Make the Distance Easier

My favorite new shoes :) Make sure you find a shoe that fits right when running. It can maker a huge difference!

My favorite new shoes :) Make sure you find a shoe that fits right when running. It can maker a huge difference!

If you asked me if I were a runner, my answer would most likely be along the lines of “no, but I like to run.” Yes, I run a lot and yes, I can run many miles not very fastbut I never do it for time and because the perfectionist in me would be upset if I would be slower than the last run or would have trouble with not seeing improvement. So, I just run for fun and do as many miles as I feel like doing depending on how I’m feeling.

Anywho, back to my real point, how did I build the endurance to casually run 5-8 miles everyday? Or actually get to the point where I enjoy running long distance because it comes easy to me? Besides practice, I made sure to incorporate interval and HIIT—high intensity interval training— to MAKE THE DISTANCE EASIER. HIIT training is also a type of workout that burns more calories and improves endurance by increasing your aerobic capacity—the amount of oxygen your body uses— while doing it for less time than a steady state workout.

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Use a heart rate monitor to track how hard you’re pushing yourself! It’s my favorite fitness device!

You can do this type of training on any cardio machine or even incorporate weights with it. I do it via bike, the treadmill, the Step mill/ Stair Master, jump rope, and sometimes the rowing machine.

An example workout would be like this:

  • -Warm up 5 minutes:   5.0 mph
  • -slow jog 90 seconds:   4.0/4.5 mph (depending on fitness level)
  • -sprint 30 seconds:        7/8/9/10 mph (depending on fitness level)
    –> and repeat the Jog and Sprint cycle 10 times
    or until you can’t go anymore.

You can play around with the times and speeds and once you get better; make sure to increase the speeds or the times so you can keep on increasing your endurance during long runs and make those easier.

Another reason why I love HIIT workouts is because I feel like it makes time go so much faster because you’re constantly changing the speed. Give it a shot and do it every other day. Doing it everyday is hard on the body, so I try not to do it back to back or just lower the speeds. I notice a tremendous difference (stronger/faster/easier) when doing long runs after incorporating HIIT workouts for a couple weeks, so I hope you find that change too!
**An awesome way to track HIIT workouts is using a heart rate monitor—I use a polar Ft40, I’ll explain more about it in a future post—because I can see how hard I’m working and make sure I’m exerting enough energy and pushing hard enough.**

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Numbers in Progress

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 3.58.45 PMI’m going to be honest, it is easy hard to eat healthy your freshman year of college. You have the food courts, and the laziness of getting to them and eating processed food, no stove or oven to make healthy veggies and grilled chicken, the TAILGATES, no car, and all of the other festivities involved with college life. So of course, I gained a few pounds and my goal at the beginning of the summer was to get rid of them. While weeks have gone by this summer, I’ve kicked some major *booty* in the weight room and have had amazing runs day in and day out; however, the last time I checked, I still haven’t lost some of the weight.
To some extent, I felt defeated for all the hard work I had been putting into my workouts, eating right and what not, but then I reflected on everything that had changed. The NUMBERS IN my PROGRESS. The number on the scale is just ONE of the HUNDREDS of numbers that have changed this summer. For example, the picture you see below to the right; I ran 8 miles in 85 minutes the other morning. My morning runs usually are 4-7 miles, but the other day I was feeling so good that I just kept going! To know that my body was able to crank out that extra mile was a new accomplishment and I ran it again the next day. and 85 minutes? I never would have guessed my body could have the endurance to do that so casually– without mental Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 3.13.02 PMpreparation for something like a race– until this summer. Additionally, there is another number that I realized I forgot to focus on, lean body mass percentage! While I don’t have one of the fancy scales that measure that, I noticed my *ahem* *rolls* are less pronounced/shorts fitting looser and my muscles are becoming more visible! Which brings me to my new goal of the summer, building lean muscle to help burn more fat! I’ve always loved to lift, but I really started to put it in high gear this past year and summer. It’s a fun, yet difficult game to me in the weight room to try and lift heavier weights or have a higher volume on supersets. Lifting also makes me feel more empowered and proud of my body to see what it can do. The numbers on those plates have definitely changed this summer!
–>side note to girls- it doesn’t make you bulky, lean muscle makes you look good! I’ve lost fat, but maybe not pounds, and gained muscle by doing so. <–
What are the other numbers (besides the one on the scale) that you can note in your progress?
-
 clothing sizes–> you may be shrinking fat
and building muscle= looser clothing!

- distance you have ran
- the number of times you work out
- the time it takes you to do something

- how many times you’ve eaten healthy
- the new PR on your bench or squat

- the number of water bottles you drink in a day
- the number of pushups/pull ups you can do

- the number of hours of sleep you receive
- your heart rate when working out, is it harder to get it higher?- you’re now fitter!
- your cholesterol number
- your blood pressure number
- the number of times you stretch in a week (something i’m working on!)
- lean body mass number, use a measuring tape instead of a scale!
*muscle weighs more than fat / 1 lb of muscle takes up less space than 1 lb of fat* 

There are so many numbers that can be affected when you progress, it’s important to note progress because you can see how far you’ve really come and be proud of your accomplishments. What are your numbers in progress?
p.s. to the college readers- I’m planning on creating a health and fitness section for my website that includes nutrition tips/recipes and workouts for how I stay fit while being in college myself! 

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You vs You

IMG_8760I wake up every morning to get my cardio in, some people don’t understand it and sometimes I don’t want to do it. While running this morning, I was thinking of all the reasons why I live the lifestyle I do, and how I can keep myself motivated. I’ll be honest, the main reason I started my fitness lifestyle was because I compared myself to others; I wanted to be like “the pretty girls,” I wanted to be as skinny as “the pretty girls” and not have to be embarrassed of my body. I don’t know why society makes us believe that, why girls look up to celebrities that are unhealthy, and give us the unrealistic image of what “healthy” and “pretty” really is.

My point is, Comparison is the thief of happiness, and I’m proud so say that I have a much better view on life and have evolved so much mentally and physically through my fitness journey. I now believe in the fact that it’s You vs Everyone Else You. I’ve realized that I can’t focus on what I can’t be; other people or have a different body, but I can focus on what I can become. I know that I can get stronger than I used to be, I know that I can get faster than I used to be. I think its important for everyone to realize how much they accomplish and see what they’ve achieved. In every aspect of life its You vs You; whether its being a better mom/dad/friend, getting all of your tasks done, playing in a game better than you did last time, trying something new, eating healthier, or being more appreciative. Where did this mentality come from? It’s always been in me- a gymnast at heart competes against herself to be better at her events- but I seemed to have let society take over until: Short story: In middle school I hated running and the only  reason I learned to like it was because I had to, my track coach made the distance girls run the mile and mile and a half meet. I went out for track to be with friends and everyone made the distance team, as long as they did what they were told. I remember telling my coach I couldn’t run the mile and a half, I was too tired or not “feeling well” haha, oh man, but she never let me skip it. I thank her for that discipline, for leading me to a new passion; running and competing against myself. After track ended, I continued to run on my own, I would race against myself by running longer distances and achieving shorter times. That was when I realized how important You vs You really is. It’s about being proud of personal accomplishments, seeing how far you’ve come and what you can make of yourself. Make a journal, see it visibly, or just reflect and think once a day. Did you do something better today than yesterday? What about this year compared to last year? Whenever I think about being critical of myself, I remember where I started and how much progress I’ve made and that keeps me going. I hope you find this post somewhat helpful and thought provoking, I hope you realize how great you really are and how important it is to be proud of your own accomplishments- big or small. Having a positive and healthy mindset is key to happiness; your glass is always half way full. 

And, if you were wondering; the reason I get up in the morning to run everyday is because it makes me stronger. It makes me better than I was yesterday. It builds my endurance. But most of all, it gives me clarity. I feel blessed that I was given the ability to run; its a true privilege because not all people can, and I make sure to use it. 

 

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Traveling Fit 101

I hope everyone has had a great start to their summer, it feels like time is moving so quickly- I water ocean beach paradise islands 1280x1024 wallpaper_www.wallpaperto.com_29already finished my summer class! Now it’s time to relax and take in the natural vitamin d this season :) Summer is the time many families travel and go to new places because they have time off, so I decided share my top tips to stay fit and healthy while being away from home! These tips are also just great ideas to do apply everyday, whether you’re traveling or not!

  1. Flying or Driving- Whether I’m flying or driving, I always make sure to pack healthy snacks while being traveling to my destination. Almonds are my go to because they’re the most satisfying, but others include: string cheese, low sugar protein and granola bars, skinny pop, apples and raw veggies. 
  2. Airport Food- Airports are filled with many places to grab healthy snacks and meals at. Usually I’ll grab a cup of coffee with skim milk with oatmeal or a  yogurt parfait from somewhere in the morning. If it’s in the afternoon, there are many vendors and restaurants that provide healthy grilled chicken salads and veggies. If you’re looking for snacks, go for the almonds or nut mixes at the shops to keep you satisfied. 
  3. shoppingHydration- During the summer I try to drink about one to two gallons of water a day. Yes it can be annoying to run to the bathroom all the time, but it’s extremely important to stay hydrated on vacations because you’re usually in a warm area and water helps you stay energized, less bloated –>the more you drink the less you will bloat, and keeps your body working properly. Hydration is extremely important if you’re drinking alcoholic beverages as well since alcohol is a diuretic. Read more here on why you should stay hydrated: HERE
  4. Set a Goal- Sign yourself up for a race! Or just make a promise to yourself that you want to be able to do _________(physical activity) or lose ____(#) pounds by a certain time. It will be easier to keep yourself accountable if you know you have something you’re working for and keep you on track.
  5. Tell Somebody-Tell a friend that you’re trying to lose weight or that you want to keep yourself from eating processed foods. They can help you reach your goals just like setting a goal, so you have a person to remind you and supporting you on your journey. 
  6. Alcohol- Alcohol has so many empty calories, however I know that vacations are when alcoholpeople splurge in this area. Just remember a glass of wine/one beer/one shot has approximately 100 calories each! Mixed drinks usually have even more because of all the added sugar, so try to limit yourself when you go out to keep your waistline where its at. Alcohol can contribute to major bloating and that awful feeling after, so theres another reason to drink less. *don’t forget to drink a glass of water, for every alcoholic drink you consume*
  7. Morning Workouts- One of the best changes you can make to your routine is doing a morning workout. Go for a walk/jog or go to the gym in the morning before your day starts. Running on the beach in the morning is one of the most peaceful feelings! WalkingtoRunning_AA050254_n_lgGo on an empty stomach and try fasted cardio to dip into your fat stores easily..read more about fasted cardio HERE. Morning workouts are the best because you don’t have to think about them all day and skip or procrastinate it, I always make sure to get it done early on vacations to spend time with friends and family the rest of the day. Lay out your workout clothes and shoes at night and make it easy to put on and go.  
  8. Sleep- Get a decent amount of sleep every night (7-8) hours preferably. Without enough sleep, you won’t have as much energy and you will notice that your appetite and hunger will increase because your leptin level (hunger satisfying hormone) will be decreased and gherlin (hunger simulating hormone) will be increased. Less sleep is also associated with craving for high fat and high carb foods. 
  9. Breakfast- Start your day right with  a good breakfast including complex carbohydrates 3294687099_f49fba48e71and protein (oatmeal and eggs is a great option!). Not only will it provide you with satisfying energy, but you will also be less hungry if you eat the right food!
  10. Protein- When going out for meals, make sure to pick a lean protein as the main part of your meal, grilled chicken/turkey/lean sirloin and steak, are great options. Protein will make you fuller, thus you will eat less of the bad stuff. I usually choose grilled chicken or steaks with a side salad whenever going out to eat.
  11. Research- Research the resort/hotel/area you are staying at to see if they have any trails to run on or a gym to workout in. Most hotels have a gym with at least a treadmill and maybe free weights to use. Take advantage of it!
  12. Mind Game- Having a positive mind set and being motivated is key in a fitness lifestyle. There are some days I don’t want to workout, however I remember how much better I feel afterwards. Stay positive and remember why you want to work out and just do it!
  13. keep-calm-and-stay-positive-65Stress- As much fun family vacations can be, they can be stressful at times too. Try to relax as much as you can and go on walks and make sure to workout to keep the stress at bay. Stress causes the body to hang on to fat and crave unhealthy foods like sweets and carbs.
  14. Journal- Track what you’re eating throughout the day, sometimes you may eat more than you realize and it will allow you to make healthier changes. 
  15. Style- If a new shirt or workout outfit doesn’t make you want to go to the gym, I don’t know what does :) haha, just kidding, but I love getting new workout clothes, it definitely makes me more motivated to go to the gym. When you look good, you feel good- so go show it off and get your sweat on. So go to the store and grab a few new workout tops that fit just right and get some use out of them on vacation!
  16. 20 minute Rule- Often times, our body doesn’t recognize we are full right after we eat. Next time you’re still hungry after eating dinner (your first helping) try waiting it out and have some good conversation or stay busy for the next twenty minutes to see if you’re still hungry. It takes the body about twenty minutes to receive the “full” feeling.hiking-larger
  17. Fit Destination- Plan something fun on your trip that involves physical activity. Hiking, walking around the zoo, canoeing, sightseeing, biking. There are so many ways to explore a new place involving physical activity, take advantage of your new area!
  18. Playlist- Sometimes an awesome playlist is all it takes to get a good workout in. If you’re me, you probably haven’t updated your iPod in years- so use a pandora or Fit Radio app on your phone! Songs with fast beats make great workouts, and so do the “old” songs-from about 5 years ago!
  19. 4pher7kfvitbvftrMagazine- When I’m on the treadmill/stairmaster/elliptical I almost always read fitness and health magazines. It makes time go by a lot quicker while also finding out new info!
  20. Don’t say diet- A pet peeve I have is when people say someone is dieting or ask if you’re on a diet. Eating “clean” or “boring food” is my lifestyle. Make eating healthy a lifestyle so you don’t have to see it as restrictive and follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy during the week and enjoy sweets and treat meals on the weekend or a couple times a week! 
  21. Be Prepared- I typically plan my next day at night before I go to bed. Think about times I’m going to workout and what I have to do to make sure I can get it all in and stay on track. Make your workout something that is planned, that way you know you have time to go. 
  22. Portion- “your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” I used to hear that one all the time when I was little, however its true. Have smaller portions and try the 20 minute rule. Make sure you have the right ratios of food to create a satisfying meal- lean meat, complex carbs and some fat. If you’re out to eat, save the left overs for tomorrow! 
  23. Track-(pedometer)-Sight seeing? Make a game with yourself to see how many steps or miles you can go everyday. 
  24. Love Yourself- I think its important to be happy with yourself and that its half of what makes a healthy lifestyle. Don’t beat yourself up for having a bad meal, just get right back on track at your next one!
  25. Grocery-  Go to the grocery store to grab deli meat, bread, fruit and veggies to take to theSHopping-cart-994x1024 beach or have for lunches! It will save you money and is easy to bring with you! Eating in will save you money as well, so take a night to cook with the family or friends and just hang out!
Hopefully these Traveling Fit tips help you out on your next vacation or just in general!
Comment below if you have any fitness/nutrition/health related questions. I plan on doing a question and answer segment once a month or even a week depending on how many there are! have a great day!

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Do FASTED cardio to BURN FAT

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 1.09.58 PMEver wonder what it takes for your body to tap into your fat stores to use for energy? Well, fasted cardio might be your best answer. Usually when you workout during the day, the body uses the energy and nutrients in your GI tract to provide energy for your workout because they’re readily available. But when you sleep and workout on an empty stomach–> you’re working out in a “fasted state” and because it’s been hours since you’ve had any nutrition, your insulin levels are low. Isulin inhibits lipolysis (breaking down of fat stores) by blocking the metabolic process of releasing fatty acids, but when it is low- your body can release these fatty acids to be oxidized for your fasted cardio, thus you burn more fat. (aka: PRIME TIME TO SHED THE FLUFF) However you should do fasted cardio in a moderate pace because if you increase your intensity, you body taps into your stored carbohydrates as a fuel source for a different stage of oxidation. Do it for about 30-45 minutes everyday to see results. My favorite fasted cardio includes: jump roping, running or spinning (I LOVE TO SPIN :] <–try it! )

I started doing fasted cardio this year because I like to get cardio out of the way early so I can focus on my lift in the afternoon, but besides burning more fat stores, I have noticed a dramatic change in my attitude and energy for the day when it is done. YES, it is HARD to get up, but once you’re UP, it just gets easier from there. When my alarm goes off, I do a couple stretches and then I get up and cant wait to start my day with fasted cardio. I feel more energized, the endorphins kick in and I have “me” time in the gym. Or if the gym isn’t open– I’m the girl jump roping in the floor’s lounge jamming to avril lavigne pandora or summer hits of the 90′s sweating like crazy. It’s become part of daily routine, my roommate probably thinks I’m crazy, but I love it because its one of my favorite parts of my day.

Do it, I promise you won’t regret it. I do advise trying to get a decent amount of sleep before hand, because that is extremely important for your health, too. If you need a little motivation to get started, try a cup of coffee before hand or just glass of water with lemon.

for more information go here: http://www.fitnessrxwomen.com/fat-loss/cardio/running-on-empty/

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Strength Training and Cardio Bursts!

Ever go to the gym when you’re short on time and aren’t sure what to do to get the most out of your work out? I would definitely recommend doing a strength training with cardio bursts workout. It’s similar to a HIIT (Click to find more info on HIIT) workout, but more effective when you’re trying to tone up! I usually work out twice a day, getting my fasted cardio (look forward this week to find out more on this topic) in, in the morning and my strength workout in the afternoon after I’ve gotten some good energy and nutrition under my belt to fuel my muscles to do strength training.
During my strength workout, I typically burn 400-500 calories in an hour because I keep my heart rate up with cardio bursts. Keeping your heart rate up will keep your body warm and flexible, ready for strength exercises, burn more calories, and…kick your butt :)
**When strength training or doing any workout, I advise having a plan when going to the gym–>it makes you more efficient when using your time and you won’t have much down time standing around thinking about what to do**

Here are couple examples of my cardio bursts and strength training workouts. I love doing circuits because 1. They make time go faster 2. They provide variety and work all different muscles 3. It’s more exciting and not so boring! 4. If you’re short on time you can do a bunch of exercises in a short amount of time to hit all areas.

Below are some workouts you can print out or copy down for your next one to try. You’ll see below an Arms workout, Legs Workout, or both depending on your preference. I like focusing on one area each day to make sure that I work those muscles really good and then move on to a different area the next day allows that part of my body to rest.
You can fill in your own exercises with this basic outline! –>
A circuit of 5 exercises. Do 1 exercise: 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 1 cardio burst for a minute, next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-3-4 times.
CLICK THE PICTURES TO SEE CLOSER & PRINT

Armslrgsarms and legs

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IIFYM, Eat your ice-cream without all the guilt…on a diet?!

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 2.39.41 PMIIFYM is one of the best things that has ever happened to me this past year. IIFYM stands for “if it fits your macros.” Now you might be wondering what macros are, macros are the macronutrients in the foods you eat: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. This has also been called “flexible dieting” if you’ve heard it elsewhere.

The macronutrients are the sources of energy that one must receive the most abundant of (not sugar and sodium). Carbohydrates and Fats are the main sources of energy and carbohydrates provide four calories per gram while fats provide nine calories per gram. Protein helps replenish muscles and helps with metabolic processes providing four calories per gram. With that being said, not all calories are equal because they come from different macronutrients and each macronutrient provides its own function and role in the body.

Some people might follow IIFYM and eat a whole ton of junk and processed food, but as a health enthusiast and someone who likes to eat clean I fit a lot of nutritious food in my macros, along with some sweets like ice cream and chocolate and peanut butter. Additionally I know my body functions differently than others; therefore I know bad/greasy foods hurt my mental clarity and body.

I love IIFYM because it’s not restrictive and works for my fitness and health goals while also allowing me to have my favorite things. I think all foods are okay in moderation as long as they’re taken in at the right time and amounts. Therefore, my coaching plans I will be creating will follow along with IIFYM.  My clients will have different macros because everyone’s composition is different and needs different amounts. (look forward to more info this week in a post)

Macronutrients are easy to track in the app “My Fitness Pal” and help you figure out what you need more or less of through out the day. Get a consultation in April and I can help you get started on the right track toward your own goals by making you a customized plan for an extremely great price….(I’m a college student who doesn’t like to spend a lot, and understand the pain of paying for expensive programs…so the prices are low because I want to help as many people as possible and know spending a lot of money on customized programs is common, but I promise you will be pleasantly surprised with your in-depth customized plan and results tailored for you…starting at $12)

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