Workout in the park

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! 

Advertisements

World Cup Season

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?

 

Happy running day!

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!

Warm Weather Workouts

Now that the weather has warmed up, you can incorporate some new, outdoor workouts into your routine. Changing up your workouts keeps your body on its toes and results in more effective workouts. 

The changes don’t have to be huge. Instead of running on the treadmill, move your run outside. Explore your neighborhood or even find some running trails near by. You can do yoga in your backyard or in the park instead of in your room. Changes in environment can certainly change up your normal routine.

If you are more adventurous you can try some totally new workouts, too. Swimming is a great way to get outdoors, stay fit, and stay cool in the hot summer days. Hiking some nearby trails is also a great workout and gets you outside. Playing some sports like soccer, softball, rugby, tennis, etc. are also great warm weather options that can be way more fun that your normal gym routine.

What workout do you look forward to when it warms up?  

Happy Women’s Health Week

Did you know that May 11-17 is National Women’s Health Week? While women should be thinking about and celebrating their health every week, it is great to have this week to bring more awareness to women’s health issues and to be proud of the health we do have! 

The campaign asks women to take steps to improve their health by:

  • Visiting a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventative screenings
  • Getting active
  • Eating healthily
  • Getting enough sleep and managing stress
  • Avoiding unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet

These are behaviors that we should be doing all the time but for this special week I challenge you to do something extra for your health. It could be trying a new workout or eating more fruits and vegetables. Go to that doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off or allow yourself to get 8 hours of sleep each night. 

A little can go a long way! Take some time this week to appreciate your health and say thank you to your body. Image

Tasty and Easy Post-Workout Snacks

Eating after a tough workout is one of the most important practices that many women ignore. Consuming healthy carbs and protein after working out help repair your muscles that you just worked and also replace the energy you just used up. Not eating after working out can actually make your muscles weaker and be detrimental to your overall health.

Now of course that doesn’t mean you should reach for a piece of cake after your workout but here are some healthy, satisfying snacks you can eat post-exercise.

  1. Greek Yogurt: This snack is great because it is a good source of protein which your muscles crave after working out. You can add fresh fruit and granola to make it more filling.
  2. Protein Powder/Protein Bar: These are great options if you need a quick snack after hitting the gym. Drinking a protein shake or eating a protein bar can help your body refuel and you can throw it in your gym bag easily.
  3. Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread: Making a quick sandwich is an easy way to make sure you are getting both protein and carbs. Trade the mayo for a healthier condiment such as mustard or hummus and add some spinach and tomatoes!
  4. Chocolate milk: It may come as a surprise, but chocolate milk is one of the best things you can have post-workout. It has both protein and carbs and helps replenish your body quickly. And it’s great for that sweet tooth!
  5. Hummus: Hummus is a protein packed snack and a great option for vegetarians out there. Pair it with some whole wheat pita to get some carbs in as well.

Many avoid eating after a workout because they don’t want to eat the calories they just burned. In reality, that is a dangerous practice and it won’t make you any healthier or more fit. Eating the right snacks after working out gives you more energy and improves your body. What are some of your favorite post-workout meals?

Why women should lift weights

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a fellow female say, “I’m not lifting weights..I don’t want to look like a man.” And to be honest, I’m sure my 17 year old self muttered the same phrase when my Dad told me I should start lifting. But the reality is, lifting won’t make you look like a man- and it actually has some great health benefits for women specifically.

1. Lifting weights actually burns more fat. How? When you lift weights your body actually burns calories after your leave the gym. 

2. Lifting builds muscle. That doesn’t mean you are going to look manly. You are going to look toned and more lean, more so than just sticking to cardio.

3. You’ll get stronger. This means you’ll be able to do more things and see your muscles grow. It can be so satisfying to start to be able to use heaver weights as you get stronger. It’s a tangible measure of how you are improving.

4. It increases bone mass. Osteoporosis is more common in women and lifting weights has been proven to increase bone mass in women.

5. Lifting is good for your heart. The American Heart Association found that those who lift weights have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease. Other studies show that those who lift have lower resting heart rates which is another great benefit.

These are only some of the many benefits that women can have from incorporating strength training into their workout plan. You don’t necessarily have to include weights in all of your workouts but maybe start with one or two days a week. There are many resources that can provide you with tutorials on the proper way to lift as well as provide you with some exercises to get started. You should start with lighter weights and then increase as you get stronger.

And don’t be intimidated if the free weight section of the gym is full of guys. Do your thing and get stronger! Your body will thank you!