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Another Workout Wednesday – Beach Edition

Chilling out after a beach sprint Tabata

Still riding a high from my Montauk vacation, I thought I’d use this Workout Wednesday to remind everyone to soak up what’s left of summer by getting some exercise outside!

I know I’ve written a lot about my new obsession with Tabata training. Well, here’s another chapter in that love affair! (In case you forgot, the idea behind this four-minute high-intensity formula is eight continuous intervals of 20 seconds of maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest.)

Here are two Tabatas I banged out four out of the five days during my recent beach getaway. There’s nothing particularly fancy about either of them. They just happened to be extra rewarding with the feel of the sun on my skin and the sand under my feet. Of course, let’s not forget the ultimate reward: being able to cool off in the ocean when the hard work was done!

  • Plank Tabata: I got my mom to use my iPhone to capture me doing one. Enjoy!

  • Beach Sprint Tabata. I know, I’m not a runner, but I actually motivated myself to use the beach as a distraction from an activity I  normally don’t like to do. So, in true Tabata fashion, here’s how I worked it: For the 20-second max intensity portion of the interval, I simply ran as close to a sprint as possible while keeping good form on the uneven surface of the sand. Then for the 10-second “rest” period of the interval, I simply slowed to a walk. On the last two days of the trip, I managed to pull off a mini “Tabata Derby” by doing three sprint Tabatas in a row (with a minute of rest in between).

The kicker was that I got my “regular” elliptical and weight training workouts in at the fitness center each morning before 8:30. Then, usually just before or after lunch, I would use the beach for the Tabatas. Getting two workouts in on a day was another huge treat during my vacation!

Even if you’re not a beach lover, you can still do exercises like squats, lunges, side planks and crunches in a park or in your own backyard! Whatever the season, there are plenty of ways to take your favorite exercises to new places and find exciting ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Recharged & Ready for Reality!

Soaking Up the Sea & Sun in Montauk, NY

I don’t think I realized how badly I needed a vacation until it actually started.

Yes, I’m a pretty upbeat and positive human being, but we all have our moments. Between stress at work and in my personal life, I had more than my usual share of those moments over the past several months.

As I start this new work week fueled with more energy than I’ve had in what feels like forever, I believe a lot of that stress got lost at sea in Montauk.

I made a very important decision before escaping the concrete jungle I love to call my home. I left everything behind. My production job, this blog and even the new project I hope to make a serious dent in this fall. (Stay tuned.) Being a creature of habit, I did check my office email a couple of times while I was on the beach. In response to my responses, my boss kindly told me to get back to vacation. So I did. (Thanks, Larry!)

So what did I focus on while I was away? Taking care of myself. That included:

  • Working out
  • Trying a new Zumba class at the fitness center
  • Taking long walks on the beach
  • Catching up on back issues of People
  • Indulging in a 90-minute massage
  • Cutting back on the social media scene

Finally and perhaps most importantly, I also made a point of writing in my journal everyday. Like exercise, writing has always been a cathartic experience. I may be too afraid to say things out loud, but sharing those thoughts on the blank pages of my journal helps me see things more clearly, especially with a little help from an exercise-induced endorphin rush and some sea air.

It was during one of those moments that I wrote my first poem in at least 15 years. I realize I’ve never shared a poem here on my blog, so I hope you’ll indulge me in this shift from the ordinary. Before you dive in, let me say I realize taking week off from work or life may not be possible in your life right now, but make sure you find some time to focus on taking care of yourself amidst the madness we call life. Sometimes an extended workout or escape to the backyard to catch up on some reading is what the body and soul need to recharge so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

“Wash Over Anew”

Staring out into the black night,

White foam stretches across the sand, only moments after the crash of a wave.

Another crash, another ripple of white foam,

All the while, the bright stars hidden in the city somehow shine down upon me from this night sky.

Each crash, each ripple of white foam, each sparkling star – a reminder –

Good times, bad times

They come and go,

Enter and retreat from this life,

Yet the rhythm of the ocean stays constant , just like the penetrating stare of the stars,

As does the fire burning within us –

The fire we cannot allow to die.

Use your inner strength to keep it aglow –

And just like the sea, the power to retreat and the power to wash over anew,

Lies within.

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