Work Those Quads!

Activity vs. Exercise

Did you ever think of the difference between daily activity and exercise?  Activity includes all those things like parking in the furthest parking spot, taking the stairs at work, grocery shopping like you mean it, etc.  Exercise on the other hand, is a planned exertion, such as going to the gym, going out for a run, having a yoga session, etc. 

We’ve all heard the many benefits of exercise, but don’t forget that staying active is important too.  Instead of joining the all or nothing group (i.e., “either I spend 30 minutes at the gym or there’s no hope for exercising today”) work in some little activities to your day.  Here’s some food for thought: getting up to take a brisk 5-minute walk down the hall at work/school/home for 6 times throughout the day  adds up to 30 minutes of activity.  Try moving around every hour to start a new and healthy habit! :D

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What is it about oats that make me crave them every single morning?

  • 1/4 c. oatmeal
  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1 c. milk
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran (stirred in at end)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced thinly
  • toppings: 1 T. peanut butter and 1/2 a carrot-walnut bran muffin

Delish!!

I was excited—and a little apprehensive—about this morning’s physical therapy appointment.  I guess I’ve been feeling a little frustrated with some of my doctor’s appointments lately, as nobody seems to ever have a direct answer for my knee.  I decided to be at least a little optimistic about today, but I was not expecting all that much at the same time.

I love it when I’m wrong. :mrgreen:

The PT was awesome and so helpful.  She seemed to know exactly what was up with my knee after watching me walk around and feeling my knee cap.  She confirmed that my knee cap is slightly off a normal traction, and my knee is shooting off to the right instead of sliding where it should normally be sliding (the cartilage then becomes affected.)  She also confirmed that my quads are super, super tight, along with my hip muscles.  She had me lean all the way back, pulling my knee to my chest, while trying to keep my other leg flat on the floor.  HA!  My knee went right up off the floor, and my quads felt instantly tight.  I need to work these quads!

I left feeling so much better, because even though I realize there’s a long, hard process ahead of me, I at least know where to start.  I have another appointment on Monday, which is when we’ll get started on exercises…I’m finally starting to feel excited about this recovery process. :D

I had a quick snack of an orange and some almonds after PT, so that I could head right to the gym.

Cardio pumpin’ at the gym!

  • Elliptical: 2.5 miles, resistance 11
  • Treadmill: 1.0 miles, 5% incline, 4.4-4.6 mph
  • Elliptical: 1.5 miles, resistance 11

It was tough keeping myself on the elliptical today, but I kept reminding myself of a blog reader’s encouraging words: “I’m not doing this instead of running, I’m doing this because I’m a runner.”  That is so true, and I am so appreciate of this reminder when I start to get frustrated with the healing process.  Injuries take time to get over, but they really can make us stronger in the long run…that holds true for exercise and for other areas in our life. ;)

It was getting down to the wire for me to fit in my sweet potato challenge concoction (although you can still admit your creations before tomorrow—I feel like a teacher who’s giving an extension :mrgreen: )  I won’t be posting the official Sweet Potato Hall of Fame post until tomorrow after dinner, so keep on being creative until then and I’ll keep on adding them to the post! :D

Sweet Hash!

  • 1 medium sweet potato, grated coarsely
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • cumin
  • cayenne (just a little…this stuff is hot!)
  • 1 T. raisins

In a frying pan, I simply heated the oil, and threw in all the ingredients.  I cooked it until it was tender and soft.  This would have been so much better if I would have cooked it in a regular pan instead of a nonstick, in order to get it brown and crispy.  But it was still super tasty and fun to eat. :D

And it went perfectly with red kale chips and sauteed tempeh, which I cooked in just a little drizzle of soysauce.  Major YUM factor! :D 

+ an apple to hit the sweet tooth

This afternoon was a great chance for some “me time.”  I managed to get some homework done, but also spent some time journaling, going out for a leisurely stroll, and just thinking.  It’s amazing how hard it is to find time to even think sometimes. ;)

My afternoon snack was equally wonderful. 

  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 1 T. flax, crushed
  • 2 T. Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola
  • dollop of cranberry sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is the best part about the holidays, so I love that there’s a big bowl of it sitting in the fridge. :D 

I was flying solo for dinner tonight too, so I decided to whip up a Green Monster with some extra [filling] additions.  

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3 c. spinach
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. milk
  • a couple ice cubes
  • topping: 2 T. Galaxy Granola

For some reason, it turned out extra green today which I love.  And the pumpkin was a fun addition.  Honestly, I could only faintly taste it, but it added a nice creamy consistency to the mix. :D

+ the much needed c*r*u*n*c*h factor in the form of kashis and cashew buttah!

Fun and tasty! :D

Don’t forget to post up the sweet potato recipes before tomorrow night’s “official” sweet potato post! :mrgreen:  You guys and gals have all been so creative so far, and I can’t wait to try out your fun & tasty ideas. :D

Happy FRIDAY!

Question: Do you try to stay active throughout the day?  What are some of your smart tips for being active even while at school/work?  I try to remind myself to get up at least once every hour when I’m at home studying/doing homework.  It does a world of good to just stretch out some kinks and soreness, and keeps me focused and energized. :D  Impromptu dance sessions are also great. ;)

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18 thoughts on “Work Those Quads!

  1. That sweet potato hash is such a good idea! I can’t wait to try it. :-)

    I’m really lucky that my job IS active. I do at least 20 squats a day as I bend over to help kiddos. I also walk, walk, walk…around the room, up and down the hallways, chasing after kids (sometimes). I could NEVER envision myself at a desk job – that just sounds miserable. If I get to sit for 10 minutes at a time, I’m happy!

  2. You’re definitely killing me with these creative sweet potatoes!
    After 10 mile morning runs, I’m so lazy, haha. But it does help that the grocery store is 1 mile away so that I usually walk there

  3. I love you activity vs. exercise explanation because it is so true! It’s hard to get out of that all or nothing mentality and realize that every little bit counts. I take the stairs whenever possible (even though everyone else takes the elevator – I still beat them!) and walk for long distances between classes.

  4. Wait, our sweet potato recipes are supposed to be fun and tasty? What if they’re fun and funky, because that’s totally what mine would fall into. Ha, ha!

  5. i adore what you did w. your sweet tater girl!
    yeah i am SUPER active during the day..but my exercise is always planned.
    LOVE THE GREEN FACTOR IN THE SMOOOTHIES! <3

  6. Im so glad you finally know what’s wrong with your knee! Now you know how to fix it :D I love your mentality of ellipticizing “because you’re a runner.” In the grand scheme of things, you’ll be back in NO time :)

    I stay active by walking all over campus lol

  7. So totally true about staying active! It’s hard to beat the all or nothing attitude, but a little bit here and there definitely adds up. I LOVE your sweet potato dish! It’s so creative yet easy to do.

  8. I am so happy the appointment with the PT went well! I bet she will come up with a lot of good ideas on stretching your quads out. And you’re right – you are doing this cross-training because you are a runner! :)

    I try to get up a lot at work and at home. You know, go talk to people instead of email or call… you always waste that it is going to waste a lot of time though.

  9. first of all, new reader here and im loving your blog, so well done you.

    second, thanks for the advice on my bloggie re the tum issues…i started keeping a log a few days ago just because my stomach was unceasing with the trouble it has been giving me, but like you said, so far nothing really adds up. however, id never heard that about xanthan gum being difficult for the GI tract, so now i can at least keep that in the back of my mind.
    anyways, before i write a novel of a comment, way to go on the elliptical and PT sessions…keep up the positivity!

  10. i want your lunch. like now. haha.

    instead of calling it working out, i like to focus on activity in general. even if i don’t “work out” as long as i am active throughout the day, that’s all i really try and do. it makes such a difference to your mental state to to think this way!

  11. so glad your pt appointment was positive!
    i am a firm believer in activity paying off…..since walking to work i have been able to maintain my weight and eat a few extra things. it is great!
    have a great saturday ;)

  12. There’s so much here I’m not sure what to comment on! It’s my first time stopping by and I love your blog already!

    I agree with you 100% on the need for both activity and exercise. I haven’t been as active lately as I should be, but I’ve set a goal for myself for next week to bump it up and take walks during the day.

    Wish I had learned of your sweet potato challenge earlier! I LOVE sweet potatoes. Delish! Can’t wait to read all the great ideas!

  13. Pingback: Sweet Potato Challenge « Running To Slow Things Down

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