Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gettin' Healthy

For the past few days, I've been engrossed in Alex Jamieson's book, The Great American Detox Diet. Jamieson, AKA Healthy Chef Alex, is the wife of Morgan Spurlock, who produced Super Size Me. Alex is a vegan chef and a nutritional counselor, and her book goes through an 8-week program similar to the one she introduced to Spurlock after the 30 day Mickey D's binge that almost turned his vital organs into liquid shite. It's a bit militant, and at times a bit alarmist, and seems sort of unrealistic for two poultry lovers like my DH and myself, but it's a fascinating read and has, for the most part, good advice.

As many of you know, we've been on a nutrition plan for several months now. Slowly, very slowly, we've been adding better quality of exercise to the mix, and the energy levels I've been experiencing have been out of this world. Right now, we've been conditioning ourselves with small intervals of cardio via our eliptical machine each week. We started out 5 minutes 5 times a week, gradually increasing the intervals every 2 weeks. We're now up to 20 minutes four times a week. Our ultimate goal is 30 minutes four times a week. Yesterday, I noticed I was feeling a bit sore. I'd found several yoga DVDs when we'd reorganized our massive DVD collection, and popped one in. By the end of the 30 minute workout, I was sweatin' and there was a whole new set of muscles that hadn't been worked in a while. I decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to involve some sort of strength training in my elipitcal-free days. The two yoga DVDs I've had most experience with (which is minimal since I've only used one of them once) are Ali MacGraw-YogaMind&Body and Hemalaya Behl's Yoga For Urban Living. Ali MacGraw is the fabulous actress who played Jenny in Love Story (she was the gorgeous girl who wooed Ryan O'Neil in a very fabulous crocheted hat), and who, according to the DVD practices yoga daily. This was the first yoga video I'd ever purchased, and it remains my favorite so far. The scenery is beautiful and the instructions are pretty easy to follow, and the movements are basic hatha yoga poses, so no real weird bends are needed. Hemalaya Behl's video appears to be novice friendly, but I caught a mistake or two (she tells you "left" instead of "right") however, it's great for those who have very little space to practice. There are three main workouts- the "Morning Quickie" meant to energize and awaken the body, the "Evening Bathm" a relaxing and meditative flow, and the 60 min "Daily Connection" which is the main workout. As I type this, my triceps are rather sore from her Morning Quickie Sun Salutations. But all in all a pretty good at-home workout.

Yay yoga!

I've done a little bit of Urban Living (OnDemand at work), and I like the breathing exercises. I find this program really good for the days when I want yoga, but my muscles are too sore for standard practice.

You'll notice that the muscle work will help you a lot with your fitness goals. You'll have better posture, breathing and stamina for cardio workouts, too!

I still have free passes to Gold's, let me know if you'd like to join us for a class sometime!
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