Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Make the Most of Your Time in Spinning Class

Whether you’re a seasoned Spinning student or a complete newbie, there are several things you need to consider when you’re on a Spinning bike. Realistically, you CAN hop right on and start pedaling. But that’s not really the point of an actual Spinning class. We instructors do our best to challenge you with resistance and heart rate variations, all of which combine to create an efficient workout. But it’s your engagement with the bike that makes or breaks your experience.

Spinning, Cycling, Group Fitness, Tips and Tricks
Spinning instructors cue from start to finish, offering hints, tips and directions to help you make the most of your workout. But when you’re on the bike, sometimes you get lost in thought, sweat or fatigue and you miss these cues. So today, I thought it would be fun to break down a Spinning class. Let’s start with getting ready.

Riding with cycling shoes is an added bonus, but will not break your experience. The same cannot be said about water. Come to class with it, no excuses. And wear a heart rate monitor if you have one. And most importantly, if you don’t know what your bike settings are, then come early and ask for help. Riding a bike that isn’t properly set up can and probably will lead to injury or discomfort. 

You walk into the studio and music is playing, people are pedaling and the instructor is talking. Guess what, you might be late. Get to class on time and be ready to go when the music starts—This is your warm up, and it’s one of the most important parts of your ride. This time allows the body to adjust to the movement. To get into position so that blood can flow to the muscles that will soon be working their hardest. Additional tips:

1) Assess bike performance. Never ride a broken bike! 
2) Assess your body. Address any issues. 
3) Tune into the task ahead of you, not the rider next to you.

There are a variety of different techniques that can be combined to create a challenging Spinning class. Because of this, each class is different…which is why you need to pay attention. Only you can determine the level of intensity that fits your fitness. So it’s up to you to react accordingly to the instructor’s cues from segment to segment. Not doing so results in a lackluster experience on the bike. Let’s go over some of the basic techniques:

1) Flats: These can be done seated or standing. Always make sure you are connected to the road, which means that you should always load up some resistance on the bike. If you are standing, more resistance is necessary to balance out the change in movement. And when it comes to flats, know that they aren’t always meant to be easy. If your instructor cues an active recovery on a flat, make sure you keep working at an intensity that allows the heart rate to level out.

2) Climbs: These can also be done seated or standing. It’s up to you to make them hard because you control the resistance. They are meant to challenge you. Listen to your instructor and adjust accordingly. Do not be shy! If you don’t push yourself, you won’t make advances. Going light on a climb is only necessary if/when you feel like it’s too much…going light on a climb when you don’t feel like putting forth the effort, or when you’re too busy chatting with your neighbor to really engage in the task at hand…that’s how you kill your workout. That’s how you miss out on the benefits. So sit back in your seat a little bit, find your gluten and hamstrings and really dig into the hill.

3) Sprints and Jumps: Advanced moves and the reason you need to stay tuned in to your ride. Because it’s always your ride, no matter what the instructor is cuing. Seasoned students should jump and sprint at an intensity that makes sense for their fitness. Do what you can, when you can. Don’t worry about your neighbor. One thing to always remember: Breathe through the intensity.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve got going on after class, hopping off a bike without cooling down is a huge mistake. Ever stand up too quickly and get light headed? Yeah, it’s like that. Every stop running and feel like you’re going to faint? Yeah, it’s like that, too. You absolutely need to give your body a chance to calm back down. Your heart rate gets up there in Spinning class, and the cool down brings it, well…back down in a safe and effective manner. Don’t skip these last few minutes of active pedaling. Instead, do this:

1) Reduce the resistance and give in. 
2) Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to encourage calmer breathing. 
3) Drink the rest of your water. 

So you stayed for the cool down. Now it’s time to stretch. But you gotta go and you feel fine so it must be acceptable to skip the stretch. Brutal honesty: This is stupid.

1) If you must leave early, stretch on your own outside of the Spinning studio. 
2) If you stay, commit and enjoy the stretch routine your instructor has prepared. 
3) Don’t bounce. Never bounce while you stretch. 

Other articles of interest:
A Spinning Certification Review
8 Tips for Taking Your First Spinning Class
Spinning During Pregnancy: How to Ride Safely when You are Expecting

Question: How do you feel about Spinning? What is your favorite part of a Spinning class?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Save $10 on Wish Wraps from @MomentumJewelry! #ad

OK, you guys! Just popping in tonight with a sweet discount on a product from a company that I really love. As you know, I am an ambassador for Momentum Jewelry and as such, I get to share new products with you at prices you won't find anywhere else. Total win! And let it be known, it's not every day that I partner with companies in this way. I choose to work with Momentum because I truly believe in what they're doing—creating jewelry that's meant to move you.

Fitness jewelry.
Inspirational jewelry. 

Newest product:

The Wish Wrap. Leather with sparkles and the slogan of your choice.

These bracelets are normally $40, but you can save $10 when you use my link. Yes, I get a small percentage of the sale, but I'll be totally honest with you, that's of no concern to me. There's only one thing I love more than a good discount—sharing a good discount!

The Wish Wrap. 

Or save 10% on any other item in the store.
Like this Motivate Wrap:

Tomorrow, we talk about Spinning. 

Question: Check out the Wish Wrap and let me know what yours would say!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

6 Things I'm Loving Right Now, Vol. 13

How was your weekend? Mine flew as they all do. I spent some extra time at the gym: Spinning on Saturday, and a management shift today. It's a good thing I love my job!

Which brings me to today's post: A list of things I'm loving right now.

1) Long Runs

Mizuno, running watch, running jewelry, long run
Like my bracelet? Order one and save 10%! (Affiliate Link)
The struggle is real, friends. It's been so hard to stay focused on increasing my mileage. And it has nothing to do with the weather, which has been surprisingly conducive to excellent runs. Rather, I've been sick. And/or otherwise busy. I've had to sneak the miles in somewhat forcefully. But I never regret them, which is the best. My eyes are still on the prize (a Spring 25K).

2) Starbucks' Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee
I have been an iced coffee junkie lately. I'm never without a fresh pot, and I absolutely love Sumatra coffee from Starbucks. Now, I'm no coffee aficionado so don't ask me to be descriptive about why this bean is better than others. But I love it, it tastes good. So try it!

3) New Sunglasses
4) Short Hair

short hair, lauren conrad sunglasses, kohl's

I lost my favorite sunglasses a few weeks ago, and have been looking for the perfect replacement. While these aren't the exact same pair, they're dang close which makes me happy. Combine that with a freshly chopped 'do, well...I might be taking more selfies in sunglasses these days.

5) One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

book, reading, library book, fiction, bestseller
I'm on a mission to read more books. I got back into the habit of using Goodreads to find potentials, and subsequently declared a "15 books in 2015" end goal. This one will be my third, and I expect to finish it soon. It's a quick read. Very good. Just what I need. The plot isn't too thick, the characters are interesting. There's a developing relationship, which always gets me. Next up? The Girl on the Train or Yes, Please. Whichever I can get my hands on first. Both are currently hot at the library.

6) MacBook Air
When I was in college, I saved up my pocket change (literally) for an Elsa Peretti heart necklace from Tiffany. It took forever, and I'll never forget what it felt like to walk in such an iconic store with enough money to make a purchase. I was fiercely proud of myself for sticking to it, and I wore that necklace for years after. Significance? I took the same approach with the MacBook Air that I am currently typing on. A Daily Dose of Fit doesn't bring in bags of money, but I do make a small amount on sponsored opportunities that fit my message. That cash got stashed, and I got a new computer. Super, super in love with it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a book to read (after I fold some laundry).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

30-Minute Kettlebell and BOSU Workout #workoutwednesday

Oh, hey.

It's Wednesday, which means it's #workoutwednesday.

It's also "What I Ate Wednesday"...

...but my workouts are far more interesting than my eats. Why? I taught my typical 60-minute Barre Fit class this morning (Example #1) (Example #2), and will head back to the gym tonight to sub our 30-minute Kettlebell/BOSU class. I'm really looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.

First up, I bought a new heart rate monitor. Well...just the strap. My old Polar died a few weeks ago, so I just bought the HRM strap that goes with my Garmin.

I've been missing this information in my Spinning class, and am anxious to see how my Garmin works in this way. Stereotypically used just for running purposes, I see that it will tell me heart rate/calories burned during normal workouts, too. But I guess it loads it into Garmin connect as a run.

I'm not picky about that. I don't care, really.
I just want to keep an eye on my heart rate and the calorie-burn info will be fun.

So, we'll see.

Reason #2 that I'm excited to teach tonight: It's been a long time since I've taught a kettlebell class. Like, before Evan was born. My strength workouts have consisted mostly of Barre and PiYo, so this Kettlebell/BOSU class will be different than anything I've done over the course of the past 9 months.

Here's what I've got planned:

If you choose to give this workout a go, please remember to be considerate of your own, unique fitness level. I can't be sure if this workout is right for you, so use your best judgement. And it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway—Check in with your doctor if there's any question as to whether or not you should be doing it.

Let me clarify a few things:

1) Remember, a kettlebell swing is NOT a squat. Hinge from those hips.

2) 3-Way Pushups: Put your left hand on the BOSU and your right hand on the floor, do the pushup, walk to the middle of the BOSU, do another pushup, then move to the left side of the BOSU. Repeat.

3) When you come into the reverse lunge out of your halo, the kettlebell should be on the outside of your leg that's in front.

4) When you plank on the BOSU, put your toes on the very top of the mound. Tap one foot on the ground, bring it back into plank position, then repeat with the other foot. Continue this for the duration of the minute.

Any other questions?
I have one for you:

Question: What was your workout today?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A @MomentumJewelry Discount and Some #linklove

A Daily Dose of Fit is my creative outlet. I don't write it for page views or profit. I don't write it for free products. Yes, those things have come my way, but in the end—I write this blog to share my experience and expertise with you as it pertains to living the fit life in the midst of a crazy, hectic life. I've always been very honest with you about this. And about the fact that I only accept profits and product if I truly believe in them and/or what they represent. Or if I'm insanely curious. Because if I can investigate something for you, then I will.

Strict standars, I have them. And I stand by them.

Which is why you should believe me when I say that Momentum Jewelry is pretty friggin' awesome. I had the chance to review their products last year and absolutely fell in love. Great quality, great company. So happy to be one of their newest ambassadors.

Yes, they sent me a box of goodies.
And yes, I can get you a discount.

Note: I receive a portion of all sales made using the link in this post. I speak the truth when I say that it's not the profit I am interested in. I truly love Momentum, and am happy to help you get some in your life at a discounted price. 

More on that later.
Let's talk about reading.

I really need to finish a book that was due back to the library on Saturday. While I'm working on that, you might want to work on these:

1) These eight weight loss tips inspired by kids are legit.

2) My husband loves enchiladas. I love veggie burgers. Are enchilada veggie burgers our perfect food?

3) How much do you sweat when you exercise? Me...buckets when I teach Spinning, for sure. But I don't care because sweat is empowering.

4) One of my biggest pet peeves on race day: When walkers don't pay attention to runners. So let's take a minute and review race day etiquette.

5) This year is well underway, and I'm curious about those fitness goals you set for yourself way back in January. How's it going? Not well? You might be thinking about fitness all wrong.

6) Are you looking for advice that will change your life? Greatest asked 25 experts for the one piece that worked for them.

7) Spring is officially here, but Winter lingers. My skin is wicked dry. One thing I haven't tried: DIY body and bath products.

8) My daughter and I both love a good PBJ. You can bet we'll be trying out these eight epic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

9) My IT band has been good to me lately. I've been stretching like mad in all of my classes. And rolling. But apparently, foam rolling and the IT band don't necessarily go together.

10) Do you know how to pronounce these fashion labels?

Question: What's your take on sweat? Do you hate sweating? Do you feel like it's empowering?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How To Collect Fitness Moments #dishthefit

I am insanely busy right now. Case and point: Double shift at work today.

Fitting it night hours at the gym is hard because of the kids and Jason's schedule. Hence, "insanely" busy. But it's such a stupid thing to say because, well...aren't we all insanely busy? It's become somewhat of an existence validator. As if you're not living unless you're busy. We ask each other how our lives have been and what do we say in response?

"Oh, life is good. Busy...but good."

I think we should all stop being busy.
I think we should start getting back in touch with our lives.

For example: When I run, I find that I forget to focus on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. I often get lost in the miles. In making sure I run them, one right after the another. This is not necessarily a bad thing, per se. But this weekend, I got about four miles into my long run when I felt everything sync. Despite the podcast, despite the cars zooming down the street next to my sidewalk. Despite being thirsty and not having my water bottle...I felt everything sync up. Every step was rhythmic and it felt good.

I had gotten in touch with what I was doing.
I was present and accounted for in my activity of choice.

It was a moment that reminded me to stop (figuratively, of course) and take note.
To really enjoy this combo of working hard and being outside and doing what I love.

It was a reminder that I need to do more of this "be present" thing.

How can you collect moments?
More specifically, how can you collect fitness moments?

fitness tips, fitness advice, fitness pins
1) Take out your earbuds.
If you rely on it and/or your music to get you through a workout, leave it behind once or twice and use that time to really focus on what you're doing. And what your workout is making you feel. You might surprise yourself and actually, honestly recognize your advances (and then you won't have to mistakenly beat yourself up for not making them).

2) Don't make it about winning.
This is especially true when you're running a race. Forget about the other participants and worry about yourself. Run against yourself. Because if you can beat yourself, or at least feel yourself making that attempt, you won't soon forget the outcome. Or if you can take the game out completely and just enjoy the environment in which you are a participant, then you'll really absorb what's going on around you.

3) Experiment.
Ruts stink, so don't get stuck in one. Expand your horizons and sign up for a new fitness class, or enlist a trainer for some new exercise ideas. You never know when you'll discover your next great fitness love. And, who knows, you might make a new friend along the way. Because despite the hard work and goals and schedules, fitness can and should be fun. Grasp that and you'll do much better.

Curious about this topic? Find out more about living in the moment from today's #dishthefit link-up.

Question: How do you collect moments? Do you have a fitness moment that means so much to you?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What happens on Sunday...

...probably won't happen on Sunday anymore.

I'm talking about mass overhaul trips to the grocery store. It's a logical time to do it, we've been doing it for years, but we decided today that we don't want to spend so much of our precious weekend buying food. Seriously, it takes us forever and we're over it and the crowds. So the new plan is to go on a weeknight. Probably on Thursday so we're set for the weekend.

My guess is that I'll be making the trip alone, which is fine by me.
I love grocery shopping. And, #retailtherapy.

But here's what WILL continue to happen on Sundays: Long runs.

My local running group runs on Saturday morning at 9:00AM. Awesome time, I'm just not always up for it after a week of teaching/training. Sometimes a girl just wants to sleep in.

Oh, hell. Who am I kidding:
1) I don't get to sleep in anymore.
2) My hamstrings are always sore after my Friday morning PiYo Live class.

Regardless, Sunday running worked out great for me today. I missed my Thursday morning 4-miler because I didn't want to get out of bed (I sound so lazy right now) and I just knew it would be a long day of coming and going with the kids, so in the name of energy conservation, I let it go.

Based on today's run, I don't think that decision hurt me:

Garmin Forerunner 15, Momentum Jewelry, Live Joyfully
I don't really do any speed training, so my ability to maintain such a pace for eight miles makes me happy. I run for the pure joy of it, as well as the endurance. All I want to do is "go the distance." Whatever that distance might be.

Note: You can check out my 2015 race wish list HERE.

It makes me happy. Like my Momentum Jewelry.

I reviewed their pieces awhile back and was recently chosen to represent them as an ambassador. More on that to come, for sure. This is one of two new ambassadorships I've accepted. Lots going on over here. #happy

This also made me happy:

Man, I love homemade hamburgers. And cantaloupe. But now, I'm off to get ready for the week. Here's to hoping I can find some downtime before bedtime. #rare

Question: When do you like to shop for groceries? How long does it usually take you?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are you a runner? #pinspirationthursday

If you've been following A Daily Dose of Fit for awhile, you know that I like to share motivational images on Thursdays. I've been calling it #pinspirationthursday, and I want you to join me. If you like to share motivational images on your website or blog, do it on Thursday and add your link to the bottom of my post.

Do you run?
Do you know why you run?

How about this one: Do you remember when you first felt like a runner? Me, I used to hate running. And now I love it. A lot. And I actually believe that I'm a runner. For starters, I willingly set my alarm for ungodly hours. I mean, I don't need sleep. I need miles. And my collection of race bling is bigger than my actual collection of necklaces. Also, I get jealous when I see other people running.

And the gear! Don't even get me started on my need for all the gear.

But seriously, these things don't make me a runner.
They don't make anyone a runner.

They're just byproducts of the sport.

You don't have to train for a race or earn race medals to be a runner. You don't have to have the best of the best running shoes, either. Because here's the truth: To be a runner, you just have to run.

Pin / Original Source Unknown

Seriously, it's that easy. If you run, you're a runner!
Be it, live it, love it, and own it.

How to link up with me on Pinspiration Thursday: 
1) Write a post inspired by a pin. 
2) Use #pinspirationthursday in your post title and on your social media outlets. 
3) Use the Pinspiration Thursday image in your post (if you want to). 
4) Link to my blog (please and thank you!) so we can attract new participants. 
5) Add your link below, check out the others and followpinsharerepeat!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

6 Inspirational Fitness Professionals #dishthefit

Always the trainer, never the trainee—said every fitness professional everywhere at least once in their life. Sure, continuing education requirements present ample opportunity to be said trainee. But time and money keep this from happening as often as I'd like. So for the most part, I'm the one leading my workouts via group fitness classes and/or personal running time.

I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. There is a reason I chose to be a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I love helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. But again, I love being the trainee, too. So today, I thought it would be fun to share my list of dream trainers. Inspiring fitness professionals that I would love to workout with.

Chalene Johnson, Jillian Michaels, Shaun T, Mary Helen Bowers, Tara Stiles, Another Mother Runner
I am sure that each of the following individuals would teach me bucketfuls, and I have no doubt that the fun factor would be off the charts. In no particular order:

1) Chalene Johnson
I am obsessed with teaching PiYo Live. It is, by far, my biggest challenge (so much to memorize). But it's also my best workout, which makes every class absolutely worth all the time I put into learning the choreography. Participating in a class with Chalene, experiencing my favorite format first-hand from she who created it, well...that would leave me speechless.

2) Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea
I know I'm just another mother runner, but these two are THE mother runners. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to clock some miles with them. Their podcasts make me laugh, and I can't put down their books. They definitely take a realistic approach to life, liberty and the pursuit of running when children and families are involved.

3) Tara Stiles
The queen of yoga, right? Her flexibility amazes me (and her name is awesome). I want her to teach me all the moves. Especially the crazy ones that call for arm balancing and back bending. I have her DVDs. They are wonderful.

4) Shaun T
I recently started following him on Facebook and Instagram. His cool factor is off the charts. Talk about someone who loves what he does! I have T25 at home, and it's what I do if I can't get to the gym or if I need an at-home, quick-style workout. I hear Max:30 is ridiculous in the best way possible, and would love to try that someday, too.

5) Mary Helen Bowers
Beautiful ballerina, this one. She's trained en pointe, and teaches a barre-based fitness class. Her Instagram account is stunning, and the little girl in me wants to be a ballerina just like her. I imagine working out with her would be an elegant experience.

6) Jillian Michaels
I never really watched The Biggest Loser when she was on it. If I'm to be completely honest, it's not really a show that I support. I think it's incredibly misleading, but that's another post entirely. But when it comes to Jillian Michaels...I think she's awesome. I've been following her Facebook page and have listened to some of her podcasts. And my fellow bloggers raved about her when she spoke at last year's IDEA World BlogFest with Sweat Pink. Turns out, she's coming back to IDEA World this year, and I'll be at Blog Fest. You bet I signed up for her Bodyshred workout:

Curious about this topic? Check out today's #dishthefit roundup to find out who my blogging peers want to workout with.

Question: Who do you want to workout with and why?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Graham Cracker Sandwiches

Hello, my name is Snack Queen. And my daughter? Her name is Snack Princess. We love snacks, especially if they're healthy. We have one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. We do our best to make sure they're homemade, but we sometimes rely on pre-packaged goodness.

Today's afternoon snack was a combination of both. Part homemade, part out of the box. Technically, this is a recipe post. But you won't find an actual recipe within. This snack is that easy. And healthy.

healthy snack, graham cracker, peanut butter, fruit

Someday, I'll try my hand at making my own graham crackers. But for now, the kind I buy at the store are getting the job done. You might say we're on a graham cracker kick. A trip to the store is incomplete without a box in the cart. I mean, at least I make my own peanut butter.

healthy snack, graham cracker, peanut butter, nut butter
So that minimizes the "processed" factor a bit.

And this snack is filled with fruit.

healthy snack, applesauce, blueberries, raspberries, fruit
I went with (natural) applesauce, blueberries and raspberries.

I trust you an figure out how to make the sandwiches you see above, but I'll do as bloggers do and break it down by picture for you. Because, #photography.

So first, lay out your graham crackers and slather some peanut butter on them:

peanut butter, graham crackers, snack
Then, spread and/or smash your fruit on one side:

applesauce, peanut butter, graham crackers, healthy snack,

blueberries, raspberries, peanut butter, graham crackers, healthy snack, snacktime
Guess what happens next.
You're right, you do put the sandwiches together:

healthy snack, snack idea, fresh fruit, quick snacks, easy snacks
So good.
Even the picky kid loves them.

I like these as a make-ahead snack, too. I'll often make them at night, store them in the 'fridge, then stick them in my gym bag before heading out in the morning. Carbs, protein, and sweet-tooth satisfaction. All layered up in one healthy snack.

Also, they're super versatile.
I mean, they make more than one graham cracker:

graham cracker, chocolate graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers, Meijer brand, healthy snack
I've been dreaming about chocolate crackers with peanut butter and banana. Or cinnamon crackers with peanut butter and applesauce. Also, regular graham crackers with Nutella and strawberries. #sinfullydelicious

Question: What kind of graham cracker sandwich would you make?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Let's have coffee. #ultimatecoffeedate

It's not very often that I go on actual coffee dates. Like, sit down for an hour and talk about nothing and everything with a friend. It just doesn't happen because #kids. So I thought it would be fun to link up with Lynda for an ultimate coffee date. She does this once a month and it's always fun to read.

ultimatecoffeedate, a daily dose of fit, starbucks

So if you and I were sitting down for coffee, I might tell you that...

1) ...We're looking into preschools.
Hannah is three. We are not entirely convinced that she needs to go next year, but we know nothing about the system so we're gathering information. She loves playing with the kids in the nursery at the gym every day, so this is not about giving her an opportunity to socialize (nor is it about childcare). But we think she'd handle some structured learning quite nicely. So, we'll see. I just can't believe "school" is even a part of our vocabulary right now. She's so old. Make her stop growing.

2) ...I'm reading a really great book called The One Thing by Gary Keller.
It talks about the idea that all good things stem from one, solid idea (otherwise known as the "thing"). That multitasking is bad and not in the least bit productive. That to get ahead, we need to figure out what our "one thing" is. This is a good book for me because I am the queen of multitasking. I would recommend this book to you, and then ask you what you're reading.

3) ...I cannot, for the life of me, pick out a paint color for our bedroom.
Are you good at picking out paint? We have a lot of cool tones in our house. The major color is a light grey, and it runs up and down our hallways, into the living room and Hannah's room, too. Our room, of course, butts up to this color. So the gray/tan/stone color I thought would work is looking too much like the aforementioned light grey.

Sigh and double-sigh.

4) ...I need to sign up for the 25K I have my eyes set on.
I don't know why I haven't signed up for it yet. I think I want to get into the double-digits first. The weather is warming up, so outside running is looking more and more like a reality. I can't even imagine running 10+ miles on a treadmill. Barf. It feels good to be training, although I'm still struggling with the concept of taking "me" time without guilt. I would ask you what you've done for yourself lately, and then I'd ask what you've got planned for yourself in the future.

5)...My hair is too long.
Seriously, it's out of control long. I hardly ever dry it, and the layers are such that it pulls back nicely. But I'm sick of it. So I made an appointment to get it chopped off. This is the throwback picture I'm taking with me, although it's still undecided as to whether or not I make the color change (despite the sun and funky filter, my hair is actually a lot blonder in this pic):

These, of course, are just a few of the things we'd talk about. You'd bring topics to the table, too. Maybe we'd make plans for another coffee date? If not, I'd understand. I can always link up with Lynda!

Question: What would you tell me if we were having coffee right now?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Diets are not about perfection. #pinspirationthursday #NNM

If you've been following A Daily Dose of Fit for awhile, you know that I like to share motivational images on Thursdays. I've been calling it #pinspirationthursday, and I want you to join me. If you like to share motivational images on your website or blog, do it on Thursday and add your link to the bottom of my post.

Did you know that it’s National Nutrition Month? I’m not really sure what one does during National Nutrition Month or why it’s held in March, but nutrition is something that really should be celebrated. Because when you celebrate something, you generate awareness. And in this day and age, our society is in dire need of some serious nutrition know-how.

I mean, have you been to the nutrition section at your local bookstore lately? Come on. There are stacks of books that promise the be-all, end-all truth to eating right and being healthy. And when it comes to the Internet, everyone is an expert. Including the experts.

So where do you turn and who do you believe?
Ah, yes. The million dollar question.

Now, I’m not going to attempt to give you an answer. As a certified personal trainer, nutrition and dietetics are out of my scope of practice. I know only what I’ve deciphered from the sources I’ve come in contact with and what works for me. But hear me out on this one point, something you can believe as truth no matter what:

It’s all about balance.

Revolutionary, I know. And yes, you’ve probably heard that before, like…a million times. But, seriously. It’s high time you believe it. And live it. Because:

diet quote, nutrition quote, eating right, eating healthy
Pin / Source
“Eating well isn’t about perfection.”

What is perfection, anyway?
Does it even exist?

Deep thoughts best kept for later discussions because, for now, we’ll stick to the concrete topic at hand: Diets are not about perfection. You don’t have to eat perfectly. You just have to eat well. And when you eat well, you eat balanced. And when you eat balanced, you leave yourself room for the things you love. And then, consequently you don’t go insane with absurd food obsessions.

For example, I like to indulge in vanilla ice cream from Dairy Queen with chocolate chunks, bananas and Teddy Grahams. Oh, yes. (Sometimes I add strawberries. Or peanut butter.) This is, indeed, a special treat. And not one I indulge in every day because I just can’t. Doing so would be an unbalanced approach to eating well.

But do I beat myself up about trips to DQ when the timing is right? Hecks, no.

That’s what it’s about.

How to link up with me on Pinspiration Thursday:
1) Write a post inspired by a pin.
2) Use #pinspirationthursday in your post title and on your social media outlets.
3) Use the Pinspiration Thursday image in your post (if you want to).
4) Link to my blog (please and thank you!) so we can attract new participants.
5) Add your link below, check out the others and followpinsharerepeat!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

5 Gym Bag Essentials

A lot of people prep meals on Sunday. I do that, but I also prep my gym bag. I'm there every day doing a variety of different things, and I can't stuff all of my gym essentials into the diaper bag (which I also stock on Sundays) because it's full of, well...diapers and such. So it's imperative that I have a ready-to-go gym bag.

There are certain things that I add and/or subtract throughout the week. Like my Spinning shoes or dirty clothes and (of course) my water bottle, but for the most part, there are a few basic gym bag essentials that I can't live without no matter what day it is. Or what workout I've got on tap.

gym bag, fitness gear, asics gel fit sana, koss earbuds, fitfluential
1) Deodorant and Body Wipes
I don't always get to shower between things, so I often use body wipes to get rid of the sweat. And I always feel better when I reapply deodorant. I mean, who wants to stink? Not me. And I bet you don't either, so make sure you have shower alternatives at the ready.

2) Snacks
I am always hungry. Like, always. So there's a pocket pantry in my gym bag. I keep it stocked with plenty of options, because I never know what I'll be in the mood for until the hunger pangs strike. And, as we all know, it's best to exercise with a little fuel—and it never hurts to refuel when you're done.

3) Shoes
I always have a pair of shoes in my gym bag. There is nothing worse than getting to the gym and realizing that you don't have suitable shoes to wear. This is especially important if you live somewhere that requires repetitive use of snow and/or rain boots, or if you're always in flip-flops.

4) Pen and Paper
My notebook is full of class ideas, training plans and random notes. Sure, I could use my smartphone to keep track of all this, but I like the old-fashioned route when it comes to logging things. Do what works best for you, as always.

5) Earbuds
Or headphones. I like to be entertained when I'm working out, so forgetting my earbuds is second only to forgetting my shoes when it comes to ranked annoyances. I have a few pairs of buds, so I keep one in my bag at all times. (Thong Song Radio on Pandora and the Drop-A-Beat playlist on Songza are phenom if you like to lift to booty music.) (Just saying'.) (Don't judge me.)

Question: What are some of your gym bag essentials?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Why do you run? #runchat

I laced up yesterday for a chilly six miles around the neighborhood. Despite the main roads being clear, the side roads were still pretty snow-covered. I wore my Yaktrax—definitely a smart decision. The snow was compact, which made it bumpy and slick in spots. I averaged an 8:40ish mile, and I accept that as decent.

It’s not easy for me to train at this time of year, but I’m still shooting for that Spring 25K. So far, I’m right on track. I’ve been waking up early twice a week to sneak in my short runs. Evan is currently waking up around 6:30AM, so I get to the gym by 5:30AM. Home by 6:15AM. Quick shower, then it’s all systems go. This will undoubtedly change at some point, as I’m sure Evan will change HIS schedule. Babies, man. But until then, I’m hanging on to this routine.

It worked today, anyway. I was scheduled for four miles, but I only ran three. My ankles were a bit sore from all the dodging on my six-miler yesterday. I thought it best not to push.

Regardless, all of this reminds me how good it feels to be running toward a goal. Even though I haven’t made it official by actually signing up for the 25K, just knowing that it’s a possibility is a huge motivator. I have come to love running races because they motivate me to go above and beyond whatever level I’m at. One more mile. A few seconds faster. Whatever. Benchmarks are benchmarks and having that end-goal makes the journey extremely exciting. I also love running races because the sense of community they produce is an experience worth, well…experiencing.

running, run, runner, a daily dose of fit
Can you list the reasons?

Every runner has them.

Here are a few more of mine:

1) I run because it clears the crazy and calms the soul.
2) I run because I love cupcakes, wine and chocolate.
3) I run because I can—anywhere, everywhere and at any time.
4) I run because I like race medals.

I mean, who doesn’t love a good race medal?
This one recently came in the mail from Jost Running:

race medal, race bling, jost running, virtual race

I pieced together two three-milers to create a 10K. This is another reason why virtual racing is awesome. Flexible, fun and for everyone at every level. Can't run a 10K straight through? Piece it together and call yourself a winner (because you are).

Question: Why do you run?


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