New Lily

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…]

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things…Three Fitness Picks for 2014

There are so many ways to do a push up....a great body weight exercise!

There are so many ways to do a push up….a great body weight exercise!

These are a few of my favorite things that I will be doing lots more of in 2014…

1.Body Weight exercises

What it is: Body weight exercises are strength training exercises that do not require equipment; your own weight provides the resistance for the movement. Movements such as the push-up, the pull-up, and the sit-up are some of the most common bodyweight exercises.

Why I like it:  Using my own body strength, this kind of workout engages the core, utilizes many different muscle groups, and can be done basically anywhere.  From push-ups and squats, to lunges and planks, there is really no end to the variations I can do.  Sometimes I do the workout on its own, and sometimes I will stick a few body weight exercises in at the end of a run.  Here’s my favorite quickie (source:crossfit): [Read more…]

Nine Goals for the New Year

IMG_6186I am goal oriented.  I love new beginnings and the chance to start again.  I like to write goals down. Not that I ever go back and look at what I wrote, but the process seems official in some way.  Here are my nine goals for 2014 …. not all are resolutions because some of them I already do… I want to keep doing them.  What are your goals?

1. Get rid of junk.  That goes for the kind in my bedroom closet and the kind in the kitchen pantry.  We have too much stuff.  I want to go through every closet and gather all clothes, shoes, etc. that I don’t need, that my children don’t need, and that our house doesn’t need…and give it  away (or throw it away in the case of stained, icky, ancient) [Read more…]

A Go-To Workout When You’re Pressed for Time

Be careful of your form...If you feel it waning, lessen reps.  Better to do less with good form.

Be careful of your form…If you feel it waning, lessen reps. Better to do less with good form. This is me about to start routine.

Looking for a solid workout but you’re pressed for time?  This is my favorite (Cross Fit original).  Sometimes Ill do it right after a run, and sometimes just as a stand alone when time is short.  Try it…you’ll be hooked!  5 push ups/ 25 squats, 10 push ups/ 20 squats, 15 push ups/ 15 squats, 20 push ups/ 10 squats, 25 push ups/ 5 squats!  LOVE IT!!!!  For a greater challenge if you have more time…Do it again! What’s your favorite quickie workout!

Our Day is Full Of Exercise Opportunities…Nine Easy Ways to Fit Fitness into a Busy Day

time6a00d8341c03bb53ef01348404979b970cI used to believe that if I didn’t have time for at least an hour of fitness, or if I didn’t work up a serious sweat…it wasn’t a real workout.  That was my 30 year-old self.  My 46 year-old self has a totally different idea of fitness.  Basically it can be summed up in the words, “Whatever works”.

There are plenty of days that I wake up and from my too-tired-to-get-up early-and-run vantage point, the day could appear hopeless in terms of fitting in a workout.  But I have learned to see things in another way…I now look at it in terms of the opportunities for fast fitness.  It’s a challenge, and I think it’s fun to see just how much of a workout I can get by the end of these kinds of days.  Don’t believe me?  Let me show you nine ways to fit fitness into an otherwise busy day… [Read more…]

Music and Miles…a Sublime Run

A sublime run on the trail... Today I chose to "plug in", and it was worth it!

A sublime run on the trail… Today I chose to “plug in”, and it was worth it!

I have been suffering from a lack of motivation lately, so this morning I wasn’t expecting much.  #4 (Peter) was meeting a friend for a long run (11 miles) on the trail so I decided to come along and run on my own. It’s been a while since I have run long alone (I went 10), so I took my phone and some headphones to keep me company.  I ran the first three with #6 (Grace) who was only running six, and then said goodbye, turned on the iphone music, and kept going. [Read more…]

What Do You Do When Your Running Partner is Injured?

Here I am with #9 (Sam). I know…I’m not running.

I am officially pitiful.  I can’t believe how fast I have become unmotivated!  My running partner, Susan (the one I run with the most), is injured.  She broke her toe when a mannequin at work fell on her foot.  OUCH.  That was a month ago.  Since then I have suffered from a serious lack of motivation (it wasn’t my toe, I know – guess I am a very empathetic friend). I used to meet Susan at 5:30 am about three times a week, but now I have basically almost stopped even setting my alarm for an early morning run.  Thank God for the other Susan in my life…my twin sister.  She and I run together at least once a week, usually around 6:15 am from her house.  I am grateful for her and for that run once a week!  But she is training to run the Savannah Half Marathon in November and is therefore in much better shape than me at the moment. With every week I notice how much slower I seem in comparison. [Read more…]

Fitting in a Workout Means Sometimes It Isn’t Pretty…

A parking lot run is still better than no run at all!

I ran it today for 5 miles. …the parking lot, that is. Sometimes you just do what you have to do.  I am in Greensboro, NC, for a swim meet for #6 (Grace), and her warm ups started at 7 am this morning. With four kids along, it was too difficult to fit an early morning workout in and get her there on time!.   Instead I dropped Grace off and #5 (Annie) watched #8 and #9 (C.C. and Sam) while I ran in the nearby paved paradise.


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We Are What We Do…

Running is one habit I don’t want to break!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

If this is true, and I believe it is, then I am an excellent coffee drinker! I couldn’t help but think of all my negative habits when I first read this quote.  For all the good habits I have acquired over the years, there are many negative ones too, I am afraid.  This thought made me a little too depressed – so I quickly shifted to thinking of the positive habits I have developed over the years (I made a mental note to shift back to the negative ones soon enough…procrastination being at the top of the list). [Read more…]

Five Secrets to Life-Long Weight Loss

In the end, gimmicks are not effective for long term weight loss. Tried and true, these “secrets” are actually simple common sense.

My friend and physical therapist, Alan Tyson, gave me this excellent article.  It is right on the money.Weight loss always seems to be at the forefront of  goals for the new year and there is ample talk about ways to take off those excess pounds.  But keeping it off is the real prize. While many have success for a while with their weight loss plan, often, over time, the pounds creep back.  The real question isn’t really an annual one…it is a forever question… How do we keep the weight off — today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our life? Not even everyone with “lucky genes” can stay slim for a lifetime without the help of a few basic strategies.  I trust Alan’s judgment because he works with elite athletes and with weekend warriors alike, and his focus is prevention through strength and nutrition.  Let me know what you think of the article, and check in later this week for a look at someone who lost 20 pounds a few years ago, and has kept it off. I will talk to her about what she feels is the “secret” to her success.

Five Secrets to Life-Long Weight Loss [Read more…]