12-16-2016

Fitness Vlogs – I’ve Been Loving Vlogmas!

For those of you who haven’t been following me (or other vloggers) on YouTube, you might have heard about Vlogmas. It’s a vlog (video) each day until Christmas. I figured I’d try it out since I’m trying to get back into YouTube, but honestly figured I wouldn’t last haha.

But I’ve actually been having fun with it! It’s been fun to film my days and document things. I decided to throw in some fitness/running related stuff in there too. Which are the ones I wanted to share with you today. If you haven’t seen them yet, here are a few that might be of interest!

My Leg Day Workout

This one was from yesterday. Short video but showed me current leg day workout that I’ve been doing with my sister. My legs were so sore yesterday!

My Favorite Running Bloggers & Running Websites

Shoutout to some of my favorite bloggers! If you need some running inspiration, check out the websites I mentioned:

Here are links to the sites:

Courtney : http://eatprayrundc.com
Wendy : http://takethelongwayhome.com
Tina : http://tinamuir.com
http://runnersconnect.net
http://flotrack.org
http://strengthrunning.com

 

Taste Testing Halo Top Ice Cream

Omg how did I not know about Halo Top before this?? We tried out chocolate mocha chip and birthday cake:

What’s In My Fridge

My fridge is currently a mess but showed a few of my favorite things. Number 1 is definitely turkey Bubba Burgers!

Do you have a favorite vlogger on YouTube?

Any topics you’d like to see discussed on my channel? I think some of my next videos will have my foam rolling and stretching routine. Just got some resistance bands so might do a resistance band workout as well :)

Stay tuned!

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02-01-2016

3 Reasons Exercise Programs Fail & How To Overcome Them

It’s February 1st! A new month…a clean slate…

Did you know that a third of those who make New Year’s Resolutions don’t even make it to the end of January? We need to stay strong and committed as a new month rolls in!

Many people make resolutions to be healthier, work out more, etc. So why do they fall off within a month or two? That’s what I wanted to talk about today AND invite you to participate in a FREE 5 day fitness challenge that starts next week, so we can hold each other accountable and motivate each other. I’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Here are 3 reasons why exercise programs fail, and how to overcome them. + a FREE 5 day fitness challenge to re-ignite your goals and motivation! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Getting to the gym is a hassle

For many people, in the beginning they’re going to the gym every day, and then it starts to taper off. Why? Because getting to the gym might be a hassle. If you’re going after work, you might have to sit in traffic to get there. If you’re going in the morning, you might opt out because you don’t want to lug your work clothes, towel, shampoo, etc. for the post-workout shower. These small annoyances might start leading to, “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Here are a few ways to get back on track:

  • On days you get out of work late, or you wake up not wanting to drive to the gym, do an at-home workout video. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it is better than nothing, and you’ll feel great. I love Fitness Blender on YouTube for home workouts.
  • Sign up for fitness classes. I’ve been staying consistent with my morning cycling classes because if I cancel I have to pay $20. When you have a commitment, you’re more apt to go. A second idea is to schedule a workout time with a friend…you can’t bail on your friends!
  • Create your own dumbbell workout routine that you can do at home. I wrote more about creating a full-body routine here.

Gym equipment is confusing

Alright so maybe you get to the gym, but then what? There are so many pieces of equipment, how do you know which to use OR if you’re even using them properly? This overload can cause some to feel intimidated and stop going to the gym all-together. Check out the link above on how to create your own routine. You can also use sites like bodybuilding.com that have a ton of workout plans and show how to do each exercise. My advice is to just stick to dumbbells or kettlebells. You can get a great workout with just those pieces of equipment, and oftentimes a BETTER workout than using a machine.

No accountability

If you’re trying to go at this alone, it will get tough at times. Even though I train with my mom, there are days I dread going to the gym or running. And that is even with a workout partner, so I can’t imagine if I didn’t have her! You need people to hold you accountable. Find someone to go to the gym with or run with a few times a week. Tell yourself you can only do X if you go to the gym that day (watch Netflix, get a manicure…whatever you think will work for you!). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a workout buddy either. Tell people about your goals and ask them to check in with you. When you know that people know what you’re working towards, you’re more apt to actually achieve those goals. Which is why my 5 day fitness challenge is perfect for you if you want accountability…we will all be checking in with each other and supporting each other!

So what will this 5 Day Fitness Challenge entail?

  • Daily 15 min. workout videos by me, sent to you for 5 days so you can work out right at home (and you only need dumbbells)!
  • PDF printables of the workouts in case you want to do it at the gym.
  • Instagram hashtag so you can connect with other challenge members and support each other.

AND

  • PRIZES! One lucky winner will win a PlantFusion prize pack with 1 full-size PlantFusion product of their choice (Thanks PlantFusion!). PlantFusion is a plant-based protein powder (which I love) that is perfect for smoothies and post-workout recovery shakes.

So here are the quick details:

WHEN: Feb. 8 – Feb 14

HOW DO I SIGN UP: Click below and enter your email to sign up. I will send you all the details before Feb. 8 so you’re ready to hit the ground running!



 
Leave a comment below and let me know if you signed up! :)
 
 
What do you think is a reason many people “fall off the resolution wagon” come Feb. or March?
What steps do you take to make sure you stay strong and committed?

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11-10-2015

Which Fitness Tracker Should I Get?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Alright, alright…I think I’m ready to jump on the fitness tracker bandwagon. I have been intrigued by FitBit’s for a while, and now Dan has one that his company gave him for inter-office “competition.” 

I have seen many bloggers review various fitness trackers, so I don’t know which to get! I was leaning towards the FitBit wrist tracker (is the the official term? The one that looks like a bracelet?). But I figured I would talk about some of the more popular trackers and their features…perhaps this will help me make a decision!

best-fitness-trackers

FitBit Charge HR - $149.99

455975-fitbit-charge-hrPhoto source

There are different type of FitBits, but this is the one I would want. I love that it has a heartrate monitor – I think I need that when it comes to my running. I would like to track my HR and make sure my easy runs are easy, and hard runs are hard.

Like all FitBit’s and most trackers, it measures your steps too. When I had my Samsung Galaxy, it had a built in step-tracker. I was always waaayyyy off the recommended 10,ooo steps her day. I really want to work at this because I know I sit too much throughout the day. Between blogging and my business, everything is on my computer. Sometimes I don’t want to get up just to fill up my water bottle because I’m in the zone with my work. #truestory I really need to get more steps in. 

The battery is supposed to last 5 days which is impressive. I just worry that it might be too bulky on my wrist? I have bony wrists…hmm…

Garmin VivoSmart - $129.99

garmin-vivosmartPhoto source

I like that this is smaller on your wrist than the FitBit, but am not sold on it due to the fact that you need the chest strap heart rate monitor to get your HR. I’m sure that might be more accurate, but I also don’t know if I want to wear one on runs since I chafe…a lot…

The Garmin VivoSmart allows you to get push notifications from your mobile device which I think is actually pretty cool! You can’t respond to them obviously, but I think it is a nice feature. It also has vibration alarms which is perfect for me. I hate waking up to alarms, it always jars me awake. I feel like a nice vibration on my wrist would be better :)

The battery life lasts about 7 hours, and it also measures steps, sleep, calories burned and active time.

Jawbone UP2 - $99.99

jawbone-up

 

Wow I love the look of the Jawbone UP2! This is exactly what I would want a fitness tracker on my wrist to look like. It is sleek and small, and not obviously a fitness tracker. The only downside is that I want one that displays info on it while you’re wearing it, as opposed to having to plug it in to my computer to get the info or opening an app (there is an app for this one).

It tracks steps, monitors sleep and has a smart alarm feature which wakes you up when it feels you’re most ready to wake up, instead of jarring you awake while you’re still in REM cycle (which can lead to grogginess). From the reviews I’ve read, the Jawbone does a great job of giving you details on your sleep…something I need because I feel like I NEVER get a good night’s sleep.

Interesting…I started writing this paaragraph thinking I wouldn’t be interested in this because of the lack of screen but as I kept typing, I kind of want to try one out now!

Misfit Flash - $24.99

misfit-flashPhoto source

The Misfit Flash is only $24.99! Can you believe that? I honestly might go pick up one of these after work today just to try it out before I dive deeper into the fitness tracking world.

While this one does not have a screen interface, it still tracks steps and sleep AND can running, swimming and cycling. You can tell it what activity you will be doing and it will track accordingly. However, this is mainly just to track what kind of activity you did – it does not provide pace, distance, miles, etc. Also, the circular part seen above actually comes out so you can either put it into the watch strap thing or into the clip. Very cool.

Like the Jawbone, since it doesn’t have a screen, you can track using an app. Since the Misfit uses a watch battery, the battery lasts about 6 months!

Garmin Vivofit 2 – $99.99

garmin-vivofitPhoto source

The Garmin Vivofit 2 comes in different colors BUT also allows you to buy the wristband separately so you can can switch it up. I believe the above photo features a Jonathan Adler wristband.

The Vivofit 2 tracks your steps, goals, distance and calories burned. It can also be paired with a heart rate monitor/strap. You can connect to the Garmin Connect app to get even more details about your day and activity. This tracker also uses watch batteries, so battery life is a year or longer! I like the look of this and it looks slim/not bulky. From what I’ve read, you can also pair it with your MyFitnessPal app.

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Ahhh, decisions, decisions. I like the FitBit Dan has, but I do think I want something more robust (hence why I like the FitBit Surge). BUT I like the look of the Jawbone and Vivofit. Help!

Do you use a fitness tracker? Which one?

Do you get in 10K steps per day? I think I was getting around 3-5K…definitely need to step it up (no pun intended).

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03-24-2015

Quick Hamstring and Glute Workout

After a run, I really don’t feel like lifting. I know it’s a problem, and I should probably start splitting up my workouts (lift in the AM, run in the PM), but for now, I have been doing quick strength workouts post-run.

I did this one yesterday and really liked it. I wanted to focus on legs, especially hamstrings and glutes, which is why I named this a posterior chain workout.

We know that runners, and people who sit a lot throughout the day in general, are prone to weak glutes and hamstrings. That’s why working on your core is so important…and these two muscle groups are part of your core!

While doing lunges, squats, step-ups etc. does hit your hamstrings a bit, those mainly target quads and glutes. By not doing hamstring specific work, you’re setting yourself up for an imbalance. 

Here are a few facts about your hamstrings that I found here:

The role the hamstring plays in running is twofold:

1. when a runner’s leg is in the air advancing forward, the hamstrings control how quickly the knee extends and the hip flexes;

2. when the runner’s foot hits the ground, the hamstrings will do the reverse and flex the knee and extend the hip. This is a key distinction because the hamstring muscles must quickly transition from one role to another once the foot strikes the ground. It is during this transitional period that injuries frequently occur.

So this workout is one you’ll definitely feel throughout your back side…and I threw in the windmills for a little oblique action as well, though even those I felt in my hamstrings too! 

If you don’t have access to do cable kickbacks, you can do kneeling kickbacks (get on all fours, kick your straight leg up into the air, focus on a slow, controlled motion). 

Here’s the workout, and keep reading for video instructions if you need them!

Hamstring & Glute Workout
Cable kickbacks:

Kettlebell windmills:

Kettlebell swings *good form is important for this, so watch this whole video!*

Read more tips and cues from personal trainer Annie Brees in regards to the kettlebell swing…it’s a great exercise and if you can only do one thing after a run, I’d definitely suggest this!

I did this workout yesterday after an 800s repeat treadmill workout, and then finished up with a good stretch and sauna session. Stay tuned for another workout I’ll post on Thursday that focuses on your quads…remember, it’s all about balance!

Do you lift after a run? Or split up your workouts?

Do you prefer working on your quads or hamstrings? I love doing heavy deadlifts!

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02-11-2015

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Is it the weekend yet? This week is craawwlllinggggg. But at least today I get to pamper myself and go get a pedicure before this wedding I’m going to this weekend. Do you like getting pedis alone or with a friend? I prefer a friend but have to go alone today =’(

Anyway, here are some links for you to check out!

Featured: Red Velvet Cake Granola (NutriFit Mama)

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 9.30.47 AM
How perfect is this for Valentine’s Day? It sounds/looks delicious and I have yet to actually make my own granola. I think I’ll try this but minus the beet root powder, mainly because I’m too lazy to drive to the health food store to find it ;)

Do you like to take naps? For how long?

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02-10-2015

6 Active Winter Date Ideas

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! I know it’s probably half and half of who loves it or who could care less about it…but for those of you who do enjoy V-Day, I’ve got some fun and active winter date ideas for you. Chances are, dinner on Valentine’s Day will be crowded and expensive. If you forgot to make a reservation, then these ideas will be perfect for you ;)

6 Active Winter Date Ideas

  • Rock climbing - I’ve only done it once and I keep meaning to go back. I was pretty nervous and didn’t think I’d be able to get up to the top but it was such a thrill! If you go together, you can race each other to the top. A little competition is always fun!
  • Take a fitness class - Since it’s winter, I wont’ recommend running a 5K as I usually would (but if you like winter running then definitely go for it). Both of you can try a new fitness class together. Something I’m curious about is MMA style classes. Pick something you both will enjoy and go sweat together.
  • Ice skating - Another thing I’ve only tried once and probably won’t do again. I was awful at it! It took me 30 minutes to do one lap on the rink. Dan ended up skating alone lol. But, for those of you who skate or are more adept at it than I am, it’s a great workout! I was actually pretty sore the next day. Go ’round and ’round while having great conversation.
  • Go to a local sporting event - This one isn’t so much as active for you but just going to something active. Dan and I love going to hockey games, but I also enjoy going to local events at colleges. Last week I went to my community college’s basketball game, and it was great to support those students. I really want to go to a Rutgers gymnastics meet this season too! Find a new sport you both haven’t been do and go check it out.
  • Bowling - Who doesn’t love bowling?? I’m a competitive person so any date like this is right up my alley. I mean, I’m not amazing at bowling or anything, but this is always a fun date night.
  • Something in the snow - I’m trying to convince Dan to go to Vermont with me at some point this winter. Being outside in the snow can be such an active thing, and not necessarily just skiing! Neither of us ski, which is why he’s hesitant, but I want to try a bunch of other activities, like snow tubing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing or cross-country skiing. Then afterwards you can go relax in a nice hot tub! Sounds perfect to me.

What would you add to the list? I always love new date night ideas!

What will you be doing for Valentine’s Day? We have a wedding that day so that will be really fun :)

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02-05-2015

Day 1 of Morning Exercise

And probably the only day this week…maybe I’ll do it again next week ;)

But yeah, I woke up at 6:30 today to run before work…probably not a big deal to most of you but I’m SO not a morning person and never workout in the AM because I feel like a zombie. 6:30 probably isn’t even that early to some of you (I know some people are up at 4:30 am to workout) but it’s early for me. My usual wake up time before work is 7:30 AM and even then I snooze for 10 minutes before dragging myself out of bed.

Today I made myself just get up and go. I had my stuff packed already for the day so I just had to pack my oatmeal and snacks for the day. I thought, I can go and run for 30 minutes, that’s all I need to do.

So what motivated this change? A great article I read yesterday, The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You’re Still Overfat, which I quoted on my Instagram (pardon the language):

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


It’s a longer read but worth it, especially if you need a kick in the butt. He talks about people making excuses (well, my coworkers brought in donuts so I ate a few) as opposed to owning it (I chose to eat donuts). While I know it’s my own fault my nutrition isn’t as good as it should be, I know that I’ve been guilty of making excuses before, especially the likes of “Well, I worked out for an hour so I can eat this cookie.”

He also talks about sacrifice…and if you really want something, you’ll suck it up and make a sacrifice to get there. My sacrifice today was that extra hour of sleep. I want to lose a few of the extra pounds that I have gained, and I need to take charge and do it as opposed to bi*ching and moaning about getting up early, or being too tired to run, etc. I’m soooo guilty of making excuses when I’m tired…just yesterday I skipped the gym because I was tired after a bad night’s sleep. Then I got home and read this post and was like, ugh…should have just gone to the gym!

Here are a few other points I liked from the article:

  • “This applies not just to fat loss but also to the rest of your health and fitness goals. If you blame yourself – success. If you blame everything else – no success. Period.”
  • “Life isn’t fair. Life is hard. You will get out of it what you put into it. And when you decide to make real changes, when you make a commitment to yourself to make a difference, YOU HAD BETTER STICK TO IT.”

  • “‘Treats’ are something out of the ordinary. If it happens more than once a month it is no longer out of the ordinary. Stop saying treat. You aren’t having a treat.”
  • It is awesome to have targets and goals. In fact it is imperative to have targets and goals. But those are simply markers, stepping stones, to the ultimate goals, which should be health and fitness until the day you die.”
  • It is either a workout you have to do or a celebration of the amazing gift your healthy body is.”

Some people don’t like this kind of in your face motivation but I love it. Sometimes I just need that kick in the butt and reminder that I’m lucky to be healthy and even able to exercise…so why complain about doing it?

Now, I can’t promise I will be regularly waking up at 6:30 am to run, but I’m going to try at least ONCE next week to do it again. I feel great right now sitting at work, and more energized than I ever feel in the mornings when I get here. Will I be more tired later though? I guess I’ll find out :)

Do you exercise in the mornings? What tips do you have for me for dragging myself out from under my warm covers?

What kind of stuff motivates you? Do you like the aggressive, in your face approach?

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01-14-2015

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Have you ever tried a new workout and a few days later you’re STILL sore?? I started a new plan Monday and still can’t walk right! It’s more focused on time than sets and reps (aka you’re out of breath the whole time), so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted!

I haven’t done a link roundup in a few weeks…I got all discombobulated with the holidays so let’s get back into it.

Featured: Apple Cinnamon Blender Waffles (The Lean Green Bean)

Apple-Cinnamon-Blender-Waffles
How amazing do those look? I have been wanting a waffle maker for a while…I seriously need to get one. This recipe is so simple and quick…perfect for those lazy weekend mornings.

  • 2 Steps To Make Healthy Eating A Reality (Love Live Surf) – Two great tips here. I need to do better with meal prep. Mainly lunches. Do any of you prepare all your meals ahead of time?
  • Hip Hugger Lower Body Burner (Running Escapades) – Definitely need to add this to my routine once I start running more. But anyone can benefit…strong hips = strong core!
  • Italian Chickpea Casserole (Strength & Sunshine) – This looks delicious and like the perfect meatless dish if you’re looking for one. I will be trying this for sure, especially now that Dan’s resolution is to eat healthier/more veggies :)
  • Make Your Gym Habits Stick (Dare You To…) – Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? These tips will help! I always prepare my gym clothes and bag the night before. Even though I’m not a morning exerciser, it’s right by the door so I don’t forget anything in that morning rush, and have it all ready to go for my workout later in the day.
  • Grocery Shopping On A Budget For One (Lake Shore Runner) – I’ve found that now that I’m mainly buying groceries for myself, it’s a totally different experience in terms of weekly budgeting, buying things that won’t go bad, etc. Question: If you live alone or with a roommate, how do you buy salad in the bags and have it not go bad??? Happens to me every week.

How do you prevent your groceries and veggies from going bad? Do you have a weekly grocery budget?

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12-31-2014

Hello 2015!

In November, I recapped how I was doing on my 2014 resolutions. I haven’t made much progress since then which is fine. I’m proud of myself for getting close to my 5K PR…I know I can break that in the spring with the help of Coach Marc again.

I love New Year’s. Dan makes fun of me because it’s one of my favorite holidays – but what’s not to like? You celebrate with your loved ones and have a whole blank slate ahead of you. Anything can happen within the next 365 days…and I like the thought of that.

So I guess it’s time to talk about 2015 goals?? I’ll outline just a few and how I plan on achieving those goals.

  • Spring 5K PR – I’m thinking an April 5K. We’ll see. How? I need to start running more. I’ve still been running since Philly Half but not more than 3 miles at a time. However, it has been at faster paces. I’ve been doing more tempo style running on the treadmill and adding in faster sprints. Getting “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Plus, the treadmill is SO boring that I need to do workouts like this or I’ll never run haha. But yes, I will begin to run longer distances to train more.
  • Spring Half Marathon – I don’t want to say I will PR because I said that before Philly and it was a major bonk. Instead, my goal will be to run a strong half marathon and NOT bonk. I went out too fast at Philly and it cost me.
  • Suck it up and run outside. I hate running in the cold, but I know I won’t be running over 3 miles on the treadmill, so it’s time for my to get my @$$ outside. I always see people running in the cold and think that’s awesome…now I just need to do it myself! I have all the gear I just hate being cold!
  • Bench press & squat PR – I haven’t lifted regularly in a looong time. I really loved the Get Swole program and think  I will restart that. It got me to be the strongest I ever have been. My squat PR is 100 lbs and bench is 60 lbs. I need to break both of those!
  • Fall Marathon PR – No clue which one yet but I do know I will be after a PR. I should start running more asap now that I think of it…I want a solid base by the time that training starts!
  • 4 Mile PR – lol I said I’d only list a few and as I keep writing more and more goals come to mind. My mom and I will be doing the NYRR 9+1 program again this year, which means lots of 4 mile races in Central Park. I can’t even think of my PR off the top of my head right now but I think it’s around 36 minutes? This just reminded me that I need to start registering for those raceS!
  • YouTube Videos – This was my 2014 resolution and I went strong for about 2 months! I uploaded a new video each week on my YouTube channel…I’m going to try to get back into making fitness and health videos. Make sure to follow my channel for updates!
  • Volunteer - Lastly, I’d like to do more volunteer work in 2015. Not sure what yet…but there are many causes I’m passionate about. Both here and in my country Paraguay. I’ll keep you posted on what I choose!

Tonight we’re just going to a friend’s house party which I’m excited for. It’ll be nice to have a nice, chill place to drink and have fun with friends as opposed to a crowded bar where people bump into you and you spill your drink everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out to bars and clubs and dancing the night away but New Year’s is just too packed.

I’m still dressing up though and hope I’m not the only one! I NEVER get to dress up considering I’m in workout clothes 99% of my life (at work, and then I leave work to go to the gym soooo…). So when I get the chance to dress up, I love wearing a dress, and doing my hair and makeup.

Thank you all for reading in 2014! I read all your comments and love hearing your thoughts, advice, etc. The fitness blogging community is awesome!

What are you doing to ring in the New Year? What’s one main resolution you have?

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12-10-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Holy moly…in exactly 2 weeks it is Christmas Eve! I have done like 1% of my Christmas shopping…anyone done already? If so, way to go…I always end up waiting until the last minute.

Today’s featured link is a really cute/nice video…it’s not health or fitness related but it put a smile on my face! Can I get pulled over today and given a present? :)

Featured: Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop

Isn’t that nice? I’m way jealous of the girl who got the iPad…and the girl who got the New Balance sneakers…because, running. 

Here are more links for you to check out today:

  • Holiday Gift Guide: Under $35 (Nutritious Eats) – For those of you who are still shopping like me…and this reminded me I would like a new pair of fleece PJs!
  • Arms on Fire (Running Escapades) – Looking for an upper body workout? Try this one – all you need are dumbbells.
  • Super Simple DIY Medal & Bib Holder (Erica D. House) – I definitely want to make a medal holder. I love this idea.
  • Become A Morning Workout Person (Lake Shore Runner) – This just won’t happen for me, but if you’re making some resolutions, this may help you!
  • Yoga Core Workout (Apples & Arteries) – Definitely trying this 20 minute video today or tomorrow.

How’s your holiday shopping going? Have you treated yourself to anything? I bought some “fiber” mascara from Sephora yesterday to try out :)

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