Tag Archives: stretching

No Pain, No Gain

14 May

When you’re trying to lose weight, there are days when you’re hungry, cranky, and sore. I’m hungry and sore today…and I’d be cranky too if it weren’t so darn beautiful and sunny outside. Our perspective on healthy weight loss has been to not deprive ourselves of things we want but to instead focus on moderation and nutritious choices. But when you’re modifying your portion sizes and eating habits, inevitably there are days when you’re going to feel frustrated. To get through this mood without letting it sabotage my progress, I’m going to try this today: Continue reading

Advertisements

How to Burn 2000 Calories in One Day at Home!

9 May
michelle's plants

Spring cleaning burns tons of calories. The only household task I can’t count is gardening because these are the only plants I have–one amaryllis and two black succulents.

Every little calorie burned helps me get one step closer to achieving my goal of losing 40 pounds. To keep me motivated, I decided to educate myself about how the little activities I do can add up.

Since I work from home, I structured my schedule this week to allow a day for taking care of household chores that have been piling up since my husband and I have been busy with work (spring cleaning!). All calorie-burning data is from the WebMD Fit-O-Meter (and all data is calculated based on my personal weight; you should enter your own weight to get the most accurate data for yourself). And, if you turn on some upbeat music while you’re doing stuff, it really helps your brain and body increase your activity level.

  • Make breakfast: Making breakfast takes about 10 minutes and burns 30 calories. Clearing breakfast dishes in 5 minutes burns 18 calories. In total, burns 48 calories.
  • Make the bed: Making the bed takes 5 minutes. Burns 15 calories.
  • Wash the dishes: Takes about 15 minutes. Burns 51 calories.
  • Go grocery shopping: Grocery shopping with a cart takes 20 minutes and burns 68 calories. Carrying a load of groceries to and from the car and the apartment takes about 15 minutes and burns 166 calories. Putting them all away takes about 10 minutes and burns 37 calories. Burns a total of 271 calories.
  • Dust the house: The entire house takes about half an hour to dust thoroughly (lots of bookshelves). Burns 111 calories.
  • Mop the kitchen floor: Takes 15 minutes to mop the kitchen. Burns 78 calories.
  • Vacuum the house: The whole apartment takes 30 minutes to vacuum. Burns 155 calories.
  • Scrub the bathtub: Cleaning the shower and bathtub well takes about 20 minutes of scrubbing and rinsing. Burns 112 calories.
  • Bathe and groom the cat: Takes about 20 minutes from the time I find the cat, scrub him with cat shampoo, rinse, dry, and brush. Burns 103 calories.
  • Reorganize the hall closet and file cabinet (includes some moderate lifting): Takes about 45 minutes. Burns 233 calories.
  • Fold the laundry: Standing while folding a couple loads of laundry takes 15 minutes. Burns 44 calories.
  • Make dinner: From prep to cooking to serving takes about an hour (standing and sitting). Burns 177 calories.
  • Do the dishes again: Takes about 15 minutes. Burns 51 calories.
  • Clean out the bedroom closets: Takes about an hour. Burns 310 calories.

TOTAL: Calories burned from all activities listed above: 1759 calories burned!

Add a stretch break! Whether you’re doing a lot of physical activity or just sitting around all day, your body can benefit in many ways from stretching. A total of 30 minutes of stretching burns 111 calories.

Count your walking! Light and moderate walking throughout the day between tasks counts too! Just one hour of general walking activity burns 266 calories.

Of course, no one wants or needs to do all of those chores in a single day on a regular basis. This was basically our spring cleaning. However, several of these daily tasks really do add up to make a difference in our daily dieting lives. Keeping these numbers in mind can help maintain a positive outlook toward daily weight loss activities. And don’t forget to drink lots of water and get a good night’s rest because both of those things help maintain your body’s metabolism.

Now that I know how many calories can be burned doing each of these household tasks, I can use the information to my advantage. If I eat a heavy dinner, I’ll work it off at the grocery store the next day. If I want a 100-calorie snack, I’ll bathe the cat afterward to burn it off. The cat may not think it’s funny, but I have to keep a sense of humor when I’m dieting! :D

Let me know what you think in the comments section!

–Michelle

Getting a Leg Up

26 Apr

I’m having severe pain from plantar fasciitis and a subsequent cortisone shot in my heel. Since I can hardly walk, I’m stuck in bed or on the couch feeling lame. To make the best of it, I set up my computer in the living room and pillows to prop my leg up, and then I used my awkward positioning to help me stretch throughout the day. Injuries can be a real setback when you’re trying to lose weight because your physical activity is limited. But movement of any kind is better than no movement at all, and stretching is the easiest way to maintain mobility. It also just feels good.

As long as I kept weight off my foot and didn’t overextend the nerves in my leg, I didn’t feel pain so much as discomfort and tingling. If I did anything to tweak the nerve in my heel, I’d yelp and wince in pain, so I was very careful.

Stretch #1

I sat in the middle of the couch with the long coffee table parallel to it in front of me. My injured foot was propped up on a pillow on the table to my far left. My normal leg was positioned the same way to my right. Slowly, I’d lean toward each side with my arm outstretched in front of me, toward my foot, or over my head. I’d relax back to take a break, then tuck in my tummy, sit up, and repeat. It helped take the pressure off my lower spine and loosen my shoulders, in addition to stretching my legs and arms.

Stretch #2

With my legs comfortably relaxed in front of me and my feet flat on the floor, I scooted up so I was sitting on the front edge of the couch where there was the most support. Then I straightened up, sucking my stomach in toward my lower back, and maintaining good posture. I stretched my arms out and slowly rotated to each side and then raised my arms above my head before relaxing down and repeating.

Beyond that, I couldn’t do much, and I had to take a lot of breaks (the best was my lunch break to eat some of Vita’s borsch!). But it did make me feel like less of a lump. Sitting around all day with an injury can add a lot of pressure to your back. Stretching in any form really helps, even in its mildest form.

–Michelle :)

10 Ways Ice Skating Improved My Life

20 Apr
cropped layback spin feet

Figure skating has been one of the greatest joys of my life. It can be for you too! --Michelle (And yes, those are my legs and skates.)

I skated competitively as a kid for about 11 years before I took 9 years off due to knee trouble (Osgood-Schlatter’s condition) and to focus on school. During that time, I missed skating…and I gained a significant amount of weight. I skated occasionally for recreation and to stay limber but it wasn’t enough. I tried other types of exercise like running and yoga but nothing moved me like skating, and I didn’t stick with any of it. Then a few years ago, I called up my coach and asked him if he’d help me with some light training so that I could get back into shape. Within six months, he had me back in the skating club biannual recital and gearing up for competition. Within 18 months, I had won a couple local competitions. You see, while I was away from the sport, a whole track of testing and competition had been developed for a growing population of adult skaters–both people who started skating as adults and people, like me, who were skaters who became adults. This scene allows people 21 and up to test and compete within different age groups in levels similar to the traditional track but without the pressure of competing against kids who are working toward the regular national qualifying competition scene (e.g. 9 year olds who can do double loop jumps because they only weigh 60 pounds). Adult figure skating has its own regional competitions in which you can qualify for the adult nationals, which is my ultimate goal now.

I tried living my life without this sport and I can’t do it. It’s too ingrained into my muscle memory and my heart. No other workout provides the same level of full-body involvement for the duration of the exercise. It’s such a challenging, rewarding, and thrilling sport that taps into the dancer and artist in me. But it also is the only kind of exercise I’ve ever experienced that is so fun that I don’t think about the fact that I’m exercising; I’m only focused on trying to do the spins, jumps, or edge moves that I want to be able to do. I can’t encourage people enough to give it a real try. It’s so fun. When the cool air whooshes past my face as I skate around the rink, I feel exhilarated and joyful. Yesterday was my first day back on the ice in a month due to a sprained foot and being back felt so good that I had a really stupid big grin on my face the whole time.

Here are 10 ways that skating has improved my life, myself, and ways it could do the same for you (in no particular order): Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: