Keep moving, mental health is your reward

The continuing order to endure enclosed spaces for most people means a lot of time spent being either complacent in their life’s choices, or deliberate on staying focused and active. Which are you?

Well, for starters I like being active. I love to workout, mostly outdoors with my ruck, kettlebell, sandbag, hilly area or just a trail. Either way, I can make it work also at home since exercise is not exclusive to either out of doors or indoors in the context of moving. Complexity is not useful, simplicity is the norm.

Using basic movement patterns of push/pull, press, extension, flexion, and rotation you can basically move in any pattern that your body can get into without much effort, but the magic in that pudding is the amount of times you perform it, and frequency with a good serving of either resistance, time or speed.

Look around your environment right now. Where are you seated? Let’s begin with a simple chair, either folding, fixed four legged model with or without padding. Pry it up against a wall and you can use it for squats if you’re learning to sit and stand again for rehab or prehab. Squats once more if you are trying box squats with a weight to a prescribed depth. How about upper body work by performing dips, on one chair while legs are elevated on the other, or push ups with feet atop of seat while hands are on floor?

Core work? Sure, lets try this: Sit ups with elevated feet on the seat portion of the chair, plank holds in same manner, or glute work like butt biters- where your butt raises from the floor while feet (heels) remain on seat portion of chair for multiple reps. Bridges (one legged) with heels in the same place (atop of seat) go for multiple reps/sets. You see that it’s just imagination that is the limiter.

Food items – no, not raw food like chicken or frozen fish. I’m talking about canned foods, and there are plenty of sizes and weights to use for exercises. Cans in a backpack/rucksack wrapped in a towel so it doesn’t jostle around in the pack while you exercise with it. You can run with the pack, squat it, swing it, plank with it and press it. Imagination once again is your limiter. Indoors/Outdoors are your playground.

Just because you’re asked to stay home does not mean you should be sedentary. You need to keep moving, because mental health is not a given. You’ll need to make the effort to sweat a little and get the benefits you so desire.

Happy Easter All!!

Butt biters, dips, hill bear crawls, ground to overhead, and team squats!

The week before the quarantine

Well, one week prior to being shut indoors in IL we were rucking and working out very hard. Parks are now off limits, especially at Chicago’s lakefront path. Mayor Lightfoot ordered the lakefront closed until further notice and people are going to get a warning, a fine, and then possibly tossed in the brig!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! This is gonna piss more people off, but I get it. I’m mostly an introvert so being alone is not a big issue. Having time to catch up on audiobooks, read books, and reach out to people I’ve not heard from in some time.

Now as you sit there contemplating your life in the new age of being cooped up inside many people that I’ve spoken with have stated a truth that was missing in everyone’s life. People contact is important. A meaningful conversation, or a handshake or bro hug goes a long way to make people connected.

Stay in touch using a product called zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Anything, or smoke signals….. not kidding. (J/k)

Our pics from the workouts – enjoy:

A bit of a climb

We looked at the sky, and at 18F said in unison “this feels warm”. Yes, out loud and it didn’t even phase us. Getting up to head outside and get our workout in has made it being in colder temps and make statements like that common between us RuFF regulars.

I mean how often do you really make it outside in below freezing weather while wearing one or two layers to get on icy covered ground for a workout? Turn around the next day and do it again. It is challenging to begin a process as physically demanding as getting up that early (0400) for the general population.

Once you have step one covered then getting yourself outside with us is Huge! You’ll find yourself in the company of others that refuse to do regular things and be okay with it. You will be challenged to do things that inside the gym are uncomfortable.

Today one of the consistent hints was a 200m run between exercises on an icy hill. Like run up there hill, lunges (2 laps) up the hill, burpees, goblet squats, push ups, bear crawl up the hill.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that we were not able to take off our rucksacks for the entire time we rucked to the park, worked out, and rucked back to our starting point CF Spero.

Today the rucks needed to be on the heavier side than usual which meant that ladies had to put extra weight inside them while the guys put extra-extra weight to get this done.

A little confession- my butt cheeks almost cramped while doing the lunges up the hill! Those are tougher than they look. Especially with the extra weight added.

These are pics of Selene getting the last exercise in

The gear load out

This week is gonna be dark, and cold so please dress appropriately. On very cold days I’ve worn various amounts (layers) of clothing, and brand names. A few brands I really trust due in part to fit, comfort, warmth, and its ability to maintain heat.

Icebreaker’s flexi chute – This little gem has a dual purpose. Keeps my nugget warm, and dry. Also works as a neck gatter when you’re wearing a dedicated hat, or use it as a hand warmer also. Trust me I’ve ran the gamut with item!

Icebreaker’s LS zip top – I’ve worn it for cold freezing morning WOD’s and it’s stellar. Warm enough under a fleece and windbreaker, or under just a windbreaker. Dries fairly quick, long enough sleeves with thumb hole to keep it from bunching up and useful as a nose wipe (really good wipe)😜

Icebreaker’s Ultra Sport Light Mini sock – This sock is cushy, warm and wool! I mean what else can you ask for? This sock I’ve used on cold days, hot days, wet days…… it just works!

2XU Thermal Accelerate Comp Tights – I’ve used three other brand name tight/ leggings for running, hiking, working out in the outdoors that have not met the prerequisites of maintaining heat, quick drying, wind proofing without an added shell. These fit the bill for me. I can wear another layer atop it and it’s incredible how it makes me feel even near zero temps! Toasty, compressed, and dry!

Mechanix The Original Grip Glove – Wearable equipment all year long! Grip to last you a while even when wet. Also, good while using a touch screen (surprising added benefit)

Altra Superior 3.5 – Started wearing these shoes on a recommendation by Selene, she wears the Lone Peak 3.5. Great traction, wide toe box, and zero drop. I’ve run, and rucked in them without a problem. They’re very breathable, but you’ll need to try them on yourself for the proper size. I found them a tad short, so I had to go up a half size.

With this much info you’re prepared for this week, and we’re kicking it off today @Mayfair Park, Westchester, IL

Rucks On!

2 rounds – Baseball Field

    30 x leg levers
    30 x burpee to OH
    30 x lunges
    30 x push ups
    30 x sit up & press
    30 x swings
    1 x Lap track (400m)

Perform all of the exercises with your ruck, including the runs!