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The first time i beat ten boats in the nationals!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Restrictions of the Mind

I have been taking my mothers group for a session on Thursday mornings for the past couple of weeks; i have been blessed with an enthusiastic, fit, energetic bunch of mothers that actually show up and give it a go! However when i explained that i couldn't do it this week, because i was sailing in the Windsurfing nationals, i was met with an extraordinary range of different emotions and reactions! Not just from some of the other mums, but my friends and clients too, from deathly silence (i can only imagine they were thinking "what the...?) to incredulous enthusiasm like i was climbing Mount Everest with Evie on my back.

Is going Windsurfing with a 5mth old really that extraordinary?

Turns out, it is!

The only thing i can't figure out, is why!

Before having Evie, the general consensus was that my life would be turned upside down and i wouldn't be able to do anything i wanted to do ever again. What i decided was that it was not going to be that way, it is simply a matter of logistics: where have i got to be when, and who's looking after Evie?

The motto i try to live by is from Mark Twain, with a lovely sailing analogy that i identify with: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

This is not to say i lump my child with my mum everyday. I simply spend time figuring what i can do, when, and how. Often i will turn up with my daughter and dog in tow! We have been to a Hen's weekend, two weddings, leg waxes, work, and more in these past 4.5mths, and i do not intend to stop!

To get myself to the Nationals, i have recruited my husband as primary support. After babysitting was arranged, my next project will be to find a power point and fridge at the venue, so i can express between races. Undignified? Sure. But possible!

Motherhood can be tough, but it doesn't have to define who you are for life. There are lots of other things to do and live for. Any restrictions placed on us by our kids, are actually placed on ourselves by us - by believing certain things are not possible. Give possible a crack, you have nothing to lose!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Fitness in 10min...

Apart from the cost, one of the old and tired excuses i listen to everyday is lack of time. This program i have presented all over Australia on numerous occasions to various companies, in an attempt to bring up the standard of health in our corporate workforce.

Perform one of these programs each day, and you will be well on your way to excellent fitness in only 10min a day. Each program targets a different aspect of fitness, to give you well rounded and versatile fitness. They can be performed in any order.
  1. Aerobic endurance: 10 minute walk – get up first thing and go for a brisk 10 minute walk. Then follow your routine as normal. This kick starts your metabolism, leaving you feeling refreshed and awake. Repeat at lunch-time, whenever you pop out for a coffee, and after dinner. The accumulative effect of these three (or more if you get the opportunity) 10 minute walks in your day includes; increased fitness, fat loss, and stress relief.
    Gyms can be boring, but if you are lucky enough to have one in your building, they can save time.
  2. Aerobic agility: 10 minute intervals – do you sit in front on TV after a long, exhausting day? Take 1 minute per exercise to do the 5-6 of the following activities (allow 30seconds between each to get your breath back):

    1) running on the spot
    2) hamstring curls
    3) soccer knees
    4) ski jumps
    5) lie down & get up (no hands)
    6) burpees
    7) skipping 8) step ups
    9) star jumps 10) running backwards
  3. Flexibility: Lower body -



    Quadricep Stretches
  4. Flexibility: Upper body -




  5. Core Strength -
    Pilates "squish" and leg extension
    Pilates "squish". Start with simply extending one leg at a time. then add the second leg, then sit up.
  6. Core Stability -
    Balance on one leg; progress to eyes shut 
    Superman; progress to eyes shut
    Opposite arm and leg raise (superman): This photo is an advanced version of the exercise. Start on your hands and knees.
  7. Strength (beginners) -
    Assisted Push ups
    Supported bent over row (use water bottles or bags of sand)
    Step ups

    Strength (intermediate) -

    Pull ups 
    A good looking squat. Pistol squats are the same, except on one leg with the other pointing out straight infront.
    Strength (advanced) -

    Chin ups
    Push ups
    Push ups: fingers can be extended towards you, like in the photo, or out in front, whatever position is better for your wrists.
    Strength (for variety, any level) -
    Pistol squat
    Shoulder press (like a push up, but with feet on bench or against the wall)Hand stand (supported by wall, progress to free stranding)
  8. Power -
    Repeat 3x10 sets of the following exercises with plenty of rest in between. Power training is high risk of injury, and should be used as an advanced exercise.
    1) split lunges
    2) burpees

    3) explosive push ups
    4) tuck jumps
    5) hill sprints
    6) boxing

    Simple power training: stair sprints.
  9. Speed - Intervals are an effective way of improving your speed over time. In the rhythmical exercise type of your choice (riding, boxing, running) try the following interval sessions:
    * alternate 2min sprint with 1min complete rest for 20-30min
    * alternate 1min sprint with 15sec complete rest for 20-30min
    * alternate 8sec sprint with 12sec easy movement for 20-25min
    * alternate 1min sprint with 1min easy movement for 30min
  10. Recovery- Take time out and achieve balance with the following:
      1. * Meditation * Massage * Sleep * Stretch/Flexibility * Bath
Here are some ideas for special situations:

On the plane (only for the super-keen!): The following exercises are possible to do within the confines of an plane. Be prepared for a few startled looks from your fellow passengers!
    * Pelvic floor exercises: squeeze your abs in like you're trying to push your lower back into the car seat. * Roaming: just get up and pace the halls. Any energy expended is good energy! * Lie down and up: in the hallways, lie down on your back then get up again without using your hands. This will increase your heart rate as well as your abdominal and leg strength. * Push ups
In the Office: It is EASY to exercise in your office! This is also something you could all do together to strengthen your team's relationship:
    * Aerobic agility program (#2 card) * Some flexibility, core, and strength exercises: the ones that are possible without equipment (cards #3-10). * Skipping: skipping is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts there is. Start with 1-2 minutes and increase as your body is able. It is an excellent exercise for interval training (#12).
Family time:
* Kids as weights: from new babies to toddlers. Lifting them from the floor and into the air repeatedly will not only entertain them, but give you an excellent workout!
* Take kids with you: running or walking. Carry them, drag them, push them, or run around them!
* Play with a ball rather than watch them on equipment: getting in there with your kids will not only strengthen your relationship, but it will increase your fitness and sense of wellbeing as well.
* Races: a tradition! As they grow bigger and stronger your tradition of racing to the nearest light pole will get harder for you.
* Piggy back and shoulder rides: physically carrying a child in your arms, on your back or shoulders will increase your energy output by up to 20%. Over a couple of hours and as your child grows this is a significant output!
* Backyard cricket, family rides, surfing, etc: make time to be active with your family. Even if you're exhausted at the start, you'll feel better after a couple of minutes, and you're kids will remember these times forever.