Tag Archives: housewife glamour

Friday Five: Five Fitness Snapshots

11 Jul

This week’s Friday Five linkup (an awesome weekly event hosted by Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC, Mar @ Mar On The Run, and Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What!) is themed: 5 Fitness Snapshots.  I initially thought this topic would be easy for me, but as I’m looking through photos from the last few week I realized that I don’t have a lot of them!  I work out by myself most of the time, I don’t have a gym membership or go to classes, I don’t even have a DVD player!  I guess I’m an off-the-grid kind of fitness person which unfortunately doesn’t present many photo ops.  Clearly I need to remedy that as soon as possible!

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1.  Walking!  Walking is my favorite form of cross training and I can bring my little Bea Arthur with me.  We walk together every morning to open up the store and sometimes we take an afternoon walk as well.  I seriously just love being a pedestrian – I get to talk to people in my neighborhood, it helps improve my running endurance, it’s FREE, I get to see things that I would miss if speeding by at 30 m.p.h., and I get to enjoy the fresh air.

Walk-Everywhere

2.  Running is obviously my bread and butter, and this chick is my resident running buddy.  Our household has been down to 1 vehicle for about a month, which means tons of running in my own neighborhood with miss Liberty Belle.  It makes me sad to think that we had Liberty for years and I would never walk her or anything because I was so lazy.  She loves pounding the pavement as much as I do and we both reap the benefits – emotionally and physically.   In our house we are the 2 curvy blondes, but by the end of the summer we are going to be 2 sexy ladies!

Red-Faced-Runner

3.  A few weeks ago, Christina came home with the most perfect red vintage bike she got me for $40 on Craig’s List.  This is the first bike I’ve owned since I was a kid and I’m so happy to have one now!  A few of my close friends are really into biking, so it’s nice to finally be able to join in on the fun.  There are tons of great trails around my neighborhood, including one that will take me all the way from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.!  I don’t know how long “Lola” will last because she’s definitely been used a lot, but I am really enjoying the experience of biking for fitness.  (Even if we don’t make it to Washington together!)

Lola-Bike-Homestead

4.  Tabata/HIIT – Since I don’t have a gym membership, I try to make the most with what I have at home.  This usually means throwing my mat down in the middle of the living room and getting in a high intensity interval circuit of one kind or another.  I alternate using my own body weight, this stained chair that we usually stand on when we are painting, a medicine ball, a stability ball, and some free weights.  I have a basic workout that I was given by my trainer, but I also find a lot of my workouts on Pinterest, Daily Hiit, and Daily Burn.  Honestly I try to switch it up as much as I can because the same old circuit gets mighty boring pretty quickly.  I’m thinking about investing in some kettle bells because they look like fun.

Home-Workout

The pets 100% believe this mat is for their enjoyment only and insist on walking all over/lay on it as soon as I put it out. Who doesn’t love a mouth of full of dog hair while you plank?!

5.  Stretching is such an important part of fitness and I don’t take it seriously enough.  You’re supposed to stretch for anywhere between 5-15 minutes after a run.  It can improve flexibility, shorten recovery time, improve circulation, relieve muscle tension/relax you, give you energy, and probably all kinds of other stuff (obviously I’m not a fitness instructor)!  Last year sometime, I stumbled onto this wonderful picture with all kinds of stretches from Heather over at Housewife Glamour.  I snapped a pic on my iPhone and I refer to it almost daily when I’m stretching.  I’ve also been a reader of Heather’s blog ever since!

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I hope you enjoyed this Friday Five linkup, I had fun writing it and I can’t wait to participate in more of them!!

Stranger Things Have Happened

11 Oct

Well, I did it.

After weeks of complaining and inactivity, I finally just forced myself out of bed early and did it.

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I re-joined the Athletic Club at the Carnegie Library of Homestead.

I’ve all ready had 3 people ask me if I’m crazy.  See, my community has a less than stellar reputation because of high crime rates in recent decades, pockets of low income populations, and stunted economic development.  I find this reputation to be unwarranted and unfair.  I love it here.  I live, work, and play in this area and I have never once felt scared or threatened by anyone.  Except for this one lady who sucker punched me in the face during a road rage incident.  I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble but, there is crime in even the wealthiest community.  There are junkies running dry everywhere people.  But I’ve done a lot of research into gyms in my area, comparing the pros and cons that go along with each.  I’ll get to what went into my decision in a second.

First, let me show you the place.  The Athletic Club takes up the second floor and the basement at the Carnegie Library of Homestead, which is nestled in an idyllic historical pocket of Homestead.

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Those wooden doors will take you into the actual library, but if you head upstairs you will see this door:

CLH.AthleticClub

I’ve been in a bit of a rush the last 2 mornings due to other things going on, so I didn’t take the time to take photos inside.  I will make sure to give you guys an inside look/tour over the next few days!

So, why the Athletic Club at the Carnegie Library?

1.  Proximity.  The library is almost exactly 1 mile away from my house.  Christina has the car?  No problem.  I can just walk over there!  The next closest gyms were 4.5 miles away (LA Fitness)  and 5.5 miles away (Fitness 247).

2.  Price.  The AC is $35 a month.  So, for $420 a year (it actually goes down to $300 if you pay the year in advance) I get access to a fully equipped gym, a heated swimming pool, a 6 hoop basketball court, an indoor track, and unlimited classes.  LA Fitness would have been $459 with $99 down.  Fitness 247 has a special right now for $300/year if paid in full – $348 if paid monthly – but like I said, its 10.5 miles round trip.  No contract, no initiation fee, nothing like that.

3.  Amenities.  No, there isn’t a tanning bed included in my membership, but I am fine with that.  There is a newly renovated heated pool, though, which none of the other gyms can offer.  There is a big room with cardio and weight machines, another room with just free weights, and like I said before – a giant basketball court with 6 hoops and an indoor track above it.  There is non-metered parking all over the place.  I like that it’s not busy.  I’m going to get my sweat on and get out, not to have social hour.  In the morning, there are maybe 4 people in their 20s-30s and 2-3 elderly people working out.  It is glorious.

4.  Pride.  The Carnegie Library of Homestead, includes not only the athletic club but also a gorgeous music hall, is a non-profit.  I respect that the facility is there for the right reasons and has remained open for the betterment of the community since 1898.  That’s 109 years of being continuously open and helping keep our community to prosper.  She’s seen a lot of shit go down, too.  The economic prosperity that Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills brought, and the devastation that came when those mills closed.  Two world wars, the Great Depression, and now the modern day recession, throughout the years mourning when neighboring libraries closing their doors due to lack of funding.  Andrew Carnegie himself founded the library and designed it to overlook his steel mill site.  He was quoted as saying:

“The building has rightfully in the center as the focus ‘The Library’– Music Hall upon the right and the Working Man’s Club upon the left. These three foundations from which healing waters are to flow for the Instruction, Entertainment and Happiness of the people. Recreation of the working man has an important bearing upon his character and development as his hours of work.”

You know that the nerd in me couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be a part of this region’s living history.  You can keep your LA Fitnesses and your tanning and your overpriced saunas.  I am happy right here in the Steel Valley, supporting my community while I work to better myself.

Speaking of, it felt really really good get back on the treadmill.  I am waaaaay out of shape at this point.  I have spent the better part of a month eating complete crap and moving very little.  I feel like I’m starting back at square one, but that’s okay.  Momentum is better than inertia!  Right now, I’m being realistic about my goals and just working on building my base back up 30 minutes at a time.

Yesterday (Thursday), I warmed up with a 15 minute power walk, jogged at my usual pace for 10, and then did a 5 minute cool down.  Built up a nice sweat, stretched out, and went home with no shin splints or leg issues.  So today I shifted to a 10 minute power walk warm-up, a 15 minute jog, and a 5 minute cool down.

Proof!

Proof!

If you do something 21 times consecutively it becomes a habit, right?  19 more workouts to go!  With this gym membership also comes the opportunity to integrate real strength training and free weights into my program.  Access to the pool and other equipment gives me a variety of cardio options if I ever need a break from running.  I am considering taking a few of the classes that they offer, schedule permitting!  I’ve been taking a really good multivitamin I bought down at Vitamin Shoppe and I have a few other changes I want to make.  For example, I need to take stretching so much more seriously than I do now, especially considering my history of shin issues. I’ve been following Housewife Glamour‘s stretching routine and it’s awesome:

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