Jul 272016
 

We had such a good time on our Friday date night!! Michael and I definitely need to do more new things like that. It’s so easy to get into a routine, especially when you have a baby, and it’s nice to do something different.

Well, after we got home that night it was time for another first. It was time for Logan to move out of the bassinet. He’s been in the rock n’ play since he was born, next to my side of the bed. It’s been great and so helpful (it vibrates!) and he’s been a great sleeper. But…to be honest, he grew out of it a month ago and I’ve been procrastinating moving him. But it was time. I had to suck it up and just do it.

IMG_2433

So now he’s in the pack n’ play in our room. We’ll do this for a little while and then move him into his crib in the nursery in a few months. I was expecting to not sleep at all that night but honestly he did ok. He thrashed around and thumped in the new bed but eventually fell asleep. He woke up a few times and was able to go back to sleep ok and then woke up at midnight fussy, so I fed him and put him back to sleep and he slept until 7am. I’d call that a success!

Saturday morning we went to my aunt’s house. She asked me to do a photo shoot of her family since the kids were all together for a family party (one lives in California, one in Colorado and another has been overseas for a bit). It was so much fun taking photos! And it was great getting to see my cousins.

IMG_6549

IMG_6585

After that Michael and I went home and got ready for another date. His mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan for a few hours so we could go do something. We decided on a hike with our first baby — Bella!

IMG_2449

We haven’t been hiking since the weekend before Logan was born! We did Powell Butte this weekend, just like last time. 🙂 It’s a nice hike close to home and since I hadn’t been hiking in awhile it was a good beginner try.

It was a hot afternoon after a gray, humid and cool morning. We set out on the hike and I was feeling pretty good! I think going for long walks in the neighborhood hills with the stroller has helped build up my endurance and stamina after taking a long break.

It was so good being outside hiking and it was great being with Bella. We were able to give her lots of attention without the baby interrupting us. I knew Logan was having a fun time being spoiled by the grandparents at home! Bella was ECSTATIC to be hiking again. 🙂

IMG_2444

The trail was really overgrown! Look what we saw:

IMG_2442

It slithered across the trail in front of me. Thankfully Bella didn’t see it! And thankfully it wasn’t anything like the last snake I saw on a hike!

We hiked around the top of the butte and then took the trail down into the woods. It’s a great loop.

There were some decent hills on the hike that got my heart rate up, so that was nice. It was also nice to get some exercise outside of the gym.

IMG_2448

We got back to the car after a decent hike and relaxed in the shade a little bit to cool off. Look how happy Bella is!

IMG_2452

She did great on the hike! There were mountain bikers and lots of people out on the trail with their dogs. I think Bella was happy to be out on the trail again.We really need to get back into a regular hiking routine for her (and us).

FullSizeRender-1

Nice stats for the day! Now for the calorie burn:

IMG_2451

I was happy with my number. On the drive home we stopped and got a cold treat:

IMG_2454

We got home and I kind of hit a wall. I was suddenly really exhausted. Michael went out and got us burritos for dinner (veggie for me) and we watched a movie and I tried not to fall asleep on the couch. Seriously, so tired! Probably a combination of a not-so-restful night, hiking in the heat and probably not drinking enough water like I should have.

Anyways, it was a really fun weekend and it was great that we got the opportunity to go out without the baby for a little while. Hopefully soon we can start bringing Logan on hikes!

Jul 252016
 

How did treadmills and weight machines become the gold standard of fitness? Why have some of us turned our backs on the mirrors and gleaming devices of the traditional gym? What is the appeal of the stripped-down, functional approach to fitness that Ă­s currently on the rise? In this captivating narrative, Daniel Kunitz sets out on a journey through history to answer these questions and more.

Lift cover

I was asked to read and review the book LIFT by Daniel Kunitz. The book sounded really interesting to me because I was curious about the changing culture of fitness.

tlc logo

I remember growing up in the 1980s, my mom was really into jazzercise and aerobics. She was even a teacher for a long time. I used to go to the classes with her (not to participate but to go to the daycare) and I’d watch all these moms doing step aerobics in their leotards with their big hair and your typical 80’s music. 🙂 I think a lot of my readers probably remember that time!

The author goes through the history of exercise–Roman times, event ancient Chinese history. He also discussed his own transformation through exercise.

One morning the author was sick and hungover after a rough night of partying when he had a realization. “It dawned on me that the state of your body isn’t something you either choose to care about or leave be, for your body never just is–it is always either decaying or getting stronger. Not choosing is still a choice. [pg 7]”

Daniel Kunitz AP

The 70’s happened and “people began to shake off the smoking-drinking-drugging hangover of the previous era in unprecedented numbers by joining in the new fad for jogging. Twenty years later I did the same. Of course, by that time some things had changed. The terminology, for: what was once a mellow jog became running. [pg 8]”

The author then realized that smoking and running didn’t really go well together and he quit smoking.

“Running is monostructural: it improves your endurance but not your strength, balance, explosiveness, or flexibility. It might make you skinny, but it won’t produce muscles. [pg 10]”

I found that interesting and very true. In my own experience I was very much a cardio-junkie. I ran, I did the elliptical, I biked, I swam and did the stairmaster. I LOATHED weight lifting. It was slow, it was boring, I didn’t see the calorie burn I saw while doing cardio. Then I started getting injuries and I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working.

“Over time, as I noticed that even those who showed up each day to the gym didn’t make any visible improvements. I had to wonder if this was due to their perfunctory attitudes or the cause of them. [pg 12]”

How true is that statement?? It is very true for me! Being a gym rat I see the same people at the gym when I go and they all look pretty much the same. There is one guy that I saw on a regular basis and then I took a break from the gym a few weeks before my baby was born, then about 6 weeks off postpartum–I came back to the gym and saw that guy and did a double take. He was HUGE. His muscles had quadrupled! I was shocked. I don’t know what he did but he is the only one that comes to mind that made a very real difference in his body.

It’s easy to go to the gym and get into ruts and do the same thing every time, and your body doesn’t change or improve. The author talks a lot about the “new” crossfit phenomenon and the concept of FUNCTIONAL fitness–which I wholeheartedly agree is the better way to work out.

“I’d never seen anybody make a bicep-curling motion outside of the gym. [pg 13]”

Re-thinking the way we do fitness, the way we lift weights is making changes. I learned that going to the Warrior Room. I became SO much stronger MUCH faster doing functional things like flipping tires, carrying sandbags, swinging kettlebells, etc, than I EVER did lifting weights at the gym.

“So why did weight machines continue to flourish in gyms? Aside from the gleam of technological novelty, they offer the untaught user a way to lift. Properly training with free weights requires some skill, while the Olympic lifts–the snatch and clean and jerk–are highly technical, demanding extensive, long-term coaching to master. It wasn’t until quite recently, with CrossFit, that significant numbers of people came to grasp the importance of skill-based work. [pg 248]”

I admit, I often use the weight machines at gym. When I first started getting into weight lifting I did the machines because I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the skill set yet. Then having some training sessions with a personal trainer and eventually joining The Warrior Room, I learned those skills and got better at free weights and realized it was more FUN using kettlebells and free weights. No wonder I thought weight lifting was boring–sitting in a machine and going through the motions IS boring!

“By removing skill, machines essentially turn strength training into a low intensity activity: you might look better by using them but you’re not challenging who you are today to become a better version tomorrow. [pg 248]”

I never thought of the weight machines like that, but it makes perfect sense to me. You sure don’t get your heart pumping sitting in a weight machine and passively pushing, not like you do with dramatic movements like kettlebell swings!

“But what’s the point? To what end do we train and eat right and get enough sleep and learn new physical techniques and then relax by watching other people doing these things? [pg 39]”

It was really interesting reading about the history of exercise and weight lifting.

“Weightlifting refers specifically to the sport of shifting loads from the ground to overhead. Although it was included in the first Olympics in 1896 as a field event, it was excluded from the 1900, 1908, and 1912 games. It returned as its own event at the 1920 Olympics and over the course of that decade evolved into something like the sport we know today. Weightlifting was codified in 1928 as three lifts: the snatch (pulling the bar in a single motion from the ground to overheard), the clean and press, and the clean and jerk (cleaning means hoisting the bar to the shoulders, where the athlete can either press it overheard or jerk it, using the leg to provide momentum). [pg 163]”

This book is perfect for the reader that likes history and is interested in reading about the evolution of fitness. It was fascinating reading about the different trends and how things changed–and how ideas and values changed.

I personally would have liked more personal anecdotes from the author’s journey from unhealthy to fit, because what he did share was interesting and I could relate to a lot of it. The book felt more history-heavy than personal. I think there could have been more of a balance between the two. If you’d like to read this book, check it out here:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Happy reading!