Category Archives: Fitness

What You Can Learn From This Year’s Olympics

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Have you gotten to watch the Winter Olympics? If not, you need to, after reading this.

There’s something so inspiring and amazing about the Olympics, but what makes them so exciting?

Maybe, it’s the genuine and unfailing talent and drive of the athletes, or maybe, it’s the fact that countries from around the world come together despite political differences and make peace happen in order for the Olympic games to go forward without any problems.

I’ve been able to look at this well respected and world-wide competitive tradition in new eyes, and wow, I think it is just that much cooler. I finally “get it.”

I’ve watched all the countries with the most power and influence send their very best athletes to compete for the gold.

Sochi was nearly forced to accept equal rights, in order to avoid a public uproar. There was the Slope-skier, Gus Kenworthy, who used twitter to advocate dog adoptions in Sochi. There was the British bobsledder who competed with an injured achilles. Irish gymnast Kieran Behan thought he had lost his ability to walk at age 10 due to a tumor, but overcame that adversity and is competing at the games.

There are many more absolutely incredible athletes, but you need to watch the Olympics to see for yourself and watch the last of the games tomorrow, to hear all of their inspirational stories for yourself.

**http://www.freeimageslive.co.uk/free_stock_image/olympic-fireworks-ring-jpg ***

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11 Ways Yoga Helped Change Me On The Inside

To someone who’s never practiced yoga that sounds bizarre, to seasoned vets it’s so obvious. It’s that mind-body connection a yogi makes when their physical yoga practice gets taken to another level. That moment when movement, breath, meditation, and life no longer just coexists but intertwine. It’s like all of a sudden,  it just clicked.

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Before, yoga was just another addition to my workout regimen. I loved the physical benefits, but that’s all I was in it for. I was stressed. I was depressed. I was anxious. It got to the point where I knew I had to do something or I was just going to give up completely. I felt so desperate for a change, so I started reading every self-help article I could about how to be happy, because I was in a rut and I didn’t know why. My digging led me to the conclusion that I needed some internal healing, and yoga was the perfect way to do it. I became aware, and took that awareness to my mat.

My life has changed in so many ways, and all for the better. I never realized how such simple, conscience decisions could drastically change myself and my perspective.  Here are some of the personal benefits I gained from digging deeper into my practice, all benefits that you can easily reap yourself.

  1. I’m happier! Seriously. I’m able to see the beauty in little things. I “stop to smell the roses” more often then not these days, because being happy makes life so much easier.
  2. I’m grateful. I constantly recognize what it is that’s making me happy, and everything that helps me get through each day, and I thank God for it. I highly recommend making a list of what you’re thankful for, and looking at it in the morning. It helps me start the day off right.
  3. I listen to my body. If it needs to be stretched, I stretch it. If it needs rest, I rest it. I’m also more aware of the the food I put in my body, and how my body reacts to it.  It’s crazy what happens when you figure out what your body really wants and needs, and then cater to it. .
  4. I’m much slower to anger. I used to just snap, but now I breathe, slowly and deeply. I get my mind to a stable place and evaluate the situation before I rush to any rash conclusions or decisions.
  5. I have more courage. I don’t let fear hold me back, especially fear of failure. I take risks. I know if something doesn’t go my way, it wasn’t ever supposed to, and a lesson will be learned from it all eventually.
  6. I’m less anxious. Breathing and mediation constantly help me get through the traumas of anxiety and stress. I used to let so many little things stress me out that I couldn’t enjoy my present moment. All I did was worry, but I don’t carry that heavy burden anymore.
  7. I’m more outgoing. I want to spread my happiness around to others, which in turn has made me much more apt to talk to and help total strangers. I’m no longer afraid to smile at a passerby or make small talk with someone I’ve never met and may never see again. It just feels good to make someone else smile.
  8. I’m mindful. I can stop and be in the moment. I evaluate the the consequences of my actions, and try to do what my intuition says is for the greater good, and act accordingly.
  9. I’m in tuned with my intuition. I listen to my gut, and it’s only been steering me in the right direction. Situations often feel right or wrong, and it’s always for a  good reason. My intuition has saved me from a lot of potential mistakes.
  10. I know my self worth. I’m worth something and have a lot to offer in this world, even if I’m still figuring it all out.
  11. I’m WAY easier to be around. My boyfriend can vouch for me. I’m not the “Debbie Downer” I once was. I don’t carry my problems around like I used to. I even embrace my alone time, because I enjoy pondering over my own thoughts and ideas, for the first time in a long time.

There’s much more to this list, but I think you get the point. Yoga helped me find happiness again. I’m still a work in progress and have my bad moments all the time, but now I can recognize my mistakes and bring myself back to a place of love and kindness. I know my problems have never gone away, but I just look at them with a different perspective and handle them with a different mindset. I hope you can make the connection in your own practice, and see what I mean.

Namaste

Fashion Friendly Activewear

Just because fitness wear is supposed to be functional, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fashionable too. Many brands have started carrying more eye-catching pieces. Fun prints and cutouts are going to be huge this spring so why not carry those trends into your workout gear. Here’s a few stylish and workout-friendly pieces that I’m loving.

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Nike Printed Cropped Active Capris $99

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Nike Pro Three Inch Printed  Short $32

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Adidas by Stella McCartney Studio Printed Long Tights $72.99

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H&M Sports Bra- Blue $19.95

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Body Angle Activewear Lace Shorts   $52

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The Player by Victoria’s Secret Racerback $29.50-32.50

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Anthropologie Pure + Good Striped Ruffle Jacket $98

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Onzie Floral Burst Crop Legging $56

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Teeki Lavender Diamond Tribe Hot Pant $66 (these are made from recycled water bottles!)

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Vimmia Abstracted Racerback Bra$74

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Zella Power Play Live In’ Leggings $64

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Zobha Anya Bra $58

Hitting the gym is a lot more fun when you’re in an outfit you love. It boosts your confidence which can lead to a better workout, so don’t shy away from getting those leggings you’ve been eyeing, because they could lead to an extra set or two in the gym.

The Superbowl XLVIII Workout

I’m a girl who loves football. I’m pretty feminine most of the time, but if there’s a good game on, don’t ask me  to go shopping.  I cheered in the NFL in 2012 and was a competitive and school cheerleader all my life, so I know the game and get really into it.

The fact that games can run up to almost 4 hours means watching them can really eat away at my day and productivity. While a lot of people, maybe that significant other of yours, are vegging out on the couch, you can squeeze in a good workout.

After discovering the beauty that is NFL Redzone and being able to watch a bunch of games at one time, I decided my restless body needed to move, and I came up with the idea to do 25 squats every time a touchdown was scored.  Since we were watching multiple games being played at once, those squats really added up. I made it through that Sunday feeling good about myself and not bloated and full of beer or bar food.

I decided it was time to branch out from just squats and add a little more fun to the workout. These moves are easy ways to get your heart rate up and your metabolism going through the game, and it’s keeps the game interesting, because you’re always waiting for what workout comes next.

The Workout

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touchdown – 25 squat jumps

interception– 25 jumping lunges

flag on the play–  25 jumping jacks

timeout–  25 crunches

player injury– 25 push-ups

commercial breaks– hydrate

half time– dance party to  Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Pepper

It’s just like a drinking game. If you see it in the game, do the corresponding move and try to last the whole game if you can.

If the jump squats and lunges are too much you can always tone it down and just do regular air squats and lunges. I just wanted to keep the intensity high since there’s no weights involved.

I don’t want to add too much to the list because I think this should be an exciting game, and this is probably well enough since the games are so long. If you’re not out partying for the Superbowl give this workout a try and let me know what you think.

Also, who are you cheering for? Neither are my team, but I was born in Seattle so I’m a little bias.

“I don’t have time to workout”

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It’s hard to get a workout in everyday. Sometimes things come up and you just don’t have enough time to get to the gym when you need to. Time is money, and most people just don’t have enough of either. That’s why scientist came up with the 7 minute workout.

I was skeptical, because seven minutes sounds like it wouldn’t do a single thing to me, but this workout actually got my heart rate going and metabolism revved up. It’s my new go-to workout when my day is just to busy. It’s perfect when I wake up and need a quick energy boost, or when I’m on my lunch break and need some movement to wake up my muscles from sitting at a desk all day. It energized way better than a cup of coffee in less time than it takes for me to drink one.

This workouts not enough for me to replace my normal workouts with, but it’s a nice compliment to my workouts, and it’s just a really good way to get your metabolism going.

Another reason why it’s so useful is because they’re all body-weight exercises, and all ones that you probably already know how to do. All you need is a chair and your body, and you’re all set.

How it works: There are twelve moves. Each move is performed for 30 seconds (the harder you go in those 30 seconds, the more you’ll benefit). Then you rest for 10 seconds and go on to the next move. Easy enough, right?

The moves are:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Wall-sit
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Chair step-ups
  • Squats
  • Tricep dips
  • Plank
  • High knees
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups with rotation
  • Side plank (15 sec per side)

So it’s definitely doable. There’s even an app for it for iPhones called 7 Minutes, that does the timing for you and tells you when to switch exercises. Now that you know this exists, you really don’t have an excuse for not getting up and getting moving today. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.