Ditch the New Years Gym Membership…workout at home instead!

Ditch the New Years Gym Membership…workout at home instead!

Every year, I get surprised as to how close Christmas and New Years is. It seems like just as the Christmas celebrations and dinner parties are over, I have celebrations for New Years right after!

With New Years comes New Year’s Resolutions. There will be a separate post about setting nutrition and fitness resolutions on the blog earlier next week. In the meantime, for those whose New Year’s Resolution is to get a gym membership, hold off.

While my family still has a gym membership, we do not use our gym membership that often. Going to the gym (no matter how close it is), having to look somewhat presentable, and sharing equipment sometimes has it downfalls. I always love fitting in my workout at my house because it’s just so much more convenient. I can wear totally uncoordinated outfits, I can get set up in less than 5 minutes, and there’s no time wasted coming to and from the gym.

Here are a few examples of home workouts to convince you that you can get a solid exercise routine all in the comfort of your house!

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1.Running | I’ve definitely fallen off my runner’s high bandwagon, but I still from time to time return to running because it gets my heart rate up quickly and release endorphins (the “happy” hormone). My go-to method is going outside and running around my neighborhood.

For those who want to run inside without the preying eyes of your neighbors (haha), check out this treadmill guide that was shared to me. It’s one of the most detailed treadmill guides, if not the most detailed guide in general. It divides the guide into best walking, running, training and even most entertainment provided treadmills.

2. YouTube | There’s so many great workout videos that are free on YouTube! I’ve shared a couple on the blog, but some of my favorites are blogilates, Fitness Blender, Ballet Beautiful and PopSugar Fitness. Let me know in the comments below of any other workout channels that you enjoy!

3. 7 minute workout app | I use this app if I’m pressed for time and don’t have time fit in a proper workout in. It’s great because you don’t need any equipment. Just grab your tennis shoes, grab a yoga mat if you want, find an open space in your house and start the workout! This is great for those who are just starting an exercise routine. With anything habitual and lasting, the best way to start is to do it incrementally. You’re going to burn out if you go to the gym for an hour everyday. Start with doing the 7 minute workout two to three times a week and build up from there.

4. Be creative! | For those who really don’t have time to carve out time to workout even at home, try implementing more active things in your daily life. From time to time, I work standing up rather than sitting down all day. I’ll grab my laptop and books and create a small set up on the island in my kitchen. It’s the perfect height for a standing desk. The standing desk is great as well since you can easily squeeze in a few squats or lunges while working. Even when brushing your teeth or when you’re on a call with someone, walk around rather than standing still. Stretch in the morning and in the night. Even the little things will add up overtime, I promise.

So there you have it! Hopefully I’ve convinced some of you that you don’t have to break the bank by signing up for a gym membership this new year.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season with your family and friends!

What’s your favorite at home workout?

xoxo,

Stephanie

How small steps (literally) can change your life

How small steps (literally) can change your life

In this fast-paced world of instant access, it’s perfectly normal that we want change fast. Changes such as losing weight, eating healthier, and being more active. Things I talk about here in avolicious a lot.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Take a leap of faith.” Well actually don’t. I was to be honest tempted to title this post as “Don’t take that leap of faith”

Let me explain.

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Just like taking the stairs. One step at a time.

I took a huge leap of faith, a leap that looking back I realize was completely uneducated and made in blindness. That leap was in the faith that I would become skinner. I don’t what got into that eighth-grade self me. Looking through the pictures now, I was perfectly fine! But at that moment, I felt large. I felt big. I felt like I was that “fat friend” amidst my friend group. Nobody pressured me or treated me differently to lose weight. In fact, it was completely my decision.

I can’t completely say that I regret this decision, as this leap let me become so passionate about proper nutrition and fervent on redefining what “healthy” means to me (which you can read here).  However, if I was given the choice and go back in time, I would choose not to go through this arduous journey.

This leap of faith made me restrict myself to consuming a mere 1,200 calories and running an average of 3 miles daily in the scorching sun. Roughly calculating it, I probably lived off of 500-800 calories. In a matter of 3 months, I lost 20 pounds. But most importantly and significantly, I lost my self-esteem and self-confidence which still affects me today.

Yes, that big leap of faith allowed me to get quick results FAST. I was so proud and pleased with my appearance. I was able to fit into those skinny jeans, no problem. I had a thigh gap. I had a flat stomach. I finally looked like those girls on Instagram.

But I was completely miserable. My day was dictated merely on numbers – the number on the scale, the number of calories I ate that MyFitnessPal app told me, the number of miles I ran that day, the number on the size tag of my clothes. These numbers consumed my life and let me tell you, I felt so powerless. I was in such control of my eating, yet I felt so out of control in my life (it’s a hard feeling to describe but I’m sure a lot of those who’ve gone through ED or experiencing one right now can attest to this).

But fast-forward two years now, I am a much better relationship with food now. I don’t necessarily think that I am fully recovered. I still have a long way to go.

But I have made progress.

And through my experience, I can say that I’ve had successful progress when I took small steps.

Small and baby steps.

Give you an example? I’ve been straying away a bit from running these days. I used to love running the past, but these days I dread just thinking of the mileage and the prospect of running. Instead, I’ve been doing so much walking.

I’m a Type A gal so I love keeping track of things. I’ve been recently logging my steps into the Health app on my iPhone. I’ve been average 10,000+ steps daily!

I wake up at 6:30am when the weather is actually bearable and take a 30-40 minute power walk. This gets me to about 4,000 steps. Later in the evening, I take a 60-75 minute walk with my parents after dinner. This second walk allows me to get up to 10,000-12,000 steps.

And the best part? I get to enjoy being active. I sincerely do get excited about the prospect of walking in the morning and after dinner. While yes, walking necessarily may not burn as much calories, I am able to do it more consistently and with a glad heart.

And to be honest, all I’m going for is to develop a sustainable, maintainable, and happy lifestyle. Nothing too extreme – on both sides of the spectrum. Doing things that I enjoy, eating things that I enjoy, and most importantly, enjoying the body that I was born with.

So I challenge you: instead of making your goal to go to the gym for an hour everyday, or go cold turkey tomorrow, pick ONE change and stick with it.

Have you tried taking baby steps?

xoxo,

Stephanie

Essentials for a Great Workout Routine

Essentials for a Great Workout Routine

It’s finally spring weather! After a super cold and dreary winter season, it’s so nice to sit on the porch with the sun shining and wind billowing. And of course, spring means that there is absolutely NO excuse to exercise! As much as I love working out and breaking a sweat, it’s definitely hard in the winter with the weather and just the ole winter blues.

With spring season and summer right around the corner, I wanted to share a few of my essentials for a killer workout routine.

1) Aaptiv

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Aaptiv is one of my newest discoveries, but quickly becoming my favorite and most crucial to have an amazing workout session. Warning: this is not a regular fitness app. The app provides motivation and guidance right from your headphones. For instance, when I do a treadmill workout, throughout the whole run, the trainers (one of my favorites being Rochelle) are continually motivating and cheering you on. The trainers are all super inspiring and their pumped-up voices are literally what makes me go that extra mile or push harder. Rather than my voice telling me that I should stop, go slower, or take a break, Rochelle’s voice shatters those doubtful thoughts. For those who are lacking in the motivation department, especially when you’re in the midst of the workout, give Aaptiv a try! (They provide a free 7-day trial. I’m sure you’ll be hooked on it after the 7 days, haha). If you check out their website and scroll down, you can hear a sample workout.

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^ Go to the website link and find this button to hear a sample workout!

2) Hydroflask Waterbottle

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I have this one in purple and LOOOVE it

Now, this isn’t just any water bottle. It has to be a Hydroflask. Oh my goodness, I can’t express how much I love my Hydroflask. On those hot and boiling days, opening my Hydroflask and sipping on ice-cold water is THE BEST FEELING. Even if I filled it up in the morning, my water stays cold even when I finish a workout late at night. (I believe that it insulates cold water for 24-hours and hot water for 12-hours). I highly recommend investing in a great insulating water bottle – it will change the way you drink water. (I’ve seen other popular insulating water bottles like S’well)

 

3) Scheduling

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Any bullet journal fanatics around here?

Out of all the essentials here, I believe that number three is the most important. Scheduling and carving out time to workout is key. For me especially, I am a busy-bee and have a million and one things to do in the weekday (and weekend sadly). So unless I schedule and write down that I’m going to workout, chances are, I’m not. And the workouts don’t have to be long at all. Even 20 minutes each day will make you feel much more energized and fit! In the app I was talking about previously, there is a filter where you can filter workouts depending on their duration, a feature I love and use a lot. If I only time to squeeze in a short workout I filter the time to 20 minutes and I can pick and choose which workouts I want to do within the 20 minutes. If I have more time, I would choose like a 45-min or even an hour long piece. TIP: Make sure that when you schedule your workout session, you create buffer time before and after the session. Usually I have a 5-min buffer before and a 10-min buffer after so that I have time to change, head to the gym, and take a break if needed.

 

4) Be realistic

Don’t overdo yourself. Make sure that your workout routine is sustainable. There are very low chances that you will continue a workout session if every time it is miserable and you hate it. In fact, for around 3 weeks, I’ve been routinely walking 10,000 steps daily. And while it took some modifications to get to that quota, the changes weren’t so drastic that I’ve been able to do it everyday. Making manageable changes are key to continue your workout session. In addition to manageable changes, it’s important to make sure you’re enjoying the workout. For me, I love running, taking long walks, golfing, or doing yoga, so I get to be happy while I’m burning calories – a win-win! I think Aaptiv does a great job with this (have I mentioned how much I love Aaptiv?!). The trainers are super motivating and after the end of each workout, I feel so rejuvenated and energized. The trainers at Aaptiv are what allows me to come back to the app each time for another workout.

 

What are your workout essentials?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Do I have to do rigorous exercise to stay fit?

Do I have to do rigorous exercise to stay fit?

Do I have to do rigorous exercise to stay fit?

This is definitely a question, actually more of a belief that I would have held last year.

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Golfing with my dad during the weekend. The sun was out, the sky was clear, perfect weather!

As much as I loved running and the feeling you get after a nice long run, I do have to admit that I did run for the sake of staying fit. My thought process was this: if I run, then that means I’m burning more calories, building up more stamina and endurance, yeah, I’m going to keep on running.

And this mindset would be the driving force despite the pain I felt in my knees, the heaviness in my quads, the limping after my run.

Now this isn’t to say that running is bad, no that’s not it. After taking a break from running and simply “intuitively exercising” I’ve realized that I’ve been extreme in my attitude towards exercise.

I reasoned that if you don’t exercise, namely rigorous exercise (which means lots of sweating, lots of heavy panting, frequent thoughts of “I can’t do this. I want to give up”), then I won’t be fit.

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I’m always up for a walk with my friends or family. Catching up while exercising! Best of both worlds!

However, as I continue to consistently do yoga, walk a lot, and go golfing, I realize that exercise doesn’t have to be necessarily rigorous to make an impact.

It’s just a matter of efficiency. Running, HIIT (High intensity interval training), boxing require a lot of energy but in a short burst of time. Yoga, golf, walking, hiking require much less energy, but during a longer period of time. Now, long distance running has both the energy and the length aspect, which is probably why the bodies of long distance runners is generally referred to as #bodygoals.

However, I think the key to exercise is not about the intensity or about the length, but about how much you enjoy it.

My dad personally hates running (yet he was my buddy runner for all my 5K GOTR races when I was in middle school – thanks dad!!! <3), but he LOOOVES golfing. He claims that he’s not good (I don’t know about that since he’s waaaay better than me lol) but he enjoys the sport so much. Now, there’s no point in him to run since he literally only goes to the gym once or twice a month to run on the treadmill. What good is that? Yeah, even if one mile is nearly 100 calories, what good is it if he only runs 4 miles ONCE a month? Just 400 calories.

But he almost golfing every weekend with his friends. And I mean every weekend. Minus the weekends that he’s visiting me that is. Even during the winter, he would go out with a million of layers and lots of heat packs. He even did a golf outing with his friends for a long weekend where for two days, they played 36 holes each. 18 holes before lunch and 18 holes after lunch. I know, extreme.

But despite the less energy golf requires, my dad does it in such high frequency that in the long run, golf is the exercise that makes him fit. And let me tell you, don’t regard golf lightly. All the times I’ve gone golfing with my dad, walking the full course is a lot of work. I had my phone in my pocket the whole time and after the course, I checked my phone and it was already over 10,000 steps. Think about it! I just walked the recommended number of steps by doing a round of golf! It definitely requires less energy BUT it’s for a prolonged time so it definitely does train you.

Sorry for this long rant – these days, I’ve been getting a lot of “aha!” moments about eating and exercise. And I wanted to spread this “wisdom” I’ve been getting with you all.

What’s your favorite form of exercise?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Walkers high?

Walkers high?

Am I making this term up? I don’t know.

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There’s such thing as a runner’s high, and let me tell you, it’s real. Now, I’m not a professional runner, let alone a varsity runner at my school, but I sure did love running winter of 2015 all the way to fall 2016.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m taking a break from running as I’m just not feeling it (#intuitive exercise).

Anywho, I’ve been walking a lot more in response. Apparently, you’re supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day. Now, in a culture where we sit down to study, sit down to eat, sit down in the car, sit down just everywhere, that’s hard.

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But…getting those steps gets addictive. At least for me as a Type-A, workaholic, and perfectionist. I’ve been going upstairs and downstairs getting my mom’s bag for her, getting my dad’s keys, just to log more steps. I’ve been running in place while I’m brushing my teeth and flossing. I’ve been walking to and fro in the house while I watch YouTube videos or read a book.

It’s kind of insane and silly to watch me like that in the house, but overall, I’ve been able to log in more steps and truth be told, I do feel like I’m getting enough exercise but just spread over time. So call me someone on walkers high, because honestly, I really just might.

Have you had walkers’ high before?

xoxo,

Stephanie

If you have ____ minutes to spare…

If you have ____ minutes to spare…

 

I wanted to accompany this post along with my “intuitive eating” post. All of us, everyday, have those ‘awkward’ times. We have a couple of minutes to spare, but it’s too short to actually do something worthwhile.

Here are some workouts that you can do based on how much time you have in your hands:

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< 5 minutes >

  • 2 reps of 2 min jumping jacks / 30 sec rest
  • Alternating 10 pushups and 10 situps during the whole 5 minutes
  • 1 min full plank // 30 sec elbow plank // 1 min raised leg plank (30 sec on ea. leg) // 2 min side plank (1 min on ea. side) // 30 sec full plank
  • Alternating 10 wide squats and 10 regular squats during the whole 5 minutes
  • Jump roping (try jump roping for the whole time with minimal breaks)
  • 1 min high knees, 1 min skiers, 1 min mountain climbers, 1 min jumping lunges alternating, 1 min high knees

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< 10 minutes >

  • 5 reps of: 1 minute 90% effort sprint and 1 minute rest by slowly jogging in place
  • 4 reps of: 2 min jumping jacks / 30 sec rest
  • Alternating 10 pushups and 10 situps during the whole 10 minutes
  • 2 reps of:  1 min full plank // 30 sec elbow plank // 1 min raised leg plank (30 sec on ea. leg) // 2 min side plank (1 min on ea. side) // 30 sec full plank
  • Alternating 10 wide squats and 10 regular squats during the whole 10 minutes
  • Jump roping (4 minute steady jump rope, 2 minute rest, 4 minute steady jump rope)
  • 2 reps of : 1 min high knees, 1 min skiers, 1 min mountain climbers, 1 min jumping lunges alternating, 1 min high knees
  • Go on a jog for the whole 10 minutes
  • Search up 10 minute workouts on PopSugar Fitness or search on YouTube

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< 15 minutes >

  • 5 reps of: 1 min. 30 sec 90% effort sprint and 1 min. 30 sec rest by slowly jogging in place
  • 6 reps of: 2 min jumping jacks / 30 sec rest
  • Alternating 10 pushups and 10 situps during the whole 15 minutes
  • 3 reps of:  1 min full plank // 30 sec elbow plank // 1 min raised leg plank (30 sec on ea. leg) // 2 min side plank (1 min on ea. side) // 30 sec full plank
  • Alternating 10 wide squats and 10 regular squats during the whole 15 minutes
  • Jump roping (6 minute steady jump rope, 3 minute rest, 6 minute steady jump rope)
  • 3 reps of : 1 min high knees, 1 min skiers, 1 min mountain climbers, 1 min jumping lunges alternating, 1 min high knees
  • Go on a jog for the whole 15 minutes
  • Search up 15 minute workouts on PopSugar Fitness or on YouTube

 

Other YouTubers I love that have targeted time workouts: Blogilates, Tone it Up, Tara Stiles, Fitness Blender

Can you take up the challenge of trying some of these workouts this week?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Winter Workout Plan

Winter Workout Plan

I originally wrote this post for the health and nutrition club I do at school. But I decided that the post could work for the blog as well. So after a few revisions and edits (as some points were only pertinent to my school), here is my suggested winter workout plan. They can all be done at the gym – so it really goes well with my post the other day about how to stay active during the winter!

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In the winter, it’s easy to make excuses to not workout, especially when you have no coach, personal trainer, gym program, or workout buddy. However, adhering to a plan helps us mentally stick to the plan. So hopefully this plan will help you become/stay fit or help you keep up with your New Resolution to be more active!

My tip is to start off slow and easy and then build off. Start with one day and then two and then three. I have two plans to share with you all – one for those who are moderate exercisers and one for those who are dedicated and committed to working out.

Moderate exercisers | This plan’s full goal is to be able to workout three times outside of house, each workout an hour long.

    • Workout THREE DAYS a week — ideally, you don’t want them to be three in a row that you  don’t do anything for four days. Schedule your workouts so that your rest period is no more than two days.
    • There is no “perfect” workout, but ideally you want to work your whole body. Whether that’s by doing a full workout every day or by targeting a different body area each day, that’s up to you.
    • For both of these workouts, work up from doing one day and then build up from there.

   If you want a full workout every day…

  • The formula is: cardio + strength training = full body workout
  • Cardio: 30 minutes In terms of cardio, running is the simplest and easiest choice. You can either run outside on campus or run on the treadmill in the gym. Or you can bike, go on the elliptical, or even go on a power walk.
      • If you want to do a full workout every day…

 

  • Strength Training: 20 minutes | For strength training (upper body + lower body). So think about either body weight (push ups, body weight squats, crunches, burpees) or with weights. Tell me in the comments if you want me to share some strength training exercises if you are lost for what to do. 

 

  • Stretch: 10 minutes | Stretching truly is important, especially after a workout. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.

 

 

If you want to do a targeted workout every day …

  • The formula is: cardio + strength training on one specific body part = targeted workout
  • Cardio: 30 minutes | In terms of cardio, running is the simplest and easiest choice. You can either run outside on campus or run on the treadmill in the gym. Or you can bike, go on the elliptical, or even go on a power walk.

 

  • Strength Training: 20 minutes | You’ve heard of “leg day,” “arm day.” For 20 minutes, just do workouts that target one body part. 

 

  • Stretch: 10 minutes | Stretching truly is important, especially after a workout. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.

 

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Intense exercise  | This plan’s full goal is to be able to workout 4-6 times outside of house, each workout an hour long.

  • WORKOUT 4-6 days a week | For this plan, start with four days and then work yourself up to 6. Remember, this is all about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. If you can’t workout for 6 days. Then no biggie. It’s all about consistency so if you can workout 5 days a week consistently, then that’s great. And remember, life is life, so sometimes with events popping up, you may not be able to workout as much as you would have liked for one week. And that’s completely fine.
  • The workout is the same as the one for the moderate exercise section. The intense aspect is that you are doing it more frequently

 

Hopefully this post will help you be active during the winter months and beyond! Let’s make 2017 the fittest and healthiest year yet!

What’s your favorite workout?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Gift Guide for your Fitness Enthusiasts

Gift Guide for your Fitness Enthusiasts

Serena and I just got off for winter break this past Thursday! It was Serena’s birthday on Friday (Happy Birthday!!!) so we hung around in NYC eating some delish foods.

Anyways, winter break means that holiday season is drawing near. And holiday season means gift giving. If you have fitness enthusiasts in your household or if you are a fitness enthusiast yourself, look no forward but to my gift guide for fitness freaks down below!

For clothes and shoes, check out my Black Friday shopping guide!

 

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Run Fast. Eat Slow. : Nourishing Recipes for Athletes ($16.98) // Garmin Running Watch Forerunner 735XT ($449.99) // S’well water bottle (all 9 oz bottles 15% off!)

Women’s Nike Dri-Fit Running Long Sleeve Tee ($80) // Fitbit Alta (currently on sale!) // Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat ($78)

Asics Gel-Kayano 23 – my new favorite running shoes! ($160.00) // Powerbeats Wireless Headphones ($199.95) // GRID Mini Foam Roller ($24.99)

What’s on your wishlist?

 

Happy Holidays!

Stephanie

 

Fitness Motivation

Fitness Motivation

How is everybody going along with their summer fitness plan?

Personally, I have to say that fitting in my runs have been quite difficult. I have had debate camp from 9am to 6pm every single day (including Saturday and Sunday) and now I’m starting an MUN camp from 9am to 5pm for a week.

And then these camps require homework and I also have a two hour math tutor lesson thing every Tuesday and Friday, so yeah, my schedule has only allowed me to run at 6:40 in the morning.

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It’s really hard waking up every morning when my alarm rings at 6:30 and I know that technically, I can sleep in till 8am without being late to my camps. However, I’ve been hammering myself with motivation and encouragement that it’s been much easier to wake up at 6:30 and just do it.

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So here are some of my tips and tricks:

For those who are training for the fall sports season | I definitely fall in this category. I’m currently training for cross-country, hence a lot of running (I’ve been running around 23 miles/week for three weeks).

Motivation for this category is relatively simple. You have to work hard now, so that you don’t fall behind others when you go to preseason or when you start your season.

I think people can agree with a resounding consensus, that it sucks to feel the “slow” or the “uncoordinated” player of the team. Now in XC, I’m going to be the slowest runner, that’s a fact. The girls on my XC team are the same girls that were with me on the winter track team last year and I know for a fact that I am the slowest. However, my motivation is rooted in the fact that I don’t want to be too slow. Yes, I will be slow, but I don’t want to be incredibly slow. Does that make sense?

So whether you’re the worst, best, or in-between of the team, you want to work hard because eventually it’s going to pay off.

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For those who are doing it for health or weight loss | Just start slow. No need to get stellar split times and you don’t have to exercise for a certain time or goal. Thus, I recommend just getting your butt of that bed, change into your exercise clothes, and just walk. Yep, that’s it. WALK.

Every summer I visit Korea; I realize again the profound benefit of walking. The majority of people in Korea walk. With the benefits of technology, I was able to track my steps whilst in Korea and my daily average was 12,000 steps. And let me tell you, those 12,000 steps do go somewhere.

And this doesn’t just apply to Korea, but in other countries like Italy. When my friends and I visited Italy during spring break of our eighth grade year, we were perplexed at how Italians could eat such carby and rich stuff, yet remain so slim. But it’s the walking I’m telling ya.

So even a short 20-30 minute walk will provide so much useful to you. You don’t even have to powerwalk (although that’ll be nice). Just start walking.

The point is, for people in this category, it’s not so much the quality of your exercise, but more about the quantity of your exercise. To be healthy or to lose weight, it’s important to exercise often and the exercise well part comes later.

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In general | Sometimes, to be honest, these advices doesn’t work. But sometimes, the most brutally simple works the best.

As Nike says best, “JUST DO IT.” My personal advice with this is to just repeat this slogan in your head over and over again.

Also, just keep positive and happy. Stop complaining and just do it. It’s for your own benefit. This hard work and toil that you’re doing, 100% of the result goes to you and no one else.

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On a side note, here’s a couple of interesting tidbits happening so far.

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My mom surprised me when she got this organic kale power while we were in Korea. Ever since coming back from Korea, she’s been making me a goguma smoothie with a tablespoon of this powder. Can’t even taste it!

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I’ve seriously don’t have enough time that I’ve been eating my salad dinners on the go. (I guess Serena have telepathy – both using chicken salad for meals this week!)

 

What motivation do you use to workout?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Finding Your Workout: My Exercise Journey

Finding Your Workout: My Exercise Journey

I used to hate working out. Eating healthy was enough for me, and I didn’t realize the benefits of exercise until I actually tried it out. I loved gym class at school because of the team sports and the camaraderie, however, when it came the summer, I wouldn’t actually do much to maintain my fitness.

Every summer, I competed in golf tournaments about once a week and I practiced most days for about 2-6 hour. Really the only physical benefit of golf was that it strengthened my legs and kept my heart rate up because of the amount of walking (typically 5 miles) and swinging involved. However, I wasn’t doing much else to strengthen my body. So when my mom joined a gym membership, I decided to come with her to a yoga class. I instantly fell in love with yoga because it was so peaceful yet physically demanding, and the shavasana (lying down) at the end felt amazing. So I continued to attend the yoga classes once a week and carried this out during my school year. But obviously, one hour of yoga a week was not enough.

I started doing Blogilates (pilates) about once a week and doing push ups before going to bed. The next summer, I joined a field hockey camp that met twice a week, and I sprinted my way across the field. When high school started, I involved myself with field hockey. The team met every week day for two hours each. The amount of cardio we had to do was challenging for me. I remember thinking that the  3 mile run around school was a very big deal.

In the winter, I tried out dance, which met three times a week for one and a half hours each. Dance was completely different from field hockey; there wasn’t much cardio involved, but it was more like yoga because of the flexibility involved. During the season, I realized that I it really was not the sport for me. I wasn’t the most graceful or coordinated, so I told myself I would try a different sport the next winter season.

Spring was golf season for me, which was very exciting. I didn’t do much to supplement my exercise other than the mandatory half-hour weight-lifting once a week.

When summer rolled around, I started thinking back to the winter season and decided that I would either joint the swim team or run distance. Ultimately, I decided to run, mainly because of the support that Stephanie (yes, the other half of this blog), who ran cross country, gave me. I started running for 40 minutes, 5 days a week , and I got used to it. Although I dreaded the early morning wake-ups, I felt so accomplished after each run. I knew that I wasn’t the fastest, or even close to fast, but it gave me pride to be pushing myself into a sport that I was hesitant about because of the immense challenge that it presented for me.

So over the course of my journey so far, I’ve learned a couple things:

1.) Try it even if you think you’ll suck at it! Field hockey and running were two sports that I was completely intimidated by because I hated cardio. But when I gave it a try and gave it some time, I ended up enjoying it.

2.) Constantly push yourself. Fear of the greatness of your potential is probably what’s holding you back.

3.) You need a buddy/buddies. If exercise is hard for you, use other people to motivate you, whether that be teammates, friends, or opponents.

What are your experiences with exercise/athletics?

Love,

Serena