Archive | November, 2013

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

27 Nov

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Who has off today? I don’t, but it’s ok because I will be going out with friends later for “Thanksgiving Eve” and am so excited!

I found a lot of great links to share with you, so you have stuff to read tomorrow while you wait for that turkey to be done 😉

Here are your health links:

Where will you be spending Thanksgiving?

Do you go Black Friday shopping? Where?

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Fun Fitblogger Survey!

26 Nov

I wanted to switch things up and do a fun survey for today. If you have a health & fitness blog, join in and write up your own post! I love learning more about other bloggers 🙂

1: What is your favorite snack? Healthy: apples or a banana with PB Unhealthy: Cookies and milk, or Honey Bunches Of Oats cereal 😉

2: Favorite work out move, and what does it target? Squats. Although it mainly targets your glutes, it’s definitely a full-body workout and will get your heart rate up!

3: Least favorite workout? Any sort of cross-training. It is so boring to me.

4: When do you feel your best? After a particularly hard workout or run, when I’m drenched in sweat and out of breath, but can say, “Wow, I finished that workout and I feel awesome!”

5: Describe your “perfect” breakfast? My favorite is oatmeal with PB stirred in, sliced banana, and a drizzle of honey. Along with 2 hardboiled eggs.

6: Favorite splurge meal? Meal: Cheeseburger and fries, Snack: Half Baked Ben & Jerry’s 🙂

7: Best advice for a beginner? Be patient. You won’t see results immediately, but just keep at it. Even when you’re so sore in the beginning, it goes away and the next time you workout you will feel stronger.

8: Favorite one liner for motivation? It never gets easier, you just get better.

9: Best place to by workout clothes? Modell’s, Macy’s sale rack, TJ Maxx, and if I want to splurge-lululemon.

10: Favorite workout/running shoes? Currently, Saucony Mirage. I used to be a Mizuno girl and ran in the Wave Inspires.

11: What is your ratio of clean vs indulgence? Probably 70% clean, 30% indulge. I could be better but right now I don’t really feel the need to be really strict. I want to lower my body fat and all that, but I’m also at a place where I have accepted my body. I love working out, and eat healthy for the most part, so if the results come, they come..and of course I’ll be happy!

12: Best way to feel confident? In the gym: getting a PR (same in a race) and knowing how hard you worked to build up to that. Other: buying a top or pants that makes you feel good!

13: Number 1 tip for beating cravings? Find healthy alternatives. If I want a sweet treat, recently, I’ve been having these protein bites instead. I also like Larabars. If you like more salty, try making kale chips!

14: Describe your “dream” day of fitness? I’d love to go on some sort of fitness cruise or vacation. Where you can explore the terrain but in active ways (trail runs, hikes). But also relaxing on the beach would be necessary 😉

I wouldn’t mind working out in this gym.

15: What is your “power” song, the song that keeps you going? Hm…there are so many! Probably “One” by Swedish House Mafia. I have powered up hills many times listening to that song.

16: Favorite fitblogger? I definitely can’t pick one, but I will list a few of the bloggers I love reading: Cori-Olive To Run, Theodora-Losing Weight In The City, Alyssa-See This Girl Run, Gia-RunGiaRun, Sarah-Sweet Miles, Sarah-SarahFit…and really so many more. I think you can see who I follow if you go to my BlogLovin?

17: What do you wear to workout? In the gym: shorts (spandex or normal), or capris, and a tight fitting top. Running: spandex shorts, capris or pants. Always a dri-fit top.

18: What is your biggest accomplishment? Running a 33 minute PR in the 2013 NYC Marathon with my mom 🙂

19: What is your fitness goal? In the gym: Upping the amount I can squat, and doing 10 unassisted pullups. Running: One day qualifying for Boston, but first I’ll take a sub-2 hour half marathon.

20: What is your next fitness challenge? Right now I’m just working on getting stronger, but my next goal will be a sub-2 hour half marathon. I’m looking into spring races.

Please fill it out! I’d love to hear about your fitness & running motivation and goals! Let me know if you post it on your own blog 🙂 Here are the questions for you to copy & paste:

1: What is your favorite snack?

2: Favorite work out move, and what does it target?

3: Least favorite workout? 

4: When do you feel your best? 

5: Describe your “perfect” breakfast? 

6: Favorite splurge meal? 

7: Best advice for a beginner? 

8: Favorite one liner for motivation? 

9: Best place to by workout clothes?

10: Favorite workout/running shoes? 

11: What is your ratio of clean vs indulgence? 

12: Best way to feel confident? 

13: Number 1 tip for beating cravings? 

14: Describe your “dream” day of fitness? 

15: What is your “power” song, the song that keeps you going? 

16: Favorite fitblogger? 

17: What do you wear to workout? 

18: What is your biggest accomplishment? 

19: What is your fitness goal?

20: What is your next fitness challenge? 

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Motivational Monday!

25 Nov

So yesterday it was around 25 degrees here, but felt like even less with windchill. I’ve ran in the cold before, begrudgingly, and after a snow storm, but it ended up not being bad at all!

I saw a lot of runners who posted about getting out there despite the conditions…that’s awesome! If I were running regularly, perhaps I would have gone out, but running really isn’t in my training plan right now 😉

Here’s a little motivation as we head into the winter:

I know you all will get after it no matter what, but in case you need some extra inspiration, this is a great quote! No matter if it’s summer or winter, you will never have perfect conditions. Just gear up and do it! The key to winter running is the right layers and gear, once you have that, I promise you won’t even feel the cold!

Do you prefer winter running or summer running? I prefer the cold…I sweat way too much in the summer!

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Coconut PB Protein Bites

22 Nov

My friend told me to try this recipe for “protein bites,” so I finally did…and it certainly did not disappoint! If you’re looking for something all-natural, and just as tasty as a granola bar or sweet treat, then you need to try this.

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Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter/whatever butter you like)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (oops I just realized I forgot to use this…oh well, it’s still so good!

Then:

  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I used my hands to make sure everything was mixed together.
  2. Let chill in the fridge for about an hour
  3. Enjoy!

My friend suggested putting them in ziploc bags in the freezer so they keep their shape, and you can save them longer. Seriously, they are delicious. I have a sweet tooth problem, so I always look for healthy and all-natural options for when I’m craving a cookie or something.

coconut bites

Obviously you can’t eat the entire batch just because it’s all-natural. Moderation is still key. With the amounts listed above, I made 15 protein balls, and according to my calculations (and with the ingredients I used), it’s about 100 calories each. I also accidentally got sweetened coconut flakes, so that’s probably extra calories.

Let me know if you decide to try them & what you think!

Do you have a “go-to” for when your sweet tooth strikes?

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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

20 Nov

1 week until Thanksgiving Eve! Can you tell I’m excited… 😉

Here are your health links for today:

Do you love or hate doing abs? What’s your favorite ab move?

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7 Tips To Aid Muscle Recovery

19 Nov

I thought of writing this post today because currently I can’t straighten my arms from being soooo soreeee. I did a chest and back workout yesterday which included pull-ups…which I haven’t done in months! The first few days of lifting after a long hiatus are always the worst in terms of soreness.

While sometimes you can’t avoid soreness or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), there are ways to promote muscle recovery, and feel back to normal faster. Here are tips that have worked for me, and may help you to avoid the DOMS!

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  • Have something with protein after every workout. I usually try to have a protein shake as soon as I get home, or if my workout is timed right, I get home and just have dinner. Protein aids in the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibers. [1] Every time you go to the gym, you are damaging and tearing your muscle fibers. What you do after the gym is what matters, because once those fibers heal is when you will see your gains (i.e. – lift heavier). Active states:

Heavy resistance exercise increases the rates of both protein synthesis and breakdown in muscle for at least 24 hours after a workout. Unless a protein-containing meal is consumed during recovery, breakdown will exceed synthesis, resulting in the loss of muscle mass.

I usually try to get around 20-30 grams, and within 30 minutes of my workout ending.

  • Stretch. I always try to stretch after every workout. Your muscles are nice and warm, and this is the perfect time to stretch them out after they have tightened up during your workout. According to MIT:

When you stretch, the muscle fiber is pulled out to its full length sarcomere by sarcomere, and then the connective tissue takes up the remaining slack. When this occurs, it helps to realign any disorganized fibers in the direction of the tension. This realignment is what helps to rehabilitate scarred tissue back to health.

  • Ice, use heat, BioFreeze, etc. If something feels swollen, like a joint, ice it to decrease inflammation. I’ve also tried “contrast therapy” after long runs or hard workouts. Get in the shower, use cold water for 30 seconds, then switch to hot water, and repeat 4-5 times. If a muscle is just plain sore, applying a heat pack can help it relax. My physical therapist also recommended BioFreeze for times when ice isn’t convenient. It’s like Bengay or IcyHot but with less chemicals…and definitely makes whatever area you’re using it on feel nice and cold! I was applying it to my shins and calves before bed.

  • Foam roll/self-myofascial release. I don’t think I need to talk about this too much. Foam rolling has so many benefits for your muscles, despite sometimes being painful! It helps release muscle adhesions (knots) in order to help muscle recovery, and allows your muscles to move much smoother. If you don’t have a foam roller, use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball. I like it better anyway because it’s smaller and can really get into those hard to reach muscles. When you hit a tender spot, stay there for 20-30 seconds, and/or also try flexing and unflexing the muscle (similar to ART). Foam roll first, then stretch.
  • Take supplements. Magnesium is something many people don’t get enough of, and it helps greatly with muscle recovery, nerve function, and also helps you get better sleep. [2]. I also take L-Glutamine and have taken BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) before. L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that helps to ease trauma, and halt the breakdown of muscles.[3] BCAAs support muscle protein synthesis and also can decrease muscle soreness such as DOMS. Read more benefits of BCAAs on Charles Poliquin’s website – he’s a well-renowned and respected trainer.

So there you have it folks. Those are just some ways that I help my muscles recover. It really is important to remember that what you do OUT of the gym matters more than IN the gym. Make sure to get enough sleep, hydrate, etc. to take care of your muscles and you will see the results you want.

What tips would you add to this list? Which of these haven’t you tried yet?

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Motivational Monday!

18 Nov

Can you believe next Thursday is Thanksgiving? Who else loves Thanksgiving??

So today instead of a motivational quote, I thought I’d start Monday off with some humor. A few of my guy friends and I were talking this weekend and they told me how when they go to the gym they mainly do chest, back and arms. I was like whaaaaat?! So that’s what inspired this:

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I saw this on Instagram and immediately sent it to them. The caption was, “Don’t skip leg day!” I love it. 🙂

1) Do you ever skip leg day, or do you love leg day?

2) Favorite Thanksgiving dish? I need some ideas for this year!

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