and have fun.
Want to get in shape, but don’t know how to or can’t find the motivation to do so? As we all know, finding the motivation to get into shape can be difficult, but with a membership to the right gym, it does not have to be.
That is why Healthworks Fitness has provided the perfect opportunity for you to get fit and start living a healthier lifestyle. All you have to do is explain to us why you feel you deserve a complimentary month membership to our gym. Give us your most detailed responses (ex: I feel that I deserve this membership because…include specific reasons with examples and explanations) and in return, Healthworks will give you the body and lifestyle you deserve.
We have five free passes to give away. Winners will be chosen based on their answers, so make your entries as creative, persuasive, and thoughtful as possible. Submit your answer as a comment to this blog post by Saturday February 28, including your name and contact information, and may the best answers win! Good luck!
It’s no news that exercising with others improves the likelihood of success in training. Having a workout buddy keeps us honest – we must get out of bed and into our sneakers because someone else is depending on us doing so. While having a workout buddy is great, it’s not always feasible. When training for the Cape Cod Marathon this past October, I struggled to find a friend to train with. My last training partner was pregnant, others were taking well deserved breaks from distance, and others simply weren’t my pace. So, I trained alone. During the race, my solitary training proved to be a blessing as the race itself was quite solitary. There were few fans (not to discount the stellar cheering my family and friends provided) and hundreds of runners, not thousands. I felt prepared for a somewhat lonely four hours because my training runs were done without throngs of other runners or screaming Wellesley, BC, and BU students. Fast forward three months. It’s still just me on the treadmill. It’s still just me out on the roads. But, I realize that I’m not doing this alone. Even if there isn’t someone slogging out the miles with me, there are plenty of someones training with me. Last week, my friend Dawn and I traded infinite emails about our food logs and joked how many (okay…most) people would be bored to tears if they had to read the details we were discussing. My friend Jen has been giving me new ideas to help me break out of a weight-lifting “rut.” Yesterday, at the gym, as another member, Janet, prepared to run many miles on the treadmill, I offered encouragement for the tough hours ahead and she asked about my past training and races. I’m not training with Dawn, Jen, or Janet for any races. But, it’s friends (and potential new friends) like Dawn, Jen, and Janet who, without even knowing it, get me through my training.
While I was thinking about writing this blog, one of my goals was to share the voices of the women who inspire me and hope that they will do the same for you.
The purpose is to speak in our voice; that is unique. Yes, our message does have a universal appeal but we are expressing it from our perspective. The search is to find out what stands out for us as we navigate our space in society.
I interviewed Margarita Alvarez and Lula Christopher. Margarita and Lula shared their message to the Sister, hermanas. There was clarity in their voice and love in their movement.
After speaking with them, I felt uplifted and validated and as Lula shared, “It is about connecting to a higher being.” I hope you find a connection in their words.
So here it is my Sisters, Mis Hermanas.
Una conversación con Margarita-A Conversation with Margarita
Margarita Alvarez is a Colombian psychoanalyst and Healthworks member. Un Mensaje a las Mujeres Latinas.
Question: Margarita, what stands out as we talk about the initial blog?
Margarita: El concepto de “boundaries” es tan Americano que no existe una palabra especifica para traducirlo en Español. No es un concepto en nuestra cultura Latina,lo cual puede ser problemático.
Por ejemplo, la idea de uno hacer espacio y sacar tiempo para cuidarse y protegerse, se podria ver como algo supervisial, egoista e indulgente.
Our relationship with our body is not something ever stressed to care for, or that it is sacred. Many of us have a bad relationship with our bodies, not necessarily by abusing it, but by neglecting it. We spend a lot of time in our heads or somewhere else. But rarely do we inhabit in a body that we befriend and take care of.
For example, we may work long hours and not be able to read the signals of tiredness, hunger, thirst and need for rest. Many of us do not know how to read the warning signs to stop. I sometimes wonder if this is culturally embedded in us. By avoiding our bodies, we may also be avoiding troubling feelings stored there. Surely, this is different for everyone.
QUESTION: What has helped you in your workouts?
Margarita: The interpersonal connection with my Trainer Sarah Anderson. It gives me structure, it challenges and encourages me to go beyond boundaries I never knew I could surpass. I get support and motivation from our session that makes the work feel great not only physically but emotionally.
As we move forward, I feel stronger, I have more energy, I can focus better, can be more present and grounded, and sleep much better than I used to. It is an overall sense of well being in feeling more connected to myself. I also love the welcoming and support of the overall staff at Healthworks. It makes the space very friendly, inviting and safe.
The pleasure of exercising derives from various sources. At one level this place invites me, the smells of the sauna and Jacuzzi are my rewards after a workout. The other source of pleasurable motivation is seeing my progress and having crossed a line of success I never imagined I could. As I said before, being able to integrate my body and my mind is another source of pleasure, as well as seeing my body get stronger and more defined. It instills in me a sense of youth I had lost somewhere a long time ago. Paradoxically, when I stop coming, I lose a sense of rhythm and ways of channeling my everyday work stress, which makes me tired and eager to come back.
While working out, Margarita may get involved in looking at a movie or watches CNN to catch up with the news of the day. While feeling distracted it also connects her with the national and some of the world affairs.
A Conversation with Lula Christopher
Lula is an African American women founder and Director of BBWHI Boston Black Women Health Institute and a Healthworks member
Question- How do you see us addressing our physical health?
Lula: At BBWHI it is a part of a journey. Oftentimes, we get a message about the chronic disease and we respond. We place everyone’s needs before our own. We rarely take time to focus on what we need. We are at the bottom of our own list until we get that wake up call.
It is not an easy process. We generally need something to jump start our life. The Black community has accepted, “Oh girls, you’re big boned” or “We are Sisters with large rhythm.” We lower ourselves in this acceptance of body image.
Our concern is that we don’t see the physical activity as a total package.
We wear a Badge of honor as the strong black, Latina woman. What generally happens is we take on the weight of the world. In the anthology of Black Women, Patricia Scott wrote, how stress is pressed into our hair and stitched in our garment. We also press it into our spirituality in the way of, “God will deliver.”
We do not take time to breathe and find out who we are as physical beings. It is all circular. You cannot work on one area and not the other.
Many women are aware that they need to take care of themselves but stuck on where to do this in the community that we live. Access to workout, to walk, may not be in our immediate communities.
Safety, not just physical safety but the disparities in the environment that we live, does not promote physical activity.
In the Program, Slim Down Sisters, we talk about the need for women to heal by building unity with other women of color. One of the reasons they enjoy it, is that they cannot do it alone. Hearing other stories is motivating. It moves in the African tradition of call and response, it says, “Your story promotes healing in my life.”
Bringing women together to exercise gives a deep sense of belonging. I get this at Codman Square. When we see each other, we recognize each other and we gather strength.
BBWHI hosts two classes at the Healthworks in Codman Square. We find modified versions for women; they can reach further in to do more.
Question: What keeps you moving and motivated?
Lula: I am diabetic so I motivated by my health and by the women in my community. As I stand doing this work, I stand and hold the place for other Black women. I stand in a place of holding and sharing that space as they begin to take their own steps through their journey. I am that BLACK WOMAN!!
I am doing it for myself. It gives me a better sense of who I am physically and I see my strength. I swim in my own reservoir!!!
My gym time is sacred. I do it early in the morning. No one wants to meet at 6am. It allows me to communicate with myself to be in my own head. It affords me clarity.
As a DIVA growing older, (she is turning 60), I am entering the season of sage. I need to be strong. I am a grandmother and I want to send a message of taking care of myself and being active. I want to model that for my granddaughter.
I prefer silence (I do not always get it) when I workout but I do appreciate the old school music in the gym. African drums and Afro Cuban beats. Anything with a drum takes me to another place.
MARGARITA- Make the connection with you body. Enjoy your transformation.
LULA WORDS OF WISDOM-I like it when you spoke about baby steps. Take really small steps when you begin. The machines can be intimidating. Build and improve your personal best. Believe in yourself!!!
I envision the pounds melting away as I walk. Visualize yourself healthy from the inside out!!! Love yourself regardless of the package you come in. Honor the divinity in you. Say to yourself,
“I honor the Divinity within me.”
Call out and recognize what a divine and magnificent person you are. The more you move, the more strength you will gain.
I hope the words of these two women guide you in your journey of making peace with your body by doing it your way, a su manera.
Until our next conversation, I leave you with the words of Oprah Winfrey from the book, What I Know for Sure, “Your life is a journey of learning to love yourself first and then extending that love to others in every encounter.”
Situate yourself at the end of one step and make a genie shape with your arms in front of you to help you balance. Keeping your knee of the leg on the step tracking straight, squat down into a one-leg chair. Squat until your other foot lightly taps the floor and then press the leg back to straight. 15x each leg.
One-Leg Step Up
Stand facing the end of the step with one leg on the step. Keep the legs hip width distance apart and activating through the back of the step leg, stand up to balance and then reverse step down. 15x each leg.
Glut Bridge with Marches
Lie on the floor with feet situated flat and hip width distance apart on the coreboard. Take an inhale to prepare and an exhale to activate the core and glut muscles to lift the hips up to an inverted position. While in the up position alternate the leg march with one leg and then the other. Continue marching 8x each leg. **Bridge and Marches can be done separately**
Healthworks invites you to participate in the Spring Training Bootcamp Challenge!
Form teams of 6 to 12 women with your friends and other members. All applications are due by February 20th, and Healthworks will choose ten teams to participate by February 23rd.
Non-members are welcome, but we encourage each team to have one member for each non-member so that everyone can acclimate to the club and be comfortable working out. All team members are welcome to use the club during the duration of the bootcamp challenge.
Each team will meet with a certified trainer once per week for 4 weeks, beginning March 9th. The teams with the largest percentage of change win a Healthworks prize package!
Follow the link below to fill out your application now!