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New shoes! New energy! Intervals! Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Well, there they are! My new dance sneaks! I have put off buying them since 1995. DUH. I used to come home from 2-3 hours of contradancing and have to soak in the tub for a half hour. And the next AM, my feet still hurt a bit! I was not wearing terrible shoes - but they weren't good either.

Finally, after having one of my flat ballet-type shoes slip off my feet in the middle of a dance, I said "enough, it will be worth the money." And it is. These are Zumba shoes, but they really mold to your feet and allow for such comfy turning and twirling. I got home from almost continuous dancing last night, feet felt fine, and this AM I was ready for more exercise.

The story could end there. I thought it would, after I did 3 Leslie Sansone miles (and blogged about the DVD, my fave). But then I got a call from a friend, asking if I could come pick up some DVDs he is lending me. Well, I didn't want to DRIVE there! How boring. So I headed out for another walk...

And found myself running! Now I have tried walk some/run some before. And pooped out. And not enjoyed it. At all, really. But this time I had the folk show on iPod, and the beats seduced me. I ran 6 segments and walked 6, in a 2 mile walk. Now maybe this is not much, I don't know, for those of you who are Real Runners. For me, a victory! And only in the final segment did my legs start to tire.

OK, I didn't have on The Shoes. But the energy from the shoes and the dancing has spilled over. I enjoyed these intervals! Incredible!

And not to bore you or anything, but I do think that Leslie's great DVDs got my legs ready to do it...

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 8/23/2010 9:14AM

    Thank you, Lisa! emoticon

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TIMELESSCRONE 8/23/2010 9:01AM

    Congrats on the new shoes! AND the "extra" 2-mile walk-run!

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CLAUDECF 8/22/2010 8:07AM

    So happy for your sake! I'll have to look into that interval exercise stuff. It must make life more interesting. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 8/21/2010 9:54PM

    Hee hee, puns are good! Thanks for visiting! emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 8/21/2010 8:45PM

    New Shoes! What could be better. Looks like you found just the right ones to support what you love doing. Smooth move! (pardon the pun).

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My favorite Leslie Sansone video!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I've been thinking about why I like this video so much and I decided that maybe some of you would enjoy hearing more before deciding to try Leslie. So here goes, another review!

This video is classified Intermediate on the Collagevideo site and I think that's a good description. I was intimidated by it when I first began using these, but now it seems just perfect for me. You can scale it up or down, and that includes the warmup. I used free weights yesterday while doing the warmup and it had me sweating in less than a minute!

The video gives you
1. Classic mile - no tricky moves, just the basics. Once you have done the rest of the DVD, this can seem boring, but for those days when you just don't wanna move really, it is perfect. And today, I added extra arm movements that I had learned from the other segments/DVDs. Changing it up yourself is really easy.

2. Arms focus mile. This introduces arm cross-body moves to "wake up the waistline." Mine needed some waking! The movements seem small at first but they work, and she increases size and direction to keep them from getting boring. Triceps extensions are there too. No weights, but you could add them easily. The best thing is that the legs are NOT neglected - she introduces small lunges, working out of the "tap out" move, that involve rotating the body and punching with the arms. These were hard for me at first but now they're fun!
One caution - if you have knee issues, I would take it a bit easy with these little lunges until your knees begin to strengthen. She constantly encourages you to modify the moves if you need to, since just staying with the beat and moving will give you the main cardio benefits! So you won't feel bad about modifying!

3. Legs focus. Well, I thought my legs were strong from walking! But this segment challenged them bigtime. Knee lifts from a wide stance - ok, listen to your body if you have knee issues. A rather cool move from side to side taps to tapping heels. All the lateral motion builds strength in the thighs, and so does stepping out wider and bending the knees - but be careful in the beginning until you feel that strength coming!
Squats are not hard for me with feet under my hips, but stepping out into a wide stance while squattting halfway was hard for me at first. Challenges abs to stabilize you. But today, it was actually fun!
Lunges. Ok, I have a love-hate relation with lunges. When I first tried them at the gym, I despised them. But after building some leg strength with Leslie's easier DVDs, and after religiously doing her cooldown which involves great hamstring/calf stretches, I am beginning to like these.
Also I must say that her constant reminders to tighten the abs to stabilize balance usually remind me that, oops, I haven't done that sufficiently!
This makes lunges much more fun, when you are not wobbling all over the place!
Then you finish up with a fun little challenge to add a grapevine step to the regular old lateral steps! Optional but fun if you like that sort of thing!

4. And so to ABS focus mile! One of her best.
Right away the abs kick in with a very simple one step forward/tap, one step back/tap pattern. Simple reversals MAKE you tighten the abs to keep your balance. Then instead of tap, you kick! Even better.
More crossing arms across body works on obliques/waistline - and reminds you that activating arms activates the core of the body.
The way she varies rhythm and speed of even simple arm moves is always appropriate and helps you enjoy, rather than struggle with, these miles.

5. The fast mile finish - 12 minutes. She reminds you to be SURE to do the warmup segment if you are starting your day with this or the ABS mile. Good advice. This is very energizing when it comes after one of the other miles.

All this may seem SIMPLE. But I know people who do hours of spinning classes who are still fat around the middle and still have trouble with their balance - when just one Leslie mile a day would begin to address these issues.
It is a SMART workout.
Sometimes you don't have to exhaust yourself to make progress - you just need to work smart. Leslie will help! Give her a try!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAUDECF 8/21/2010 4:08PM

    Very interesting and detailed review. While my knee still hurts, LS is out for me unfortunately! emoticon

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The Big D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Come to think of it, there are LOTS of Big Ds...Doubt, Despair, Depression...and maybe they are all involved with the Big D to which I refer - Discipline!

It has always been my bugaboo, since I was a little girl who found lots of things easy, and so when something got hard, I didn't want to have to really work at it. Why work when praise comes your way without working?

You would think that a musician wouldn't have this problem but I have always had it in spades. And yet, between bouts of procrastination, I have managed to practice enough to accomplish something! Deep down, however, I have been disappointed in myself, since I know that I could have accomplished more...

I have been meditating on this today since reading the article "De-stress in 3 minutes," which really touched bone. My stress level is building. I'm in the midst of planning hymns for the entire year, a task which I have put off much longer in the past. The discipline of Sparkpeople is spilling over to the rest of my life, so this year I have attacked the task much sooner. I have really thought about these hymns, so if people don't like the new ones I've found, or my assistant criticizes my choices, it will be more disappointing...

When you truly throw yourself into a task, and truly do your very best at it, THEN it is much more disappointing if people do not respond. Sooooo the tendency is NOT to do your best, to say to yourself that you don't really care, that you're bored, etc. etc. and down that road lie the Three Ds I started off with.

It doesn't have to be this way!

I have Decided that with my new Sparkpeople Discipline I will Dive into this year and risk Disappointment, Despair and Depression. If there is Disagreement, I am Determined to Defuse and Dissolve it, wherever possible, and refuse to let it Deflect me from the path I feel led to take. This will take some Divine strength.

But, after all, doesn't St Paul say to Timothy "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind?"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 8/19/2010 11:14AM

    Never fear, it's not gonna happen! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLAUDECF 8/19/2010 11:09AM

    My exercise is the only thing that I can get disciplined about, my health depends upon it. And believe me I'm not aiming at being perfect, but I think YOU are and please don't get boring and don't be too hard on yourself.

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SARAWALKS 8/19/2010 10:56AM

    Dear Claude, your situation is entirely different - you are retired - so do not be hard on yourself. I think you are actually incredibly disciplined, for all your claims to the contrary! Your exercise record proves it.
I'm looking forward to learning whatever I need to learn from these next few years of work - so that I can be released from it and move on to something else!
I'm sure I will moan and groan and whine from time to time also!
If we were perfect, we would be SO BORING! emoticon

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CLAUDECF 8/19/2010 10:41AM

    Very insightful, Sara, and I share quite a few of these Discipline problems. But I am not as Determined as you are, I am afraid.
emoticon and I'll be watching your progress with interest and probably envy emoticon

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5 Miles with Leslie!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I just finished doing the 5-mile "advanced" walk on this DVD and LOVED it. It's been criticized a bit for not really being advanced - for me, it was a step forward and did challenge me - but I think it would be better titled "intermediate," perhaps.

I've been trying to do a Leslie mile every day, and most days I have succeeded (although I did take 2 days off this last weekend - and that was good too since now I have more enthusiasm!).

At first I wasn't sure how I would like using the strength training aids (hand weights, walk belt, stretchy band) - but I love them! So I'm going to write a little review of this DVD, which is still available, even though I think it's one of her older ones.

This site has detailed info about all of Leslie's DVDs - very useful!

I had previously done the 3 mile walks, each one focusing on a different strength aid, and liked them, but I wondered if I would poop out trying to do them all together. NO! It was very energizing. One of the best things about Leslie is how she paces the workouts.

This DVD is designed to work best when you do the 5 mile advanced sequence.
You start with hand weights and the pace is just right, even if you have only warmed up for a couple of minutes on your own. You DO need to warm up, especially if you are more of a beginner at this.

The 2nd mile is the fastest, involving just 2 segments of "boosted" walking toward the end. Perfect to place this one early in the sequence when you are still fresh.

The 3rd mile uses the walk belt. I love how the walk belt helps me be aware of how I'm using my abs. Easy to forget this area, but it's so much better if you can activate it consciously! Tucking the handles into the belt also increases the awareness. I kept it on through the next mile just because I liked how it felt!

The 4th mile is regular walking, with the typical 4 moves, but not as fast as mile 2.

The 5th mile with stretchy band is fun, and for me, a challenge to do the triceps exercises. The stretchy band also helps so much with abdominal activation - you can really feel it when you use that area.

I like the way the strength miles are a bit slower, you can cool down somewhat, and then you're ready for the faster walking ones.

Amazing, I can still hardly believe I did the 5 MILES! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIMELESSCRONE 8/20/2010 8:53AM

    Thanks, Sara. That helps!

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SARAWALKS 8/18/2010 10:24AM

    Oops, you asked about warmup. The second DVD I like so much has a warmup segment. But really you can warm up just by walking around your house at a fair clip. Once you start with the DVDs, you will have plenty of warmup ideas...some days I need more of a warmup than others...

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SARAWALKS 8/18/2010 10:21AM

    Hi, Lisa, thanks for stopping by! Leslie's DVDs are a great way to start indoor walking - very encouraging and she is constantly stressing good form and posture, as well as doing what feels best for YOU and not feeling pressured...
My fave DVDs (ones I started with) are 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk (in the photo she has a yellow top on) and 5 Day Slim Down, a Mile Each Morning (red top with black & white hoodie). The first is maybe easier, the second I have practically worn out.
The first has a group of people, some of whom I find it irritating to watch! (I know that's weird...) so the second is nicer because it's just Leslie. Sometimes her patter gets a bit much but overall it's worth it & you kind of tune out the silly stuff after a while!
Hope this helps you decide what to try! Have fun with it!

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TIMELESSCRONE 8/17/2010 11:13PM

    Great review! I really appreciate it - I've been thinking about getting a DVD, but am not really interested in a bunch of complicated dance moves since I am a total and complete klutz. I'm also not interested in getting down on the floor - the cats and dogs seem to think that I'm down there to play with them. {rolling eyes}

Anyway, after looking at the link, Leslie's videos seem to be just right.

I noticed on the DVD site, there are a boatload of LS videos. Is this Advanced 5-Mile Walk the only one you have? I was looking at the 5-mile Fat Burning Walk, too.

Also, what do you do for a warmup?

Thanks, again!

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SARAWALKS 8/17/2010 6:07PM

    Yes, sending thank-yous is confusing - I think the easiest may be just to send a sparkmail! I"m going to try that now...

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CLAUDECF 8/17/2010 5:42PM

    Wow! I'm really impressed. I've done four miles once but actually like the three-mile format. When I am unto it, that is. Congratulations and thanks for the goodie ( I still never know where to write a thank you note)

Comment edited on: 8/17/2010 6:13:58 PM

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Friday, August 13, 2010


And it's been a good week! I was amazed on Wednesday when the scale said 142. I'd gotten sort of used to my plateau...but it's good to see the end of that particular one!

Two more pounds to my original goal - and then I plan to target 135, but at a much slower pace. Work is cranking up and I'm hoping to be able to avoid bad old habits and stick to many of my new good ones. emoticon

As for the AM Leslie mile - it has not always been AM, but often it's been midday, and just now I did 3 Leslie intensity miles using a different DVD. This uses the walk belt and even though you don't use it a lot in that one mile, it really ramps up the cardio and you sweat buckets!

I am happy that since cracking that plateau, I haven't gone crazy with "treat rewards." But I did have 1 ounce of cashews today - ooooooh - and was able to stop there. It feels good.

Congratulations to all my spark friends on their breakthroughs and their steady progress, and thank you all for checking in, leaving goodies, and being the great folks you are! emoticon

And now...good night until tomorrow... sleep well! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

55WALKER 8/18/2010 9:33PM

    I've shifted my goal bit by bit too. I figured I can only do next part at any given time anyway so why not make it realistic!

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CLAUDECF 8/14/2010 6:03AM

    Third time I try commenting and each time I got stuck trying for an emoticons. This time, I'll be smarter. No emoticons for you, jus congratulations on breaking your plateau (applause) and Bon courage pour le travail.
emoticon emoticon
Hehe! Managed the emoticons!

Comment edited on: 8/14/2010 7:05:07 AM

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