Tag Archives: fitness

Lace Up Your Sneakers

3 Apr

Today is National Walking Day! The American Heart Association dedicates this day to encourage everyone to get out and walk at least 30 minutes today to make a healthy effort to share the benefits of walking.

Gizmo and I after our walk today...don't mind the half dead/half green grass! Spring seems to be finally here, slowly but surely!

Gizmo and I after our walk today…don’t mind the half dead/half green grass! Spring seems to be finally here, slowly but surely!

Speaking as a runner, walking never seemed to be ‘enough’ for me. Being forced into only walking has really taught me that walking has some really awesome benefits and a lot of those benefits are the same as if I were running. One huge benefit for me is that it’s not as hard on my body, joints, and has helped my body to heal while still being active.

Some of the many benefits to walking:

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Increase energy
  3. Boosts your immune system
  4. Helps kick cravings
  5. Reduces risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and increases overall health
  6. Can be very useful to help shed pounds
  7. Increases metabolism

After I get done walking, I feel refreshed and energized; much like when I was running. My mind is clearer and my mood is lifted. In the past year I’ve learned it’s not about how intense you are exercising, it’s about being active to stay healthy and find a balance. I know my body can’t handle intense exercise right now and walking is the healthiest option for me.

There’s nothing like being active outdoors when the weather is nice and the sun is shining. Whether it’s walking, running, volleyball, baseball, playing catch, it’s all really great for your health and you will love the benefits mentally and physically from getting out and being active! Listen to your body, know your limits, and do what is right for YOUR body at that time in your life.

I can’t express how badly I want to be out there running, luckily walking is the closest thing to running right now and I am happy with that! It’s like the choice of ice cream or frozen yogurt… both make me happy and both are unique in their own ways! (Just got home from a fro-yo trip, we each had 6 oz free that expired today).

I got a ton of different kinds...a mocha, triple chocolate, wedding cake, & creamsicle (my favorite) with strawberries, crushed graham crackers & crushed chocolate cookies. I think that was it!

I got a ton of different kinds…a mocha, triple chocolate, wedding cake, & creamsicle (my favorite) with strawberries, crushed graham crackers & crushed chocolate cookies. I think that was it!

I like to walk with someone else because it prevents me from giving in and jogging, it also helps pass the time, have some great conversations, and I face a computer all day so the human interaction is awesome! When I am by myself I listen to music and usually have Gizmo with me. Most days, my mom and I walk. She has lost so much weight with the help of walking, she also feels more energized and it helps her stay motivated and on track.

I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some time with a friend or relative or neighbor or spouse or pet and go for a walk; breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the benefits of walking!

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Off topic:  As much as David said no sand volleyball for him this year, we are now BOTH signed up to play on 2 teams (Tuesdays and Thursdays) again this summer! I can’t wait!! I loved it last year and looked forward to it so much! I was just going to sub on a team but she needed another couple so we committed to both nights, both of us. I’m really anxious for summer to be here!

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My New Pink Rug

27 Feb

Ok, it’s not a rug…it’s a yoga mat! I finally went out and purchased one. It was really cheap, only $7 on clearance at Walmart – that store kind of makes me cringe a little…but regardless, super cheap deal! After a crummy day I decided I needed to lift up my mood, get centered, and let go some of the tension I was feeling. I have given yoga a try in the past and after having trained myself to enjoy sweat for so long, I had the toughest time finding enjoyment out of the lower impact, slower paced workout.

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I am not flexible by any means. This was one thing I’ve never been good at and mostly because I’m not the best stretcher. With doing more pilates and Blogilates, I have realized how it’s not really a matter of flexibility, it’s a matter of stretching daily and building muscle. I’ve felt more and more loosened up and can stretch a lot further already!

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So I thought I’d give yoga another shot a few days ago. Bad news was that I was having a hard time staying in one spot. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t mentally focusing enough, or I was sliding around so much on our carpet, or if it was because I didn’t have a fun, happy, pink colored mat to look down at; I agree, I think I needed to try a mat!

I grabbed David some apples for the week on Sunday at the store and yesterday got a text saying how awful they were. Homemade applesauce anyone? So I thought perfect reason to stop by Walmart and check out their workout apparel and yoga accessories; and grab some ‘crisp’ apples.

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Photo credit: David’s Instgram

I not only got a mat but I got a few shirts ($5 for a decently cute top!), a pair of running shorts, and an active razorback tank. Working out in clothes that are meant to be worked out in is so much more fun than working out in an old t-shirt and shorts. I swear it made me feel stronger and more energized!!

When I got home, I rolled out my new pink mat and looked on the YouTube channel we now have on our Wii to find a video to do. I did 3 yoga videos and it felt so good! I will master those moves that I could barely attempt last night…my mat won’t let me down!

I think it will also come in handy when I do pilates, Blogilates, and any core work as it really does help keep me in place and when in planks or pushups or downward dog; my hands and feet stick to the mat so that I can focus on my form and not how my body is sliding in all directions.

Yoga gets a bad rap because it’s not seen as hard as a lot of other workouts and even I didn’t give it credit because if sweat wasn’t dripping from my forehead and I wasn’t laying on the ground exhausted, it wasn’t worth my time but moving from one static strength yoga move to another with grace and flexibility, while really breathing deeply and focused, really challenged me last night and my shoulders, back, arms, and legs are already feeling sore today. There are lots of different types of yoga; some focusing on breathing and relaxation and others focusing on core and total body strength. All very good workouts and worth giving a chance – just make sure you have enough grip underneath you because it really does help!

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I love the Yoga Solution workouts from Livestrong Women. Tara Stiles is so good about telling you what she’s doing and reminding you to “breath a lot” and do your best.

Have you ever tried yoga? Do you have a yoga mat?

Are apples hard for you to buy too? David likes a different kind of apple than I do and I swear I never remember what ones he liked the last time…

10 Things A Runner Should Not Leave Home Without

25 Feb

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Man they fly by don’t they?!

Friday night I had an awards ceremony called the Addy’s for the local Advertising Federation of America, although we didn’t bring home any awards this year, it was interesting to see the work of some very talented designers in the area and enjoy one of the best dinners I’ve had out in a long time! With Lent, I went for the Vegetarian option (chicken and prime rib were the other choices), and I am so glad I did! I got a plate full of spaghetti squash, marinara, and a large grilled mushroom with a side salad, garlic bread, and a mini cupcake (and a half…my boss and I split an extra one that was left on our table during the intermission), it was delicious. I wish I would have snapped a picture but 1) I was starving because it was almost 7:30 by the time we ate so I dove right in and 2) it felt a little weird snapping a picture of my food in front of the other people at my table – but TRUST me it was awesome!

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I made these cookies today. They are full of protein; no flour, no eggs, no oil! They are pretty good but if you make them, expect them to be super doughy. They taste like a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie but the texture is definitely like cookie dough. Would be pretty good broken up into vanilla ice cream…I’ll have to try that! Mine didn’t end up looking as pretty as her’s but I followed her recipe to a T and she’s right, I tried the cookie dough before it was baked and it was NOT good but the baking really does bring out the sweetness and the chickpea taste disappears.

This picture looks really cruel, I did end up giving Gizmo a taste of the peanut butter...his puppy eyes always get me!

This picture looks really cruel, I did end up giving Gizmo a taste of the peanut butter…his puppy eyes always get me!

Yesterday we had some nice weather. I think it was somewhere in the high 30’s low 40’s but the sun was shining, the snow was melting, and it felt really nice having a break from the cold and wind. While on a walk I couldn’t stop thinking about how bad I wanted to just run but not wanting to set myself back right now, I stuck with walking which was still good! There’s no doubt spring will be the hardest time of the year for me to get through.

But while my mind is in runner’s land, I was remembering the pet peeves and mistakes I learned along the way on my journey with running.

Here’s a list of 10 things that a runner should not leave home without:

1) A good pair of running shoes: this is a must! When I first started running, my tennis shoes were from Kohl’s. They were just basic tennis shoes. After suffering from shin splints and knee aches, I went to a proper fitting at a running store and got a shoe that fit my foot and stride. If you have a proper running shoe, make sure you don’t go too many miles before replacing them. My Sauconys have barely any tread left on them and the meshing is all ripped, I love those shoes but it’s time to part with them when I get back into running. O yes, and they are now tie died from this fall’s Color Run…

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2) Warm Up: Whether this is stretching, yoga, walking; anything to get those muscles warm and loosened up. A gentle stretch and walk before going in to a run also helps to mentally get me in the zone.

3) …some bathroom meditating…another must! Before a run if I wasn’t able to go to the bathroom, I knew my run would be shot. Even if this meant waking up a good hour before heading out in the mornings, I had to get that in. It’s not fun to have a bad run based solely on this issue. Definitely not something you want to suffer through!

4) Good ear buds: I absolutely hate running with music when my ear buds constantly fall out or get blown out by the wind. I went on Amazon one time and got a really nice pair. Not only was the sound exceptional but the buds stayed in even on the windiest days…until I listened to my music a little too loud on too many runs and they blew. Time for a new pair! I’d love to get some of those cool new sweat proof, wireless ear buds like Jay Bird or Iron Man makes…anyone have those and swear by them? It really is a huge pet peeve of mine when I have to constantly fix my ear buds!

5) Clock: Knowing when I start running and when I stop makes me continue to set goals and stay competitive with myself to push a little further each run.

6) A pre-run snack about 45 min to one hour before hand: You.MUST.fuel! If I had a snack much under an hour before my runs, I would get side cramps so I would try to eat my snack or a small breakfast with plenty of time to digest and make sure I get in #3 🙂

7) A bottle of water: If you are doing a long run or it’s really hot, this would be good to take with you, otherwise you will want  (and need) it when you are done.

8) Music: There are some days I just want to enjoy silence, but there are other times when I need music to keep me going and pump me up. Even these days when I am walking by myself, music keeps me going so I don’t get bored or think too much about what I am doing. The mind is a powerful thing and if you get it to stop thinking about quitting, you will keep going!

9) www.mapmyrun.com

10) A goal: No matter if you are going out for an easy, leisurely run or to train for an upcoming race, having a goal keeps you going and on track. If I set out to run 4 miles and get around to the 3rd and want to stop, it was harder to quit and most days a lot easier to just do the last mile because I knew how good it felt to hit that goal. My goals were always set on my PR’s but signing up for a few races will help you as well.

I hope if you are a runner, these tips help to remind you of some important things that I think are necessary to enjoy running as well as meet your times/distances. If you are considering taking up running, this list will help you get yourself, mind and body, ready to hit the pavement.

IMG_20130222_110850I have a Christmas cactus at work that was given to me by a coworker who moved away, the plant was not doing too hot for the first 2 years but recently it’s been really taking off! I think I finally have my blinds filtering just the right amount of light and I now have this flower and 6 more blooms ready to go! My mom has an amazing green thumb but that is one thing I have not found yet. We did landscaping last year and minus the summer drought and the crazy rabbits who ate my hostas down to the roots, I am pretty sure I will have to re-landscape it all this year!