Archives for December 2012

Getting Better by Sleeping Better – There’s an app for that

It’s no secret that getting good sleep on a consistent basis is imperative to maintaining your health and a strong, well-functioning body. But do we get enough sleep? And of that, how much of it is quality sleep?

When you sleep, your body rests and repairs itself. You replenish your energy stores,  repair any broken down muscle tissue (important for those training hard for sports performance and endurance races), and your hormones level out. When you’re consistently sleeping poorly, your body can actually decline in strength and start to break down. Your body can also produce more stress hormones which we all know we could do without. Like we need more stress on our bodies…

So many people strive to be “fit” and “healthy” but the most popular goals of those hitting the gyms are the following; decreasing body fat, increasing visable muscle tone, and increasing their performance. They wanna know about higher numbers on the weight stack, faster times, and lower numbers on the scales. And they’re willing to do a lot of work to get there… in the gym. But they miss out on a BIG chunk of their health: getting adequate sleep. And don’t even get me started on those peeps that keep pounding these energy shots with 6 times the normal amount of caffeine to “feel better”, “workout harder” and “have more energy”. GET MORE SLEEP! Better Sleep! But how do you know how well you’re sleeping?

I’ve got a great app that helps to track your sleep quality/quantity to give you a better understanding of your sleep patterns and therefore a better handle on your sleep quality.

In turn, you sleep better,
 you train better, 
you FEEL better. 
Introducing
Sleep Cycle

I’ve actually had this app for a while now,
 but have just started using it consistently. And I dig it.
(You could say it’s my new jam)

First, you let it know what time you need to wake up: 

Then you lay it down on your bed, face down, next to your dome. 

While you snooze, it tracks your movement, 
how long you sleep, 
and when you’re in deep sleep zones. 
Then it wakes you up when you’re in your lightest zone
so you don’t feel like ass when you get up.
(Not feeling like ass is worth the $.99 this app costs)
It also has Sleep Notes
for you to track your day’s behavior 
that may influence how well (or how shitty) you sleep. 
This is my graph after I had two glasses of sweet tea the other night
at a Christmas dinner (blame it on the South).
Notice how I NEVER hit deep sleep. 
I tossed and turned all night long. #toomuchcaffeine
You state how you feel when you wake up:

And it charts it all out for you.
You can see how you’ve done over the past few nights/weeks.

Sorry, couldn’t rotate this one. Head tilt! 

Track your sleep for a week or so and see what you do to get better sleep
and also how much better you feel when you do sleep well.*

You never know, you may feel so good you’ll wanna
go bust out some yoga splits on a mountain top somewhere.

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Or just not feel like ass.
Either way…

Try it out! Good luck : )

*Helpful hint: 
When you don’t have to be up until 5:30, but it wakes you up at 5… DON’T hit the snooze button because you’ve “got more time”.  ’cause you’ll go back into deep sleep. And then you’ll feel like ASS when it goes back off. Kinda defeats the purpose, ya know? (Speaking from experience on night 4 #Doh). 
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It was a good Christmas…

Before 

Tango LOVED his present! So much so that he treasured it and just carried it around for most of the day. In the car, at my dad’s, etc. He finally dug into it last night, once we were home. So cute.

After

I caught this moment on the way home from my dad’s house with my brother, sis-in-law, and nephew. They were both passed out… And I was super lucky; they both woke up a few seconds later. Thanks to Amanda for tapping me on the shoulder so I could see it!

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Merry Christmas, Blogosphere!

Tango and I took around 100 photos of ourselves, 
and rolled all over the living room floor,
trying to get a couple good shots for our Christmas Card this year…
It didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped.

Oh well.

I can’t imagine why he didn’t wanna wear the Santa mask… 

anyway…
Wishing you and yours a
Very Merry Christmas! 
~ Ami and Tango
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Christmas Jams

I know. I just blogged about my jams last week BUT
 A: It’s a new week
and
2: It’s Christmas.
Duh.

So without further ado…

Things That Are My Jam:
Christmas Edition

*Wrapping Paper with grid lines on the back
I’m cutting straighter than ever this year.
Whoever had that idea is also my jam…

*Being ahead of the game. 
Got all my shiz purchased BEFORE Christmas Eve.
That’s never happened before. Ever.

*Christmas cards. 
I love our living room mirror this time of year.
 It’s covered with cards from all our peeps.
#feelingthelove

*Caroling. 
I went caroling with about 60 people last night. 
A new thing for me and definitely not the last time.

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*Winter Pine Candle
Our tree is a few weeks old now so it’s smell isn’t as strong
throughout the heezy. This little guy helps bring up the rear.  

I just finished watching It’s A Wonderful Life.
It’s one of the best Christmas movies and I love going to bed knowing
there’s so much to be thankful for in my life right now.
I hope every one of you is having a great holiday season,
surrounded by loved ones and fun holiday traditions.

Love and lovely thoughts from over here tonight.

Merry Christmas Eve!



MPTLS-OW
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My Jam

Things That Are My Jam This Week 
This puppy ~ I missed him so much when I was gone last week. 
This dress ~ It’s Bonna’s and it’s gotten good wear over the past 6 years between her, me and Amanda. 
#moneywellspent 

 

These shoes ~ #moneyspentthatdidntneedtobe #butohwell Can anybody tell me why it’s nearly impossible to find classic but sexy plain black heels?! 
TV on planes ~ I was able to watch Winter Action Sports AND Christmas Vacation on my flight from San Fran to Akron, OH. #timewellspent
This Rental ~ All my rental cars are always silver. And I can never find them in parking lots because EVERYBODY’S cars are silver. This little gem (a Chevy Spark) was a smooth ride, easy on gas, and unmistakable in all parking areas. #travelscore

This crew at Kent State ~ They’re my last graduates of the year for TRX. #proudmama
The color GOLD ~ ’cause it’s my new status on United Airlines! All that damn flying paid off. And with the last flight of the year too. #yessssssss

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These Winners ~ Jenn and Jason are headed back west to Wyoming for the winter and I got to say a quick goodbye as they passed through the ‘ville. Have fun, dudes! See you soon : ) 
5 New Rip Trainers! ~ For my bootcampers! It’s gonna be a good January : ) 

What’s your jam this week? 
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My Christmas Wish…

Please end the violence. Everywhere. 
Newtown, CT, you’re in our hearts.  
: ( 
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Dance E’ery Day – days 2 & 3

So I’ve taken class every day this week so far! 
Woot! 
Experiences have varied…
Stretching is important. Fact. 

Day 2
Class was great! I went to SF Dance Center this time and it was meant to be; all the 10:00am Contemporary classes are on sale for $7 right now. Hello. I really enjoyed the instructor, the pace of the class, her choreography, AND I was having a good dance day. All good things. 
Day 3 
There was a different instructor and choreography was great! Choreography was great, however it was also WAY too long and taught way too fast for my old ass who hasn’t taken regular class in 8 years and can’t remember shit that well anyway brain to keep up with. I was way off balance today and couldn’t pick up things quickly at all. To say the least: it was a shitty class. 
Despite how much I wanted to be in class, I ended up getting really frustrated with myself (and a little with the teacher, even though it was my fault for sucking). I hate “off” days. They’re hard to bounce back from… even though it’s only my ego that takes a hit, it’s still defeating enough to ruin a morning. Over my many years of dancing, there were far less bad days than good. These days it’s the opposite. Oh well. I’ll just have to get over it. Having a sucky day in the studio every now and then won’t kill me. 
In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal.
 So I had a shitty morning. Whatever. 
I’ve gotten to take class 3 days this week
 and still get to take class two more days this week.
I had an awesome lunch date, 
got some work done, 
AND I get to go climbing tonight. 
 Glad Game, bitches. 
How do you deal with a poor performance days?
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Dance E’ery Day – days 2 & 3

So I’ve taken class every day this week so far! 
Woot! 
Experiences have varied…
Stretching is important. Fact. 

Day 2
Class was great! I went to SF Dance Center this time and it was meant to be; all the 10:00am Contemporary classes are on sale for $7 right now. Hello. I really enjoyed the instructor, the pace of the class, her choreography, AND I was having a good dance day. All good things. 
Day 3 
There was a different instructor and choreography was great! Choreography was great, however it was also WAY too long and taught way too fast for my old ass who hasn’t taken regular class in 8 years and can’t remember shit that well anyway brain to keep up with. I was way off balance today and couldn’t pick up things quickly at all. To say the least: it was a shitty class. 
Despite how much I wanted to be in class, I ended up getting really frustrated with myself (and a little with the teacher, even though it was my fault for sucking). I hate “off” days. They’re hard to bounce back from… even though it’s only my ego that takes a hit, it’s still defeating enough to ruin a morning. Over my many years of dancing, there were far less bad days than good. These days it’s the opposite. Oh well. I’ll just have to get over it. Having a sucky day in the studio every now and then won’t kill me. 
In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal.
 So I had a shitty morning. Whatever. 
I’ve gotten to take class 3 days this week
 and still get to take class two more days this week.
I had an awesome lunch date, 
got some work done, 
AND I get to go climbing tonight. 
 Glad Game, bitches. 
How do you deal with a poor performance days?
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Dance E’ery Day

I’m working from San Fran this week and while I have the flexibility in my schedule and a big city at my fingertips, I’m going to take advantage of all the great dance facilities here.  It’s hard getting out of the habit of dancing… so even though this may only last this week, I’m gonna try to get after it as much as possible. My goal is to take one class a day (providing I can still walk after a couple days of this).

This morning I took class at a place called ODC. It was fabulous, I wasn’t a hot mess, and I met some really cool chicks. The place is newer so the studios are big and really nice! I’m going to check out another place tomorrow, but I definitely enjoyed my time at ODC and may return later in the week.

I asked this on my Fitness Facebook page earlier: 
What are you doing to ignite your passion this week? 
It’s only Monday, you’ve got time to figure it out : ) 
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Travel Thoughts: Colorado

I flew into Denver last weekend to teach a course in Colorado Springs. 
I had the whole weekend in Colorado, which is a nice change of pace to my trips lately. 
My thoughts on Colorado: 
* Yay for Shana being in Denver tonight too! 
*Chillin’ in a hotel with a buddy, room service, and the Denver Christmas Parade on tv    #ThingsThatAreMyJam
* I’m enjoying this 75 mph speed limit on I25. 
* Except when some people drive 60 mph. In the fast lane. Seriously? 
* I have an entire day free in the mountains and there’s NO SNOW. Bummer. 
* At least it’s almost 70 degrees outside! Glad Game. 
* Elf is on tonight! Yes! 
* I love that Denver has 3 radio stations playing Christmas music. High five, radio peeps. 
* Free valet parking at the shops in Cherry Creek? Yes, please. 
* 5 points to the parking attendant who said I looked like Angelina Jolie. I’ll take it. 
* Minus every one of those points for him not being able to hide the utter disappointment on his face 
when, in fact, I was not her. Sorry dude. You’d thought I just took away his soul or something. 
* Yay for finding out Garden of the Gods was in Colorado Springs! And it’s FREE! 
* Totally packed with tourists, such as myself, but a great detour on my way to my hotel. I love seeing 
places like this. 
* It’s nice not to have to fly out of town as soon as my course is over. With a flight the next morning, I can relax tonight and watch Four Christmases!
*Denver, why is your airport in the middle of NOWHERE? 
* At least the airport looks like circus tents… that’s fun. 
* Yay for having airline status and getting the shorter line at security. 
* Too bad that status doesn’t mean SHIT when you’ve got a mobile boarding pass and the only line that has the scanner thing for those is in the regular line. #SonOfABitch
* Direct flights are my jam. 
* Colorado, you’re totally on my list of cool places I could live. 
Garden of the Gods

See the climbers? 
I’m jealous. 

Balancing Rock

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