Archive for category stay fit

Sneak a workout in by playing outside

Sometimes we forget…a workout can be more than a structured event. This weekend was absolutely beautiful and perfect. So my hubby, my pooch and I went out on a little adventure to Pocahontas State Park. We went on a hike around a serene lake and it was lovely. I was quickly too hot, but dealt with it. There was even this lovely boardwalk. It was an unexpected break from the terrain 🙂


My hubby’s a little crazy, so anytime we came upon a hill, he ran up it…with the dog. Poor Sari was exhausted after about a mile and a half. After 3 miles, she was ready to be carried….she’s spoiled, but look how adorable she is!

So. Being out there was wonderful, and didn’t feel like work (most of the time). Yet we were sweaty and my legs were sore late. So that reminded me that fun stuff like that is really like a workout. I still managed to get another workout in at home later of course. But I wanted to take this reminder to you….as the weather warms up, have fun out there and sneak in a little workout by doing it!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

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Mixin’ ‘Em Up

Stewie. From Family Guy. Every time I hear or say the words “Mixin ’em up” I think of him. If you know what I’m talking about, I bet you just giggled just then. Otherwise…sorry for the randomness 🙂

For anyone who wants to see what makes me giggle for some unknown reason here’s a short clip from that episode:

Okay, now onto the real reason for the title . I want to talk about mixing up your workouts. While I’m a fan of actual ‘programs’ (as you probably know from my elated-ness with Chalean Extreme), there’s still a part of me that yearns to do other stuff too. And that’s a good thing. So I do it all and I’m a proponent of having a well-rounded routine. I still love yoga. And I love my newest program, Brazil Butt Lift, and I even sorta love P90X (once in a while!). I used Imageto like running. Now, not so much. But you know what? That’s okay. Instead of dragging myself out there when I don’t want to do it, I found stuff I do like to do and just built my schedule around that.

Mixing up your workouts can do several things. First, it keeps you more interested. If you get bored easily, doing one program over and over can get reallllly boring. For instance, going to the gym became a big no-go for me – and it really seemed to hinge around the boredom part. It was the same thing every time. 20-30 minutes on the elliptical and then 20-30 minutes of random weights. blaaaaah.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to be bored or hate your workout time in order to get fit. Map out a schedule of stuff you LIKE to do. If you haven’t found what you like to do yet, keep reading. (keep reading even if you have found it, there’s some info you’ll like to see too!)

ImageAnother reason mixing it up helps is that it makes you more likely to be doing the things that are effective. For instance, walking is a great way to get active and lose some weight. But there comes a time where if you want more results, you’ll have to do more than walking. Weight training, for instance, is what you need to do to get more toned. If you’re doing different workouts, you’re more likely to hit on the things your body needs – cardio, high intensity interval training and strength training. Doing these things and changing every 30 days or so will help ensure you don’t get stuck at a weight loss or results plateau. BOOO for plateaus – they’re such a motivation killer! Don’t let it happen to YOU!

And finally, doing different stuff helps you find your soulmate workouts. For me, that’s key. Finding something you truly love is the key to long term success. Keep trying new workouts until you find one that makes you not only feel amazing, but also makes you look forward to your workouts. Now, this isn’t to say you’ll feel that way right away. Especially if you’re new to fitness, but it’ll happen. Pay attention to  your body, your mood, everything! You’ll start noticing what makes you feel amazing and what you’re really loving. Stick with those. Don’t drag yourself through workouts you hate. They shouldn’t be punishment! Here’s my newest love. Never thought that would happen, but alas, it has. (and as I type this I’m literally counting down the hours until I can go throw these around a bit)


So. Go out and try some new things. I am constantly doing a variety. Partly because I have exercise ADD, I think. But  it’s also because it keeps me engaged and interested and having fun. Try new DVDs, check into some new classes, try running if you haven’t. And if a program is mapped out for you, go for it if you want. Or if you want to mix something else with it, create a hybrid. I do that all the time by printing out blank calendars, taking the recommended schedule for a program and then adjusting it to incorporate what I want. See my post about that here:

Always wanted to try Zumba? Do it, make it your cardio day instead of your run (unless you love your run). Thinking about a bodypump class? Go for it. Make one of your strength days bodypump. Thinking of trying Turbo Fire but don’t want to give up something else? You can do that, do it a few days a week in place of your cardio/HIIT days. See what I’m getting at? YOU have control over your happiness and engagement in your fitness journey.

Do you do more than one workout? Which ones?

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The Battle of the Holiday Bulge

That’s right, the holidays are here. Both of the big holidays around my family, Thanksgiving and Christmas are a wonderful time of year. I always look forward to seeing family and eating lots of yummy stuff. And though I care about health and wellness, I am NOT interested in having some sort of crazy Thanksgiving dinner where we all eat turkey salad instead of turkey, gravy, ham, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Some folks plan to gain a few pounds in the months of November and December. I mean, really, with all those delish meals and holiday gatherings, office parties, and random bakers showing up with cookies, who can blame us for gaining a few, right? The problem lies with gaining more than a few. Or for some of us, keeping those few and then gaining a few more the next year too. Really, it’s about habits. If you allow yourself to ‘let loose’ for two months, you’ve developed a very strong habit of eating decadent, fat-laden, sugar dense foods by that juncture, right?

So here’s how I handle the holidays so that I don’t change my habits too much but I can still enjoy myself and indulge for parties and family gatherings:

* I eat very well during the week, exactly like I should. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few healthy snacks in between. Whole grains, little sugar, plenty of lean protein, veggies and fruits. This is easy during the work week since I’m at my desk and there’s very little ‘bad stuff’ calling my name. If this gets hard, I just remind myself of all the goodies coming up soon. I also LOVE how I feel when I’ve eaten very clean for a couple of days in a row. That feeling is a great motivator.

* On the day of a holiday party or gathering I eat VERY light up until the party. I stick to lean meats and veggies if I can. I space out my light meals and snacks so that I never get hungry. Then, right before leaving for a party, I’ll have one last snack, maybe just an apple. Something light but that will help me to not feel ravenous when I get there. Then I let myself eat what I want at the party. Or have the cocktail I want. If something is really really terrible for me, I still may eat it, but just a little bit of it. I still may be over my calorie intake for the day, but it SHOULD average out for the week since I ate VERY well during the workweek.

* Cold weather makes me want to work out less. Instead of giving in, I accept that I may not be the ‘workout go-getter’ that I am in the summer. So I make a deal with myself. I just make myself get changed and press play – and just do 20 minutes of a good workout DVD. If I feel great, I very well may keep going. But if I’m still not into it, my deal with myself was 20 minutes, so I can stop after 20. This way I still get a little workout in, without too much heartache. This is one of the biggest keys to keeping motivated throughout the holidays and through winter. I also find running in cold weather to be MUCH more pleasant than in hot weather. So I am able to make myself run a few days a week still, this is a huge help since every mile run equals about 100 calories. Whaaat!!!???

* I weigh myself once a week – in the morning before breakfast – and keep a log of it. I also log my basic measurements. This isn’t meant to punish myself. Rather it’s to make sure I notice if something is going awry. If I gain a pound, I don’t care. But if I’ve gained 5 and it’s consistent, I know I need to make a change. If that happens, I add in a few more miles of running every week. I cut out desserts during the week, any little change that will adjust a few hundred calories each day. It’s much easier to catch this early on and adjust than it is to try to get 10 or 15 pounds off in January. A lot less heartache this way too! Small changes are key. And maybe another small change it at the next holiday party, you take one less serving of hors d’oeuvres. Or ask for a rum and diet coke instead of a rum and coke. 🙂

* Finally, the days of the ‘big’ meals…Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Here’s my plan of attack. I get up and I run before I do anything. (well, okay, I have some water and a half of a bagel before my run). And I run hard and a little further than usual. So if I normally would do 3 miles, I’ll do 5. It’s not punishment. It’s preparation. If you’re not a runner, you can still do something like this. Go for a walk for 45 minutes. Don’t stroll. Walk! Go GET it! Sweat a little. Get back and do a few pushups too while you’re at it! This will get your metabolism humming for the day. You’ll need it later. Now the rest of the day, while things are cooking – TRY to drink lots of water. And for snacks while cooking, cook up some baked kale chips, or snack on a veggie tray. Do eat a light breakfast. Do eat a light lunch if your Thanksgiving dinner is at night. Skipping these meals will slow your metabolism. Keep it high so you can burn through that gigantic meal. And finally, eat all the things you love. Really! Do it. The one caveat, is TRY to keep the really rich stuff to one serving. You CAN do it! Double up on your turkey, veggies or potatoes if you want to. Then, after the big meal, get out and move a little again. You may not feel like running, but you can go for a stroll for another 30 minutes.

I hope this helps you feel prepared for this season – the season of the bulge… Just remember, prevention is MUCH more pleasant than having to make a new year’s resolution to lose all that holiday weight!

If you have other tips, I’d love to hear them below!

~To Your Health~

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