Fitness, Uncategorized

The Importance of Mentors (My Experience)

Today, as I began to prepare for my new position as an online writing mentor for online English classes at my university, I remembered an important person that inspired me and provided guidance.

My neighbor down the block used to be a a competition body builder, though she didn’t even start this fitness journey until she was in her adult years. She then began working as a rehab physical therapist until she got ready to move. During this prep time, she ended up selling me a lot of her home equipment at really good prices simply because she said she believed in me and my fitness journey.

She knew I wasn’t particularly interested in competition prep, but also that I had a passion for exercise and healthy living. Pointers were provided left and right, she corrected my form on a few different lifts, and just made me feel ready to actually go after my goals.

Mentors don’t always have to be famous, rich, family, or whatever other guidelines society has attached to the term. A mentor is someone who guides you in the right direction so you can reach the end goal yourself. They show you possibilities and instill something as simple as hope.

This may sound cheesy considering my job made me think of this short relationship, but I believe any type of influence you have on a other person is important. Whether it be an academic influence, romantic influence, etc., your actions and words do matter.

I have always fluctuated with my workout patterns. I didn’t have a lot of equipment to work with and lacked motivation to go to the gym. Being able to purchase workout equipment in good condition at affordable prices totally changed the game for me. Now I couldn’t have excuses.

My neighbor opened this door for me, and through kind words of encouragement and a few instances of helpful criticism, convinced me to go on this journey open minded. I thank her for this, even if I haven’t gotten the chance to thank her personally.

Role models can be anyone and can impact multiple areas of your life. I suggest finding one who truly inspires you, makes you feel good about yourself, and shows that goals are obtainable.

I am now taking this experience and plan to incorporate it into my semester writing mentor job. Writing isn’t for everyone so I will therefore be pushing a lot of people who were just like me when starting out with fitness, worried, lost, and doubtful.

Support is always important. Feeling valid is a need. Having your own feelings acknowledged is relieving. Form meaningful bonds and connections with those who lift you up to your aspirations rather than pull you away from.

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Fitness

Sweaty Sunday Workout (Arms & Abs)

Below is the simple workout I completed today. I am uploading the video to get practice in editing content, show off my hard work, and hopefully encourage others. Any questions, comments, concerns can be left below or emailed to me. I hope you enjoy and I apologize if it is a little choppy for my first video.

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Fitness

Yesterday’s Leg Day – May 31st, 2018

I apologize for getting this up a day late, but this week was CRAZY for me! First full week of my new job as a kids summer camp supervisor and it was exhausting but so worth it. The kids are amazing, plus I’m literally getting paid to swim, do arts and crafts, play games, and go on field trips. Who could ask for a better job?!?

Anyway, before our weekly meeting yesterday evening I managed to squeeze in a lower body (glutes, quadriceps/hamstrings, and calves) workout at the University gym. It was pretty short, but I powered through it fast making sure to take the shortest rests possible between sets. Below I will list the number of sets/reps I performed, but feel free to alter to your own preferences. Enjoy!

Circuit: 3 sets (8 reps)

  • Hack Squats (70 lbs)
  • Hamstring Curls (50 lbs)
  • Quadriceps Extensions (60 lbs)
  • Seated Calf Raises (45 lbs)
  • Deadlifts w/ (45 lb) Fixed Barbell  

Again, yes it is very very short BUT I was soaked in sweat and definitely sore today! I paired it with a quick mile on the elliptical with the intensity on 9. A great duo.

I wish you luck in all your health endeavors and hope you’re feeling as confident/motivated as I am and if not right now, just know you’ll get there with the right amount of effort. That being said, I also am going to provide you with some songs that accompanied me in this workout!

Mini Playlist:

  • Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  • All She Wants To Do Is Dance by Don Henley
  • My Sharona by The Knack
  • All Right Now by Free
  • Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran

You can tell where my music taste was yesterday! Whatever you choose to listen to and however you work out, just do it for you and have fun with it. It’s not meant to be something miserable, but something inspiring. Get to know your strengths!

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Fitness, Mental Health/Wellbeing

Lower Body – May 14th, 2018

I apologize for having disappeared from the blogging world for a few days. Between vacationing in Mexico and going to three day-long trainings for my new job, I had to spend my spare time sleeping and relaxing.

Today, however, is the start of a new week and I came in hot. Got a lot done around the house, workout out, napped, and hung out with my mom; I was in the zone! I definitely realized how bad I had needed rest.

It’s vital to remember to give yourself breaks every now and then. This goes for both mental and physical aspects. Allowing yourself to recharge becomes necessary when you live a modern life that revolves around getting things done and constantly moving.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so I wanted to base my content accordingly. Psychological health is often not given as much attention as it should get due to negative stigmas and stereotypes found in the media. By employers, teachers, family members, and even those with the disorders themselves, mental health can be ignored or repressed out of fear or denial.

Everyday I make sure to fight this cycle as I acknowledge my emotions and energy levels along with my overall physical health. I’ve stated this so many times before, but that’s because it’s not always known that your mental well being directly influences your physical well being.

Making small efforts to better the two simultaneously through things like exercise, reading, meditation, music, or anything else that makes you genuinely happy is progress towards your overall health.

That being said, if you decide to try out my leg day workout or a routine of your own, make it a goal to implement some mental exercise/care into your day as well.

Circuit One: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Dead-lifts w/ 2 (15 lb) Hand Weights — 12 reps
  • Stationary Lunges w/ 2 (15 lb) Hand Weights — 10 reps (each side!)
  • Sumo Squat w (20 lb) Hand Weight — 12 reps
  • Clam Shells w (15 lb) Hand Weight — 10 reps (each side!)

Circuit Two: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Side Leg Lifts w/ 2 (5 lb) Ankle Weights — 15 reps (each side!)
  • Super Man Leg Lifts w/ 2 (5 lb) Ankle Weights — 8 reps (each side!)
  • Crunches w/ (4 lb) Medicine Ball — 12 reps
  • Elbow-To-Knee Crunches — 12 reps (total!)
  • Ankle Touch — 20 reps (total!)

For cardio, I did 30 minutes on my cycle. I also made sure to stretch to avoid being super sore tomorrow.

Go at your own pace, change the sets/reps/weights when needed, and just make it your own. Throwing in some stretching and meditation would be a really good way to end this little routine out; speaking from experience ;).

Happy Monday and happy first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. Come back to my page or checkout my Instagram, @ereissen19, for more facts and information about mental health.

 

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Fitness, Mental Health/Wellbeing

Yoga, Meditation, and Breathing Exercises

When I am in desperate need of relaxation, it’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint what exactly can help me unwind. After trying various exercises and practices, I have found three stress relieving techniques that work for me every time. As always, it may be different for you and there’s so many different ways to chill out, mentally and physically. Just find what leaves you feeling the most refreshed!

The first thing I do when I’m stressed or strung out is yoga/stretching. I choose the style of yoga I would like to do at the moment based off what I feel my body and brain needs. Sometimes it has me sweating and gasping for breath, other times I focus on flexibility and a slow heart rate.

I turn to yoga to take care of myself in a natural, fun, and challenging way. Recently, I have even started to push myself to do daily flows just to better connect with my body and to have frequent stress relief.

The second thing I do when the pressure is on is meditate. It’s a soothing way to either release or confront anxieties and fears. This practice is rather new to me, but I have been doing more research. My university is also working with a company that produced a website called Calm Circle which acts as an online meditation guru. Using this tool is what sparked my interest in the more spiritual aspect of self reflection through meditation.

There are tons of apps, videos, etc. that can lead you into an easy meditation session if you ever wanted to try it out in the comfort of your own home. I highly recommend this technique if you struggle with anxiety, PTSD, and any other disorders or circumstances that involve tension. It may feel corny at first, but the farther you get into your experimentation with meditation, the more peaceful it becomes. You may even start to look forward to that 5/10 minutes a day; I know I do!

Lastly, I also utilize breathing techniques to relieve my anxiety. I have mentioned these types of activities before, but just wanted to revisit the topic.

These exercises slow the heart rate, place your focus on the rise and fall of your chest, and may help to see a situation in a more calm light. As breathing takes no special equipment, these techniques can be performed anywhere at any time which is why it is one of my favorites.

There are numerous different ways you can control/focus on your breath that can benefit you, you just have to search the web to find some you like. If you don’t want to get too fancy with it, simple in and out breathing is just as effective. Some is always better than none!

Overall, each of these practices is related in some way. Yoga involves both stretching as well as deep and focused breathing. The cool thing is that they can also be done separately if one part of the combination isn’t your forte or it isn’t a reasonable time for all three.

Every now and then I do just clump all three together, but I also have done each individually quite a few times and know they have the same “healing” or comforting factors. I haven’t found myself as benefiting from these techniques just anxiety wise, but contentment and energy wise as well.

Stress and mental illness can really drain a person. Through yoga, meditation, breathing, or all of the above, we can take care of our bodies and minds in gentle ways. Even if it takes a while to master the different actions, they’re all worth it as are all of the other practices out there. 32202870_10214910042898284_8830381309500063744_n

Fitness

Tuesday 5/1/2018 – Arms/Back/Chest Day

Happy May! Lately, the majority of my time has been taken up by family and school, but the craziness is sooooo close to being over for a few months! To anyone and everyone out there working, going to school, or pushing yourself in some other way every day: cheers! It takes a lot of determination, self control, and logical thinking.

When I workout directly before something like a final exam, I find that I concentrate better because I got some of my nerves out. It’s like with a baby or puppy, you wear them out so they aren’t too “hyper”.

Anyways, I had my second to last final of my Spring 2018 semester at ASU tonight and squeezed the following workout and 13.5 miles on the cycle in before it. There are other tips I suggest for unwinding before an important event/task which will appear in a later post.

As usual, if you try the workout please leave feedback and do it for you. I felt I needed to push myself a little harder than usual today and was immediately refreshed. Happy sweating and goal crushing!

Circuit One: round 1 (10 lb hand weights & 8 reps each)

  • Close Body Hammer Curl
  • Front Row
  • Elbow Squeeze
  • Shoulder Press

round 2 (8 lb hand weights & 10 reps each)

round 3 (5 lb hand weights & 12 reps each)

Circuit Two: round 1 (10 lb hand weights & 8 reps each)

  • Bent Over Tricep Extension
  • Bent Over Row
  • Bent Over Side Fly
  • Bicep Curl

round 2 (8 lb hand weights & 10 reps each)

round 3 (5 lb hand weights & 12 reps each)

Take this at your own pace, modify it, add to it, whatever you want to do! Just continue on with your journey and I am continuing on mine. It’s both mental and physical, so take care of yourself in every way you can.

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Fitness

Wednesday 4/25/2018 – Upper Body/Ab Day

Hello all! Today was arm/back/chest and ab day, and I am sore. Just like before, I am going to list the workout I did with my reps/sets as examples; go at your own pace. As always, if you feel pain, stop performing the exercise. You can also look online for modified versions of the move, alternatives, or explanations/demonstrations.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, all is welcome and very much appreciated. I am sharing my fitness journey in hopes of inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their own health goals.

One thing we do have influence over is our health, so why not build the best you inside and out. It’s a process, but the rewards of confidence, amazement, and knowing you do your best are way worth it.

Below is my upper body/ab workout. Enjoy!

Circuit One: 12 repetitions 2 sets

  • Side Arm Raise w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Front Row to Shoulder Press w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Bent Over Row w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights
  • Bent Over Side Fly w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights

Circuit Two: 2 sets (see below for reps)

  • Wide Hammer Curls w/ (two 5 lb) Hand Weights — 12 reps
  • Pull-Ups — 2 reps or until exhaustion
  • Chin-Ups — 2 reps or until exhaustion
  • Windmill — 12 reps (per side!)
  • Standing Weighted Twist — 24 (total!)

Personalize this workout by adjusting reps, weight, or sets or even add something new in! However you choose to burn some calories, make sure you enjoy it and listen to your body.

P.S. Sorry I had no music to share today, I finished the last season of New Girl on Netflix! My next workout post will definitely have some beats, and maybe even some photos!

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