12-09-2015

5 Reasons To Join a Gym

The new year is right around the corner…yikes!

Funny side story: I was reading about top resolutions that people don’t actually accomplish, and one of mine from 2015 was on there (insert laughing/crying emoji). I wanted to “learn something new” in 2015 and said I’d learn guitar or piano or take a dance class. Yeah, needless to say I did none of those things BUT I want to try in 2016! I really would love to learn any of those things OR also learn how to play tennis – random I know.

Anyway, going back to new year’s resolutions…a common one is working out more or losing weight. Many people hit the gym for the first time in the new year. Or you might be nervous about joining a gym and aren’t sure if it’s right for you. Well I’m here to give you reasons why you should join a gym.

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Gym in 2016!

Extra Motivation

This is my number one reason. First of all, I am way more motivated to work out and lift when I am physically at the gym. A lot of people like at-home workouts but I just can not motivated myself to do them. Even though I have dumbbells at home, if I’m at the gym I am way more likely to finish my entire workout than cut it short and just plop on the couch.

Also, you’re paying for a gym membership. That is good enough motivation in and of itself! Will you feel good knowing you’re paying for something monthly that you’re not using? The same premise applies to boutique studios and fitness classes if those are more your thing. Actually paying for classes will decrease the likelihood of you skipping your workout just because “you didn’t feel like it.”

Variety of Equipment

If you work out at home, you most likely will be limited with what equipment you have (unless you have built your own at-home gym, in which case I’m jealous). You can find all sorts of equipment at the gym, ranging from kettlebells, cable machines, pull-up  bars, barbells, TRXs, and much, much more. 

We all know switching up your routine regularly will help you avoid the dreaded plateau, and having all sorts of equipment to use in your workouts is the best way to continually change things up. If you’re not sure how to use something, do not fret! I’ll talk about that in my next reason which is…

Personal Trainers

Yes, personal trainers can be a bit pricey but you’re getting someone who will create a workout plan for you, monitor your form, guide you and help you with your goals. However, if it’s not in your budget or you don’t want a personal trainer, that’s fine. You can still ask them for help during your workouts. Like I said above, if you don’t know how to use something, no problem. Simply as a trainer at your gym to show you how to correctly use something. You might feel a little embarrassed but DON’T!! Also, it is much better to feel embarrassed than have improper form using something and then injuring yourself. Trust me, the trainers want to help you and will gladly show you proper technique.

Combine Workouts

This somewhat goes along with my “variety of equipment” point but the beauty of a gym is that you have so much to work with. You can easily do a cardio + strength workout using dumbbells or kettlebells and a treadmill. Run 400 meters on the treadmill, then do 15 kettlebell swings and walking lunges. Done. Easy. Yes it is probably more fun running outside but it is also more of a pain in the @$$ to lug your weights to your local track or outside in order to do a workout like this (I’ve tried.)

Most gyms have all sorts of cardio equipment, so it also makes cross-training so much easier. Don’t feel like running? No problem, hop on a bike. Bored of your usual routine? Do 1o min. treadmill, 10 min. stairstepper, 10 min. elliptical. 30 minute cardio workout done. Want to do a hill workout? You can easily to intervals on the treadmill and “set it and forget it.”

Meet Like-Minded People

If you’re going to the gym regularly, you start seeing the same people every day. Same goes for fitness classes (or perhaps your gym also offers fitness classes which is a bonus). By joining a gym you’ll be able to meet others with similar goals as you and/or perhaps your new workout buddy! I’ve chatted with various people at my gym about running or their workout simply because we see each other a lot, or they see my race shirt so they ask me about it, etc. It is not awkward at all, in fact, if you ask someone about their workout (tip: don’t talk to them while they’re actually doing the workout), they’ll probably be flattered and will love to talk about what they’re doing. Meeting new people can be a new source of motivation and inspiration for you.

I love my gym and am glad my parents also work out at the same gym. One year ago, my dad refused to exercise at the gym because he was embarrassed. Well I know that’s the real reason despite him saying it was just easier to do it at home ;) Now, he goes to the gym every day and is more motivated than ever to lead a healthy life and exercise regularly.

Are you thinking of joining a gym in 2016?

If you’re an avic gym go-er, what are your favorite aspects of your gym?

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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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10-29-2014

Checking In On My New Year’s Goals

Can you believe it’s almost November?! The holiday season is upon us. I really need to start Christmas shopping early this year. I always end up getting stuff days before Christmas…anyone else?

Since it’s almost the end of the year (feels weird saying that), I wanted to check in on the goals I had set in January, (here are my race goals too) and see what I’ve accomplished and what is still left to accomplish. After all, we still have 2 more months of 2014!

Here are some goals I had laid out, and which ones I have accomplished so far!

fitness goals

While I can’t do 3 unassisted pull-ups in a row, I can do 3 unassisted…just with a little break in between ;) I will work on doing 3 continuous pull-ups between now and December 31.

I also was able to get to a 100 lb. squat this year! I know for many of you that may be easy but I worked up to that and felt awesome afterwards. I can’t do that now, since I’ve mainly been running, but I know that I can build back up to it.

Obviously I’m also still working on that 5K PR…which better happen in 2014!

Mini triathlon? lol maybe next year. I really do want to do one but I’m also afraid of the swim portion. I’m not a great swimmer…also, I’m pretty sure I need a bike in order to train for a triathlon.

You can see I put “1/2″ on the gain muscle and get leaner. While I have gained muscle and strength, I’m still not as lean as I would like to me. It is my own fault, since I know that diet plays a huge role and you can’t “out work a bad diet.” I am hoping I can lose at least 5-10 lbs. within the next 2 months.

And lastly, I was able to get stronger at bench press earlier this year too. Remember when I was doing the Get Swole program? I was lifting the heaviest I  have been in a while. I plan on getting back to it once I’m done training for this half.

And here are a few other goals I had talked about, non-fitness related:

  • Blog re-design & transfer to wordpress.org - check!
  • Finish online training plans to offer through my website - oops, not yet.
  • Read a minimum of 5 books - check! I think I read 4 in Paraguay alone.
  • Make more YouTube videos - I set a goal of doing one every week which I did for about a month and then slacked off. This will be a 2015 goal too!

Have you thought about your 2014 goals? You may be surprised when you look back on them and see what you’ve accomplished!

What are some goals you’re still working on?

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01-01-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Happy New Year!!! It’s officially 2014, and I say, bring it on! What did you all do to celebrate the new year? Are you recovering today? ;)

Here are your health links for today:

Do you like smoothies? What is your favorite smoothie concoction?

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12-31-2013

2014 Goals + My December Favorites

Does anyone else not want it to be a new year on certain years because they don’t like the numbers? 13 is my lucky number so I loved 2013, but I hate the number 14 haha. Maybe I’m just weird…

Anyway, I wanted to talk about my 2014 goals, since it is that last day of 2013!! Can you believe it?!

Here is what I wrote for what I wanted to accomplish in 2013. PS – this post may get a little lengthy…

  • Improve on my 5K, half-marathon and marathon times - I want to get faster all around. This year my mom and I will be doing a few half marathons and the New York City Marathon. My main goal is to take NYC with a vengeance and not suffer as much as I did the first time. How will I do this? I will follow Marc’s training plans and not skip runs. I want to run minimum 4x a week but will strive for 5-6 depending on my shin pain. I will also make an effort to cross train more.
  • Starting with just the month of January, I will try to do something fitness related every day - Doesn’t have to be much, but whether it’s running, lifting or just 20 minutes of yoga, I want to be active every day and see if I can keep this streak up in January. Depending on how it goes, I want to continue it throughout the year!
  • Be able to do 5 pull ups in a row -How will I do this? I will do pull up specific exercises every time I lift, which is hopefully 3-4x a week!
  • Graduate with my Master’s in May with a GPA no less than 3.9 - I had a 4.0 until this semester =( but I really want to keep it at 3.9 now and finish out with a bang.
  • Get a full time job I am excited about! *crossing fingers*
  • Keep a budget and track my spending - I did this for a while but stopped. I need to get back to it to make sure I am not over spending and that I’m saving enough. How will I do this? Every paycheck I will dissect down into where my money should go, and give myself a limit for money spent on shopping.
  • Eat much healthier and cleaner – How will I do this? For the past 2 weeks, I have been eating really clean, and allowing myself 1 small “cheat” per day, whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a cookie, etc. Letting myself eat 1 thing I wanted per day allowed me to not feel deprived. I will continue this, but obviously exceptions will be made for holidays or birthdays!

Now let’s see what I actually got done:

  • Improve on my 5K, half-marathon and marathon times - I didn’t really race many 5ks this year, but all of my focus was on the marathon. While I didn’t PR in the half, I’m ok with that because I only did 1 half marathon the entire year. I did get a 33 minute PR at the NYC Marathon, so I think that makes up for everything else ;)
  • Starting with just the month of January, I will try to do something fitness related every day - I did keep this up in January but wasn’t stringent with it the whole year. I do like to believe I am pretty active every day, as I work out 5x a week, but also make sure to take walking breaks at work so I’m not sitting for hours on end.
  • Be able to do 5 pull ups in a row - Noooo :( Sadly, strength training went by the wayside once I started marathon training. But I am working hard on pullups currently!
  • Graduate with my Master’s in May with a GPA no less than 3.9 - CHECK!
  • Get a full time job I am excited about! While I don’t have a full-time job, I am doing something I’m excited about. I started my own social media marketing business, and am working with several clients and hoping to grow in 2014!
  • Keep a budget and track my spending - I did do this for a time being, but haven’t been as good about it lately. Really need to get back to this!
  • Eat much healthier and cleaner – I’d say for the most part, this happened. While some splurges may have happened after my half marathon and after my marathon (hey, I just trained for months on end!) I kept a healthy diet for the most part. I like eating healthy, as it helps me feel better too.

Alright, now time for my 2014 goals! Going along with how I set up my 2013 goals, I will state each goal AND how I plan on accomplishing them. Setting up a plan is the best way to make sure you don’t forget about your resolutions by February!

2014 goals

  • Let’s try this again: Be able to do 3-5 unassisted pull-ups – I’ve been working hard on pull-ups the past 5 weeks, so hopefully I can get there! I decreased my weight on the assisted machine by 15 lbs today so I’m making progress :) How will I do this? Continue incorporating pull-ups into my routine, but also getting stronger at other back lifts (rows), and working on my biceps.
  • Get a 5K PR – I have no long distance runs planned this year, since I kind of want to take the year to do shorter races and get faster…and focus on lifting. So I think I have a shot at doing this! How will I do this? By doing workouts that will help me get faster such as hill sprints (I’ve been doing 2-3 mile runs with lots of hill sprints incorporated), track workouts, and continuing to incorporate longer runs.
  • Do a blog redesign and transfer over to wordpress.org – I’ve been working on this for the past month or so, but designing a blog is hard! Hiring someone to do it can be costly so for now I’m going to try to work on it myself. How will I do this? Reading books on wordpress, learning basic html through codeacademy, and trial and error.
  • FINALLY finish my online training plans and start an online 8 week workout program – Honestly, the training plan has been getting pushed off though I still work on it when I can…I’ve just been busy! I’d love to finish that, and start an 8 week online workout program which will be an online community, but also members will be sent workouts from me each week. How will I do this? Dedicating a certain amount of time each week to working on this.
  • Raising awareness for my Etsy shop and the charity that it helps - In case you haven’t seen my posts about it, my mom and I opened up an online shop to sell duffel bags, tote bags…you name it. 10% of the proceeds goes to a charity called Manitos, which helps children diagnosed with cancer in Paraguay. Please check it out! How will I do this? Dedicating time to working on marketing my shop, but also dedicating time to making new products.
  • Read a minimum of 5 new books - I slacked on reading this year…well, actually I probably did read close to 5 books. But I’d like to read more in 2014! How will I do this? Spending at least 10 minutes each night before bed reading instead of being online.
  • Making more YouTube videos – I started my YouTube channel a while ago, but hadn’t posted on it for a few months. I’m planning on posting more workout videos and how-to videos in 2014, so please subscribe! How will I do this? Yet again, I will dedicate time on the weekends to film and edit videos, and have them ready for the week. I will need to set aside time to brainstorm ideas as well.

And that last point leads me to my newest video, which is my December favorites!

Hopefully 2014 is an awesome year. I really do love new year’s because it feels like there are so many possibilities ahead of you. Hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve!

Have you made your goals/resolutions? What are they?

Are you doing anything fun for New Year’s Eve?

Where do you get your workout clothes?

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12-30-2013

Thinking Out Loud: Resolutioners At The Gym

It’s that time of year where people are making their resolutions. It’s also that time of year that we hear gym-goers complain about the resolutioners.

I can certainly see both sides of this, which is why I wanted to write about it. I wanted to hear what you all think.

Viewpoint #1: Resolutioners Are Annoying

I’ve heard this from friends, read it on Tumblr, and even thought it myself at times. People post about being annoyed that the gym is packed, and it is harder to get a workout in.

Admittedly, it is annoying when the gym is packed, at ANY point during the year, now just new years. I mean, I get annoyed on Mondays when the gym is really packed…yet empty on Friday evenings ;)

Here are some quotes I found on Tumblr:

“Doesn’t it suck when you want to go workout but you also don’t want to because all the friggin resolutioners are taking up all the machines”

“i hate new years when everyone’s resolution is to ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’. i understand the desire the lose weight, that’s why we joined the gym. but we did it in august. not because it was a new year or whatever. we did it because we felt we needed to, not because society said we should.”

I understand the second quote a bit because it is interesting to me that so many people choose Jan. 2 to get fit or healthy. I understand it is a new year, but I also wonder how many people thought about starting to work out in October or November, but said “I’ll wait until the new year.” Why wait?

Viewpoint #2: Be Supportive

I will admit…the other day I was venting to my boyfriend about packed the gym was the day after Christmas, and his roommate said, “The resolutioners are coming earlier this year.” I laughed, and my boyfriend called us gym snobs :-P

He actually is one of those people who will be going to the gym after new years. He said, he pays for his gym membership so he has the right to use it (obviously) as he pleases, as do any other people who sign up for new years. He said that as a personal trainer, I should be happy they are trying to be healthy (I am).

His roommate said he is mainly annoyed by them because they are there for a few weeks, then fizzle out. They crowd the gym while others have been working at it all year. While “a third [of resolutions] are ditched by the end of January, [and] four out of five people simply give their resolutions up” Dan (my boyfriend) said, no one goes into the new year thinking that they will be part of this statistic.

Here are other quotes I found on Tumblr:

“Is the inconvenience to me worth more than the health of others? Hell no. New Years Resolutioners, I urge you to continue to work out, kick ass, and drive me a little insane. ;)”

Keep in mind, some of us find it easier to stick to a healthy, fit lifestyle than others… Imagine how discouraging it would be to have people making fun of your efforts! Instead of mocking the “newbies”, we should encourage them to keep working toward their goals! Remember, we all had to start somewhere!

I do also agree with these quotes. We did all have to start somewhere, and it’s very possible many of us started on a January 2nd, and are still living up to our old resolution.

While I can see both sides to this “controversy,” here is what I hope: I hope that those who are hitting the gym next week continue to do so throughout the year. I hope those wanting to start a healthy lifestyle can maintain it.

If your resolution is to go to the gym and eat healthier, I hope you crush it! Take those statistics and kick their @$$. As I posted earlier this morning, you have a “365 page book” ahead of you, with blank pages.

Is your resolution to go to the gym more?

What do you think about resolutioners/this topic? Do you see both sides?

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12-30-2013

Motivational Monday

Can you believe it is almost 2014?? This year seriously flew by. I feel like every month went by quickly and I was thinking, “Wow it’s _____ already?!”

I love New Years. To me, it’s a fresh start and a new year to go after your goals. Which is why I love this quote:

While tomorrow isn’t Jan. 1 yet, I’m sure you all can relate. I don’t think it is necessary to make resolutions in order to really appreciate the new year.

Don’t make resolutions just to make them. Really think about your goals. The most important thing is to plan out how you will accomplish those goals, as opposed to just saying, in 2014 I want to do X. How will you get there?

I’m going to do a separate post about my goals, and I’d love for you to share with me what yours are! We can hold each other accountable ;)

Do you make new year’s resolutions?

Do you love or hate (or are indifferent) to New Years Eve celebrations?

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12-02-2013

My December Goals

I really can’t believe in less than a month it will be 2014. 2013 was a good year for me…plus, 13 is my lucky number. I’m not really a fan of even numbers like 14.

Do you have years you “like” and “don’t like” or am I just a weirdo? ;)

Since it’s the end of the year, I wanted to make a list of things I want to accomplish before the new year. It will feel great going into 2014 knowing I finished my list (or at least got close). I’m not sure if I will accomplish some of these things (unassisted pull-up) but that doesn’t mean I can’t try!

Here are my goals:

december goals

Let’s use December to kick it into high gear and lead up to the new year in a positive way!

Why wait until 2014 to make New Year’s Resolutions? If you haven’t thought of any goals, this is your chance. Think of a few and post them to your blog, then send me the link! We can all support each other in finishing off 2013 with a bang. I can’t wait to see your to-do list!

What do you know for a fact will be one of your New Year’s Resolutions?

Do you usually follow through with resolutions?

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02-11-2013

Motivational Monday!

It’s a new week! And as one of my friends pointed out…only 16 weeks until June 1! I seriously cannot wait until summer.

Here’s today’s motivational quote:

How has everyone been doing with their resolutions? Around Valentine’s Day (this week) is when most people fall off. Don’t be one of those people! Remember your resolutions and goals, and write down steps you will go through to continue to achieve them. I love this quote because it invokes a sense of passion and fire…be strong, be unstoppable, be fierce in whatever it is you are doing.

What is your resolution progress? Have you been going strong or faltered a bit? Hey, if you have it’s okay, just get back up and keep on going!

01-14-2013

Motivational Monday!

Today’s Motivational Monday shows how simple it really is. Whatever your goal or resolution is, it’s simple…JUST DO IT!

We are getting into mid-January now, closer to the time where a lot of resolutioners drop off. Don’t do it! Keep up the good work! When you don’t feel like eating healthy or going to the gym…just do it. You will feel much better, and if you don’t you will probably regret it.

Here are a few times I think will help in keeping your resolution:

  • Set small goals at first. Working out every day is a great goal, but if you’re a total beginner, you may find yourself burning out, which is why a lot of people stop going to the gym by mid-February.
  • Set measurable goals. Saying “I want to workout more” is great but how will you measure that? Take your measurements with a tape or get your body fat tested in order to have actual results and data.
  • Reward yourself…with something other than food! I found a great tip on Pinterest of putting a dollar in a jar every time you work out. Then once you hit a certain amount, treat yourself to some new workout clothes or a manicure or something.

What were your New Year resolutions? Are you keeping it up?