Monday, July 29, 2013

Can pregnant women do that?

pregnant silhouette
pregnant silhouette (c) mahalie
CC Attribution 2.0 License
When I found out I was pregnant the first time I mourned the loss of my then-erratic jogging routine. That is, until I dove into the internet to see what other moms, physicians, and experts had to say. I was surprised to find that most women can continue at the same level of physical activity, usually decreasing intensity in the later months. In fact, a lot of Olympic athletes continue the same level of activity through their whole pregnancy. I hardly felt pregnant at all until my eighth month when I couldn't breath well in certain positions and had to wake up to flip over in the middle of the night. I was actually in the best shape of my life. Every week I alternated strength training and cardio (running) on week days, resting on weekends. I aced my personal fitness class--which went right through my due date!

So yes, pregnant women can strength train. And run. Having discovered pole fitness and started flexibility training I had to wonder if I could still do those now. After all, I am three years older than last time and I was horribly sick for two months. I remembered last time all sources warned against lunges and squats--would that mean my more intense stretching had to stop? Would pole climbs be too intense? I met with my doctor with dire expectations and it

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekend Crush: Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness

Nope, not free falling--that's a handstand
(c) Nerd Fitness, Used with permission
Just because you're nerdy doesn't mean you can't be in fantastic shape. Check out this handstand--Steve doesn't look like the stereotypical nerd. But a look around his site, Nerd Fitness, with its comic book fonts and video game references its unmistakably, well, nerdy.

What I really love about Nerd Fitness is that it is geared towards people of all fitness levels, including those of us that find ourselves on a journey from bookworm (that's me!) or video game junkie to fit. When I started pole fitness around September 2012 I had to make some serious changes even though I jogged for 15-20 minutes... well, every few weeks or so anyways. I found Nerd Fitness because I wanted to do some body weight exercises but really pathetically lacked the strength to do it. There I was on Google, searching for exercises for pull ups--and very discouraged to find that most people posting about pull ups assumed the reader could do them.

Enter Nerd Fitness.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Feeling unsexy this summer?

(c) United Pole Artists, Used with permission
It's bikini season, the perfect time to show off rocking bodies and strut your sexy. In the pole world it's even bigger than that since UPA's Bringing Sexy Back is going on again (through today).  For some of us this turns into a bit of an issue because we don't feel that sexy. So what do we do?

I just finished reading yet another discussion on Facebook where one side trashed "imperfect" bodies and the other side promoted self-love. Seriously, this again? People, no one will work on her fitness level if she does not love her body! Does it appall me when people neglect their bodies to the point of unhealthy obesity? Yes, it does. But I can't decide this at a glance. And I'm not perfect--who could define perfect?--plus everyone deserves to be happy. 

Just like I don't like being judged as "must be anorexic" I won't be judging someone as "must be lazy and gluttonous." In fact, at my thinnest I was incredibly lazy and gluttonous. Genetics saved me from looking as unhealthy as I was. People more active than I am that eat better than me get

Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekend Crush: Jerome Fitness

I found Jerome Fitness while searching for info on PNF stretching and was hooked. His YouTube tutorials cover fitness, flexibility, nutrition--and a few laughs too. Who says who can't have a little fun getting flexier and stronger?

Awesome splits, right?
(c) Jerome Fitness, used with permission
One of my favorite things are the middle splits pointers. First of all, how awesome are his side splits? This has to be a martial arts thing--I've noticed that they tend to have better side splits than front splits, must be the kicking. I think I need to cross-train in this, I could learn to love the ability to kick people in the head. But I digress, lol. Maybe it's me but most of the videos I find are of the "ohhh lookit me!" variety; Jerome's Flexibility Training channel goes over practical tips like hip positioning, warming up, and avoiding injury. I love that he's just a regular person who loves fitness. Well, a regular person with incredible flexibility and strength too!

A fun fact about Jerome: he is actually an ectomorph. If I just lost you, some people gain muscle and weight

Monday, July 15, 2013

Is your orange juice losing vitamins? Grocery tips for juice!

As a pole, running, and flexibility addict eating right is becoming increasingly important to me. It sounds so simple--just pick healthy foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoid excess. Choosing healthy options can still mean you aren't getting the nutrients you think you are.

Orange juice in a gable top container
Did you know your orange juice loses vitamin C daily?

I read this in my nutrition class and was shocked! It turns out that by the expiration date orange juice in gable-top containers (see image) has lost most of its vitamin C content. How frustrating, isn't the point of drinking orange juice to mostly to get vitamin C? One simple choice can make a difference, though. For

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekend Crush: Grace Bruce

From being a flexibility guru on YouTube to playing a Snatcher in Harry Potter Deathly Hallows, Grace Bruce is a whole lot of awesome in one person. You know those moves where you kick past your head? Yeah, she can do that. Her strength and flexibility are incredible and serve her well in her varied pursuits, notably dance and martial arts.

Grace (right) and Chloe (left)
(c) Bruce Sistaz, Used with Permission
Even better, Grace and her sister Chloe help those of us aspiring to their levels of flexy. They have a series, Flexy Fridays, featuring tutorials on flexibility enhancing stretches. What I love is that they include really great warmups plus give valuable pointers along the way. It's not just a show-and-tell of their staggering flexibility, which by itself would still be awe inspiring. If you're not near their flexibility level you (like me) you can still benefit from their tutorials since they do suggest tips for beginners. One stretch I added to my routine is from their Stretches for Box Splits. I hate stretching box/middle splits but I just imagine Grace & Chloe's super kicks and bite the bullet :) Their teamwork makes me wish I could coerce convince my sister to do some pole fit or stretching for sure.

Of course, Grace didn't become flexible overnight. She's been involved in martial arts from a very young age.  I notice that in the Flexy Friday series not only do they include warmups but also ease into poses. It's nice to see that someone at her

Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Extra Long Legwarmers by Mondor

Some time ago I bought a pair of extra long legwarmers and it's time to review them!

I like them scrunched but 36" covers my whole legs!

What I like:
They are very comfortable and stay up pretty easily. Mine are 36" legwarmers in white made by Mondor so I can wear them on my 5'3" frame all the way up my leg for maximum coverage or give them a relaxed scrunch as below. That's my favorite way to wear them, then again I like that 80's dancer look, lol :) To give you an idea of how long 36 inch legwarmers are I measured my legs and they were about 33 or 35 inches (I couldn't figure out where my legs should end lol). They are synthetic and machine washable.

Tips for leg warmer wearers`:
If you have legwarmers or plan on buying them I highly recommend wearing them with tights, a leotard, or maybe leggings because they stay up so much better. Another tip for legwarmers, tights, and even stretchy

Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekend Crush: Karol Helms

I'm not exactly sure what it is about Karol Helms. She is just irresistibly sexy--yes, the fans (more on this in bit), garters, and hot fishnets help, but there is something more. Her style is very different from my own in a way that makes me want to go dye my hair red and buy a slinky corset. Maybe it's her enviable strength, sexy flow, or her athletic legs?

One of my favorite tidbits about Karol is that she started out with the fuzzy YouTube videos of beginner moves like anyone else might. She has a whole tutorial section, definitely a godsend for those of us who learn exclusively from home. Someone (I wish I could remember who!) on StudioVeena once mentioned there

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flexines A Day in the Life: Flexy, Pole and Life

A typical day in the life of a Pre-Med, pole dancing, flexy addict begins with a mental alarm clock. It's the feeling of impeding doom if--I don't get my butt out of bed and set at finishing school work. On tap today: a three hour manic session of Statistics for Medicine.

No, I didn't procrastinate (this time), lol! As a pole mom a fun chunk of my time goes into frantic potty runs and cuddle time, then a bit more to the inevitable fatigue. Cue a quick bathroom run with my two-year-old in the middle of a particularly frustrating Probability problem--I wouldn't have it any other way! Next comes