June 13: The first swim of summer

Fitfor15in15 could have some new workouts in the pipeline – the pool is finally reading for swimming, and today, after Leo took the robot cleaner out, I made the most of the sunshine (and 23 degree Celsius water temperature).

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The juxtaposition of a Swiss flag and a pool always makes me smile. I don’t think of pools when I think of Switzerland but I’m very grateful for ours

Of course, Leo was there to prove I didn’t just get my ankles wet. Normally, our neighbour Liliane’s friend Lotti is the first to swim every year, but she’s on holidays in Tuscany and I couldn’t wait until she got back. We won’t tell her, ok?

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Go!

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So refreshing!

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Happiness is a pool on a warm day

I did about 15 minutes worth of freestyle laps. I only breathe twice on each lap, because the pool is about eight metres long (I think). Looking forward to more days like this in the next few months.

Before the swim, I baked a chocolate cake for Pastora and Leo’s birthday (our married friends who were born on the same day in the same Spanish hospital; Leo three years before Pastora) but I won’t be eating any at the party tonight. The I Quit Sugar program would frown upon that! (I may have licked one of the beaters … normally I would have licked both.) 🙂

And now, we’re off to the celebrations. Party! Vamos!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

p.s The wasp bite is getting better. Not as red and angry as yesterday, thanks to some cooling gel we bought to bring down the heat. Phew. Still can’t squat down properly though – feels like the skin behind my knee will split! – and it’s still ever so itchy. Grrrr.

p.p.s Big addition of plant names for the 30-Day Challenge coming on Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully 🙂

March 2: Exercise to boost your mood

Does the weather affect your mood? Do you skip to the beach when it’s sunny or feel like crying when it rains? Do you crack the SADs in cold weather or dread an allergy onslaught in spring? Does the wind make you wicked?

What a strange phenomenon the weather is. It’s raining here today, wild weather in fact, and I feel like bawling. The wind is so strong it’s blown small bits of stuff from inside the roof onto my pillow. (We live in a very old house.)

I did a bit of research on how much the weather can affect our moods and, of course, there’s no outright yes or no for everyone because we’re all different. There are, however, some who feel it more than others. Here’s an interesting article from a psychological perspective and another about bad weather making a bad mood worse.

Seems I’m in a bad mood today! (That exclamation mark was added through gritted teeth.) So … how to turn that frown upside down? With a bit of exercise perhaps?

There are hundreds of articles about exercise improving your mood (examples here, here and here), so even if I wasn’t committed to doing at least 15 minutes a day this year, hopefully I would have looked to exercise as a great get-out-of-the-doldrums solution. Hopefully! *gritted teeth*

After thinking who would lift my spirits the most, it was a contest between Daniel and Kelli from Fitness Blender and Jillian Michaels. It’s been a while since I’ve done a workout with Jillian, and this is the reason I went with her 30 Day Shred Workout Level 2.

I really didn’t want to exercise today. Really, really, really didn’t want to. Listening to the crazy weather made me want to stay in bed, and I did until quite late. But at least I finished a book – reading has been very neglected of late.

Jumping around with Jillian – actually, no, that’s an alliteration over-exaggeration as there was hardly any jumping at all – moving with Jillian for 25 minutes (as the house walls shook and the flagpole bent like a branch too) has boosted my mood.

She does a series of exercises which involve both arms and legs (tin cans needed. I was feeling so unmotivated beforehand I couldn’t even be bothered filling the large water bottles, my new weights of choice) and there’s quite a few performed in the plank position. If you have dodgy wrists or shoulders, let alone a weak core, these can be tough. But there’s always the option to drop to your knees and dream of the day when you can stay up the whole time. I dream of that day! *no gritting here*

So, readers, hopefully when you’re not feeling the best, or something’s got you down – weather-related or not – you’ll still think of the fitfor15in15 mantra of doing something, anything, to get the blood flowing and the brain focused on moving, rather than what put you in the bad mood in the first place. I think it’s worked. Maybe a bit of baking now would kick it up a notch? Hmmm … there’s always those biscuits from the Kambly factory … 😉

Wishing you a wonderful day.