Category Archives: fitness

#holidaysweat #sweatpink challenge starts today!

sweat pink holiday 2015

Want to stay healthy through the holidays? The #holidaysweat challenge starts today! Each day, we’ll be challenged to be active and eat as many freggies (fruits and veggies) possible.  The fine folks at fitapproach.com will send prompts and ideas each day (so go sign up!). I’ll be sharing them here too. Here’s a sneak peek at week 1!

Use these prompts to get you going each day! Share your reponse anywhere and everywhere: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your blog… at home!

Monday, November 9: What’s your minutes goal this week? How will you get there?! #pranastyle @prana #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Tuesday, November 10: Show us your sweaty style! What’s your favorite workout outfit or gear? #pranastyle @prana #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Wednesday, November 11: Show us how you take your workout outside when it’s cold (or even snowing!) #pranastyle @prana #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Thursday, November 12: Squats? Pushups? Planks? What’s your favorite strengthening move? #pranastyle @prana #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

Friday, November 13: FREE FRIDAY! Show us what you’re up to today… sweating, eating, cooking, you name it! #pranastyle @prana #holidaysweat @runtothefinish @fitapproach #sweatpink

An hour a day

It all started with this article. The concept: working out 450 minutes a week makes a longer life. That’s a little more than an hour a day.

So for May, I challenged my friends to join me in aiming for an hour a day. It was nice to have buddies in the adventure to check in on, so thank you ladies for joining in!!

The beginning of the month was pretty hectic at work with the end of the school year approaching, so most of my minutes were walking Ava. This did make me pretty aware of how much exercise she gets too (25-40 mins a day, depending). She’s gained a few pounds now that she’s living the good life, so this was good for her to get moving!

I never did hit 420 minutes in any one week. I got close twice with 396 and 398. My total: 1678 minutes, an average of 54 a day. But what did I learn?

  1. When I don’t plan to exercise, it probably doesn’t happen.
  2. Walking Ava for 25 minutes is better than absolutely no activity!
  3. I got really sick of tracking how long I walked her every time. I wouldn’t recommend tracking every tiny minute of exercise for longer than a month 🙂
  4. Days that I got closer to a full 60 minutes outside of these walks, I felt better, slept sounder, and weighed less the next day.
  5. No matter how much or little I exercise, if I ate junky, I felt it and saw it on the scale.

So what’s next? I plan to get as close to an hour a day as I can most days this summer. I know some days that will be tough, so if I aim for it most days, I’m probably still doing well overall. And with a more regular work schedule this summer, it’s back to heartier breakfasts, packed lunches and homecooked dinners. That’s the best way to eat as clean as possible 🙂

What’s your summer plan??? I’d love to know!

My year with the Fitbit

Technically, I’ve owned my Fitbit Flex (and Aria scale) for 18 months, but 2014 was the first full year I owned it, and I had set out at the beginning of the year to hit 10k steps a day. So, how did I do?

  • # steps: 3,072,942 (I had to estimate the day Fitbit 1 died, resulting in my buying Fitbit 2)
  • Average steps: 8419/day (a little shy of my goal, but still decent)
  • Best month for steps: January (I averaged 10,259 steps/day and hit my 10k 74% of the days this month)
  • Worst month for steps: November (7590 steps/day average. Interesting as this was the month I went to DC and walked a lot but it’s also when my injury flared back up. Interesting to note that I started sliding in July and didn’t bring it back up until December).
  • Peak of my weight loss: August (On 8/23, I was down 12.5 lbs for the year. I ended the year still down 7.1!)
  • Peak of my fat % loss: around my birthday! (Seriously. August 29 had me at 30% fat, down 3.4% for the year. Nice early present! I ended the year down 1.9%)

So, what are my takeaways?

  • It’s nice to have something tracking my stats. The Fitbit often told me what I already knew on days I wasn’t active. And it is encouraging to see the dots light up on a day I can’t make it to the gym but am on the go.
  • Having a goal helped me make more progress in a year than I would have probably made without one. So I didn’t make 10k steps a day, but I did achieve some good fitness!
  • You can make up some for a bad day on a really good day, but even consistency is better. It stinks feeling like you are playing catch up.
  • It’s time to take it to the next level. I’ve already hit 10k on 10 of 24 days this month. I’d like to hit that goal at least 50% of the time.

So if you have a Fitbit or other device, what results are you seeing?

40 days of fitness-are you in?

… and it will be January 1, 2015! Can you believe it?

I got out for a walk today, my first in a week…I’ve been resting again since an achy hamstring on my run two weeks ago and on my walking around DC last week. It felt good, really what I needed to start making fitness a priority again.

I’ve felt a little lost the last few months since my birthday (where I was my lowest weight I had been in years). Between a few trips for work and fun, plus dealing with the drama of getting a new car, it’s been easy to let the healthy eating and exercise habits slip, especially with an on again, off again injury. Sure, I am still down a good 8 lbs for the year, and I’m proud of that. But I haven’t been giving my health the priority it deserves. I’m human, after all!

Then it hit me … 8 days left in this month + 31 in December + New Year’s Day = 40 days. If I could just be active every day between now and then, I would be starting the year off at least where I am now, stats-wise, but likely feeling a lot better. I know when I exercise regularly, my energy level improves, and I sleep better too.

Also, it’s a good strategy to employ with the holidays and the parties to come. Because I’m going to want to partake. And I’ll feel less guilty if I’ve been active that day. I’m also going to do what I can to make better food choices outside holiday meals (those are only 3 days of those!). On days I have parties, I’ll make sure to eat really well the rest of the day to prepare for the treats.

I’m going to aim for 30 minutes of activities a day. That’s pretty easy to squeeze in, even if I have to break it up into several short walks to fit it in.

So, who’s with me?

More new gear: Lishy Bands

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Sooo cute! And comfy!

I’ve never been a big fan of headbands. They either slip off my fine hair, or pinch behind the ears. But as I’ve been growing my hair out, ponytails are becoming heavy (and not great for hair anyway, long term).

Shout out to my buddy Susan, who introduced me to the DC Rainmaker site and more specifically, reviews by The Girl, including her annual review of must use gear. It steered me to my new Camelbak and Spibelt (though I got a different CB model). And that’s where I read about Lishy Bands.

Having joined Etsy as a shopper within the past few months, I was excited to check out another shop there. The headbands are super cute! it was hard to just pick one or two to test them out. I was also encouraged by the promise of no slipping. 

The shop encourages you to measure your head to see if the standard band will fit you (it worked for me), and if not, you can order a different length. In fact, like many other shops, you can place a custom order, which would be awesome for a sports team or other group.

I’m happy to report I tested my bands out in 2 situations: a full day at work (the chevron one was too cute to wait for a workout!), and a training session at the gym. In both cases, it stayed perfectly put … and during my session there was ab work, so it survived laying on the mat!

Before and after workout…still about in the same place!

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The only slight negative is I’m not used to having my hair down during a workout, but I’m happy with the performance of the product and will definitely order more!

15 weeks of a healthier me…

… looks like this! I have maintained a loss of 7.1 lbs, 6.75 inches and 2.2% body fat since my first 24 Day Challenge started 15 weeks ago. However, I’ve backslid a teeny bit these past few weeks (but the vacation was well worth it!). So, I’m rebooting today. 

So if you notice me without a drink in my hand the next 24 days, it’s because I’m working to get to my healthy goal. I’m pretty close to where I want to be to feel comfortable in my skin. And if I can do that by my birthday at the end of August, big bonus!

Finding uses for my fitness equipment…

AKA “I’m really glad I bought this exercise ball a month ago!”

Today was my first “real” day of physical therapy at Memorial Hermann’s Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. (Friday’s session was more like an extended exam to zero in on where I hurt.)

I was a little nervous going in as I had been achy all day, starting from feeling a bit of a pain behind my knee when I got out of bed. Today’s workday was not a desk day…so I was more active than I had been in a few days, and my leg was already a little tired. I made sure to tell my therapist all that, so we started on the bike as a warmup.

I did 8 minutes! That boosted my confidence (and told me I should stick with this for my cardio for now). Leah (who is studying to get her PhD in PT) then took me through a workout which was actually pretty fun.

There’s a strip of astroturf in the facility, and first she had me doing some side jogs (basically striding sideways and hopping together) and grapevines (dancers, y’all know these!). A good way to keep my heart rate up but also allowed her to see my range of motion.

Next we moved into exercises that I could easily replicate on my own. There was a series of planks involving a Bosu ball (which I’ll have to try again at the gym), and some bridges with a ball similar to the one pictured above. Since I told Leah I owned one, she put these into my homework assignment.

We finished out with stretches using a cord that resembled a yoga strap (again, excited because I have one of these too!). We discovered my IT band is really tight, so I am your stereotypical runner. A fresh application of KT tape and I was good to go.

So I have a list of exercises and stretches I’m to do daily for the next week, plus try to get in some more cardio. Which means the ball is getting deflated and coming on the road with me!

I’m feeling better tonight than I did when I went in to the appointment, so I’m hopeful I’m slowly progressing along.