Cardio Day and Nice Reward

How is everyone doing with your 12-Week Challenge? Here is how my calendar looks like:

12-Week Challenge - Balletomanehk - www.balletomanehk.com

For me, keeping up with the light schedule is itself a challenge. I had to swap a lot of the exercises to fit them into my schedule. But going back to regular class definitely helps to get me into the groove. The cardio is often the part that stops me…. I would find all sorts of excuses, like having a sore back or headache, for not doing it. As on any day of the week, I have a short supply of time today, but the weather is super nice and I decided to give cardio a try. So I made a search on YouTube and found this awesome video—a 10-minute cardio workout for busy people by Amanda Russell:

It’s made up of 10 exercises. You would do each for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds then start the next one. This would make the set a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), perfect for fat burn. In the past, I have done HIIT in the form of jogging. I have to admit that these exercises are much more fun to do than jogging, as they provide a good amount of variation. But at least half of them are extremely difficulty for me as they require a lot of strength in the core, thighs and quads. At first I thought that 45 seconds would be easy peasy. Nope! I had to stop in the middle of at least three exercises to catch my breath. The good thing is that they really get my heart rate up fast and they are not as tough as the other set by Jenna Wolfe that I mentioned in my last post. Give it a try and see if it suits you. The best part is that it takes less than 10 minutes to complete once you are familiar with the routines. I think this would make the cardio part of the challenge easier for me. And I am starting to appreciate the benefits of doing cardio exercises for my ballet training. They seem to contribute to my stamina and strength.

Before I did those exercises today, I was actually starting to get hungry and debated whether I should eat first or exercise first. But I decided to hold off eating and finish the workout first. Sure enough, I forgot about the hunger and got the exercises done. It didn’t take that much time as imagined. Then I rewarded myself with an organic garden salad, freshly harvested from my little rooftop garden. Yummy yummy!

Organic Garden Salad with Salmon - Balletomanehk - www.balletomanehk.com

Hope you are having fun with the challenge, seeing progress in your ballet training and most important of all, feeling good about yourself! See you next time!

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No Matter How You Feel… Show up and Never Give up

Today’s the fifth day of the 12-Week Challenge. I missed a day on Wednesday as I had to travel to the city for work, which means almost four hours back and forth. On Thursday, I picked up the challenge again by jumping rope on my roof.

Jumping-Rope

I made around 120 rounds… not that much if you think of the little time needed to do that, but still, it was better than nothing and my heart rate certainly went up a notch. It’s amazing how a simple exercise was able to lift my mood as well—I was feeling rather depressed about my economic situation after paying tax, and worried how I’m going to pay the rent, let alone my ballet classes! (If you are so inclined, please consider sending in a donation so I can keep on taking ballet class… click here. I’ll be forever grateful!)

The Universe does have its way of comforting and encouraging me. First, I saw this quote while browsing Instagram:

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.”
~Regina Brett

It was like a gentle nudge that life goes on, keep doing what you need to do and what you love to do.

Then, another sign—The following cardio workout routine showed up on my Facebook newsfeed. Exactly what I needed to get my cardio exercise done for the challenge:

The trainer, Jenna Wolfe, said the exercises progress from the easiest to the hardest, from the largest number of reps to the smallest. To my surprise, I almost stopped dead in the middle of the sequence. The squatting one was so tough. My thighs were killing me. But the high kicks were easy, without me having to bend the trunk forward like Wolfe does in the video (dancer’s advantage, I guess). I don’t know if I burned 100 calories or not (the goal of this workout) but I don’t care about calories. It’s the heart rate that matters, and I surely could feel the blood pumping fast after the workout!

Then, somehow I stumbled upon the following video on workout exercises. Although I was going to try out Kathryn Morgan’s leg workout, my attention turned to this instead. In my first time back at the ballet studio, I noticed how tight my hip muscles were and how little turnout was left of me, so I decided to work on that. Check out this video! I love it because all the exercises were done with a focus on warming up and rotating the hip joint… no forcing at all. And the video is not too long, around 8 minutes. You can do it along with the instructor Lisa Maree. Some of her audience members reported much better turnout after having done this workout repeatedly. So it might be something to build into the 12-week challenge routine and beyond.

After my workouts were done, my legs were totally shaky! But I feel good. The quote above is so spot on! Thank you, Universe.

Kathryn Morgan’s 12-Week Challenge

Have you made New Year resolutions? Studies show that goals are more realistic and people tend to achieve more with them than with “resolutions.” And in ballet, a disciplined approach with mini goals would be easier to implement than big lofty goals or wishes such as “I want to have higher extension, more flexibility and stronger core.”

Here is Kathryn Morgan’s 12-week challenge to help us get started. There is a regular version for those of you who are already training regularly, and a light version for those of you who are getting into ballet or restarting it like me. The timing can’t be more perfect, as going back into ballet is my goal for this year. Although my busy schedule may not allow me to follow the schedule strictly, having this guideline will surely motivate me to get back into the dance groove and the fitness routine. Who wants to join?

http://kathrynmorganonline.com/12-week-challenge