Category: health

Stop Not Working Out – Easy Tips for Getting Started with Exercise

By Sam | April 30, 2013

Exercise creates a healthy mind and body. And I believe it makes me a better mom. When I make time to workout, no matter how short or long that workout may be, I have more energy, I eat better, I’m more patient, and I’m happier.

If you’re someone who hasn’t worked out in a while (or ever) and you often tell yourself that you’re too busy or too tired, keep reading. It’s time to make a change.

Here’s the key to getting started–Stop trying to overhaul your entire life, rearranging schedules, building mountains you won’t climb. Your first goal is just to do SOMEthing. Break the habit of not working out. At this point you don’t need to sign up for a marathon, hire a personal trainer, or stress yourself out with the idea that you now have to commit a huge chunk of time to exercise.

You just need to “STOP NOT WORKING OUT”.

Here’s how you STOP NOT WORKING OUT:

-If you already have a gym membership but haven’t been there in a while, your goal this week is to walk through the doors one time. It doesn’t matter what you do when you get there, just break the habit of not walking through the doors.

-If you don’t have a gym membership, don’t go buy a set of weights or a set of exercise DVDs. Instead, before bed tonight do one push-up (on your knees if you have to) and one sit-up (or a crunch if you have to). Just one! Tomorrow, do two push-ups and two sit-ups. Sounds lame, right? But if you start today, by summer you’ll be doing 40. How cool is that?

-If you have kids, the above option is great after the kids are asleep. Another option is to take the kids on a walk, whether it’s around the neighborhood, or a favorite path, or even to the end of your street–anything is better than NOT walking.

-As you can tell by now, the key to getting started is keeping it simple and achievable. Small steps in the right direction add up to huge distances over time. So this week, set out to exercise a total of 30 minutes. No, it’s not much, but that’s the point. Remember that the problem isn’t that you haven’t been working out enough, it’s that you haven’t been working out at all.

-Each week, do something more than you did the week before. Even if you just add 5 minutes more to that initial 30 minutes or an extra push-up or sit-up, keep moving forward.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power you have to influence those who surround you. Exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are contagious. Be the one who sets an example for your friends, family, spouse, grandkids, and of course, your children.

MyFitnessPal Free Calorie & Diet Counter

By Sam | March 4, 2013

I do a good job of exercising on a regular basis, but I tend to cancel out all my hard work by not keeping track of what I’m eating. It’s amazing how quickly a handful here or a little bite of something there adds up. It’s also funny how I tend to think that those little snacks don’t count as calories. When I finally started to keep track of what I was eating, I started realizing that I had about 300-500 extra calories in mindless snacks each day.

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal every day since the beginning of January to track exactly what I’m eating and how much I’m exercising and I’m happy to say I’ve lost 4 pounds! I really only have another pound or two that I want to lose, but I plan on using MyFitnessPal on an ongoing basis because it really helps me be more mindful of how many calories I’m consuming. Don’t worry about it being complicated, MyFitnessPal couldn’t be any easier. It already has most foods logged into the library so you just search for what you ate and hit enter and the program populates the calorie information. You can also input your exercise information so you know how many calories you are burning. Losing weight really comes down to calories in vs. calories out…it’s a numbers game.

You can use MyFitnessPal online or as an App on your phone. I highly recommend trying it out with a friend. It will make you more accountable! My friend and I both check each others diaries daily so that we can encourage one another and keep each other motivated.

Just wanted to share this program with you because it’s been really helpful and motivational for me. It’s hard to cheat with your eating and exercising when you’re actually keeping track.

Exercise Mantra

By Sam | February 20, 2013

I love this quote. I was actually introduced to it by my husband who is an expert when it comes to working out and pushing yourself harder. He also likes to use it on the mornings when I wake up and can’t lift my arms like last week when I did 86 (assisted) pull-ups at Crossfit. For two days I walked around like T-Rex because I was unable to extend my arms past a 90 degree angle. Yes I was in pain, but it was a good pain. I knew I worked hard and had earned that pain. It felt amazing.

Do something today that will make you use this quote tomorrow. I promise that your future self will thank you. Go exercise.

Motivating exercise quote

Fitness Goals

By Sam | February 13, 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve actually written down my fitness goals. So I’m taking the time now to list out my exercise goals for the year:

1. Run the Carlsbad Half Marathon – CHECK
2. Run the La Jolla Half Marathon
3. Run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon
4. Run the Carlsbad 5000 5k
5. Apply to do the 2014 Empire State Building Run Up – CHECK (the odds of me getting accepted to actually participate in this highly coveted race are slim to none, but it’s worth a try).
6. Run a half-marathon in under 2 hours
6. Run a 5k in 24 minutes or less
7. Run a mile in under 8 minutes
8. Deadlift over 140 lbs.
9. Do a non-assisted pull-up
10. Do a non-assisted ring-dip

Wow – it looks like a lot when I actually see it written out. It’s possible that I may not check off all of these goals and that some of them will change over the course of the year, but that’s ok. What’s always worked for me is to be flexible with the goals in my life. As time goes by we change and so do the things we want to achieve and make time for.

What are your fitness goals? Do you write them down?

Track Calories Burned

By Sam | February 8, 2013

I love being able to see how many calories I’ve burned in a workout. It’s motivates me to keep going and work harder! Six years ago when I started the process of turning myself into someone who loves working out, Rick (my now husband/boyfriend at the time), bought me my first heart rate monitor. Honestly, at first I loved it because it was pink and cute. But after my first workout, I was hooked.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.)

Let me explain exactly why I love heart rate monitors. They are these amazing devices (it’s really just a special watch and a chest band) that calculate the number of calories you burn during a workout based on your weight, height, age, gender and maximum heart rate.

For those of you who use machines at the gym like the treadmill or elliptical and rely on them for your calories burned count – don’t trust those machines!!! They can be extremely inaccurate because they are based on average values of a population. They almost always overestimate (in my case by 100-200 calories). A heart rate monitor will give you a more accurate count.

A good heart rate monitor ranges between $60-$100. My favorite brand is polar and I love this one, but I may be biased because I do love that they come in pink. Look for heart rate monitors on Amazon, REI, Sports Authority or your local running store.

Happy Fit Friday!
xo Sam

Top 10 Ways to Get Healthy & Happy

By Sam | February 1, 2013

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said “oh I’ll just start working out and eating healthy on Monday”…me, me, me!! If so, welcome to Fit Friday. I like to go into the weekend with a healthy attitude so that I don’t lose sight of my diet and fitness goals, only to start over again on Monday.

Right now I have the below list posted on my bathroom mirror. I made a promise to myself a month ago that I was going to stop canceling out all of my hard work at the gym by eating crappy. It’s true what they say, “abs are made in the kitchen not the gym”.

What do you do to stay focused on your health goals. Do you have any reminders around the house to keep you on track?

Linking up with:

Love to Run

By Sam | January 27, 2013

I have flat feet, I pronate and I’m short. The odds are stacked against me when it comes to running. Six years ago if you told me that I would one day be a runner, I would have laughed in your face. I couldn’t even run a single mile. What I’ve learned as I have transformed myself into a runner is that I just had to find a pace and running style that worked for me. I’m a slow runner, and I love it.

Since that first mile six years ago, I’ve run three marathons, four half marathons and a million of practice miles in between. Just today I ran my fourth half marathon and even set a personal record. If I can become a runner, anyone can.

1. Put on your shoes and get out there. Promise yourself you’ll do just 1 mile no matter how long it takes. I recommend running for 1 minute then walking for 1 minute the entire mile. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go!

2. Add distance. Slowly add a a quarter of a mile each time you run. As you get stronger you can start adding to your running time. Try 2 minutes running/1 minute walking then 3 minutes running/1 minute walking and so forth. Even to this day I run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute.

3. Find a running buddy. I always look forward to runs with my girlfriends. Friend runs are the best. After you get going and start chatting, it’s amazing how fast the time goes. Even if none of your friends are runners, recruit one or look for meet-up and running groups in your area. If you’re a mama, check out Stroller Strides.

4. Sign-up for a race. This is what really got me committed. There’s something so motivating about putting a race on the calendar. A good place to start is with a 5k. If you want a fun one, check to see if there’s a Color Run in your city.

5. Surround yourself with running inspiration. Look at running blogs, pin inspiring running messages on Pinterest, post notes on your bathroom mirror, or reward yourself with fun new running clothes. Do whatever it takes to keep you going. I promise you won’t regret it.