Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Great Workout Apps

R got me an iPhone for Christmas.  He has this knack for buying me electronic gizmos I see no need for, but soon realize are absolute necessities.  It started with my pink RAZR years ago.  *Sigh*  I loved my pink RAZR, and held onto it for years after it became obsolete.

Then it progressed to XM satellite radio.  Could not live without this now. I got the home kit the next year, and it made my work life infinitely more bearable.

So, now I have an iPhone, and I love it.  R keeps telling me I'm going to run out of my data plan before the month ends.  Anyway, I've found two apps that I just love, and I'm really enjoying playing with them utilizing them in my workouts.

The first is Moodagent.  This one is free.  Yay!  It allows you to choose from a range of moods, and then it customizes a play list from your iTunes to fit that mood.  You enter whether you're feeling sensual, tender, happy, or angry (or a range of those) and then you select the tempo you want.  You can also select one song from your list and then have it create a playlist of songs similar to that one.  It's fabulous!

In general, I tend to prefer more mellow, soft rock type stuff.  However, when I'm walking, this doesn't work.  So, I've found myself in the past skipping 15 songs in a row before I get to one that's appropriate for my workout.  This handy tool eliminates all that.

I'll give you one little hint though.  If you're like me, the songs that are perfect for working out to, Moodagent considers "angry."  I was having a hard time getting just the right mix, until I jacked the "angry" all the way to the top.  Then it was pouring out Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bon Jovi, and P!nk.

The second app I'm loving is called Quick Sleep, and it was 99 cents.  It's designed for ummm...sleep...Hence the name.  But I'm loving using it for yoga.  It has a selection of sounds, everything from thunderstorms to wind chimes, to New York at night from a rooftop.  And what's neat is, you can mix them!  So I can put in say a cat purring, a flute song, and waves crashing, and have a nice relaxing yoga soundtrack.  Fun!

So there you go.  If your New Year's Resolution involves getting more exercise, and having fun while you do it, I highly recommend both of these toys!

Monday, December 19, 2011

And Then Panic Set In...

I'm doing really well with my exercise lately.  I've been walking probably five days a week, and I'm really enjoying it actually.  I'm adding a little bit more distance every couple of weeks, and I'm probably doing about 2 1/2 miles now.  I walk around my neighborhood, so I don't know the exact distance.

I'm also going to yoga regularly, the easy class once per week and the harder class once per week.  I feel so much better when I go, and I'm getting to where I look forward to it, instead of having to force myself to go.

Anyway, I'm finally getting into this good routine, and I'm looking forward to some time off work over the holidays.  I've been thinking about how this break will be really good for me, a time to re-focus on myself and my health, etc...

Then, at class last week, my yoga instructor (whom I adore.  Have I told you that?) informed us that she's taking a family trip and will be gone a whole week and a half!  As in, three whole classes will not be in session.  And she's entitled to have a life.  But seriously, I felt this sense of panic rise up in my chest when she made this announcement!

I've been doing soooooo well!  And her class is like nothing else.  I mean, I have yoga DVDs and stuff, but they are not the same.  Not even close.   I have one I've always really enjoyed, and the other day there was no class on Tuesday, so I made myself do the video.  (Yay for me!) It was okay.  Just okay.  I used to love this video, and now, compared to my class?  Eh.

So I guess this is my latest hurdle toward wellness, maintaining my calm serenity (stop laughing) while my yoga teacher is out of town.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Showing Up

I was talking with my mom the other day about our yoga teachers.  It's no secret that I adore mine and think she's fabulous.  And I've been making an effort to go at least once per week, even if that means going to the harder class.

I've been successful for a month straight now.  Yay!  But some days it's sooooo hard to drag myself out of the house.  Somehow when I was leaving work (maybe even leaving work a little early!) to go, it was easier.  Now that I'm working at home a lot, and now that class is later in the evening, it seems like a huge effort just to make myself GO.

Mom said her yoga teacher has something she says at the start of every single class.  "Congratulate yourself for showing up on the mat today."

I think that's fabulous!  Some days I really feel that way.  Like making myself SHOW UP is such a huge accomplishment.  Whatever I do beyond that point is just gravy.  And it applies to more than just yoga class.  Sometimes just showing up for work is the best I can do.  Some days showing up the kitchen to fix dinner is huge.

So whatever your day entails, congratulate yourself for showing up!

Most awesome song I heard while working out:  Glee cast version of Defying Gravity.