04/29/16

Fitness Friday: Weekly Fitness Routine

FRIDAY!!!!!! 2 days closer to DONUTS!! 🙂

I am almost to the end of my sugar-free journey and I literally might go crazy for a donut! It has been super hard not having even one donut hole on Fridays but I have been good. Sunday….. I am tearing up some donuts and I might even have cake for breakfast! Now that I got that out, I wanted to do a fitness post for this week.

Fitness and health are both very important to me. Through my senior year of high school, I was heavily involved in cheer and dance so my daily workouts were a planned part of my everyday life. This continued in college but I did not have something going on everyday. I had to be disciplined and workout out on the days we didnt practice. I had to find something to keep myself in shape (and keep the notorious freshman 15 off as I entered college). The solution? Running.

Up until that point, I had never been a runner or even enjoyed the activity when I was forced to do so at cheer practice. I read in a magazine at the time, however, that one of the best and quickest cardio workouts (and a great way to increase your metabolism because of the effect of your heart rate speeding up and slowing down) was a run-walk routine, so I started with that. I immediately started noticing changes in my body, for the better. What also happened as an effect was I began being much more selective about the kinds of foods I ate so I had the energy and fuel for my runs. When I train for a 10K or 1/2 marathon, I usually change up my fitness routine by doing 1 long run on the weekend. For a mom who has a full time job, a husband, 2 kids and a blog to run, running is the very best option for myself to stay fit because it’s a fast way to work up your heart beat and sweat. The best part…. I can do it on my own time and pretty much anywhere.

About 3 years ago, I introduced weight lifting into my workout routine. I used to think “oh it will make me bulk up and look even more stocky than I already am…!!” Little did I know… I was missing out. I now have a set workout schedule for every day of the week and 3 of those are weight training. Here is my weekly workout schedule:

Sunday: Run 6 miles

Monday: Arm Day

– 20 bicep curles (3x)

– 20 chest press (machine) (3x)

– 15 shoulder press (machine) (3x)

– 20 shoulder press (weights) (3x)

– 30 tricep dips (3x)

– 30 pushups

– 10 arm raises front, side (weights) (3x)

– 20 chest fly’s (machine) (3x)

Tuesday: Run 2 miles (morning), Teach Dance

– Teen Hip Hop Class

– Boys Hip Hop Class

– Strength/Conditioning

Wednesday: Run 2 miles (morning), Row Machine 20 minutes

Thursday: Run 2 miles (morning), Leg Day

– 20 squats, 50 lb bar (3x)

– 20 Inner thighs (machine) (3x)

– 20 outer thighs (machine) (3x)

– 15 hamstring dips kettlebell (3x)

– 20 walking lunges, 50 lb bar (3x)

– 20 squat press (machine) (3x)

– 30 standing calf raises, 60 lbs (machine) (3x)

Friday: Rest Day!

Saturday: 10 mile Run!!!

 Here are some of the things I take in my gym bag for days that I workout at lunch….
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I have found that working out on my lunch break has really help with my workout routine. For me, exercising is a great and productive way to take a break! My work schedule is pretty flexible so I can pretty much leave the office when I need to which has in turn kept me motivated to get my workout over with for the day. I am that person that hates showering at the gym after a workout and lugging all of my shower stuff around. However, I do rinse off but I do not do the full shower routine before going back to work. I always freshen up in the locker room and make sure I do not go back smelling like I just ran a marathon.
If you have been interested in getting into a fitness routine but sometimes forget your gym bag or just dont feel like working out, here are some tips to stay motivated.
Tips to be prepared for daily workouts:
1. Get yourself up the night before ! Whether that means laying out your workout clothes and Nikes the night before, or sleeping in your Lulus .. do whatever will get the job done and cut excuses in the AM !
2. Get consistent ! Yes sometimes life can get a little hectic, but I always try to keep my routine well… routine ! One of my biggest tips is to get your workout done first thing in the morning. As the day goes on the excuses only grow, so getting your sweat on before the day gets hectic can help make sure it actually happens !
3. Find a plan that works for YOU ! Get realistic. If you HATE the gym, or the commute to the gym, maybe an at home fitness plan would work better for you ! If there is a day I cant make it to the gym, I will do all of my workouts from home, and seriously .. talk about an excuse squasher !! I hate to break it to you (okay maybe I don’t..) 😉 but you really don’t need a ton of crazy equipment or hours in the gym to get in shape. Workout smarter, not harder !
The biggest factor in finding true success in your fitness journey though, is finding a plan of action that you truly enjoy ! Whether you want to dance it out, and lift some major weights .. if you love it, you’ll do it – and in turn, get killer results !
What are some of your weekly workouts? Do you prefer running, weight training, cycling or at home gyms?
Brittany 🙂
Brittany
02/29/16

Running: Treadmill vs Outside

Well friends, we are back to Monday but this Monday feels a little different than most. I achieved a goal this weekend I set for myself at the beginning of the year…. I accomplished 12 miles on Saturday! They my best miles but I pushed myself and didn’t stop. I am planning on running a 16k in June so accomplishing 12 miles by March is a success! During this long 2 hour run, I started thinking about running outside vs running on a treadmill. For me, there is no way I would complete 12 miles on a treadmill. I find them boring and not real accurate compared to running outside. But, I prefer them over running in 20 degree weather!  So, I have put together some pros and cons for running on a treadmill compared to outdoor running:

The days are getting colder: shall we hit the treadmill or stick to running outdoors?

Pro: The difficulty level is the same

The question of difficulty level always arises when it comes to running indoors vs outside. People assume that running outside is harder than logging miles inside on a treadmill. However, research has proven that setting the treadmill to 1% incline accurately reflects the same energy costs of running outdoors. So, it’s just as effective as long as you add a little incline. For me, I like to see the hills ahead of me that I am about to conquer.

Pro: It’s easier on your joints

The smooth, cushioned belt is more forgiving than hard pavement or cement. Running on a treadmill can help reduce some of the impact on the joints and the body as a whole. This can be especially helpful when rehabbing or coming back from an injury. I have actually never actually faced an injury from running (yet), but I know you have to gracefully get back into it and be smart. If you are coming back from an injury, its always a good idea to alternate outdoor and indoor running to get the body back into motion.

Pro: You can simulate race environments

Many of the more advanced treadmills allow you to create your own unique course profile, which you can use to simulate the exact course you’re training for. Even if you’re not training for a race, you can switch up your workout by choosing a certain trail or terrain, depending on the options, to make you feel as though you’re half a world away. As far as weather, temperature, or terrain, the treadmill comes in handy which can mean everything if you live in a very cold or wet part of the country. If any of these do not bother you or you are a beast of an athlete, then outside running is better for training purposes. Since most races are set outside, training on the pavement is the best way to prepare for the race of your life.

Con: You could lose your agility

Speaking of the hills and terrain, although the treadmill might provide your joints with more cushion, you don’t get the added benefit of running on pavement. Even if the ground outside might feel flat to you, it never truly is. Therefore, your foot and leg muscles are constantly making small adjustments to adapt to the changing surfaces. These adjustments are great for coordination and balance. While treadmill running can help improve your overall fitness, it won’t mimic the real-life situations that are simulated through running outdoors.

Con: You don’t work as many muscles

Because there is a machine powering the belt, the muscle mechanics differ when you run on the treadmill. Outside, you typically rely on your hamstrings to finish the stride cycle and lift your legs behind you, almost kicking your butt. But on a treadmill, the propulsion of the belt does much of that work for you. You use your quads to push off, but your hamstrings aren’t firing as much as they would if you were running outdoors. If you’re only running on the treadmill, be sure that you’re also doing cross training to work the muscles on the back of your legs.

Con: It’s boring

There are no two ways about it: Running inside is boring. Even if you have the best playlist or you’re watching TV, it’s just too easy to look at that clock directly in front of you—and see that only 30 seconds have passed since the last time you checked it. (Tip: You can try covering the display with a towel to keep that clock out of sight). When running outside, the time naturally seems to move faster because you are literally covering more ground. Plus, you set a literal finish line for your run and see it getting closer and closer as you approach it. This provides you with a more natural sense of distance and will give you that extra push to finish strong when you feel like giving up.

Personally…

  • I won’t run in the dark by myself so having the flexibility to run on a treadmill at any time is a bonus
  • my pace is faster when I run outside
  • I notice slight differences in my form when I run on the treadmill
  • I get bored on the treadmill even if I’m watching TV
  • I feel more “accomplished” after running outside
  • Outdoor running uses more muscle fibers and burns more calories for the same amount of work when compared to a treadmill.

Fortunately, I don’t have to choose one over the other. I will always prefer to run outside but having the option of a treadmill has it’s benefits and it’s better than not running at all. No matter what the weather forecast brings, I find running outside more refreshing and enjoyable compared to the treadmill.

Do you prefer running outside or running on the treadmill? What are some of your favorite training workouts or tips?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
12/05/15

10 mile run/ Turning 30!!!!!

running

Happy Saturday!!!! We are now 3 weeks out from CHRISTMAS …. And one week out from my 30th birthday!!!! It is really starting to sink in now that I have ONE week left in my 20’s. WOW! But I do have to say I have done so much already and achieved so many goals I set for myself 10 years ago. I am so happy with the person I am today and all the blessings in my life. I think I am going to do something special everyday next week to celebrate my 20’s so stay tuned….:)

Ok enough mushy talk, one goal I set for myself back in September was to run 10 miles by the end of the year…. And this morning I told myself THIS IS IT! I woke up feeling amazing and the weather was perfect! I LOVE running in the cold because it helps me feel revived and sweat less (obviously)… I knew this was the day I was going to make it happen!

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I am not a fast runner so time for me is not what I focus on… I am more of a jogger and I usually like to keep the same pace the whole time. Knowing it was going to be a long run, I kept a slight jog pace. When I got to mile 9, I knew this was the homestretch and I only have one more to go!! When I hit 10 miles, I felt amazing! And…. I didn’t even stop once! That to me is probably the best part! 🙂 (Well besides the 1100 calories I burned )

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I was pretty proud of myself for just doing it and not stopping! It is definitely mind over matter and I fought the whole way. I wore these amazing leggings from Target and they were perfect for the run. They kept me warm and were super comfortable as far as chafing goes… And their only $20 right now 🙂

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The only thing I wanted after was a warm cup of coffee….!!!!!!!

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I would say this is a pretty successful day so far… What is your favorite workout/running gear? Do you have any goals you are working towards for the rest of 2015?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany