Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Working Out at Home

I hate the gym.  Well, I've never actually been, but I can tell I'd hate it.  It's just the idea of working out in public, where other people can judge you and your tomato red sweaty face.  That's why I think it's best to work out at home, where you're in private and feel comfortable with giving it your all.  I mean, if you're already going to be putting yourself in a challenging position, you need to be pretty content before you start.

So work out at home.  There's no excuses to why you can't.  You have a floor.  That's really all you need.

Okay, so first of all, it's easy to do a simple 30 second plank, or 25 sit ups, or 10 push ups.  It really doesn't take all that long.  And you can even do exercises in intervals.  I have a friend who's a really serious runner, and while her ankle was healing she had to do this sit up routine to keep up her core or something.  What she did was 20 sit ups, and a minute rest, 20 sit ups, and a minute rest, and so on for five times.  The important thing about working out though is that you can't cheat yourself.  You've actually got to do 20 proper sit ups, legs on the ground, arms crossed on your chest, going all the way up.

Other than those simple on the whim exercises, there's also YouTube.  It literally has everything FOR FREE.  So there's no need to go paying $80 for a special Kayla Itsines workout plan or anything. 

The first time I tried one of these I did some kind of ballet cardio thing with Jessica Smith.  I loved her workouts for a while, each lasting about half an hour and working out pretty much the whole body. What I liked about it was that being ballet it was partially graceful, and it wasn't all that intense, only getting tired at the very end.  Check out her channel at Jessica Smith TV

And this was the first video I did by her:

Another one I tried at the beginning was this really intense series of workouts called 'the 30 day shred'.  It was basically a bunch of circuits targeting different parts of the body that went for about half an hour altogether.  It was pretty intense, but it definitely worked out everything and you feel amazing when you're done.  I think the video was from a fitness channel with all sorts of different gym type classes called Be Fit.

And here's the '30 day shred' video I did.  Apparently it's level 2, so maybe it would've been better to start on level 1...

And finally, it's time for my favourite.  This channel was recommended by my friend, and it's pretty much the only one I use now.  Every single workout is both short and extremely difficult.  I've given up a lot, but I'm getting better.  I can tell my muscles are getting stronger.  I've even begun using her beginners calendar now (which is FREE on her website).  This channel is none other than Blogilates!!

Here's a video I did yesterday.  It was a little easier than her usual.

I'm actually really liking Pilates right now.  I think it's the control, and how you can feel the part of the body you're targeting burn.  I mean, I'm still acquainting myself with managing that burn, but I'm just imagining the day when I'll find that I like the feeling.  I already feel proud every time I feel it, because I know I'm doing it right and I know I'm actually working it. 

So maybe you should work out at home.  Even work out right now.  Try one of these videos, or just get on the floor and do a few sit ups.  It's not like you have many excuses when it's all literally at your fingertips.  You really can exert your body anywhere.


Friday, 13 March 2015


I know it's an unusual topic, but lately I've had a preoccupation with my vocabulary.  You see, this year I have an English teacher who's especially passionate about words, and varieties of words, and crafting sentences concisely with words.  Every lesson she spurts out exquisite words that I can't even begin to comprehend.  So I guess my main incentive of expanding my vocabulary was her.  Or rather the panic I felt because I was afraid I wouldn't get a good mark on the upcoming essay.  I honestly still am uncertain about it, because I feel as if I'll never be able to write with enough variety to satisfy her.

But my panic about an essay is not the reason I'm writing this post.  The reason is more along the lines of the fact that I'm noticing words now.  You probably think I sound like an idiot, or some kind of overdramatic person who blows up every little thing, like "OoOooh words.  How interesting!"  But I'm being serious here.

If you think about it, words are how we dictate our thoughts.  We write out our opinions, our feelings (if you're into diaries and stuff), our conversations over texts.  I mean, we speak in words.  Without knowing them, how would we be able to communicate?

In Malaysia my koong koong gave me a book about vocabulary.  This wasn't uncommon as he has some sort of obsession with English.  I guess he's kind of like my English teacher in that way.  In fact, I think he was an English teacher at one point in his life.  Anyway, being me I put the book on a shelf and left it there with no solid intention of reading it.  I mean, I'll admit I was a little interested, as I've always known my vocabulary isn't exactly amazing.  But it's not like I picked it up until I was bored in a non-wifi zone and stuck with a whole bunch of younger cousins and older relatives, having already finished every single one of my other books.  I can't say I've read the book since, but here's what I gained from what I read...

We think in words.  All our thoughts are only comprehensible to us because we're communicating to ourselves in words.  And the more words you know the more thoughts your mind is open to.  It's like you can think of new concepts due to new definitions and new verbs and adjectives stuffed inside your brain.  Even my philosophy teacher talked about how language is a form of logic, because it's through definitions that we know whether something is real or not.  Well at least that's what I think he said.  I tend to turn my brain off in philosophy.  It hurts my brain and the class is... well, boring.

Back to words though, since I started noticing them, I started noticing new words everywhere.  Words I would normally skip over rather than search up the meaning of (and probably forget later).  I'm reading a book called the Ruby Circle, which is another Young Adult book, and even that has words like pragmatic and malaise of which I don't remember hearing before.  People talk using words like advocate and assets, which I know the meaning of but would never really use.  And even blog posts I've read have new words everywhere, of which are crafted specifically to what they're trying to say.

That's what I reckon words are most important for.  Writing.  Some people are able to create sentences and paragraphs in such an immaculate way.  And to me that means they are able to convey their thoughts precisely and uniquely.  It's an art in a way, like painting a picture with the perfect words instead of colours and strokes.  And just like painting, I'm pretty hopeless at it.  But that doesn't mean I won't work towards it, or I won't enjoy trying.

My friend has this bookmark which is a dictionary, meaning she can type in any word to find its definition.  You've probably seen one before.  When she first got it I was like, "yeah that's cool."  But now I want one (but not as much as I want a mac book pro).

It's difficult crafting perfect artistic meticulous sentences.  I notice that now, even here, writing a casual rambling blog post.  I'm not sure if I'm portraying my thoughts adequately to you.  I'm not sure if I'm giving you a clear image into what I'm thinking.  I'm not sure if I'm giving myself that.  Just imagine how much more knowledge I would have if I had more words...