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

Taking care of yourself this holiday season

Taking care of yourself this holiday season

I was falling into the black hole of YouTube the other day (you know that hole where you go in to find one video and then 2 hours later, you find yourself watching a totally unrelated video?) and I came across a video featuring Miranda Kerr. It’s actually a worthwhile video to watch, but she said something in the video that really resonated with me.

“If you take care of yourself, then you can give so much more as a mother, you can give so much more to your work …”

Obviously, this quote can be tailored to you: “If you take care of yourself, then you can give so much more as a ________ [friend, daughter, wife, mother …]

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I don’t know why, but I’ve been especially cranky and “off” this holiday season. Throughout the school year, I would get into frequent bouts of feeling “off” to the point where many of my friends felt it.

Now I’m not advocating for people pleasers, but I don’t think it’s fair or ever enjoyable for your friends to deal with negative/pessimistic people. I always feel horrible and sorry when I’m snapping back to my friends or am not my usual chirpy self.

I think this quote is really critical, especially during the holidays when we’re spending so much time with our family and friends. We have to be the best versions of ourselves so that we can step our best foot forward when we’re spending time with others.

For me, that’s to exercise, journal, get lots of sleep, eat nourishing and nutritious food and getting enough alone time. This last one seems counterintuitive, but I often times find myself the most energetic and outgoing with my friends when I’ve had enough time for myself to recharge.

And exercise doesn’t have to be extreme. I usually like to go on runs, but these days I’ve been trying out the barre/pilates/yoga classes at my gym – and completely obsessed! It’s nice to have someone tell you what to do and the class members motivate you to not give up! Or even a simple morning walk with the dog or family is always up my alley.

So in short, remember to pamper and take care of yourself during the holiday season. It can definitely get hectic and busy, but unless you maintain the best version of yourself, you can’t give as much to those around you.

What do you do to recharge/take-care of yourself?

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

 

Staying active during the winter

Staying active during the winter

Happy Friday!

How is everybody doing on their New Year’s resolutions? You better say that you’re still keeping up with them after following my tips and tricks!

Today was the first snowfall where I live. It was such a treat to wake up to pathways, roofs, trees all blanketed with white soft powder.

However, as much as snow is great, it’s dangerous once the pathways ice over. I forgot about that and had to shorten my run today as after having run a mile, I realized that some of the paths looked suspicious. I didn’t want to risk a bruised butt so I headed on inside and …. continued my workout!

It’s easy in the winter when the weather is cold and the roads may be icy or wet to make an excuse to not exercise. But then not only does winter make us not want to exercise, but it also brings in warm, hearty, indulgent and rich foods. So it’s especially important that winter doesn’t become a hibernation, but a season where we have to modify the workouts.

So … with all of that being said, I’m sharing a few tips on how to stay active during the winter.

ONE// Utilize the gym

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Yes, I know that the gym isn’t the first place you want to go to, however, in the winter, the gym is the safest and warmest place to workout without having to sacrifice too much of the nature of your workouts.

For runs, running on the treadmill can get repetitive and monotonous, however, it’s a great way to catch up by listening to audiobooks, podcasts, YouTube videos, or the latest TV series you’re watching! I know that my parents get their daily dose of KDrama while working out. My parents consistently go to the gym at least 2 times a week in order to watch their show while power walking (mom) or running (dad) on the treadmill!

So utilizing the treadmill as a way to watch your TV series is a great excuse to exercise!

Also, using the gym allows you to continue weight and strength training!

 

TWO// Take a walk outside

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You may be thinking, Stephanie, you don’t run outside but you walk??

Yes, that’s what I do. Personally, I LOVE the crisp and fresh winter air. And of course, the winter naturally makes us coop up in our rooms (cabin fever anyone?) and from time to time I need a break from all the warm and cozy indoors. So I like to take walks outside. It’s a great way to exercise but also get a nice mental break. And by walking, it’s easier to spot the ice and other dangerous hazards on the path whereas in running you’re just speeding by.

*Of course, if on your own discretion, you judge that it’s too dangerous, then DON’T take a walk. But if you think that the conditions are safe enough, then go ahead!

 

THREE// Take advantage of activities indoors

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Sorry for moving you guys around outside and inside, but I think the winter season is a perfect opportunity to try activities that are based indoors. Namely, I’m talking about yoga and pilates. I personally love yoga, but never have enough time for it (isn’t that the excuse for everything these days?). But whenever I get the time to do it (such as during this winter break), I get reminded to how much I love and miss doing it.

So during the winter, I try to get back on yoga. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged hour session, just a yoga pose here and there for like 5 minutes throughout the day will still get that blood circulation going!

 

Hopefully these tips gave some ideas of being active during the winter! Good luck! For those who made resolutions to be active and healthy during 2017, hope you take these tips to heart!

P.S. : For those in the midst of winter blues, read this article! It’s super motivational and inspiring!

What’s your favorite winter activity?

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