Learning life lessons before the sun rises

So, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that I could jog 7 km (4 miles) before breakfast. This was obviously a milestone for me as it is an incredibly practical route for me and increases my number of steps in a day greatly.

However, a couple of days later I realized that my fitness abilities and joint abilities are not exactly aligned, as I in some way fucked up my ankle and had to practically limp home one day.

Fast forward to a few days ago and my ankle is feeling fine. So I warm up with some hard, but short, elliptical work-outs for a couple of days, and then with some light walking (too, in and from the mall to be perfectly honest. 9 000 steps though, so, what up?).

Then today at 4 am I set out to jog once again. Not only do I jog, but when I come to the hill leading up to the bridge, what do I do? You know, just what any other reasonable human being recovering from an ankle injury would do. Sprint up the fucking hill. Then proceed to jog across the entire bridge.

5 minutes later the pain hits me so hard, and I`m like “Omg, I have to turn”. Every step was just so painful. So, I turn.

And this whole walk-jog, I have been listening to the Julianne Hough episode on Lewis Howes podcast “The school of greatness” and she`s talking about being a young dancer and the whole perfectionist thing. Which makes me think about ballerinas, the only dancers I care about because they`re amazing, interesting and too me the embodiment of perfection. Above all I admire their insane work ethic. They don`t step down no matter what.

So I thought to myself “Zoë, a ballerina would never quit like this over some ankle problem, there is no blood, no bones sticking out, you`ll be fine”. So I figured that even if today wasn`t the day were I would jog that route again, it would at leat be the day were I would walk it.

And you know what? It took forever and honestly my leg got a little fucked up from the weird way I was walking, but I finished that walk. Pluss, I got some added steps from when I initallly turned and walked back.

And eventually my ancle didn`t even hurt as much.

The lesson that I took from this?

Sometimes the best way to get back where you were or get to were you want to be, is to take a step back. It can be insanely frustrating. But what`s even more frustrating than spending double the time on a route, is not being able to take it at all because your hybris makes you push yourself too far and puts your recovery back. Listening to your body is so important. If your feeling pain, there is a reason. Your body isn`t pranking you, it`s giving you important signals. And I feel like this applies to so much more. For example, if you`re feeling super anxious at work or you feel depressed when you reatreat to your appartment at the end of the day. Maybe take a step back in your career chain and see if you want to go with option b? Everything in life doesn`t have to be lineare. Maybe your living room is painted in a colour that`s draining your energy? Maybe you should get a dog? Whatever is going on in your life, take time to check in with yourself. And don`t just feel the feelings and move on. Make change where change is needed. You are worth investing time and energy in.

That`s all for this little rant. I am just so happy that I actually went through with this walk and managed to not jog even when my ankle started too feel more ok, and even more happy that I had a mini-awakening, haha. I hope that this resonates with some of you. I really feel like anything you can do for yourself, you should do for yourself.

Have a great day,

and love yourself!

 

 

 

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The three most important guidelines for toning up, while avoiding bulk

So I am currently on a journey towards a more toned body and a smaller frame. This means I am doing a lot of exercise. But since my goal with this is to become a model, lately I have gotten very paranoid of gaining to much muscle. Particularly getting big calves and bulky quadriceps. I know that this is a much wanted looks in many sports and dances, and I personally think that it`s a very good look, especially paired with sculpted abs. However, it is not suitable for the type of modeling that I wish to pursue. So lately I have been doing a lot of research on this, which I am very glad for, because there were a few exercises I were engaging in that most likely would have led to the look I am trying to avoid. So here are the few guidelines or rules that I have found to be the most important.hhh

First off, when doing strength training, do moves where the muscles are elongated (stretched out), while you to them. Apparently, this will produce long, lean muscles. This sounds like a myth, but considering that a lot of ballerinas training consist of these types of moves, it must be true. After all, no one is skinnier or more in shape than the ballerinas.

Bilderesultat for ballerina

(Legally extracted from Wikimedia).

Secondly, small movements. Generally, higher reps and lower intensity is the way to go. This means, no higher than 70 percent of your maximum on weights, and for no equipment training, don’t do squats and pushup, at least not mainly. Most of your workout should consist of small movements with high repetition (and elongated loins).

Lastly, for cardio, focus on long distance. For example, in stead of sprinting, do marathon like training and instead of half an hour on the highest elliptical level (my biggest calf-enlarging mistake), opt for 2 hours on little-to no resistance. And try to limit incline on the treadmill and number off hikes. Same goes for swimming. Yes, swimming burns an incredible amount of calories, but that’s because the muscles are working super hard, and therefore expanding in the long run.

Note: As I said, this is just to get or maintain a certain body type and may not apply to your goals at all, which is totally fine. All body types are awesome and require different exercise strategies. I also just want to stress the fact that you`re definitely not going to get super bulky and muscular from swimming, hiking or doing any other type of exercise once a month or even twice a month.

life-mun

I hope you found this helpful!

Please comment below and let me know what types of exercise you favor!

Reasons to love workout videos + my faves

Okay, first off, sorry I haven’t really posted anything in ages. I just have a lot going on at school, and obviously I have also been very busy with exploring the world of workout videos.  That being said, lets get into this post.

So as you know, I am a HUGE fan of yoga. I just think it`s a great way to build muscle, get that mind-body connection, relax and continuously reach new goals when it comes to flexibility. Usually I do this by watching “Yoga with Adriene”. She is basically my guru. So usually for my work outs, I have done strength and cardio at the gym and yoga at home. However, now that I`ve got an elliptical (which I am planning to talk about in a separate post, because yay!), more and more of my workouts have been at home. And at some point I got the idea to look into different kinds of workout videos (like Victoria’s Secret inspired videos, ballet videos, etc) and I am so glad I did. So without further rambling (yes, I really could go on for longer) here is five reasons why I love this, and my favorite videos and channels.

 

  1. Most obvious: General at home comfort. I mean this has a whole undergroup of reasons. But most importantly is it that I don`t have to spend half an hour getting ready and then another half hour (at least) getting there. Because my “gym” is just a few stair steps away. Also, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I have realized that I work A LOT harder when no one can see me. I think we can all agree that the facial expressions and sounds that come with a hard workout, aren`t always of the flattering kind. So I`d rather just have an audience of my cat rather than a bunch of Barbie’s and Adonis’s, thank you very much.
  2. Obviously the gym is fun and has a lot of cool stuff, but it’s very easy, at least for me, to get stuck in a work out rut. And at the end of the day, its all either cardio, strength or set classes. With these videos I can do any work out I want any time I want. And the videos them self are also full of variation. As opposed to doing running on a treadmill for an hour and doing some squats in the corner.
  3. The fun. I get that people love Zumba classes and stuff like that. But I personally feel like what’s much more fun than going to a Zumba class every Wednesday at 4:35, is following a 20 year old Alyssa Milano work out video, then a Bollywood dance class and rounding it off with a super specific yoga video.
  4. The target possibilities. Of course the gym has different machines for different muscles, but not enough to make it fun or long lasting enough. Besides when you`ve targeted that on area for 20 minutes and are getting tired and cramped up, it does help to have a fun YouTube personality encouraging you.
  5. The learning. I am the type of person who enjoys learning about pretty much anything. And thanks to “Catherine Elizabeth” on “Psychetruth” I will forever know that my inner thigh muscles are called “adductors” and the outer “abductors”, and that makes me happy.

So as promised, here are a few of my faves.