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Love Yourself 10 Day Fit Challenge

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On February 1, I will begin a FREE 10 day Fit Challenge! We will be streaming on-demand workout videos, posting about them, and motivating each other together in a private, online group setting. If you would like to be a part of this group, please email me! We’d love to have you join. There are only a few spots left, so please contact me within the next day or two!

 

 

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My Long Distance Racing Tips

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November of 2008 marked my very first long distance race. I finished those 26.2 miles with pride and could officially call myself a marathoner.

Since then, I have run over a dozen long distance races. I have learned what works well in training for a race and also what does not work well. I also have figured out my race day rituals that are tried and true.

This past weekend, a friend and I ran a 25k trail run in Alabama. It was set back away from civilization where the trail wound through serene woods and overlooked a beautiful lake. It was one of the prettiest races I have enjoyed so far.

Being the road runner that I am (I have only raced in one other trail run that was a half marathon distance), trail running is a new ball game. The community of trail runners is quite a bit different and I feel like they approach the race with a different mindset. The runners I met along the trail were so kind in letting me pass them and not jockeying for position or trying to elbow me out of the way. Quite different from some road races where I have almost been pushed down in order for a runner to gain that position in front of me.

After years of running and racing, I would like to think of myself as a somewhat seasoned racer. I want to pass along some of my tips on how I prepare for a race and what my best race day tips are.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
    The week before the race, and especially the day before, I try to drink a lot of water. It is always better to go into a race hydrated than not having enough liquid. Dehydration definitely hinders your performance on race day!
  2. Get a good night sleep TWO nights before the race 
    I know this may come as a shock to you, but it is very important to get a lot of sleep two nights before the race. Reason being, the night before you most likely will have pre-race jitters, causing you to not get that full night of sleep. Also, if the race is not near your hometown, you will be sleeping in a different bed than normal which always throws people off.
  3. Carb load a few days before hand
    Please do not wait to carb load the night before a race, or even the morning of! Your body needs to build up glycogen in your muscles to use during the race and it always works best for me to carb load a few days prior. My favorite pre-race meal the night before is a sweet potato hash.
    *You can find the recipe in my upcoming recipe e-book that I will be releasing soon!
  4. On the race morning, wake up at least 2 hours before the start 
    I hate going into a race not fully awake. I love to wake up early on race day, hydrate with water and drink a cup of coffee, have my pre-race breakfast, and take time to mentally prepare for what is ahead of me.
  5. Do NOT change anything up on race day
    Race day is not the time to try something new. Do not buy new running clothes, shoes or even try new foods the day of (or even the day before!). You have no idea how your body will respond to digesting the new food/drink/gu, if the clothes will chafe or ride up uncomfortably, and new shoes will definitely not be broken in. I suggest using your long training runs as a time to try out what exactly works for you. If you need to keep a log book of what your favorite running clothes are, what foods best energize you, and how well hydrated you were, it might help!
  6. Wear compression sleeves 
    Seriously, I swear by these. I do not run a long distance race anymore without them. They help me during the race with swelling and circulation as well as keep the soreness at bay after the race. If you are not comfortable wearing them during the race, at least bring some to slip on right when you finish. It will still help with the post-race soreness.
  7. Actively stretch after the race
    After you cross the finish line, grab your finishers medal and some water/snacks they have provided, and then actively stretch. Your muscles and joints have been working continuously for a couple hours (or more – depending on your pace). If you actively stretch (do not do stationary stretches first), it will help immensely!

I hope you find these helpful for your next big race! I love talking about running so please post comments below or contact me at fashionedtobefit@gmail.com if you want to get ahold of me.

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How to Stay Fit as a Mom {PART THREE}

If you are like most moms, it can be hard to find the time and energy to work out with kids! I put together a three part series on how I stay fit as a mom. You can check out the first two parts here and here.

I’m back here today with a couple more tips that might help you get or stay fit while having kids around!

1. FIND A GYM WITH CHILDCARE

I understand not everyone wants to work out at home. Sometimes it’s refreshing and can be motivating to get out of your home and workout with others around you. I personally love taking classes at a gym! TRX, Zumba, Body Pump, etc are all really fun to do with friends or fellow moms.

If you have it in your budget and live near a good gym that provides it, sign up for a gym that has childcare available for you! You can usually drop your children off for a set amount of time that allows you to get in a class or two, shower in peace, and pick your children up afterwards. It’s easy, relaxing for you, and everyone goes home happy! {unless you have a child that hates childcare in general. Which I have had. Thankfully she’s older now and deals with separation anxiety better than she did her entire first two years.}

2. TRADE OFF

Sometimes when my husband and I both want to participate in a sporting event, we trade off. Either we each play part of the game while the other watches the kids, or he plays in one whole game and I get to play in the next game.

It’s nice to both get a good workout in, and not need to pay a babysitter to watch the kids. Also, our girls absolutely love watching their parents run in races or play in basketball games! They are the best cheerleaders out there!

 

What are your favorite workout classes to do at the gym? Any new ones I should try?  

 

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Rainy Day Workout

Are you looking for an indoor workout today?

If the weather is the same by you as it is here, it’s not the nicest to get a good workout in outdoors.

I love keeping a stock pile of quick indoor workouts that I can do at home for days just like today. I don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to be derailed too much during my half marathon training.  I got this particular one from Skinny Mom. {you can check out her website here}

She posts a great mix of healthy tips, great workouts, and monthly challenges for you to try out.

 

TODAY’S WORKOUT:

50 JUMPING JACKS

15 PUSH UPS

40 SIT UPS

25 SQUATS

10 LUNGES (PER LEG)

60 SECOND WALL SIT

 

REPEAT 3x

 

Do you have any great go-to workouts for rainy days? I’d love to hear what they are!

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How to Keep in Shape While on Vacation

 

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Today, I’m collaborating with Kendra Thornton (@KendraThornton) to offer you tips on staying fit while on vacation. With the summer months just around the corner, we thought it would be helpful to give you some ideas to not lose your fitness level when traveling. While being on the road sometimes poses some difficulty because you are out of your norm, it is possible to keep up with exercising and eating right.

Kendra’s Tips: 

Kids can make it difficult to eat right. That’s what I always though, but really it became easier when I started eating healthier food. My kids followed along for the most part, but it can still be pretty difficult to get them to eat spinach. I’ve found the best way to stay healthy when traveling is by planning out what I’m going to eat and also including a few activities where I know I’ll get all of the exercise that I need to stay in shape. Whether I’m at home or on vacation, I have a few tips that I’ve developed that I think can help out anyone struggling with their diet this summer break.

What to Eat When Traveling

I think one of the worst experiences is to look for dinner with your family and find that everything is too expensive or too commercial. My favorite restaurants are always locally owned and provide ingredients from local farmers. Sometimes these are also organic, which is a bigger bonus because I’d rather not eat food with pesticides. Eating vegetables is always better knowing that it’s incredibly fresh and locally grown.

How to Avoid Buffet Foods

Buffets are probably the biggest temptation on vacation. They offer a great value for families because you can fill your plate up multiple times. However, I’ve learned that this can be bad for anyone’s health, and it certainly didn’t do me any favors. When my family wants to go to the buffet, I only fill my plate up once and try to avoid some of the richer foods. I know that I can treat myself, but I also want to balance it out with a lighter meal the next day.

Always Drink Water

I try to always bring a lot of water with us when we travel. It can be difficult to stop on the highway especially when you’re trying to arrive for a reservation at a hotel. That’s why I always pack water beforehand or pick up a case once we’ve reached out destination. It’s just cheaper this way.

Pick Health-Friendly Hotels 

Hotels have changed their attitudes towards food and working out. A number of hotels are providing healthier menus, organic meals and even have fitness equipment to make it easy to exercise whenever you want on vacation. I always try to pick these hotels first whenever I go anywhere with my family.

My family and I always love going on vacations, however we try not to totally abandon our healthy eating habits when we’re away from home. For our upcoming trip to Orlando, I even booked a hotel with a quality gym in case of rain and for convenience. This can be a difficult process at times as there are so many hotels in Orlando. You can always check out sites like Gogobot as these types of sites make it easier to learn about what hotel is right for you.

Sarah’s Tips: 

Plan vacations around a race

I love planning a vacation around a race. What better way to enjoy a new area than to run around and see the cool sights? Having locals cheer you on as you go is always a fun incentive as well. My family and I have a beach trip planned soon. We knew we wanted to go to a beach and I looked for a race and found out there is a half marathon on the weekend that works for us at a beach 3 hours from our house. I thought what better way to experience the beach and to get a good workout in than to sign up to run the half marathon while we are there?

Take a cooler full of healthy snacks 

Usually convenience store snacks are full of unhealthy ingredients and also cost much more than pre-made snacks from home. Every time my family travels, we take along two small coolers. One with ice in it to keep the necessary foods chilled, and the other for regular snacks. Because we have two young girls, they are constantly asking for something to eat. We always bring along homemade wheat bread (pre-sliced) with peanut butter, fruits and veggies already cut up and other organic snacks that I had previously had on hand. This helps make the trip go by much quicker (less stops), and also we are able to eat lunch in the car instead of stop for fast food which as we all know can be very full of sodium and not so healthy foods.

Use rest stops or layovers for moving 

When you stop to get gas during a long trip, take advantage and get moving! I love to get the girls out while my husband fills up the car at the pump. We usually run a few laps around the buildings on the sidewalks or run on a near by patch of grass. This gets the blood flowing and helps with all that pent up energy. The same works while flying. If you have a layover and time to kill, take that time to walk around. Get a good 20-30 minute walk in. It will help pass the time and burn some calories while you’re at it.

Always take your running shoes along

No matter what trip we have planned, I always take my running shoes along. I don’t necessarily get a run in every day (although, I try to as much as I can!) but it’s always good to walk as much as possible. If you are staying within a city, you can usually walk to most of places which allows you to see the sights better than if you were driving by them. My husband and I have taken some pretty cools trips and logged in 8-10 miles a day sometimes just by walking everywhere. This saves you on taxi cab prices and also you get a good workout in. If you have small kids that won’t be able to talk everywhere, take along an Ergo or a Kelty hiking backpack to carry them in.

Eat off the lighter menu

While eating out on vacation, try to order off of their healthier menu. If these options aren’t marked clearly, ask if they have a separate healthier menu or what options are healthier than others. Try to order grilled instead of fried and salads instead of pasta. These options will be much healthier for you and won’t add those extra vacation pounds. And, always order water!! Any other drink adds calories. If you want a little extra flavor, get a slice of lemon with your water.

Stay at hotels that include breakfast 

This is a must for our family. We usually look for a Hampton Inn. They have great service and also have a rewards system you can use. I highly recommend them. You know you will get a great hot breakfast in the morning, which saves our family quite a bit of money and also you can choose healthier options than if you went out to eat at a restaurant.

Also, try to get a suite if possible that has a kitchenette. This allows you to cook (minimally) and keep snacks and food in a refrigerator (such as yogurt, apples, left over food, lunch meats, etc) that you can grab for a quick lunch. Our rule of thumb is to eat breakfast and lunch at the hotel (or from our cooler while we are out) and eat at a restaurant for dinner. This allows us to save money and eat much healthier.

Also, every Hampton Inn I have been to has a pool and a nice workout room. Take advantage of those on down time.

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We hope these tips help to keep you on track!

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7 Minute HIIT Workout

Are you looking for a good HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that only takes 7 minutes of your time and you can do it all from home? Here is a great workout that I do when I don’t have a ton of time but want to get a little sweat session in.

I have the Tabata Pro app on my iPhone which is perfect for this workout. I love it for the fact that you can set each work session and rest session to be as long as you want. For this workout, I set it to a 10 second prepare time, 30 seconds for each work session, and a 10 second rest in between each move. I do 12 cycles total and you have the workout complete!

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7 Minute Workout 

Jumping jacks

Wall sit

Push-ups

Ab-crunch

Step-up onto chair

Squats

Triceps dip – on chair

Plank

High knees

Lunges

Push-ups with rotation

Side plank

***Do each one 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between.

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Rainy Day Workout

Apparently it’s rainy season here. Which means humidity is rising, bugs are coming out of the woodwork, and workouts need to be done inside. Today prevented the girls and me from leaving our apartment (partly due to the rain, mainly because Adam had our one car we own here in Japan), so I decided an indoor workout was the only way I would get some exercise today.

I went on Pinterest, found a workout I had pinned a while back, tweaked it just a little bit, and got to work. After my fourth repetition of this workout I was dripping in sweat and could hardly feel my arms*.

I thought I would share the workout with you in case you are rained in and desiring a good workout. I did the entire list as hard and fast as I could to get as much cardio out of it as I could, took a minute or so break at the end, and began again. I repeated it four times through. It should take 20 minutes total, or that’s about what it took me.

30 jumping jacks

5 push-ups

25 knee highs

10 crunches

7 squats

5 push-ups

10 crunches

5 push-ups

7 squats

30 jumping jacks

45 second wall sit

5 push-ups

25 knee highs

*Please don’t judge. I will be the first to admit I am not blessed in upper arm strength. So after 80 push-ups, when my arms were about to fall off, I thought it best to not complete the desired fifth time through.