Sunday, June 28, 2015

5 Reasons To Work Out With Intention

As you already know by now, my focus for this year has been on having fun with my workouts... making sure I am doing exercises and activities that not only enhance my fitness but that I really enjoy doing.  I am playing lots of tennis this Summer, a bit of golf, and getting in lots of golf practice... but even though those are things I really love to spend time at, I still approach that play time with some sense of purpose, with an intention in mind.

5 Reasons I Work Out With Intention

I guess I should explain...

When I first started golfing many many years ago, I took a series of five lessons with a female co-worker. I was not really interested in golf, but she was a bit shy about goinng alone and wanted a companion so I went along with her, and was immediately HOOKED. I am probably one of the few golfers I know who really would rather spend time at practice than actually playing a round on the course.  I love to go through all the clubs in my bag, hitting a few shots at a time at various targets on the range... then heading to the bunkers for some sand shot practice, then to the putting green to hit some chips and pitches, and finish up with putting... I can spend hours at it... but I digress.

The point of that story is that the golf pro who taught me those first five lessons told me something that has stuck with me all these years... and that was "When you go to the range to practice, don't just stand up there and hit shots.  Make sure you are practising with a sense of purpose. Pick something to work on; otherwise you are just wasting your time and your game will suffer."

To this day, all these years (about 28) later, I still follow that advice. When I hit a shot, I make sure I am aiming at something.  I use good form. I keep my eye on the ball.  I make sure to complete my backswing.  Now that is not to say that I have a hundred-and-one things on my mind when I am practicing. Just the opposite. I approach each practice session with only one or two goals in mind so that I don't overwhelm myself and come away frustrated.  For example, I might work on my swing timing, and when I get to the putting green I may work on spotting a line to the hole.  Just a couple of simple thoughts that give my practice some focus, and give me a sense of purpose.  Sometimes I will have a game of sorts with The Captain, and then the focus also becomes the ability to perform under the pressure of competition.

Golf practice

I have carried this sense of purpose and intention into the other fitness and exercise activities that I take part in, as well.  For example, when I head to the tennis court I may decide to concentrate on keeping my body low so that I can put some leg power into my swing.  Or I may work on getting my body to the ball so I am not reaching to hit shots.

Spring tennis practice

When I head out for a run I normally have a purpose in mind as well.  Sometimes I work on keeping my heart rate within a certain range.  The last time I ran, I was concentrating on keeping my stride fairly short and speed up my foot turnover in order to try running a bit faster.  Sometimes I make sure to run up all the hills I encounter... or to slow down at the bottom of the uphills so I can speed up as I crest them.

When I am doing strength training I am usually focused on my breathing and on my form.

I recall that my only-ever yoga instructor also told us at the beginning of each session to find a purpose in the day's practice... whether it be to relax a certain body part, or even just to find some relief from stress in the middle of the busy work day.

The intentions I set are not about the qualitative aspects of my workout... not the quantitative... not the time or distance I am running; not the amount of weight I am lifting; not about the length of time I can hold a plank. They are about some aspect of the work, some quality of it that I hope to master to improve my ability to perform it and usually to enhance my enjoyment of it.

I am definitley not a proponent of working out being all about WORK... for me if it's not also FUN, I don't wannna do it.  I find that giving it a focus and a purpose makes it all the more like PLAY for me.

Working out and approaching my play time with a sense of purposeincreases my joy in the activity itself and has several other benefits:
  1. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.
  2. It improve my ability to perform the activity.
  3. I enjoy the inner competition and mental focus.
  4. I feel like I am doing something worthwhile for myself.
  5. It helps enhance my mental clarity and fability to concentrate.

What about you?  Do you approach your play time and your workout time with an intention in mind?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

DROPPS Review and Giveaway

I was recently approached by a representative of DROPPS to test their unit dose household cleaning pacs... mostly laundry focussed. I thought about it for some time before agreeing... talking laundry on my fitness blog... does that make sense?  But I realized that we all have to do laundry occasionally, or a LOT!

Laundry is not my favorite chore... not my favorite thing to dwell on at all.   I will let the laundry pile up for weeks, picking out items to handwash and line dry so that I don't have to visit the laundry room and do the big job.... but I did think about it.

I thought about how often I wash workout gear... shirts, sports bras, capris, and SOCKS, not to mention the mountains of towels we go through.   I would be silly not to want to try out a new product that offers to make one of my least favorite chores easier.  And I was told that DROPPS are great for workout clothes because they don't contain any harmful additives that can clog the fibres in my clothes like other detergents.

So I agreed to test the products, and chose the Scent + Dye Free/Sensitive Skin Trial Kit to try, and several days later it arrived.

It was a few of days before I was ready to face a couple of loads of laundry again, and I read through the material provided before heading to the laundry room. I chose to use the 2 trial packs in the test kit on a load of towels/socks and a load of light colored shirts.  

I followed the top-loading washing machine instructions and put 3 individual pacs in each load... the detergent, the booster, and the fabric softener.   They were easy to handle and not messy at all.  No measuring.   Just toss in and close the lid!  I did like that.

I admit to being somewhat nervous... I had never used a liquid fabric softener where you put it in with the detergent... only the type where you pour it into a separate basket and it releases through the rinse cycle.  I really wondered what kind of job it could do...

After the wash/rinse/spin cycles were finished, I moved the freshly cleaned items to the dryers... set them and let them run their full cycles... about an hour.

I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the items from the dryers. There was not a hint of any static cling.  And there was no fragrance whatsoever. I had been expecting a fresh smell, but the DROPPS were true to the advertising of scent-free.  I liked that, a lot!

And I was very happy to find fluffy fresh towels and socks... and in the other load, clean and bright tees and tanks.

Just look at how clean these white socks look.  Now keep in mind that these 2 pairs of white socks are my favorites... they are both a couple of years old and get worn at least once or twice a week for running and for tennis.... they look pretty good!  And much better than they did when I put them into this wash, believe me!

Now, if I could just find someone to sort and fold all that clean laundry...

I should tell you that inside this sample box is a package of dishwasher detergent DPOPPS as well... I do not have a dishwasher so I gave them to a friend to try. She liked them.  Obviously they are handy as well... open the pack and toss in a pod... no messy measuring... but they did a nice job of cleaning the dishes and the dishwasher was sparkling afterward as well.

I urge you to have a look at the DROPPS web site and read about their product lines, 24/7 free shipping, bundle & save, reward program, and easy auto-ship ordering.  Unfortunately, they do not currently sell to Canada.  Darn, how will I get more of them?   UPDATE - I have just learned that they are available for internation shipping from AMAZON.  YAY!

Would you like to try a sample of these DROPPS yourself?  If you have a U.S. address, this giveaway is for you.

You may select your choice of one sample kit to try... there are 3 to choose from:  
  • Bestseller Trial Kit
  • Scent + Dye Free/Sensitive Skin Trial Kit
  • Baby Trial Kit

Complete the entries in the Rafflecopter form below and I will select a winner after 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8th and announce it here on this post. I will also try to reach the winner by email... you will have 48 hours to respond or I will select an alternate winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frozen Cherries... How I Love Them!

After months and months of searching local stores, I finally found these lovely frozen cherries!  I saw so many posts about them from bloggers in one of my Facebook groups...  extolling their perfect texture and delicious taste, that I just had to have them...  oh yeah, who SAYS bloggers have no power to influence?

Well, I did finally find them, at my local Costco, and I have been eating them by the bagful.  They are grown in my own province and I  think I  like them even better than fresh cherries.  They are already washed and pitted and stemmed and ready to eat.   Mmmmm.

I often eat them right out of the bag, still frozen!  Or I might plop a few in a bowlful of yogurt for an afternoon snack.  They freeze the yogurt that sticks to them... it takes forever to eat!

I also like them on a heaping bowlful of yogurt mixed with protein powder... vanilla or chocolate... either is delicious!  Just look at the juice that comes as the cherries start to thaw.

But one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in a protein shake... a smoothie...  they are great with vanilla or chocolate.  The color... the taste... amazing!  And so very simple and quick to put together. I often have one for breakfast these hot Summery mornings.

Vanilla or Chocolate Cherry Smoothie for one:

  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  1. Blend till thick and creamy.
  2. Pour into glass and enjoy!

Are you a frozen cherries fan too?  What is your favorite way to eat them?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sailing Through June

It has been just over 3 weeks since we arrived home from our wonderful Spring vacation and I am finally starting to feel like I am catching up!  There is always so much stuff to sort out and organize... and life goes on through it all.

And I am so loving the lovely warm and sunny summery weather we are having right now.  It is hard for me to be indoors long enough to do any work!  But I want to do an update about some things that are happening here.


I started using My Fitness Pal to track my daily eats and exercises. I admit to having gained a few vacation pounds and so am back on my Weight Watchers program with a vengeance. And I have joined an online FB group to help with daily checkins.  I am happy to be having good success and enjoy seeing the numbers change. Yeah, I am a geek like that.

Fitness and Fun 

I didn't do any resistance training at all while on vacation, so once I got home I jumped right back in to the Metabolic Aftershock workouts... they are all bodyweight sessions and mostly squats, lunges, pushups, etc. Tough and effective.  I have also been doing some of the 21 Day Fix strength sessions.

I have been doing a few 4km and 5 km runs...playing tennis, golfing and walking everywhere.  We have also been doing some swimming.  I am burning calories like a mad woman!  And enjoying every sweaty minue!

Nice Surprises to Share

I won a Catelli Pasta giveaway hosted by Jen from Pretty Little Grub a while back and the shipment arrived shortly after we got home....   a year's supply of pasta.... 60 boxes of spaghetti and rotini. I want to give props to Tamar at the PR company who looked after this... the shipment was sent originally while we were on vacation and returned because we were not there to receive it... I contacted her when we got home and she re-sent. Awesome.

The Captain was thrilled!

But even he cannot possibly eat all these noodles... so we have been sharing it with friends, and neighbors and co-workers... and I am also in the process of searching out a local organization/shelter who might like some of it for their free-lunch/dinner program.  I think that is a good way to spread the word about this product and have other people share in my good fortune, too.

Loving and Living

I cannot get enough of these frozen cherries that I found at Costco... they are grown here in B.C. in the lovely Okanagan valley and then frozen whole.  I love eating them with yogurt or with a mixture of chocolate protein powder and yogurt.  So juicy and so delicious! And because they are so cold, it takes a while to savor and enjoy this lovely combination... SAVOR!  that's my new favorite word.

We have been working on our balcony garden... planted some flowers and then bought a couple more planters for tomatoes, lettuce and herbs.  I love being able to snip bits and pieces for our meals!

I hope you are having wonderful and active June as well... what are you loving right now?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5 Ways Exercise Makes Me Happy

This year my focus has been on having more fun with my fitness... to stop taking myself so seriously; to stop getting wrapped up in online challenges that I find stressful, and to be HAPPIER about the activities and workouts I am doing.

There are so many things that I really love to do, so why bother wasting time with all those that I don't?  This also makes me a much happier person.  What?  How does exercise make me happy?

5 Ways Exercise Makes Me Happy by eatrunsail

1.  It makes me feel better about myself.

  • It gives me a boost of self confidence when I work to reach a particular goal, whether it be for distance or time or even a rep count.  I feel more confident on my feet and more capable physically.

2.  It is a mood enhancer.

  • From a science perspective, exercise increases the level of endorphins secreted by the pituitary gland that boost mood, lower appetite and block pain.  From a fun perspective, I love to be engaging in activities I think are enjoyable, whether it is participating in a particular sport or hiking outdoors on a lovely day.

3. It helps me sleep soundly.

  • On days I run longer or workout more intensely I am physically tired and I sleep much more soundly and wake up feeling more refreshed and energized for the new day... which makes me more inclined to have another great workout.  A lovely 'cycle' for sure.

4.  It allows me to enjoy some treat foods occasionally.

  • Yes, it's true.  Exercise burns calories while you are doing it and causes an increase in calorie burn for a while after.  It's all about the math.  

5. It is an aid to getting the physical shape I want to be in.

  • Lifting heavy things makes bigger muscles. Muscle is shapely and great looking.   I am vain and admit that having visible muscles makes me happy.

I know everyone has different reasons to work out.  How does exercising help make you happy?