taking care

five minutes might change my mind

As you heard on Tuesday, Erica will embark on an aMAYzing challenge this month with a “run streak”; running consecutive days in a row. I think it’s fair to say that we all know that here on the91rewind, Erica is #teamfitlife more than myself. I happen to have a complicated relationship with fitness. I’ve learned over the last few years that exercise calms and centers me, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy doing. Since that’s the case, I broke out an old post (five minutes MAY change your mind) from a couple of years ago in an effort to bring fitness back into my life. At this moment, I have my doubts, but I’m hopeful that five minutes MIGHT change my mind.

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Ever since I was a kid I stayed active doing things…

I would spend as many days as my uncle would allow swimming in his pool. In elementary school I had a brief stint cheerleading, to which Erica was a witness. Not many people are witnesses to those days, and I’m forever grateful. As most Asian kids will attest, I was forced told I would do martial arts. The days in class were spent having fun with my friends, but I don’t know that I would say I always ENJOYED going.

By high school I found the sports that I enjoyed doing…

I discovered the joy of playing lacrosse and field hockey with a team comprised of girls from various Henrico County public schools. In the midst of playing those sports, I discovered that I may have resented my parents making me do martial arts at first, but looking back now, I actually loved it. I’m forever thankful they pushed me to stick with it.

Despite finding sports I liked there was a limit…

I do not like to sweat. Anything that requires a LOT of sweat is not my cup of tea. This is a ory for another day, but I’ll just say that I do NOT like sweating.

Why does any of this matter?

Erica knows all these things about me. She also know that I want to be healthy so I can live a long life with my kids. To do this, fitness is key. She also knows that I don’t like to lose, so a challenge is good for me. Back when we first shared this challenge I was supposed to participate, but I also found out I was pregnant. I battled morning sickness the ENTIRE first trimester. Last year I wanted to try again, but I had a newborn and was just returning to work. Now this little one is nearly 15 months old and I need to get fitness back in my routine. Maybe I’ll do the full workout, maybe not. Most important of all, I’m getting off my butt for AT LEAST 5 minutes everyday.

Making time for myself while balancing my family (husband, 4 year old, and toddler) won’t be easy. BUT, if I don’t make time for myself who will? I’m hoping 5 minutes will change my mind, and get me doing more, but  you’ll have to wait and see…



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taking care

five minutes MAY change your mind

Time is everything; it’s money, it’s irreplaceable, it’s of the essence. It’s free, but priceless. You can make it, spend it, but you can’t own it. Time is one resource that is rarely in abundance, so we have to manage it wisely.Many people tell me that they don’t work out because they don’t have time. Well, I’m here this month to dispel that myth. We do have time, I promise! We just might have to get creative in our quest to find it. For the month of May, I invite you to try something new with me. I believe that 5 minutes each day MAY just change your mind about exercise and results. 

Take five little minutes each day to focus on you, to give back to yourself, to start progressing towards your healthy and happy future. No fancy equipment required, no gym memberships needed, no running, no burpees. It’s simple: five exercises, 1 minute each, once a day for a month. Ready join me?

Let’s do this! Here are the exercises:

Roll Ups – lay down on your back with your legs out straight and arms extended overhead. Take a deep breath in. As you breath out use your abdominal muscles to roll yourself off the floor into a seated position. Try to lift one vertebrae off the floor at a time without arching your low back. If you dont get all the way up, stop where you get stuck. Roll back down and repeat for 1 minute

Goddess Squat – standing with your feet apart. Make sure they are just outside shoulder width distance and your toes are pointed forward. Bend your knees as far as you can without lifting your heels up. Return to standing while squeezing your quads and booty on the way up. Repeat for 1 minute.

Arm circles – start standing with feet slightly apart. Raise your straight arms up to the sides so your hands are even with your shoulders. Keeping your arms straight, make circles forward and backward. Size doesn’t matter, make them big or small, make them big and small, just keep moving those straight arms for 1 minute.

Crossover toe touch – start standing with feet wide (slightly wider than goddess squat) and arms out to the sides like in the arm circles. Keeping legs and arms straight, reach your right arm towards your left leg by bending slightly at the waist and twisting your torso. If you can make contact with your knee, shin, or ankle  GREAT! If not, just reach as far as you can. Return to standing and repeat on the other side, again taking care to keep legs and arms extended straight. Repeat on each side as many times as you can for  1 minute.

Plank – start laying on the ground. Place your hands (with fingers pointed forward) directly underneath your shoulders and flex your feet so the balls of your feet are in contact with the floor. Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, lift your body off the floor by pushing into the floor with hands and feet and straightening your arms. Maintain the body alignment by squeezing your thighs, booty, and core.Hold as long as you can, lower carefully back down with control. If you can’t straighten your arms and come all the way up, that’s okay! Try to push yourself up while keeping your knees on the ground. Again, make sure to squeeze your legs, booty, and core to keep the back nice and straight. You don’t have to hold plank for a full minute, just hold as long as you can and repeat as many times as you can in that 1 minute.

That’s it! While this will not transform you into a body builder in a single month, these are total body exercises that will challenge you. As you work through the month you should find that it gets easier to complete these moves. You should see an increase in the number of reps you can complete in each 1-minute round. All of this is progress – a sweet affirmation that your effort and time are well spent.

Now that you have the moves, the plan is totally up to you. You can do these moves pretty much anywhere and adapt the schedule to fit your lifestyle. Let’s say that you have a hectic day and forget your workout one day. Fear not, just double up the next day. Maybe you’re going out of town for the weekend and know you won’t have the time. Feel free to work ahead! Let’s say you’re like me and you sit at a desk all day, why not use the 1-minute rounds to take a break from being seated? Just so you know, I’ve been caught doing squats or planks in an empty conference room many times…If they ask, I just tell people I was getting tired and needed to wake up – they buy it EVERY time!

There will be good days and bad days, but they are all important. There will be days that we don’t get our workout in, despite our best efforts. Keep at it anyway. It will be hard – that’s why it’s called a challenge! Starting small, dedicating roughly 5 minutes a day, we can develop great habits that will stay with us in the long run. This challenge will prove that dedication and consistency, even in small doses, can bring us closer to our goals.

Will you join me this May in the 5-minute challenge? I sure hope so. Think of all the positive feelings you will enjoy after completing it. If you can make progress with 5 minutes a day, imagine what you can do by giving just a little more.

Best of luck to you my fierce fabulous femmes!