New Lily

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape?

runners-high-1024x682If you are like me, it feels like it takes much longer to get in shape than it does to get out of it.  How accurate is this feeling?  Are we imagining it, or is it true that what we have worked so hard to build can be quickly lost? How long does it take to get out of shape?

The answer is actually not as straight forward as we might like it to be.  It depends on a few factors.  How long we have been working out, what kind of exercise we do, and even how old we are all are important factors regarding how quickly we lose our “fitness” level. [Read more…]

A Go-To Workout When You Are Lost at the Gym

We've all been there...at a gym, surrounded by exercise, and no motivation...

We’ve all been there…at a gym, surrounded by exercise, and no motivation…

My gym is the local Y (YMCA), which here in Charlotte, North Carolina, is extensive and offers incredible amenities. Although I don’t get to the Y much anymore, last week I found myself there while #6 (Grace) was at rowing practice (her team practices at the Y when they can’t get on the lake).

Surrounded by rooms of equipment, machines, free weights, and even climbing walls, I was at a loss of what to do.  Has that ever happened to you?  I was standing there with more exercise opportunities than I could ask for, any workout at my fingertips, and nothing enticed me.

Lacking in motivation to create my own workout and typically ill-timed for a group exercise class, I walked the gym.  I guess I figured some exercise machine would reach out and grab me.  None did and so I spent at least 10 minutes wandering around, looking pretty pathetic actually.

After passing an exercise bike, a rowing machine, and a treadmill at least five times, it dawned on me that I now only had 45 minutes left before Grace would be done with her practice.  Finally I decided to get on all three for 15 minutes each. At least I wouldn’t be bored. [Read more…]

Here’s to New Beginnings and to No More Deadbeats

lazy imagesDeadbeat blogger.  That’s me.  I heard that phrase while listening to an interview on Platform University.   I haven’t blogged in months. I have no lack of excuses. In fact excuses are all I have.  Yet I know that the deadbeat blogger in me is a reflection (or reaction more accurately) to a phase of life I find myself in (wait, I think that’s another excuse).  I am in transition.  I have four kids out of the house, one about to graduate, and four more at home.  I am in the middle of it all.

As a homeschool mom, I have been at it for twenty years.  I’m still committed but I’m tired.  I need a second wind.  As a fitness enthusiast, I find myself strangely in transition as well.  In the past I have run marathons, I have maintained a daily workout regimen, I have tried and enjoyed various types of exercise (running, cycling, P90x, barre, rowing). Now I find myself in a more solitary place when it comes to fitness.  I’m still doing lots of different things, but due to schedules and friend’s injuries or my own, I often workout alone.  I don’t mind.  It’s not a bad thing. But I have to rely on my own motivation… which let’s just say is not as healthy as it used to be.  One day of no exercise can easily lead to another and before I know it I’m hardly working out at all.  Okay, it’s really not that bad. But there is no doubt I need a good kick in the pants. [Read more…]

Why I Love Fall Fitness… Three of My Favorite Fall Workouts

imagesWhat is there not to like about fall? Cooler weather (it’s not hot anymore…but it’s not cold yet either).  Beautiful colors (a glorious time to be outside).  Change (something we all relate to ….the change on the outside usually reflects a change on the inside as well).  Like I said, what’s not to like about this season?

Here are three of my go-to fall workouts that are also three more reasons I love fall.

1.”Run Spot Squat Run”.  Tired of the same-old same old run?  Add some squats/push-ups/lunges smack dab in the middle of your same old-same old.  If you are going out for 5 miles, for instance, stop after the first 2.5 and do the following quick and dirty mini workout: 3X 20 squats/ 20 push ups/ 20 lunges (you can drop this to 10 if 20 is too much at first).  Take a few much needed breaths at this point and ready yourself for the second 2.5 miles of your run.  Two things I like about this workout… 1) You won’t believe how much you want to run after you’ve done the squat – push up fun, and 2) You’ll find five miles goes much faster when you break it up this way. The cooler fall climate makes this a great time to try to change up workout…

[Read more…]

I Went For a Bike Ride…What is You Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone?

group-ride2-350x205I went on a group ride on Saturday. I couldn’t believe how far outside my comfort zone it took me.  I used to ride a fair amount.  Clipping in and out of my pedals used to be no big deal.  But that was a long time ago. After many years away from the bike, I made my biking debut at the Giordana Velodrome last summer. Then I was off it again for almost a year.  I got back on twice this week.  On Thursday I joined #6 (Grace) on a practice ride back at the velodrome.  On Saturday I saddled up again for a 30 mile ride in Waxhaw, NC along with #7 (John) who is 11.

Oddly, my anxiety about cycling remains high.  I can’t blame it on my age since most of those riding in the group ride were at least my age and many were well over 10 years older than me.  I can’t really blame it on inexperience either, since I started cycling as a junior in college at Indiana University. [Read more…]

How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Make A Big Difference

Motivation-Monday-618How a Simple Fitness Plan Can Be The Difference

(A guest blog by Chris Taylor) 

 Let me start by asking you a question: when was the last time you went for a walk on your lunchbreak? Or did some sit-ups before heading off to work? If you’re already looking at this blog with unveiled derision, then I don’t blame you. We all know that it’s pretty difficult to incorporate an effective fitness regime into a busy lifestyle. [Read more…]

This Too Shall Pass….Unfortunately: Fitting in Exercise When Children are Young

mom and baby strollerimagesThe other day I took a break from homeschooling #7, #8, and #9 (John, C.C., and Sam) and went to a barre class at noon (#6 who is 14 was home).  Although it’s been awhile since I was really unable to steal away, it still feels a little strange when I do.  For so many years my only chance at exercise during the week was early in the morning or while the kids were napping (thank God for my lifecycle). It’s a question I’m often asked, “How did you fit it in when your kids were all young?” [Read more…]

To Your New Year’s Resolutions…I Say, “Go For It”!

frank sinatradc1e3258a4ebbe0d2be177b5eae0cb6aTo those who say they don’t “do resolutions”, I have to ask, why not? What is not to like about a resolution? I always welcome a chance to start again.  That is the very definition of hope! It’s like saying I’m not going to celebrate my birthday because it’s just gonna come around again next year.

Isn’t that the beauty of it? Yes, it comes around every January. And no, I can’t remember my resolutions from last year (actually, the unfortunate consequence of blogging is that my resolutions from 2014 are there for me and anyone else to see- yikes).  But it doesn’t really matter.  A resolution is a very here-and-now thing.  It’s present day.  It’s knowing yesterday is gone.  Today is a new day.  And it’s a new year! [Read more…]

How I Found Myself Praying at the Velodrome

Me at the Rock Hill Velodrome

Me at the Rock Hill Velodrome

I haven’t been scared in a long time. I mean really scared. The kind of fear that causes your heart to beat fast and your body to tense up. This week I joined a few of my kids and a group of triathletes at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, South Carolina, who were taking part in a certification class.  Sometimes I am amazed at what a mom will do for her kids (more about that later).

The course began in a classroom at 9 am going over the rules of cycling at the Velodrome. Watching the screen as Kyle (our instructor) showed what can happen when cyclists don’t follow rules, I began to sweat. Naively, I had seen people (even kids) riding on the banked track at the Velodrome and assumed that it must not be as difficult as it looked. They made it look easy, in fact. Yet, as I looked at the screens and saw some of the accidents that can happen when people aren’t careful on the track, I started to wonder what the heck I was doing there. [Read more…]

Exercise Should Relieve Stress, Not Create It

Whitney-on-ball-resizedI was talking to a friend the other day.  He had read one of my blog posts and was asking if I was training for a triathalon.  This launched us into a discussion about biking. I explained why I don’t like it.  It takes a lot of time.  The equipment is expensive.  After two crashes, it scares me.  “Basically,” I said, “I want my workouts to relieve stress…not create it.”

That short conversation got me thinking.  What does exercise do for me?  It’s a whole lot more than physical.  Yes, it keeps me fit, but after all my years of pounding the pavement, cranking out pushups, or tweeking my perfect strength routine, I have come to believe that the most substantial benefit of fitness is what it does for my peace of mind. [Read more…]