09-09-2013

Motivational Monday!

Seriously, does anyone else feel like this year has been flying by? My parents and I were talking about how soon it will end up being New Years again! 2014. I don’t like the number 14…I prefer 2013 :-p Do you have favorite numbers?

Anyway, here’s today’s quote:

Screen shot 2013-09-08 at 8.37.15 PMI read an interesting article in Runner’s World recently about mental training. I’m training day in and day out for this marathon, but if my mental strength isn’t there, I will falter. This is evident in workouts, when I feel like I can’t keep a certain pace, or think I feel tired. Though it can be a good thing too…like last week’s tempo run where I went in feeling confident.

No matter what sport or activity you do…mental strength goes a long way. Sometimes it’s the mind that needs to be overcome, not the body. You may THINK you’re tired, or you can’t…but trust me, you have one last rep in you…maybe even more. You will surprise yourself. Obviously, there is a fine line between that and injuring yourself…but most of the time you CAN push harder, you CAN keep going and you are NOT tired.

Have you been a victim of your mind? How do you push through it? Any tips on training your mental strength?******************

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09-04-2013

Thinking Out Loud: “Strong Is The New Skinny”

You’ve all seen this quote. It’s been everywhere lately. I loved it when I first saw it, and thought “Yeah, go strong girls!” But is it really the best message to send?

I started thinking about it more when I read this article on HuffPost Healthy Living. The author states:

In the phrase, “skinny” is something to be sought after. Something that’s good. And now, in order to be accepted and seen as beautiful by society, you need to be strong — with visible muscles and the ability to do lots of push-ups and dead lifts and pull-ups. But is this really the message we all want to be sending?

There has been more controversy lately regarding “fitspo” or “fitspiration” where people post quotes such as this one, or pictures of girls they aspire to be. But is that really inspiring? Sometimes I do look at stuff like that on Tumblr or Instagram for motivation…but at the same time, is it causing us to be unhappy with ourselves and what we look like?

Everyone is different, and some of us put on muscle more easily than others, just like some of us are naturally more slender. Does this mean then that non-muscular people are now not as attractive? That they need to change, even if they are living a healthy lifestyle?…Now they get to the feel the pressure that “non-skinny” folks have felt for years, chasing after what could possibly be an unrealistic appearance?

While I think it is great that more and more women are lifting, and not afraid to lift heavy, we should remember why we are doing it to begin with. To feel stronger…to feel healthier…to push your body to it’s own limits (and not compare your numbers to others).

You might look at someone and think, “I wish I looked like them.” I do it all the time! I wish I had more abs…I wish I had stronger arms…but at the same time I remember what my body has done for me. It’s training for a marathon. It has run countless miles. It IS strong even if it doesn’t look strong.

I’ll leave you with the final quote from this article which I love:

The new skinny is no longer putting a label on beauty. The new skinny is being your best self. The new skinny is already you.

What do you think about “Strong is the new skinny?” Do you find motivation from others, or do you sometimes get sucked into the comparison game?

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08-15-2013

Total Body Burn!

Here’s a new workout for you…you can do it at home, or you can add weight if you want to make it tougher. Strength and cardio combined, with some abs as a finisher. Remember to always do a warm-up before starting a workout.

Let me know if you try it out!

totalbodyWK

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07-05-2013

Week 1 of NYC Marathon Training

Week 1 is done! It was a really easy week, with only 10 total miles of running. But hey, I’m ok with getting back into it slowly.

Monday:

My mom and I got up and ran 3 miles. It started to rain on us but it felt good because it was so hot and humid! I was soaked after but it felt good to get this run in. I haven’t ran 3 miles in over a month!

In the afternoon we lifted. We had a back and biceps workout on deck. It was tough but it felt good to lift heavy again. I really want to be able to do a few unassisted pullups again!

Tuesday: Fitness Blender video (HIIT + abs)

Wednesday:

We lifted in the morning (legs and shoulders) which actually felt great. I have never lifted in the morning before but I definitely like it better since there was no one in the weights section! Afterwards, we stretched and I foam rolled with this ridiculous thing:

In the afternoon, we went for a 4 mile run. It was HOT and SO HUMID. We stopped halfway at this local store where the owner was kind enough to give us ice cold water bottles. I stuck it in the back of my sports bra for the rest of the run which also helped cool me down. I honestly can’t believe we could run 4 miles no problem after almost 2 months off from running. Isn’t the body an amazing thing?

Thursday: Rest

Friday (today): 3 mile run planned + lifting (chest and triceps day). It’s possible the run may be moved to tomorrow morning because it is currently “feeling like” 92.

Saturday: Off because I will be in Atlantic City with friends…so excited!!

Sunday: Off because, let’s be real we will probably be going to sleep reaaaalllyy late… ;)

This week, I also started following more of the Tone It Up Diet Plan. I need more of a meal plan to stay accountable and not be like, “I don’t know what to eat…I’m hungry…whatever, I’ll make something easy, aka pasta.” So far so good! Here are some meals I have eaten this week which you may have seen on my Instagram:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites with spinach, mushrooms and black beans

Lunch: chicken, chicken sausage, and “creamy cucumber salad” which was cucumbers, spices and greek yogurt. Surprisingly good!

I’m excited to try more meals and continue eating healthy, at least until my vacation mid-July!

Do you need a meal plan outlined or do you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to cooking?

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03-13-2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Can’t believe it’s already mid-March…where has the time gone?! At least it’s almost spring…

Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe? Feel free to share it with me =)

02-08-2013

Why I’m OK With Gaining 10 lbs.

In the past year or so, I’ve steadily been gaining weight. Now I’m 10 lbs. heavier than I was a year ago. But I’m ok with it…in fact, I’m even happy about it. Why?

Because those are 10 lbs. of muscle baby!

A month or two ago…still working on getting some biceps!

My body fat % has stayed the same throughout this entire time, which means the weight I gained is not fat. Woo hoo!

This is the exact reason why you can’t rely on the number on the scale to measure your progress. If I hadn’t known my body fat percentage, it would be so easy to beat myself up for gaining 10 lbs.

I also know it’s muscle I gained because all of my lifts have gotten stronger and heavier. I am at my personal best for deadlifts, squats, rows, lunges and more! My body has been getting stronger, and in turn, building muscle.

Ladies, don’t be afraid to lift heavy or work towards lifting heavier weights! You will gain muscle mass and lower your fat percentage as well. And you’ll look pretty awesome at the gym ;)

Lastly, don’t let the number on your scale dictate anything. In fact, don’t even weigh yourself! If you have access to a trainer or gym that can do so, get your body fat tested. It will give you a way to track your progress in a way better way than the scale does. If you can’t get this done, then use a measuring tape to measure certain parts of your body (arms, legs, belly, hips), and if the number is going down, it means you’re losing fat.

I’ll leave you with this quote, which I love:

Have you gotten your body fat percentage calculated? Or do you use other methods to track your progress?

10-15-2012

Started off my week with a good SWEAT

I’m excited for this week because after 2 weeks of taking it pretty easy due to my shin problems, I feel that I can get back into the swing of things. I want to stick with my running plan and work back up slowly, so I plan on doing 13-15 miles this week. Not much, but because my shins act up easily, I need to take it easy.

Today I hit the gym with my brother for a good lifting session. It’s always fun to have a workout buddy! Here’s the workout we did, which I took from trainer Tony Gentilcore’s series on Greatist. If you ever need ideas for a lifting routine, this is a great resource, and he provides YouTube links to show you each exercise as well.

I also warmed up with 1.5 miles and cooled down with .5 miles. My legs are shot!

We finished up with some stretching and I showed my brother how to foam roll. He was in a lot of pain…but you grow to have a love/hate relationship with the foam roller! It’s actually too soft for me now, so I have to use a tennis or lacrosse ball. OUCH.

Overall, a good, sweaty workout.

“selfie” picture, as kids call it nowadays

Did you start your week off with a bang? Tell me your workout in the comments!

10-01-2012

The beginning of my “How To” series

After uploading a workout routine last week, I decided that, along with making longer workout videos, I would make short clips to show correct form on basic exercises. I know that exercising at the gym can be daunting, especially if you feel like you don’t know what to do. I want to help!

So, I made a “How To: Split Squat” and “How To: Plank” video.

Split squats are GREAT lower body exercises that really work the quads and glutes. Trust me, you’ll feel it. It’s also a really good exercise for beginners and those with knee problems. It’s stationary, as opposed to a moving lunge, therefore there isn’t a lot of stress on the knee. Remember, just go down as low as YOU can go, do not force yourself. Over time, you will be able to get close to the ground.

Also, planks are one of my favorite core exercises. The key here is to keep your body in a straight line. I like to balance a foam roller on myself before I start, just to make sure my head, back and hips are all inline. Flex your core to make sure you are holding yourself up with your core and not your hip flexors.

Let me know if you try the routine I posted previously, or either of these exercises! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Good luck and have fun!

09-27-2012

Need a workout? Here you go.

Are you new to lifting and don’t know where to start at the gym? Well, I wanted to write a post just for you! I know it can be intimidating to walk in a gym when you have no idea what machines do what, or when it’s packed with people. Knowing what to do will help build your confidence, and soon enough you’ll strut into the gym like you own the place ;)

This is a total-body workout, and a good starting point if you don’t know how to structure your workouts. Each exercise has a letter (A1, A2) which means that they are supersetted. You will do an A1 exercise, then move to A2, take a break, then repeat 2 more times before moving on to letter B exercises. Pick a weight that is challenging. You should be struggling a little to get those last few reps in. If you finish and don’t feel challenged, then grab heavier weights. Do not be afraid to lift heavy!! Each exercise is linked to YouTube video to show you proper form.

To start, do 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise. The following week work up to 12 reps.

A1- Dumbbell split squats Works quads and glutes.

A2- Lat pulldown Works back, specifically lat muscles located along the sides of your back. (This video perfectly highlights the right and wrong way of doing it. Pull the bar down to the upper part of your chest, almost by your neck)

B1- Hip raises Works hamstrings and glutes. (Squeeze glutes and hamstrings at the top, pause, then lower)

B2- Dumbbell overhead press Mainly shoulders but a bit of upper pecs as well. Good intro to learning a flat dumbbell press later on.

C1- Dumbbell bicep curls

C2- Dumbbell single arm tricep extension I suggest keeping your arm on your elbow (of the arm that is working) throughout the whole time so you can really feel your triceps engaging

ABS

D1- Plank on your elbows (keep your elbows underneath your shoulders, and your back all the way down to your toes should be a straight line. If you can only hold it for 15 seconds to start, that’s okay! You will work up to longer periods of time

As you can see, this hits every major muscle group. I tried to use mainly dumbbells which are sometimes easier to get to than machines (and I like dumbbells more than machines in general when it comes to lifting weights). Let me know if you try this workout! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Good luck and get sweaty!

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09-01-2012

New to working out? No worries!

Just finding your passion for health and fitness? Here are some basics you should invest in!

  1. A good sports bra is so important! I love Nike and Champion ones…but there are so many great brands, find one that works for you.
  2. Sneakers. I can’t stress this enough if you plan on running. Sneakers designed for YOUR feet are so important! I know they can be pricey but they are a worthy investment and will last you a few months depending on how much you run/walk in them. Go to a specialized sneaker store and get fitted (and maybe they will even analyze your gait for you!). Also, people will swear by their brands, but same as #1, find one that works for you.
  3. Big water bottle. Self explanatory. Stay hydrated…before, during and after working out!
  4. Spandex or the shorts with the underwear in them. I find both of these are good solutions for wedgies while walking/running/lifting. HATE wedgies! Spandex is also a good solution for chafing in between the legs.
  5. Watch or interval timer (or interval timer app). I use a normal watch for my runs, but when I need a timer I love the Gym Boss interval timer. You can set your interval time, sets, reps, and break time as well. It beeps at you to let you know when to move on to the next exercise/interval

What would you add to this list?