Category Archives: Goal Setting

how to start running

Building Your Base – How To Start Running (or in my case start again!)

IMG_20140311_110547Dear Runners,

I am ashamed to admit it, I’ve lost my base.

As a runner, this is one of the most painful places to be.

This is that point when you know you should be running longer.

You know you should be running faster.

But at least you’re running.

The problem is though, when you’ve never run before or when you’re not in “run-shape” how to start running the times you would like to is frustrating and sometimes downright painful.

I’ve doggy-eared the page in my journal that says,

“Remember how much you LOVE to run.–Just get out there and do it when you forget.”

So now, despite the days I don’t want to I’m getting out there and running.

I started last week with 13 min out, 13 min back.

Day 2 I repeated and I’ve been building each day since.

Two extra minute per day, one rest day a week, and one recovery run where I drop back down to 13 out 13 back for the day I really don’t feel like going for a run.  

This will be the cycle until I’ve reached 30 out 30 back.–Then I’ll begin building speed back in.

I’m on day 5 (16 out and 16 back) and already I’m remembering why I like to run.

  • I love how it clears my head.
  • I love incorporating the breath control I’ve learned from yoga to my running.
  • I love the way it feels when I’ve found my stride and feel like I’m running fast!
  • I love feeling like I’ve worked for my breakfast.
  • I love the feeling of extension as my foot strikes the ground and propels me forward.
  • I love getting lost in my music.
  • I love exploring my neighborhood and seeing the small nuances each day brings.  (Right now that means marveling in the beauty that is Table Mountain and seeing how the clouds form around it differently every day!)

Day 3 I spent the first 18 min cursing how hard running was, and the last 10 enjoying it.–I hadn’t found my stride until min 19.

We only curse a run when we’re fighting our bodies.

If running is that painful, you’re probably going too fast. 

Slow it down.

Find your breath.

Once you’re breathing is under control, listen to your muscles.

Feel your legs propelling you forward.

There is power in thinking about the muscles are working. SR9009 side effects don’t minimize its potency, especially if you want to have lean muscles.

You’ll build stronger neural signals and begin to activate the smaller complimentary muscles that not only make you faster and stronger, but also help protect your joints and keep you from getting hurt.

If you’re building up like I am, don’t worry about paces or distances.

Run for time.  Let you body tell you what feels good.

I promise, put in enough QUALITY min and you’ll start running faster!

fitness accountability

Fitness Accountability: The Secret to Achieving your Fitness Goals This Year.

fitness accountability

What’s going to keep you on track this year?

 

Yesterday was officially the first real day of the New Year.

Sure we’ve technically already had 5 other days, but given that our holidays fell in the middle of the week this year most of us were probably still on Holiday until Jan 6th.

So here’s a question for you.

Did you work out?  

Did you start that new healthy meal plan?

Are you waiting until tomorrow or next week once you get back into you routine?

If you answered yes to the first 2 questions, GOOD FOR YOU!   Nice work?

How long will it last?

I say that, not to doubt you or be pessimistic.  I’m being realistic.

Most of our lives are very busy.  Every day we are pulled in a million directions.

Some obligations physically keep us from keeping up with our most genuine fitness goals, getting rid of stubborn belly fat, while often they just provide convenient excuses as to why we fall short.

So eliminate the excuses this year.

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Hold yourself accountable!

Accountability can come in many forms.

My fitness goal this year is to be able to do Handstand Scorpion.  In order to this, I’ll have to work each day on my strength, back flexibility, and balance.

One of the ways I plan to stay accountable to this goal is to post a picture a day to instagram.  You are my accountability!

What will be your fitness accountability?

Here are a couple options:

Get a Workout Buddy

The easiest way to hold yourself accountable is to find yourself a workout buddy.

I’m not talking about asking your best friend to workout with you.  That could work–if your friend LOVES to workout, but if they are going to convince you to go grab a beer instead of hitting the gym, your best friend is not your workout buddy.

A workout buddy should be of the same fitness level.  If one person is always holding the other back, the relationship will fail.  A personal of similar physical abilities will push you to preform your best, but will also allow you to have success so you don’t feel defeated at the end of your workout.

Make a Calendar Plan

If your workout time is your time to yourself than a good way to keep yourself on track is to use the calendar system.

I’m a big fan of writing down the workouts I need to meet my goals on a calendar and posting it to the fridge, at my desk at work, or on the mirror in your bathroom.  The goal is to post it somewhere you will see it everyday and make sure to cross off each day as you do the work or stick to the plan.

If you feel comfortable writing your own workout plan, GO FOR IT!  Just make sure you stick to it.

There are also plenty of online resources out there to get you started.

Check out my 7 Day Healthy Eating Guide or 1/2 Marathon Training Program.  

Hybrid Athlete is also a great resource for training programs.

Hire A Professional

If you a complete newbie to this whole fitness world or just want someone committed to helping you reach your goals, think about hiring a professional.

They will teach you what you need to do so you don’t hurt yourself as you get started as well as provide personal one-on-one attention and accountability.

If you belong to a gym look into meeting with a trainer once a month to lay out a plan.  If you have someone  you need to report to once a month, it’s more likely you’ll stick to your goal.  Better yet if you can afford it, meet once a week so that you keep yourself on track at more frequent intervals at gyms in Lafayette CA if youre local.

If you don’t belong to a gym find an option online.  Skype with me online and we can develop a plan for you.  Meeting online can often be more convenient because you don’t have to go anywhere.  We can develop a plan that will work for you in your home!

Regardless of how you do it, accountability is a must to hit your fitness goals this year!

What’s your preferred Method of Fitness Accountability?

Share below to help keep other readers accountable for their health! 🙂

 

secret to fitness is to establish a routine

The Secret to Fitness is to Establish a Routine

Picture2As the New Year approaches, I thought as a personal trainer/yoga instructor it would be important to take some time to send a message to everyone looking to make health and fitness part of their New Year’s Resolution.

So often at the beginning of a New Year, we look back on the past year and realize we fell short of our fitness goals.

A large reason for this failure is that we didn’t take the steps to make our New Years resolution a life style change.

The only way to actually succeed in losing weight and/or living a fit and healthy life is to create systems that are healthy.–The Secret to Fitness is to establish a routine!

Your New Years resolution shouldn’t be to lose weight, it should be to establish a fitness routine.
Humans naturally fall into routines.

  • You wake up and take a shower.
  • You have a Starbucks Frappuccino on your way to work.
  • You go out to lunch with colleagues.
  • You get a bag of chips in the afternoon to hold you over until dinner.
  • You eat ice cream after dinner.
  • You watch the Biggest Loser on Tuesday night.

What if instead of those habits your life looked more like this:

  • You workout first thing in the morning, then take your shower.–Rather than watching people work out later at night you workout yourself!  You will be more awake and energized for your day + already have a calorie deficit to start the day!
  • You have a protein shake mixed with coffee on the way to work–refueling your muscles and caffeinating your system at the same time, something that is highly recommended.
  • You pack your lunch with healthy food from home.
  • You eat a chocolate peanut butter think thin bar instead of the bag of chips to hold you over until dinner.
  • You watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday night.

If the second set of habits doesn’t sound appealing to you, that’s because you’ve programmed your brain to do the first set.

The first week of starting a new routine, we break bad habits.

The 2nd and 3rd week we reprogram our brains to start to anticipate and crave the new habits.

After about a month, these new healthy habits become our routine.  

Meal trackers don't lie. They help keep you to your calorie goals

Meal trackers don’t lie. They help keep you to your calorie goals

Because our cravings and wants often work against our best intentions to start new routines, using tools such as Loseit.com and Fitbit can help keep you to your new habits until they’ve become routine.

Create rules for yourself.

  1. You have to stick to your calorie goal on Loseit.com
  2. You have to get 5,000 steps a day in addition to exercise or 10,000 steps on the days you don’t, make sure to read the ladyboss review here to find out more information.

These are easy rules to follow.  They are black and white–there is no room to make excuses.

The nice thing about rules is if you follow them you make room to sneak some of those bad habits back in every now and then.

  • Fitbit is a tool that keeps you accountable for your movement.

    Fitbit is a tool that keeps you accountable for your movement.

    If you keep the rest of the day lean and get your exercise in, you may have more calories at the end of the day to have that small ice cream after dinner, or beer, or starbucks frappuccino–whatever your vice is. Take some deca pills for mass gaining if you need to every time you workout for the extra push.

That’s why loseit and fitbit are good tools.  They will tell you in black and white if you have the room to indulge.  If you don’t–YOU DON’T INDULGE.  It’s that simple.  Who knows perhaps after doing so much to be healthy, you may not even want to break the progress you’ve made by indulging at the end of the day.

When you think about it, being healthy isn’t hard it’s breaking the unhealthy habits that is.

So make the commitment to your health this New Year to establish new routines.

What day to day habits are keeping you from reaching your goals?

What are you going to do this year to turn an unhealthy habit into a healthy routine?

 

 

Yoga for athletes

Yoga For Athletes: 6 Reasons Why You Should Do Yoga to Enhance your Athletic Preformance


Yoga for athletes

One of my favorite viral images was this one to the right that started getting passed around about a year ago.

“I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible enough.”-The Many Athletes out there not doing yoga.

Athletes can do amazing physical feats but it’s so funny how often they shy away from the things that don’t come easy to them.

Many athletes snub their nose at yoga before they even try saying it’s too easy and not a good enough workout.

Sam says, that the irony in that is the ones who do try a class don’t continue because they can’t twist into a pretzel like the girl in the front row.

Most athletes are used to being naturally good at something.  Yes an athlete then works very hard to improve those natural skills, but it’s funny how quickly they quit something that doesn’t come naturally easy.

Very quickly major professional athletes are beginning to catch on yoga for athletes.

As an athlete if you can let go of your ego, you too will find that yoga can do amazing things to improve your athletic performance.

6 Reasons Why Yoga Will Improve Your Athletic Performance:

yoga for athletes

Evan Longoria

1: Flexibility

Most athletes have tight hips, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, feet the list goes on and on.  Some athletes take the time after a workout to do a regeneration session using foam rollers and/or trigger point massage therapy, but these sessions are usually hurried through so one can get home and get a good meal.

A yoga class sets aside time specifically to stretch.  A hot yoga class provides the heat necessary to prime your muscles for stretching helping increase flexibility even more.

As athletes know flexibility is important for proper range of motion, increased muscle recovery time, and injury prevention.  At least one yoga class a week provides time specifically for these benefits.

yoga for athletes

Pada Hastasana

2:  Isometric Strength Training without Breaking Down the Body

In order to actually improve your ability to do many yoga postures, you are  actually preforming an isomeric muscle contraction.

Take Pada Hastasana (Hands to feet Pose) for example you use your biceps, quadriceps,  latissimus dorsi, and abdominal strength to open up tight hamstrings.

While doing this posture, not only do you strengthen the muscles you are using, open up and stretch your tight hamstrings, but you also train the body to be able to use multiple muscle groups at once while relaxing other muscles groups gaining more body awareness a very important aspect of elite athletic performance.

Yoga not only increases your muscular strength and awareness, but it does it in a low impact way.  Many athletes don’t actually hurt themselves on the field, but rather in their training.  Yoga provides a low-impact cross training that will help an athlete get stronger without further breaking their body down.

Yoga for athletes

Standing Bow combines Balance with using your strong glutes and quads to open up hamstrings. A posture an athlete can quickly become better in when they focus their energy correctly.

3: Balance

Many yoga postures incorporate balance, improving ones ability to be stable on one leg.

The more stable you are on 1 leg, the better you will be on 2.

All sports involve balance in some way, yet many take the time in practice to improve it.

Working on your balance in a yoga class will give you an upper edge on the sports field. Here are some other practices that may help you work on your mental and physical balance.

4: Injury Prevention

We’ve already mentioned that yoga is good for increasing flexibility which also leads to decreased probability of tearing muscles.

Yoga can also help prevent common sports injuries such as torn ACLs, Minicuses, Rotator Cuffs, ankle strains and sprains.

When you do yoga, you learn to recruit the smaller supportive muscles that you don’t activate when doing tradition strength training.  These supportive muscles not only make you stronger, but also are the ones that will help protect your joints while your power muscles are performing athletic movements.

Russell Wilson

If it’s good enough for the 8-1 Seakhawks it might be good for you!

5: Focus and Concentration

It isn’t any secret that the more you focus on any particular task, the better the performance.

When you take a test, the teacher provides a quiet environment.  This isn’t the case when you’re on the field.  There are fans, coaches, and opponents creating constant distraction, yet few sports team take the time to train their athletes to focus.

Focus is a key component to yoga.  Not only will the focus learned in yoga help you have more body awareness and control improving balance and injury prevention, but it will also make your reflexes quicker allowing you to be one step a head of your opponent.

yoga for athletes

Most athletes quickly transition to shallow breathing as soon as their heart rate increases. Yoga trains you to use your full lung!

6: Breath

The first step of any yoga posture is breath.  A good instructor will tell you if you can not maintain normal breathing (long slow inhales and long slow exhales) you aren’t actually getting the benefit of the posture.

Controlled breathing reassures the brain that you are in control.  It also decreases circulating carbon dioxide a trigger that causes your heart rate to increase.  Controlled breathing naturally allows your heart rate  to decrease allowing you to actually work harder.

Yoga trains you to be comfortable maintaining normal breathing.

When you take longer inhales, you actually breathe into the deeper bronchial branches of the lung allow more surface area for your blood stream to take up oxygen (fuel for your muscles).  Your working muscles then utilize that fuel turning it into carbon dioxide.  When you take a longer slower exhale you are able to get all the metabolic waste out allowing a larger percentage of oxygenated air to get in with your next breath.

The physical presence of more oxygen to fuel your muscles with the mental perception that you aren’t working as hard when you heart rate decreases allows you to have a larger work output than you would otherwise.

Over time as you develop this skill in the yoga room, it transfers over to any other endeavors that increase your heart rate making you much more efficient at breathing and providing the oxygen your muscles need to function. If you are planning to workout at home with a recumbent bike, these are the things to consider when choosing a recumbent bike.

Now that I’ve convinced you need yoga as an Athlete, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Go in with an open mind.  If you think yoga is a waste of time, it will be for you.
  • Breath.  The first step of every posture is normal breathing.  If you can’t maintain long slow inhalations and long slow exhalations your body isn’t relaxed and you won’t be able to get the full benefits of the posture.
  • Take it easy, Leave the win or lose mentality at the door.  As long as you are trying your best and breathing you will get benefits.  The first law of yoga is non-violence and that starts with yourself.  If you are forcing yourself into a posture you are liking to tear a muscle causing injury…the exact opposite of what you’re looking to achieve.
  • Enjoy the relaxation.  Don’t fight it.  Relaxation is built into yoga to help clear and focus the mind.
  • Make yoga a regular routine.  Treat your yoga practice the way you would treat any other aspect of your training.  If you don’t do it regularly you won’t get the benefits.
  • Listen.  Don’t take corrections from a teacher negatively.  Teachers are meant to help you.  If a teacher tells you to relax you probably aren’t following the first 2 bullet points.  This is often the case when athletes first start yoga.
  • Smile as you practice.  It makes the experience better.
health and fitness while traveling

Health and Fitness While Traveling

One of the hardest things about personally training is countering my clients  excuses.

Now, it must be said some people just don’t have the intention to EVER get healthy and fit.  They find eating a pizza they saw on the way to the check out with their lean steak and veggies, after canceling their session with me because they are tired  a valid excuse.–It’s obviously not, but hey at least they are making an effort to change by hiring the personal trainer.

And in all fairness that’s fine.  They are in the contemplation/preparation stage.  I’m happy if I can push them into the action phase.

The ones that are harder to answer are the ones who actually have legitimate excuses:

  • Traveling 5 nights a week so all meals are eaten out.
  • Hosting clients and having to “entertain” 3-4 nights a week.
  • No access to a gym while traveling.
  • Getting 15,000 steps daily except for the days they are on planes for over 20+ hours up to 2x a week.

My job as a trainer is to counter all of your excuses giving you no reason to veer off your health and fitness plan.

I figured since I know every trick in the book, I should have no problem maintaining my health and fitness while Tom and I travel for a year.

I’m quickly finding, however, despite my best efforts staying health and fit on the go is turning out to be a little tougher than I originally thought.  Here are some challenges I’ve encountered during the past week and what I’ve doing to keep up with my health and fitness while traveling.

health and fitness while traveling

Use Your Jet Lag

When Tom and I flew to Hawaii we gained 3 hours. Getting up at 5am feels like 8am right now for us.   We could have chosen to sleep those extra hours, but rather we’ve decided as we travel west,  we’ll continue to keep our  internal “clocks” set to wake up early.  When we finally get to our resting point we hope that early bird clock stays set.

These hours have bought us time to get work in saving the afternoons for workouts and site seeing.

They have also bought us a couple sunrise morning runs! Get food crated delivered to your house before you even land. Think ahead and plan this out well If youre going to the uk for travel then itl be easy to find a Crate Hire UK.

If you are traveling east, hit the gym at night.  Don’t lay there trying to fall asleep, do something productive with those restless hours. And don’t forget to get a brazilian wax, you’re on vacation after all!

health and fitness while traveling

Make Your Workout Your Activity for the Day

One of those cool sites that we have gotten so see is the stairway to heaven hike.    We climbed up 3,922 metal steps to get a an amazing experience and a spectacular view!

Make sure when you travel that you take advantage of the natural sites there are to see where you go.  Not only are you burning calories, (aka adding to the beers you can consume later) but you are also saving money.

Remember, Outside is free!

health and fitness while travelingGet Creative with Your Lifting

Those that follow my blog probably know all ready how much I love my mini bands!  They are the perfect workout tool for anyone who travels frequently.

I created a body weight/mini band workout that you can do on the go in any hotel room.

The one exercise that I do miss, however, is squats.

I have always loved doing squats at the gym.  I pride myself in being good at them and I hate that I don’t have access to a gym to do them, so Tom and I got creative and have started doing partner squats a couple times a week as part of our workout!

health and fitness while travelingEat In Whenever Possible

Obviously when you travel eating in isn’t always possible, however, that is why it is very important to take every measure to eat in when you can.

Since we’ve been traveling Tom and I have tried to keep up with our normal breakfast of Bacon and Eggs.  We eat dinner in whenever possible, making stir frys, burgers sans bun over veggies, and steak dinners.  This has helped save us calories and carbs for when we inevitably end up at a bar.

Make it your goal to find hotels that have kitchenettes.  If you know there will be times you won’t able to stick to your diet, build in as many opportunities to stick to your diet plan as possible.

When You Do Eat Out, Pick the Right Options

Since we’ve been on the road there have been times I’ve just had to eat out.  I try to use these times not as an excuse to go off my diet plan, but rather search for new ways to prepare proteins and veggies. Being on the road is one of the best time to research on new supplements such as mk2866, as the more you’ll be able to research and study on additional supplements, the better food source you’ll be able to provide your body. (Get inspiration for your own cooking from what you eat out!  Soon you’ll start to realize you prefer to make it at home!) Magnesium is a BIG one I recommend for health on the road. Surprisingly there are actually many different forms of magnesium. I prefer to take magnesium blends to get the benefits of them all.

I’ve been very successful sticking to plan with Appetizer menus.

Even if you order protein on a menu, it is often served with carb and most often served with way too many carbs.  Even if you just eat the protein, you are left either full or still hungry but either way with temptation sitting on a plate right in front of you.  If it’s hard enough to say no when it’s an option on a menu, don’t let the option become a physical item in front of you.  It’s near impossible to not eat something that appeals to you when it’s sitting right in front of you.

The nice thing about Appetizer menus is you can often find proteins like steak bites, poke bowls, or Ahi Sashimi.  I recommend going at Happy Hours because then these items are discounted.  If you are still hungry, 2 orders of an all protein and veggie app Typically allow you to stick your diet plan better than 1 normal entree.

(Related: Consider the Clenbuterol cycle for fatloss if you are looking for quicker ways to shed those extra kilos)

Have Go To Options at Popular Chains

For Breakfast I like to hit up Starbucks.  Their Spinach and Feta Egg White Wrap only has 290 calories and 33g carbs and it also packs in 19g of protein.

If I’m eating lunch on the go.  I like to get burrito bowls from Chipotle or similar burrito joints or Salad bowls from Subway.  Often times in cities you can find similar options at alternatives to the popular chain, but when you are stuck these are great go to options.

Dinner time can be more difficult especially when traveling for work, because the location of dining can often be out of your control.  Where ever your dinner is scheduled, Google the menu of the restaurant before you go.  Have the healthiest meal option in mind before you sit down starving and get tempted by the Fettuccine Alfredo, which has 1200 calories, 99 carbs, and only 36g protein.  (36g seems like a lot, but that meals ratios are close to 3:1)  A better option at Olive Garden would be the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with only 590 Calories, 40g Carbs, and 50g of Protein–still very much on plan.

Be creative or go with what you know, but don’t say you can’t stick to your ratios on the go.

health and fitness while traveling

 Whatever You Do Eat, Track Your Calories

Whatever nutrition choices you do end up making, make sure you track your calories.  My favorite app to use is Lose It, because it also keeps track of your overall macro nutrient ratios.

All my clients meal track.  I love meal tracking, because it is the best way to become educated about what you put in your mouth.

The number one mistake people make, however, is they don’t track when they know they’ve eaten poorly.  This is the worst thing you can do.  Without logging the poor choices, you allow yourself to be in denial about how your eating is affecting your weight.

I will never tell you, “You can’t eat something.”  Rather just track it.  See for yourself how the foods you choose to eat affect your health and fitness.  Over time you’ll start to realize better and better which decisions at restaurants keep you on plan and which decisions do not.

You number one goal should be to make healthy eating decisions, but when that fails at least track what you did eat.  Keep yourself honest.

health and fitness while travelingUse the Road as an Excuse to Try a Class You’ve Been Wanting to Take

By now you’ve probably had a friend tell you about how amazing crossfit, or Bikram Yoga, or Barre.  In fact, you’ve probably been meaning to check one of those classes out yourself.

Use the road as an excuse to do that.  Google the local studios in the area you are going.  Find a class that fits your schedule and try it out.

If you love it, you might have just found something new to try in your hometown.  If already are addicted, see what other studios are like.  Try new instructors.  Change is good.  You will pick up tips that you haven’t heard before making your practice or workout even better when you do return home.

Contact the gym ahead of time and see if they have any specials for new drop ins.  Most Bikram studios have $20-30 intro weeks.  If you make it a priority to go the entire time you are away that price is very affordable.

While we were in Oahu we found out that Cross Fit Oahu does a free drop in beach session!  We got our booties kick by Ian right on the beach for free!

To Wrap This Up

The point of this post is to remind you, we all face obstacles when it comes to living a fit and healthy life, especially when on the road.  You can choose to allow those obstacles to get in your way, or you can creatively find solutions to get around them.

I hope this post has given you a couple of solutions to some of the obstacles I’ve encountered. If you want more great health and fitness articles just follow me! 🙂

Is There Something I missed?

What’s your biggest obstacle that you face when you travel?

Do you have the same challenges I’ve  hit?

If I didn’t touch on your challenge this week, I’d love to help you come up with a solution.  Make sure you leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

 

 

fitness lessons

Fitness Lessons You Can Learn from a Traveling Bikram Yoga Instructor/Personal Trainer

I’ve officially been in the road now for over a week now.  So far my quest to maintain a healthy fit lifestyle is working out pretty well.

I’ve gone on some awesome runs.

I’ve run around the Marina with views of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.

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I’ve run along rolling hills of vineyards in Napa.

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I ran the famous Dipsea trail among giant Redwoods in Muir woods.

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I’ve also made time to practice at some awesome Bikram Yoga studios.

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I sweated along side the colorful Frankenstein cartons at the funky door studio on Polk Street in San Francisco

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I sweat out my “pour” decisions in my college town studio in Davis.

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I received some excellent, disciplined instruction on a beautiful cork floor in Napa.

 

 

From the sweat and steps I’ve also learned a few fitness lessons and those are what I want to share with you today.

 

Fitness Lessons Learned:

Lesson #1: The more you workout the more you can enjoy your travels.

As most of my clients always report, with travel comes the temptation to eat out frequently, try local foods and treats, (which unfortunately never seem to be on the diet plan!) and to drink an abundance of alcohol.

Now if I was on vacation, I would gladly rationalize that I deserve a break from my normally fit and healthy life, however, since travel has now become a lifestyle I have to make sure I earn the luxury of gluttony.

The same goes for anyone else who travels a lot for work or pleasure. If you keep yourself disciplined to get your exercise in first thing, you buy yourself budge room to enjoy a treat our two in the evening. Make sure to consume supplements such as lgd 4033 daily cause even if you manage to skip food after your exercise the supplements protein and other minerals will still help develop your body while also providing your energy to perform other tasks.

daily Lesson #2: Drink water.

My favorite type of water bottle is my hydro flask. It will keep water cold for days even in a hot Bikram Torture Chamber!

My favorite type of water bottle is my hydro flask. It will keep water cold for days even in a hot Bikram Torture Chamber!

Making sure you stay hydrated is very important to maintaining fit lifestyle on the road.

Travel in general makes you dehydrated.  The first step to making sure you stay ahead on the hydration curve is to bring an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up before you get on the plane, it would be great if you could also bring h2 tablets along with it.

Most people mistake thirst for hunger making it very likely to binge eat at meals if you aren’t drinking enough water.  Before ordering food or an alcoholic drink order a glass of water and down it every time before you eat.  A glass or two of water will make you feel full sooner.

Finally make sure your alcohol:water ratio stays in favor of water. (See above where I mention being a sweaty out “pour” decisions on my mat in Davis. Aka lying in the fetal position counting down postures until class is over.)

Not only does being dehydrated make your workout less effective, but it also makes it harder to stick to lesson number one: get your exercise in!  If you are hung over there is a much larger chance you will skip your workout the next day.

Lesson #3 When in doubt eat at a Mexican restaurant.

20130828_113146When eating out, it can become very hard to stick to your diet ratios. The good news is you can find a Mexican restaurant almost anywhere you go.

Obviously there are plenty of restaurants where you can eat lean, but every menu is different.  Mexican restaurants are nice because every single one should have a burrito on the menu.  As long as you unwrap the burrito and eat around the tortilla you should be able to find a good meal full of protein, veggies, and beans.   (Just be careful of the tortilla chips before the meal!)

Lesson #4: Carry Deodorant

The bad news about squeezing workouts into your travel is often times you really do have to squeeze it in.  Make sure you that bring some deodorant to avoid the post workout sweat that tends to come no matter how cold of a shower you take!

Lesson #5:  Don’t Underestimate the Calorie Burning Potential of Walking

Product DetailsThe final lesson I would like to touch on is the caloric burn potential of just walking.  If you are in a foreign city, the chances are you probably don’t have a car.  Rather than spending money on a taxi see if you can walk somewhere.  Not only will you see more traveling by foot, but you will also burn calories without even trying.  Every mile traveled by foot is an extra beer you can enjoy at dinner or a cookie you can eat guilt free.

A heavy day of walking around a city can burn just as many calories if not more than a short morning workout and if you do both then you have even more room to give into culinary temptation.  If you are going to be traveling a lot, I highly suggest investing in a fitbit.

Today rather than driving to yoga, I walked the 2.4 miles.  It only took me 35 min each way, my fitbit showed me I accumulated 13,000 steps, and bought myself an extra 400 calorie deficit.  (That’s 3 beers!)

The point of these lessons is it isn’t too hard to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle on the go.  If you stick to a workout plan and are conscious about balancing out your physical activity with what you put in your mouth being healthy doesn’t have to be a sacrifice.

What are your favorite activities to do on the go?

What are your go to meal options when you travel?

personality

The Psychology of Personality: How Knowing Yourself Better Can Keep Your Fitness Goals On Track

personality

Gretchen Rubin

I recently attended The World Domination Summit (WDS) in Portland, Oregon.  The conference was 3 days jam-packed, full of lectures and workshops all led by entrepreneurs, writers, and artists.  One of the of the many great speakers I heard was Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.  

In her lecture, Gretchen pointed out that in order to be happy you must first learned key features of your nature.  You have to learn about yourself and the systems your brain by default uses to function before you can actually identify the things that make you happy.  So, rather than search for what makes you happy, Gretchen has identified a way for us to evaluate our own personalities so we can better structure our actions to live a happy life.

In her blog, Gretchen writes about different avenues of getting to know yourself better that can improve your life.  For example in What’s Your Personality Type for Play Gretchen explains how she was able to develop a career for herself based on her interests as a child.

More along the lines of fitness and exercise Gretchen’s work can help you better understand if you are an Abstainer or a Moderater.  A very important distinction to understand about yourself especially when trying to stick to a diet.

Gretchen says,

“You’re a moderator if you…

– find that occasional indulgence heightens your pleasure – and strengthens your resolve
– get panicky at the thought of “never” getting or doing something

You’re an abstainer if you…
– have trouble stopping something once you’ve started
– aren’t tempted by things that you’ve decided are off-limits”

When starting a diet it is very important to identify what type of personality you have.

If you are a moderator it can be important to allow yourself some treats, as long as those treats keep you within your diet ratios and calories!  Without the wiggle room to cheat every now and then a moderator will give up on a diet altogether.

personality

An abstainer can eat just one!

An abstainer on the other hand needs to make sure all temptations are out of the house.  An abstainer needs the black and white to stay on plan.

Whether or not one chooses to follow through with their fitness plan is also based upon personality type.

Gretchen divides all humans personality archetypes into 4 categories:

  • Upholders
  • Questioners
  • Rebels
  • Obligers

Each role describes the most basic ways in which people put priority into their actions.  Knowing your personality is great for learning how to best meet deadlines and accomplish goals including how to stick to your fitness and health goals.

Upholders:

An upholder loves rules.

It doesn’t matter who creates them, upholders will live by them.  If this is your personality type, you probably don’t have a hard time sticking to your diet and exercise plan, because it is a plan.  You have been given the rules.  If you are an upholder; I bet you get in your exercise 5-6 times a week, meal track like you are supposed to, and like following a specific meal plan for  your health. For the most part you are good as long as you follow that routine and keep your health in check. If you ever need to store things like smoothies or healthy beverages I recommend these guys for storage needs

The one drawback to being an upholder, however, is that you can often find it tough to question which exercise program is the best because you want to do them all.

You may try following too many workout plans and find you never actually stick to just one.  Upholders can also find that because they never allow themselves budge room to cheat, an exercise routine can become exhausting.  Rather than not stick to the rules 100% many of my upholder clients tend to be all or nothing.  At the times they commit to exercise and healthy living they do great, but when work or life doesn’t allow them to fulfill their goals 100% they stop altogether so they don’t have to admit they didn’t follow through.

If you are an upholder give yourself some budge room when it comes to exercise.  Even small movements accrued throughout the day are better than nothing.  Don’t allow the guilt of an incomplete workout week keep you from getting any exercise at all.

Questioners:

If you are a Questioner you need to know why you are doing something.

It isn’t enough for someone to tell you what to do, you need to know the reasoning behind what you are doing and then you will have no problem following through.

The best bet for a questioner is to hire a personal trainer.  You can constantly be reading books to reinforce your knowledge and desire to exercise, however, if you are looking for a reason not to hit the gym I’m guessing you don’t want to spend your reading time on that topic.  A good personal trainer should have the knowledge to convince your questioning mind to make exercise a priority.

If you don’t have the financial means to hire a personal trainer, a webinar I recommend is The Smarter Science of Slim.  It used to be available in book format, but has been taken off of amazon until The Calorie Myth comes out in January of 2014.

Rebels:

A rebel personality tends to think (and go) against the grain.

If someone tells you to do something, you are likely to do the opposite.  Obviously you won’t respond well to someone telling you to exercise.

If I was training a rebel, I would encourage them to try something everyone else thinks they can’t do.  For example I might plant the seed to a rebel that they couldn’t run a half marathon.  The idea that they couldn’t do something is the exact motivation a rebel mind needs to inspire them to train for one.

If endurance training isn’t your thing, try looking into another extreme sport such as snowboarding, mountain climbing, MMA, or mountain biking.  The extreme nature of the sport might be what initially attracts you, but you will soon find that in order participate at all or well you need a consistent workout routine to maintain the physical ability to do your activity.

Obligers:

An obliger tends to put others expectations before their own goals.

If you are an obliger, your biggest excuse for not exercising is probably your family, job, or social commitments.  You may have been a star athlete in high school when you HAD to be at practice, but probably find it very difficult to make yourself go out for a run on your own.

An obliger is best off building external motivation.  Find a running buddy.  Join a parks and rec team.  Hire a personal trainer.  Do something to hold yourself accountable to your exercise because if you are an obliger you won’t get it done on your own.

So What Are You?

Obviously not every category is 100% perfect, but there is a good chance that you identify with one of the four.

Once you figure out where you fall, don’t try to fight your personality.  Your nature is out of your control.  Stop fighting the way your brain best functions, but rather use it to your advantage.   If you would prefer to be another way you can use the knowledge of you nature to build systems around it, don’t try to change it.

I for example am an upholder, however am I am also very drawn to pleasing others so I have a heavy obliger nature as well.  I often commit myself to too many things (classic symptoms of an upholder) so I have learned to build external motivation into the things that I know I need to get done.

Exercise and fitness is very important to me, but between all the other commitments I set up for myself often times it can get pushed aside.  Rather than set up coffee or lunch dates with people, I often set up an exercise dates.  (A good system for obligers to use)  That way I can kill two birds with one stone.

What personality type do you identify with the most?  Have you set up any systems in your world to better use your personality to accomplish your goals?  Please share below! 🙂

 

Getting Back On Track: What You Can Expect From Mastering Health and Fitness in the Upcoming Year

Missing my Nashville studio and Yogis!

Missing my Nashville studio and Yogis!

Hi Fitness Friends!

I apologize for my hiatus from posting.  It has been a crazy couple months.

My then fiancee Tom Morkes and I packed up all our belongings at the end of June and road tripped back to Washington State where we just got married 2 weeks ago on August 3rd.

I’ve spent the past couple months since I posted planning our wedding, keeping up with my own training to stay in shape for the wedding, and teaching classes at Bikram Yoga at The Yoga Element in Bellevue, WA and Bikram Yoga Redmond in Redmond, WA.

Wedding workout plan was successful!

Wedding workout plan was successful!

Now that all the wedding craziness is over, it’s time to get back to work and one of my number one priorities is getting my blog back on track.  I’m looking to really revamp it within the next couple months and would love some feedback on what type of information my readers find helpful!

Working as a personal trainer I’ve realized many people are very capable of establishing a routine.  The problem is many of us don’t have lives that are the same every day.  We have obligations at all hours with work, kids schedules to build our own routines around, and business or personal travel that throw even the best intentions out the window sti testing since its always good to be on the safe side and have that done every once in a while for you health.

Starting August 21st, my husband Tom and I will be setting out on an adventure to travel the world!  We just purchased tickets to visit San Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Belize in the next 11 months.

My goal for our travel along with seeing and experiencing as much as possible is to research and share with you how to stay fit on the road.  This includes:

  • Eating out in restaurants
  • Finding cheap gyms
  • Workouts you can do in hotel rooms
  • Eating local fare while sticking to your ratios

This is a short list of the challenges I expect to encounter, but I will be blogging, vlogging, and facebooking on the obstacles that come up and how you can tackle them.

Fitness can happen anywhere!

Fitness can happen anywhere!

What I’m planning to do:

  • I still plan to write about a blog per week on a fitness topic I find interesting.  However that being said, I love having topics to research.  If you have an inquiry about fitness please send it my way!
  • I’m looking to revamp my youtube channel!  (Subscribe!  You’ll get notifications when I post new videos!)  So far it’s mostly been a medium where I posted the exercise of the day.  I plan to start posting those again by next week, but I also have some other cool ideas to make the channel a resource for anyone looking to stay fit, especially those who spend a lot of time on the road.
  • I’ll be posting full length workouts!  I miss teaching group fitness so I’m going to start posting workouts!  You can stay in shape with me from all the places I travel!
  • I’m going to start the exercise of the day back up!  Many of us have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to fitness.  We either do our full workout or nothing at all.  This attitude can quickly lead to weight gain.  Even on the days when you are traveling you have a couple minutes before you shower to whip out 100 squats, or 15 toes touches, or  15 frog jumps.  Check out the exercise of the day to mix things up and get in some activity even on your busiest days!

These are just a few of the ideas that I’m starting to work on.  My goal is to create a resource for you.  So feel free to give me feedback!  Ask questions.  No question is dumb.  If you struggle with a certain aspect of your fitness I’m sure others do too.  Send me your fitness questions to cjdought@gmail.com!

Last but not least Tom and I also plan to keep a travel blog.  I don’t want to clog this site with my personal travel accounts (especially the ones non fitness related.)  Our new site Far Away Reasons will showcase what life is like on the road.  Topics will include, but aren’t limited to:

  • How we travel between locations
  • How we continue to do our work despite location
  • Really cool pictures of sites around the world
  • Adventures and Stories of the cool things we encounter.

Hopefully some of my upcoming work interests you!  Remember reach out to me!  I’m here to answer your fitness questions!  🙂

30 day challenge

4 Reasons You Should Do A 30 Day Challenge

30 day challenge

Spring has finally arrived–which means summer is just around the corner. It is time to up the workout ante!

Challenge yourself to complete a 30 Day Challenge.

Your challenge can be whatever you want.

  • You can do the 30 Day Squat Challenge which should only take 2-5 minutes out of your day.
  • You can challenge yourself to run or walk a mile or more 30 days in a row.
  • You can do a yoga challenge, committing 60-90min a day to yourself.
  • You can Crossfit 30 days in a row.

Whatever sort of challenge you decide to do, here are 4 reasons you should do a 30 Day Challenge.

1.  You do have the time.  Find somewhere during your day to take a break for yourself.  If there isn’t space in the middle of your day, tack it to the beginning or the end.  You can always wake up 10 minutes earlier, or skip the hour (or more) of television you watch each night.  You’ll start to realize when you set aside time to focus on yourself, you’ll be able to  preform your other tasks and obligations more efficiently and more effectively.

2.  You will have set a new goal.  Broadcast this goal!  Let others know what you are doing!  They might do it with you!  The more the merrier.  It’s harder to break a commitment when others know you have one.

3.  You’ll push your boundaries.  It is easy to find an excuse to back out of our workouts when we are tired.  When you push through fatigue, your body is forced to rebuild itself back up stronger.  Your brain often fatigues before your body.  Teach the brain how strong you can be!  You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can improve in an activity when you work on it each day for a month!

4.  You can eat more food!  Obviously if your goal involves losing weight, you shouldn’t completely offset your exercise with extra food.  However, if you do a 30 Day Bikram Challenge, or push yourself to run 3-5 miles every day for the month of May, you will find you need to fuel your body better for this endeavor. Your body’s cravings can teach you what vitamins and minerals you’re lacking in. Once you’ve identified the vitamins you need it’s just a matter of visiting LuckyVitamin or going to your local Walgreens. The cleaner you keep your system and the more you ask of it, the more it can accurately tell you what you need. You will probably find your body actually craves lean meats and veggies! You will learn the food you eat is fuel for your hard working body!

Give it a try!

Push yourself!

See what you can do!

If you decide to hop in on the 30 day challenge,  talk about what you are doing below!

The more of us that join in the more support we have!

 

 

4 fitness tips

4 Fitness Tips You Can Learn From an Orange Cat

Here are 4 things my cat is doing right, but what you can do better so you lose the last 5 lbs he can’t

[vsw id=”g1oVB2OtgJM” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

 

1. Eat mini meals throughout the day, but don’t exceed your calorie range.

2. Get a workout in, but also make sure to accumulate movement throughout your day.

3.  Strength train and make sure you work your leg muscles.  They are the biggest muscles so you burn more calories lifting lower body than working your upper body.

4.  Do activities outside to get fresh air and avoid situations or work to limit stressful interactions to keep cortisol levels low.