Your Chair is Killing You

[Mild trigger warning for discussion of exercise and weight loss/gain] I will readily admit that for the first 30 or so years of my life, I was super lazy. When I was 16, working my first job, my 50-something regional manager, an avid runner, would complain that she used to be able to run two miles a few times a week to stay in shape; now she had to run ten to get the same results. My teenage brain translated this into, “If you start working out now, you’re only going to screw yourself later.” Read More Your Chair is Killing You

We Try It!: Fitness Program

I was initially hesitant to write this given how subjective exercise is. I think many of us realize by now, either from activism, experience, or both, that not everything works for everyone. We’ve all got different bodies, different metabolisms, and different comfort levels, and we all have to find what works best for us. But then, the only way to figure out if something works is to try it, if you’re so inclined. Now, with all of that out of the way, I can start expressing my love for the online fitness program. Read More We Try It!: Fitness Program

Positivity Challenge Week 12: Get Out and Move!

Continuing in our effort to internalize positivity, this week I’m going to tackle a somewhat contentious topic: Exercise. In fact, I’m going to try and use the word exercise as little as possible. How about we call it “Movement”? Getting up and moving can be one of the hardest things to actually start doing, but the rewards can boost your positivity and mood in general more than anything other than pharmaceuticals practically. Read More Positivity Challenge Week 12: Get Out and Move!

In Praise Of Endorphins

Cartoon image of happy endorphins in a synapse
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Every time I move, laugh, or breathe today has been a sore reminder of the 45-minute ab class I went to on Tuesday night.  This was the first time I had attended the class and when she introduced it as an Advanced Abs class, a fact not advertised on the schedule, I knew I was in for it.  I go to the gym a few times a week, but I don’t really do a lot of ab work, so I was not prepared for the 45 minutes in front of me.  After the first set of exercises I was already concerned about my ability to complete the class.  Fortunately, the class was filled with Resolutioners so I wasn’t the only one without a 6-pack.  For the first half of the class I debated how embarrassing it would be too leave, it was that tough.  At almost the halfway point another woman did leave the class.  It wasn’t much of a disturbance, through, since the grunts and groans of the class were echoing loudly through the work-out room.  And then, miraculously, just as I was thinking of following that woman’s lead, my endorphins kicked in.  I could almost pinpoint the moment when that high started up.  I was unstoppable for the rest of the class, and had even more of a high because I was proud of myself for finishing such a tough class.

I just want to give my endorphins a high five!  Studies show that it typically takes 20-30 minutes of intense exercise for endorphins to be released in the bloodstream, but that it can vary from person-to-person.  I would venture to say from time to time, too.  How many times have you slogged through a workout, never feeling pumped or rejuvenated?  Also, did you know that it’s probably not even really endorphins that are giving you the high?  It’s probably serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  You’ll recognize those words from antidepressant commercials if nowhere else.  It’s not really news that exercise is an effective antidepressant, but it’s pretty awesome when you can feel it actually working right in the middle of your advanced abs class.

Assuming my muscles have recovered by then, I’m going to check it out next week.  I’m already pumped!

We Try It: 30 Day Shred

Full disclosure: This is a biased review because I have already tried the 30 Day Shred and I am obsessed with Jillian Michaels.  I had a dream last night that she was my personal trainer at the gym.  The only thing (besides low water pressure) that I don’t like about my new apartment is that the floors are creaky and I’m pretty sure I will be an asshole if I do the shred, so I haven’t been able to do it. Read More We Try It: 30 Day Shred