Saturday, September 18, 2010


OK, it’s no secret by now that I like doing yoga. (And I’m sure you’re all probably sick of hearing about it—and that’s too bad for you, because it’s pretty much been my obsession lately.) Honestly, it’s the one exercise that doesn’t bore me silly—and pretty much the only one that I can stand doing, besides taking long, relaxing walks with Iwanski.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been reading this book called “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”—and the one exercise that the author consistently mentions that is important to brain function is rigorous cardio exercise (i.e. not long, relaxing walks).

Rigorous cardio exercise? Ugh. I can’t run, because of my stupid plantar fasciitis foot. (It’s getting better, but not good enough to run yet.) And I don’t even really like running, anyway.

We do have a small workout room in our apartment building, with a couple of elliptical machines and exercise bikes. But for some reason, to me, using the elliptical machine feels like death. I can only handle doing that for a few minutes at a time. And biking on a stationery bike bores me to tears.

We also have a pool in our apartment building. But the whole process of having to change into a swimsuit, go swimming, and then going back up to our apartment, taking a shower, blow-drying my air, etc…etc…it just feels like too much of a hassle to me. (I know, I’m a big whiner. But seriously, people always think that if they have a pool in their building, they will use it all the time. Trust me, you don’t.)

So what is one Miss Healthypants to do, for cardio exercise? I wondered. Would I have to succumb to the big bad elliptical machine or the boring-ass stationery bike?

Well, about halfway through this morning’s “Music Yoga Flow” class, I had my answer. Yoga, my dear friends, can CERTAINLY count as rigorous cardio exercise. At least if it’s the “Music Yoga Flow” class at Exhale Spa Chicago.

First of all, when my friend and I walked into the studio, I almost immediately started sweating—and that was even before we started moving! It had to be about 85 degrees in there, at least. When we sat down on our mats, the girl next to me suggested right away that we both go get a towel.

“You’re gonna sweat a lot, trust me,” she said.

I started to get nervous. How hard was this class gonna be?

I soon had my answer. About halfway through our SEVENTY sun salutations (yes, I said seventy—for those of you who know what a sun salutation is, you know that it was hard work!), I thought, “Good Lord, what is this teacher thinking?” (I know that there are some studios that sometimes do 108 sun salutation classes, but I’ve always thought those people were insane. I still kinda do.)

As for the music, I was really grateful to have the mix of reggae, blues, rock, and light hip-hop to keep me motivated. I really enjoyed that part of the class.

Nonetheless, as I was breathing heavily and saw sweat droplets fall from my face onto my yoga mat, I started to wonder if I could really keep moving. The teacher mentioned that it was an “intense cardiovascular workout”—and I thought, “Duh!”

And then I thought “Yay!” Yoga can be cardio. I can get everything I need in yoga.

Thank God. Because every other kind of exercise pretty much sucks ass.


Lisa said...

That sounds like Bikram Yoga. I hear it's very addicting.

Mom said...

Yea for yoga!

Random Thinker said...

You almost make yoga sound inviting. What is a sun salutation? I will have to go look it up.

Sling said...

You know,they make bikes that aren't stationary..just sayin'.
Still,it sounds like you've found yoga to be perfectly suited to your needs,and that's a good thing! :)

Barb said...

I've actually never tried yoga ~ but I really need to do something. As for the pool, yeah there's one right outside my bedroom door but I sometimes think the same way you do, gotta get changed, take another shower, redo my hair....

Ana said...

Do you know the 2 biggest reasons men and women stop exercising?

1) Lack of time
2) Lack of motivation

Let's tackle "Lack of Time" today with 5 ways you can get your
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a) Supersets

I use "non-competing" superset. This means, choose two exercises
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muscle group rests while the other works...and you cut the rest
time you need between sets.

b) Choose a better warm-up strategy

Don't waste 10 minutes walking on the treadmill. Instead, use a
total body circuit of bodyweight exercises as a general warm-up, and
then move directly into specific warm-up sets for your first two

c) Pair dumbbell and bodyweight exercises together in your

This saves you time at home (you don't need to change the dumbbell
weight between exercises) and in the gym (you don't need to fight
for 2 sets of dumbbells).

d) Choose Intervals over slow cardio

The latest research shows more weight loss when people use
intervals, and intervals take half as long to do.

e) Limit the use of isolation exercises

Pick multi-muscle exercises, such as squats, pulls, pushes, and
rows. If you have time, you can squeeze in some dropsets for arms
and shoulders if you want. However, if you only have 3 sessions of
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In addition, don't spend more than 10 minutes per week on direct ab
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