Health

Know What’s In The Water, Before You Go In The Water

July 6th, 2012 at 9:16 pm by under Health, Weather

If you’re heading to the Connecticut River this weekend, or any time this summer, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is helping to keep you safe by monitoring the bacteria levels at several different points along the river.  

Click here to access the website. 

The reports are easy to understand and updated regularly.  If you go to the Connecticut River to cool off, make it a habit to go to this website first!


It’s All Worth It In The End

July 2nd, 2012 at 3:19 pm by under Fitness

Henri Lafond introduced me to circuit training. Yowza, it’s intense — in a great way! He showed me a series of 8 different exercises that I can do one after the other to challenge my stamina and to produce results. I did everything from jumping jacks, to mountain climbers, plank, speed skater, and so much more. I’ve learned so much from my personal coaches — they keep me goin!

To every woman who has been pregnant and had a child — you are a rock star. You know, it is truly amazing what the human body is capable of; creating a person! I look in the mirror and see a different body than what I had pre-pregnancy. Despite wider hips and less tone and muscle definition, I am a happier me because of the wonderful blessing I have been given. I mean, let’s be honest, at the end of a long day at work, where does every mom want to go? Home to her kids! In the morning before work — mom’s have so much to do to get ready for the day — it’s nearly impossible to get out of the house to fit a workout in before the workday begins. Getting into shape after baby is NOT EASY — simply because your baby is number one and always will come first. That being said, working out is so crucial to not only your physical health, but also your mental well-being.  Despite how difficult it is, I am managing to get my workouts in to be sure that I feel good about myself. You know what they say: Happy Mom, Happy Baby. All of the hard work — sleepless nights, sore muscles, the daily grind …for the joy it brings,  it’s all worth it in the end.


I’ve got the POWER!

June 12th, 2012 at 4:31 pm by under Fitness

Remember that song, by SNAP! “Duh nuh nuh nuh duh nuh nuh nuh… I’ve got the Power!” Love it. It was one of the songs in my group power class and I’ve been humming it in my head ever since. Ya know why? I lost 3% of my body fat! What what! SO psyched. Post baby fitness journey has officially been kicked into high gear!

My GROUP POWER class with Marina was killer! I loved it! I found it hard to move the next day, but I rocked it. Marina broke down the setup with me and went through all of the details that I needed to know before the class began.

 

I’ve been practicing my exercise combos at home..and some of my old clothes is starting to fit again! I’m feeling great, I have to be honest. Being a mom brings me so much joy and fulfillment — and now that I feel like I am really getting a hang of my new life as a parent, I am gaining much more confidence in myself. It’s important to feel good about yourself, and finally…for the first time since my daughter arrived… I can honestly say that I feel wonderful!

 

 

I still haven’t made it to Group Ride but I will get there this week.

I will give you an update on my progress. Gosh, do I love progress!


Gettin’ in shape and workin’ it out!

May 30th, 2012 at 1:40 pm by under Fitness

Here’s an exciting update: I’ve lost 4 pounds! There is nothing more satisfying than learning that all of your willpower to refuse fatty, delicious food is really making a difference. Oh, and of course, all of my perseverance to continue my workouts!

I took a zumba class at Healthtrax last week with Renee, which was a blast! The lights were off (but there was enough light to see what was going on…don’t worry, it isn’t pitch black zumba), the music was pumpin’, I was having a great time. There was this one dance where we pumped our arms for what seemed like 10 minutes straight. I think I built 1 pound of muscle from that one dance alone — my arms were killing me!

Also last week, I sat down with one of my personal coaches Henri Lafond, who gave me 4 different exercise combos to do when I stop by the gym on my own. He means business, that Henri. While I used to be intimidated by all of the exercise equipment and free weights, I feel much better now that I’ve learned how to use it to my advantage. My four exercises:

1. Squat Curl Press AKA “Ball on the Wall”

2. Glute bridge with tricep extension

3. Split squat with lateral raise

4. Ab maneuver with leg raise & chest fly

I’ve learned a few key things:

–Use lighter weights and more reps to tone up

–Never be afraid to ask the trainers around the gym if you need help with anything

–Glistening is good (also known as sweating, but glistening sounds more fancy)

I’m looking forward to my next check in. My next class: spinning! I’ll keep you posted!


Fitness Assessment: Push-ups, Squats & Crunches…oh my!

May 18th, 2012 at 3:21 pm by under Fitness

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” -Greg Anderson

I’ll tell myself that the next time I feel like I’m going to die a slow death from Clayton’s series of 5 million grapevines.  Let me be honest. I love to break a good sweat, but starting out a fitness routine after carrying a baby in your belly for 9 months is hard, man! I think the beginning is the hardest part — just getting into a routine, remembering how to squeeze those buns and move those hips takes a little while. It’s pretty amazing how “out of tune” your body is after creating one. Creating one. Isn’t that wild? Your body creates a human being. Man, so cool.

Ok, back on track. Let’s get to my fitness assessment. One of my personal coaches Lisa Holmes came on Mass Appeal to assess my fitness on live TV. I know, I’m brave. I had to do as many push-ups as I could, with good form, in 1 minute — as well as squats and crunches. Yeah, I know it sounds easy. Well, it isn’t.  I have some pictures as evidence:

 Here’s me after doing 41 push-ups in 1 minute.

I started shaking after 2. I collapsed after 41. I was proud. And Lisa was too. ( She’s clapping, you can tell by her hand position.

For the record, she clapped more than once.) 

 

See, now this is a trick picture. Clearly, I’m doing squats.

What you think is happening: I’m smiling, Lisa is smiling, we are smiling at the joy of squats. Ahh, what fun.

What is really happening: I’m cursing the person who invented squats. Who thought that was really a good idea to make your legs feel like they are on fire? Not to mention it is incredibly unflattering.

Yeah, yeah I know it is good for my muscles. I get it. I felt the burn. Total number of squats: 44. Like a Champ.

 

 Crunches — here’ s my weakness. Think about it this way — when you’re pregnant, your body has to adapt to a growing baby for 10 full months. In order for there to be space for the baby to grow, your abdominal muscles have to separate. A lot. That explains why I am making that face. Despite the weakness of my core, I still managed to do 50 crunches in a minute.  Is that good? I have no clue. Lisa clapped, so it made me feel good. That’s all that matters. Hopefully that by the end of my 3 months I’ll be able to do 51 ;P

Continuing my journey at ZUMBA tonight! I’ll give you an update next week. ONWARD!


Cardioblast is a blast-tastic workout!

May 16th, 2012 at 1:32 pm by under Fitness

It isn’t called Cardio Blast for nothin’! Clayton rocked the house! We’ll get to Clayton in a bit…

I arrived 2 minutes late and jumped into the warmup — the music was pumpin’ (good tunes, Top 40 remixes, The Biebs “Somebody to Love” never gets old), the fans were going, the class had great energy — It was a blast.

What I didn’t realize is that you don’t stop moving for 50 minutes straight. Literally — you grapevine, kick, punch, march and lift those knees until you can’t see straight. I worked my biceps “Like a G6″ and kickboxed Aerosmith to shame. I’m tellin ya, it’s all about the tunes! I was so pumped up! Oh — and by the way — people continued to trickle in 5, 10, 15 minutes late. I didn’t feel SO bad for being 2 minutes behind schedule.

Now back to Clayton — he was all business. No mercy. Even when I wanted to quit, his motivation kept me going. I didn’t want to disappoint Clayton. I introduced myself at the end of class — turns out,  he runs the ROTC program at Putnam High. Army Veteran.

No wonder I didn’t quit.

The end was my favorite part. Ab workout to “Push it” by Salt & Pepa and “Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. Hammertime? No, no…It was Cardioblasttime. Game on.


My Post-Baby Fitness Journey Begins!

May 14th, 2012 at 3:13 pm by under Fitness

Becoming a mom is the most fulfilling, amazing, beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me. Each & every moment brings so much happiness and I feel so blessed to have been given the best gift in the world.

That being said, a lot changes! This new addition to the family is such a joy, yet requires some serious adjusting.

 

Everything from budgeting time to budgeting money, accepting that your new perfume is “eau de formula” and spit up is the hottest spring trend. I mean EVERYTHING changes. I don’t remember the last time I cared about what color my toes are painted. Are they even painted? Yep, i just checked.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned the most obvious change — your body! I was holding out because that is what this is all about. Get excited, because I am. I am going on a 3 month fitness expedition and I want you to go on the journey with me! I’ll be keeping my blog up to date to keep you posted on my progress, my experiences and of course, my fun, fun, fun workouts! 

I’ll be working out at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness in West Springfield, where my Personal Coaches Lisa Holmes & Henri Lafond will help me get into tip top shape. I already went on a tour of the center, had my initial consultation and went over my goals, hopes and dreams. At the very end of my journey, I want to be more toned, be healthier and, most importantly, feel good!

 

 

Starting Stats:

    

I’m going to go to a cardioblast class tomorrow at Healthtrax. I don’t know what to expect — but I know I’m ready to blast away some fat and have a blast, or better yet, a cardiotastic time with cardio. I will give you an update after my class. And I’ll post pictures. Only if I survive. The journey begins!!


Vegan Challenge Day 13: Almost halfway!

February 20th, 2012 at 10:50 pm by under Health

Although technically we have not hit the halfway point in our challenge.  We marked the ‘almost’ halfway mark on 22News at 6:00 p.m. Monday. 

Technically Kara and I are vegans now, but we’re the only one’s we know.  I had the chance to visit Cafe Evolution in Florence and since they cater to vegans there was a great opportunity for some advice.  The owner, Star Drooker, has a long history with organic foods, vegan baked goods and foods and the political and social reasons for going vegan.  (He also looks pretty amazing for being 50 years old). 

You can watch the story here: http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/video/vegan-challenge-halfway-point

I didn’t actually have a chance to EAT at the restaurant (on a deadline!), but I’ll be back!

I have been eating A LOT of avocados and A LOT of broccoli slaw mixed with tofu and some vinaigrette. (nom!)

My pride was making a vegan pho (LOVE Vietnamese food).  I added too many rice noodles, but it was a success!

Oh yea, I haven’t lost a pound.  However, I am noticeably more energetic.  Baby steps.

Help us out and send your vegan meal ideas to erodriguez@wwlp.com.  You can also follow my progress on twitter @ElysiaRodriguez.

 


Vegan Challenge Day 10: Pizza!

February 16th, 2012 at 7:57 pm by under Health, News

Wahoo, Day 10!  We’re in the double digits! 

Kara and I have been craving cheese badly, so we have been indulging in soy “cheese” to stave off those cravings.  I have been wanting pizza and we found several recipes for vegan pizza that is essentially a veggie pizza sans cheese.  Kara made one last night on pita bread and sprinkled the soy cheese on top hoping it would melt and look just like normal pizza… apparently it cooks, but doesn’t melt.  Regardless, the pizza with artichokes, onions & olives was amazing!

We’re thinking about adding more veggies (broccoli, peppers, etc.) next time!

Help us out and send your vegan meal ideas to erodriguez@wwlp.com.  You can also follow my progress on twitter @ElysiaRodriguez.

 


A Vegan Valentine’s

February 14th, 2012 at 10:10 pm by under Health

There was a rush of Valentine’s Day treats this week at 22News; everywhere I looked there was cake, milk chocolate & cookies.  It’s the only real downside to sharing a break room with the MassAppeal crew (Someone’s got to eat all that food they cook). 

My partner in  my month-long vegan challenge and our 11p.m. producer, Kara Dominick, and I have tried to avoid it all.  

Then, the Valentine’s Day Fairy appeared with an amazing treat!

(Actually it was our director Michelle, but it felt more magical than that)

She made us vegan cake pops!!!

 

Michelle said she essentially used three ingredients: vegan-friendly dark chocolate, dates with the seeds removed and ground walnuts.  She combined the three then coated it with more of the melted chocolate and then rolled it in more walnuts.  So good!

Overall, temptation has been the biggest problem, not hunger.  Both Kara and I aren’t starving or even more hungry than usual and our energy levels have been great. 

Help us out and send your vegan meal ideas to erodriguez@wwlp.com.  You can also follow my progress on twitter @ElysiaRodriguez.