One week from today, I am starting an accountability group for PiYo. (go here to eroll) The start of a new program is THE BEST! It's so exciting. I can't wait to see what the workouts will be like. The promise of transformation and results is a carrot in my mind. The hard part is the second week and beyond. The newness has worn off. The results haven't shown up, yet. So that's where the power of an accountability group comes to the rescue. I have done this with other programs and really saw the power of other people checking in with me and posting about their trials and success. It is a great way to bond, make new friends, and not feel so alone in my pursuit of health and wellness.
Just to make the initiation a little easier, here are some of the items I do to prep for starting a new program:
THINK ABOUT MY SCHEDULE: When am I going to commit to this program each day? The workouts are 30-45 minutes long, but I will need to set aside an hour. Before the kids get up? Lunch? After dinner? Do I want the kids to be a part of it so they can join in or is this going to be me time? When will this time be most protected and have the best chance of getting done each day? When do I have the most energy so I can get the most out of my workouts? Finally, if I happen to miss my scheduled workout time, when is my backup time?
DECIDE ON MY FOOD PLAN: I like to set some personal ground rules. For example, I may choose to go gluten free or cut out sugar. Sometimes it's as simple as eating healthy and giving myself the weekend off. Will I commit to Shakeology or Phood (my two favorite protein shakes) or will I make eggs and oatmeal? Will I eat before or after my workout? What healthy snacks will I be sure to keep on hand?
CHECK IN WITH MY BODY: Am I recovering from an injury? Do I feel weak or strong right now? Do I need to give myself permission to do the modifier (easier workout) for awhile to make sure I stay injury free? Sometimes coming out of the gate too strong ends in injury and I've had to stop in the middle of a program. To avoid this, I try to mentally prepare to not feel like I have to keep up. It is ok to take my time to work into a program in either intensity or duration and then build from there as I feel stronger.
SET MY GOAL FOR THE PROGRAM: This particular program is 8 weeks. What goals are realistic? How will I measure them to know if I was successful at the end. For some this is weight, for others it is the way clothes fit. Mine often includes how I feel. Can I do a push up and feel strong? Have I improved in my ability to do the workouts? Another great indicator of wellness and disease prevention is waist circumference and this is an easy one to measure. Keep in mind that average weight loss from working out and eating well is typically 1-2 pounds per week, but sometimes you won't even see that much if you are putting on muscle. If you are over 40, putting on muscle is KEY for long term weight maintenance. Weight can be a good goal, but I recommend coupling it with other goals so you can get a realistic picture of your improvements.
It's time for a new workout. I'm 40 now and it seems that my body doesn't take well to impact anymore. Little annoying injuries surface when I do too much running or jumping jacks. In fact, I'm still in the final stages of recovering from a foot injury that happened last summer.
This is why I have chosen PiYo. No impact, yet defining & challenging. Sounds perfect. PiYo is a combination of Pilates and Yoga in one workout. It's been in the fitness center arena for several years, but it is just now available for home consumers like me. Since I live in the middle of nowhere Missouri, the closest workout facility is small and 30 minutes away. And that's on a good day when the creek hasn't flooded the low water crossing. If I want to go to a bigger club that might have PiYo on the schedule, we are looking at a 45 minute drive. This is just not sustainable on an ongoing basis. So, I workout at home. Not my choice, but a necessity.
When I heard that PiYo was coming to the home consumer in the form of a DVD set, I knew I wanted to try it. What's even cooler is that I met some of the people in the video when I attended Smart Success in Anaheim earlier this year. In fact, my good friend Chloe Gibbs is even in the infomercial that will be coming out later this year. She saw amazing results from PiYo and has been an instructor for years, despite the fact that she has suffered from severe scoiosis her whole life. This gives me incredible trust in the program.
So, here I am. I purchased my PiYo kit today and should be ready to start in about a week.
Want to join me? I am an exercise physiologist and personal trainer, so I will support you the whole way through! Just 3 steps to enroll...
"I'm never ever coming here again. I don't like oceans, sand, or tide pools." (Morgan, age 3) She did not like getting her feet wet or touching icky things. All she wanted to do was go back to the beach entrance and play at the playground in the sand.
Part of her dislike stemmed from the fact that we parked at the wrong end of the beach and had to walk 30 minutes down the beach to get to the tide pools. By that time she was tired. Also, the tide was starting to coming back in, so we didn't get to explore all of it. If you go there, check the tides and go just before the peak of the low tide.
The tide pools that we explored were fascinating. They had pools of their own on top of the rocks and were in a bigger pool below. There were clumps of living shells all over them and tons of sea anemones. We had fun touching them and watching them close up. They have lots of little "fingers" that feel tacky when they are open. When they close, the fingers disappear inside and there are shells on the outside, maybe to help them blend in or protect them from other hungry things?
We saw the place we should have entered the beach. It was a steep staircase coming down from the bluffs. So if you ever come here, be prepared to walk 30 minutes one way down the beach or do a lot of stairs.
Our walk back to the truck was framed by a gorgeous sunset. It gave us a chance to capture some interesting sunset silhouette pictures. The grand finale was playing on the playground until the last bits of daylight slipped away.
My fascination with aerial yoga began when I received an Athleta catalog last year. I was instantly intrigued by the flowing pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling and the models doing beautiful poses wrapped in the fabric. Immediately I wanted to do it, but it took some internet searching to even discover what it was called. Of course, no one near me offered anything like it. Fast forward one year.
I took my first aerial yoga class last week at Wilson's Fitness in Columbia, MO. It was everything I hoped it would be. Relaxing, stretching, toning, decompressing, and unique. The "womb" pose at the beginning felt comfortable and safe while the inversions near the end were exciting and empowering. In the picture above I am doing a "star" pose after climbing the silks from an inversion. As I clumsily made my way through this workout, I had glimpses of a former me. First the ex rock climber using my arms and legs to defy gravity. Then the young gymnast simultaneously seeking grace, strength, and athleticism. I felt free. The spatial awareness and the swing of the silks brought out past experiences that I had almost forgotten. Catina, the instructor, was there to lead us safely while encouraging us to go beyond our comfort level. I imagine that each workout gets better and better with skill and experience, so I will definitely do this again.
My name is Stevyn. I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness. Learn more about me here.
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