Showing posts with label fitnfashionable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fitnfashionable. Show all posts

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hong Kong Stay Warm Running Tips

After running my way through more than one winter in New Hampshire, I considered myself a Winter Warrior. It took some practice though. I had to learn how to embrace the frigid temps, wicked winds and foot after foot of snow. There were actually piles of snow everywhere on my last run before we moved to China. Eventually I could layer up with all my favorite gear (like Polartec tights - affiliate) and run in the middle of a snow storm if I wanted to.

My idea of cold has changed a lot in the last 2 1/2 years. Cold for me now is anything under 60F degrees, ha! At it's coldest, the temperatures in Hong Kong can dip between 30F and 40F but they don't stay there very long. No matter what your cold feels like, I think it's important to think about how to stay warm.

Here's how I keep warm on cold weather runs in Hong Kong ---> remember it's all relative:

1. Long sleeve tee or capris - when the temperature drops, the first thing I change is my running outfit. My first go-to change is to try a long sleeve tee with shorts because once I get used to running in shorts I don't want to give them up. If it's too cold for the shorts, I'll dig out my running capris.

2. A hat - I usually hate wearing hats, but they really do work for keeping warm. Since I don't have to worry about my ears freezing, I can usually throw on any old ball cap to do the trick.

3. Heavy duty layers - on the rare really cold day (like my recent feels like 47F 5K), I pull out the winter training gear and layer up. This year I have a new favorite warm top (affiliate) from Athleta. I actually have a ton of gear in storage in Massachusetts, but I didn't think I would need any of it here.

4. Arm warmers/compression socks - sometimes it's only feeling chilly at the beginning of the workout and that's when arm warmers come in handy because you can roll them down once you warm up. Compression socks are great for those in-between shorts and capris temps (or for those of us hanging onto our shorts a little longer). I actually don't remember to wear either of these often enough.

5. The treadmill - when all else fails and I reach my cold weather tolerance limit, there is always the trusty treadmill at the fitness center. I'm pretty sure that only a cold wintery rainy day will force me to run indoors while I'm living here.

How do you stay warm on cold weather runs/days where you live?

I'm linking up with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0 and Nicole for Fit & Fashionable Friday 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Five: What I Learned in August

Does anyone else feel like August went by in the blink of an eye? Maybe the old adage, time flies when you're having fun, is true because there were a lot of good times happening in August. I had fun trying new things and learning new ways to do the things I love to do.

I love that we are never too old, young, etc. to try something new. At any given time we may find our fitness changes because of life events, age, injury, or whatever. Being able to embrace new things and look at familiar passions with a new perspective is important to being happy and having fun.

Here are a few things I learned this month (some links are affiliate):

1. Discovery Run group - I learned that I can still run with a group. I started joining this Monday night social running group a couple of weeks ago and I'm so glad that I did. I'm not a huge fan of running at night, but being part of a group (of at least 30+ people) running through the streets of DB is quite fun. I was craving the days when I would run with my MRTT friends in New Hampshire, but apprehensive about whether I could "keep up" with my knee. It was the perfect environment to run my run. I even got mrC to join the fun!

2. SUP racing - I learned how to race on my SUP. I thought being on the cover of the Around DB Magazine as part of the DB Ladies SUP group was exciting until I participated in my first SUP relay race with the Paddling Section of the Lantau Boat Club. Racing on a stand up paddle board is hard but fun! My arms have never been so tired and I only went 500 meters. It's definitely something I hope to do again.

3. August Miles - I learned that I'm ready to run in a race. As the temperature increased, my running days in Hong Kong decreased. A lot of people run on the treadmill in the summer, but with my knee I do not feel super comfortable doing that right now. Most of my miles for the month came from sprint workouts on low carb days and the Monday night group. I ended the month with 8 runs for a total of 12.85 miles. The group runs have let me know that I could do ok in a race situation. I've got my eye on a 5k (and possibly a 10k) in November, so I'll be making sure to log some longer runs each week moving forward.

4. FWTFL VIP - I learned how to make the carb cycling fitness plan work for my every day lifestyle. I started carb cycling in Spring 2016 because I was working out all the time, but continuing to gain weight ---> especially in my belly. I had moved to China, stopped running almost completely because of my knee and just seemed stuck in a rut. The results were so amazing that I have continued the program and recently joined the FASTer Way To Fat Loss VIP group. The VIP group allows me to maintain my weight, get stronger and leaner all through brand new workouts each month. This program works for me because it is challenging and I can incorporate the things I love to do (running, Bodystep, hiking) into my workouts. Amanda is starting a new FWTFL group on September 14 ---> learn more here (affiliate link).

5. New gear - I learned that you can always find another pair of awesome shorts :) (and other things). A good sale by my favorite brands will get me every time. I ordered the Trekkie shorts from Athleta in flint grey and crossed my fingers that they would work even though I hadn't tried them on. I think I wore them almost every day for a week, ha! I'm also loving this pair of running shorts that I ordered at the same time (and I put these from Lululemon on my wish list). I also got a great deal on this tank and this one too. This new running bra goes great with my new shorts and tanks.

What have you learned this summer/month/training cycle?

Today's post is part of the Friday Five 2.0 with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel and I'm also joining  Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up.

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fitness Assessments


As a teacher, this is a word that I say several times a day.

As a runner and fitness enthusiast, not so much.

I recently read a great post by Michelle at A Pace of Balance about assessing yourself and I realized that I actually do this.

#tightercore challenge - The first time I did this 10 minute workout from Pop Sugar, I could barely do a bird dog without falling over, let alone a bird dog with a twist. After completing the same workout for  5 days, I can feel and see improvement (I'm still wobbly, but no more falling out of form).

Interval running - Every time I log a run, I compare numbers. I don't think about the numbers when I run; I think about how I feel. Using the data from my GPS watch lets me see the baby steps I am making in my fitness progress. Even when I can't notice it when I'm running.

Speaking of running…I've been doing all of my runs outside. Some people look at me like I'm crazy, but I love running in the winter. As long as it is above 10 degrees, it is ok. And of course I dress appropriately.

Fitful Focus

Here's what I've been wearing. Lots of layering, but always my Nike Therma Fit on top and Athleta tights on the bottom. The Nike top feels like fleece on the inside and has the must-have thumb holes. I'm loving everything about the Mile Compression Tights: great fit, sleek design, and lots of reflective features.

When the temps dip into the 20s or below, I add my Lululemon neck warmer, Mizuno gloves, and if it is windy my Athleta hat.

Do you use fitness assessments?
What's your favorite winter gear?

Linking up with #FitnFashionable Nicole and also Fitness Friday Jill 

Friday, January 23, 2015

What I Use To Work Out At Home

The most expensive piece of fitness equipment I own is a treadmill and my husband has an adjustable weights set. I really have no desire to make our basement a home-gym filled with equipment, so I try to use what I already have at home or buy gear that is multi-purpose. 

Today I'm sharing 5 pieces of fitness equipment for great at home workouts.

Paper Plates - Instead of buying gliders (aka sliders), I use paper plates on the carpet for a variety of exercises. Right now I use them to do reverse lunges.

Step Stool - Another item that I already have around the house, this replaces the typical fitness step up you might find in aerobics class. I've been using it to do weighted step ups as part of my rehab, but in the past it served as the elevated surface for squats and lunges.

Adjustable Weights - Like I said, I lucked out because mrC already had these, but I did look into getting my own and found these at Target. There are so many ways to use these. I also own a 2 pound pair for doing high rep arm workouts like you get at a barre class.

weighted reverse lunges with paper plate sliders

Balance Board - I actually bought this for littleC when she kept spraining her ankles during soccer. It's a great ankle strengthener. Now I use it as part of my knee rehab. It's not as good as a Bosu Ball, but it's a good option.

adjustable height to increase the difficulty

single leg balance exercise

Stability Ball - After using this in SurfnTurf classes and at PT, I decided it would be a good investment because you can do so many things with it. I focus on hamstring curls right now, but you can also use it to increase the difficulty of core work and bridges.

hamstring curls

Dressing for my at-home workouts requires layering as our basement (although finished) is not heated. It's actually perfect for working out. I just shed the layers as I go.

Top layer: Oiselle Spring Funnel Neck and Nike Athletic Pants

Oiselle Distance Shorts

Oiselle Scantron Tank


Linking up with #FitnFashionable Nicole

Fitful Focus

and also Fitness Friday Jill and CynthiaCourtney, and Mar for Friday Five

Friday, January 16, 2015

What I Wear for Winter Walking

Lately it's been seriously cold in New Hampshire! We even had a two hour delay because of wind chills reaching -25 degrees.

The past few years I have been a winter runner, and figured out (for the most part) how to dress for it. Walking in the winter weather is a different story. My body doesn't warm up anywhere near the 10 degrees I get from running.

So dressing for winter walks has been a little more challenging, but I think I have it figured out.

Here's a look at what I've been wearing to survive the bitter cold temperatures while I keep up with my #mileaday Winter Warrior Challenge here in southern New Hampshire.

Puffy Parka (Loft) - Between the hood and the length, this works so well for the bitter cold and windy days.

Therma Fit Pullover (Nike) - I have three of these because they are that good. The fit is snug and the top is super soft. The sleeves also have thumb holes for stretching out that warmth.

Polar Tech Tights (Athleta) - Perfect for winter with fleece on the inside. My legs are NEVER cold.

Neck Warmer (Lululemon) - This thing is amazing. I can wear it down to keep my neck warm and pull it up when it's really cold and windy. It's long enough to pull up and over much like a balaclava.

Thermo Knit Gloves (Mizuno) - Although made for temps between 20-50 degrees, I really like these gloves on even the coldest of days. They are very soft and fit perfectly.

BONUS: Dog Boots (Pet Smart) - we have to protect the paws from the ice and snow.

Linking up with Nicole

Fitful Focus

and also Fitness Friday Jill and CynthiaCourtney, and Mar for Friday Five

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flock Workout

With the arrival of winter at Thanksgiving, I've had to take my workouts inside.

The Oiselle Pros are doing the same and recently shared some of their favorite workouts. I don't have all the fitness equipment that they do, so I made some modifications to create my own no-equipment needed Flock Workout.

This workout combines exercises that focus on the abs and legs, but it doesn't leave out the cardio.

Tadas: Otherwise known as "plank with twist" or "plank and rotate." Dynamic planks are reported to be more effective and mimic the natural movements of our core during running.

Jumps: Squeezed in between the core work, the three jump exercises seriously get the heart rate up. By the time I got to the jump overs, I was very winded.

Spiderman Planks: Planking while being out of breath is much harder, but I like that challenge.

My warmup and cool down was a brisk 5 minute walk on the treadmill. In the near future (hopefully), I will run.

This workout is good for anytime of year, but it's especially good to use during the #HolidaySweat challenge!

Fitful Focus

It's time for another #FitnFashionable share! One thing I love about fitness gear is when it is easy to transition from exercise to everyday function. For this workout I chose Oiselle flyte shorts and a stripey scoop neck with the flyte shimmel racerback underneath. After a workout I can throw on a pair of jeans or casual pants and I'm ready to relax or run errands with some #flystyle.

Do you wear your fitness gear outside of your workouts?

 This post is also part of the #FitnessFriday link up hosted by Jill.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fitness Center Workout: Body Blast Interval

I love pinning workouts on Pinterest, but what I love even more is when I actually use them! While waiting for the power outage to end here in New Hampshire, I took advantage of the hotel fitness centers and my Pinterest page.

Yesterday I created my own morning workout with a mix of strength and cardio. I am a big fan of HIIT workouts because even though they make me breathe harder, they burn more fat calories.

My RPE was level 5 on the stationary bike and I tried to keep the RPMs in the 70s. Not an easy task. Each round on the bike got harder and harder. My legs were basically jello.

Each circuit got harder after the first because I was out of breath from the bike. At times I didn't think I could even move my arms let alone my whole body. Those are the moments that leave you smiling after the workout, right?

You can find the Body Blast workout that I pinned from Pop Sugar here.

Fitful Focus

Today's #FitnFashionable look is all Oiselle. The Off the Grid Knickers were perfect for this fitness center workout in front of a wall of windows. Plus the side zipper pocket kept my room key safely tucked out of sight. I'm a big fan of racer backs and the Winona Tank doesn't disappoint. It's form fitting but without revealing the insecure spots (my gut!)

Do you like to create your own workouts?
Any fitness clothing you are loving right now?