Why I Keep Returning to the Gym Even Though I Am Not Losing The Desired Weight

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(After a recent workout at the gym, starting to see some results)

My body has not bounced back completely from pregnancy. It’s been a year since I had Alessandra. I honestly did not think it would be this hard to get back into shape. During my pregnancy, I Continue reading

Looking Good While Exercising = Feeling Good

As you know, I try to exercise often, to maintain my weight, but it is also part of my lifestyle. I feel better when I exercise – and sleep better, it also helps me de-stress! I try to find ways to make exercise fun. Lola, my close friend and exercise buddy, is part of that fun! We exercise together at least once a week.

I try to have a variety of exercise outfits that I like, and most importantly that I feel comfortable in. It makes me feel good to look good (& comfortable), even when I am exercising. Lola is the same way. Every once in a while, she’ll show up with a new exercise polo, cute top, or complete outfit! I mostly wear exercise tank tops and black leggings. Last week, I was looking for some new sports bras and went to TJ Maxx because the store is close to the gym, plus my friend Edna had mentioned a necklace she bought there. I hadn’t been to that store in years. To my pleasant surprise, I found a few other nice items…and this cute RBX Active exercise top (only $14.99), all at great prices! I liked the exercise top so much, that I bought one to give to Lola as a gift!

Yesterday, when I walked into her home, she immediately complimented me on my new exercise top. I said thank you and then gave her a gift bag. Inside was the exercise top for her! She started to laugh and even her husband got a kick out of it. This is not the first time I do this, in the past, I have given her exercise tops & outfits that I also buy for myself, but this was the first time I was also wearing that same item.

I have a few favorite exercise tops and pants, and it seems I wash them every week. But, I promised myself I will start using the exercise clothes at the bottom of my drawers, to add variety to my exercise ensembles.

Do you have any favorite exercise outfits? Do you feel better when you exercise in cute outfits? I’d love to hear about them – and you can also share pictures along with your comment 🙂

Hugs,

Paola

POST PHOTOS, click “Read More” & ESPAÑOL oprima en “Read More”

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #7

Hi friends,

Finding the motivation to exercise, will help us get active and hopefully keep us healthy – and help us maintain our weight. The main reason I exercise if for well-being (for health, happiness, & to de-stress) and the second to maintain my weight. It is not always easy to motivate myself to exercise, so I’ve been sharing the tricks I use. Here’s trick #7 – Exercise on weekends. Hope you find it motivating!

Do you exercise on weekends? When do you prefer to exercise? Do you have any tricks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Hugs,

Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise #7: Exercise on Weekends

Generally, on weekends we have more free time, that is if you work a Monday through Friday schedule, like I do. So, weekends are a good time to get in some exercise! If you like sports, you can play tennis, basketball, go surfing, swimming, or any sport that gets you out there being active and breaking a sweat. My hubby and I were playing racquetball for a few months and it is a great workout, plus it’s fun! You can also go for a bike ride or get out there to throw a ball with your children or friends. If you jog, on the weekends you can jog as far as you want! I prefer to walk and on weekends, I can take more scenic walks and not be as concerned about how long the walk will take.  Or, you could also go for a walk on a beach or a hiking trail. Or, if you have a membership to a gym, you can take a class. I like to go to Zumba classes on weekends, usually in the mid-mornings. Many people like to take a yoga class on weekends, to help them stretch and de-stress from the workweek.

If your children play a sport on the weekend, you could try to go for a walk around the field before or after the game. I used to do that when my hubby was helping coach my nieces’s soccer team. I’d out on my Ipod and walk around the field a few times, then watch her play.  If you have little one’s, you could go for a walk and push them on a stroller. I’ve done that with my nephews and they enjoy getting out of the house and seeing the scenery, plus we all get some fresh air. If the weather is too warm or cold, you can exercise to a DVD. I’ve done that with my sister and we have fun dancing to a Zumba DVD!

I know, on weekends we want to disconnect and relax, but if you exercise, even just a little bit, you will feel better and sleep better! Remember, if you can, try to carve out a little time for yourself to stay active and healthy!

Hugs,

Paola 

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Lola and I recently went for  walk at Balboa Park on a weekend, we chatted, enjoyed the beautiful Park, and had fun while exercising!

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I’ll exercise at the gym on weekends, even a few minutes on a bike can get my heart pumping!

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You could go for a jog.

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Take a walk.

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Go swimming.

lola-paola-exercise-bay-150x150Here is another picture of Lola and me on one of our walks, this one was by the bay in downtown San Diego.

A Beautiful Stroll at Balboa Park

Hi friends,

There are many ways to stay active! One of my favorite ways is to walk. I prefer walks outside. I find them relaxing and a great way to clear my mind, to get some fresh air and de-stress. The walks I enjoy the most are with friends! Lola is my exercise buddy and we try to go for speed walks at least one to three times per week. I have written about these walks before. We have fun every time, we catch up on our lives, chat about a million topics, we call it our “therapy time,” and for me it has become “me” time.  Most of the time we walk by the bay downtown and Little Italy, where Lola lives. Downtown is close to my office and easy to drive to after work, then I head home afterwards.

We like to periodically mix it up and walk at other locations. Balboa Park is one of our favorite places to walk at. It also happens to be close to downtown and there is ample free parking, which is a plus. Balboa Park is a beautiful public park with many museums, art studios, restaurants, event venues, fountains, and attractions. It is very green with lots of plants! It makes for a scenic walk and there is always interesting people walking. It is a tourist attraction, but also a popular for locals. There are beautiful venues and buildings where brides and quinceañeras take pictures.

Last Friday, Lola and I decided to go for a walk at Balboa Park. The weather was nice and warm, it was the perfect way to unwind from a long week at work, and also get some fresh air while we got in some exercise! We walked for a little more than one hour. In case you are wondering, here’s our route: we  parked in the Federal Lot located at Park Boulevard and Presidents Way (behind the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum), walked northeast on the sidewalk along the Organ Pavilion parking lot, walked into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, continued north towards the San Diego Museum of Art, walked past the fountain heading east towards the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, walked around the fountain heading north past the San Diego National History Museum, turned west towards the San Diego Zoo, turned south and walked through the Spanish Village Art Studio, headed south past the San Diego National History Museum, walked into the Zoro Garden, headed west back towards the San Diego Museum of Art, then south towards the San Diego Aerospace Museum, walked all the way to the Museum, turned around and walked north past the Starlight Bowl, turned right at the Hall of Champions towards the Federal parking lot. We ended the walk with a cool down walk around the parking lot & some stretches….we kept chatting the entire time, ha!

So, next time you have an opportunity, visit Balboa Park or a park near you – enjoy the scenery and get active! Stretch your legs and get some fresh air!

Here are some pictures from our walk, hope you like them!

Do you visit parks in your area? Which park is your favorite? Do you go for walks, if yes, where? Have you been to Balboa Park?

Hugs,

Paola

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We started our walk close to the San Diego Hall of Champions and headed north.

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There were a few groups of people taking pictures at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

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We said hi to photographer Aron Martinez. I have worked with him on the Quinceañera Expo.

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He was photographing a bride and her bridesmaids.

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We also saw a Quinceañera getting her photos taken.

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I stopped to use the restroom and when I came out, Lola was taking this picture. Can you see what she was photographing? Look close in the sky.

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It is the moon….do you see it?

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Lola stopped to take a picture. There are palm trees throughout the Park.

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The Park is so green, beautiful!

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It has amazing hallways and walkways!

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The San Diego Museum of Art was set-up for the Art Live charity event.

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We walked past the fountain.

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The architecture is amazing!

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There were lots of families enjoying the Park.

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This is the fountain in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, one of my favorite spots at the Park!

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No, we didn’t go inside the Zoo, these are giraffe sculptures located at the Miniature Railroad.

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One of the entrances to the Spanish Village Art Studios.DSCN9194 DSCN9195 DSCN9196 DSCN9199 DSCN9198

Sculptures of flamenco dancers in the Spanish Village Art Studios area.DSCN9202 DSCN9203 DSCN9204

We walked into the Zoro Garden (also a butterfly garden). DSCN9205

There are lots of flowers around the Park.

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We stopped for a picture in front of the Lily Pond.

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This couple saw us getting our picture taken and asked us to take their picture. They were tourists and had just gotten engaged! The fiancé (groom) had planned it, so he would propose to her at Balboa Park, so romantic! Lola took multiple pictures for them.

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There are a few statues around the Park.

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And art sculptures.DSCN9217

A little boy was playing on this art sculpture.

DSCN9220We walked past the Japanese Friendship Garden.

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This is the cafe located at the entrance of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

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We saw this antique classic car waiting for a wedding couple that was getting their picture taken.

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We walked past the Spreckles Organ Pavilion again, on our way towards the southwest side of the Park.

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We walked into the area where the House of Pacific Relations Cottages are located. They are open and have free cultural events or performances almost every Sunday.

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We saw lots of beautiful flowers during our Walk at Balboa Park!

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One Less Hour

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Hi friends,

Today, we will set our clock forward one hour for daylight savings time. It got me thinking about what I would change if everyday I had one less hour in my day. How would I adapt my schedule and activities? I would probably have one less hour of leisure time every evening. We have all made adjustments in our schedules when life changes occur. Sometimes, these are for positive changes in our lives. For example, I have less free time to spend with my friends now that I am married, but as much as I miss my friends, I gladly made the change because I want to spend time with my husband. Many people make adjustments to their daily schedules when they have children, make career changes, care for a loved one, or even to exercise more or study if they want to reach a goal (I know I cut my exercise and sleeping times short when I was studying my MBA).

It also got me thinking about what I would do if I had an additional hour everyday. Ah, that sounds magnificent! I often say, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – for the hours I need (want) to dedicate to my career, time I want to spend with family and friends, write more blog posts, read a book, exercise, organize items at home….sleep sufficiently, etc., etc. Then, I started thinking about exactly what I would ENJOY doing if I had an extra hour every day?  With an extra hour, I would probably….sleep an extra 15 – 30 minutes on weeknights, exercise every morning – even if just for 15 minutes, and of course spend more time with my hubby and family or friends (even if just a quick phone call to say hi). I’d also like to be able to spend more time on my blog, so I may give up the extra sleep time to write a daily post (even though each post takes me about one to two hours, not 15 minutes). If I had an extra few minutes left, I may read a book or a magazine, if not every day, maybe once or twice a week.

What would you ENJOY doing if you had an ADDITIONAL hour everyday?

What would you adjust in your schedule if you had one LESS hour everyday?

Hugs,

Paola

PS – Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, starting at 2:00 am local time. You an still sleep an extra hour though, it is a Sunday after all, or as we say sometimes refer to it in Spanish, “duermingo” which combines duermo = to sleep and the last five letters in  domingo = Sunday 🙂   Have a great rest of your weekend!

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Tricks To Motivate Myself To Exercise: #6

Hi friends – Happy Wednesday! I am continuing the Exercise Motivation Tricks Series. This is trick #6 that I use to motivate myself to exercise! I was out of town last week and that threw me off my exercise routine, so I haven’t been getting many workouts lately. I may use this trick this week to jump start my metabolism this week!

What exercise tricks do you use?

Hugs,

Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself To Exercise: #6 Use Exercise Videos

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I have a few exercise DVD videos that I use to exercise at home. I also use them when I travel and I know it may not be possible to exercise outside or at the hotel gym. When the weather isn’t nice outside, I have used these videos to exercise at my sister and my friend Lola’s house.

Currently, my favorite exercise videos are the Zumba DVDs. They are fun & the music just gets you  dancing. How can you listen to salsa and bachata, and not start moving your hips and shoulders? It is like a natural reflex for me. Maybe because I am Hispanic, haha. I also like exercise videos because I can do them at any time of the day and on any day of the week. Also, if I only have fifteen  minutes to exercise, then I just do fifteen minutes of the video and simply press stop. Fifteen minutes of exercise is better than not doing any exercise at all. It is good to get our bodies moving! It also helps our mood (gets us in a better mood), and gets the endorphins and metabolism going! When I use DVDs to exercise in the mornings, I simply get up, put the Zumba DVD in and the music starts playing while I change into exercise clothes. I put the volume high, once I hear the music I am ready to Zumba! Even on mornings when I am feeling sluggish, I may  not do the exercises 100% correctly or at full cardio level, but at least I am moving and that alone gets me feeling more energetic, before I know it, I am smiling!

DVDs are a convenient way to exercise, it’s like taking a class at a gym, but in the comfort of your home. In my opinion, they should also be fun. I have  few more intense exercise videos, like toning DVDs, and some hard core abs and boot camp videos. I have used those DVDs a few times, but honestly, they aren’t much fun for me.  Zumba is fun for me because I like to dance and it includes lots of dancing. I also like using my yoga DVDs when I feel a need to relax , stretch, and reflect. Everyone is different though, one of my friends really likes her butt toning videos and she is disciplined about doing them a few times each week, those are quite hard core for me! What matters is that you like the video and the exercises, and that you get the workout.

So, if you don’t have exercise DVDs and you think this is may be a type of exercise you may enjoy, then get some! The videos aren’t expensive, most cost between $10 – $25. You can find them at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, sporting stores, and you can also buy them on-line. If you aren’t certain which video you may like, you can do a little research on-line and preview some videos beforehand. You can also preview exercise videos on YouTube.

Hope this exercise trick will help motivate you to exercise!

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This is a picture from a charity walk I participated in (I am the person to the farthest right, in the second row). Our team was on stage to kick-off the walk with a warm up and it was Zumba! It was a fun way to get the walk started!

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #5

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #4

 

 

 

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: #5

Hi friends, it’s hump day…ok, Wednesday, already the middle of the week, just two more workdays to go in this short week 🙂

This is Trick #5 that I use to Motivate Myself to Exercise. Hope you like it! Leave your comments below – let me know what you think and if you like this series.

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #5: Exercise At Lunch Time

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This trick can be an easy way to get in some exercise during your day, particularly if you are rushing in the mornings and/or unable to exercise in the evenings. One of my friends that has an infant tells me that the lunch break during her workday is pretty much the only time she has to exercise. She will walk around the neighborhood close to work for about 30 minutes. She told me this makes her feel like she is getting some exercise in her day and that makes her feel better, not only physically, but also emotionally.

For me, exercising at lunch time is not always possible since I often work through lunch (I know, not good) because I have so much to do, or I’ll have a shoot or meeting scheduled at that time. I have tried it on and off depending on my schedule, and in addition to getting a workout, I find it to be a nice way to get a break in my workday. I’ll go to a gym located close to work, change into workout clothes quickly, and usually do about 20 – 30 minutes on the treadmill or bicycle, followed by stretching. Then, I will change quickly and rush back to work. I don’t have time to take a class because those are an hour long. The treadmill works for me because I don’t jog, I speed walk, so I don’t really break too much of a sweat. I do feel my heart beating and can feel the cardio. The important thing is that I am moving, getting some physical activity.

The television stations where I work are located in a somewhat secluded area (not downtown) and the entire building and parking lot area is gated, plus it is next to a freeway. So, walking around the neighborhood would be kind of hard to do. The parking lot is large, so some of my colleagues walk around the parking lot at lunch time (it circles the building). Some wear casual attire or hats to block the sun. Others just put on tennis shoes and walk in their work attire (business casual attire). I haven’t done this yet, but have been considering it lately. It seems like a good and easy way to get in some walking throughout the day. This week, I took a pair of tennis shoes to work and left them in a cabinet. This way, they are handy if I decide to go for a quick walk around the building. Maybe I will ask one of my colleagues if she wants to join me for a walk, an exercise buddy would make it even better!

If you can, try to exercise at lunch time. Maybe start with a walk around the block, or like me, go to a gym or the YMCA close by. Maybe start with one day per week and work up to more days. If you work from home or are a stay at home mom, you can also try to walk at lunch time. If you make it part of your routine and turn it into a habit, you will look forward to it. And for those of you that can take more than an your for lunch time (lucky), many gyms offer exercise classes at lunch time.

Do you exercise at lunch time? Do you think you could motivate yourself to exercise at lunch time?

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I took this pic recently, as I was leaving the gym after doing some exercise at lunch time. I left feeling great!

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I wish I worked in this building (a resort in Orlando), they have a beautiful walking path 🙂 Do you work close to a walking path?

Pictured above is a walking path located in downtown San Diego, close to many office buildings and homes.

ESPAÑOL: Estrategia Para Motivarte a Hacer Ejercicio #5: Haz Ejercicio a la Hora del Almuerzo

La estrategia de hacer ejercicio durante la hora del almuerzo es una manera practica de añadir actividad física durante el día. Es buena idea para personas que no les es posible hacer ejercicio en las mañanas o al salir del trabajo.

Yo trato de hacerlo, particularmente cuando se que tendré un compromiso en la noche al salir del trabajo. Me pongo unos tenis que guardo en la oficina, una visera, y salgo a caminar alrededor de la televisora. Me sirve como un descanso y distracción durante mi día de trabajo que esta lleno de juntas, grabaciones, y demás. Trato de caminar con una compañera de trabajo, así platicamos y es mas divertido. Me pongo de acuerdo con ella y confirmamos la hora el día anterior o esa misma mañana. Así, tengo un compromiso con ella y me forzó a mi misma a salir a caminar. De otra manera, es fácil seguir trabajando durante la hora del almuerzo y decir, “mas tarde iré a caminar” y ese mas tarde nunca se da. Si no puedo caminar media hora, al menos camino quince minutos. Es mejor hacer un poco de ejercicio que no hacer nada de actividad física.

Si tengo una hora de almuerzo, voy a un gimnasio que queda cerca de mi trabajo y hago treinta minutos de ejercicio ligero. Después, me cambio rápidamente y regreso al trabajo.

Lo importare es moverse e incorporar la actividad física diariamente a nuestras vidas. Mantenernos activos nos ayuda a sentirnos mejor, no solo físicamente, si no también emocionalmente.

¿Tu haces ejercicio durante la hora del almuerzo? ¿Crees que sea algo que puedas incorporar a tu día? ¡Intentalo!

Un abrazo,
Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: Trick #4

Hi friends, hope your weekend is going well! Do you have special plans for your long weekend?

Here’s Trick #4 from the series Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise. Hope you like it.

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #4: Exercise at Gym Close to Work or Home

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Going to a gym that is located close to work or home really works for me! It is convenient and practical. I am a member of 24Hour Fitness, I have been for about 10 years! The membership I have is for multiple locations, pretty much all their gyms in various cities. I usually go to the gym after work and take the classes. I know the schedules for the fitness classes at the gyms close to work and don’t always make it for the entire hour, but know that it is better to exercise for forty-five or thirty minutes, than to not exercise at all. Another option is to use the equipment to exercise, such as a treadmill, elliptical, or bicycle. An item that helps me pass the time when I exercise on equipment is a magazine, book, or my IPod. I always have a magazine in my car and my IPod in my purse. Before I know it, I’ve gotten at least 30 minutes of cardio and walked two miles!

Every once in a while I’ll go to the gym located about two miles from the station at lunch time and walk on a treadmill for thirty minutes and stretch for five minutes, freshen up & change, then rush back to work. I get a pretty light work out because I don’t really want to get to sweaty since I go back to work afterwards. I try to go to the gym at lunch time at least one or two times per week, particularly if I know I will not be able to exercise that evening. Exercising regularly at lunch time can be challenging for me because sometimes I have shoots or meetings at lunch time, but mostly because I often work through lunch time (which is not good, but such is life).

On weekends, I’ll try to go to gyms close to home. I’ll take a class or use the equipment. My husband also has a membership to 24Hour Fitness and it helps (me) when I can motivate him to go to the gym with me, somehow it also motivates me to know he is going with me. Every once in a while, I’ll go to the gym close to home on weekday mornings, but the classes offered are at 5:00 am, which is usually about an hour too early for me. Sometimes, I’ll go to the gym in the mornings and just get on the treadmill or elliptical for a quick workout. When I do make it to the gym in the mornings, I feel great the rest of the day, full of energy! Exercising in the mornings is also good for your metabolism, more on that in another post.

Do you have a gym membership? Which gym do you go to? Do you have a favorite class you take or do you use the equipment? Do you go to the gym in the mornings, lunch time, or evenings?

 In the picture above, I was stretching after exercising on the treadmill at the gym.

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When I want to get in some light exercise, I use the bicycles. It is simple and I can read while I get a workout (or catch up with  friend on the phone), which helps the time go by faster. Before I know it, I will have gone a few miles on the bicycle and gotten thirty minutes of exercise.

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I keep print outs of the exercise class schedules from the gyms located close to work and home handy, so I can quickly see which class I can attend on a certain day. I keep them in a cabinet at work, in the glove compartment of my car, and the nightstand in my bedroom at home.

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: Tip #3

Hi friends , Happy Saturday – hope you are enjoying your day! This is the third tip from the series Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise. Hopefully you are liking the series. If you have tips that work for you , share them below!

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #3: Find a Workout Class You Like

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Exercise classes are a wonderful and fun way to exercise! I go to a few 24 Hour Fitness gyms, either close to work or home. I periodically print out the class schedules and highlight my favorite classes: Zumba & Yoga. I keep them in a special red folder in a file cabinet at my desk at work and in the glove compartment of my car. This may seem a bit much, but hey, it works for me. I have so much on my mind, it helps to have the schedules handy when I want to look up a class to attend. I also add the classes that I am most likely to attend on my Outlook electronic schedule (I easily have access to the schedule from my cel phone). I add classes that are held on weekday evenings for the gyms close to work. I add a few options because I don’t always leave work at the same time, if I miss the first evening class, I know an hour later there is another class available. I add classes held on weekend for the gyms which are close to home. It helps me remember the times and locations the classes are held at.

Attending classes I like makes it fun to exercise. I know with Zumba, I will dance and enjoy the music! I’ll break a sweat, get lots of cardio, and always leave with a smile and feeling great! With yoga, I know I will stretch and balance, and always leave feeling relaxed. I’ve also become familiar with some of the instructors and have my favorite classes.

Do you have any favorite classes you attend?

Hugs,

Paola

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This picture was taken as I was leaving the gym after a Zumba class! After a long day at work, a Zumba class makes me feel good & even re-energized! I get my endorphins going & feel great!

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ESPAÑOL:

Estrategias para Motivarte a Hacer Ejercicio: #3 Clases de Ejercicio Que Te Gusten

¡Las clases de ejercicio son una manera divertida y buena de hacer ejercicio! Yo voy a los gimnasios 24 Hour Fitness que están cerca de mi casa y del trabajo. Periódicamente imprimo los horarios de las clases de ejercicio y marco mis favoritas: Zumba y Yoga. Mantengo los horarios en un folder en mi oficina y en la gauntera de mi carro. Quizás parezca demasiado tenerlos en dos lugares, pero a mi me funciona. Tengo una agenda ocupada y muchas cosas en la mente, así que me ayuda tener los horarios de las clases a la mano cuando quiero ver las opciones disponibles.

También agrego las clases a las cuales es mas probable que vaya en mi calendario electrónico. De esta manera tengo acceso al horario por medio de mi celular. Agrego clases que se llevan a cabo en las tardes en los gimnasios que quedan cerca del trabajo. Agrego clases que se llevan a cabo los fines de semana en gimnasios que quedan cerca de mi casa. Esto me ayuda bastante, son recordatorios de donde y a que hora son las clases, y me ayuda a organizar mi día de tal manera que logro acomodar el tiempo para hacer ejercicio.

¡Tomar clases que nos gustan hace que el ejercicio sea divertido! Se que con Zumba bailaré y disfrutaré la música. Voy a sudar, haré cardio, y siempre salgo con una sonrisa y sintiéndome excelente! Con Yoga, se que me estiraré y haré ejercicios de equilibrio, salgo sintiéndome relajada.

¿Vas a alguna clase de ejercicio? Cual es tu favorita?

Un abrazo,
Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise: Trick #2

Hi friends – this is Trick #2 of the series: Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise

Hugs,

Paola

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Trick #2: Change into Exercise Clothes at Work

I always have my gym bag in the car. If I plan to exercise after work, I will take my gym bag out of the car with me when I arrive at the station in the morning. This way, when I am done with work, I’ll change at the restrooms at the television station before I leave work. If I am in exercise clothes, I feel motivated and prepared to exercise (ok, sometimes it is more like forced to go exercise ;)). It is like changing from my “work uniform” (outfit) to my “exercise uniform.” Make sense? A few times, I have said, “oh, I’ll change at the gym or go to the store first, then the gym and change there”….and you know what happens, I don’t go to the gym. Somehow between leaving the station parking lot and getting on the freeway I decide to pass the freeway off ramp for the gym and keep driving straight home (and don’t exercise that day). But, when I am wearing my exercise clothes, I go straight to the gym. Maybe it is a state of mind, but putting on the exercise clothes automatically motivates me to exercise. Then, when I arrive at the gym, I start exercising (usually Zumba), get my endorphins going, and leave feeling happy and wonderful!

Do you have a gym bag? Do you change at work to head straight to exercise after work?

Tip: I have multiple of exercise outfits (pants, tops, and jackets) , a few pairs of tennis shoes, and many socks. This way, I always have exercise clothes and socks available in my drawers, making it easy to pack my gym bag daily. I use one pair of tennis shoes as my “gym bag” tennis shoes, this way I don’t need to be taking them out of the gym bag in the car when I need tennis shoes while at home or if I decide to exercise on the weekends.

If you would like to read the post regarding Tip #1, click here.

ESPAÑOL: Estrategia #2: Cambiarme a Ropa Deportiva en el Trabajo
Siempre tengo mi mochila para el gimnasio en el auto. Si planeo hacer ejercicio después de mi día de trabajo, bajo mi mochila para el gimnasio del auto al llegar a la televisora en la mañana. De esta manera, al terminar mi trabajo, me cambio de ropa en los vestidores de la televisora antes de salir del edificio. ¡Si estoy vestida con ropa deportiva, me siento motivada y preparada para hacer ejercicio! Es como cambiarme de mi “uniforme de trabajo” a mi “uniforme de ejercicio.” ¿Suena lógico? Algunas veces he dicho, “me cambiaré en el gimnasio, o iré a la tienda primero y de ahí al gimnasio donde me podré cambiar de ropa.” ¿Y saben que pasa? No voy al gimnasio. De alguna manera (muy misteriosa por cierto) entre salir del estacionamiento de la televisora y subirme al freeway, decidí pasarme la salida del gimnasio y seguí manejando directamente a mi casa. Como resultado, ese día ya no hice ejercicio. ¡Quizás es la manera como funciona mi mente, pero ponerme ropa deportiva automáticamente me motiva a hacer ejercicio! Y cuando llego al gimnasio, comienzo a escuchar la música, a hacer ejercicio, bailar en la clase de Zumba, comienzan a andar mis endorfinas, y termino sintiéndome contenta y de maravilla!

Tengo varios compañeros de trabajo que usan esta estrategia. Veo que salen de la televisora vestidos con ropa deportiva y listos para hacer ejercicio. ¡A ellos les funciona y a mi también!

Otro Consejo: Tengo varias prendas de ropa deportiva, unos cuantos pares de tenis, y muchas calcetas. De esta manera, siempre tengo ropa deportiva y calcetas en los cajones en casa, y así me es fácil preparar la mochila diario para el gimnasio. Utilizo un par de tenis como el par para “la mochila para el gimnasio” y de esta manera no tengo que estar sacando los tenis del auto cuando estoy en casa y necesito tenis, o si decido hacer ejercicio el fin de semana.

¡Hacer ejercicio no solo es bueno para nuestro cuerpo, también es bueno para nuestro bienestar emocional y nuestra alma!

¿Tienes mochila para el gimnasio? ¿Te cambias en el trabajo para irte directo a hacer ejercicio después de tu jornada laboral?

Tambien los invito a que nos conectemos por medio de Facebook/Paola-Hernandez-Jiao.

Un abrazo,
Paola

Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise : Trick #1

Hi friends,

Hope you had a nice weekend! The New Year has started and one of the most common new year’s resolutions people make is to exercise more and/or lose weight. If you follow my blog, you know I like to exercise, but I have to motivate myself to exercise. I don’t have a huge urge to exercise, but always feel better after I do it. I often wish I was like those people who wake up in the mornings with a huge urge and motivation to go for a jog, but I am just simply not like that. But, if I don’t exercise for  a few days, I do feel the urge and need to exercise, at least go for a long walk! I sometimes have to trick myself into exercising. By trick, I mean I use different techniques to motivate myself to exercise. I exercise mostly to be healthy, it is also a  good stress reliever for me, and of course, helps me stay in shape and fit into my jeans (always a plus)! I also love chocolate and certain snacks, exercising allows me to treat myself every one in a while and not have to deprive myself of my favorite foods.

I am going to write a series of 10 Tricks I Use to Motivate Myself to Exercise. I will list them in the order in which I enjoy them most and do them most often. Hope you enjoy reading about these and how they work for me….and if you need extra motivation to exercise, hopefully these will work for you too!

Do you have any tricks you use to motivate yourself to exercise? What are they?

Was exercising more often one of your New Year’s Resolutions?

Hugs,

Paola

Trick #1: Have an Exercise Buddy 

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My exercise buddy is my bff Lola. One of the first blog posts I wrote was about the positive things related to having an exercise buddy. As we get older and have more responsibilities (such as a full-time job, spouse to spend time with, dinner to make, errands to run, a house to clean, kids, pets, etc., etc.) we have less time to spend with friends. Spending time with friends brings happiness and a sense of belonging to our lives! On the days I exercise with Lola, I look forward to the end of the workday and to seeing her because I know I will enjoy my time with her. We usually exercise after work, we set a date ahead of time and stick to it (but if an urgent matters comes up and we need to change the date the other understands).  Or main form of exercise is going for long speed walks by the bay downtown. We meet at Lola’s home and go for a long walk. During our walks, we talk about everything, we catch up on our lives! We laugh and we confide in each other. I never get bored of walking the same route (even though we do change it up every once in a while), because I am having fun with my friend! We call it our therapy. We laugh, we talk, and we walk! Sometimes, I may be having a very stressful day at work, but once I get to Lola’s home, I immediately de-stress, I can vent with her about my day or not even bring it up because once I get there we have some many other good things to talk about that I am able to leave the stress of my day behind.

Having an exercise buddy is a good way to motivate oneself to exercise!  If you know someone is waiting for you, so you can exercise together, you are more likely to show up and exercise. Plus, if your exercise buddy is a good friend you enjoy spending time with, you know you will have a good time and it will be fun! So, you have so much fun that before you realize it, you have already walked a few miles and gotten a good workout! Exercising with a friend is not only good for your body, it is also good for your soul!

If you would like to read the blog post I wrote about having an Exercise Buddy, click here.

Do you have an exercise buddy?

 

Mixing It Up

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Lola (bff) and I have been exercising together for more than seven years now, mostly speed walks. This week, we decided to mix it up a bit and go to the pool. She lives in one of the nicest buildings downtown and they have a great lap pool! We have only gone to the pool area once, years ago, and that was to use the jacuzzi, haha. Yesterday we went into the pool, for the first time! We were the only one’s there, so we had the pool all to ourselves. The weather was very warm and the water was just the right temperature. She jumped in, it took me a few minutes to first wet my feet, then get into the pool. We had a good workout threading through water, doing kicks on the edge, acqua jogging around the pool, and doing our version of water aerobics. Most importantly, we had fun – and we were still able to catch up while we exercised! We kept saying, “this was a great idea, we need to do this again!” We felt like kids in the pool! We exercised for about an hour, then spent the last ten minutes in the jacuzzi and left super relaxed! I think I worked different leg muscles because I felt the workout on my legs when I was getting ready to go to sleep. We will definitely be doing this workout again….soon!

So, if you are looking for a way to mix up your exercise routine try a pool! It is also a much softer workout on your knees, hips, back, and arms than other aerobic workouts. You don’t need equipment, just a bathing suit and the desire to stay active!

Do you do water aerobics?

Hugs,

Paola

Lola y yo hemos hecho ejercicio juntas por mas de siete anos, por lo regular son caminatas rápidas. Esta semana, decidimos cambiare un poco a la rutina y fuimos a la alberca. Ella vive en uno de los edificios mas bonitos en el centro de San Diego y tienen una alberca muy padre! Solo habíamos ido al área de la alberca una vez en el pasado, y eso fue hace anos y para entrar al jacuzzi, jaja! Ayer, nos metimos a la alberca. Eramos las únicas en el área de la alberca, así que tuvimos toda la alberca para solo nosotras dos. Estaba haciendo bastante calor y el agua estaba a una temperatura agradable. Lola se metió de un tiro, yo primero me moje los pies, luego me fui metiendo poco a poco. Tuvimos una buena sesión de ejercicio, trotando alrededor de la alberca, pataleando de la orilla, y haciendo nuestra propia versión de aqua aerobics. Lo mas importante es que nos divertimos – y pudimos platicar para ponernos al tanto de nuestras vidas mientras hacíamos ejercicio! Varias veces dijimos, “que buena idea, tenemos que hacer esto mas seguido!” Nos sentíamos como niñas en la alberca! Hicimos como una hora de ejercicio y de ahí nos pasamos al jacuzzi por diez minutos, salimos sintiéndonos super relajadas! Creo que trabaje diferentes músculos en las piernas porque pude sentir el ejerció en la noche cuando me estaba recostando para dormir. Definitivamente vamos a hacer esta sesión de ejercicio de nuevo….pronto!

Así que si estas buscando una opción para variar tu rutina de ejercicio, ve a una alberca! Hacer ejercicio en una alberca tambien es mas suave en tus rodillas, piernas, brazos, y espalda que otros tipos de ejercicios aerobicos. No necesitas equipo especial, solo un traje de bano y las ganas de mantenerte activo!

Tu practicas aqua aerobics?

Un abrazo,

Paola

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Summer Bay Surprise

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Lola and I were on our regular walk by the bay and saw lots of beautiful sailboats! I had seen them before, but this time decided to stop and just appreciate the beauty of our bay and these boats! Lola told me they are part of the Annual Beer Can Race Series. I did some research when I arrived at home and this tradition has been going on for 34 years. It was started by a group of friends that did not want to wait until the weekend to sail, so they started sailing every Wednesday. It has grown over the years, they really isn’t drinking involved while they sail, but there is a trophy for the winner. Every Wednesday, beginning around Memorial Day in May and through the beginning of August (Aug 7 this year), many sailboats fill the bay for this competition. It is a beautiful, breathtaking scene, particularly the stretch with the Coronado Bridge in the background! The races begin at 6pm in the center of Harbor Island, spectators can get a good view from Shelter Island, Harbor Island or Seaport Village. We saw it while we walked on the bay & stopped at Seaport Village to take these pictures.

Enjoying the beauty of these sailboats on the bay reminded me of how fortunate we are to live in San Diego! We live in an amazing city, with such beauty! It is nice to enjoy in the amenities we have….and take time out our day for a nice walk by the bay during a warm, summer afternoon!

Let’s get out there and enjoy summertime! We only have a few more weeks of summer left, let’s not take them for granted!

Have you seen these sailboats on the bay? Do you have other summer tips for easy & free outings?

Hugs,

Paola

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Zumba Motivation!

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This was taken today, just outside the gym after completing a Zumba class – that is a huge smile on my face! Can you see the dewy glow I have on my face  (ok, the dewy look is really from sweat & the glow is from the work out)!

I am always looking for ways to stay motivated to exercise! I find Zumba to be a fun way to get a work out & it keeps me motivated! I wasn’t feeling like exercising today, but forced myself to drive to the gym after work for a Zumba class. I know every single time I do Zumba, I will feel good, smile, and have fun! Really, every single time, it never fails to make me smile, sing, and gets my endorphins going, so I feel happy! Unlike other exercise classes that can be grueling, Zumba is fun, you dance, that’s it!

Do you remember how much you like dancing? Zumba will remind you. The Latin rhythms automatically get your hips and shoulders moving! Before you know it, you are singing along and moving to the rhythm of the music. Even if you don’t know all the steps, you can go at your pace and the more often you go, the more you will learn the steps. Most routines are repetitions of the same four or five steps.  According to dietandfitnesstoday.com, you can burn between 400 – 500 calories in one hour of exercising to Zumba. That is pretty good! It is mostly a cardio, aerobic workout but there are also specialized Zumba classes for abs and toning (I’ll include more about that in another post).

For those of you that are not familiar with Zumba, it was founded in 2001, by Beto Perez, it’s is described on Zumba.com as a global lifestyle brand, which fuses fitness, entertainment, and culture into a dance fitness solution. It is a latin inspired, easy to follow, calorie burning, dance fitness party! It is used in 151 countries, by 141 million people, in 140,000 locations. Wow, I was aware it is popular, but those statistics amazed me! I admire Beto for his entrepreneurial spirit to make his invention a success!

It really is like a party, some instructors even bring dj style spinning color lights to the class. The songs aren’t all Latin either. I usually take Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness gyms and the instructors also mix in hip hop, rap, african, and even hawaiian songs and rhythms. I have been exercising to Zumba for about 6 years and still love it! I even have the DVDs (available for purchase at Zumba.com) and do the videos at home. Sometimes, if I don’t have lots of time in the morning or weekend, but want to exercise, I will do three songs on the cardio DVD and the cool down. It takes about 15 minutes, but it is amazing how energized I feel when I start my day exercising! The cool down serves as my morning stretches. I’ve even taken the DVDs to my friend Lola’s and sister’s homes, and we’ve exercised in their living rooms to the DVDs. I admit it, by now I know the songs to the exercise routines on the DVDs!

So, next time you are not feeling very motivated to exercise, go to a Zumba class or put on the DVD! Trust me, you will start to dance and exercise! You will be smiling, have fun, & feel better! Think of it as an opportunity to dance, in comfortable clothes and tennis shoes, and without having to worry about how much you sweat! You will actually be glad you are breaking a sweat, it means you are getting a workout & burning calories! Plus, you may learn some steps that you can use on the dance floor at the next wedding, Quinceanera, or party!

Have you taken a Zumba class before? Do you like Zumba as much as I do? I am even getting motivated and excited just writing this blog post!

Hugs,

Paola

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These are the Zumba DVDs I have at home! I have even taken the cardio DVD with me to San Francisco & Germany, so I could exercise while on vacation. I need to exercise and be active, even on vacation – after a few days I get the need to exercise, otherwise I start to feel lethargic and tired!

Note: As with other exercise, you should check with your physician before starting a new work out routine, to ensure it is appropriate exercise for your level of health.

Enjoying Yoga

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For those of you that have followed me on Facebook the past few years, you are aware that I enjoy exercising. It is a part of my lifestyle. I have taken yoga classes before, then stopped for about a year. I was doing cardio workouts, mostly Zumba and speed walking. Recently, I found a yoga class at the gym that I like. It is not too hard, I find it relaxing, it includes simple poses, lots of stretches, observing your breathing, and just the right amount of challenge. I would usually pass on yoga for a class that would burn more calories. I looked up the info recently and you only burn about 200 calories in one hour of light yoga, which is not very high, but the health benefits are good. I have taken yoga once a week for the past two months, and I am really starting to appreciate it and look forward to the class. Yoga helps me de-stress, I really try to clear my mind, which is not easy for me to do. I was so relaxed towards the end of the class today that I felt I was dosing off a bit (ok, I was also a bit tired, haha).

One of the main reasons I like yoga is the awareness it helps create of our muscles, organs, and the importance of stretching and of breathing with intention. Have you noticed that unless you are exercising, you don’t really stretch throughout the day or take a breath with intention, let alone an exhale with intention? I try to stretch daily. I see our kitties stretch throughout the day. As humans, we go about our busy days and don’t stretch, resulting in tension and stress. According to MayoClinic.com, yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises with controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve heart function. It can help improve your fitness through flexibility, balance, and strength.

So, if you want to de-stress and improve your fitness (who doesn’t?), you may want to give yoga a try. Don’t worry about the poses, you will learn those in time. You can go at your own pace and challenge yourself at your own level (don’t overdo it at the first class). If you are not a member at a gym or go to a yoga studio, perhaps try your local YMCA or community center. Many cities or local schools offer yoga classes for free or at a minimal cost. You can also buy a yoga video and try doing it at home.

Do you take a yoga class regularly? Or practice yoga on your own? Which is your favorite yoga pose? Share your comments about yoga.

Hugs….or in this case “namaste” my friends,

Paola

Exercise Buddy

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Exercise is an important….and necessary part of my life. I have battled with my weight my entire life. It is not easy to maintain my weight, I gain weight easily and have to watch what I eat, as well as exercise regularly, otherwise my weight goes up quickly! I do not consider myself overweight (nor do the medical charts). Every year it gets harder to stay at my weight because well, as we age our metabolism get slower….fantastic, right? Luckily, I do like to exercise….but am not one of those people that wakes up with the desire to go for a jog….I have to talk myself into exercising. Exercise has many health benefits, physical and emotional, it helps me de-stress, feel more energetic overall, and I sleep better when I exercise regularly.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you strategies that I use to stay fit & not gain weight. Trust me, it is not easy for me. Wish it was….wish I was naturally thin, wish I did not have an appetite for sweets & tortilla chips, wish it was easy to lose weight, wish there was a secret pill to stay thin…..but, that is not the case, haha.  I can’t wish to be thin, I have to work at it….all my friends and colleagues tell me they have to work at it.

Meet Lola (pictured) – you will hear lots about her in my blog, she is one of my closest friends and the one I spend the most time with! I love this gal! She is not only an excellent friend, the best I could ever ask for, she is also my exercise buddy and helps me get motivated to exercise! We have been walking together for more than six years! We take long, speed walks, usually downtown by the bay. Our route doesn’t change much, but it is a wonderful, fun time, every single time! We call it “our therapy”- haha! It is our “amiguita/friend time,” we chat, we vent, we laugh…all while we exercise. The walk goes by fast, sometimes we walk around the block a few times at the end of the walk because we still have things to talk about. Before I was married, we used to walk together about two to four times per week, now we both make an effort to at least walk together once a week. It is our time to catch up and we value it. Every week we touch bases on Monday and set a day to walk that week. Once we set the day, we rarely change it and pass on other invitations which may seem more fancy (like dinner out)….because this is our time! I joke with her that if Jim and I have a baby (when we do), I’ll probably bring the baby along in the stroller on the walks with Tia Lola (aunt Lola)!

So, if you can, exercise with a friend…..it does wonders for the soul! The calories you burn are just extra….better said – part of the benefit!

Do you have an exercise buddy?

Hugs,

Paola