a blog about the joys of juggling balls
Before I start in on the blog, just a reminder I’m hosting the PRG Re-Vamped Facebook Party from 3-4pm EST (for those of you out here with me in the west it’s 1-2pm). Come on by and win prizes all afternoon and into the evening. And if you read down to the bottom of the post you’ll see the link to vote for the PRG Review Awards. I’m nominated, so please vote!
I’ve discovered a new way to work out. Balls.
Okay, given my previous posts on fun with balls, you might have guessed it. But I had no clue. For years I’ve been using those stupid weight machines. I also tried free weights. And it’s not that each of those isn’t appealing or has it’s joys, but playing with the balls is so much more fun. And I get a better work out.
Working your whole body rocks!
I’ve used the weight machines for several years now, and about four years ago I moved into the free weight section of the gym for a few things, like my triceps and biceps. I was even doing the bench press…with just the bar. The thing I loved about the free weights is that you used more muscles than just one or two when you moved the weights. The machines focus on individual muscles and that means you have to work out each and every one, what a pain, but when you do a free weight, you have to use more of your body to shift the weight. That means, if you are doing a bench press you use your shoulder, back, stomach, arms. For those few reps you get a big payback in a multitude of muscles.
That means you get to work out less time for more payback!
Now I love that. I’m pressed for time, everyone is. So why did I move to the balls?
Natural movement. We are designed to use our entire body when we work. It’s what our bodies do. We bend over and pick up something heavy and we use, not just the upper body, but the entire body. Using the medicine ball I stand up, rotate to the side, rotate to the middle, squat, stand, rotate to the other side—then do it all backwards. That’s using my entire body. Back, shoulders, forearms, legs, stomach—you name it, it’s used. So in just a few reps, just a few minutes, I’ve worked out every muscle in my body.
Work out done!
Now I’m doing in twenty minutes what I used to do in an hour. And there’s no waiting in line. I love it! I do squats on one day and sit ups another. Yes, even the dreaded abs are easier and quicker. Add in some aerobics on the elliptical and some stretches and I’ve had a full work out, Jessica style, in an hour. Now that’s time management!
So, how does this apply to writing romance?
Healthy body, healthy writer. When I’m not working out, I’m sluggish. I don’t think well. I always walk in the mornings, but adding in the weights means that I feel strong. And I love feeling strong. I fall off of the wagon with my gym visits, I only went once in November and not at all in December. Starting up again in Jan was tough, but once I did I felt so much better. Everything works better when I exercise: my brain, my body, my emotions.
And I’m more creative. I think up lots of ideas while I’m working out. Somehow, just letting your mind flow while your body is working is super good for creativity. I’m also out and about, seeing new people and getting new ideas. Love it!
Try something different this year with your body.
Tired of doing the same old, same old? Try moving the balls. I’m now doing sit-ups with a ten pound ball. If you had told me I’d be doing that a few years ago, I’d have walked out of the gym. I’ve always hated sit ups and with two cesarean births I had worse than no stomach muscles, I had damaged ones.
Start small. Use the 6 pound ball and keep your sets down to a few reps. Take breaks. Just like my sprinting started with slow walking, fast walking, I started my sit ups with reps of fifteen. I’d do a few different exercises, then I’d take a break.
Just get moving, a little bit counts
I like to do a loop on the track in between my sets. That gives my muscles time to relax and I can then do more than I would if I was trying to aim for a hundred sit ups or squats. I write like this too. I set a timer and do 45 minutes, then I get up and do something physical. It’s how I get my housecleaning done in those fifteen minute breaks, but I could use it to do a few squats or sets of stairs or a quick loop around the block, if I wanted to. This year I had a terrible time sitting down and writing, and I had to tell myself that I only had to do a little bit. Just get started. That helped immensely. Once I sat down I was involved and writing. But the getting started was the hard part. That’s true with exercise too.
How do you like to move? Do you just do little bits or are you an all or nothing person? How does that work for you?
Voting closes Wednesday for theParanormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award. I’m nominated in two categories, both the Sci-fi/Fantasy book and series. Please go vote!
All the participating books are nominated by reviewers, but after that, it’s up to popular vote as to who wins, so I’m asking all my readers to take a minute and go to the PRG Website and vote!
Unfortunately I think you can only vote for one of them, but pick your favorite. I’m having a tough time deciding which one to get behind myself, but choices must be made. 🙂 Which book did you like the best?
And, TALES OF THE BLACK COURT was nominated in Sci-fi Fantasy series, so that helped. Only one to vote for there!
Voting is open for one week starting today and closing on 1/28/15
And, bonus this year! My crit partner, ML Guida has been nominated as well in three other categories, Paranormal Romance Shifters, Paranormal Romance Vampires AND Paranormal Romance Series. Whew! You can vote in each category, so for her’s you don’t need to choose. Lucky Mary!
Thanks to all of my readers for all of the fantastic support this year. You all rock! I’m looking forward to making 2015 a fabulous year and you are a huge part of that motivation.
Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com
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