Peak Fitness: Workouts for gym or home

Ever go to the gym, see all the machine, and get overwhelmed? Thinking: what do I do? Where do I start? How much do I do? Help! help! help! I just want tone up. I did all the time until I started working out with my friend Brandon. He showed me a bunch of workouts I could even do at home, to help me tone and reach my peak fitness.  Now, by peak fitness, I’m not talking about bulking, lifting, shredding and looking like a he/she. Eh not for me. Some of my friends do that and some look great but some I have to take a step back, do a double look and remember if they are a girl or guy.

I just like to stay active, fit and toned. I’m naturally petite so a big thing Brandon helps me focus on is breathing right. Elementary right? You’d be surprised how many people don’t breathe right during their workouts and it makes a world of a difference, in seeing results and staying toned.

Modified push-ups: putting an emphasis on keeping the core tight, and exhaling when stretching for your target.

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 Leg pull-ins: place your hands or elbows on the ground, inhale as you fully extend your legs, and exhale as you contract the legs in, focusing on keeping your feet level with your line of vision.

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 Bridge: this workout starts with your feet planted firmly on the ground, with a separation between your feet equal with your shoulders, exhale and raise the hips up, focusing on using your thighs and gluteus to push and tighten your core.
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 Alternating arm-raises: tightening your wrist and placing s slight bend in your elbow, exhale as you raise the weights to shoulder level, inhale as you lower your arms and rotate them to the forwards position, repeat to completion.

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 “Punch-crunches”: start in regular sit-up position, hands on the side of your head, exhale and reach across your body, aiming to get your elbow parallel to your knee
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 Modified Mountain Climbers: start in the push-up position, and rapidly bring your knees up to your elbows, across the body, and exhaling as when you bring your knee to your elbow

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Que Pasa Central Texas

Mid-September is already here and festival season has begun. There’s so many events happening in Central Texas this month. So pack your sunblock, bug spray, and water bottles and head out to an event on this list, deep in the heart of Texas. See y’all out and about.

*Oui! Wednesday|Passport to Paris: French Language
Where: San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When: every Wednesday- December 17
Time: 2pm
More information
Cost: Free with museum admission

*Art|Music|Food-Second Thursdays
Where:San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When:every 2nd Thursday of the month
Time: 6-9pm
More information
Cost:Free

*Movies in the Park: “Raising Arizona”
Where:Austin- Republic Square
When: September 11
Time:8pm
Cost: Free

*2nd Fridays: Art Walk
Where: San Antonio- N.St.Marys street & Josephine Street
When: September 12
Time:6pm- 10pm

*Second Saturdays
Where: San Antonio- S. Flores St.
When: September 13
Time:6pm- 10pm
More information
El Campo will be an awesome band to checkout

*Banger’s Smoke-out Saturday
Where: Austin- Banger’s on Rainey St.
When: September 13
Time: 11am
More information

*Utopiafest
Where: Utopia-Four Sisters Ranch
When: September 12-14
More information

*Capitol of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta
Where: Austin- Palmer Event Center
When: September 12-14
http://www.captxquiltfest.org

*Los Lonely Boys
Where: New Bruanfels- Gruene Hall
When:September 12
Time: 8pm
http://gruenehall.com

*Viva Mexico!
Where: Austin- Mexican American Culture Center
When: September 13
Time: 7pm
More information

*Échale! Block party
Where: San Antonio- History Pearl Brewery
When: September 13
Time: 1pm- 6pm
http://atpearl.com/calendar/echale

*Kings of Leon| Mechanical Bull Tour with Young The Giant and Kongos
Where:Austin- Austin360 Amphitheater
When:September 13
Time: 5:30pm
http://austin360amphitheater.com/events/kings-of-leon-with-young-the-giant-and-kongos

Tour de Vin by The Food & Wine Foundation of Texas
Where: Austin- W Austin
When: September 18
Time: 6pm
http://www.winefoodfoundation.org/events/tour-de-vin/

*Fowler Fest 2014
Where: Austin- Nutty Brown Cafe
When: September 20
http://nuttybrown.com/concert-calendar/fowler-fest-2014

*Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Where: Austin- Fiesta Gardens
When: September 27
http://texascraftbrewersfestival.org

*South Texas Corn Maize opens
Where: Hondo
When: September 27
More Information

*Schlotzsky’s 32nd Bun Run with fastest dog in Austin race
Where:Austin- Alterra Parkway & Kramer Lane
When: September 28
More information

*San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Off & Festival
Where: Freeman Coliseum/ AT & T Center grounds
When: September 25- 27
http://www.sarodeo.com/attractions/bar-b-que-cook-off-and-festival

Transformation Tuesday: Getting Healthy

Just a few weeks short, from two years, since I had the shingles. Oh what terrible experience! About six months before I started working out with my friend, Brandon, that is a personal trainer. Now I’ve always been relatively petit, but I wanted to be fit.

We’d workout once or twice a week, cardio, boxing, weight. My work schedule at the time never allowed me to get on a constant routine. Eh, I was still slowly getting stronger. Now, I did not change my diet, if any thing I probably ate worst. So I wasn’t seeing results, just feeling stronger.

It was about mid-September when I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a stinging feeling along my lower right side of my back wrapping around my hip. There was a trail of bumps that looked like spider bites along my hip. The next two days I went out and about with my day, but the pain was getting worse.

I showed my grandma, telling her I thought it was spider bites. She gasped and told me it reminded her of when she had the shingles. She said it follows my lower back nerve line, “and those bumps that look like spider bites are going to start blistering.” Of course, she was right. I went to the doctor the next day and sure enough, diagnosis, Shingles. I was quickly put on pain meds, given a strict diet, and instructed to stay away from babies and senior citizens.

What is Shingles? Well, you chicken pox? The virus never leaves your body. It stays dormant in your nerves, your whole life. When it reactivates, it painfully emerges as the shingles. It can be activated, by stress, low immune system, etc. It starts off looking like bug bites. It follows a nerve line. As days progress without treatment, it’ll start to blister. Then after about 2-4 weeks the blisters go away and you are left with scares and pain. The pain level, during blistering, is said to be worse than child birth.

It was about 4-5 days in before I started any treatments so my case ended up being relatively severe. Since it was along my long back and hip nerve line, I could barely walk. I grew very weak and was in bed for about three and half weeks. The strict diet limited pretty much everything, so my body would absorb the medication better. My scars have mostly healed, but the pain still slightly lingers.

Once I recovered, and was able to have a regular diet again, I started running. I tried running a few fun 5k marathons to help get my strength and endurance back up. I still felt weak and my weight, was way under healthy, my size. So, I decided to just eat everything I want for a few months, no holding back to put on some weight on.

In April this year, I finally reached a weight a little over my previously normal range. I was so excited, because I wanted to start working out again. This time with a goal to reach my peak fitness. Now I don’t want to become one of those scary buff looking girls. I’ve concentrated on making healthier choice. Subbing quinoa for rice has made a huge difference! You have no idea how hard it is for an Asian to give up as jasmine rice.

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Taking my vitamins everyday has also helped me have more energy, making workouts and running a little easier. I’m not as strong as I want to be yet, but I definitely on my way to being my healthiest self yet.