Fitness Challenge week 46 and 47

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Well here I am at week 47. Let me start out saying I have been busy otherwise I would have been posting more regularly….sorry everyone!! Now on to the post….

I am not anywhere close to my goal but I am learning a lot about my health. In the last 47 weeks and even before that when I first started, I started to do this because I was having the beginnings of major issues…anywhere from asthma all the way to high cholesterol. I was not in good shape and could not go and do things with my kids that I wanted to.  I mean I was not even 40 years old and I felt like I was falling apart. I weighed almost 190 pounds and every joint felt it. I was at the heaviest I had ever been in my life. So I started on this journey with the decision not so much to lose weight as to get healthy again.

And it seems that I have.

I have not lost as much weight as I would like to and in the process I have gained some back and lost it again. In total I have lost 13 pounds since I started. I know that does not seem like a lot but considering I really did not go into this to lose weight but to get healthy, to me, it is a lot. It’s a lot because I have kept it off. I did not gain it back after losing it. It shows if you change your diet you will not only lose weight but will regain your health. Yes I know I should not tout any huge successes because commercial weight loss programs will “guarantee you that you will lose 50 pounds in 6 months or your money back (insert sarcasm)” but to me this is a huge success. Not in terms of weight loss but in terms of me taking my body, my health, and my life back.

I am going to continue doing just as I have and will continue to update my progress. I will change myself the better and teach my children to live better and healthier. I don’t want to leave them sooner then I have to and I want them to have a long, healthy, enjoyable life. The more I learn the more they learn. Maybe by changing my path, I have change theirs for the better.

Success is not the absence of failure; it’s the persistence through failure.

Aisha Tyler

 

Weight: 174.8

Bust: 38 in

Waist: 32

Hips: 37

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Yoga Pose (information) Tuesday

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Yes I know I keep telling you I don’t have anymore pics of poses. I’m sorry will get some for next week I promise. Until then here is some more useful info about Yoga. This week instead of terms…I am going to talk about the health benefits of yoga.

I am not a professional yogi by no means but I have over the years experienced the benefits of yoga in one form or another. Now that I am much older then when I first started yoga, I know what the long term effects are. I try to educate as much as possible but the old saying “you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make them drink” applies here. My kids at least have come around to it and enjoy it and I know they will benefit from it as they get older as well.

1. Improves your flexibility
Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That’s no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hips can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.

2. Builds muscle strength
Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

3. Perfects your posture
Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it’s no wonder you’re tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone like worn-out brake pads.

5. Protects your spine
Spinal disks—the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves—crave movement. That’s the only way they get their nutrients. If you’ve got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you’ll help keep your disks supple.

6. Betters your bone health
It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures.

7. Increases your blood flow
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.

8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

9. Ups your heart rate
When you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range, you lower your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously or take flow or Ashtanga classes, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning. One study found that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more exercise with less oxygen.

10. Drops your blood pressure
If you’ve got high blood pressure, you might benefit from yoga. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop.

These are just a few of the benefits of yoga. There are more…but until you actually try it you will never know. So why not give it a try. Till next time Namaste

 

Thank you Yoga Journal for the info! You can find a lot more info here!!

Fit Challenge Week 16

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Well after the high I was on last week came crashing down, I sort of overindulged. I realize that even though I hit my goal unless I stick to it, it will come back very quick. As I had said in previous posts this weekend was my anniversary and hubby took me out to dinner. I didn’t eat badly, I just over ate. Then on Sunday we went out on a 5 mile hike which was great. We all had a blast!! But when we had lunch I went back to my old habits. So needless to say, I did not do well over the weekend. But you know what, it happens. You cannot change overnight. You will have slip ups and not achieve what you want sometimes. You can make all the excuses, but what you do after that is what makes you successful. You have to pick up the pieces and go again.

 

Height: 5′ 7″

Weight: 175.6

Bust: 38 in

Waist: 32 in

Hips: 38 in