Showing posts with label FitnessFriday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FitnessFriday. Show all posts

Thursday, October 4, 2018

No More Scales: Why You Should Stop Using a Scale to Measure Progress

I'm going to share an idea that may sound really, really crazy, but I think you should get rid of your scale!

Let me tell you why:

1. Your scale doesn't tell the whole story. Fat loss and weight loss are not equal ---> fat takes up a lot more room. When you lose 5 pounds, it looks like you lost A LOT more because the space that fat takes up is significant.

2. Weight fluctuations are normal. As we lose fat, our fat cells fill up with water. It's a last ditch effort to stay in our body. This can actually cause a temporary weight GAIN. Once the water leaves the cells our weight will drop. Over time (like during a FASTer Way to Fat Loss® journey) this will happen repeatedly.

3. The number can be misleading. It can tell some people they are healthy when they are not. It tells other people they are unhealthy when they are. Progress should be measured by how we look and FEEL, NOT by a number on the scale.

4. There are other ways to measure your progress. You'll be much happier if you focus on the right measure of your progress, like your body measurements, your before and after photos, your blood work, energy levels, sleep and mood. All of these are much better measurements of your health and wellness than a number on a scale.

If your clothes are looser and fitting well, if you're sleeping well and have lots of energy to do the things you want, then why does a number on the scale need to be the main measure of your progress? It shouldn't.

Now, go toss out that scale and tell your friends and family to do the same!

Leave a comment if you did it.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

Interval training is one of my favorite ways to workout. I love the combination of high intensity and low intensity periods used back and forth, back and forth, throughout the workout. In a quick 15-20 minute workout, your body can burn calories more efficiently and continue to burn longer throughout the day.

The key to interval training is push to max effort during the high intensity period (work) and then rest from cardio (but keep moving) during the low intensity period (recovery).

Interval Training in 5 Easy Steps

1) Decide what kind of workout you want to do: What are you in the mood for or what can you do? I'm all about what you can, when you can so I mix things up. There are lots of interval training options like HIIT, Tabata, sprints (run, elliptical, swim), even jumping jacks alone can be your workout. Any type of aerobic workout will work. Pick what works best for you, but at the same time will challenge your body.

2) Plan your intervals: Again, so many options! If you are just beginning, you will want to start with a work to recovery ratio of 1 to 4 which means your recovery will be 4 times longer than your work. For example: 5 seconds work to 20 seconds recovery or 30 seconds work to 2 minutes recovery. As you become fitter, you can adjust the work to recovery ratio so that you spend more time at max effort and less time in recovery ---> 1:3, (intermediate) 1:2, 1:1. 2:1, (advanced) 3:1, 4:1.

3) Warm-up: I highly recommend doing at least 10 minutes of easy warm-up (like walking) before doing high intensity workouts.

4) Use a timer: This will make doing your workout so much easier. Instead of staring at a clock or your watch, download an interval app (this is my favorite) on your phone or look for something like a Gymboss timer.

5) Cool down: A low intensity cool down is just as important as the workout. The longer the cool down the better so the body can metabolize the fat it was using during the workout instead of letting it return to where it came from!

I really began to understand the impact of interval training when I first started carb cycling. FASTer Way to Fat Loss® pairs interval training with low carb days, which forces the body to reach for stored fat as energy (learn more here). I wasn't running at the time, so I did all my interval training workouts on the elliptical or doing HIIT workouts. It's really easy to make interval training work for you.

Do you do interval training?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Five: Kicking Off Summer

It turns out that living out of my suitcase for nearly a month took it's toll on me. As much as I wanted to jump right back into my normal routine of fitness and blogging when we got back to Hong Kong, my brain just wasn't ready.

Has it really been a month since my last blog post???

Today it finally felt like it was time to catch up and write a Friday Five post about what's been going on around here.

1. We were blessed with some incredibly nice weather when we got back from the states and I did some swimming and walking.

2. I researched a lot of different juices until I found a favorite ---> Happy Apple <3

3. mrC and I got dressed up and went to our first Chinese wedding celebration in Macau. If you think their celebrations are over-the-top, you are right! It was a lot of fun.

4. And then little C arrived for a kick off the summer two week visit ---> just as Hong Kong was having record-setting hot weather.

We went to Stanley Beach to show her one of Hong Kong's most popular sports and cheer on the AWA Dragon Boat team.

We got nice and sweaty hiking at Cape D'Aguilar and then cooled off with a swim at Shek O Beach.

She and I got to spend the day on a junk boat cruising around Hong Kong Island while her dad was working.

5. We played on our SUP boards.

A couple of weeks of living up to my 2018 goals, I felt refreshed and energized. In my next post, I will tell you about the two week fitness challenge I took.

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

Did your summer weather kick in early?
Tell me something you have been up to lately!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thoughts About Workouts and Other Stuff

Things that make me go hmmm. (I'm linking up with the Friday Five 2.0 - join the fun here)

It was leg day on my workout schedule. I started with a one mile warm-up run on the treadmill. I had already walked to the fitness center, so my legs felt good during this run. For some reason the Nike Run Club app on my watch thought I had run for 50 minutes? Hmmm.

Another thing that makes me go hmmm...why doesn't the treadmill and my watch distance ever match up?

My FASTer Way to Fat Loss® strength training workout was broken into three parts:

LEGS: squats and deadlifts
SUPERSETS: thrusters/plie squat jumps and scissor step-ups/calf raises
GLUTES: kickbacks, clamshells, bridges, abductors

It was a good workout, but I had trouble figuring out how to do the scissor step-ups in the fitness center. There are several weight benches that are the right height and some low step platforms that are kind of too low. I used the low step platform today because I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to put my shoes on the weight bench. I did wonder though, do people step up on weight benches? Hmmm.

Another thing that makes me go hmmm...what is the proper etiquette for wiping down mats in the gym if you didn't leave sweat marks?

After our workouts (mrC ran a 5k on the treadmill, yay!), we walked back to the apartment for our cool down and enjoyed the amazingly pleasant fall-like weather we are having right now.

Let me side-track for a minute...The nice weather actually started yesterday. Here I am all dressed up and waiting for the bus to go to lunch with the girls and NOT sweating to death. (PS - I love my sandals ((affiliate)) but for the life of me, the right heel strap will not stay up, no matter how tight I make it. Ugh, but I still wear them)

And since I brought up lunch, here is the freshly made pasta I had for lunch. If you are ever in Hong Kong, I highly recommend dining at Cucina at the Marco Polo hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. They have spectacular views of Victoria Harbour (you can see the table where we sat on the Cucina website here - right in the corner). My friend's husband is the General Manager of the hotel, so we might have had some VIP treatment thanks to her ;)

How about more good food? I'll share our post-workout breakfast from today: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancakes. I've been looking forward to making these ever since we brought the box back from our trip to the US in September. First I was saving them to eat in October (anyone else do that?) and then it was just a matter of time to make them.

They are soooo good! Why, oh why, don't they sell these year round? And why did I only buy one box? Hmmm.

mrC had to run to the airport, so I got caught up on some TGIT on Hulu. When he gets back we are going out to dinner.

What do you have going on for the weekend?
Do you like pumpkin pancakes?
Are you a Grey's Anatomy, Scandal or How To Get Away With Murder fan?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five Friday Favorites

The countdown to our annual family vacation in the USA is picking up speed! The good news is that we are less than one week from our departure. The bad news is that getting things organized is distracting me a little from blogging.

To make up for a couple missed FWTFL posts, I'm breaking it down into Friday Favorites:

1) Running - I'm loving the fact that I can now add running as an official option for my strength training warm up. It's a short little run, but I can do it without intervals. I've seriously come to appreciate all the small running moments because last year I thought my running days were o-ver. So, these little runs are super exciting for me right now!

2) Supersets - Strength training days are all about these lately and I love it (I talked about them in this post). My workout feels like it takes half the time, but my muscles feel like I was working out for hours! I'm also loving that the weight I'm using on the leg extension machine is not bothering my knee. Crossing my fingers that my quad muscle is getting stronger in that leg to help my knee even more.

3) 24-Hour Fast - The goal of a one day fast is to make it at least 18 hours, but 24 hours if you can. I started my fast at 6PM on Tuesday, after I enjoyed my last meal of the day, and made it to 22 hours. I broke my fast a little after 4PM on Thursday with a snack while I was making my favorite buffalo chicken quinoa dinner. This was my longest and best fasting day so far. If you haven't tried intermittent fasting, here is a great video from Yuri Elkaim, the author of The All-Day Fat Burning Diet:

And if you've been wanting to sign up for the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program, use my link to join and start carb cycling with me! 

4) National Smoothie Day - I did not have a smoothie on Wednesday (June 21) because I was out of spinach and Greek yogurt. I did make an acai bowl today for a belated National Smoothie Day celebration. I happened to find acai super green pre-made packs at our local Just Green shop, so I whipped up a bowl for me and a bowl for mrC. Today's toppings were granola, almond butter and goji berries. I'm still working out how to get the consistency just right, but this was my best one so far.

5) MY new dress - As in designed by me! I took a dress design that I like to a tailor in Shenzhen to have a new dress made. I picked out the fabric and told her what I liked. She did all the work and I'm thrilled with the final result. This dress is all about comfort, which is 100% me.

Other OOTD details sunglasses (here), shoes (here) and purse (here)

What are you loving this week?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0!

And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fitness Friday

This post was ready to go last Friday, but I went to a pizza party at my aunt's and forgot about it. And now we're in Massachusetts after a week in Ohio! 

If shopping counts as exercise, I've been killing it since arriving in the US!

I did however, do some actual exercising today (aka last Friday). Admittedly, it felt really good.

It was a gorgeous morning, so I took my yoga outside to enjoy the cool, clean air. My heel is still firing up when I flex my foot during downward dog, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. 

I took my mom's dog with me to get my brows waxed so that we could walk at the park after. She's little, but she can cover a mile pretty quickly.

My favorite thing to do (besides shopping) when we come home is to enjoy food. I know I can eat salads in China, but it's much easier to get boxed salad here and just gobble it up. 

I started and finished a new romance book about a runner. It's been a while since I read a book that fast. It was really good!

My mom made gluten free chocolate chip cookies. A couple of those with Ohio sunshine and life is good.

We arrived in Massachusetts on Marathon Monday. Booney's adoptive dad was running and we tracked his progress online, but we were super excited to get this via a text.

We got a workout yesterday digging around our stuff that's in a storage unit here. It's nice to have our things so close.

My sister-in-law always has something new-to-me and tasty in her kitchen. I'll be bringing some of this back to China with me.

We finally got our underwater camera pictures developed from our trip to the Maldives in February. 

Hope you're having a great day!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's the final Friday of February, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite things.

Food - I picked up some goodies on a recent shopping trip to Hong Kong (there are A LOT more options there). I figured munching on the Sweet Potato chips would be better than my usual choices and they're good. I love a little something sweet for dessert and these Organic Hard Candies just sounded healthier (50 calories for 3 pieces works for me!). I was hoping to find hemp hearts but could only find chia seeds...a good runner-up. And I've gotten back to making a daily smoothie. 

Fitness - I'm on day 22 of the Yoga Camp videos. I don't know what I'm going to do when I get to the end. I've been doing strength every other day (abs, arms, legs) and mixing up the workouts to prevent getting bored. My goal to walk at least 30 minutes feels really good, even without sunshine. Today I walked nearly 2.5 miles.

Fitness fashion - Loving my Aspire pants from Athleta, my new Apple Sport Watch, and the Power Y tank (with built in bra) and the design on the Enlighten Crop from Lululemon. 

Free fitness equipment - First, I love these little areas scattered throughout our apartment complex and the parks in the city. Mostly, I'm loving this leg press. Who needs a gym membership when you have this?!?

What's on your favorites list this week?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fitness Friday: Keeping it Real

Not every run, pose, workout is perfect.

It's one of the things that keeps me going. The challenge. To be stronger. To do better. To get fitter. 

Not so perfect examples:

I did not do Yoga Camp day 6 yesterday, which actually ended working to my benefit. There was no Pilates class this week (darn Chinese New Year!), so instead of trying to squeeze it in late last night, I did both day 6 and 7 this morning. Another bonus: day 6 was a core focused session.

The different time zones make US based challenges, well challenging at times. So, after getting nice and warmed up, I got caught up on some of the #flexandflow challenge poses that I miss because they're posted during my evenings. 

Follow the photos through my lizard poses and you will see where my imperfect body is today.

The left quad. Tight as hell. And that whole knee not bending thing. Not so perfect. 

This afternoon I went to the Booya Fitness website for some cardio. I've been loving Zumba classes on Wednesday nights, so I tried the Bollywood Workout. The only problem is my China internet connection. Not so reliable. At least I was able to complete this workout with only a few spinning ball pauses.  

The point? Just keeping it real. I like to focus on the positives, the success, but I don't want to give a false impression that I don't have struggles and challenges. And I fail. 

Sometimes I get back up right away and sometimes it takes awhile to reboot. No matter what, though, I don't give up.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Run Streak Update and PF is not my BF

Yesterday I ran a 5K with the SWIC running group. I've heard that it takes a while for new running groups to hit momentum. Thursday there were only two of us and I don't know why.  I'm trying to stay optimistic and hope that it's been the hot, humid weather or the National holiday week of travel in China, but maybe those of you reading this could send a little virtual "good luck" thought my way. Thanks!

Today I ran a mile to put my #runstreak at day 6. I'm feeling good and trying to make good decisions for my knee health so I can keep going as long as possible. For example, this morning the weather was AMAZING and it was so tempting to run longer, but I kept it to one lap around the waterfront.

My Mizuno Wave Rider 18s are creeping up on 300 miles although to me they look brand new. I might be picking up a new pair soon. About two weeks ago I started noticing a pain on the inside of my heel/ankle when I got out of bed in the morning. My chiropractor thinks it might be plantar fasciitis. He recommended more calf stretching and foam rolling. 

Speaking of foam rolling, I try to always start my day with a total body rollout. Now that I am on a #runstreak, it feels even more important that I do it before I run. Rolling my hamstrings is my most challenging. I don't really feel anything and it's such an awkward movement. 

Today I went to Pilates class for the first time in nearly two weeks. I purchased a Yogalife membership at the beginning of September with the goal to attend a class at least once a week. I made it three weeks in a row and was feeling a difference especially with my knee. Then I got sick followed by the yoga center closing for China's National holiday. Today was tough, but good. I'm hoping the yoga will help me stretch my leg muscles and I'll rid myself of any signs of PF. 

I found this great video on the Runner's World website that explains PF and offers tips for treatment.

Happy fitness Friday everyone!!

Ever suffer from plantar fasciitis?
What muscle is your most challenging to foam roll?