Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self Challenge

For the past several years, I have joined the online Self Challenge (sponsored of course by SELF magazine). Its been a great way to get motivated and active. Each month of the 3 month challenge you get a series of cardio and strength exercises. They give you a variety to meet both mental and physical needs of avoiding a workout rut. They have online video clips to demonstrate the activities. They also have a meal planner- with decent dietary suggestions, though its still a struggle if you are a vegetarian. I'd really love to see them add options in for different meal choices based on food preferences (vegetarian, vegan, food allergies, etc). The website is great- you record your beginning stats like weight, heart rate, waist circumference, and more. You also get to record your workouts in a log and food intake in a diary that lets you put down where you ate and how you felt. Its great to get the kind of feedback you get when you log in. You see how many calories you've burned, how many minutes of working out you have done, how many calories you've eaten... its fabulous. There is even a place for you to recommend this to your friends and create a buddy list. No friends want to join you? Make some new workout buds while on the site. Also get your Tip of the Day for a daily boost or helpful hint and check out the Playlists for some great workout tunes. I highly recommend this program. SELF has really put together a winner. To check out the SELF Challenge for yourself:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What Is Yoga? (Part I)

What is Yoga? Is it a physical activity to get in shape? Is it gentle or vigorous? Is it a spiritual practice? Is it a religion?

What yoga is depends on the one practicing yoga. For some it’s a stress reliever. For others it is an exercise class or time away from the kids and/or spouse. For some it’s a form of physical therapy and for others it becomes a spiritual practice. Yoga can be all of those things at once. That’s what makes yoga such a wonderful practice. Yoga is whatever it needs to be.

For me, attending yoga classes is a chance for me to relax, center and ground myself. It’s a time where I leave my worries and thoughts at the door. I get time to focus on my “self”. I have the chance to honor my body through movement- by strengthening it and honoring its limitations, pushing gently through resistance but stopping when necessary. I am able to stretch out and release tense muscles (and a tense mind!) I breathe better during yoga sessions. I breathe deeper and I am more aware of my breath. There are so many benefits to my yoga practice. I’m not sure I can list them all. The main point is this: For me, Yoga Is Life. I feel the most alive when I am at Yoga class. I feel aligned with life. I feel at home- I think this is the best way to describe it.

I am still in my beginning stages of yoga. I am learning more poses everyday. I am feeling more confident in my poses and I am more appreciative of my body. I no longer have so much disdain for my body. I am still frustrated from time to time about its current condition, but I am growing (and dwindling!)

There is so much more to discuss about yoga, so I will do several more entries discussing more concrete ideas and beliefs. For now, its just my thoughts.


Saturday, April 12, 2008


Welcome to HealthGirl 101

I, as many other women, am on a quest. A quest for health. A quest for feeling good, looking good and trying to be kind to my body and the environment in the process. This is the place where I will be sharing my experiences as I continue on my journey. I will review supplements, exercise products (including clothes, equipment, videos, etc.), and places (parks, studios, etc). I may even share my experiences with people.
My quest began many years ago, but I thought it was time to start sharing my experiences with others. Maybe one day this blog will come up in a Google Search result. I am always interested in personal experiences of other people - especially when it comes to the body and health. I do not and will not disregard scientific information, but personal experiences are important to my knowledge base as well.
Stay tuned for reviews, opinions, experiences and personal info as needed.