Vacation: R&R (And a maybe a workout or two)

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! 

Autumn Leaves

This past weekend I went hiking with my boyfriend and some friends in our go-to hiking spot, a state park in Pennsylvania. While we have been there a few times before, this was the first time we visited in the fall. It was beautiful and now I’ve experienced every season there. It’s so interesting to see how one spot changes so much over the year. Often, we are too busy to notice in our everyday life. That’s one of the things I love about hiking- it allows you to appreciate nature in a way we sometimes ignore regularly.

Another great thing about hiking is that its a form of exercise disguised in exploring which always seems to be more fun. You burn around 100 calories per hour of your hike and we hiked for about 2 and 1/2 hours so it was a pretty nice Sunday morning workout. We also got to chat a long the way and stopped to look at some beautiful views. Simply being outside allows your mind to reset as you enjoy the simple things like the leaves changing colors. We also got a good dose of Vitamin D which is sometimes lacking as the temperature drops.

After our hike we went to an authentic German restaurant. Not the healthiest food but it sure was good and we were all hungry after our long hike. I had an andouille sausage which was a little bit spicy but so tasty.

Here are some pictures from the hike!

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#TBT: Workout Playlist

earphonesAt the gym or on a run I almost always have my earphones plugged in. I find listening to music motivating (and sometimes a little distracting) during a tough workout. So much so, that I sometimes attribute a good run to the music playing.Listening to the same playlist, however, becomes monotonous and loses its motivating touch so changing things up is important.

So in honor of social media’s favorite day, Throwback Thursday, here is my #tbtworkoutplaylist.

  1. Lose your Breath- Destiny’s Child
  2. Crazy in Love- Beyonce
  3. When you were Young- The Killers
  4. Never Let You Go- Third Eye Blind
  5. Opposite of Adults- Chiddy Bang
  6. Wannabe- Spice Girls
  7. Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
  8. It Girl- Jason Derulo
  9. Hands Down- Dashboard Confessional
  10. Rock your Body- Justin Timberlake

What’s your favorite throwback tune to listen to?

Drink up

As the northeast is experiencing an intense heat wave we all know the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day, especially when working out. Research shows, however, that staying hydrated is not only important to our physical health but also to our mental health. A new study highlights that dehydration slows reaction time during mental tests. Participants had slower reaction times throughout the mental tests when they were dehydrated compared to their times after drinking water.What does this mean for you? Drinking water throughout the day can help you be more productive and focused at work or when doing other mental tasks. It can also ensure that you are working out safely during these summer months.

The general rule for water is six to eight glasses per day but factors such as size, age, and activity level do make a difference so you should research how much water is right for you.

Stretch it out

I’ll admit it: I usually skip the cool down after my workout. New research shows, however, that this bad habit can actually be detrimental. A “proper” cool down means that you progressively slow down your pace until you reach a normal heart rate. Simply stopping can cause dizziness and fainting. You should also make sure you stretch to prevent injuries of the muscles that were just being used. While you may not think that the cool down is an important part of your workout, it actually is extremely beneficial. It allows your body to return to its normal state after it has been stressed by exercising. 

Lather up…the right way

We all know that using sunscreen is important with skin cancer being the most common form of cancer today. However, do we know the right way to protect ourselves from the sun? The FDA has recently come out with some new tips on how to protect your skin from that strong summer sun. The FDA is now suggesting that we use twice the amount of sunscreen than we would previously slather on to ensure that we cover our entire body and do not miss any spots. If you go in the water you should air dry not towel dry to make sure that you are not wiping off the sunscreen you just applied. The FDA is also suggesting that we use an antioxidant serum before applying sunscreen to fight against other skin damaging molecules. Eating antioxidants, such as blueberries and raspberries, can also strengthen your fight against the sun. New studies also show that sunscreen spray is less effective than regular sunscreen lotion and you should always use an SPF above 15. 

It is important to protect yourself from the damages of the sun everyday but it is especially important when you are spending an extended period of time outside, such as during exercise. You should invest in a sport sunscreen that stays on even when you are sweating and make sure to lather up the right way!

Too hot to handle

With summer upon us, exercising outside can become difficult. High temperatures can lead to some serious health conditions such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. There are precautions you can take, however, to have a safer, more effective workout outside.

  1. Hydrate! Make sure that you drink a good amount of water PRIOR to exercising- not only when you are working out. Hydrate after working out as well.
  2. Wear light, loose clothing! Dark colored clothes absorb more heat and can make you feel hotter.
  3. Choose the right time! Don’t work out in the heat of the day (12 pm- 4pm)- instead try to plan your workouts for the morning or for after the sun sets to avoid the highest temperature

If you start to feel faint or nauseous, stop your workout! Skipping a day of running outside is better than suffering from serious heat induced health risks.