Visiting Dublin……

Enjoy the Streets of Dublin

After a long seven hour flight the adventure began.  No time for sleep.  The point was to get on Ireland time as soon as possible.  So after the landing and hotel check in, the pubs await.

Our first day in Dublin was busy, hectic and full of culture. Of course, we had to go to our first Irish pub and I tried my first Irish beer, which had the number 13 in it – my wedding anniversary date. I was intrigued by the bathroom labeling in our first pub.

Next was the Dublin Castle and more sites of this beautiful, fun city.  All along the streets we saw people rushing to and from work.  It was just a typical city with people speaking a weird kind of English. There were tourists running in an out of bars.  We tried a few more bars and took pictures of all the busy, historic sites.  We walked most of the time and saw all the nooks and crannies of Dublin Castle, all the pubs on the main strip and we enjoyed the Irish singing and dancing in many of the bars and street corners. 

In Dublin and throughout Ireland, I enjoyed sand art that was spectacular to say the least. These artists portrayed their subject in actual size (if not bigger) and with exceptional detail. The chess set was one of my favorites. Details in the pieces were incredible and a central point in Dublin Castle.

The Temple Bar is one of the most talked about bars in Dublin. It is part of the Temple Bar district which is a tourist trap but a must go to place if you are in Dublin. It is very difficult to get into so we quickly got a beer and fought the crowds while taking in the sounds and scents of Ireland. Dublin, a busy city like any other big city, has a distinct flavor of happy residents, busy workers, and interested tourists. There were many beers to explore in our visits to various bars throughout our stay in Ireland. My favorite of all was called Galway Hooker.

I recommend Ireland for a vacation unlike any other. If you plan on visiting read my other article covering many different counties and the Bars of Ireland at https://www.avacato.co/blog/bars-in-ireland

We visited many cities in Ireland but my heart belongs to Dublin. The electricity in the city is beyond words. I can’t wait for my next trip.

So Many Fitness Choices…How Do You Choose?

We can all agree that between finding a diet that you can be successful with, as well as picking the best fitness plan for yourself, the choices are overwhelming. Often people are soo overwhelmed with the choices they chose to not try anything. Diet choices are individual and so is fitness, What is your comfort zone? What do you want to achieve? Do you prefer individual or group fitness, or a combination of both? Serious considerations of your feelings and preferences will make your final choices more lasting.

Let’s look at some of our options:

Fitness Classes:

There are so many types of classes to choose from where does one begin! When I decided to dedicate myself to my health and fitness, I examined all the options available. I checked out all the local fitness centers and whenever possible took a free class (or inexpensive one) to see which club was the perfect fit and which classes were available at each.

I always loved Zumba so my first attempt at each place was always a Zumba class. I now that I am not always completely coordinated but I enjoyed the steps in Zumba and felt able to keep up while I was burning calories. When I found the fitness club I enjoyed the most I also checked out their other classes. So besides Zumba I enjoy:

. PlyCombo: This is a combination of Pilates and Yoga. It involves stretching and toning which are both important for overall strength and agility. Each time you take this class you feel more confident and can see the difference as you stretch further. You will soon see definition in legs, arms and glut areas as well as feeler a leaner overall feeling. In this class, you use a mat, resistance bands, light weights and a balancing ball for certain Pilates moves. This was a class I resisted trying for a long time and once I did I can certainly feel the difference.

. Piloxing Barre: This class combines both Piloxing and Barre technique. It has a bit more cardio (Piloxing) with many Pilates moves using the Barre.. This class tones you and helps you balance. This has become one of my favorite classes. You can do the piloxing with nothing or use light Piloxing gloves which give you some weight with the boxing moves and arm toning exercises.

. Piloxing: Without the barre, this class is heavy cardio with strength training for legs, arms and abs. It is fast-paced and an unbelievable workout. I often feel as if this class is like a “tow-in-one” workout and last me for a day or two.

. The Mix by Zumba: This is a high intense cardio workout based on 80s/90 dance steps. It uses some of the steps of Zumba while incorporating some hip hop and 80s dance styles. This is a fun way to burn calories without realizing that you are because you are having so much fun.

Other classes I have taken which work on specific body sculpting areas are Triple Fit (abs, gluts and legs), Abs and Gluts, and Zumba Infused, which is Zumba with light weights..

So if you think classes are for you, try a few out with either a free class or a week membership to make sure it’s something you want.

Traditional Gym:

Choosing a traditional gym can be just as confusing. Prices can go from $10 a month to over $200 a month depending on what the gym has to offer. My personal opinion is go to the cheapest one to start and make sure you are committed to your workouts before you spend that kind of money. I have been a member of Planet Fitness ($10 a month) for almost 3 years now. I try to visit the gym at least once a week while doing my fitness classes elsewhere. This can be a good addition to your plan with specific machines geared towards body parts you want to tone, as well as more cardio using treadmills, elliptical and step training machines. This type of gym can work on its own or compliment your other fitness activities!

Walking:

When all else fails taking a long walk will help you both mentally and physically. After a long day at work, taking a nice brisk walk will ease your mind and help you reach your steps goal for the day if you can’t make the gym. This is a fun alternative to do with a friend to catch up and get fit together.

Personal Training:

Personal Training can be a costly endeavor. I have done this on 3 different occasions. It is a wonderful way to get started to work with someone who can personally analyze your body type, set goals for you nutritionally as well as fitness goals, and motivate you on a one-to-one basis. To this day when I cannot go to either of my gyms, I will work out at home using techniques learned through my various personal training experiences.

Making fitness goals involves commitment and more commitment. It is not the end of the world if you miss the gym for a week, just go back. Or have a back-up plan to walk or put in a DVD or YouTube an exercise class in the comfort of your living room. The only excuse is you allowing yourself to have an excuse. Take your time making decisions about your physical endeavors and don’t take on too much at once. Also remember its okay to change your mind and go with a different plan.

Good luck in your fitness goals. I would love to hear your stories and comments.