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Five goals for March

Posted Mar 03 2011 8:00am

Good morning friends!

How are you doing today? As promised, today’s post is a follow-up to the monthly goal check-in that I posted on Tuesday. I picked 5 goals to focus on for February, and that seemed like a good number so I’ve done the same again for March. Here they are:

1. Become Schwinn certified. In case you’re unfamiliar with Schwinn , it is one of the leading names in bikes. The company sells every kind of bike from the one you cruise around on during the weekend, to the one in your gym, to the kind you ride in a spin class .

Schwinn created the first bike designed for indoor group cycling in 1995, and they’ve made some pretty innovative strides as far as technology and design are concerned since. The company is also the creator of the MPower console, which is a console that can be attached to the bikes in order to measure things like your speed, calorie burn, RPMs, etc. (If you missed my post on this group cycling trend, you can check it out here .)

Anyways, back to becoming certified. One of my goals for 2011 is to earn 4 continuing education credits in order to maintain my Fitness Instructor Specialist designation, as well as to become a better group cycling instructor. The Schwinn training program is one I’ve had my eye on for a while and it’s finally being offered in a location that is super convenient for me. Unlike the other programs I’ve done in the past, this one concentrates more on cycling science, mechanics, technique and coaching – which might sound incredibly boring to some, but for nerds like me, it sounds great!

2. Try pilates. Rather than trying to commit myself to x number of yoga classes per week again, I’m going to switch things up this month and try a little pilates. I’ve found a class that is offered once per week, and the plan is to attend that, as well as a couple of Body Flow classes . Since goals are always better if they’re well defined, I’ve decided I’m aiming for one of these classes (pilates or Flow – whatever fits) each week.

(Source)

In case you’re wondering about what pilates is and how it compares to yoga and other forms of exercise…

  • Pilates is done on specialized equipment against resistance provided by springs, or on a mat against your body’s own resistance (this is most common in classes).
  • The main focus is on breathing and core stabilization, but pilates also helps to retraining muscle patterns so that the body moves in the most efficient way possible.
  • Key benefits are increased abdominal strength and flexibility, improved posture, balance, coordination, and circulation.
  • Pilates focuses on movement whereas yoga focuses on poses – although both are forms of mind-body exercise.
  • The muscle contractions in Pilates are eccentric (meaning that the muscles lengthen as tension develops), rather than concentric (where the muscle shortens as tension develops – this is probably what would come to mind first when you think of a muscle contraction, for example, when you do a biceps curl). The benefit is long, strong muscles, rather than tight, stiff, bulky muscles that you’d develop doing exercises that require only concentric contractions.
  • From a philosophical perspective, yoga focuses on the flow of energy through the body and is spiritual in origin, whereas Pilates was based on the work of Joseph Pilates who was a pretty clever guy back in his day. He used physical conditioning principles to help soldiers in WW1 to recover from injury. The idea was that physical exercise could promote stabilization and coordination. Although mat Pilates is the more common form of group Pilates class, Joseph Pilates also used machines like the Reformer:

Looks kind of fun, don't ya think?

3. Make March a month of maintenance. This was actually in the plans for February, but it didn’t end up happening because things just got way too busy! However, this month, I will be going for the full deal – doctors appointments will be made, I will see the dentist (and I bet he’ll be super impressed by all the flossing I’ve been doing – that’ll be a first), I will be going for a haircut… and maybe I’ll even sneak in a little massage and pedicure… after all, being healthy includes having healthy feet, right? ;)

4. Spring cleaning! Clean out my closet and donate clothing to charity. You guys are all aware that I like to shop. I consider it one of my hobbies, but I must admit that I do have a lot of stuff. Unlike many of my friends who moved around to new homes each year during university, I have lived in the same place since I moved out of residence in first year. Over time I’ve certainly accumulated quite a bit. BUT, I also can’t stand clutter. I don’t know if you feel the same, but knowing that my room is messy makes me feel irritable and makes me less productive. So…. the plan is to spend a weekend going through my clothes and donating a few bags to charity. I did this last year and it’s one of those good deeds that sort of gives you warm fuzzies inside….. it also makes room for new things…. ’nuff said. ;)

5. Return emails within 2 days maximum. This goal is a bit of a sub-goal under my larger one for 2011 , which is to dedicate more time to others. It doesn’t apply to work emails because those have to be turned around on the same day, but any email that is blog, friend, or family related will be responded to. Now, having said that, you might think it’s funny to send me millions. Please dear bloggies, be nice. :)

So tell me…

  • What are your goals for March?
  • Have you tried Pilates before, or do you do it regularly? What do you like/dislike about it?
  • Are you a fan of spring cleaning? When do you normally get it done? I am a bit of a neat freak and actually like spring cleaning – when I’m in the right mood. If the mood strikes and the tunes are good, this girl is one mean cleaning machine!

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