Tips for Staying Active and Healthy on Vacation

Tips For Staying Healthy and

It’s almost 4th of July and with summer many of us are going to be heading out on vacation. I know our family has a few weekend getaways as well as a trip to Hawaii coming up.  When I am on vacation I try to keep my healthy lifestyle and stay on track with my eating.  I know it can be difficult,  but I feel so much better when I do.  Many people including me think of a vacation as a time to skip their workouts, eat junk food and stray from their current diet (the kinds of food that a person typically eats).  This recently happened to me on a weekend getaway.  I went a little crazy and ate a lot of sugar, drank a lot of wine and ate a ton of stuff I usually don’t eat.  Yes it tasted yummy at the time, but I paid for it later.  My sleep was off for a few days, my stomach hurt, and my workouts were sluggish the next week.  This was a good reminder for me that on my next trip I am going to try to stick to my usual routine when possible.  Here are a few ideas to help you stay on track when you are on your next vacation.

  • Try a new class.  My hotel in Hawaii has yoga on the Lanai.  I am totally going to try that!  Many hotels offer classes or you may be able to get a pass to a local gym near your hotel.  
  • Try something active you have never done before like hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, beach volleyball or whatever you can find that is near where you are staying.  We will be going to Hawaii so those are just a few things we found.  We are going to take on the Koko Head stairs, which is going to be quite the challenge.  
  • Stay in a hotel with a kitchenette or a vacation home that has a kitchen.  You will be able to hit the local grocery store and prepare a lot of your foods at the hotel.  
  • Get the entire family involved if you are on a family vacation.  Find activities that the entire family can do.  
  • Workout!  Take advantage of the hotel gym or take your workout outside.  I always throw in a set of resistance bands and have a few workouts downloaded on my iPad to use or adjust as needed.  Get your workout out-of-the-way early so you don’t have to worry about it later!
  • When eating out (which you will) try to select healthy options.  I like to do my research before I got out-of-town and find restaurants with healthy options that can accommodate my food intolerance (gluten and dairy).  A lot of restaurants now show calorie counts on the menu so that will help you be more aware of what you are eating.
  • Be aware of sneaky drink calories!  This may be hard for me when I see all those yummy fruity pool side drinks like a Mai Tai!  Choose lighter options like wine, light beer or sparkling water with lime or diet fresca with vodka.  Don’t forget to drink a lot of water too!
  • Just because you have a free breakfast buffet or free cocktail hour at the hotel doesn’t mean you need to go overboard.
  • It’s ok to indulge, you are on vacation!  However, don’t overindulge because you may pay for it later.  Make your indulgence worth it!!!!
  • Enjoy your surroundings, if you are next to the beach and can run on the beach do it!
  • Avoid airport food!  Take your own food on the airplane for long trips or for road trips.  I pack things like fruit, trail mix, instant oatmeal, PB & J, Jerky, and protein bars.  

This is my go to hotel room workout when I need a quick workout before starting my day.  It can also be done quietly (or I try to be) since my darling daughters are usually asleep nearby.  

Hotel Room Workout

  • Warm Up (3 Minutes)
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Heel Jacks or Jumping Jacks (louder)
  • Toe Touches
  • Walkouts
  • Arm Circles Forward and Reverse

Compete each of the following exercises for 30 seconds.  Repeat 1-3 times or more if you have more time.

Walk Out with Reach or Regular Burpees

Squat with Alternating Front Kicks

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Alternating Curtsy Lunges
  • Squat with a Calf Raise or Squat Jump  
  • Push Ups
  • High Knees
  • Right Side Hip Ups
  • Left Side Hip Ups
  • Skaters  
  • Tricep Dips
  • Bicycle Crunches

Always take time to cool down and stretch.

Hotel Workout (2)Here is a short video demonstrating the exercises:

It isn’t really hard to stay on track while on vacation if you prepare in advance, do your research, use moderation and stay active.   I hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend!  

Spartan Race Recap & Tips For A First Spartan Sprint

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Well….we did it! We conquered the Spartan Boise Sprint Race.  We kicked butt!  For rookie Spartan Racers we feel very accomplished.  I got 4th place in my age group and my hubby got 1st in his age group and we have never done it before.  I am so proud of both of us.  I will say that it may be the hardest race I have ever done. It was a very hilly 5 mile course with rough terrain.  We  ran in the competitive group which I was nervous about but I am glad we did.  We started at 8:00 AM and it was hot!   IMG_1161

Going into this race I was nervous.  I had nightmares the week before.  I do tend to worry and fear the unknown.  That is just my personality type.  This race put me totally out of my comfort zone. Climbing a rope and dragging myself through muddy goat head water under barb wire is not something I usually do!  I had to face my fear and I did!  

Since this was our first Spartan I decided to put together a list of tips and suggestions for any of you crazy people out there who want a challenge and want to try a Spartan Sprint.  

First off the training.  I will admit that I did not really train for the Spartan specifically.  I did run a lot of hills and hill repeats.  That definitely helped.  It was steep and a lot of the time I was walking up the steep hills.  My glutes and hamstrings were on fire!  I did get a chance to try out a few of the obstacles at Camp Rhino Boise, which really helped with safety and techniques as well as to ease my fears.  I think a lot of my daily training helped in many ways.  What I like about how I train is that it is for functional fitness, which allows me to enter different types of races or try different activities without having to specifically train for them.  

If I were to do another Spartan I would definitely incorporate the following into my current training:

  • Hike up steep hills (maybe with a weighted vest)
  • Hit the playground and swing on the monkey bars!  I failed these obstacles and ended up doing burpees.  Monkey bars aren’t just for the kids!
  • Army Crawls and Bear Crawls!  You will do a lot of these in the mud and water under the barbed wire.  This was the scariest part of the course for me.  
  • Find a gym that does obstacle course race training and take a class on safety and techniques.  Practicing at the gym helped me to master the rope climb and helped with my confidence.  
  • Watch videos.  If you don’t have a chance to practice at a gym you can get tips and suggestions from all the videos on the web.  
  • If you have the opportunity to train and race with friends do it!  My friends Matt and Amy really coached me a long since they had previous Spartan experience.  

What To Wear:

  • Spandex and wicking materials.  Do not wear cotton it will get wet and weigh you down.  Wear tight fitting clothing.  I saw a lot of women in spandex shorts and sports bra’s but I chose to wear a tank.  For the guys, my hubby says go with no shirt (first time racing without a shirt but with water obstacles it was a good choice). He was fine wearing athletic shorts with compression shorts underneath.
  • Old shoes you are willing to donate.  My friend tried to wear her new shoes and was very nervous about it so I told her if she was nervous she should not wear new shoes.  You can donate your old muddy shoes at the end of the race and they will clean them.  
  • Sunscreen if you are in hot sunny weather like we were.  
  • I did not wear gloves because I didn’t train with them, I but saw a lot of people wearing them.
  • Compression socks or long tight fitting socks to protect your legs.  
  • Bring a set of extra clothes and extra shoes for the end of the race.  I took a pair of flip flops to wear around.  
  • Do not wear your garmin/watch or sunglasses

What did I eat for pre-race nutrition?  

I would eat and drink whatever you normally do before a long run.  Do not eat anything new.  You may be rolling down a hill and this is not the time to have new foods in your stomach.  I had some coffee and toast with peanut butter and banana about 2 hours before the start.  I drank sips of water at each of the water stations, but didn’t need any fuel during the race.  I would do whatever you normally do for runs or workouts longer than one hour.  

Lastly, these are just a few things I thought about during the race and after.  You have to pace yourself especially if this is your first Spartan.  At first I tried to keep up with my more experienced friend and then I realized that I needed to slow down and run my own race.  Don’t go crazy, be safe and be realistic.  If something goes wrong during an obstacle, pause and don’t freak out, then try to complete it.  One thing that really helped me was to watch other people in front of me complete the obstacles, especially the ones I had not tried before.  I can’t say that I will do another Spartan anytime soon, but I did have fun and I did surprise myself at how well I did without a specific training plan.  If you plan to do your first Spartan go into it with an open mind, have fun and just have a goal to finish.  Someone once said, “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable,” I love this saying especially for me and this race.  

Spartan Hill

Have you done a Spartan or another obstacle race?  Comment with any tips or suggestions you may have.  Have a great week!  

Thursday Arms, Abs, Buns and Cardio Workout

I hope you guys are having an awesome week.  We have had a busy one but it has been fun.  We have been eating frozen yogurt, watching movies, swimming and hanging out with friends.  I just love the summer time.   I started my morning bright and early teaching my boot camp class.  I had a few new gals in my class today which is always great.  I love getting new members to try my classes and I hope they continue to come back.  This morning’s workout was a good one.  The focus was on upper body, core and glutes with cardio bursts mixed in.  I will definitely be feeling all the core tomorrow.  After my workout I made another one of my smoothie bowls that I am addicted to.  This time I got a picture!   IMG_1122

You can make smoothie bowls with just about anything.  I typically see what  have in the pantry or fridge and go from there.  I always include my protein powder and green vibrance or some type of greens to get my day started out right!  I hope you guys enjoy the day and give this workout a try.   Continue reading “Thursday Arms, Abs, Buns and Cardio Workout”

Tips For Drinking More Water

Tips To Drink More Water

How are you guys!  Can we talk about drinking water and hydration for a bit?  THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME!!!!  I will admit I just don’t like the taste of plain water.  It’s going to be in the upper 90’s this week and that means hot and sweaty workouts!  Am I the only one who struggles to drink water?  Especially during the school year.  When you are a teacher with a tiny bladder and bathroom breaks are slim to none it’s tough to drink a lot of water during the school day.  Since it is summer though I have been really focusing on drinking more water.  I think sometimes we focus too much on trying to get the standard 8 glasses of water in each day and don’t focus on what OUR bodies need.  I think it is different for everyone.  I am a heavy sweater during my workouts so my body needs more water.  There are so many benefits of water and I am sure you have heard them all but I notice when I am not drinking enough water my skin looks terrible, I have low energy, I get bloated and sometimes I get headaches.  So here are a few things I have been trying to do this summer to get more water in.

  1. Drink flavor infused water.  I like lemons, limes, cucumbers, and mint.  So good!  
  2. Set a goal, for example my goal is to drink 1 full water bottle by lunch time.  Then another by dinner and one with my workouts. 
  3. Always have your water bottle with you wherever you go.  
  4. Drink your water early in the day!  Don’t try to drink too much water before bed unless you want to be up all night!
  5. Add electrolytes to your water if you are working out in the heat.  I like Nuun Tablets or Emergen C.

What are your tips for drinking more water?  I would love to hear them so comment below and let me know so I can give them a try.  Have a great Monday and if you are in Boise stay cool!

Happy Father’s Day and Bonus Spartan Dad’s Workout!

Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  I hope you all get to spend time together today and cherish the time you have with your dad and you kiddos.  Today is going to be great! We are going to start off with my special gift to my hubby a workout (don’t worry we got him cards and a pair of workout shorts too), then a yummy homemade bacon, sun-dried tomato and spinach frittata and church.  Later we are going to a BBQ at my Aunt’s house today and she has a pool, which mean’s major swimming!  It is a potluck, so I am going to make this yummy salad from another blog I love Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.  It’s a honey lime fruit salad with homemade cinnamon sugar chips.  It sounds delicious and healthy too!  

http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/03/24/spring-salads-honey-lime-fruit-salad-with-homemade-cinnamon-sugar-chips/

As you may or may not know my hubby and some friends  talked me into doing a Spartan Race.  I am scared!  However, facing our fears is what makes us stronger and I am always up for a challenge.  Today’s workout is inspired by my Spartan training and my love for running.  I hope you give it a try!IMG_1068[1]

Father’s Day Running and Burpee Workout

You will need some space for this workout.  It can be easily done at the gym or outside.  Today we are going to be doing our workout at the park so we have plenty of room and get to be outside instead of at the gym on the treadmill. This is a tough workout so feel free to modify as needed.

Spartan Workout 1

Time:  Approximately 60 Minutes                                Mileage:  Approximately 5k

Dynamic Warm Up

  • High Knee Walk:  As you step forward hug your knee into your chest keeping the chest high.  Repeat
  • High Knee Skips: This can be done in place or you can move forward and turn and come back.   
  • Grapevines
  • Alternate Lunge with Rotation
  • Reverse Lunge with Reach
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Walkouts or Slow Burpees

The Workout

  • Run 1 Mile Easy
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 15 Burpees
  • 40 Yard Sprint
  • 20 Burpees
  • 40 Yard Sprint
  • 15  Burpees
  • Run ¼  Mile Hard Pace
  • 10 Burpees
  • Run ¼   Mile Hard Pace
  • 5 Burpees
  • Run 1 Mile Moderate Pace
  • Cool Down Walk 1-3 Minutes

Core Conditioning:  perform each exercise for 1 minute each

  • V Sit
  • Plank
  • Hollow Hold
  • Stretch

Have a great day!!!!!

 

Can you boost your metabolism?

Tips To Speed Rev Up Your MeatabolismHi Everyone!  Recently I was having a conversation with my dad regarding losing weight and working out.  After talking with his doctor, he has recently decided to lose some weight and start a new healthier lifestyle.  I am so excited to help him out with this process.  One of the questions he had for me was about metabolism.  He asked me how to boost his metabolism especially since he is getting older (mid 50’s) this is an area he is struggling with.  This was such a great question.  So I set out to do a little research and help him and all of my readers too. A lot of this information I learned in my fitness certification courses and some of my continuing education courses as well.  

Tips To Boost Your Metabolism

  1. Get Enough Sleep
  2. Eat A Good Breakfast (carbs, protein and fats)
  3. Strength Train
  4. Reduce Stress
  5. Eat Clean Unprocessed Organic Foods
  6. Increase your protein intake
  7. Add interval training into your workouts
  8. Drink a lot of water
  9. Drink Green Tea

Causes For Slow Metabolism

  1. Eating Processed Foods
  2. Too Much Alcohol
  3. Skipping Meals (especially breakfast) or Not Eating Enough
  4. Not getting enough sleep
  5. Dehydration
  6. Skipping Workouts

*Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician.  These are just my tips and suggestions.  I always suggest working with your doctor or Naturopath prior to starting anything new in your diet or a new workout program.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 

 

 

 

 

Low Impact HIIT Workout

Happy Hump Day!  I got the chance to sub for another instructor at the gym yesterday and I love her class.  They are so much fun!  However, her class is a lot different than my insane boot campers!  It is a low impact strength and conditioning class.  Just because a class is low impact doesn’t mean it isn’t a good workout!  This is a great low impact workout that is still tough but will be easier on your joints and require less jumping or plyometric moves.  I got a great workout  and it is always nice to try something a little different.  This workout combines strength training and cardio burst intervals.  Give it a try.   

Warm Up (5 Minutes)

For the warm up you can warm up with a brisk walk or easy jog on the treadmill, elliptical or bike.  Or you can do a combination of dynamic warm up moves.  I like to do a combination of dynamic exercises for 30 seconds each.  Here are a few suggestions:  bodyweight squats, lunges, jacks, jog or march in place, butt kickers, high knees, toe touches, walk outs, or push ups.  These will get your body warmed up and your muscles loose so that you will be ready for  the workout.

After the warm up you will complete each exercise in the circuit at maximum intensity for 30 seconds rest for 10 seconds if needed. Complete 2-3 rounds. 

Low Impact

Always be sure to cool down and stretch following any workout.  Right now I am trying to incorporate more stretching into my workouts and it is feeling really good!  

After my workout  I had a great smoothie  bowl.  I don’t know about you guys but I like to eat my smoothies rather than drink them really fast.  I have been addicted to smoothie bowls lately.  Here is what I had today it was yummy.  Feel free to adjust to your taste.  

Blueberry Almond Smoothie Bowl

  • ½ of a frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop green vibrance or a handful of greens like spinach or kale

Add all the ingredients to your blender. To get a thick smoothie you will need to use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Once it is blended and has a thick consistency (like soft serve ice cream) scoop it out into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, chia seeds, chopped almonds, unsweetened coconut, or granola.  I topped mine with this yummy granola that tastes like a peanut butter cookie.  I seriously love all of her recipes!!!!

http://www.pbfingers.com/2011/06/14/peanut-butter-granola/

Just remember to go easy on the toppings they can add up in calories.  I prefer to measure mine out for portion control.  

On another note, I really need to start taking more pictures of my food!  Next time I promise!

Tag You’re It! Relay Re-cap and How To Pack For A Relay Race

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We did!  For the past 8 years a bunch of our friends have been running in the Sawtooth Relay.  The relay is so much fun and has become our tradition.  It’s like our kick off to summer fun!  The relay is held every year and it starts in beautiful Stanley Idaho and ends in Ketchum, Idaho near the Sun Valley Resort.  The relay has 12 legs which 6 people run.  The total mileage is 61.9 miles.  Each person on the team runs 2 legs.  This year I tackled leg 1 and leg 7.  Leg 7 is hard.  The total mileage is 6.02 miles and elevation loss is 1411.  It is down hill!!!!!!  I ran a 7:03 pace and felt awesome.  It was beautiful.  We had a great race despite a few injuries and being tired.

One of the things we have learned in all the years we have run this race was what to pack.  Here is some advice on what to pack if you are planning to run a relay race in the future. Keep in mind our race is in the Sawtooth Mountains so temperatures can be in the 30’s and can warm up to the 80’s by the end of the day. 

  1.  Clothes!  A lot of clothes for every type of weather!  We have run in rain, snow and heat.  So you never can have too many options.  Don’t forget extra clothes so you can change out of your stinky wet clothes after your leg of the race. 
  2. Wipes and Toilet Paper.  This year several of the porta potties ran out and it is nice to have some available.
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Deodorant, you don’t want to stink up your van!   
  5. Ibuprofen, there may be aches and pains.
  6. Water Jugs, we buy the big water jugs to save space and help the environment and then we just fill our own water bottles as we go.
  7. Snacks and drinks!  We love pretzels, PB and J, bananas, coconut water, Lara bars, cookies (my friends make the best cookies) and beer (for after of course)!
  8. Music and Headphones
  9. Cell Phone
  10. Phone or Ipod Chargers
  11. Shoes and extra shoes and socks in case it pours down rain or snows.
  12. Running Belts
  13. Garmin if you use one
  14. Massage Roller (the stick)
  15. Blankets
  16. Headlamps and Reflective Vests, especially if you are running in the dark.
  17. Stopwatch or Timing Device
  18. Flip Flops or Uggs because it is nice to take off your running shoes.
  19. Sweat Pants and Sweatshirts
  20. First Aid Kit

Things we didn’t pack this year but should have! 

  1.  Van Decorating Stuff!  Every year we say we are going to decorate our van and somehow we never do. It’s always fun to see all the decorated vans with sayings etc.
  2. More Protein!  After my last leg of the race I wanted protein so bad.  So we decided next year we will include post run snacks like deli meat, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks and protein shakes. 
  3. Yoga Mat, we have had one in the past but forgot this year.  It’s nice to throw it down on the side of the road and do a few down dogs and stretches. 

If you ever get the chance to be part of a relay race do it!  It is so much fun.  You get to spend the day with some awesome people doing what you love and in our case doing it in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains! 

For more information on the Sawtooth Relay http://sawtoothrelay.com/

 

 

Running and Upper Body Workout

Hi everyone, the other day a friend of mine and I did a killer workout that I wanted to share with you guys.  We are both trying to work on our upper body strength right now.  Me for the Spartan race in a few weeks and her for an upcoming trip  to Hawaii.  So yesterday our workout focused on mostly upper body, running and core.  This is a great workout you can do anywhere.  We ran outside, but you could easily run on the treadmill.  Give it a try.  I guarantee you will feel your arms the next day!  

Following my workout I had my current favorite breakfast.  Egg white oatmeal!  I know that sounds really odd but it is very yummy and super filling.  

Start with a large bowl.  The oatmeal will grow!  Stir 1 cup water with ½ cup of gluten free oats.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in while stirring ½ cup of liquid egg whites.  You will have to stir fast while pouring so the egg whites don’t clump.  Return to the microwave for 3o seconds.  Stir.  Microwave for 30 more seconds and then stir.  I like to mix in ½ cup of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, sprinkle of cinnamon and stevia to taste.  Give this a try it is delicious!  Now for the workout details!

Things you will need for the workout:  Weights, Water, Towel and Mat

Notes:  For your weights you want to have a heavier set of weights.  The reps are 8-10 so you want to make sure you are challenging yourself with your weight size.

Running and Upper Body

  • Warm Up
  • 1 Mile Run Easy Pace
  • Upper Body Strength Training (you will perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps)
  • Shoulder Raise
  • Standing Arnold Press*  
  • Reverse Delt Flys
  • Squat to Shoulder Press
  • Upright Rows
  • Run 1 Mile Hard Pace
  • Repeat Upper Body Strength Training
  • Run 1 Mile Hard Pace
  • Repeat Upper Body Strength Training
  • Run Easy Pace 5 Minutes
  • Core  
  • Plank (hold for 1 minute)
  • Jack Knife Abs
  • Plank (hold for 1 minute)
  • Jack Knife Abs
  • Stretch (I like to incorporate yoga stretches into my workout at the end)

Arnold Press Form:  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/arnold-dumbbell-press

Jack Knife Abs:  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/jackknife-sit-up

Do I need new workout shoes?

When To Buy New Shoes

Happy Monday!  It has been very warm here in Boise, Idaho.  This morning for my run it was 70 degrees at 5:45 am.  I need new running shoes big time!  Especially with my favorite race the Sawtooth Relay coming up this weekend.  I am a creature of habit and have been buying the same running shoes over and over again for the past 10 years.  I just love them, so I never switch things up.  People often ask me when they should replace their current fitness or running shoes.  So I did a little bit of research and used my own experience to point them in the right direction.  I thought I would share a bit of advice on this topic with my readers as well.  I think having the right shoe for your workout is very important.  Often times I will see people new to my fitness classes with obviously old shoes and then they will complain about foot and knee pain.  I will ask them when they bought their shoes and I am surprised at how old some people’s  shoes are!  Here are a few suggestions and tips from my experience with workout shoes.  

For Fitness Classes (boot camp, cross fit, interval training, aerobics, fitness classes)

I recommend a cross trainer.  Cross trainers are designed specifically for forward, backward, and lateral movement.  I would also recommend that you get the right shoe for your workout type.  If you take a Zumba class a cross trainer may not be the right shoe for you.  I would recommend purchasing a shoe from a store that you can get fitted properly in the right shoe and has a return policy that will allow you to try the shoe in your workout and then return it if needed.  

For Running

I highly recommend going to a specialty running store and getting fitted for your running shoe.  Most of these stores will work with you to find the perfect fitting shoe for your running needs.  And if the shoe doesn’t work for you, the majority of these stores let you try your shoes on your next few runs and if they don’t work you can return them.  After you get fitted and find that perfect shoe, stick with it!  I have been wearing the same shoe for a few years now.  I just keep buying the same shoe just a newer version.  Runner’s World Magazine reccomends replacing your running shoes after 300-500 miles.  For me, I can usually tell when I need to buy new shoes.  For example, right now my running shoes have holes on the heel  area so I know I need to buy some!  I usually go more by feel, how they are wearing and if I am experiencing any knee or foot pain.  

Here are just a few more tips:

  • Don’t pick a shoe just because it looks good.  
  • Make sure it fits properly (get sized)
  • Try on shoes early in the day to avoid swollen feet, my husband bought a pair of shoes the other night and had to return them because they did not fit the next morning!
  • Only wear your shoes when working out or running
  • Go to a speciality shoe store in your area
  • Shoes are expensive, but a great investment.  Trust me it is worth it!  
  • Get some nice socks too (my fave: injinji toe socks)