An Alternative Monday

Autumn Lightbox Pic

I bought myself a mini light box this week to keep me awake and motivated at work in the afternoon during the dark winter months – BOOM! Let’s see if it works…

Speaking of light, my SO and I went to watch the fireworks at a local school on Saturday evening to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. Last year’s display was so good (way above our expectations of a primary school) so when this year’s display began it seemed a bit lame…but once it got going it was AMAZING! They also had a BBQ, so we enjoyed a burger and some tomato soup, oh and a cup of mulled wine!

Yesterday our systems all went down at work, including internet and phones, so after sitting around for a while and finding out that it could be 4 hours until IT diagnose the problem before even attempting to fix it, we all abandoned ship and went home. I got home by 1pm after a quick stop by the vet to pick up flea treatment for my cat, and had some lunch while seeing if I could log into my work system – nope! (Actually, we couldn’t log in again until gone 4pm). So, what did I do?

  • Topped up a plant in my front ‘garden’ with special compost supplied at the weekend by the inlaws
  • Raked leaves off the lawn ready for Wednesday collection
  • Did a ballet workout dvd which was extremely taxing on the thighs! (Aiming to do this again tonight)
  • Had a relaxing hot bath while watching a couple episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (old Melissa Joan Hart series, not the new Netflix one LOL)
  • Unblocked the gunked up sink plug hole in the bathroom
  • Made a spicy bolognese sauce
  • And then a bit of actual work once I could log into the system again!

I’m going to try and keep up the ballet workout as much as I can to build up the muscles around my knees, which have been suffering a little with my rhythm tap practice. I also need to get my core back in shape too, and ballet is definitely an ALL-OVER body toner. After swimming at the spa last Thursday, I’d quite like to get back into swimming on Friday lunchtimes, but it might be one thing too many at the moment.

In the meantime, roll on Thursday’s advanced beginners tap class!

 

 

Today’s Workout

This rainy afternoon I finally got out into my garage/dance studio and did a bit of tap! ☔ I played music from my phone through the Bluetooth speaker and had a go at some drills, including flaps and lots of shuffles, especially on the left hand side which seems to miss the floor a LOT when I use my tap board. I dunno, it’s a bit slippery and I guess being confined to a square compared to using a whole studio makes it difficult. Still, it was good!

Next I did some ankle strengthening using a balance board. It’s really hard to keep it even and centred, which makes it ideal for working those ankles!

Next I did some 5kg weights, lifting them above my head, out front, behind, to the sides, and then some squats. I followed this up with crunches – it has been a while!

I finished up my sweatfest with some stretching. Maybe I’m motivated because I’ve now got 2 weeks off work 🙂

My (eclectic) Playlist:

  • My Same – Adele
  • California Soul – Marlena Shaw
  • Get Off – Foxy
  • Hanky Panky – Madonna
  • Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos
  • Candy Shop – Andrew Bird
  • These Days – Take That
  • Changing – Sigma feat. Paloma Faith
  • Forget – Lianne La Havas
  • When My Baby – Bing Crosby

Home Dance Studio

During my week off work I finally got to set up my home dance studio/gym in the garage! Now I have somewhere to practise tap dance 😀👍👍

It is a great space because the people who owned the house before had installed electricity for lights and heating, plus a proper door from the garden and a window, which brings natural light. There is also plenty of light from the transparent roof.

The studio is comprised of the following:

  • Interlocking foam floor tiles (wood effect)
  • 3 over-the-door mirrors (around ÂŁ14 each from The Range)
  • Cube unit for storing dumbbells etc
  • Foldaway ballet barre
  • Tap board
  • Motivational posters
  • Plants

I had attached some red ‘Dance’ lettering to the wall above the mirrors, but it fell down and broke overnight, so I need to find a way fix it and try to attach it more securely.

The next task is to get rid of the rest of the furniture sitting at the other end of the garage!

I’m so pleased with it because I was getting kind of frustrated with having nowhere to practise other than in the corridors and toilets at work. Yay!

Has anyone done anything similar?

Cross Training

After saying it for some time, I finally picked up my 5kg dumb bell weights at the weekend and pumped some iron! Yes, I love resistance training. I prefer it to cardio. Running? No. Body building? Maybe!

I decided to try and find a dance warm-up or workout on YouTube that would be doable on a daily or every-other-day basis as part of my intention to get back into some form of cross-training:

I found a Jazz class warm-up on YouTube and did that a few times. That was VERY good in terms of stretching and core work, and it wasn’t too long. My abs were burning.

There was another one I tried without verbal instructions. The music was calming and atmospheric, the filming was in black and white, really enjoyable… and then it kept cutting to the next exercise without any transition! So one minute we’re lying on the floor and suddenly we’re standing. Also, it didn’t repeat on the other side of the body, so I had to play it through again to achieve the balance. I won’t discount it for that reason though and have added it to my playlist.

I also had a go at a Sweaty Betty ballet workout featuring Flik Swan & Victoria Marr of Sleek Technique. I only just about got through the warm-up and I was done – it is hard work! But you do get results if you stick with it. I have their triple box set on DVD, which I had started reviewing on the blog, but it is so full-on that I ran out of steam. Hopefully I’ll review the third and final DVD in that set at some point in 2018…

However, once the weekend was gone and the busyness of the week took over, I haven’t done anything since, besides running through the tap routine for tonight – doh!

  • Which do you prefer to throw yourself into, cardio, resistance or maybe both?
  • How do you stay fit and flexible between dance classes?

Merry Christmas! 

Hope you have a great Christmas whatever you’re doing! We will be hosting my mum for a mini Christmas on Christmas Eve,  going to the in-laws for a few days and seeing my family on other days. Not sure if I will be doing a Parkrun this Christmas Day, but I am aiming to get my fitness back (or restarted đŸ˜”) during the holidays with some walking and workout dvds, of which I have MANY.

Enjoy!

 

 

Peachy

Today I have decided to do what I did last summer and go to the gym at lunchtime! I don’t have any dance classes until mid-September, and I am starting to feel really sluggish and unfit (I know, Rambert was only last week), so I think a short workout will be good, especially as it’s a really dreary day out there.

Peachy

Watching the IAAF Athletics World Championships has also spurred me on (I was at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday morning). I keep seeing adverts everywhere at the moment for how to get your “best body ever!” and a “pert peachy bum!” because it’s bikini-mankini season, but that’s not really my motivation. I just want to feel a bit fitter so that September’s return to dance isn’t a shock!

Don’t worry, I haven’t signed up for a silly gym membership that I’ll never use…I bought a Pay As You Gym pass 🙂

What do you do to stay fit when you’re not dancing?

 

Rio 2016

ARI don’t know about you, but I feel really inspired by the Rio Olympics at the moment. I’m
watching it on TV after work and catching up on some on BBC iPlayer at the weekends.
My favourite events are definitely all gymnastics related! These people are incredible athletes. They are strong and flexible and have the ability to fly through the air or jump from the ground onto a 10cm beam straight into the splits! (Achieving the splits is still on my bucket list LOL).

Pint-sized Gold medallist Simone Biles of the US has been one of my favourites, and her team mate Aly Raisman is also in my awesome list. I just really love their style.
Well done to our GB gymnasts Amy Tinkler who got Bronze, along with the amazing Gold medallist Max Whitlock. It has definitely spurred me on to start strength training and stretching…

GD

It has been so cool that Ballet has been mentioned on several occasions during these Olympics. GB Hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon was a former ballet student and Dylan Tyler credited his sailing success to his ballet dancer parents! (He tried ballet as a child, but hated it and took gymnastics instead). I think the discipline of dance is very transferable into other sports.

What have been your Rio Olympic highlights?