Tag Archives: Exercise

Beginning Again…with Beginner Shred

While I was planning this post I went back and read my last one, which was several months ago.  It was about how I’m constantly abandoning this blog, because I feel like I have nothing to share.  It was another post about how I’m starting again and I’m going to keep fighting.  Well…here I am again.  I often feel like I have nothing to give and I can’t help anyone, because look how much of a mess I am.  Maybe this is exactly what I have to give.  I’m someone who makes mistakes.  I’m someone who lets life get in the way or gets down and frustrated and quits.  I’m also someone who keeps starting again.  One of these times I hope it sticks, but I’m not going to stop fighting until it does.

 

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Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s where I am right now.  I have done all 3 races at the Princess Half Marathon weekend for the first time since I was injured in 2015.  I am working on taking care of myself and making my health and well-being a priority.  It seems that this is something many people struggle with.  How do we balance it all?  I don’t think anyone has it all figured out.  All we can do is keep trying, and that’s what I’m doing right now.

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After I got back into running, and had my comeback half marathon, I needed a new challenge.  Strength training has never been my thing and I’ve always wanted to work on it.  After a trip to the Dollar Tree, where I hit the jackpot on workout DVDs, I discovered Beginner Shred with Jillian Michaels.  I like a lot of her other videos and this seemed like great way to get myself back into strength training.   It includes three twenty-minute workouts (not including warm-up and cool down), which combine strength training and cardio intervals.  Each workout increases in intensity and is meant to be done for 10 days.  This is very similar to her other DVDs, but it is meant to ease you in.  It makes a good choice for people who are just getting into fitness or starting over after some time off.  I just completed day 5 of level one, and I’m excited to see how it goes.  Stay tuned for my progress, and other fun things.  Let me know if there are any common weight loss or health and fitness questions you have.  I’m certainly no expert, but I’ll do my best!

Healthy Travel Tips

With the holidays coming up, many of us are going on vacations to visit family and friends.  It can be difficult to stay healthy while traveling, but it is definitely possible!  Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

  • The kids’ meal is your friend, but make sure it is a healthy one.  Unfortunately, a lot of kids’ meals can be pretty unhealthy, but restaurants are coming around.  For example, at a bakery in Disneyland, I chose a kids’ meal that had a small turkey sandwich and apple slices.
Here is the kids’ meal at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland. Yes, I ate a cookie. We will get to that tip next.
  • On a vacation, allow yourself treats.  On my last trip, I allowed myself one treat per day.  I enjoyed my vacation and didn’t feel deprived.  The rest of the day, I ate a lot of lean proteins, fruit and veggies.
This is the fruit plate at the River Belle Terrace at Disneyland. It was HUGE.
  • When eating at a buffet, fill your plate with vegetables.  If you can, bring your own salad dressing.  If not, salad bars often have balsamic vinegar you can top your salad with.
I made this salad at a buffet, topped with balsamic vinegar.
  • If the restaurant doesn’t have a salad bar, do they have a sandwich toppings bar? I once made a salad out of the lettuce, tomato and pickles I found there.  (Find more tips on eating in a restaurant here:  http://healthybeautifulblessed.com/tips-for-eating-in-a-restaurant/ )
  • Make sure you get some kind of movement in each day.  Listening to Jillian Michaels’ podcast, I got a couple of tips.  You can bring exercise DVDs with you if you have a laptop or DVD player to watch them on.  Use water bottles as weights, or bring resistance bands with you.  If you can’t bring anything with you, do squats, lunges, running in place, planks, pushups, etc.  These exercises take up very little space and don’t require any equipment.  I actually did some of these exercises standing in line for Black Friday!
  • STAY HYDRATED.  This is a good tip any time, but when we’re traveling, it can be easy to forget.  Always bring water with you.
  • Be creative!  Find interesting ways to get exercise and healthy foods.  Planning these things on a trip can be fun.  Enjoy your vacation, and do the best you can.

Below are some tips I was given on Facebook.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments!

Fitfluential Facebook Group

  • Crystal C. – I like to seek out a grocery store at my destination so I can have fresh food and veggies on hand while out sightseeing.
  • Tamara G. – Always book a hotel with a decent fitness centre. Many have very good ones. Check it out in advance!
  •  Kim U. – Bring along favorite snacks that may be hard to find and/or prepare.
  •  Emily R.B. – I do both bringing non-perishables like almonds and other snacks, as well as getting to a store as soon as possible to stock my room. I can’t always afford the fitness centers (last place I stayed was $25 a day, yikes!), so I bring my laptop and a couple DVDs, and just work out in my room.
  •  Aims Ca – Find bloggers in the area and see where they work out. Try something new. I had not swam for years but I did a couple times on trips this summer.
  •  Arlene H. – Plan to do active things during your trip … like a day hike to explore the area.
  •  Gina P. – Plan, plan, plan. Have a plan A and a backup or two. Think about what excuses or barriers you might come up with and have a plan to counter them. Find workouts online that use body weight for resistance — some are even designed for small spaces like hotel rooms — and plan to do those early. Check for good walking areas around where you are staying using Google maps. Look for ways to work it into your trip and have fun.
  •  Jen H. M. – I packed my food scale on a recent vacation so that I could continue measuring portions. We also hit the grocery story right after picking up our rental car (on a recent trip) so that we would have healthy snacks rather than stopping to grab junk food.

My Facebook Friends

  • Jamie P. – Bring healthy snacks & drinks.
  • Elizabeth T. – I would say to tell people to shop where they know!
  • Jackie R. – Offer to bring a dish. If you’re traveling pick something that travels well and that can be served without heating up. If you aren’t traveling far, offer to bring a healthy version of a favorite not so healthy dish.

Challenge yourself!

Ever since I was a kid, I have had zero confidence in my athletic ability. School was my strong suit, not sports. The fitness tests in school were always a nightmare. Push-ups, sit-ups, and running…I would always panic, because I knew I would finish last. “I can’t,” was something I said a lot. I never wanted to push myself or try very hard because I knew I would fail.

This year, something changed. The only explanation is God. He caused a shift in me that made me want to try. It is definitely not something I could have done on my own. I started out with something small, and I gradually began to believe in myself. Now I feel stronger than I ever though possible.

So, you had to get the life story to understand why this next part is so important. This month, I have decided to commit to a few challenges. First, I am participating in the Plank a Day (#plankaday) challenge. I will hold a plank position for increasing amounts of time each day. Second, I am participating in the Squat September (#squatsept) challenge. I will be doing squats, with five more added to my total each day. Third, (this is the one I am most excited about) I am going to work on push-ups every day. I will continue working until I can do a real push-up for the first time in my life. Today was day one. I did a push-up on my knees, but it was a push-up! I am just going to keep digging until I accomplish my goal.

We all have our own struggles…things we say we can’t do. I hope you are able to find your own strength to move past them and accomplish your goals. If you are willing to put in the work, you might surprise yourself.

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