Wow, it’s been a very busy summer filled with studying in Bloomington for summer classes (Courses included- entrepreneurship & management, gerontology studies, and Physiology- loved this one, such an amazing course!), teaching Bootcamp and Strength Classes as a Group Exercise Instructor at Indiana University’s Student Recreational Sports Center, and enjoying many other life events (finally finished with school and enjoying a Florida Vacation at the moment :) .) Through out this summer I created many goals for myself for the next few years and started one of them about a month ago…I started my own YouTube Channel: Fitness And Health Spot (click to check it out). I have been vlogging (“Video Blogging”) workouts and other things related to fitness and nutrition. I’m really excited about this new platform to share my knowledge and tips about fitness, nutrition and health along with full workouts!! It would mean the world to me if you subscribed to my channel (click this link and subscribe below the video to do so), I will do my best to answer all questions, share useful information and help you reach your own personal goals related to fitness and health. You can also follow my instagram account: @FitnessAndHealthSpot that I post daily tips and life events on related to fitness/nutrition/health! With that being said, I will be posting a video or blog post on here once a week from here on out so I can share more of my “fit life” and how I stay motivated day in and day out as a student and individual. My upcoming Vlogs this month will feature dorm and apartment fitness and nutrition tips and about my upcoming journey! SOOOOOO what’s this journey I’ve been so excited about??! I’ve decided I want to do a “BodPod Transformation.” Because I want to get into fitness competitions someday, but don’t have the money right now to compete (#BrokeCollegeStudent), I will create a 12 week fitness program and meal plan after receiving my first BodPod Assessment on August 9th to follow in hopes to reduce my body fat percentage and possibly make lean gains! Throughout my journey, I will be vlogging updates on my workouts, nutrition and more each week. It will definitely be a mental and physical challenge and I’m extremely excited to see where it takes me. I hope you follow along and ask many questions you’re curious about during the process and learn something about fitness & nutrition along the way :) So excited for this transformation journey and I cannot wait to keep everyone updated along the way. I hope you have had a great & healthy summer as well:) Click here to subscribe to my channel and learn about the fit life and watch my journey !
What’s one thing you love about yourself? Is it your smile, your energy, your intelligence, your muscles-arms/legs/back, or your hair? A couple of the things I love about myself are my arms and my positivity. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a positive mindset and I love being able to see muscles that I’ve worked so hard for in my arms (mainly when I flex, but hey-they’re there).
Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and it made me think about the importance of having a positive body image and positive mindset. I’ve never had a full on eating disorder, but part of my happiness used to depend on the number on the scale in the morning—something I really hate admitting. I used to run many hours a week and not fuel my body properly just to see a change on that stinkin’ scale. I wasn’t very knowledgeable about nutrition, I didn’t have the confidence I do today, and it caused unnecessary anxiety. The most important lessons I’ve learned from the scale— no one knows the number and no one even cares about the number, and most of all: Confidence is Sexy. I love seeing genuinely happy celebrities who exude confidence no matter what size they are.
Where was my big turn around? You can read my story: Part 1 & Part 2 to see more about it, but it mainly happened when I understood nutrition, started to love my body for its capabilities, and enjoyed new aspects of fitness– HIIT/lifting/cycling. I really credit my increased confidence from lifting and the empowerment it gives me.
Having a positive body image can improve your happiness, confidence, relationships, education/work, and reduce stress.
- Learn to appreciate what your body can do. Be thankful for it because some people don’t have arms or legs and can’t even walk. After all of my long runs, I always think about how lucky I am to have the ability to run, even when it’s a bad run.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Ever hear the saying you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? If you want to feel good about yourself and achieve your goals, spend time with people who support you and bring happiness in your life.
- Do things for yourself. I always feel the need to say “yes” and help everyone out. But sometimes you need to say no and do things for yourself- not for others.
- Stop comparing yourself. The guy who eats pizza & cheeseburgers everyday, yet seemingly ripped? Or the girl who eats spaghetti & ice cream everyday & extremely lean? That’s because of their genetics. Everyone is made completely different and it’d be boring if everyone were the same. I know, I hate it too, but I’ve learned that it feels good to see results from working hard in the gym and understanding proper nutrition.
- Recognize your strengths, achievements and uniqueness. I like to write and think about all of the things I accomplish each week and how hard I’ve worked. Seeing your progress visually or even just mentally makes you feel better about yourself.
- Confidence. Confidence. Confidence. Did I mention confidence? Yes, confidence will help greatly with positive body image. Wear stuff that you feel attractive/good in. Realize your accomplishments and what you can do. I credit my confidence to lifting because I see visual progress with continually increasing weights during exercises and it makes me feel strong and it has helped me understand to fuel my body properly. Do what you love and don’t worry about what people think. Confidence is KEY.
Whenever you start thinking something negative about yourself, stop & remember how lucky you are for what you have. Know yourself and do what you love and execute it with confidence. People will respect you and it will help you respect yourself. Celebrate your individuality by sharing your passions with others, and loving yourself. Give someone a compliment today or pay it forward by buying someone’s drink at Starbucks, it will make you feel good about yourself & little things can make a difference in someone else’s life, too!
Oh my goodness, where has time gone? I have just three weeks until Spring Break & three weeks to get my workouts in & three weeks of really good eating habits (meaning, for me- to stop eating chocolate after each meal and snacking when I’m not hungry J)! I’m sure many of you are in the same boat or are just looking for some ways to stay motivated to reach fitness and health goals; therefore I will be sharing my favorite tips to stay on track!
- Make a goal: First make a goal that you want to achieve; have more energy, run a mile, become fit, look better in clothes, lift a heavier weight, lose weight, gain muscle, etc. Then write out what you’re going to do to get there, remember a goal with out a strategy is just a wish. Having a strategy and plan will help you achieve that goal.
- Make it Fun: So many people ask me, how do you think working out is fun? I’ll admit, it’s not always fun, but I’m always glad I did it. The key to being consistent with workouts is finding something you like to do.
Maybe it’s going to a boot camp, zumba, pilates, cycle or yoga class at your local gym. Maybe it’s with a friend or lifting/going on runs with friends for the social aspect. Maybe it’s a style of workout that brings endorphins like intervals/steady state/incline on the cardio machine. Maybe it’s an awesome fitness DVD or a youtube fitness channel. Find something you enjoy watching or reading while working out! Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it! Once you like your workouts, you’ll be more inclined to do them consistently! This goes with food too- make healthy food fun by looking up creative recipes and making them with friends!
- Make a Schedule: Without planning my workouts, meals, classes, and study times, I would be a bit lost! Having a schedule for my workouts makes me accountable and in the mindset. Having the mindset to workout is one of the biggest battles people face because it’s so easy to push off, oh, I’ll just nap and workout tomorrow. You’re just pushing back your own goals and it can leave you with regret and guilt some days! Put it on a piece of paper/notepad and even make an alarm on your phone to get your workout in! Have someone to be accountable to that tells you to go workout when it’s time so
you’re less likely to put it off!
- Be Realistic: If you think you’re going to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, or workout 3 hours a day, or *not eat any carbs* (don’t make me laugh, almost everything has carbs except for protein, including veggies!!), it’s not going to happen. Make sure to take your fitness and health journey one step at a time. If you tell yourself you’re going to do something all or nothing, chances are you’re going to end up quitting. Start working out 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes if you’re just beginning, then once you do it a few weeks, add another session in the mix or make your duration longer. Want to eat better? Start adding veggies and a piece of fruit each day instead of the bag of chips or candy, or having a small piece of chocolate at then end of the day instead of a whole chocolate bar. Little things add up, start healthy habits and then add on to them. Want to gain muscle? Ensure proper nutrition and recovery after each workout with a good source of protein and fast digesting carbs. Train smart!
- Make a playlist: I love having new music on my workout playlist because it keeps me energized and makes me work harder having good beats. I sometimes enjoy a silent run, but I know that day’s I need an extra push- I can always count on my music. Ask your friends/family if you need song suggestions or just go to Pandora or iTunes for good music!
- Prepare Your Meals: Prepping has made my life so much easier! I make lots of lean meat and freeze/refridgerate it on Sunday’s, along with getting healthy snacks like nuts, protein bars, string cheese, veggies and make hard boiled eggs so I always have a healthy snack on hand! It helps keep you on track with your goals when you come home from a long day and can pop something in the microwave really quick instead of dreading the “what’s for dinner. I’ll just pick up fast food or make pizza tonight” situation.
- Pack Attire: If you workout in the morning, set your clothes out the night before, so it’s ready to go and you don’t have to waste time contemplating the *I don’t really want to workout mood and I’ll just go back to sleep mood*. If you workout after work or class, pack your clothes & a snack incase you get hungry (like me!!) and drive to the gym & get to it so you don’t waste time of going home!
- Pack Your Snacks: It may sound obvious, but when I forget snacks during the day, I find myself wandering campus to random cafes and choosing not so healthy choices. So I always make sure to bring nuts/cheese sticks/protein bars with me to tide me over until I get back from class or have my next meal.
- Tell Someone: Tell someone your goal! If you really want to reach your goal, have someone to be accountable to. It makes you think you should make your workouts and not have the extra piece of candy at night because you want to please them and let them know your accomplishments! I know I always ask my friends to send me texts to go workout if I’m in a lazy mood, and I’m always more motivated when I get it.
- Be Positive: We are not perfect; I never have a perfect day of eating because I am the snacking queen. Haha, I wish I wasn’t, but I always make sure to get in my workouts and remember that even though I shouldn’t have had the extra chocolate or snack, I can always do better the next day or do an extra 5 minutes of running the next day. Remove the all or nothing mentality because if you say ah this is a bad day already because I had chocolate, you will continually pile on the bad choices afterwards. If you tell yourself I’m starting over after the chocolate and eating right the rest of the day, you will make healthier choices with the new mindset.
- Be Consistent: Consistency is key; once you get a rhythm of eating healthier and working out each week- it will become easier with a routine. Starting is the hardest part, but make yourself consistent for the first few weeks and your mind and body will become stronger and more motivated.
- Reward Yourself: Rather than having food to celebrate your health and fitness accomplishments/milestones each week, buy yourself a new workout top, a fitness device or a massage or a new pair of shoes or when you lose X lbs or % bodyfat- get a new swimsuit J it will help keep your eye on accomplishing your goal! Make a visual reminder like a marble bowl for everyday you workout & once you get to X marbles, have your reward!
- Remember the Why: One of the most important motivators is to understand why you’re making changes. Write out why you want to make healthier choices, why is it going to make you better, why is it important to you? What will you get out of achieving your goal.
- Visual Reminders: Put a picture of your vacation you want to take on your phone or a quote that inspires you to remind you to stay on track. Or it could be a picture of your favorite fitness role model and it can remind you that everyone starts somewhere and you need to get going to get to your goal! Make a poster on your bulletin board of what you need to do to get to your fitness and health goal; workout schedules/drink more water/workout ideas, etc.
- Acceptance: Accept that you are an individual and a human and you need to take care of your mind and body and accept who you are. Write out what you love about yourself what you’re proud of accomplishing (big or small) each week. Being happier with who you are will allow you to reduce stress. Implement healthier habits and be proud of your mini/big accomplishments and realize you’re once step closer everyday. It takes patience and time; fitness goals are not achieved over night. Motivate yourself to workout and eat right because you were given one body and you want to treat it well and take care of it for just that reason.
It’s a bit past the *Fitness Resolution/Weightloss Resolution* time and people are starting to dwindle down at the gym due to the loss of motivation or realizing they do not have enough time (or make time) to get to the gym. Therefore, you might want to look into a fitness tracking device to kick up that motivation and stay active throughout the day or have something to motivate you during your workouts! Here I will uncover my 2 favorite devices, that I have personally used/use and love and think you will too! Fitness trackers are great to use in work place settings and I actually recently discovered a business specializing in health insurance in New Jersey and New York, Oscar, that has started to personally motivate their members to stay healthy with health technology. Each Oscar member receives a free Misfit Band, much like a FitBit or Jawbone, and earns back cash rewards every time they meet their health/fitness goals they set! Such a great idea to motivate their business, I think they should do that in every company & even a reward plan for students to encourage healthy behaviors! “Fit Bit, Jawbone, pedometers, heart rate monitors, phone apps- there are so many fitness/health tracking devices out there you can use these days, how do you know which one to choose!? One of the most important part of choosing a device/app is WHY you want to get it. Many people buy devices because of the “hype” or they hear that it’s *really good* (what does that even mean)- but you need to think about why YOU want one. Is it to improve your fitness performance or for overall health? Is it for motivation or for statistics to look at to improve? Will it really benefit you and are you getting your money worth for it? HOW are you planning to use it? All day or just for workouts? These are all questions to consider when buying a tracking device. There are two devices that I think are absolutely awesome for the average person and the really fit athlete: A Pedometer and a Heart Rate Monitor!
Why a pedometer?[price and motivation] A pedometer is extremely useful for students, office workers, athletes-and everyone! I’ve worn a pedometer every now and then during college during busy weeks I can’t get to the gym as many times as I want to because it helps me stay active and move around more. About 2k steps is a mile and I would aim for at least 10k a day when I couldn’t get my workout in. Pedometers are really beneficial for those with desk jobs because they remind people to walk around and stay moving even with a sedentary job. Take five minute walking breaks, stair breaks, walk while talking on the phone. Pedometers are motivation for people to stay active throughout the day and meet a certain goal for themselves. Maybe you don’t walk as much one day or have a crazy schedule so you can’t get to the gym, a pedometer helps you remember to move around more the next day for an extra mile. Little active spurts really add up! Do house chores on a sunday and try to move around and take the stairs by challenging yourself to get in an extra thousand steps for the day. Moderate exercise is extremely important for all individuals when it comes to health and just sanity in a busy world! Some pedometers are as cheap as $5-10 and some are $20-30. I recommend looking at Wal-Mart and Target for these devices or ordering online!
Why A Heart Rate Monitor? [price & motivation & tracking performance & accuracy!] I started using a heart rate monitor at the beginning of college to track my workouts, and see how many calories I burned during them. Now, I also use it to track my pace and see how hard I work during my workouts and motivation! I absolutely love my polar heart rate monitor and hate doing cardio without it! I also use it during lifts, but mainly to track time in between sets rather than tracking my pace and calories I do for cardio. I think wearing a heart rate monitor is really beneficial for motivation when working out because you can see how hard you’re working with your heart rate, while also seeing the amount of energy/calories you have burned. It allows you to put in personal data for accurate results as well. When I’ve burned 209 calories, I’ll say to myself I won’t stop until 250 or 300 and it helps you stay motivated! When I’m running for endurance, I make sure to stay at a certain heart rate so I don’t get too tired or even so I don’t go too slow and kick up my pace! It’s awesome for an average individual or the athlete for motivation and statistics. I highly recommend the Polar Ft4 because it’s extremely accurate and doesn’t kill your budget. It’s now on Amazon and many other websites for just $55. It used to be $70 last year, so this new price is even better -bang for your buck :) Whether you decide to get a heart rate monitor, pedometer or other fitness tracking device; the important take away is to remember your goal day in and day out. Have the intrinsic motivation and remember why you’re trying to move and be more active. Is it for your health? Is it to have more energy to play with your kids? Is it for fun and curiosity? Find something you like to do and like to use and be consistent for results. Have a visual reminder on your phone, desktop or even in your notes to remind yourself you’re doing this for yourself and no one else. The device is the extra motivation to track your progress and keep you going! Cheers to Fitness & Health. :) :) Note: Some people think they need to get a really fancy jawbone or fitbit that can cost 100+ to track steps and for motivation- that will show you your steps and show *the calories you’ve burned,* (The calories burned aren’t very accurate for people with the jawbone and fitbit because it doesn’t take in consideration how fit you are and you really need to use a heart rate monitor to find how many calories you’re really burning along with other factors -height/weight/gender/age. When people think they burn more, they will overindulge and defeat the purpose of weight-loss or trying to be healthier.) but those are so overpriced and not always accurate with their statistics; so a pedometer will do just the same for a cheaper price! Same goes for a heart rate monitor, you don’t need an extremely fancy one, unless you need more data like milage to show! GPS ones will definitely cost more, but remember what your goal and reason of using one is!
I love going to the gym and seeing people work hard to get stronger, build endurance and become leaner in the process; those people are fit. People who are healthy & fit have goals in the gym and in the kitchen, a fit person is someone who works hard and pushes their limits to get better physically and mentally to improve all aspects of their life. A healthy and fit person strives to get stronger and leaner, not just “skinny.”
Sometimes I get envious of the girls who are naturally really small and look cute in everything when I go into the dressing room and something doesn’t fit well because my shoulders have gotten broader and I have to get a bigger size. BUT THEN I REMEMBER: I have worked hard to become strong, I have become leaner through fitness and I have great endurance. I also know that being happy and confident in your own body is sexy.
One of the biggest pet peeves I have is when people say they want to be “fit” so they can see their abs & decide to do lots of cardio and eat very little (this will slow down your metabolism & cause rapid weight gain when you eat normally again, don’t do it!!)…just so they can see their abs and it’s not healthy at all.
Did you know that (on average) you have to be under 15% body fat to see your abs for women & under 9% body fat for men? Some people are naturally lean and have abs because they have a high metabolism, but they are not “fit.” The average female has about 25-30% body fat and the average male has 18-24% body fat. Therefore, it’s not realistic for the average person to see their abs all the time unless they are naturally lean. Having a realistic perspective on health and fitness will help you stay motivated to live a healthy and fit life with achievable goals, rather than an unrealistic number.
It is important to have a balanced perspective in life, especially when living a healthy & fit life. Some days in the gym aren’t that great, some days you don’t eat well and are stressed out, some days you lay on the couch and watch Netflix all day because you don’t want to go to the gym. On those days, it’s important not to feel guilty because life just happens and nobody is perfect. However, on those days, think about what you’re thankful for and think about what motivates you and start over the next day.
Keep working on your goals, everyday.
Remember: Healthy and Fit does not mean Abs.
Strive to be Strong, not Skinny.
Recipe of the Day: Pineapple Pork Chops
- 4 (4 ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 slices of pine apple
- Ground Black Pepper & Salt
- Optional-extra flavor: low sodium teriyaki sauce for pork chops!
- Combine pork and 1 tablespoon of juice. Let it soak for 10 minutes.
- Heat a pan over medium/high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
- Add Pineapple and cook on each side for 4 minutes.
- If you’re using any sauce, lightly coat pork chops and then sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat another grill pan/use same one and add pork on medium/high heat.
- Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done!
*Add rice and veggies for a complete meal!*
Once cooked all the way through, eat and enjoy!
Try high volume sets when strength training. There’s a big misconception about only getting stronger with lifting heavier weights and lower reps; however, high volume training increases the blood flow to the muscle allowing the muscle to get the pump and grow as well. When focusing on building muscle in the body, try split training- focusing on one or two muscle groups each workout. Once you know what you want to work, choose three to five different exercises that work with those muscles and do 5-8 sets with 15-20 repetitions for each exercise. Choose a moderate weight that is slightly challenging, but not too heavy that won’t allow you to complete more than two sets. By the end of the workout, your muscles will be exhausted and have great blood flow to the area, replenish your body with a post workout protein shake or protein filled snack within 1 hour of your workout to feed your muscles and allow them to repair.
High Volume Training Workout:
Muscle Area: Shoulders
Choose 3-5 of the exercises below
Do 5 sets of each exercise
Perform 15-20 repetitions each set
*Feel free to make this a circuit by doing each exercise once and then doing the circuit 5 times*
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press (sitting or standing)
- Lateral Side Raise
- Front Raise
- Upright Row
Above pictures (left to right): 1. shoulder press, 2. lateral side raise, 3. front raise, 4. upright row
*To burn more calories&fat: incorporate 60 cardio bursts after each round to keep your heart rate elevated!