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January “What I’m Into:” Mini-Workout and Pixar Movies

This month, I’m into…

7 minute workoutThe 7-Minute Workout.

I don’t usually jump aboard the latest workout trend; I already like the way I exercise. But I haven’t been happy with the amount of strength training I do during the week. I go to the gym on Sunday mornings and do my group exercise class plus a full circuit of weight lifting, but the rest of the week I just do cardio. I was trying to motivate myself to add a strength-training workout on a weeknight when I discovered this app.

It’s LITERALLY only seven minutes long, and it’s broken up into such small segments that the time goes super-fast. The instructor (whose voice I find motivating) tells you to do an activity, like jumping jacks or push-ups, for 30 seconds. He even tells you when you’re “halfway there.” You then get 10 seconds of rest, and move on to the next activity. It sounds intense, and I guess it is, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels victorious, because I can get it done anytime, anywhere, with no excuses. The app claimed that I didn’t need any equipment, but I found during the first workout that I did need to have a chair handy for two of the exercises: step-ups and tricep dips. I use a small step-stool instead because I didn’t want to step on and off a full-sized chair. (I’m super-clumsy. I fell off the step stool once and crashed into the ottoman in my living room. No harm done, though, and I didn’t even pause the workout.)

I’m now doing this workout 3-4 times a week. It’s great if you want to supplement or if you don’t exercise at all and want to start with something quick and simple. ($1.99 for the app in the iTunes store, plus in-app purchases later if you choose.)

I’m also into….

 

Whiteboards and Post-Its.

I know that sounds dull, but they have been my mainstays this month as I brainstorm my new blogged book. I mind-mapped using markers on my whiteboard at school (it’s such a nice big space, even with the music staff printed on it) and using post-its on my smaller whiteboard at home. Both helped me to think quickly and write down every idea. Paper and pencil wouldn’t have been so much fun.

My whole family is into…

Pixar movies.

carsSpecifically Cars. My dad gave Edwin the movie for Christmas, and he’s obsessed. We watch parts of the movie every night; he gets sad when he we turn it off and he has to say goodbye to his friends Lightning McQueen and Mater; we listen to the soundtrack every morning during breakfast (includes Sheryl Crow and John Mayer, not bad) and he is constantly quoting the dialogue and singing the songs. (I’m writing this as he tosses and turns in bed, and through the monitor I just heard, “The Piston Cup! Go, Go, Go!”)

I’ve loved Pixar movies long before Edwin discovered them (Monsters, Inc. and Nemo are my favorites) but I’m newly impressed with their humor and light handling of tough subjects like ego, loss and friendship. Reading the Steve Jobs biography this summer also gave me a glimpse into how the company works, which adds a new level of interest when I watch the movies.

I’m listening to…

A new podcast. 

Modern Mrs. Darcy just came out with a new podcast called What Do I Read Next? in which she interviews people about their reading habits and preferences, and then recommends three new books for them to try. I love the idea of literary matchmaking, and the presentation in this podcast is light and fun. It’s like discussing books with the coolest girls in school.

What are you into this month? What’s your favorite podcast or Pixar movie? 

2 Responses to “January “What I’m Into:” Mini-Workout and Pixar Movies”

  1. Kathy says:

    We have some overlap here! I just loaded a similar 7-minute workout app on my phone–well, I loaded it about a month ago and have yet to use it, but I have good intentions 🙂 ! I get a fair amount of exercise already, but I also wanted to add some additional weight training. Since I work at home and sit at a desk so much, I thought it would be a great way to add a little exercise into my day when I take a break from the computer.

    I’ve also been using post-its. I’ve been trying the 1-3-5 system: Every day, plan to do one big thing, three medium things, and five little things. I write my 1-3-5 goals on a post-it and stick it in my planner. So far, it’s really helping me both knock things off my to-do list, AND realize when I’ve done enough for the day and can relax with a clear conscience.

    And funny that you should mention podcasts. The only ones I’ve ever heard are Gretchen Rubin’s, and I think I’ve only listened to two. A friend and I are both interested in starting to find ones we like–any recommendations, besides the one you already mentioned?

  2. Leanne Sowul says:

    I’ll have to consider the 1-3-5 system, that sounds very do-able!

    Ahh, podcasts. I LOVE them. Besides Happier and What Do I Read Next, here are some of my favorites:

    For writing:
    DIY MFA Radio by Gabriela Periera
    Writing Life with Ann Kroeker

    For history/sociology/general interest:
    Stuff You Missed In History Class by How Stuff Works
    Freakonomics Radio by Stephen Dubner
    The Bowery Boys (NYC specific)

    For fun:
    Mugglenet (Harry Potter fan-cast)
    Car Talk (old episodes of the radio show re-broadcast)

    I’m actually looking for more “fun” podcasts myself, if anyone has suggestions.
    Kathy, let me know what you think if you try any of these!

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