Overcoming an Exercise Slump

We all get into exercise ruts. Hence, why I started blogging again so that I can keep myself on track as I continue to sweat for the wedding. Sometimes I am extremely motivated to workout and other times I’d prefer to just hang out of the couch with a bowl of ice cream. This is completely normal. When this happens, it is time to rejuvenate your workout routine. It can help to get you out of that slump and get you on to achieving your goals!

Here are my tips to recharge your exercise routine:

  • Sign up for a new exercise class. Have you tried barre, hot yoga or even a strength training class? Do something that you have never done before. Time flies when you are sweating and trying something new! Group exercise classes can help you beat the boredom of exercising alone.
  • Switch-up your location. If you normal go to the gym, try getting outside and running or biking. If you normally visit a yoga studio, try switching studios. If you are a runner, switch your route.
  • Register for a race. Pick a fun race to run or choose a race that is for a cause that you really support. Even if you’ve never run a race before, this can be a lot of fun and a great workout. Register for your first 5k or first half marathon. Then, plan your workouts around training for the race. If you are not a runner, try downloading a couch to 5k app.
  • Don’t exercise if you are exhausted. Remember, it is okay to take a break. If you are sick or tired, opt to rest that day. Your body needs time to recuperate from exercise.
  • Get creative with your workouts. If you are at the gym, use multiple cardio machines to complete a 30 minute workout. Try 10 minutes on the step machine, 10 minutes on the elliptical and the final 10 minutes on the treadmill. Make your workouts your own. There are no rules for how you can and cannot workout.
  • Search for new workouts to keep things fresh. Use blogs, Pinterest, apps and fitness magazines to find new workouts to try. This is how I find many of the workouts I complete!
  • Create a fun, upbeat playlist. Great music can really help to fuel your workout!

How do you recharge your workout?

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Fitness What Not to Wear: Yoga

No shoes, no shirt, no service. Sounds simple, right? While there are no rules as to what you can and cannot wear to a yoga class at your local gym or yoga studio, there are some guidelines you should consider following. For your comfort, modesty and to get the most out of your workout, try these tips out for size.

Pants. Avoid short, tight shorts. Even if they look great on you, they may not be the option for a yoga class. Short shorts cannot only bunch up as you move from pose to pose, but they may leave you exposing more than you wish to other members of your class. Instead of tight, short-shorts, opt for well-fitted legging for fitted capri or cropped pants. You are also going to want to avoid the old, loose-fitting clothing that may be unbelievably comfortable. While it may be comfortable, it is hard to move in loose fitting clothing. Additionally, yoga poses may reveal holes in your clothing that you may not have previously noticed.

Shirts. This one is simple and to the point, make sure your shirt fits! Avoid t-shirt and loose fitting tank tops along with short or cropped-tops. Loose fitting clothing may end up falling over your head during many yoga poses. If you are not comfortable with baring your belly, avoid the cropped-tops as well. For comfort and convenience, opt for long and fitted tank tops.  Also opt for conservative tops. Avoid revealing too much, this may lead to wardrobe malfunctions.

Underwear. You probably don’t think the type of underwear you wear during a yoga class is important. Guess again. Try not to wear cotton underwear. Cotton is not a very breathable fabric and doesn’t dry quickly should you sweat. Instead of cotton, opt for moisture-wicking briefs. These may be a little on the pricey side, but may be worth the splurge if you are a heavy sweater. If you are looking for something a little more comfortable and reasonably priced, try yoga briefs or boy shorts from Victoria Secret. Not only are they breathable, but they won’t bunch up as you move.

Another Long Bike Ride

Happy Monday! What did you all do fun and exciting this weekend?

I’m really taking to this bike riding thing. It’s relaxing, good exercise and often surrounded by great scenery!

My latest bike ride was from Boston to West Newton, PA. Who knew there was a Boston in Pennsylvania? Not me! And I have lived here all of my life! This ride was about 24 miles and went through many small towns that I honestly never knew existed. There were plenty of parks and rest stops along the way. The one thing I found unique about this portion of the trail was that it was practically in some people’s backyards. I’m not sure how I feel about that! The best part about this portion of the trail was food options. There were convenience stores, ice cream places, pizza, a drug store and even a sit down restaurant. After 12 miles, a nice meal is exactly what you need to fuel up for the rest of the trip. I definitely did not eat enough before the first part of the ride and was definitely struggling. It’s amazing how much energy I had after lunch!

 

For those of you who are bike riders, I have some questions?

What’s your pant/short preference while riding?

What are some good snacks for along the way? I try to pack light!

 

Keep on Planking

Wow it’s August 15th, which means it’s half way through my plank challenge! Let me tell you how it’s going, I am warming up to planks. However, after the first uhh 30 seconds of planks I wanted to give up. If you aren’t used to doing planks, that shaky feeling at first is very hard to shake. It makes you feel like you aren’t as strong as you think you are! However, I am finding this to be a great way to improve core strength. Who knows, maybe I’ll continue planks daily even after this challenge is over.

I definitely can tell that my core is getting stronger and stronger with each and every day of the challenge. Plus, I’ve noticed a decrease in occasional back pain, which is great. Yay for a stronger core!

Maybe I’ll try a side plank challenge neck month! It’s time to tone up those sides.

Side plank exercise

 

What are your thoughts on planks? Do you love them or hate them?

Beating the Heat

It seems like the nights and mornings, sometimes even the days have gotten a lot cooler around here, but that still doesn’t mean it’s not hot some of the time. While using a 10k trainer program, I’ve been doing plenty of research on how to beat the heat while working out outdoors. In my opinion, i’d much rather be outdoors while I still can! Most of the year, it seems like we are stuck in doors thanks to cold weather, rain, snow and everything else. Might as well enjoy the outdoor weather as long as you can, right?

Here are some pointers and tips I have come across that I think are extremely useful!

1. Get your workout on early (or late)! Before 6 am or after 8 am is the perfect time to workout and beat a majority of the heat. Before the sunrises or after the sunsets is the perfect time to enjoy a workout minus up to 20 degrees of heat!

2. Opt for activities that come with a built-in-cool even if you are outdoors on a 90 degree day. Think swimming or cycling. Water is refreshing and the breeze you experience while riding a bike is a definite plus. As an added bonus, these exercises are low impact– you’ll be giving your body a break as well!

3. Expose some skin. The more skin you expose the cooler you will feel! Exposing skin allows heat to more quickly escape the body. Shorts and a sports bra, anyone? If you aren’t comfortable bearing it all in a sports bra, opt for a moisture-wicking tank top.

Speaking of workout clothes, I just scored some awesome and very cheap workout clothes on HauteLook (up to 75% off!) Marika for $9, I think so! Check it out, here

What are your tips for working out in the heat?

Where do you go for cheap, awesome workout clothes?

Let’s end with a little motivation, shall we?

Get more fitness motivation here

 

In Need of Some Motivation….

Yes, I know I am a day (almost 2) late, but I am unbelievably excited that Desiree chose Chris on the Bachelorette. He was my favorite for the longest time. Despite all the speculation, I am definitely glad Brooks didn’t come back for her. Personally, I think he is going to have a heck of a time finding a relationship after being on this show! Chris seems like an awesome guy!

What are your thoughts on the Bachelorette or how about the Juan Pablo being the new Bachelor? I am very excited for that but I am in a hurry for January to get here at all!

Just in case you are in need of some motivation, here are some great Pinterest motivations I came across this week. I know I can definitely use motivation on a rainy evening. Time to get moving on some planks!

fitness-motivation-sign-48

 

 

One Long Bike Ride

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

I’ve been on a bike twice in probably the last 15 years. The first ride I took was a few weeks ago and that ride was about 12 miles. The second ride I took was yesterday and that was a 34 mile bike ride, which I am extremely proud of myself for completing. Despite the fact I am a little on the sore side today, it was lots of fun with lots of beautiful scenery.

photo (7) photo (8)

 

For those of you who are regular bike riders, I have a couple of questions for you:

1. What type of pants/shorts do you normally wear when biking? I cannot seem to find the appropriate attire for this activity!

2. Is back and knee pain typical after biking? I always associated and have been taught that biking is a low impact exercise.