Tag Archives: Fitness

Fitness – A new way to Yoga


(examples of how NOT to do this pose)

The fight goes on – and by that I mean, the fight with pain. The last month has been positive, staying active even with migrating soreness in my lower lumbar. -I’m pretty sure cycling 100 km last weekend didn’t help it.  Great news, though, the wrists are back and I went to my first yoga in months!

We continue here about a few core-strengthening. Training your core can help improve chronic pain and teach smaller muscle groups when to “get to work”, especially as they fatigue with repetitive actions like cycling or running.

I try and do three core exercises everyday since Cambodia.

1. Glute Bridges

2. Cat/Cow iteration

3. Supermans, or Bird/Dog but on your back! 

Maybe i’ll do a video to show you want I mean…

Kim at (@Kimmcneilyoga) has been doing a great black and white Q&A series on instagram, which is phenomenal and interactive if you’re continually wondering how to improve your yoga practice.

A photo posted by Kim McNeil (@kimmcneilyoga) on Mar 22, 2015 at 5:39am PDT

What’s a yogi to do when they have tendonitis, arthritis, injury, or plain ‘old lack of flexibility in their wrists? Are poses like Downward-facing Dog, plank, or Cat Pose off the table?


The answer:

Support wrists to prevent too much flexion. Here she’s using a bolster to do the same pose I attempted in pain over christmas. Now that I know, I’ll certainly use a bolster.

Got a yoga therapy question get in touch with Kim, email info@kimmcneilyoga.ca

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Fitness- Yoga for the hurting

I’d like to do a quick shout out to Kim at (@Kimmcneilyoga). I’ve been following her and a few other inspiring yogis to remind myself to slow down, focus, and take care of your joints. Last time, we spoke a bit about chronic pain and how to combat it.

I’m a lover of yoga; it builds strength, teaches mindfulness, and often relieves physical and mental stress from other forms of training. It’s key to my workout schedule. However, I’m crushed because my wrist has been in very bad shape since November and I can’t put any pressure on it or bend it. I asked Kim about my practice.

What’s a yogi to do when they have tendonitis, arthritis, injury, or plain ‘old lack of flexibility in their wrists? Are poses like Downward-facing Dog, plank, or Cat Pose off the table?

The quick answer:

Nope. Start by changing your wrist support. Fold back one edge of your mat and place your palms on the edge with your fingers and finger mounds off on the floor. The idea here is you’ll increase the angle of the wrists so they don’t have to flex as much. (I had to bend it a few times to give my wrist the height) – In other news, I realised that you fold the mat UNDER, only after I did a whole day of rolling it up, silly me.

A photo posted by Kim McNeil (@kimmcneilyoga) on Feb 17, 2015 at 8:51pm PST

Got a yoga therapy question get in touch with Kim, email info@kimmcneilyoga.ca

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February Fitness – I hate core day

Hello fitness friends & food-lovers,

I recently had a conversation with a friend about chronic pain; it sounds worse than it is, but anyone who’s experienced prolonged pain will know it can reduce you to nothing.

This is one reason to stay active and on top of core work. Either to maintain your mobility and strength (if you have pain), or to keep it at bay by staying as mobile and pain-free for as long as possible.  The ‘Use it or Lose it’ motto applies here!

So when people ask why I train, it’s not only to be strong, or lift, or bulk, or aesthetics.  I’m a firm believer in functional training for what our bodies were meant for. – y’know, before we were sitting at desks with computers we worked the land and ploughed fields.

All jokes aside, here is some of the core work that I’ve tried to do on a daily basis.  Building discipline is tricky, and pay-off is slow.  (about that six pack though…)

CLICK HERE> Core Workout 


Tips for Workout:

– the hip raises can be done both legs together, and then isolating one leg at a time as you get stronger

– make sure you engage your core & pull in your belly for all the core exercises. (pretend like someone’s going to poke you in the stomach and you’ll tense tense it up)

– for plank & side plank, try to incorporate these into one exercise by transitioning from side plank facing the wall to a one-handed side-plank tucking the arm under and across the body/belly

– I’ve turned the bird/dog upside down and done them on my back like this


– Leg raises can be done with a bent knee. If you think these are easy just make sure you are engaging your core AND your back is touching the ground at all times – then we’ll talk.

QUIZ TIME, What is this and what is it for??


It’s a lacrosse ball!  More on mobility later, but I’d say massage & lacrosse balls are key for rolling out tight spots.  In Dublin, this is where I’ve found them:


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Yogis or Pilates – Fitness Edition

Sure, it’s new years and if you’re like a few people out there you have a goals or habits to build this month – and hopefully maintain throughout the year.

If getting fit or bendy is one of them, this little infographic will help you understand the differences between pilates and yoga.
I know I learned something about pilates.

(I’d like to hear which one you tend towards and why?) Personally, I’d tend towards yoga, but according to the physio and this infographic, sounds like I might benefit from trying a bit of pilates to help with chronic pain. Well, off to practice a bit. Hope your fitness is making leaps and bounds this month!

-Good luck!

 Pilates or Yoga: Which Practice is for You?


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Doing NEW YEARS right – Fitness Edition

“You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So… get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss

 Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

planning & fitness

I want you to believe fitness is real and the journey is relatable, anyone can do it.  Eating amazing food is a lifestyle as much as staying active is.  It doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye, but it’s your body and you are responsible for taking care of it! – I’m not a serious lifter or a trainer.

I get a lot of pain most days, but it’s still important to keep moving because how much I eat! So I sat down and looked through past training.  I planned a printable & visual workout! –> here is my new plan for the week. 

Take a look and try it out!

 4 steps to getting started 
1) Students, go at Off-peak hours
2) Make use of free classes
3) Track your journey – Is it me, or was 2014 the year of all fitness trackers?! (shows no signs of slowing)
4) Follow a Fitness ambassador on twitter, instagram, or blog

stir my soul

There are a few things in the pipeline that I am so super excited about. They really pull together everything I’m about, but for now I’m contemplating my first triathlon! (thanks to my friend Elyse) It’s something I thought about last year before I got into cycling. – Anyone interested?



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NEW Year, What’s NEW?

“happy new year!” … are we still saying that?

I heard somebody at the airport ask the same question when I was traveling. He asked the the guy on the other line, is it too late to still be saying this? – it’s only…. 13th of January. Well I think it’s never too late since I haven’t seen any of you yet this year but, I have been meaning to say lots and lots of things. 

You know, New Years is a season of expectation and anticipation, sometimes almost too much anticipation.  Like I get it, it’s a reset where we can evaluate how we’ve done in the past year and set new goals, but it seems as though there’s this looming expectation for us all to do everything that we haven’t done in the last year or years of our lives ALL at once and achieve it, ALL!

We decide to kick every bad habit that we have, lock the liquor cabinet (or have ‘dry January’), hit the gym, eat better, be better people, be more successful, hope for better things, start the things that we have always said we would but haven’t, and pretty much everything else that we can think of – or maybe that’s just me. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, that sounds hugely daunting!

Downfall of a New Year

No, forget all the S.M. a R.T. goals but even the smartest goals won’t help me feel positive about that.

nobody talks about about (OH my goodness), what if you wake up on the other side of the new year, and it’s JANUARY. it’s grim and grey. and it’s the coldest time of the year in most places (not Australia). You don’t feel like setting any goals or tackling the mountain of things that you haven’t done.

I was really encouraged after coffee with food-friend, Vincci. (cecinestpasunfoodblog.com). It made the new year seem more achievable!

It’s more difficult to break bad habits, than it is to form new healthy ones.  Recently, we’ve been talking about culture and society in food at school, and this involves knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours.  What this means is just because we know something is good for us doesn’t mean it changes how we think about it or behave. For instance we know that eating healthy & drinking less, and getting active is better for us, but so many other things in our environment or daily lives get in the way of that happening.

Before you know it, you’re at the till in tesco/superstore after work, and you’re crumbling to the temptation of one little bit of mars bar ;P Is it not easier to form new habits? You don’t have to go cold turkey and never touch a drink again! Just focus on moving towards a new little thing, like eating one more serving of veg a day, or maybe just ONE beer this week 😉

Get a buddy for motivation!

My point: new years resolutions are frustrating when we don’t stick to them. December doesn’t have to be the month to live it up and detox later.  Maybe a constant dose of sanity and fun along the way and we don’t have to put so much pressure on in January.

Tell me,  what you have all signed on for and committed to this January?  

this is what I did on new years!

this is what I did on new years!

…. P.S. I should also show you how we (ATE) rang in the new year, right??

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Think Fit, Think Bike. my new bike.

Quick Lovin:

Tips from buying my first bike.
If you’re unsure, see if they can put the bike on the trainer or let you ride it around the block to see how it feels.

Pick the bike up to see how much it weighs (something you should probably do when looking for a bike).  Well, let’s just say carbon fibre makes a big big difference.

Think about going back to the shop – is after-care pleasant?

Make sure you feel listened to, is the recommended bike going to suit your needs?

2Wheels Deal: For the next 2 weeks, quote ‘Love 2wheels’ when purchasing a bike and get 10% off or receive 15% off clothing, accessories, service, and even that little bike basket you’ve always wanted 😉

AMAZE-balls! Follow @2wheelsie on twitter.


Along with my trend of being original, and by that, i mean completely not original. I am tagging on to the whole bike theme that WAS Giro d’Italia. The excitement was immense, the cool part was that the event was so international; from local Irish to Australians, Americans, and Italians. It was really cool to hear the different languages being spoken and all the media from around the world in the finishing zone.

I’m just going to tell you about the shopping experience I had here in town (Dublin).

Now, this is my first ever road bike so I am completely oblivious to a lot of things. Frame sizes and geometry, cranks, pedals, components, brands…. there is just so much to consider. I’m glad a few of my friends chimed in to help me out. Also, S & my good friend Al were an instrumental part in educating me in what to look for. My understanding is that most of the brands would be the similar or comparable at the price-point I was looking. One other thing to note, is I came out with something completely different than what I expected to get.

I visited a few bikes shops here in town, each, generally carry different brands. A major consideration is that they are helpful in service, as you will inevitably be back for a second fitting adjustments, and technical help. If it is out of the way, or they are not nice, you won’t want to go back!

photo 3

Cyclebike – MARY’S ABBEY

Giant, Lombardo, Cube, Bianchi

This was a trendy store with lots to offer, from cruisers and hip-bikes (‘hip bikes, because what is a hipster bike’), to hybrids and racers.  I was impressed with the selection and the knowledge of brands here, however was slightly put off by the fact that I went in with a defined idea of a road bike that would comfortably do 150 km –  with room to grow.  Instead, I was recommended a hybrid bike for everyday; and while flat handlebars would be comfortable for my back, I felt that there would be too much resistance and I didn’t feel completely listened-to.  Knowledge was good and standard.  Back to positives, the Lombardo road bike was pretty convincing because it was affordable and had great components for the price. Campagnolo components are supposed to be pretty good and pricey – so it was a deal.

Think Bike! – RATHMINES

Giant, Specialized,

I didn’t end up shopping for a bike here, however they have been very helpful in-shop and on the phone.  They’ve helped me fix my other bike  & always pump up my tires up free 🙂 – also sold me a pump.  One major consideration is after-care, so I think these knowledgeable guys would take good care of you if you were in the area and to go back regularly.

Free Wheeling – PEARSE STREET

Giant, Bianchi
A pretty standard bike shop, close to work. This was the first place I checked, and they offered me a deal on last year’s model, which was quite attractive to me. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but it was a great start. The gentleman had me straddle the bike and gave the standard ‘if it’s about 1-2 inches below your crotch, then you’re ok’.  They have a selection of cruisers and vintage bikes as well.


Cycleways – PARNELL ST.

Specialized, Canondale,
This was one of the best shopping experience on the road, the guys were so helpful, knowledgable, and resourceful. Unlike some, the first thing they’d do is hold the bike so I could not only straddle the bike, but get on the seat and feel the height and reach of the bars. Also, I came back and tried the bike on the stationary Tac-X trainer which was super helpful to a nube like me. There is no messing here, they are service-oriented, responsive, and go over and above all the other shops. The down-side was that they didn’t have the size or bike I needed in stock and the price was slightly higher.   They taught me about geometry of different male/female bikes, the reach, and the different proportions of men & women on the bikes.

photo 1


FELT, Specialized, Scott, NEW! Canondale
The last stop on the shopping trail was 2Wheels, recently transitioned from Eurobaby/Eurocycle.  I had heard about this shop in Sandymount, super helpful and great selection and now it’s in town!  The best way to make a great shop accessible to city folk like me.

Eoin and the guys are great, they’re experienced riders themselves and gave me a very indicative idea of what to expect.  Although I got a little up-sold, it’s all grand, they set me up with a sick bike for a pretty good deal.  I’m stoked to get on my bike every time because it is such a pleasure to ride.

One of their bike technicians is the official Scott mechanic, so that put me at ease.  Guys, they (and most other good bike shops) throw in the first service for free and so far have been very very accommodating to all my silly questions and issues.  They put me in contact with a bike group to go out with and now it’s rockin’!

Theses guys are SO smashing, that they are helping me out by sharing a little discount with you!  For the next 2 weeks, quote a ‘Love 2wheels’ when purchasing a bike and get 10% off or 15% off clothing, accessories, service, and even that little bike basket you’ve always wanted 😉



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Dublin Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

Hi Guys,

As you know, I LOVE eating, it is my favourite past time (after drinking, i kid) but all that comes with a responsibility. I know, I am just being a debbie-downer, but when you eat so much, you have a responsibility to push your body with the fuel you’re fuelling it with.

So, yesterday one of my friends and coworkers completed her first half marathon and I am so proud. When I take part as a bystander in these events, I get very very emotional. It’s super embarrassing, and difficult to describe because I love to see the journey, challenge, and toil that these runners have endured; and it culminates with the achievement of the race, compounded by the family and friends who are out to support – it gets seriously emotional! I just can’t contain myself, I have to fight so hard to cheer without tearing up. Here you are, miss Monika & Bruno – our forever slovak barista champ and newly crowned latte throw down king!

SO PROUD! Set goals, train hard, push harder! Getting healthy 🙂
Mon Run

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