July 2015

Announcement: Calling all water rats!

Kayak on the beach

Welcome to my blog, Water Rats. Where I hope you will join me each week in sharing and doing all types of outdoor and recreational activities!

 

Why is this called the Water Rats Blog?

 

A water rat is someone, like me, who loves to spend as much time as possible in, on or near the water. It doesn’t matter if it’s doing a full fitness workout or just doing something fun, as long as there is water included in the equation, we’re happy!

 

You know that being outdoors adds so much more to any type of exercise or fitness regimen. Besides a healthy dose of fresh air, the scenery alone can help motivate you!

 

 

Like me, you look for things to do that will take you to any shore. There are so many different activities you can do by the water that not only get and keep you in shape, they’re exciting to do as well!

 

 

What is your favorite Water Rat activity?

 

Maybe it’s canoeing, swimming, paddle boarding or even just hiking around a river or lake?

 

 

We all know that exercise can become dull and routine if you don’t change it up every now and then. My goal here is to put the fun back into working out and I’ll need your help in doing that.

 

 

If you have a favorite Water Rat recreation or exercise routine, please share it here and we can discuss the different levels of fitness you can or want to achieve, as well as finding new ways to keep it being fresh and fun for you to do. It will also be great to find and share new places and activities to explore with all of our other water-loving fitness enthusiasts!

 

Until next time, my fellow Water Rats!

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Music for motivation

Hello, my fellow Water Rats!

Today, I thought I’d start off with finding out different ways to keep us motivated while we’re working out or even if you’re just out and about, enjoying the great outdoors. Aside from the most obvious inspiration being the scenery when you’re outdoors, my greatest motivational tool is the music I choose to listen to.

Lady with headphones and superpowers

Yeah, this is how I feel with the right music.

Whether you listen to your own playlist, a radio station or a specific artist’s latest tracks, you can use the music progression to help you warmup, ramp up and then ramp down your activity levels. I usually like to find songs with a nice slow and even beat to start my walk or workout routine. This helps me gradually start stretching and slowly using my muscles as I warm up.

Once I have completed my warmup and stretching routine, it is now time for the fun to begin! This is where I not only step up my activity level; I also crank up the music tempo and volume! I call this my “Ramp It Up” step. If I am walking, running, hiking or even canoeing, I match my pace to the music I’m listening to. It’s fun and also helps intensify your workout!

The last part of my personal workout I call my “Cool It Down” step. When done with your exercise routine, it is very important to remember to cool down and stretch, just as you did during your pre-activity warm up.

If you don’t do both of these steps before and after you exercise, you run the risk of developing muscle cramping from a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles (also commonly known as a “charley horse”), or even worse, shin splints. Trust me; you do not want to deal with either of these! Besides being extremely painful, they take a very long time to recover from, which will curtail your recreational activity and can derail your entire exercise routine.

Of course, no matter what you do, you will still be a bit sore, especially when you first begin to exercise, but you can help keep it to a minimum by doing the proper warm up and cool down steps.

What Are Your Favorite Beats?

When you are exercising, it’s always good to change it all up to keep it fun and exciting to do. Changing the location is an easy fix; it’s also a good idea to switch up on both the routine and the music. If you don’t already have your own playlist, here are a couple of my recommendations to get you started with your own:

iTunes.

Spotify for streaming music.

There are also plenty of youtube fitness related music compilations, I like this one. Plus the fit dude adds to motivation!

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new music to add to the playlist but music taste is very subjective, it’s for that reason that I’m not going to post up my favorite tracks. Plus, my faves change with my mood, the weather and whether I have company. There is always a new “of the moment” track coming out anyway.

Oh yeah, another motivator is following sporty people on instagram. Just don’t spent too much time there you could otherwise be spending exercising. Get the motivation and GO FOR IT!

Here’s to keeping fitness fun and exciting for each other!

Until next time, happy fitness my fellow Water Rats!

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About me

Hi, I’m Heidi, nice to meet you! I’m a 30 something year old here to write about health, fitness and some of my personal life. I feel that sometimes when you think about your goals or what happened in your life a year, 2 or even 5 years ago, it can be hard to remember exactly where you were. Well that’s how I feel anyway. So I figured if I write about major life events here also with the focus to help others get through the same things as I, then I’m positively helping.

Let’s just go with that for now 😉

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Getting back into it and replacing jeans.

Going to the gym is hard work. No, not just the exercise and sweating off the dessert I had the night before. Actually getting up, putting on the cute workout pants I bought specifically to work out, and dragging myself to the gym. You can imagine my utter excitement when I had to go buy new jeans. The size I had been wearing for at least a decade was too loose at the waist, and looked like a deflated balloon over my suddenly firmer backside. Throwing away the old jeans, I resolved to never, ever allow myself to get that big ever again.

Lady doing gymnastics

Yeah I can do this, I just don’t wanna ;)

Unfortunately, in my excitement, I didn’t set a new goal. I was so focused on what I achieved I lost sight of where I was going. When my workout days would come I would actually argue with myself. I lost weight, I was skinnier, I deserved a day off. So instead of five miles on the treadmill, I sat my skinny self down and relaxed. My day off made it easier to take another day off, which of course snowballed into a week off. I’m sure you see the trend I was refusing to acknowledge.

Spring rolled around and it was time to go shopping for a new swim suit. When I went to get dressed, the new jeans were a little snug. It was ok, I told myself, I would just do a couple extra laps in the pool at the gym once I picked out my new suit. Slowly but surely, those jeans got tighter and tighter. In my refusal to let myself break the vow, I continued to squeeze into those jeans. Luckily they had some stretch in the material, but instead of looking cute, I started to look like an exploded pop biscuit canister. The twenty pounds I had shed found there way back home. Finally the inside seam burst under the strain of my thighs. When I went out to go shopping I had to pick up new jeans in the old size, unfortunately this meant I had spent more money than I anticipated and during all the fluster I never got a new swimsuit.

So there I was, ready and motivated to lose this new weight. Eager to start swimming laps again, as I find it so peaceful and relaxing. The problem? I only had the bathers I wore 20 pounds ago!
Stuff it I thought, I’m taking them and going to the gym. I got myself into this mess, and if I look funny wearing a bikini 2 sizes too small then it’s my fault and should give me good reason to not let it happen again.

I got to the gym, went into the change rooms and pulled out the bikini. My god I thought, how was this going to cover my butt! A few tugs here and there, wiggles of the hips and snapping sounds of threads breaking (this actually happened!) I was in. Well kind of. Bits were bulging here there and everywhere, but I still took it as power and motivation to lose the pounds.

Tight bikini from weight gain

Slightly stretched is an understatement. I looked something like this.

The first lap session went rather well apart from my obvious lack of fitness compared to just a few months prior. The pool wasn’t busy which was a relief for me, and probably the eyes of others too.

I’m considering trying this eat stop eat program as well as well as keeping up physical activity as others have said it has helped them lose weight while maintaining muscle mass. Exactly what I want.

Going to the gym is hard work. I know what I am capable of because I already accomplished it once. It was a lot of sweat and pain that I don’t want to do again. Putting on my swim suit, that is two sizes too small, is a terrible reminder of letting myself go. I don’t want to squeeze into a suit (the poor little thing), but I don’t want to stop swimming laps altogether. So I will start over, at square one, to get myself back to where I was once again instead of moving forward. Except this time I will not take that day off. Getting back into the skinny jeans is not the finish line, merely a mile marker in my weight loss and fitness marathon.

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