Sunday, September 26, 2010

Zumba High

This last couple of weeks have been long and tough! Every time I think I’m going to write on my blog something else pops up or throws me a curve ball. Just a quick re-cap of events from the past few weeks. My husband went to the emergency room, and was in the hospital for a couple of days with what turned out to be a kidney stone. Our computer crashed, and we are still awaiting the new one. My daughter turned 18, and we had many celebrations, and a college campus visit. My father is still in the hospital with a foot infection, and as of this posting it has been 9 days. We’re hoping he can come home on day 10.

So, with that being said there have been many positive things going on besides the 18th Birthday celebrations. Zumbatomic for children ages 7-12 years old started, and I’m loving it. The kids are doing a great job, and we’re having so much fun! Our regular Zumba classes are going strong, and have kept me focused and sane.

During one of my Zumba classes this past week, it hit me why I love Zumba so much. Although there were a lot of stressful things happening, the one hour of Zumba each class helped me escape to that “high” you get when you are working out. Just like the runner’s high, Zumba can take you to the same place. It’s just a great, feel good moment when euphoria hits and you feel happy. This relaxes your body, and I’m sure that it helps the blood pressure level.

Since I used to run I can say there were many times that I hit that runner’s high, but I think that Zumba keeps me there a lot longer than when I was running. The music, the moves, the people all contribute to the long high. My mind is not anywhere else except in that moment, with my Zumba family and just being in the moment.

The next time that you feel like you just can’t get out to get to class, and want to curl up and forget the world. Just try to remember how you feel when you’re at class, and how you will feel when you’re done.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Pound is a Pound

Last Friday night I was driving home from work around 11:30pm after a very long day at the skating rink, and I turned onto our street to a sea of white flowing strands of toilet paper strewn about our yard and trees.  My husband was already starting the clean up process, and we recruited the one daughter that was home to help.  With two teenagers in the house it was bound to happen sometime.

We grabbed trash bags, and pulled the toilet paper off of trees, picked it up off of the ground and unwound it from the swing set.  It took up some time, but we got it done.  When we were finished, I looked at the trash bags with all of the toilet paper wadded up, and stuffed into them.  The toilet paper that had once looked like so much, and took up so much space in our yard now looked very small and compact!   It was the same amount of paper, however, it didn't take up as much space.

I used to think (as many people do) that muscle weighed more than fat.  It's always a nice excuse when you see the scale number go up.  However, one day at my WW meeting I found out that this is a myth. A pound of fat weighs just as much as a pound of muscle.  A pound is a pound.  The difference is how the pound of fat looks compared to the pound of muscle.  Just like the toilet paper that was spread out around the yard looked different than it did in the trash bags.  It was still the same amount of paper.  One more analogy please.  A pound of feathers weighs the same as a one pound brick.  Thanks.

There was a period of time, while I was losing weight, that the scale stalled out.  My clothes felt and fit better.  People were telling me I looked like I was losing weight, but the scale told me they were wrong.  I think it was a time where a lot of toning and shifting were going on in my body.  Zumba is great because it gives you both cardio and toning exercise.  You can lose weight and tone at the same time!

So don't be discouraged when the scale stalls.  Take measurements, and gauge how you feel in your clothes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Heart

 Before I begin, someone told me at class the other day that she thinks she is shaped like a fire hydrant.  She just cracks me up.  By the way, I don't see it.  Hmmm,  wonder what I'm shaped like?

Anyway, onto the heart...

Here is a fact that many people do not know...Heart disease is the number-one killer of American women.  The first time that I heard this I was surprised.  I thought that maybe breast cancer or uterine cancer (both horrible) would be the leading cause of death.  Women tend to brush off the warning signs as stress, flu, fatigue, common headache, etc.  This includes women in their 20's, 30's and up.  Why am I talking about something so depressing??  Here comes the good part.  You can take care of yourself!!

I started my Zumba classes the first week of January 2010.  I constantly get stories from students about how their cholesterol and blood pressure have gone down.  I'm going to tell about a few of the stories I have heard recently.  I get similar stories all of the time, just the names and faces change.

Mona (that's her real name, she said that I could use it) walked into class a few weeks ago, and came over to talk to me before we started.  Mona told me that the only thing she has done differently in the last several months is Zumba.  She said that as she was going to see her doctor, she had decided that if her cholesterol was not down that she was done.  She had already tried everything else, and was working so hard that a negative result would cause her to just stop doing Zumba.  When the doctor walked into the room, he looked pleased and asked Mona what she had been doing.  She replied that the only thing she was doing different than what she did in the past was Zumba.  OK...are you ready?  Her cholesterol went down 37 points!!  She looked at me, and said, "I just bought another punch card."

While talking to Mona the other day, Bea told me that her cholesterol was down as well.  I get one story after another like this.

A woman who has been taking my classes for about two months came rushing over to talk to me. She said that her doctor told her she had to do exercise at least three times a week.  She picked a stationary bike at home, and my Zumba class.  Well, you guessed it, she went to the doctor, and her blood pressure and cholesterol were both down as well as her weight!  She just looks wonderful, and feels fantastic.  The doctor asked her what she was doing, and she said Zumba.  The doctor said that she had another patient that does Zumba, and had lost 70 pounds.  Guess it works.

When you take care of yourself it makes it easier to care for others.  Your thoughts become clearer, your breathing is easier, your energy is higher and your heart is happier.