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! 

Fresh Kicks

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:
sneaker1sneaker2

sneaker3

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! 

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?

 

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?  

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?

Setting Goals

I’ve never been good at yoga. I’ve tried, and tried but tended to give up quickly when I was not progressing as fast as I would like. Now, I’ve decided to give it another chance and a better try this time! 

It is so important to set goals in all aspects of your life and fitness goals are important too. Having goals pushes you to work towards things and it’s always an awesome feeling to achieve something you could not do before. It doesn’t have to be about losing weight but rather trying something new or being more healthy. That’s why I’ve decided to make yoga my goal. 

I’ve recognized that I won’t be able to do a headstand overnight (or ever) but I’m going to try and not give up. My plan is to follow a yoga video once per week- even if I don’t feel like I’m getting any better.

I’ve in my third week so far and I have to say I’m really enjoying it. I can already tell that I’m getting better at some poses and I’m more comfortable with it in general. It’s also a relaxing workout after a long day. It’s rewarding to be able to see progress and it’s a great way to stay motivated. 

Does anyone else have any fitness goals? Or if you know some good beginner yoga video please throw them this way!