11 Ways to Be Healthy and Active During Snowmageddon

Apparently, the apocalypse is coming to the DMV. So, I figured I would share a couple tips to staying healthy and active while snowed-in.

I could give you eleven different ways to burn major calories in your apartment, but I am not going to do that. The challenge for this weekend, snowed-in or not, is to reframe what healthy means. It’s not about fitting in your workout everyday, no matter what. It’s about keeping a healthy mind, body and soul. It’s taking this time to de-stress from our crazy, everyday routines of exercising, work, family, friends, responsibility and obligations to other people and other things.

Take this time to recommit to self-care, self-love and creating healthy habits.

  1. Read this post on 10 healthy snacks to make while snowed-in.
  2. YOGA! There are tons of YouTube videos of challenging yoga practices for all of your goals. You can also download the Yoga Studio app, which lets you tailor your practice to your needs. AmandaBisk.com also has great 30-minute yoga sessions to download.   giphy-3
  3. Meditate. It’s not all about your body. Your mind is just as important. Turn off Netflix, put down the chips and dip and find a meditation to follow online that fits your goals. Trying to sleep better? There’s a meditation for that. Trying to get healthier, get a promotion, change a relationship, increase your self-worth, or just de-stress? There are great guided meditations all over the internet for anything you can think you. I personally like the guided mediations on melisssaambrosini.com, but warning to all the men reading this, you might want to just search Google.
  4. Clean your apartment/house. I don’t mean put away your pile of laundry that has been sitting on your chair for weeks. I mean do a deep clean of your house. Vacuum the carpets, scrub the bathtub, get the ceiling fans. This one is good for the body and the mind!giphy
  5. Dance party. Turn up the jams, turn off the judgment and rock out. Not only does this burn some major calories, it is guaranteed to improve your mood. (Note: If you’re not snowed in alone, check out the Triller app and make some music videos)giphy-5
  6. Make a vision board. Sit for 5 minutes with your eyes closed and think about what you really want. What are your biggest dreams and aspirations. If you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Now take that, and create a vision board that you can look at every day to keep you on track towards your dreams.IMG_3101
  7. Assess your kitchen. Never have time to really get your healthy eating habits started? Well, now is the time. Empty out those cabinets and throw away all the shit you have in there. You’re more likely to reach for refined carbs and sugary food when you’re tired and bored, so why tempt yourself?
  8. Challenge your roommate, significant other or whomever is snowed in with you. Loser does the dishes for a week or shovels the snow. Who can hold a plank the longest? What about a wall sit? Who can do the most push ups in a minute? Can you do a headstand? Who can do the most burpees in a minute? giphy-2
  9. SLEEP. We run our engines pretty hard everyday, and it’s generally inappropriate to nap in the middle of a workday at the office.  Try cutting out the caffeine for a day or two. If you don’t have anywhere you need to be, let your body rest naturally, and maybe this can even decrease your daily caffeine intake when you get back into your routine.
  10. Break out the old workout DVDs. If you’re going to be staring at the TV all weekend, you might as well be burning some calories doing it.giphy-4
  11. Maybe the most important tip of all. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy time with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, siblings, roommates, friends, pets, etc. Cook together, laugh together, play a board game, go play in the snow. Nothing keeps you healthier than enjoying the small moments in life. Jen-Wheeler-Snow-Man
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10 Tips to Get Out of Your Rut and Back in Your Groove

We’ve al been there. Go a couple of days without exercising, a couple of days of mindless, unhealthy eating and your motivation further and further out of reach.

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I am currently recharging my own batteries. So, let’s explore some ways we can get out of these ruts.

  1. Find a buddy. As soon as I decided to make a schedule, I texted my friend and we started with just one day that we will workout together every week.

    Kat and I working on our hip mobility and glute strength after a workout
    Kat and I working on our hip mobility and glute strength after a workout
  2. Make a schedule. Just like you do with work and making social plans, carve out time to exercise each day. Paying for group classes creates great accountability as well.
  3. Make it known. Yes, posting about your workouts and healthy eating might get annoying and old for your social audience, but it also keeps you accountable.
  4. Start small. I used to think SMART goals were silly, but they work. Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-based. The key word for me is realistic. Start small, conquer it, move on to the next one.

    A new journal and new mindfulness practice
    A new journal and new mindfulness practice
  5. Journal or Blog. This not only keeps you honest with yourself, it might enhance your awareness.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Take a couple of minutes at the beginning of each day to set your intention. Decide what kind of day it’s going to be. Starting with your intentions set allows you to live each day honestly. (Note: Intentions are different than goals. Set your intention and let it float away)
  7. Forgive yourself. This is a big part of mindfulness. If you slip up or get off track, treat yourself like you would a friend or loved one. It’s not the end of the world. Forgive yourself and move on.
  8. Make it tangible. I love pictures, quotes, vision boards, images of meaning and the like. Keep them visible.

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    My bedroom wall.
  9. Stop saying should. “Should” implies someone or something is driving you. Ask yourself, “says who?” whenever you say, “I should exercise” or “I shouldn’t eat that.” If the answer is not “I say so,” figure out what it is you want to do.
  10. Play. Play around with both your exercise routine and in the kitchen. Cooking new, healthy recipes and trying new classes can help inspire you to find a new routine you won’t want to stop or de-prioritize when life gets in the way.

Share your own tips for getting back into your healthy routine in the comments below.

Why Mental Health is Ignored while Physical Attributes are Praised

I blame social media.

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Before the advent of social media, I imagine you only compared yourself with the people in your class at school, someone who lived down the street from you, or the girl your cousin brought to a family BBQ. Now, with tap of a screen, I can compare myself to a model in Australia or be flooded with pictures of celebs in tiny outfits. And, let’s be real, when I say, “compare myself with,” I don’t mean favorably.

Another social media fail? Believing the Instagram world is reflective of the real world. Everyone falls into this trap. I’ve spent nights out with crying girls, only to wake up the next morning to their post of the one picture they took before shit hit the fan, with a caption about how wonderful life is, how amazing their night was and how #blessed they are for having such wonderful friends; the same friends who caused the crying about how awful their life is on the previously horrible night.

Additional dimension: Putting it all out there, real or otherwise makes us more vulnerable than ever.

The result: Physical attributes are praised, picked apart, criticized, and flaunted. Mental attributes: ignored.

So, here I am to tell you that I battle deep, long bouts of depression. I’ve seen multiple therapists and have taken many different types of anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, sleep aides and the like.

I have spent, do spend and will continue to spend countless hours working on my physical condition, but have admittedly fallen behind on the mental health part of my journey.

This blog’s tagline is Be Strong. Be Confident. Be Active. Well, being all of that has physical, emotional and mental components.

Why am I telling you– some friends, some family, some complete strangers– all of this?

I HATE the stigma that is attached to mental illness. Let’s be clear what is considered a mental illness. (check the list: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/) There are mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual disorders, sleep disorders and more. So many different disorders that so many people we know have fallen victim to are illnesses. Just like you’d treat your physical body when it falls ill, so should you treat your mental and emotional state.

It’s not weakness; it’s illness.

So, here are some tips I’ve found work for me. This does not mean they will all work for you. But that is what makes us all special and we must begin to respect that.

– Find a therapy that works for you, whether it is health coach, a counselor, a psychologist, whatever or whoever, find someone to talk to who can help.

– I won the family lottery. My parents are smart, intellectually and emotionally. My two older brothers offer great advise; most of which is, “Do as I say, not as I did.” I have a kickass sister-in-law. My family keeps me sane, because I just compare myself to them… Just kidding.
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– Gotta give my mom a separate shout out. Yes, I have to preface our conversations by saying, “Hi, I need my mom,” or, “Hi, I need my therapist.” But, it works. She’s a smart and caring lady, and I am so lucky to have her as a mommy and her patients are lucky to have her as a therapist.401904_10200210725735412_1709594851_n

– I have wonderful, incredible, amazing humans I can cry to, yell at for no reason and really open up to. Some of them live clear across the country or back home in New York (thank goodness for FaceTime) and some of them live just minutes away, but they are my rocks, and I’m grateful for them everyday.

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– I exercise. I like running. I like spinning. I like lifting weights. It rids me of stress and fills me with confidence. Never mind the fact that it allows you to eat way more! Perfect segue…

– I eat. I don’t mean comfort food like fries and such, though I for sure eat all that shit, I mean I eat things with natural benefits for your health. I eat whole, real foods, I eat FAT (yup you heard me, pass the butter), I eat veggies and fruits and CARBS and DESSERT… you get it, I eat. It makes me happy.

– I write. I write in a journal almost nightly. Writing your shit down is seriously freeing.

Also, this journal lives next to my bed, and I’m now hiding it cause I have nosey friends— whom I love very much.

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– I turn off my phone. (I hear your gasps.) When I am feeling sad, nothing makes it worse than social media. Seeing everyone’s perfect insta-lives is just not what I need. So I don’t look.

– I trim the fat. If it’s not making me happy, I get rid of it. I just laughed at myself. I’m a 24-year-old girl. What I just typed obviously doesn’t apply to boys. Though, I consider myself a pretty strong woman, and I get better with trimming ALL types of fat everyday.

A good way to do this is to ask yourself whom you are doing something for. If the answer isn’t for yourself, well, you better be doing it for someone you love very much, cause there is no other excuse.

Another good question: does this make me happy? Is the answer no? Kind of? Sometimes? Drop it.

Also, FOMO is not real. Seriously, if going out every weekend doesn’t make you happy, stop doing it. You’ll live.

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I am NOT the expert on mental or emotional health, but I am the expert on me, as you are the expert on yourself. So, I hope you can take some of these tips and figure out what works for you!

I use these everyday to try to be the happiest version of myself. I do it for me and so I can give my best self to the people I love. They deserve that. And so do I.

Physical health is so, so, so important. Mental health is equally as important and rarely spoken about. Break the silence and lose the stigma. Not only could it change lives, it could save them.

A few articles/pieces worth the read:

Being 13: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/05/opinions/underwood-faris-being-thirteen-lurking-social-media/index.html 

Split Image: The tragic story of Madison Holleran: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12833146/instagram-account-university-pennsylvania-runner-showed-only-part-story

This post from Elite Daily about ignoring our Mental Health: http://elitedaily.com/life/outer-health-inner-health/1207863/

Bodyweight Workouts with Mama Bear

Mom Adam Liv
Mom on the left, Adam on the right, Olivia living the life.

I promised y’all a bodyweight circuit with my brother and Mom, but the day after those killer sprints, Adam and I decided to do them again. What doesn’t kill you…blah blah blah. It was awful, but felt oh so good when it was done.

Yesterday, I brought my mom through 4 rounds of circuit training. Each round was five minutes, and for the fourth round, you chose which circuit you wanted to repeat. (Adam hurt his quad and starts preseason soon, so he is taking it easy to recover.)

*Shameless Plug: Some of these exercises were inspired by the wonderful, strong and awesome Nina Elliot, my amazing boss at TRUE Health and WholenessTRUE shirt

Below is my circuit, my mom’s, which is a bit modified (no jumping, burpees, etc) follows mine.

Round 1: Legs

– Jumping Lunges 20x

– Burpee to tuck jump 20x

– 25 mountain climbers

– bodyweight squats 10x

Round 2: Arms

– Pushups ladder: 1 on knees, 1 on toes, 2 on knees, 2 on toes, to three and back down (courtesy of Nina!)

– Seated Tricep Dips 10x

– Uneven push ups (right hand in front of left, then switch) 5 e/a

Olivia Rae!
Olivia Rae/Weight for Exercise

– Push Press with a 7 1/2 month old child who was crying and getting restless in her bouncy seat watching us workout–> these turned into diamond pushups once she settled.

Round 3: Abs

– High plank, knees to elbow 1 e/a

– Quarter Squat, dumbbell front raise to row

– Slow cross crawls 10 e/a

– Power Tuck Jumps 10x

Mama Bear’s Circuits: Mom repeated arms/abs for round 4

Round 1: Arms

– Lateral plank walk, pushup on knees, lateral plank walk back down the mat, push up on knees. Repeat 3x

– Thrusters, 10 lb dumbells 10x (I know I said bodyweight, but weights make my mom feel cool and strong!)

– Seated tricep drips 10x

– Single Arm, Bent Over Row with 10 lb dumbbell 8x e/a

Round 2: Legs

– Walking lunges holding dumbbells 8x e/a

– Squat, Squat Jump 8x

– Sumo Squat 10x

Round 3: Abs

– Half Burpee, Fire Hydrant e/a side 5x

– Slow Cross Crawls 20x

– Quarter Squat Straight Arm Dumbbell Raise to Row 10x

Kaysey with the first catch of the day!
Kaysey with the first catch of the day!

Then, I made some Flax and Grain toast with avocados and an egg white, had some Kombucha Tea and headed out to teach my niece and nephew to fish. It was a wonderful day!

Until next time,

– MB

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

Summer Spin Favorites

As a Spin instructor and all around music lover, I am a firm believer that a playlist can make or break your workout. So, I want to invite you all into my world of music. I will post all of my playlists here. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, etc, shout at me on Twitter: @mollybruh or drop me a comment below! Spin Ride details: Mix of Endurance, Strength and Speed. Endurance: Keeping the same pace for extended period of time. The better your aerobic base, the better the rest of your ride will be! Strength: Includes hills and jumps. Speed: Flat road to moderate resistance, all out sprints. I hope you enjoy the tunes! Warm up: House Party: Sam Hunt Workout: Work This Body: Walk the Moon Are You Gonna be my Girl: Jet Booty: JLo, ft. Pit Bull Verge: Owl City ft. Aloe Blacc Waiting For Love: Avicii Jump: Kris Kross Fight Song: Rachel Platten King of Africa: Douster Whistle While You Work It: Katy Tiz Geronimo: Sheppard Runaway Baby: Bruno Mars It Girl: Jason Derulo Go Big or Go Home: American Authors Honey, I’m Good: Andy Grammar Cool down: Good For You: Selena Gomez Who You Are: Jessie J

It’s Your Workout

What’s up everyone? Becca and Paige kicked off this blog with awesome posts about creating their healthy lifestyles. I encourage everyone to check those out, because they are smart, wonderful and very different ladies with unique perspectives.

Sunrise, awesome people, sweat and tons of love.

For my first post, I would like to say something pretty obvious: Your Workout is Your Own. You might read that and think, well duh. But, here’s what I mean.

Too often, we (especially ladies) compare ourselves to others. Notice in Becca’s post, when she said “find your motivation,” she didn’t mention anyone else. It’s your motivation; do it for yourself.

Too often we look around the room and see everyone else’s strengths and only our flaws.

Too often we say beauty is on the inside and worry more about the outside.

Too often we chase after what we don’t have instead of honoring what we do.

Being a competitive athlete my whole life, it was only recently I learned that it’s okay to slow down. Every workout doesn’t have leave me completely exhausted.Every workout doesn’t have to be perfect. Every workout doesn’t have to be a competition with the person next to me. This is a still a work-in-progress, to say the least.

It’s your body, and it’s beautiful. It’s your health, and it’s your most important asset. It’s your life, and you only get one. It’s your workout, and you’re doing great.