Set Your Intentions

Do you yoga?
Back in my mid-twenties, when adulting seemed to hit me in the face like a baseball bat every single day, a friend introduced me to CorePower Yoga in Boulder, Colorado. I made every excuse in the book not to give it a try, but when I finally caved…EVERYTHING changed.

Much to my surprise I fell in love. It activated my muscles in a completely new way that left me feeling totally detoxed. But best of all, it magically relieved stressors in my life.

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Practice

  • Set Your Intentions – Go into class with a goal, and focus on that goal the entire time. It may be to get a good workout, or to let go of burdensome thoughts
  • Take it Seriously – Even if you have trouble at first, continue to take each pose seriously and give it your best effort.
  • Take a Towel – You’re going to sweat, so take a towel with you! I invested in a YogiToes towel years ago, and it was well worth it. It prevents me from sliding around on my mat.

If you haven’t tried it, but are looking for something new to spruce up your daily workouts, I definitely recommend CorePower Yoga. It’s a difficult workout, a great stretch and if you allow it, an incredibly powerful mental health activity.

Give it a try, and tell me what you think in the comments below!
loveB

I’m Back + I’ve Missed You

Hello everyone! Some of you have been following this blog for over a year. Others may be here for the first time. But regardless… WELCOME!
What’s New
I have become increasingly interested in, and challenged by, capturing my own imagery while working out. It’s a challenge that marries two of my favorite hobbies… fitness and photography. So I’ve re-named this blog FITSPECTIVES because I want the visuals to be as important as the words.

As I embark on the journey I’m calling Blogging 2.0, I really want this to be valuable to those reading along. So, let me know what you want to hear more about. Workouts? Training while traveling? Fitness fashion?

Enjoy + please share your thoughts!
loveB

Strong Isn’t Always Brave and Little Isn’t Always Small

Hey friends. I typically try to keep my posts informative and playful. This is a fitness blog, so many posts focus on getting stronger in the gym or on the track. But recently I had the rug pulled out from under me, and my personal life is in a tailspin. The intimate details of what I am going through are not important. At times like these, what’s important is to remember that strength doesn’t equal bravery and little doesn’t equal small.

Strength vs. Bravery:

IMG_9336I was lucky enough to be taught, from a young age, that little girls can be strong and fearless. In my house, both my sister and I were forces to be reckoned with. But in all of the lessons that I’ve learned and all of the teachings about pushing for what you want, somehow I began to mistake strength with stubbornness instead of bravery. I thought that being strong meant absorbing everything that was thrown at me and carrying on despite it all. I missed the part about how walking away can be incredibly brave.

I hope that all of you reading this can recognize that, in life, bravery is doing what’s right, even if you think you can muscle through the pain just a little longer.

Little vs. Small:

IMG_8979In the situation that I’m currently in, I am constantly reminding myself that I am not insignificant. I am worthy of all I desire and no small mind should crush my huge dreams. I have to keep telling myself, despite what others may say, I am not a small girl waiting for a fairy tale ending. I am a petite warrior battling for what I believe in.

If anybody or anything has ever made your life or your dreams feel silly or wrong, I hope this helps you to remember that you, like me, are capable, brave and significant.

Fight on, warriors.
loveB

Review: Nike Women’s 21 Days of Better For It

Hi friends (and total strangers)! About 21 days ago, I told you that I was going to take on Nike Women’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt. Now, I’ve gotta be honest here, I did most of the workouts but during that 21 day period I went on a five day vacation and we had a three-foot blizzard that isolated me in my home for four days. Needless to say, there were some interruptions, but I am here to report back to you all now that I’m finished!

BIG PICTURE:

Each morning, I awoke to reminder message in my iPhone. The reminder took me directly to that day’s workout plan. So seamless! The program gave me a balanced workout that was thoughtfully prepared and included stretching and rest days. Those Nike folks must know a thing or two about fitness.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

200m sprints: It’s been years since I had a proper track workout and it felt amazing to stretch out my legs with these 200 meter sprints.

IMG_0625
Stretching before sprinting = smart.

Drop Squats: Start in the standing position, drop down to a squat touching one hand to the floor while the other stretches out behind you. Jump back up. I love squats, nuff said.

Lateral bear crawls: This exercise isn’t as difficult, coordination-wise, as it sounds. But it kicks your butt (and back, and core, and hips)!

FullBearCrawls
Bear crawls are the bees’ knees. Or something like that.

Chest press with dead bug: The dead bug may make you look silly in the gym. But combine it with a couple dumbbells and you’ve got yourself a hard-working move.chestpressdeadbug.png

Rear foot elevated single leg squat: Put your back leg up on a box or curb, it doesn’t need to be high. Squat down, similar to a lunge and feel the burrnnnnn!

Diagonal bounds: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. These little jumps (or slides, if you have the proper equipment) are a daily must.

diagonalbounds
Leaps and bounds!

AND YET:

As with any workout, there were a few things I avoided. Burpees, for instance. I fail to see the true benefit of burpees. Without perfect form, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself than do any real good. Burpees = the plague. Keep back! Another activity that I was cautious with was sprinting at the track (surprisingly, this was also my favorite activity). But I am 31, and about 12 years past my last track workout, so in the early morning cold temps, I was pretty nervous about pulling something while trying to prove that I was once a good sprinter.

All in all, I’d say that Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt was a success. I learned a ton of new activities to add to my workout regime, and there was something motivating and exciting about having a little personal trainer in your phone that wakes you up with new workouts each day.

If anybody is interested in doing the 21 day routine, I’ve got all of the workouts saved and would more than happy to send you the details. Comment below if you would like me to share them!

LOVE YOU ALL!
loveB

 

 

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Start 2016 With More Than A Resolution

This time of year always makes me cringe a little bit, especially when marketers try to capitalize on our insecurities by pushing “fitness resolutions.” Don’t get me wrong, getting healthy should most definitely be a top priority, but not because 2016 is upon us. It should be a priority because you only have one body and you need to treat it right. All year, every year.new-years-resolutions-seinfeld

My “resolution” this year is to recognize that my health, my mind and my body are a constant work in progress and I cannot accomplish everything at once. Just as I did in 2015, I will work on each of them but will not expect any certain results.

My Health: Anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty unhealthy eater. This is an area where I have a TON of room for improvement. I cannot resolve to give up sugar, because I will fail. But I will consciously work to make more home-cooked dinners with more vegetables. The goal is simply to feed my body more of the nutrients that it needs to meet the demands I put on it.
ThoughSheBeSmall
My Mind: This past March, I made the decision to leave a very toxic work environment. The decision, which was not a New Years resolution, was one of the most important choices I have ever made and has proved to be a very big step in improving my mental health. This year, I will continue to find ways to let go of unnecessary stressors, which will not only impact my mind, but my heart as well. Here are some tips on ways to improve mental health every day.

My Body: The biggest thing I noticed as my twenties passed me by was that my body is different day-by-day. The body I had when I was 21 is very different than the body I have now at 31. I can’t expect the same results, and I cannot make goals for my 31-year-old body that are based on 21-year-old me. These days, I am working on being more aware of how I feel. I am trying to see how my diet and stress may impact my physical output. I am always working on tightening and toning, but I am also thinking about recovery and proper care for my muscles. My roller is one of my best friends these days. RELATED: Have a Body-Positive New YearIMG_9382

Those are my “resolutions.” They’re not really measurable, and they do not have an expiration date. They’re fluid and always changing as I learn more about myself. So instead of a New Years resolution in 2016, I challenge you to take a holistic view of your health, your mind and your body. Self-improvement doesn’t ever end, and it is defined differently by everybody. #YouDoYou.23d45062-b649-4be8-b2d0-348c78b9be46

Happy New Years, see you in 2016!
loveB

 

 

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Taking my Newtons on the Road

If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!
If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!

This might sound strange, but my favorite part of traveling, whether for work or vacation, is finding new and beautiful places to workout. It is pretty interesting that, like many other sports, fitness is a universal language.

I find that running is the easiest workout to plan. You don’t have to rely on hotel gyms, or bring any extra equipment. Do you have any big trips planned? If so, here are some running tips to keep in mind:

  • Bring your runners. My choice of running shoes are Newtons. Don’t just run in your regular walking shoes, that’s a good way to get hurt.
  • Running is the best way to navigate a new city. While you’re out, keep your head on a swivel (soccer term, sorry) and look for restaurants, bars, stores, cafes, parks, and museums that you may want to try.
  • Check a map before you head out, or use Nike+ Running App‘s built in map, there may be a park or running trail nearby that you can easily hop on.
  • Always bring your phone and the address of the place you’re staying with you, you don’t want to get lost!
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to stop to take a picture, or in my case, too many pictures. Those are memories, CHERISH THEM!
  • Wave to other runners. Or give them a friendly smile. One thing that I’ve found is that in every place I’ve run, including foreign countries, this is pretty standard etiquette.
  • Document those miles using a GPS-based app, like Nike+. It’s a souvenir that costs you nothing.
  • Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.
    Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.

    Always remember to take care of your body. On the road and at home. Hydrate and stretch really well after every run. You don’t want any injuries to put a damper on your trip.

  • Have a blast and love yourself for getting out there. You’re #betterforit.

If you’re thinking that I am crazy for wanting to work out while I am on vacation, just try it and you’ll see. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels amazing and will probably help create some of your favorite travel memories. Plus, you won’t have to feel guilty for indulging in incredible local cuisine the whole time.

If you haven’t already, check out more running tips from Paige, and more tips on getting creative with your vacation workouts from Molly!

loveB

No More Excuses

There are so many excuses not to exercise. No equipment for strength training, no sidewalks or shoulders on the road for running, and I’m too tired are just not valid excuses.

My Current Situation

Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY
Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY

I am at a house in Upstate New York with my family. When I say Upstate, I mean no cell service, backwoods, 25-minutes to the nearest grocery store Upstate New York. It is absolutely beautiful. We rented a house at the end of a LONG, HILLY, GRAVELY driveway with a pool, tennis court, bocci ball and horseshoe court (or as my brother just said, you should call it a horseshoe arena), a pond and wonderful people I call my family.

The Problem

I rarely have the urge to go on a run, just like Paige rarely has the urge to pick up weights. Today, though, I was feeling it. I was so exited to get up to this house, work for a bit and then go on a nice, long run. The problem is that about every 200 ft, there is a deathly curve in the road and you seriously cannot see what is 5 ft on the other end of the curve. So running in the street is out.

Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)
Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)

My mom brought ten pound weights, which is more than enough for a killer workout, but like I said, I really just wanted to get a run in.

Enter: Adam

Adam is my oldest brother, an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Butler University and a bit of a crazy person when it comes to exercise. So, after already running this morning and playing about an hour of tennis with my other brother Danny, he suggested getting a workout using the driveway.

*Please see description of driveway above. Read it again, but this time in a louder-than-appropriate voice and the tone you’d image the Devil to use when speaking.

The Workout:

Find a friend. Jog down the .3 mile-long driveway. Look up at the hill in front of you. Think unpleasant thoughts. (Adam described this as the opposite the feeling you get when you are super pumped to ski a double black diamond, then you get to the top and think about how stupid an idea this was) Change those unpleasant thoughts to positive, motivational, YES YOU CAN thoughts. Take off up the hill. Curse at each other the whole way up. Walk back down to recover. Repeat as many times as you can, then do one more.

The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away
The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away

The Finisher

5 Minutes of arms: Push ups 10x, Tricep Dips 10x, Plank Up/Downs 10 e/a

5 Minutes of abs: Slow Cross Crawls 20 e/a, Reverse Planks 10x, Side Plank Pulses 10 e/a.

Pro Tip: 

Bring bug spray with you to do the abs and arms.

I am currently working on tomorrow’s circuit training for Adam and I to do. There MIGHT be a guest appearance from my mom, in which case, I’ll explain the workout and all the ways you can moderate it for your fitness level. Until then, over and out fitness peeps.

– MB