Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - Healthy Living Edition

People who know me well know how much I love holiday festivities and themed workouts. And when I worked in public accounting, I would often tell my staff that we were going to start "healthy living month" to do little things to focus on living well. So I've put together 12 days of healthy living this year to celebrate life and celebrate the holidays. Here's my list:

12/14 Twelve different stretches: When people used to ask me about my stretching routine, my response was “eh, not really, maybe a couple quad stretches before a marathon to try to fit in.” I’m not quite as bad now, but I definitely need reminders about stretching. One of my friends gave me this stretch deck a couple years ago. I picked out 12 different ones to kick off my 12 days of Healthy Living.
12/15 Eleven minutes of Abs: I’ll bring it up a notch and challenge the 1990’s “8 Minute Abs” infomercial with my own abdominal exercises. I’ve found a lot of great exercises from Runner’s World like the one they posted for Lolo Jones. However, I’ll probably do my 11 minutes routine at home using a combination of crunches, planks, bicycles, and the metronome (reminds me of my high school XC ski days). I might even see if I can do this every day through the rest of the month.
12/16 Ten glasses of water: Here are guidelines provided by Mayo Clinic. I’m going with 10 because I am quite the sweater.
This day is also my tri team’s 12 days of Christmas swim. Sydnie bought a group of us festive swim caps and I can't wait to wear mine. I’m still nursing a bum shoulder from my mountain biking fall, so I can only participate in the kick sets. Bah humbug. :( As a side note I’m trying to see the positives on having a break in my swim training – I know I’ll come back more eager to put in a TON of yards and hopefully my kicking is also getting stronger.
12/17 Nine hours of sleep: Sleep is often the first thing to go when I try and squeeze in long training, a full-time job, somewhat of a social life, and some semblance of order (bills paid, clean clothes, food in the fridge, etc.) I have really been sucking at getting enough sleep during this busy holiday season. This day I will focus on getting a solid nine hours of sleep. If only I could do this every night, my body would recover better from the times I beat it up during hard workouts.
12/18 Eight Limbs of Yoga: There once was a time when I was better at practicing yoga. I love it and this day I’m going to attend a less advanced class so I can focus on the 8 limbs of each practice as listed below.
  1. Yama : Universal morality
  2. Niyama : Personal observances
  3. Asanas : Body postures
  4. Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana
  5. Pratyahara : Control of the senses
  6. Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
  7. Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi : Union with the Divine     
12/19 Seven servings of fruits and vegetables: There is no perfect formula as to how many servings of fruits and vegetable we should eat, but I’m going to shoot for 7 on this day. It shouldn’t be too difficult, since I typically have a banana at breakfast, 4 more servings throughout the work day and lunch, and a couple around dinnertime. Every other week, I get a produce delivery from Full Circle Farms. The deliciousness of their fruits and veggies will assist on this day.
Typical view from Kerry Park on one
of my most frequent run routes
12/20 Six meals: If I plan on meals throughout the day, I’m sure to eat healthier and not starve my body from the nutrients it needs during training. Christmas cookies and whatever treats in the office do not count as meals.
12/21 Five rounds of Silent night during the 3rd Annual Holidazzle: I really don’t think my friends will sing with me in Kerry Park, but perhaps I’ll still fit in my own Christmas caroling.
12/22 Four minutes off, four minutes on – bike intervals: This will be one way to break up the 2 hours and 30 minutes ON THE TRAINER I have on my schedule for that day. If I get crafty, I might even coordinate the music with ~4 minute songs.
12/23 Three easy workouts: swim, lift, yoga. An easy recovery day planned for the 23rd.
12/24 Two 10 milers: 10 miles at 7:20 pace, 10 miles at 7-7:05 pace. Another 20 mile run to prepare me for Rock ‘n Roll Arizona, which I’ll be running on January 15th. I PR’ed there with a 3:05 last year and I’m hoping I can run just as strong this year.
12/25 One day of Skiing: My family has been taking ski trips over Christmas for the past 10-ish years. Although it’d be nice to spend some time in my parents’ house and go to a Christmas service at the church from my youth, it’s also nice to get away for the holidays. We are lucky enough to stay slope side for the week. My routine usually consists of wake-up, coffee, read, breakfast, ski all morning, lunch, (maybe a nap), ski all afternoon, (maybe a treadmill session – but not on Christmas), read, cocktail hour, dinner, read, relax, bed. Repeat.
Every year is special, but I think I will appreciate the time with my parents even more this year. My dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma just over a year ago and wasn’t able to make the 2010 Knutson Christmas ski trip. Luckily, he has a break in radiation treatments this year and is able to spend some time with us on the slopes. Please keep him in your Christmas prayers.

Skiing at Vail in 2009 with my old man. The guy knows how to have a
good time. We tore up the Back Bowls that day.
12 Days of Christmas – Unhealthy Living Edition And if I hated myself and didn't love life, here is what I would do for the next 12 days (good thing I'll be doing the healthy edition). This is gross:
12/14 12 pack of Coor’s  
12/15 11 minutes of negative self-talk
12/16 10 Oreo’s
12/17 9 Christmas cookies
12/18 8 top pot donuts
12/19 7 glasses of wine
12/20 6 shots of whiskey
12/21 5 glasses of egg nog
12/22 4 hours of sleep
12/23 3 sticks of butter
12/24 2 packs of cigarettes
12/25 1 Bag of Dorito’s

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