Today was a day of running around without any actual running. The day started on an exciting note – I audited a Pilates Teacher Training Course. I have been doing Pilates for about four years, and it was love at first try. It’s rigorous, but not high energy. I get enough intensity through running and cycling.
It’s been a long time coming, but I finally decided to become a certified pilates instructor! Now, it’s a matter of picking the right program. If you do it right, becoming a pilates instructor is actually a fairly lengthy process. Although I don’t want to wait another minute, I have to do a lot of research before I can pick the right training program for me. The more I think about it, the more excited I get!
Doing pilates consistently makes my body feel strong. Pilates increases flexibility, core strength, balance, as well as tones and lengthens the body. In fact, I am convinced that adding pilates to your fitness routine can help you become a better athlete, whether you are a runner, cyclist, tri-athlete, or a “muscle up” doing, Cross Fit junkie.
Last week I switched my pilates routine. Instead of doing pilates at night and running in the mornings, I took morning pilates classes and did the cardio at night. What a difference! I am typically out the door and on my way to the park for a jog without a problem, but getting myself to do a v-sit or a roll-over at 7 am, was a new experience. I felt a bit disoriented and uncoordinated in the studio. I think the soft mat reminded me of my bed.
Speaking of timing, there is a lot of talk out there about finding the “perfect time of day” to exercise. But is the time of day really that important?
The truth of the matter is that we are physically stronger in the afternoon. Our body temperature is higher which makes us more awake and better able power through a hard workout. Our body temperature is lowest right before we wake up. Strengh and endurance are also greater in the afternoon, and injury is less likely.
On the other hand, some research show that you can actually teach yourself to exercise better at a certain time of day. For example, if you want a morning run to become a habit, set your alarm clock, and actually do it for at least a month. Your body should start getting used to it. I know, easier said than done.
Realistically speaking, some people are just not morning people, and others can’t take a break in the afternoon for a workout. The solution here is to pick a time and stick to it.
Although some studies show that you may be 5% stronger in the afternoon, if it’s easier for you to fit a workout into your morning routine, do it. If you are training for a race or just trying to make exercise a habit, the key is staying consistent. It is more likely to happen if you pick a time that works with your schedule. Put it on your calendar in the beginning of the week as you would a meeting. I know, it often feels like you have no time, but look at it as a very important meeting – a meeting that will make you feel better and give you more energy to do everything else.
Consistency is more important that your body temperature!
Now, back to the rest of my day- after doing some running around (mostly holiday shopping and grocery shopping), my parents and brother came over for dinner.
It was taco night! Eric bbq’d some meat for the meat lovers, and made mushroom “taco meat” for the non-meat lovers (me). Mushrooms were first chopped in a food processor.
Then they were sauteed with garlic, onion, and red chilis and seasoned with cumin, chilli pepper and salt and pepper. Cooked on low heat with a little nutritional yeast, tomato paste, lime juice, and cilantro.
The result was a taco bar with all the toppings and sides: beans, cheese, cilantro, onions, salsa and guacamole.
Somehow David managed to sneak into the photo without me noticing.
We also shared a mixed green salad, with brocollini, rosemary pecans and cranberries, and dressed with a cumin vinaigrette.
And of course I didn’t forget to include a snapshot of my weekend meals (as part of the “taste of my week” request) – breakfasts in this case.
For dinner last night, Eric and I went to his company’s holiday party. I was happy to find that there were a few veggie options. I had a plate full of green beans with pine nuts and carmalized onions, a mixed greens salad, and a brocollini salad. Lots and lots of green.
Have a wonderful night.