That First 5K

runBeing the active person that I am, one might assume I was prepared for my first 5K. That person would be wrong. In fact, from the moment I signed up for my first race, my workout routine seemed to have gotten less and less regular. Of course, life happens and I had friends and family to tend to in recent months but I really wish I had not neglected my routine. Did I make it to the finish line? Yes. Was I the weakest link on my team of four? Sadly, yes. If this was an all-running 5K, I wouldn’t have signed up since running is not my thing. But this was a mud run and included many obstacles such as climbing hay bales, ropes, hurdles, etc. Since all of my workouts are done in the comfort of an air-conditioned room, my advice to my future self would be to practice running outside…in the woods…in the sun…and maybe with shorts full of mud. Heat is not my friend. Everyone I know is signing up for races from Mud Run to Color Run to Glow in the Dark runs. Find one near you and challenge yourself! Although I apparently wasn’t motivated to get in perfect shape for this race, my performance definitely shamed me into getting in better shape now. Mud Runners for 2014: watch out!   ~Dutch

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Change your Metabolism!

runWe all know when it comes to losing weight, it starts in the kitchen. If you work out like a mad man but eat and drink whatever you want, you won’t get the results you want. There was a good article on Yahoo from Runner’s World recently about habits to get you fit for summer. One great tip is planning and making meals ahead of time. If you have that ready, you won’t resort to running through a drive-thru or grabbing a high calorie snack on the go. Keep something healthy around for emergencies. If you don’t know where you are going wrong with your diet, try keeping a food log for a couple days to see where you need to improve. The most important tip is to eat regularly, not skipping meals to save up calories. Health advice seems to change all the time but this is one thing that many can agree on. Have three healthy meals a day and two snacks in between. Eating more often keeps your metabolism going. Read the rest of the tips here. Taking care of yourself requires discipline but your body only has one home so it’s worth it!    ~Dutch

Start Small and Prioritize!

healthyI feel ashamed to write a motivation post when I am really out of shape. Lately, when I am not at work I am sleeping. So even when I have a great routine and work out hard, when you take a week or more off, it’s really hard to get back into it. Life Hacker had this great article with 7 tips for making nutrition and fitness greater priorities. When you take care of yourself and are careful with what you put in your body, your whole life benefits. A healthier diet and active lifestyle stimulate brain power and productivity. So start small and make some easy changes to get going. The article also mentions the 80/20 rule. If you are eating well and exercising regularly (80%), you can be more flexible with the other 20% of your meals. It also confirmed my indecisiveness regarding kettle bells. I’m going to buy a couple this week and incorporate them in my home routine. Check out the other tips and prioritize your life!    ~Dutch

When You Don’t Want To Work Out

lgsWe all know how important our health is. Eating healthy and staying fit is easier said than done though. If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to embrace new routines, don’t give up. Next Avenue had a great article with 10 tips for people who don’t want to work out. These involve making small changes to our daily activities incorporating more fitness. There are some obvious tips we all know we can do, like parking our car farther away to walk more and taking stairs instead of elevators. But sometimes when we make a conscious effort to do something specific during an everyday task, it’s hard to forget about it. Years ago, I saw on TV that doing leg lifts while brushing your teeth was a great way to add a few minutes of toning every day. I think about that every single time I brush my teeth now. If you put a yoga mat or hand weights in front of your TV, I promise they’ll taunt you while watching your favorite shows. Determine to get in a short workout during commercial breaks. If you work at an office, try stretching at your desk or doing chair dips (when people aren’t watching). Even standing up to take phone calls would be an improvement. There are many ways to get more movement in your day. Check out the rest of the list and see what you can add in your daily routine. ~Dutch

The Power of Thought

Recently, I stumbled upon a video about the power of thought and how it can actually work in connection with physical actions. If you made it past that first sentence, then keep reading. One of the points of the video explained that just thinking about say, the act of exercising a certain muscle actually engages the neurons in your brain. Granted you aren’t going to get a six pack with this method, but studies did show that the muscles thought to be exercised actually had been. Still with me? Want to learn how to play the piano but don’t own one? Some participants in the study were allowed to study piano but weren’t allowed to play it, when compared with similar students who actually were allowed to play, the results were similar to the ones who hadn’t played. Granted there is a point to where one’s physical activities will over shadow thoughts alone. You aren’t going to become a famous artist just based on pictures you drew in your head. Okay, so you’ve made it this far in my rant about how your brain works to help you jump start the creative juices, so get to it! Think about a project or goal prior to starting it, imagine the actions involved and get a head start for when you actually decide to write that masterpiece, just don’t forget that genius takes hard work. Check the original video below from AsapSCIENCE. ~cwall

Reward Yourself!

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Sometimes the best motivation is a reward. But since we are adults now, your mom isn’t going to give you ice cream when you eat all your veggies. You are probably in a routine where you eat dessert when you want it and if you want to splurge while shopping, you just do it. Here is something I like to try. If there is something I want to bake, I could say if I make it to the gym 4 days this week, I can bake on Saturday. Or if I really want frozen yogurt, I have to do 30 minutes of stair climbing that day. You just have to be committed to the deal. You can get other people in on it too. Like I tell the husband if I say something unnecessarily mean about someone, I have to give him a dollar. Then I can work on being nicer and it’s a total pain since I never have cash. Luckily, he forgets after a few days too. These ideas may sound silly, but it makes you more aware of what you are doing. When I had to cut back on caffeine, I saved $1 every day I went without it which went towards a purchase I really wanted. Eventually, you get used to working out 4 days and not having caffeine. I thought of today’s post because Cwall and I keep talking about cutting back on drinking. I’ll say ok, I won’t drink for a month. But then you go somewhere and you’re the only one without a glass of wine. Not that big of a deal until people are like, “You could have ONE glass.” The pressure! So I’m going to use today’s tip and come up with a reward big enough to help me reach my goal. Share your ideas with us! ~Dutch

Some Links to Motivate You!

My partner in crime already posted some great stuff on keeping you moving so I figured I’d follow up with some awesome links devoted to helping you do just that. Check em out!

Exercise music app listens to your heart to rev it up

How To Get More Done – The Works

The Woodsman Workout (The only thing that would make this better is if Nick Offerman was demonstrating this workout.)

Case of the Mondays (From our friends at theCHIVERY)

Motivate Me Monday

“Does somebody have a case of the Mondays?” The last thing you want to think about after letting loose all weekend is getting back to your workout routine. If you’re like me, you count down the minutes till you get off work and can get back into bed. But maybe that’s not the best idea after all that pizza and beer you had watching Sunday football. So here are some better options. Convince yourself to do 20 minutes of cardio. Having a small goal is easier to attain than considering a full workout when you aren’t in the mood. I prefer to do this at the gym because every time I go to “only do 20 minutes”, I end up staying an hour and feeling great. If you only have 10 minutes to spare in your entire day (eye roll) I love 10 Minute Solutions. Maybe the videos aren’t very 2012 but the workouts are awesome. You can customize each routine and as soon as you start getting tired, that 10 minutes is up! My favorite is the Pilates video. Don’t have 10 minutes? Everyone has 4 free minutes. Tabata is a form of High Intensity Interval Training where you do 20 seconds max effort with 10 seconds of rest and repeat for 4 minutes (ie: run at top speed 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds walk, repeat). Learn more about it here. So just because you aren’t in the mood for an hour workout, remember these options. You’ll be glad you didn’t give into excuses and walk away with more energy.    ~Dutch