Stair Workout for Rainy Days…

Hey everyone! I am back!

Today is a rainy day in my neck of the woods. For those of you that are like me and aren’t motivated enough to run in the rain, here is an indoor full-body workout that you can do on a set of stairs!

Beginners: 1x each round
Intermediate: 2x each round
Advanced: 3x each round

Round 1:

  • Run up
  • 15 Sumo squats at the top
  • Walk down
  • 15 Push ups

Round 2:

  • Sprint up
  • 15 Squat jumps
  • Walk down
  • 10 Tricep push ups

Round 3:

  • Quick feet run up (both feet touch each step)
  • 15 Crunches
  • Walk down
  • 10 Jumping jacks

Round 4:

  • Crab walks up
  • 15 Russian twists
  • Walk down
  • 10 Superman arch ups

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If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

 

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Trail Running…

Icapture have found a new love. I live in the great state of Minnesota which has an overwhelming number of parks and nature reserves. Earlier this summer, I made the decision to try trail running instead of my normal triathlons. I looked into if there were any races and it turns out there are quite a few! I looked into the Urban Trail Series which offers four races throughout the Summer/Fall. Below I have listed several things that I have LOVED so far about the races.

The series. I have already completed three 10_15nightrunbrittof the four races in the series. The Thanksgiving morning run will be my last for the season. I chose to have all of my races be 10K. I love that they are spread out into the Fall and Spring. Having previously done triathlons, they were held in the heat of Summer due to making sure that the water was warm for the swim. The November one should be in the snow, which will be another new experience for me! Running alongside the trees, somehow makes it seem easier to breathe. Like there’s some sort of “extra oxygen” coming from the trees surrounding me. I know it’s silly, but it feels refreshing.

The hilly terrain. I get to use different muscles than I am used to running with. Being from Minnesota, the terrain is normally flat. Because the races are on hilly terrain, the distance should seem much farther, but somehow it doesn’t. I am sore in places that I have never been sore before. Having to run up hills like a stair-climber, but getting to sprint down them right after. I had one race that had an uphill climb close to a half-mile, but still got to run for a few minutes downhill, so it all felt worth it.

The sounds of nature. I am one of those people who can’t run unless they are listening to music. At least, I thought I was. About half way through the race, I took off my headphones just to hear someone that was talking to me. I loved hearing the sound of my footsteps in the Autumn leaves. I loved hearing the sound of the wildlife running/flying along beside us. I didn’t have to listen to the sounds of cars like I do when I run my block at home. It was all quite refreshing.

Getting dirty. There’s something about running through the mud and puddles and getting dirty knowing that you get to just rinse it all off when you get home. The first puddle is always the hardest. After you get your shoes soaked in mud, the rest of the run is nothing!

Softer than concrete. I have run long races in the past along concrete streets. The race does a toll on my hips and knees. Even though my muscles, heart, and lungs can keep going longer, my joints start to hurt after about Mile 6. When running on the trails and soft dirt, I feel like I could run forever!

 

I hope that you get a chance to run trails some day if you haven’t already. Maybe you will have similar experiences to mine! I would love to hear how you trail run.

Running in the dark…

10_15NightRunBrittZoomedOut.jpegIt’s Fall and the days are getting darker. It’s time to break out your reflective gear and double check your running habits to make sure you are being as safe as possible. The following are four easy tips for nighttime running (and running in general).

Chose a well-lit route or provide your own lighting. Running on streets that have lamps is the safest way to go, even though these streets might be the busiest. There are also headlamps available that are meant for running. These can illuminate the path in front of you, and also clue in drivers that you are there.

Be visible. Safety vests and reflective strips are your friend. Don’t think you can get away with those tiny reflective spots on your favorite leggings. Be obnoxious with your reflective gear. Make yourself noticeable, especially at a driver’s eye level. Avoid wearing dark colors. Pair your light and neon colors with your reflective gear.

Stick to familiar routes. If you are wanting to try a new route, go ahead and try during the daylight. Nighttime running should be kept to familiar routes. I also recommend choosing a shorter route and running it multiple times. This way, you are closer to your destination in case something happens.

Run in silence (or near silence). Consider not listening to the music and enjoying the sounds of nature (and traffic). If you are one of those people that NEEDS to listen to music, consider turning the volume down so you can hear your surroundings.

Run towards traffic. No, I don’t mean go running straight at cars. I mean run on the left side of the street (assuming you are in a country that drives on the right side of the road 🙂 ) If you can see the cars coming, you can jump out of the way if need be. This way, cars won’t sneak up behind you. If you are wearing a headlamp, they will be able to see it better too!

Okay! Hope you have a great Fall! Get out and keep running! Just be safe about it!

 

Happy trails,

Britt

Health Benefits of Disc Golfing…

Okay, I recently started playing Disc Golf (Frisbee Golf) this summer. I had always known what it was after seeing a few courses at parks that I visited, but I never got into it. I was always so bad at throwing Frisbees and thought it would be pointless for me to try. I borrowed a few discs from my S.O. to start off. He’s been playing for 15 or so years. We have a relatively easy course right next to my house, so that’s where we started. There are courses ALL over the Twin Cities, and we are still exploring.

I wear a fitness watch and love getting out and playing because it gets unbelievable steps in. There are a lot of other great health benefits of disc golfing that you may not even think of. Many of these can also apply to other sports as well.

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  1. Okay first off, Disc is just plain fun! Having an activity that you enjoy doing will get you out and playing more often. Let’s be honest…throwing a disc around for a half an hour is a LOT more fun than jogging around the block three times and you get the same number of steps.
  2. We all know the joy of practicing so hard on something that you get to see the end result. Sinking a nice putt will give you a sense of accomplishment and it will get you back out the course day after day.
  3. It gives you a nice break from your normal routine. As someone who works at least two jobs at all times, I enjoy a great cheap way to break up my work schedule in a healthy way. It gets my mind off thinking about work or errands for at least an hour.
  4. Similarly, Disc Golf can relieve stress. You get away from your computer or phone screen which cause most of our stress, start getting endorphins pumping, and just relax and have fun. It’s a great way to unwind from the day. Who knows? Maybe if you’re a little frustrated you might throw your drive a little farther for a little stress relief 🙂
  5. As someone who studied architecture and physics, Disc Golf is a great way to put it into practice. Trying to understand how each disc flies, and what you need for a specific hole will help you sink it easier. Wind will be a factor, so trying to work around that will help you practice that old high school physics we all forgot about. It’s all about problem solving.
  6. Disc Golf is a mental sport. The only one who affects your shot is you and the wind 🙂 . As you play, your confidence will build with your good days and fade with the bad ones. It’s all about getting back out there and being the best you can on each hole.
  7. Persistence. This one ties along with the last one. There will be great days/weeks/months and bad ones. Some courses are just plain hard! You may be getting used to new discs, or any other hiccup you might be having. Just keep playing and take one hole at a time. Just remember, if you had a bad round…it’ll be even easier to beat the next time around 🙂
  8. As a gymnast, I have always had to be overly aware of what my body is doing in space. Disc golf is the same way. You have to be aware of every little thing that could contribute to your throw. This includes fingers, hands, arms, fDiskGolf_07_07_16eet, chest, everything! If you have one tiny thing off, your disc could end up in a parking lot! This sport gives a real sense of body awareness.
  9. Nature. Some good some bad. I love getting out and seeing the woods and parks in my neighborhood that I wouldn’t necessarily see any other way. In my area, there are mosquitoes EVERYWHERE! Even with bug spray I get eaten alive. I can’t wait for fall days when I don’t have to worry about this and can just enjoy the nature around me. My S.O. has been known to see woodpeckers, deer, turkeys, and giant spiders, etc. while Disc Golfing. It’s a great way to get some fresh air!
  10. The people. I had no idea how many other people played Disc Golf until I started playing! Everyone is so proud to be in that community that they will help you improve your game whether they know you or not. I have had complete strangers ask to play with me and give me pointers. It’s a great community that you will love to be a part of.

 

As if you needed another reason to go throw your disc….well now you have 10! Have fun and be safe! Remember your bug spray! Bring water!


I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to live slightly healthier today.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

Look here for my latest post…First Triathlon Tips

 

First Triathlon Tips…

So you signed up for a triathlon…now what? Below is a list of items that I have learned over the years from experience and from friends’ experiences. I have been running triathlons for three years now. This list is designed for outdoor triathlons, but some of these items can certainly be applied to indoor triathlons as well!

Pre-Race

  • Pick a fun race. Pick a race in a location that you love, or that offers great amenities. Most races will give you a T-shirt and/or medal for finishing. Get yourself excited about the race. It’s harder to train for a race you aren’t looking forward to. Some have free beer or goodies at the end J Those are my favorite!
  • Find a training plan. There are multiple free training plans online that will take you day by day through your training process. Of course, these are not tailored to your athletic abilities. If you are really devoted, you can ask a personal trainer to write up a training plan for you based on your experiences and strengths.
  • Know the course. Go out during your training and examine the lake, see what the water condition is, look at what obstacles you might encounter on the beach run. Look at the bike course. Drive or bike it before the race to get used to hills and turns that you will encounter.
  • Taper before the race. Tapering is when you cut back on your training a few weeks before the big day. Give your muscles a chance to rebuild in time for the race. Still get out and get a few minutes on each leg. I like to go for light jogs and nice leisurely bike rides instead of intense training sessions.
  • Pre-race checklist. A few days before your event, make a list of EVERYTHING you will need. I say a few days, because you may think of more things you missed throughout the days leading to the event.

 

Race Day

  • Have a light breakfast. Don’t eat anything out of the ordinary. Your body may feel nervous and you may not want to eat, but make sure you get something. Energy gels are great for quick energy.
  • Set up your transition area in a way that makes sense for you. When it comes time to use your transition area, you don’t want to waste time finding your socks. Place things by discipline so you have one mini pile for each leg of the race.
  • Warm up in the water. Get your body used to the water. I have heard countless professionals also say that this helps your body not hit panic mode as much during your race. Take a few laps, but you don’t need to waste all of your energy.

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The Swim

  • Pick your favorite stroke. There is no rule that says that you need to do a freestyle stroke the entire race. You can mix it up as much as you want. I have been known to whip my backstroke out every once and a while.
  • Goggles under your cap. You will be bonked around. I have been hit in the head a few times by people’s flailing arms. I have even had my goggles knocked off in one race leaving me without for the entire race. Put your goggles on first and then your cap!
  • Know your buoys. Most races will have multiple distances racing at once. Know which color buoys you are following and take your turns accordingly.
  • Take your time. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking of the whole race at once. Think “buoy to buoy”. Take it one at a time. Don’t be afraid to take breaks on the lifeguards. Just keep thinking forward progress. Any forward movement is better than none.

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The Bike

  • Yayy! You survived the hardest part. Now you’re on to the bike. Use this leg to make up some time. Know your gears and when to use them.
  • Carry water and gel on your bike. Don’t fill up on either right before or after a transition. Let your body get used to your current leg before you put your body through eating or drinking.
  • Make sure you communicate with other riders. Communicate when you are passing and then pass them as fast as you can. Don’t draft on them. Not communicating and drafting on other people is actually illegal in most races.
  • Pace yourself. This is the longest section of the race. Don’t start sprinting right away. Know your race pace and stick to it!

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The Run

  • Last Leg! Use all of your excess energy in this leg. You never want to end the race thinking “I could have pushed myself harder”.
  • Walk the water stations. I use the water stations to catch my breath and take a few seconds to regather myself.
  • Find a running buddy. I think my favorite race was one where I found two people running the same pace as me and we ran together. We pushed each other to the finish and had a few laughs.

 

Post-Race

  • Protein! Get some protein in to rebuild those muscles as soon as you can after the race.
  • Rest! Congrats on your finish! You deserve a few days off.
  • Thank your support staff. Send a message or shout out to those that helped you train, came to your race, or provided any extra support. They will love to hear how much they helped you.
  • Sign up for another! You know you want to! You will be on a triathlon high after your race. Use this enthusiasm to sign up for another!

How to be young…

Being young can be stressful and hard. You’re fresh out of school. Loans are piling up. Relationships might not be going so well. Well don’t let your health suffer because of it!

 

Here are some tips to get you started on living a healthy young life.

 

Drink more water. It’s easy and free. Drinking water keeps you full longer and helps curb cravings. It has so many other health benefits. I wrote a post about it here.

Spirits over Beer. Partying and getting drunk is part of most young adults’ lives. Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinks are full of calories.Here is a  helpful guide to which drinks give you the most alcohol per calorie. Of course, always go with diet sodas over regular or juices for mix-ins. Remember that you’ll be getting drunk faster than your friends drinking beer, so take it slow!

Healthy snacking. Snacking calories add up SO fast. Some of the normal snacks you might make, like nachos or mac and cheese, actually have more calories than a full meal. Be careful with your snacking habits. This page tells you what you are actually craving. Want chocolate? Try some nuts. What you’re really craving is magnesium! We live busy lives as young adults, make sure you have healthy snacks on hand in your purse or in your car for when you get hungry.

Don’t forget to indulge. YOLO. You only get to be young once. Don’t forget to treat yourself every now and then. It will help fulfill your cravings. Go healthy afterwards for a sort of ‘detox’ and BAM you’re back to normal.

Talk to friends. Being in your 20s and 30s is hard! It’s stressful finding those first few jobs, getting into relationships, buying a car or home, etc. Make sure you talk to friends and family. Who knows, they might have some tips up their sleeves from when they went through it. Just remember that everyone is struggling with you. You aren’t alone.

Coach. Coaching is an easy way to get a few thousand more steps in per day, plus you get paid to do it! I started coaching a little over two years ago and it’s the best part of my day. I get to hang out with some cool kids who keep me up to date with the latest teen slang and celebrity drama, plus I get moving and it pays for my groceries and gas for the week. Find a sport that you either did growing up, or have an interest in. Make it fun. Don’t let this become a chore. If it is, it’s not worth doing. Being in your 20s and 30s is the best time to start. You may need a few extra dollars to pay off those student loans, and you won’t necessarily have your life all planned out with 5 kids already.

Eat Slow. I know you live a busy young life, but take it easy!  It takes 20-30 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Start with a smaller size portion and see where you go from there. Make sure you drink water while you eat. When you’re finished take a break. Check back in with yourself in 30 minutes to see if you really are still hungry. Chances are, you probably aren’t!

Play Sports. Get out and get moving in a fun way! Fitness doesn’t just mean running around your block 20 times and calling it a day. Things like playing disc golf and playing catch are great exercise and they make a great date! Head over to the lake and take a walk around. You’ll thank me later.

Walk instead. How often do you drive somewhere within 2 miles just to pick up food or drive an errand you could have walked. I live in an urban area, but I still find myself doing that all the time. The other day I realized I needed to stop at the grocery store and reality checked myself. I only needed a handful of things and the store is only a few blocks away. Why should I have to drive? I grabbed my backpack and my boyfriend and we walked! We got to spend some time together and get yummy treats 🙂 Win-Win. Need to return a shirt to the store? Walk. Need to deliver a letter from the post office? Walk. It’s that easy.

Eat Breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Get your day started fresh with energy and help cut cravings throughout your morning. Oatmeal or a granola bar will suffice. You don’t have to go creating a 5-star egg white omelet every morning. Breakfast can be easy. I usually grab a yogurt first thing and have a granola bar a few hours later when my tummy wakes up a little more.

Go to the gym. If you’re lucky enough to have a gym membership (some are as low as $10 a month). You can use weights or cardio on rainy days. Don’t let winter be an excuse for fitness. I live in a state where it is winter for three seasons. It is so easy to hide inside and Netflix. I now grab my ipad and Netflix on the go. You can use gym internet to watch shows on your tablet or phone while walking on the treadmill. Great deal! Before you know it you’re 45-minutes into your walk!

Eat Nutrients like whole grains and veggies. Load up your plate with bright colors. Sometimes that salad bar plate isn’t as healthy as you think. Croutons and dressing really add up. You’re better off with that veggie stir-fry.

Take time to eat. Along the same lines as waiting 30-minutes afterwards, make sure you are taking time to enjoy your food. I recommend not binge-watching while eating.  Take a break from re-watching Gossip Girl to listen to your body and focus on your body. It will help you know when you’re full and it also provides a great opportunity to  talk to your loved ones.

Drink Tea. I’m not suggesting cutting coffee completely from your diet, but teas like green tea have been proven to speed up your metabolism. Maybe you need your coffee for a kick start in the morning, but you can make your second cup a tea. End your day with a nice tea. Doesn’t matter. Plus with tea becoming a trend, they have a whole bunch of fancy schmancy flavors now! You don’t want to miss out!

Do it now! Be proactive. Not reactive. Don’t wait until you notice you can’t fit in your favorite shorts anymore. Make an effort to stay fit and healthy even when you know things are going well.

 

Congrats on making it 20-30 years into your life. Take care of yourself so you can live a few more decades!

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I hope that these tips and tasty tidbits motivate you to live slightly healthier today.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation, and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

Look here for yesterday’s “Tips for Bringing Your Lunch…” Post.

 

 

If you can dodge a block, you can dodge a ball…

So there’s already an Anytime Fitness, but I really think there should be an Anything Fitness. I wrote in a previous post that you can make any sort of fitness a game whether it’s by playing with a deck of cards, a dice, a coin, etc. You can check out that post here…https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/how-to-make-fitness-a-game/

This time, we got a little creative! It couldn’t have gone any better!

As a coach, you have to make sure that your girls/boys have been warmed up properly before assigning them complicated dangerous skills.The problem is…it’s been almost a 100 degrees F in Minnesota the past few days and making them run 20 killers just horrifies me. So how can we get them warmed up without putting them at risk for heat exhaustion? We played a little game. It got their bodies moving and made it fun. I mean let’s be real, I was playing along with them and I was beat after about 5 minutes. I forgot how exhausting gym glass games could be.

Since I work in a gymnastics studio, we had about a million **exaggeration** foam pit blocks at our disposal. We set up mats to hide behind (I think I found a way to trip over every single one) and picked teams. The teams were the BEST part of the whole game. I believe we had 5 teams in the gym ready to warm up when 4:30 rolled around, so I invited everyone to partake. It surprised me how well these girls worked together as one team when they don’t normally practice together or know each others names. We had girls ranging from 1st or 2nd grade all the way to High School working and laughing together.

I glanced at my fitness watch after the game and I had logged about 2,000 steps in about 10 minutes. Normally it would take at LEAST a jog around my suburban block to get this many steps, and that’s WAY less fun. I mean look at the photos (photo cred to awesome co-coach Maddie 😉 ) Every single one has a giant grin on their face!

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This is how easy it can be to get a workout in! ESPECIALLY if you have kids. We have other games that we play like Cat and Mouse, Fox in the Hen House, Crab Soccer, etc. I may write about those another time.


If you have any questions, comments, concerns, compliments, please contact me on the contact page. Subscribe for more healthy living motivation (you don’t need a wordpress account), and go ahead and ‘Like’ away!

For yesterday’s “Soda or Pop? Doesn’t Matter. Still Deadly.” post click below…

https://millennialsurvivalblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/soda-or-pop-doesnt-matter-still-deadly/

 

How to Make Fitness A Game…

I enjoy making everyday fitness fun. Being healthy and getting fit doesn’t have to mean that you have to go for a 3-mile run. I love getting fit, but even I hate going for a run on most days. If you have a deck of cards, a pair of dice, a coin…you can get fit!

What do I mean by that?

Use these items to determine your workout (if you end up dreading it in the middle you can always blame the dice as an excuse) p.s. but I promise that you will love yourself afterwards. That ALWAYS happens.

Okay…now what do I mean you can let your dice determine your workout. They aren’t psychic right? Dice can’t talk. This isn’t a Pixar movie. What I mean is that you can write out a workout and let the dice/coin/cards decide how many reps or which exercises to do.

Here’s how…

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Dice

For the Dice Game,

  1. Simply create a list of exercises. My example is below.
  2. Roll the dice. You can decide what this means. I usually roll two and use the sum because that’s what I have lying around. You could use a multiplier if you want (ex. I will multiply every roll by three. So if I roll a 5 I will do 15 reps). I have my gymnasts usually just do two times whatever they roll. We go through the list multiple times if it is for a conditioning set.
  3. Repeat? Don’t think you did enough reps? Go ahead and repeat. Or try a new multiplier!

Here is an example list.

Lunges each leg
Triangle Push Ups
Crunches
Calf Raises
Normal Push Ups
Russian Twists
Toe Raises
Wide arm push-ups
Toe taps
Sumo Squats
Tricep Dips
Superman lifts
Mountain Climbers
Wall sits
Burpees
Jump Roping
Lemon Squeezers
Alternating V-Ups
Hip Ups

**You’ll notice that I added in some cardio at the end. If you want to make this a cross-training workout you can add these in as well.

 

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Deck of Cards

This game is similar to the dice game in that you count numbers based off of what card you draw.

Pick 4 Activities that you really want to work on. Assign each activity to each of the four suits. If you want a full body workout, you can choose 1 arm, 1 core, 1 leg, and 1 cardio. You could also specialize on abs, or do an upper body workout and do 2 arms and 2 abs. It’s up to you!

Once you decide your four exercises, start picking cards. Each number represents the number of reps you will do. Face cards are worth 10 when I play and Ace is worth 1.

For example,

I chose

Spades-Push ups
Clubs- Sumo Squats
Hearts- Burpees (because heart has to mean cardio right J )
Diamonds- Lemon Squeezers (because abs have to be hard as diamonds)

My first Draw is a 5 of hearts, so I do 5 burpees. Then I draw another card. It’s the 7 of Diamonds. I do 7 lemon squeezers before moving onto the next card. Once you get through all of the cards (85 reps of each exercise) you can be done!

 

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Flip a Coin

Flip a coin workouts leave it up to fate which exercises you do. All you need is a coin and some floor space.

  1. Decide what your choices will be.
  2. Flip a coin to see which exercise you will get to do
  3. Do this exercise and then flip again.

Example:

1st Flip
Heads:  100 Jumping Jacks
Tails: 15 Burpees

2nd Flip
Heads: 15 Sumo squats
Tails: 25 Calf Raises

3rd Flip
Heads: 50 Lemon Squeezers
Tails: 50 Crunches

4th Flip
Heads: 10 Pushups
Tails: 25 Tricep pushups

5th Flip
Heads: 60 Second Wall Sit
Tails: 30 Second Wall Sit

6th Flip
Heads: 60 Second Jog in place
Tails: Star Jumps

7th Flip
Heads: 50 Lunges Each leg
Tails: “Fire Hydrants” each leg.

8th Flip
Heads: 50 Russian Twists
Tails: 50 Toe Touches

9th Flip
Heads: 25 Triangle Push Ups
Tails: 25 Wide Arm Push Ups

10th Flip
Heads: 40 Supermans
Tails: 30 Second Superman Hold

Any of these games would be great for a mom or dad that wants to work out with their kids. Kids love games and would love to play along (and probably try to beat you!) It’s a great way for kids to get excited about fitness. Better yet, play it outside!

 

Any of these games you can customize for whatever exercise goals you have that day.

If you have any questions or want some ideas of exercises to do, leave a comment or contact me!