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Jul. 15th, 2008



Running in humidity

Is it a myth that exercising in hot, humid weather burns more calories? It sure feels harder to run in Seoul than in Brampton, but the pollution is obviously another huge factor. Maybe it's doing me more harm than good. Any opinions? I need to run though. I've kind of come to like it. Plus, I've decided that I want to do this and I need to train:


Jul. 3rd, 2008

Mornings shouldn't exist


I can't be fat in Bali! Help!

So I let my own community die, just when I need it the most. I know, I'm terrible. Being in shape is really easy when you're unemployed and live close to a great gym in Canada. It's not so easy in Seoul where I have to be out of my apartment before 8:30 and eat virtually all my meals out. I also can't afford a gym membership until next month, but have a lot of swimsuit events coming up, like mudfest (where I will possibly be bikini mud wrestling) and Bali (where I don't plan to bring anything that covers my legs). In any case, my slump out of shape came at the worst time, but it's to be expected. I have time to do a rush job at getting it together now though. Anyone want to present a challenge or offer advice?

My tummy and ass have gotten a little jigglier than I remember, so I've tried running again. Unfortunately, I don't live in the suburbs anymore, so it's not that great an option. People where masks to go outside here for a reason. Anyway, my typical schedule is:

8:00 - wake up
9:00-4:30 - working
5:00-7:00 - lessons
8:00-9:00 - get home/pick up a snack

I usually walk home from my lessons (which takes about 45 minutes) and that's all the exercise I'm currently getting. I sometimes wake up at 6:30 to go to the free outdoor gym in my neighbourhood, and sometimes go for walks after lessons (today I walked for 12 km!), but it's not really a regular thing. I refuse to have lessons on weekends, so I'm going to try and put in a day of hiking on each of my free weekends, but I don't know what else I should try. I don't want to start a regular exercise routine (read: pay for anything) until I get back from vacation at the beginning of August, but even then I might be starting extra work that will push the whole schedule back an hour.

I'd be really happy if I could take off the 1.5 kg I put on in the three weeks before Bali. Is that reasonable? Help me!

May. 22nd, 2008




Hey everyone,

I feel bad for posting about cooking and more cooking in my own blog and pretending that exercise doesn't exist ;-) I think that spring is starting to make me a bit antsy and a lot guilty for not being more active.

I went to taekwondo last night and it was good to be active, but I'm seriously paying for my sedentary ways. At my peak I was 175 pounds and could spar reasonably in the classroom. I'm back up to 204 pounds and sllooooow in the sparring. Not to mention complete lack of endurance.

I'm going to try a Brazillian Jujitsu class tonight to see what it's like. Not sure how keen I would be to pay 80 bucks a month to train there 2 or 3 times a week, but I figure it could be a fun experience. Other than that, I'm hoping that the weather gets less crappy here so I can try to remember how to ride my bicycle!

Hope everyone is doing better than I am! I'm ashamed of my slothfulness so I'm hoping that confessing my sins here will help get my ass back on track.

Apr. 28th, 2008



I've never felt like running for no real reason before.

Hi everyone. I just wanted to chime in and recommend the Nike + ipod kit. I bought one last week with the special shoes (though they aren't necessary) and I love it. You can set goals for yourself to work up to and select a "power song" for when you need that extra boost. Plus, you can do workouts based on calories, time, or distance, and it saves all your runs so you can compare how you do on the nikeplus website. I really love it! I've only done 4 runs so far, but between my extra endurance from aerobics and the kit, I managed my goal last week of jogging a full 5 k! I'm so proud of myself. If you have a nano, it's totally worth it. It's such a shame the weather has gotten crappy (in Southern Ontario at least) because I actually want to go running but it's cold and rainy.

Apr. 20th, 2008



Exercise of the day

I missed posting for yesterday by an hour and a half so here it is:

Exercise: The Plank

Type: Strength/Conditioning/Endurance

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Equipment required: Floor space about the size of you


- Lay on the floor face down, feet together, hands palm down
- To get into plank position, posture up on your elbows and toes, engage your abs, pecs, back, and whatever other muscles you need to engage in order to keep your body perfectly flat. No cheating by rounding your back!
- Hold this for as long as you can. Try to aim for one minute to start.
- If you really really can't hold it that long, instead of dropping completely, drop to knees and elbows and keep your abs and back engaged
- Once you get comfortable with this, increase it to 90 seconds, then 2 minutes, etc etc.

Apr. 18th, 2008



Exercise of the day: Tricep dips

Exercise: Tricep dips

Type: Strength/conditioning

Difficulty: Medium

Equipment required: two sturdy chairs (or equivalent)


- Put the two chairs far enough apart so that your heels rest on the front edge of one chair and your butt is on the edge of the other chair
- Place your hands palm-down on the edge of the chair that you're sitting on such that your fingers can grab the edge
- Lower yourself down slowly as far as you can go using your arms, keeping your legs straight and your abs tight
- Lift yourself back up as high as you can go without locking your elbows

If you don't do a lot of tricep work, you may only be able to do a couple of these to start. If that's the case, don't sweat it too much. Aim to do 2 sets of 3 the first few times you try this exercise.

Apr. 17th, 2008



Exercise of the day!

Hey everyone,

I've been meaning to post a different exercise every day. Nothing terribly complicated or requiring crazy equipment. I'll try to format them similarly too. If anyone gets sick of this, please let me know and I'll stop.

That said:

Exercise: Pyramiding

Type: Warm-up, Endurance/Conditioning/Cardio

Equipment required: Large clear open space (can be outdoors)


- Mark off two ends in your space, enough distance to get a little jog happening.
- Start at one end, run to the other end and do one pushup
- Run back to the other end, do one situp
- Run back, do 2 pushups
- Run back, do 2 situps
- Continue running from end to end, incrementing pushups and situps as appropriate until you get to 7, then start decrementing until you get to 1

To start with, it's okay to do pushups from knees instead of toes, but you really don't reap the full benefits of pushups unless you do them from toes. With the situps, NEVER use momentum to pull yourself up (ie: don't throw your arms when you do situps, keep them crossed over your chest, grab your lapels, keep your fingertips by your temples, whatever it takes!).

Apr. 12th, 2008



Running Shoes

So I decided to go out and buy some shoes at my mall of choice last week. I've never bought running shoes that weren't on sale, but I was willing to try out some and use my GST rebate on an investment in health, with hopefully a bit of style. My budget was hopefully $100 or less and I found that afforded me many choices. Too many choices. I got really confused and the differing opinions of sales clerks didn't help. I heard that any decent pair will be fine for a beginning runner. I heard that it's worth it to invest in a pair of ugly Asics. I heard people swear by Nike or New Balance. Of course, I didn't just look at shoes by brand, because the fit is most important, but it's so confusing. Should shoes be a little loose or is a snug fit better? I'm so used to buying dress shoes of leather that mold to your foot, so I wasn't expecting to be disappointed in shoe shopping, one of my favourite activities. Any opinions?

Also, has anyone used the Nike ipod sport kit for the nano? I already have a nano, and I obviously need new shoes anyway, so I thought it would be a good and relatively cheap option for me. Plus, I love gadgets and the reviews on the product seem pretty good. I know that I personally don't make a lot of progress if I'm not able to track what I'm doing, so it seems like a good tool for me.

For all the other new runners out there, the Couch to 5K program might be useful. I was looking up a few tips for starting to run and the program seems pretty popular. I'm not sure if I'll try it yet (first I need to actually get shoes and hope it stops raining), but I'm definitely considering it.

Apr. 11th, 2008




'lo all.

I'm Ann and I hate exercise. I need a reason to do it, and my health just isn't enough of a one for me.

I've tried the TKD with maes, but didn't enjoy it and once I got my black belt, I felt... adrift, with no particular goal to aim for. Also, Jen left and it wasn't fun anymore.

I tried a gym. Again, without a specific goal and a person to urge me on, I wasn't going. Even the wasted money and fitting into my bridesmaid's dress for my brother's wedding wasn't enough of an impetus.

Currently, I'm trying to do stairs at work. The only thing I dislike more than exercise is work, so starting today, I walked down the three flights to the main floor, then up to 7, then back to three. It didn't take very long (though it did get my heart rate up) so I should probably do it a couple of times a day. As an added benefit, I'm more awake this afternoon than I usually am.


Free training opportunities!

Hello fellow exercise buddies,

For those of you in the KW area who are interested, Laurier Taekwondo is running free classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8p to 10p as of last week. This is a great opportunity to get out and get some cardio and core conditioning as well as learn some martial arts techniques and self defense skills. The class is located in the multipurpose room in Seagram Stadium, please feel free to show up and bring a friend if you want some moral support. All you need is comfortable workout clothes.

Side note: I started training at Laurier when I started my first weight loss regimen and between the Weight Watchers point tracking and the TKD I went from 221 to 175 in about a year.

For those in the Guelph area, I will be starting an informal training group to meet twice a week at the University of Guelph athletics centre. Tentative days and times at the moment are Sunday night at 7p, Tuesday night at 9p, and Thursday night at 7:30p, depending on availability of the combatatives room. This training will be a combination of core strengthening and cardio conditioning and techniques from taekwondo, jujitsu, judo, and hapkido. There will be opportunities to learn breakfalling, striking techniques, throwing techniques, grappling techniques, and joint locking techniques if desired. As above, this will be no charge for this and all you need is comfortable workout clothes.

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