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5 Minute Morning Workout & An Awesome Surprise Snack

22 Aug

What a whirlwind week! I’ve been getting a lot of feedback that you guys are loving the 5 and 10 minute workouts, so here’s another one that will wake up your mind & body. No fancy gym clothes or gym equipment required. There is one requirement, however. That you do these routines FIRST THING IN THE MORNING after you wake up. Take that morning coffee and put it to good use. Because when you get home after a long day of work, you’re not going to want to workout. You’re going to want to sit on the couch. And I don’t blame you!

5 Minute Morning Blast For Any Size Booty (yes, yours included)

Minute 1: Jog back & forth in your living room, wall to wall. Everyone’s got a living room (or at least a room). Pick a spot on the wall to look at as you jog to each side.

Minute 2: Stand facing a wall and place your hands against it. Lift up your left leg behind you as high as you can (squeeze your butt at the top), then bring it down. Now your right leg. Switch legs for the full minute. Don’t worry if your leg doesn’t come up too high! Just go with the flow & do what your body can do.

Minute 3: Squat in place. Count 2 seconds down & 2 seconds up for the minute. Tips on form: Stand feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Push your heels into the ground, and when you squat, make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Pretend you’re about to sit into a chair. It’s okay if you can’t get low–just go with the flow! And you can hold on to a wall next to you for balance if you need to.

Minute 4: repeat minute 1

Minute 5: Wall sit. Stand with your back against the wall, and slide down into a sitting position as if you were in a chair, thighs parallel to the floor. Now, hold it! Engage your abs & your legs. Hold, hold, hold! Note: do NOT do this exercise if you have high blood pressure.

Alternate Minute 5: Jump jacks while holding two soup cans (soup cans = home-made dumbbells!).

I really urge you to give this a shot. It’s 5 minutes. Everyone has 5 minutes. You will feel energized & proud. You deserve that feeling, my friend :) .

So, what have I been up to the past week?

Well, I’ve met with my Fit Steady fitness coach Alex twice. I’m documenting that on the Fit Steady blog, so you can check it out there if you want to follow!

I’ve also accidentally stumbled upon a great snack I have to share with you: frozen blueberries. Dave and I threw these in the freezer because we were leaving for NYC and didn’t want them to go bad. Yesterday I wanted some fruit, but we were all out of anything that resembled a fruit or veggie (of course because we suck at going grocery shopping consistently). I grabbed the frozen bluebs, and lo & behold, they are awesome as a snack! You can sit there and pop in your mouth mindlessly as you work. (Yes, I’m totally guilty of that, & sometimes eating just makes me more productive. You too? Or just me?)

fast healthy snack

Before I go, one more thing. This is what happens when I do work for an hour at home without looking up. Sancho attacks.

 If you try the 5 minute workout tomorrow morning, or eat some frozen bluebs, let a girl know :)

“Scheduling time for personal change” or “OMG I went running for the first time in a year!”

16 May

Making a workout schedule for myself this month is one of the most helpful things I’ve done in a while. I always make daily to-do lists for work items, have a monthly plan for my business, Trainer Link, and even have a task list with my business team…but for fitness? I usually just wing it and hope that winging it equals out to about 4 workouts a week. Well.. guess what… wingin’ it isn’t always the most effective plan. Now that I have a lil’ sched, I know exactly what I need to do and am mentally prepared to plan and attack it the night before.

On the schedule for yesterday’s workout was “2 miles of any kind.” I wrote “of any kind” because it’s honestly been about a year since I’ve gone a run, so I wanted to ease the pressure a bit by allowing myself to walk or even bike. Why? Well, actually, running was all I used to do. Coming off of the track team in high school and going into college, I thought running solved everything. And so I ran for 11 years–hitting the pavement to eek out at least 3 miles a day, day after day, waiting for my 6 pack to arrive (it didn’t). Well, after enough time, my knees started to hurt me. Not only that, but people around me who were veteran runners started saying, “Just wait until your 30, you’ll have no knees left to run on. But hey! Enjoy it while you can!” So I freaked out, found an alternative that I love, and never looked back.

But for some reason, when I sat down to write that schedule, I decided that maybe it was time to bring running back into my life a little bit. My reasoning what this: I can’t do strength training every day of the week, and I’ve gained a little weight over the past month due to meeting people in coffee shops and grabbing whatever random food I could (i.e. chocolate chip muffins, quiches with tons of cheese on them, and lots and lots of energy bars). I could stand a little more cardio in my life to balance things out. Amiright?

So I set out yesterday morning with Dave and Sancho by my side for the run. Honestly, it felt kind of weird at first. I forgot how to synch my breathing with my stride. I remember back when I was a runner my breath was almost like a drum beat. I knew exactly when it would hit in between each step. Yesterday I sounded like a tamborine falling down a flight of stairs. But by the second half of the run, it felt good again. It felt natural. My lungs remembered that burn. Unfortunately at the last quarter mile mark my left knee started to hurt, but I walked the rest of the way home and it was fine. Today I did my beloved high intensity interval training, and then tomorrow it’s another 2 miles.

Change is good :) . It was a really fulfilling way to start out my 27th year.

P.S. Check out the beautiful necklace Dave got me for my birthday. In person, it sparkles like the ocean.

I Can’t Run For Long. Am I In Shape?

13 Feb

When I used to focus my exercise solely on running–after competitive running in high school, that is–I thought that I wasn’t in “good” shape unless I could run three miles under thirty minutes without breaking a sweat. And by that benchmark, well, I was actually never in shape again after 21 years old, which was quite discouraging. I remember when I lived with my parents in Long Island, and my commute to work in Manhattan was an hour and half, I was waking up at 5:45 in an effort to keep my runs constant. If I missed a day, I had to get a run in the next day or else, well, I suppose I was afraid I’d turn into jelly. Or, that all the work I’d put in years prior on the road would dissipate in a matter of hours. So there I was, almost every morning, getting my three in. If my miles were in, I was strong.

about to go for a run, circa 2009, in Brooklyn

About to go for a run, Brooklyn, 2009. Why do my legs looks so unattractive?

 

Now, after a year (holy smokes, almost exactly a year!) of focusing on high intensity interval training, my idea of being in “good” shape has completely changed. The only straight running I do is 6-10 minutes on the treadmill to warm up. And most times, I never go faster than a speed of 6. If you told me two years ago that this would be me, I wouldn’t have believed you. The only thing I knew was running. I even used to run twice a day because I craved it so much! Not breaking 6 on the treadmill to me then might as well have not counted at all.

Well, this past Friday I went on my first run in a long time.

I was away for the weekend in Fredericksberg, Texas with Dave, and he wanted to hit the pavement. He asked me if I would go with him, and my answer was a shaky yes. I talked myself into it in my head. Why not? I thought. It’s been long enough without it, and maybe it’ll be nice. Plus this is our romantic weekend away, and it wouldn’t be too romantic if I left him to run by himself while I did push ups in the room. After the internal pep talk, I said to him a little more confidently, “Okay, I’m just scared because it’s been a very long time. Can we go slow?” He obliged, and off we went. It was raining and a little chilly, but that was good because it made me feel like I was superwoman. My first thirty steps felt fantastic. My body knew what to do–all was not lost! I’m back baby! I thought. We headed out of the bed and breakfast entrance, and made a right turn. Bam. Huge uphill. I honestly didn’t even realize it until we were midway up and my lungs and legs were burning. “Well jeez!” I yelled (more like huffed), “What a way to get back into it!”, to which Dave replied “You got this! You’re doing great!” It felt weird to be encouraged up that hill, but I needed it. And we were only two minutes in.  To my left were rams, fenced up in someone’s backyard (this is Hilly Country Texas, people). They looked at me with their heads cocked to the side. #epicfail?

sheep in fredericksberg texas

When we reached the top of the hill, we ran to the end of the block and stopped to stretch at a telephone pole. I stared at the rusty nails in the wood that once held local garage sale and lost dog posters as I stretched my hamstrings. “Wow, I’m really out of shape,” I heard myself say…but am I really? A year ago I couldn’t do one freakin’ push up without dropping to my knees, and now I can. A year ago I was struggling to push my suitcase into the overhead bin on an airplane, and now I have no problem (well, depending on how many pairs of shoes I pack, heh). I realized, being in shape is all relative. For my current goals and physical capability, I’m cool with not being able to hit three miles out of the park on a run. You can’t have everything at once (unless you’re training for a triathalon I suppose, then you might need to). In fact, it’s completely okay to not be good at something. Even if I used to be great at it.

Federicksberg, Texas

So while it felt really strange to round out our run on Friday after a four block loop and be completely winded, I wasn’t not bothered. I was just in a different kind of “shape”. And that’s fine with me.

How do you define being in “good shape”?

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