Category Archives: Exercise

Thursday's Workout and Product Reviews

Thank you all so much very much for your encouraging comments on my last post. These sorts of posts and comments form others is helping me to purge my feelings, and recognize my old, irrational habits, ones I am letting go 🙂

Fitness is an important part of my life, so I want to share my recovery on this blog, but also discuss my workouts, tips and my training toward my Half- Marathon in May. I am re-discovering how much I love working out to make myself FEEL GREAT as opposed to losing weight and diminishing my body. The muscle I am finally developing is a plus too! 😀

On that note, this morning I had a great workout! I woke up at 7:00 and headed over to my school’s rec center. I began with a 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical at an easy pace. I then attended a 45 spinning class where the usual hills and sprints were a focus, and it was a heart-pumping good time!

I was in the mood for a good weight session too, so after the class I completed these two circuits and tried to work each part of my body.

Exercise Set 1: I went through this 3 times:

Squat w/ lateral raise 12-15 reps 15 pound DB
Renegade row 12 rows for each arm 15 pound DB
Plank hold 45 sec- 1 minute Body weight
Kettle ball Swing w/squat 12-15 reps 20 pound KB
Bicep curl in lung position 10 curls for each leg 12 pound DB

After the first two circuits I did a 2-minute cardio blast, to get my heart pumpin! I completed as many reps as possible in 30 seconds then moved on to the next move:

1.     Mountain climbers

2.     Burpees

3.     Squat jumps

4.     Jumping jacks with 5 pound weights in each hand

Once this was done I moved on to this circuit and went through it three times

Scissor crunches 30- 45 seconds Body weight
Chest press 12-15 reps 20 pound DB
Hamstring Roll-Ins 15 reps Body weight on ball
Tricep pull-down 15- 20 reps 40 pounds on machine
Oblique crunches 15 on each side Body weight

I repeated the same cardio blast as above after the first two circuits and did a whole lotta stretchin after this workout.

The gym at our school was built last year and I feel so blessed to have free access to this gorgeous place. It has so many fabulous offerings, such as tons of ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, arc trainers, rowing machines, two weight rooms, an indoor track, and a yummy smoothie bar! There are also three open rooms for group exercise classes, such as cardio kick, spinning, Zumba and others. Here are some pics!

I was oh-so-sexy sweaty after the combination of spinning and this weight routine, and quickly made my way back to my room, showered and had breakfast!

Once again the blogging world rears its influential head for my breakfast :p I had prepped overnight oats before heading to the gym so they were nice and ready by the time I ate them.

Mmm looked like baby food! 😉 The mix included: McCann’s “Quick and Easy” 5- Minute Steel Cut Oats, chia seeds, almond milk, a banana, Trader Joe’s Blueberry Jam, and a small dollop of Peanut Butter and Company- Cinnamon Raisin Swirl… a delicious mix!


It was my first time trying McCann’s Instant Steel Cut Oats, and I really enjoyed them! They maintained the heartier, nuttier texture that steel cut oats have and did not take 20- 30 minutes to cook on a stove top. This type absorbed the liquids nicely and was a tasty new try! I recommend these if you are short on time in the morning, but still like to enjoy this type over rolled or other instant kinds.

The jam from Trader Joe’s was also a great addition. It had sweet blueberries throughout the jam, yet the flavor was not too powerful, a nice fruity touch to the oatmeal!

I have three classes this afternoon and then my friend Danielle is picking me up to go to Whole Foods for Free Sample Night!! Yay for hoarding free food 🙂

I shall be recapping this amazing event later tonight. I hope everyone has an nice day!

Question: Has anyone tried this type of oatmeal before? Or any other interesting kinds you enjoy?

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Filed under Breakfast, Exercise, Fitness, Oatmeal, Product Review, Whole Foods

Monday Morning Workout

So another week begins! And it’s snowing here in the Northeast! I know I am stating the obvious here, but this whole New England weather thing is getting a tad old 😉 On my run yesterday, I was in shorts, and today I busted out the rubber boots and long coat for my (wet/cold) walk to class. Ahh well, things could be worse!

Not going to lie though, getting going this morning was a bit difficult! On days I do not practice with the Track team, I get my workouts done in the early morning, I’m not a fan of waiting around to do it all day. Plus the Rec Center here gets crazy crowded as the day progresses.

As my alarm was ringing before my 7 am Cardio Kick class, I thought of Julie (from PB Fingers) and her mantra for getting yourself motivated and your butt moving for a workout, “you’re just one workout away from a good mood.” That thought really helped and powered me through the class! I love this group exercise class because it is a great cardio workout, but also tones legs, arms, bum, shoulders, and back by incorporating punches and kicks with cardio intervals…i worked up a great sweat!

The class is only 40 minutes and I was feelin full of energy, so I decided to hit the treadmill for a bit. While watching Good Morning America, I ran 3.5 miles in 26 minutes and incorporated sprint intervals/HIIT. I set the incline at 1.5% and started with a warm-up for 5 minutes, then cranked up the speed to 8.8 mph for 1 minute and down to 7.6 for a 2 minute break. It’s safe to say I was dripping sweat (TMI) by the end of this and hightailed it back to my room to take a shower… twas needed 🙂

I have a midterm tomorrow for my Health Economics class that I really ought to continue studying for. The material in the class is fairly interesting, but I have a serious problem every time I go. It is right after lunch in a nice, warm and cozy classroom and I nod off/fall asleep seriously EVERYDAY. And to make it worse, there are only about 15 students in the room so the professor definitely sees me do this consistently, but I am so not trying to be rude! It’s that tired, sleepy feeling that you cannot do anything about, except maybe walk around or pass out right on the desk (yes, this has occurred! haha) Does this happen to anyone else?!

How was everyone’s weekend? Any races to report, or exciting news? Did anyone get in a good workout this morning…I would love to hear some new ideas to switch up my own routine!

Time to get my study on! Doesn’t think book sound thrilling? 😉


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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Group Exercise, HIIT, Public Health, Running

Below The Surface- Why Run?

Well, I am back at school, unpacked and preparing for the week ahead. It was a great trip back, I even took a detour at a favorite place of mine (and several others)

This was made even more exciting by the fact that I had never been to this one! A whole NEW Whole Foods waiting for me to be explored :D. And this location in Woburn did not disappoint, great hot food bar, a burrito station, pizza, and a trail mix bar! Exciting stuff I know. Please tell me I am not the only one that gets this elated at the thought of this darn grocery store?!

It’s actually nice to be back, I said hi to several of my residents who said they missed being here! This makes me happy, as I try to enhance their experience at school as an RA (more about this later!)

This is another post for the “Below The Surface” series, I hope you enjoy 🙂

On the drive back, I had some time to just think. I thought about what I had to do this week, my family, this blog, and something nagging me about running.

Why did I begin running? When I quit swimming in 2008, the gym quickly began to bore me and I wanted to find a substitute. I also gained a bit of weight at that time, and thought running would be the best way to lose a few pounds. This was around the same time as starting Weight Watchers, so running had been a means of weight loss. As my stamina, endurance and athletic ability increased, my obsession for running followed suit. Now there were days I could get lost in the run; observing the scenery, listening to music, thinking, and enjoying what my body was capable of.

However, as I got more fixated on my routines around food, running and exercising became a focus as well. About a year after I quit swimming and took up running, I would feel uncomfortable with missing more than two days of running in a row. But why was this? I feared of getting fat, losing everything I had built up from running in just a few days….

As I am reforming a healthy relationship with food, I am attempting to make amends with running, and find the joys and benefits it provides beyond weight loss.

After I returned to school today, unpacked and settled in a bit, I went for a run. I challenged myself to not wear my ipod, a watch, no cell phone or anything, and just jog at a comfortable pace. This helped me understand why I love running: it was just a short, 25 minute run, yet it helped me to realize that I run to:

  • Take time for myself to think
  • Get away from obligations, even if it’s just for a few minutes
  • Savor the feeling after ending your run: that you are empowered, even if it’s temporary
  • Simply enjoy the scenery, weather, or whatever else the environment is offering that day

  • A time where I can simply not think at all
  • Hear my own heart beat, and blood flowing as I test my body to its limits (during a workout)
  • Experience a flood of endorphins as the sweat trickles down from your body
  • Even if I am having a bad day, when I finish a run, everything is better
  • You never know what you can find while exploring a new path

Several of these are mental benefits, yet I also love the physical ones that come along with running, beyond WEIGHT LOSS. My quads, hamstrings and calves have become more defined, and I generally feel stronger.

Today I went from this:                                                                                                           To This! hehe.

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere along the way I forgot how much I love running, and am seeking to find my passion for it once again. If I engage in this sport simply for appearance, what the heck is the point?!

What are your reasons for running? And if you don’t engage in this sport, why do you choose your form of exercise? I would love to hear ideas, so I can add to my list 🙂

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Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, ED, Exercise, Fitness, Recovery, Running, Whole Foods

Confession and a Healthy Granola Recipe!

Good afternoon! I almost just wrote morning, but the day seems to be zooming by, its already 12:30!

Confession Time: This morning I went on a pleasant 7 mile run at a relaxed pace. I came in around 55 minutes, but was quite tired the whole time! I really need to start fueling before my runs, or at least during. I know, it is so BAD not to, but I usually run first thing in the morning and I really NEVER wake up hungry and forcing myself to eat leads to stomach issues on my run…gross I know! But not going to lie, the irrational, wanting to lose weight side of my brain thinks this will lead to a faster weight loss, similar to what I did after workouts, not eat! NOT SMART!

For runs that are longer than 8 miles, I am going to try incorporating Shot Bloks or an equivalent every few miles. I am sure that will make a difference in my energy levels, and I will report back with my experiment! If that goes well, I am going to try eating a small something before a run, perhaps half a banana or something. What are people’s favorite mid-fuel treats that are easy on the stomach?

I should note, however, that I ALWAYS fuel before Cross Country races, and other road races no matter what the distance is. I try to perform by very best during each race, and know how important fuel is… so DUHHH I need to do this before every workout/run to get the most out of my training!

After I showered, I whipped up a pretty quick and very easy granola recipe to have for breakfast! I based it off of this recipe, Banana Granola, but changed a few things

  1. Cutting the recipe in half
  2. Using only walnuts instead of walnuts and seeds
  3. Agave Nectar, not honey,
  4. and a few sprinkles of TJ Peanut Flour which has been discontinued! Alas 😦

It turned out really good! I love granola but some recipes and ones you can buy are fat and calorie dense. With this recipe, you still get a good measure of healthy fats with the walnuts and bit of Peanut Flour, but it is much lower, and still tasty! The banana adds a touch of sweetness and the baking time allows it to crunch up nicely. I suggest you make this asap! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I read the Fitnessista Blog (which is fabulous for so many reasons, I’m sure you already read it 🙂 ) She did a short video on a pretty twist you can do to your hair and I decided to try it today, check it out!

 

 

Have a nice day everyone! Later today I will be posting more about disordered eating habits, such as my daily eats before and after getting better

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Confession, ED, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Running

Fun With Family

Good evening!

Yesterday I started the day with a nice, relaxing 6.5 mile run. I had planned to do some 1-minute pickups along the way but my legs felt like lead so I went easier and slower instead. I finished around 49:30, but had to do a bit of awkward extra jogging to stop my watch at 50:00, am I the only weirdo that MUST stop their clock on an exact number?!

I am training for a half marathon, Boston’s Run To Remember in May, and listening to my body and taking an easy day is vital for optimal performance.

Anyway, I brought my camera with me and took a few pictures of the beach and views along the way.

A Very Tiny View of Boston!

After my run, I stretched and then refueled with a container of Fage (0%), milled flax seeds, a banana, and a bunch of water. When I used to go for runs, I would never eat when I got back with the dumb, irrational thought that NOT consuming food would lead to weight loss. It did but it was muscle that I was losing and this is certainly no way to build endurance and recover. Consuming proper calories and a correct balance of nutrients within 30 minutes of a workout is very important, and something I now do all the time!

A few hours later after my mom and I had lunch, we drove to my older brother’s house in New Hampshire! Russell is 25 years old and got married to his wife, Christine, in 2008.

Christine is so great, and is truly like a sister to me. Also visiting were Christine’s mom (also named Donna!) and her aunt (Tammy), a great group to hang out with and I was psyched! We all caught up, joked around, went to dinner at a very nice restaurant, Saffron Bistro and just had a wonderful time! Here are a few pictures from the night:

Donna and ChristineClockwise: my mom and Russell, broski and I, Christine and her mom. Below is my mom and I, and the other picture is of Tammy, Donna, and Christine.

Three of us, including myself ordered scallops with lobster risotto-it was very delicious! Everyone’s meals was tasty as well. Following dinner, we were going to all go dancing at a night club near by, but the cover charge was 10 bucks and didn’t really feel like spending that if we were only planning to drop in for a short time…ahh well! I was kinda in the mood to get my groove on, I shall have to save it for another time 😀

I had such a nice catching up with a few members of my family. After I had such a miserable, lonely, homesick year at UVM (read about this in my about page) the experience made me appreciate the love and support I get from my family so much. I could not have survived that year without them and also with the more recent struggles I have been dealing with.

I also have another older brother, Tucker who I also love and miss, he is currently living in California! If you would like to read more about the most important people in my life, check out that page up top!

I had planned to do some baking today, but that turned into a 2 hour long nap instead…woops! I will be baking tomorrow, get ready for a delicious recipe (this time fo sho!)

Did anyone else do anything nice this weekend? Have any experiences ever made you appreciate your family even more? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Fitness, Running