For most of us, the temperature is dropping and it’s getting darker outside earlier. That may mean it’s time to move your outdoors exercise inside. You don’t need a gym membership to stay fit. There are plenty of online options that can help you stay in shape in the comfort of your own home.
Here are some of my favorites:
- FitnessBlender.com: This husband and wife team records workouts weekly to add to their huge collection of workouts on their site. The site is easy to search so you can find the type of workout you want to do pretty quickly. You can also search by body area that you want to focus on. Each workout contains a difficulty level, as well as an estimation of calories burned. Many of the workouts require no equipment but Kelli and Daniel do have some workouts with dumbells.
- Blogilates.com: Casey Ho is one of the most well-known online fitness trainers. She creates fun workouts to hit songs that help make your workout go by faster. Each month, she provides a calendar with workouts scheduled for each day to help you along the process. She also offers meal plans and recipes that can help you reach your fitness goals.
- Blonde Ponytail Fitness: This ex-athlete is continuing her athlete work out days on her site. She is a certified personal trainer and records many great HIIT workouts that you can do in the comfort of your living room. She also includes recipes and meal tips as well as general posts about her life that make her site even more interesting. Jessica also includes workouts that you can bring to your gym to do with the equipment there.
What are some of your go-to fitness websites?
Earlier this month I participated in the TEAL 5k race to raise funds and awareness for ovarian cancer. TEAL stands for “Tell Every Amazing Lady You Know About Ovarian Cancer” and the organization holds races and events around the country.
The race was a wonderful experience as we ran in memory of a good friend’s mother who passed away from the disease last year. At the race we were surrounded by fighters and survivors and were reminded of those we lost to the disease. At the end of the race, the survivors were brought on stage and it was incredible to see such strong women who have been through so much.
Our team raised over $1,800 for the cause and the race as a whole raised $220,449 for the Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
September is ovarian cancer awareness month and therefor a great time to spread information about the disease to raise awareness.
- Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the US
- In the US there will be approximately 220,000 new cases of ovarian cancer each year
- A woman’s lifetime risk of having ovarian cancer is 1 in 67
You can find out more information here: http://www.tealwalk.org/site/c.ajITK8NHLdJ2E/b.7942205/k.B080/Facts.htm
Tell every amazing lady you know about ovarian cancer and help spread the word!
And pick a cause that is important to you and find a walk or run in your area to support a good cause and get some exercise!
This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to visit and explore the Adirondacks. While I don’t live too far away, I’ve never visited that part of NY state and it’s absolutely beautiful. I would definitely recommend it.
The Adirondacks are known for the 46 high peaks- the most intense hiking in the state. People challenge themselves to hike all 46 and are known as 46ers. (There’s even a local beer named for them.)
My boyfriend and I enjoy hiking so obviously we decided we were going to try one of the high peaks. And then picked the second highest one. Algonquin Peak is the second highest in NY at an elevation of 5,115 feet and was definitely the most difficult hike I have ever done.
The entire hike is 8.5 miles and takes about 8 hours to complete. And parts of the hike are basically rock climbing up a huge mountain. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous at times but getting to the top was totally worth it.
Unfortunately my camera broke when we got to the summit so the pictures are blurry and don’t do justice to the amazing view.
On the way up, I kept telling myself that if I could do this I could do anything. As I started to go down the mountain, I changed that to if I can get down this mountain I can do anything.
Going down a bunch of slippery rocks while your legs feel like they are going to give out- terrifying. But I did it! (And only gained three bruises on my legs.)
Challenging yourself to do new things and actually accomplishing them is always a great feeling. It can be something active, something at work, or something in your personal life. Whatever it is make it a goal to accomplish it. You’ll feel empowered and alive!
As I packed for vacation I encountered the question of how much work out gear should I pack? Vacation is most certainly a time for relaxing, resting, and spending time with your fellow vacationers. But a couple workouts here and there can keep you on your fitness track and even be enjoyable. Here are some vacation workout ideas:
1. Explore where you are vacationing by taking a run or riding a bike through the town. You may find some great spots to eat, shop, or hang out.
2. Grab a partner. Take a run, walk, bike ride, swim with someone else on your vacation. You can motivate one another and get some quality bonding time in.
3. Do your workout early in the morning. That way you have the rest of the day to relax and hang out.
4. Try something new. If you are vacationing by water you could go for a swim or try something like paddleboarding. If you are in the mountains you could go for a hike. On a lake? Rent a kayak. Trying something new will make it seem like you aren’t working out at all.
Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy time with loved ones!
Have you been neglecting your sneakers? The shoes you workout in play a larger role in your workout than you may think. A good pair of workout shoes support your feet and the rest of your joints as you work out. Wearing the wrong shoes, or wearing old shoes can cause pain during your workout and even injury.
The first step is identifying what kind of workout shoe is best for you. Running shoes are good for those who put on a lot of mileage running each week. If you are training for a race or marathon you definitely want a pair of running shoes. Running shoes are lighter and provide more cushioning for when you foot hits the ground.
Cross trainers are better for a larger variety of workouts, such as strength training, HIIT, cardio, and more. These shoes provide more support for lateral movements.
It’s important that you replace your shoes regularly as well. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace running shoes every 300-400 miles. Cross trainers should be replaced every six months or so. You should listen to your body, as well. If you start to feel pain in your feet, knees, and back it may be time to go sneaker shopping.
My current shoes have hit their expiration date and I’ve been on the lookout for a new pair. I generally stick to New Balance shoes because I have plantar fasciitis and no arches. New Balance tend to have good arch support.
Here are some of the sneakers on my wish list:
During these hot summer months it is important to hydrate before, during and after exercise. If you are dehydrated you will not be able to perform at your best and you will be putting yourself in danger. Water helps regulate your body temperature during exercise and helps transport nutrients throughout your body while you exert energy.
The American Council on Fitness recommends that you:
- Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
- Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up
- Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
- Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
Following these guidelines can help reduce your risk of dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, headache, dry mouth among others.
A sign that you are properly hydrated is clear-light urine color.
Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day. Your body will thank you!
“You run like a girl.”
“You throw like a girl.”
“You jump like a girl.”
How many times have we heard these phrases muttered? From the playground to professional sporting events, we continue to insult people by saying they do things like a girl.
But why is doing something “like a girl” a bad thing? Why are we still perpetuating the idea that girls are less capable than boys?
Title IX was passed in 1972 and ruled that no person can be excluded from any educational program or program that receives federal funding based on sex. With this, came the creation of more women’s sports team—something that previous women could only dream of.
A year later, Billie Jean King, 29, beat Bobby Riggs, 55 in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. She played tennis like a girl and won.
But “like a girl” has become so engrained in our minds as a negative thing and for some reason, females don’t see it as degrading. I would be lying if I said I never said some professional athlete “threw like a girl” when he messed up and got some laughs without realizing what I was really doing. I was perpetuating a stereotype and letting down the women before me who fought for a girl’s right to even throw a ball.
But I know that “like a girl” isn’t a bad thing. Just look at the title of my blog. I run like a girl doesn’t mean I run slow or wrong. It means that I run and I’m powerful.
Always recently came out with a commercial, #likeagirl, which really struck a chord with me. I hadn’t realized until watching it what we have done by making little jokes about doing something like a girl until I saw young girls believing the stereotype.
The video is moving and will get you to rethink saying “like a girl” in bad light again. You can watch it here.
So I encourage everyone to only use “like a girl” for good. When you accomplish something great, say you did it like a girl. We should all be proud of our bodies and what we can do with them. “Like a girl” isn’t bad. “Like a girl” is what we do.
You don’t need a gym membership to get a good workout in! Whether you are saving money or home for the summer, you can workout sans the gym to stay fit and healthy. One of my favorite “no gym” workouts is a workout in the park. You can do this by yourself or with a friend for some extra motivation. And you can change it up to fit your own personal goals or work on certain body parts. (Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer so workout at your own risk and consult a medical professional for advice.)
All you need for this workout is an open field. (Soccer ball is optional.)
To start: Run up and down the field three times each. (There and back is one). If you have a partner and a soccer ball you can make this more interesting (and fun) by kicking the soccer ball back and forth while you run. For an added challenge, sprint a quarter of the field every other run.
After the first set of running: plank for one minute and bridge for one minute.
Repeat the same running pattern from before.
After that set: 30 push-ups and one minute of leg lifts.
Another running set.
Then: one minute of crunches, 30-50 squats.
One last set of running.
This workout allows you to get some cardio in with body weight training and toning at the same time. And it definitely wears you out. Make sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
Let me know what you think of my workout in the park!
One of my favorite sporting events has officially begun! The World Cup happens every four years and creates excitement and rivalries all over the world. Having played soccer growing up, I have a appreciation for the athleticism and skill shown during the tournament. And it definitely acts as a motivator to get moving.
The average soccer player burns anywhere from 500-800 calories in one hour of a game. But studies show that fans gain an average of five pounds during the tournament from unhealthy snacking. Switching to healthier snack alternatives can help. Swap the potato chips for carrots and other veggies to get important vitamins and nutrients while watching your figure. Try hummus instead of french onion dips. Little changes can help make your snacking more healthy and even fuel you up for some soccer of you own.
Playing soccer for fun is great and can also shake up a workout. Grab a partner and head to a local park or your backyard after the game where you can run around and pass the ball around. Running up and down the field while passing the ball is a great form of exercise as it forces you to run in intervals which is more effective than just running. And when you get to the goal you can practice your shot!
You can even organize a pick up game with friends! The tournament has been great so far. Who are you rooting for?
Rise and shine and plan some time to hit the pavement today! It’s national running day!
Whether you are an experienced runner or a beginner I encourage you to get outside or on the treadmill. Even if you don’t run normally or think you aren’t good at it, today is the
perfect day to try.
No one is good at running at first. In high school, even though I played sports I despised running. I would only train for soccer and did the bare minimum of running before the season. When I went to college I began to just run and learned to really enjoy it. Running is great because it allows you to constantly push yourself and achieve new goals. Whether it is more mileage or a quicker time, you can constantly feel yourself improving.
Happy national running day, readers! I hope you get out and celebrate!