Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2018

Beautiful Interruption + #MyPostMonday Curating The Week's Best Original Content

Today my husband and I took the longest hike I've taken this summer! I hiked 9 miles total and I wasn't initially completely on board with it. But knowing how excited he is when I go with him and seeing the effort he went to in order to make sure that I would definitely be with him this morning as he carefully woke me up at 5 am, was something I couldn't turn down. (He even made me breakfast!)

We got to the trailhead at around 7 a.m. and due to it being MONDAY, no one was around. The destination was Lake Desolation. It doesn't sound too inviting, does it? Right now I'm suffering from a few maladies, all on my left side. The one that was bothering me today was my left achilles tendon. It has been injured in the past and has visible scar tissue built up. I've been doing some H.I.I.T. lately and my achilles doesn't like it. 

So we started out, with me baby-ing my poor achilles and not really sure what to expect, since I'd never been to Desolation Lake before. I was surprised that this was one of the prettiest and well kept trails I've been on. Sure, there were a few steep parts, but nothing I couldn't get up using some care and caution. 

We walked virtually the entire 4.5 miles to the lake without seeing a soul, until right at the end. There were 5 hikers that came up behind us and caught up to us right as we got to the lake. If you have been to the lakes in either Little or Big Cottonwood Canyons, this lake is a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. But a 5 is gorgeous in comparison to most lakes. It's just that the alpine lakes here in the canyons are so beautiful and pristine and so spectacularly gorgeous. 

Seeing this lake for the first time, I could see that the extremely dry winter had taken its toll and the water level was way down. But "desolation" is not a word I would use to describe this lake. It was still absolutely beautiful! 

In another effort to keep our hikes fun for both of us, my husband got us a set of two-way radios to keep us connected, even if he wanted to hike up even further and summit a peak, which is not something I will be doing any time soon. He left me at the lake and we communicated through the radios for the rest of the time. 
Desolation Lake
This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable hikes I've had yet. There were a variety of reasons that made it so fun, but how tragic if I had rolled over and said that I didn't want to go this morning! I could have used any number of reasons to NOT go--my achilles was bothering me, I have so much to do before school starts up again, I've already been on the minimum number of hikes I said I would do this summer, I have goals that need to be met, etc. etc. 

But I know that interruptions happen, and this interruption happened to be a beautiful one. I learned that goals can still be met, even though they might happen in a different order than you originally planned!

Image - Betsy Kasper
Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome) 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Of Most Importance + #MyPostMonday Curating The Week's Best Original Content

I love feeling healthy and energetic! I do a few things daily to make sure I stay feeling that way. It's something I conscientiously work towards on a daily basis. 

Another thing I hold dear and work hard to keep is my relationship with my kids. They are gone and on their own--definitely not mama's boys. So sometimes it's up to me to keep the communication going and the home fires burning. I work on that as well because it's really important to me.

And of course, marriage is definitely something one needs to keep working on, unless you plan on letting it dwindle into a series of auto-pilot conversations and mundane schedules. Apparently my husband thinks it's important too, because he takes part in the maintenance of our relationship too, especially when food is involved! We've been married for 18 years now! It seems like just yesterday that we decided to not delay things and to just go for it, 4 months after we met.

Image - Gina Herbert
The above are some of the more obvious things that a lot of people might agree are important and worth fighting to keep. But there are some less obvious things that I find are just as important to keep.

One of them is something I have taken for granted all my life but am now starting to wonder if I really should have...the freedom of religion.  

A religious person shares a common belief that there is "a right and wrong in human behavior that has been established by a Supreme Being." (Dallin H. Oaks) That person may be a member of any given number of religions, but that one belief, at least, is held in common. 

Religion is good for society because it has been found that, in general, religious individuals have better family lives, stronger marriages, less substance abuse and crime, higher educational levels, a greater willingness to volunteer and donate to charities, better work habits, longer lives, better health, greater income, and higher levels of well-being and happiness. These are all things that, as a whole, will benefit society! *See Sources below

Unfortunately, protections afforded to freedom of religion and belief are often weak, unheeded, and attacked. Powerful pressures attempt to restrain religious freedom, even in countries that historically protected it most vigorously. These pressures seem to be gaining ground in many countries. 
*See Sources below

I am saddened when I see the historical tradition of public prayer, giving public credence to God, historical edifices referencing divinity, and individuals wanting to publicly display their heartfelt belief in God attacked and belittled. 

When someone is censored when moved to say what they truly believe, how can they claim freedom of speech? And the same with freedom of press and freedom of assembly. When they can't write what they believe or assemble to speak about what they believe, how can the claim of "freedom" be made?

Amazingly, in 2013, approximately 5.5 billion people--77 percent of the world's population--lived in countries with high or very high restrictions on religious liberty, up from 68 percent just six years earlier. *See Sources Below

"Sadly, religion is often countercultural and thus unpopular. For this reason, religious freedom, even where it is generally supported in principle, is often vigorously opposed in practice." (D. Todd Christofferson) 

What We Can Do

This is a freedom I have decided is too valuable to lose and I would like to do more to help protect this inalienable right here in my own country. If you are also of a mind to protect religious freedom, here are some things we can do to fight for that cause:

1) When we hear of someone being unfairly treated because of demonstrating or vocalizing their religious beliefs, find out the source and write a letter in support of the person who was treated unfairly.

2) Openly state our support of religious freedom and religion in general.

3) Don't openly criticize others of their differing religious beliefs . They have the same right as we do to practice their beliefs. We need to unite rather than be divided in this important freedom.

4) Don't be critical of those who profess no religious beliefs. No one should be compelled to be religious.

5) Write to our elected officials and make it known that we are supportive of religious freedom.

If more of us speak out and stand up for what was granted us when the U.S. was founded, we can preserve that important freedom. It is important and worth fighting for to keep!

Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome) 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Her IdealShape For The Summer Months Ahead

The products I received to review
 I have wondered how in the world I am going to get my swimsuit, short-sleeved, sans sweater summer look this year.  But I think I've got the kick start that I've been looking for.  It's called IdealShape and it's a program that lets you stop dieting by simply replacing one meal and replacing it with a milkshake that has some powerful natural hunger-blocking ingredients that will not only help you lose weight, but will enable you keep it off as well!   
   Have you ever had that unsatisfied feeling when you are trying to be good, but no matter what you're doing, the only thing that matters is that you get something to eat NOW.  I know I have and when that happens, I'm looking to feel satisfied.  That's when the overeating comes in. I know, there are so many diet programs out there, but I was really impressed with this one because it has a proprietary appetite control formulation called Slendesta which has been shown to be the most powerful natural appetite-curbing substance out there.  Slendesta is derived from.....wait for it...... potatoes.  Using a water-based, patented process, it is completely stimulant free.  It's NOT one of the many "fat-burners" on the market and does not artificially stimulate the metabolism.  
  Not only does Idealshape provide you with incredible nutritional tools, like the shake, to succeed at your weight loss, it also has a complete support system as well. I'm talking about mind-altering techniques that will help you actually see yourself as that beautiful and healthy person you secretly know you are.  They are brain training CD's and they have helped IdealShape men and women achieve and maintain weight goals they never thought possible! I haven't read it yet but I'd love to get ahold of the book or CD called 'Think' by David Meine.  It's offered by Ideal Shape for $5.00 off the regular price and it helps you unchain the mental power you have within you to succeed with your weight goals.
The Shake:  I absolutely love this shake.  I tried the chocolate and it is fabulous.  The taste is wonderful.  And it's the easiest shake I've ever blended.  It mixes up so well with just the shaker bottle.  I'm extremely picky about using a shaker.  Normally I don't like using the shakers because I don't think most drinks or shakes mix up well enough, ending up gritty or clumpy, which is definitely not a picnic in my mouth.  But this shake mixes well and easily so.  And it really does make me feel full for about 3 hours.  Of course, I cheat.  I use 2% milk rather than the skim or non-fat milk they recommend.  But wow, it's really good.  I think it would also be tasty with almond milk. The shaker bottle that comes with the Ideal Shape program is the perfect size.  You really do feel full for about 3 hours.  These shakes will give you that satisfied feeling.  For at least 3 hours!  Amaazing!  Click to enlarge the two pictures below to see some great comparisons and specific benefits you get from the Ideal Shake. 

    The Bars: I also tried the Ideal Bar in Cinnamon Caramel Crunch Flavor (1 of 3 flavors).  It was delicious and has Slendesta, the same hunger blocking technology as the shake.  I found it was also good when I had a food craving going on and needed to get it under control. 

 The Supplement:  Another great tool is the NaturalShape Hunger Blocker.  If taken approximately 30 minutes before a meal it will give you the ability to control your portions and keep yourself in control.  It has a full serving of Slendesta plus Resveratrol, Green Tea Extract and Kelp. 

Something that is stressed very strongly with this program is to drink plenty of water.  Because of the nature of the potato protein that swells in your stomach, you need to get fluids in with it for proper absorption and digestion. 

I am very impressed with IdealShape and I'm so glad I got the chance to review it.  Like so many of the great products I review, I will definitely be a repeat customer on this one

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan Or Low Carb? Which Is The Best?

It's funny what kind of change 10 days can bring into your life.  10 days ago I was re-capping about the week before and boo hoo-ing about my arm burn and deep scratch, which now looks a lot better, albeit not completely gone.  I had just been to a restaurant that served up more meat than a person should have in a quarter of a year.  I loved it, yet I felt awful afterward.  Although I had really not seriously considered it, I quote myself saying in that post, "I swear I'm going off meat next Tuesday...maybe"  That was my attitude.  Kind of a "whatever happens, happens" feel to it.

You know how they say that your caloric needs lessen slightly every 5 years as you age?  Don't believe it!  My caloric needs have lessened in less than a year to the point that I gain weight if I eat one good meal a day.  And I don't mean loading up and having seconds.  I mean eating a medium serving of an entree with a salad.  The next day, the scale is up at least 2 pounds.  And it seemed to happen all at once.  One month I was enjoying food and using it up with the activity I did and the next month, bam!  5 pounds up, and the next month 10 pounds up.  The whole thing is compounded with the fact that I can't exercise as much as I once did.  Just a couple years back, 20 year olds had nothing on me.  I could go to the gym to the pump classes and cycle classes and burn it up.  I'd think smugly to myself, "my gosh, girlfriend, can you not do any more than that?  Look at me.  I'm at LEAST 15 years older than you.  Get with the program!!!"  Not any more.... no, no I'm not even in the running with the younger ones and I don't even try.  I'm like, "Oh, I'm just here for myself.  Competition is so silly.  She must need attention, showing off like that.  I'm doing what I can do...."  That's if I go at all.  I need to save my energy to get up and down the stairs!  Lol!  It's so sad because I love to get out and want to do things like mountain bike, hike, and dance.  
 I've changed my diet quite a bit.  For one thing, I got a high powered blender so I can make green smoothies and I drink one every day.  But I still eat meat, cheese, milk, high carbs, sugar, breads and pastas.  I've done some reading about low carb diets and vegan diets.  The thing is I know I just can't do it on any kind of permanent or  regular basis.  I'm a realist.  I have a husband who wolfs down carbs and loves for me to join him in his decadence.  He says it's part of why he loves me, because I love to chow down with him once in awhile.  I work at a school that is full of snacks and events with foods that are less than optimum for a sensible diet.  I belong to a church where green jello salad is a staple of life and you are practically an outcast if you don't know how to make what is known as Funeral Potatoes.  Thus, I never seriously considered either of these two diets an option for me.

Until now.  I have read about two very compelling lifestyle changes that I believe are very doable.  One is going low carb for just two days a week and the rest of the week eating sensibly, but with regular food.  The other is going vegan every day until 6 pm,  whereupon you can eat a sensible dinner.  Both claim to have outstanding results.  

In the VB6 Diet (Vegan Before 6:00 pm), simply eat healthy vegan foods, which means no meat, dairy or dairy by-products until 6 pm.  The book, VB6 by Mark Bittman has been on the New York Times best-selling list for awhile now.  The book contends that you don't have to feel deprived or bored with the foods you are allowed to eat before 6 pm.  For instance, on a Vegan diet you can still have ice cream if you make it with recipes like this one using coconut milk!  Bittman claims to have lost a hefty 35 lbs. soon after starting the lifestyle change.

In the 2 day per week Low Carb Diet, it's pretty self explanatory.  You need to limit your carb intake to 50 carbs per day and make lean proteins (eggs, fish, poultry) the central part of your diet.  The other 5 days you just need to eat sensibly and opt to get your carbs from healthier sources such as grains, fruits and non-starchy vegetables.  On the diet, 18 women and men were tested and they lost an average of 9.1 pounds and 7.5 pounds of body fat.  They also cut their LDL Cholesterol and lowered their blood sugar.  You can find the book called, The 2-day Diet:  Part-Time Diet--Full Time Results by Sari Harrar and Prevention Magazine.

I'm torn,  Both of these lifestyle changes seem like I could manage them, with planning.  On the one hand, the VB6 Diet seems easier because as long as you are eating Vegan, there doesn't seem to be a measured amount of food to worry about, like the Low Carb, where you need to keep track of carbs consumed. But the only result is the one Bittman claims to have gotten, where he says he lost 35 lbs.  The Low Carb Diet seems to have more case studies done and documented results from at least 18 people.  I'd be thrilled to lose 9.1 pounds in 6 weeks.  It's been pretty stagnant for awhile now, the scale moving mostly up.  So down more than one pound per week would be suh--weet!  Plus I could still have my fish and chicken!  I've already started a low carb board on Pinterest and have yet to look into many good recipes for the Vegan diet.  At any rate, one thing is clear.  I need some help if I am to combat my metabolism.  

So which one sounds the best to you?  And what are your suggestions? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tricks That Will Boost The Metabolism

I work at a remedial high school in the Behavior/Special Ed Unit.  Before the school year ended, we had a writing assignment in English.  The subject was 'If Wishes Came True"...Here is one girl's response:
"If wishes came true I would eat whatever I want and not gain any weight.  I would be so happy...I would eat McDonalds all i want, whenever I want...french fries and popcorn would be my snack every day.  I would eat all of my favorite foods every day.  I bet the world would be alot happier if this wish came true. No one would have to worry about their figures anymore.  It would be an almost perfect world.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it."
Well, girlfriend, I think you hit it pretty close for me!  Eating is one of the best things ever.  Unfortunately my appetite is bigger than what my metabolism can handle.  If I were to give in, there would be hell to pay on the scales, and believe me, it's happened a lot.  I envy those people who actually CAN seem to get away with eating whatever they want and still wear size 4 skinny jeans.  
But there is some good news.  I can almost level the playing field with those metabolic miracle chicks by incorporating a few tricks of my own.  Then when the craving is unbearable or the occasion warrents, I can indulge without the event ruining me for the next month and beyond.  Here are a few things I've discovered that really do work:

Don't Eat After Dark -  New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating—say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. So it's smart to time your calorie intake accordingly.

Include Some Form of Weight Lifting Each Week 
Muscles are your biggest metabolic engine. The more of them you build, the more calories will be directed to keeping them strong. Lifting weights, practicing yoga, and incorporating core exercises that efficiently work large, connected groups of muscles in one swoop will translate into a higher metabolism all day.”   Putting on just 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle mass will rev up your resting metabolism -- the number of calories your body burns to maintain life -- by roughly 100 calories, each and every day

Include Some Form of Interval Training Each Week In a landmark study published in the journal Metabolism, researchers found that short, intense bursts of exercise resulted in considerably more fat loss than sustained activity. “ Interval training [varying fast spurts of exercise with slower recovery periods] increases your metabolic power,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss. “When you exercise this way, your mitochondria, the little engines in your cells that burn calories, run hotter all day.” Interval training can be incorporated into almost any routine. For example, instead of jogging, try running all-out for one minute and then walking for two, repeating the cycle for 30 minutes

Get Enough Sleep
When your body is sleep-deprived, it produces mass quantities of grehlin, the hunger hormone, driving you to crave more sugar and carbohydrates.  A recent study from Case Western Reserve University found that, on average, women who sleep for 5 hours or less per night are 32 percent more likely to gain weight and 15 percent more likely to be obese than those who get at least 7 hours.

Eat Every 2 or 3 Hours Eating three large meals a day is terrible for your metabolism because you have three peaks in your blood sugar/insulin response and the rest of the time you are in a valley that is not good for your insulin response. The key is to make sure each meal is well balanced and contains the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat.

Supplement with Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids,  largely found in fish oil and flaxseeds, increase the number of fat calories your body burns every day. Fat burning foods are essential for people who decrease calorie intake and exercise but still have trouble losing weight due to often genetic metabolic conditions. They are great antidotes for this problem.

Supplement with Chromium 
Make sure you’re getting enough chromium in your diet to help your body burn more calories. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat. According to MedlinePlus, meat, eggs, green pepper, apples, banana and spinach are also good sources of chromium. When you supplement 120 mcg of chromium daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism

Get Out of your chair every 20 minutes - Whether it's TV watching, blogging, entering contests, playing video or computer games or driving, we sit way too much. Between 1980 and 2000 exercise time stayed the same, but sitting increased by 8%. Obesity doubled.  When one sits, the electrical impulses in the legs shut off, calorie burning drops to 1 calorie burned per minute and enzymes used to help burn fat drop to 90%.  Just by setting a timer for 20 minutes, you can keep track of how long you sit and just walk around for a little bit to break up the time you are sitting without interruption, which seems to be the culprit.

Fight Inflamation 
Experts are starting to point to inflammation as an influence on metabolism. Inflammation is simply the body’s immune response, activated during illness, allergic reaction, or when too much glucose, fat, or carbohydrates enter the system, explains Dr. Hyman. When the inflammatory response switches on, a group of receptors located on the fat and liver cells activate and start redirecting energy toward storage, rather than use. Until the body determines the “crisis” is over, metabolism will slow down, and more calories will go to fat cells. You can keep inflammation down by sticking to low-sugar foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  Meals high in antioxidants and fiber bring the inflammatory response down even more.

Break Up Your Workout Sessions 
A University of Pittsburgh study found that women who did four separate 10-minute workouts during the day lost thirty percent more weight than women who did one big 40-minute workout a day. Scientists conclude you can lose more weight and keep your metabolism moving faster by doing smaller, shorter workouts.

Control Stress as much as possible Keep stress levels in check by managing your time, focusing on the present and not over-committing. Many studies have found a link between high levels of stress and weight gain. You don't have to commit to regular yoga classes or meditation sessions to manage your stress.  Just know your limits and know that the world isn't all on your shoulders, you can share that responsibility.  It will help you be more productive in the long run.

Drink Plenty of Water 
In a small German study, subjects who drank 16 ounces of water at a time experienced a 30 percent increase in metabolic rate during the following hour, burning an extra 24 calories. The researchers recommend cool water because the body expends extra calories warming it up to your body temperature.  If your body is not properly hydrated it may not be able to perform certain vital functions.  This can lead to a reduction in your BMR.  Therefore, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to maximise your metabolism.  I find that keeping a water bottle at your desk and topping it up regularly plus making an effort to drink extra water while exercising helps me stay hydrated throughout the day.

Don't Under-Eat 
Undereating causes your metabolic rate to drop and your body to hold onto fat. Most nutrition experts recommend that the average, active woman consumes at least 1,800 calories daily. But watch out for underestimating the calorie count of "healthy" foods. Even some salads are packed with extra calories.

Drink Green Tea
There are varying reports on this, but Research reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that green tea helps to burn up to forty-three percent more calories a day. Another study showed that men who drank green tea for three months lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn’t drink the brew.

I suppose I no longer have any of the above excuses to be fat, including that my metabolism is really bad.  I better put my money where my mouth is!  If you know of any other great tricks for boosting the metabolism, please do tell!  



Thursday, June 28, 2012

An ActivewearUSA Review + #Giveaway

"One of these days I'm going to be so fit!"  I've been saying that all my life.  I've always had this ideal image that I've been trying to attain. I've never hit that image in my head, but along the way, I feel like I've gained something even better.  I love to be active and exercise!  Sometimes I run.  No, I don't do marathons, or even 5Ks but I love running with my dog!  Sometimes I bike.  Last Saturday I did 33 miles, which about killed me...but I loved it!  Sometimes I do yoga.  I am pretty limber, if I work up to it.  By the end of a class I can almost touch my head to my knees!   I  like to hike.  I take my dog for walks and hikes in the hills around our town!  The right workout clothing makes exercising that much more enjoyable.  It's great to feel good about what you're wearing! is a place where you can find the exact right sportswear for you, no matter what the activity!  Founded by Avi Woolman, a wife, mom, fitness enthusiast, and entrepreneur, it is their goal to offer the largest selection of quality, high-performance, stylish women's activeewear, footwear, and accessories.  I believe if they haven't done that yet, they are awfully close!  They have a huge selection of everything, including dance pants! You can shop by category, by sport, or by brand!
I randomly looked up Workout Pants and came up with several different types, but there are literally hundreds of choices!

For this review, I was asked 3 questions:  What is your size?  What are your favorite sports activities?  What is your style - crazy, floral, conservative, black?  My answers were:  Size - Medium (8 - 10), Favorite Sports - Yoga, hiking, biking, running,  Style - Floral.  Based on those answers, my Customer Service Rep sent me this gorgeous top!  I was really impressed.  Here are some ways that I can wear it! (Click for a larger view)

I like it because it has lots of support in the top and is flattering in the waist because of the shirred sides.  So I definitely feel comfortable exercising in it and I also feel like I can wear it as a casual top.  Bonus!  Needless to say, I was very impressed with my Customer Service Rep and how she was able to find something for me that I liked. 

To show you that ActivewearUSA has something just for you, one Gal Pal will be receiving a personalized item of choice based on the same 3 questions I was asked above!  So start thinking about your answers and in the meantime, enter the giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Great Place To Run and Walk!

I have a little place that I go when I take my dog for an early morning run/walk.

It's very quiet, it's very beautiful and we both love it.  I've always loved to hike, bike and run--just never all at the same time.  I'm either on a hiking kick, a biking phase or a running stage.  For a long time, I swore I'd never run again.  I preferred the less jolting activities of hiking and biking. But my weight has given me fits lately. I need to do something.  I can't cheat when I run.

 I've started out walking for 5 minutes and running for 5 minutes for an hour.  But this is the place my dog and I go.  No one bothers us, no prying eyes here at 6:30 am.  Just me, my dog, the road and an occasional lake bird.  Yes, we have a beautiful backdrop! 
Evee is a real motivator.  She runs like the wind, and loves to chase birds in flight, ducks in the water (yes, she loves to swim) or, unfortunately bikers, cars and runners.  Of course, she always comes back to see that I'm doing OK and she tries to get me going even faster by circling behind me, ever herding.  That's why I need to have her out early in the morning before anyone comes out.  I can't enjoy a walk where I have a dog tugging on a leash wanting to aggressively herd anything that comes by.  But it's good for me as well to rise early.  Getting up in the morning and exercising really kick starts my day!