I’ve been MIA for some time now, but a little update for you all…..This summer I took the amazing opportunity to travel. I’m exploring some of Europe and spending most of my time living in Greece.
I want to talk about working out while traveling and how you can stay healthy and mentally sane without the standard gym routine. This can be a struggle for me because I LOVE my routine, I mean who doesn’t? We are creatures of habit and routines are comforting, but guess what I realized… I’m too young for comfort zones and limitations. I need to be OK without a routine and without material things. I need to be OK letting go of this absurd construct that I need the perfect body (which by the way, doesn’t exist). I also found that thoughts really do shape reality. If you tell yourself “oh no, I didn’t workout. I’m losing all my progress. I don’t feel good.” well you guessed it, you will begin to become and believe those thoughts. And no offense, but you are very wrong!! I also found that I AM in control. Such a simple statement right? But for many of us we forget this very fact.
Repeat to yourself: I am powerful and I am in charge.
If I’m not feeling good, then I can choose to go on a short run or a walk or jump rope. There is honestly no excuse not to feel good. I am so lucky to have this life and I don’t want my silly thoughts getting in the way of complete gratitude.
So being a fitness enthusiast, I’ve found ways to stay active whether it’s freestyle swimming in the sea, runs, stair repeats, track intervals, jump roping at home, mat exercises, or in place circuits. Most recently, I’ve joined a gym so I truly have no excuse and my focus will be on feeling fit, happy, and healthy. I enjoy movement and feeling my muscles working so working out isn’t a chore or an obstacle to enjoying my European adventure, but it actually helps me have more energy and excitement.
An example of a workout I made up and did at a local track:
PU- push ups, SU- sit ups
200 yards of : alternating broad jump burpees, bear crawling and walking lunges
So if you have thoughts in that powerful mind of yours that are preventing you from greatness, then I give you permission to tell those thoughts that they can show themselves out because you are taking over!
Check out a short video of basic dumbbell exercises. I performed these in a tiny hotel gym! They are easy and don’t require much space or equipment!
1) Bent-Over Single Arm Row
-Flat back-> core engaged
-Neutral spine: neck inline with spine
-Squeeze your shoulder blade in as you row up
-Maintain control and don’t jerk the weight up, use your strength not momentum
2) Goblet Squat
-Maintain weight in your heels as you sit back into your squat leading with your hips
-Keep those elbows high away from your body
-Core tight and chest up not letting that dumbbell collapse you down
-Drive your knees out as you come up and SQUEEZE those glutes at the top
First off, props to all the handstanders out there! This sh*t is hard!!
And second, if you don’t do them already, start now! Being inverted gives you the best release of natural brain happy-drugs and I feel so great after a small handstand session.
My journey began last fall ( 2013) when I decided I wanted to get the whole “be upside down in the air” thing down. I’ve practiced some yoga, but in the past I’ve only done the poses that don’t require me to hold my whole body up!
The picture on the left is a gist of my first month or so of attempts. I either A) did a headstand w/ elbows resting on the ground and would end up flipping over like this picture or B) have a friend help me kick up( I was scared & didn’t kick hard enough) against a wall but I wouldn’t last long. I did these on the turf, so pretty soft landing.
The middle picture is me getting the hang of kicking myself over onto a wall, but usually I would kick too hard & if I didn’t have the wall there then….ouch! My body position is not very good here and I still didn’t understand the hip tilt/hollow body position. I also found that racquetball courts in the gym are super awesome for handstand practice (warm ups and circuits too)!
The picture on the right is my most recent picture but still about 3 months old. As you can see I can come off the wall and hold a decent position. Since then I’ve made some improvements by working on my shoulder stability with various exercises to strengthen my shoulder position. Overall, I still need to work on my body position and hollow out more & really push my head through.
Now, as far as being able to do a “classic” handstand on the beach picture ( ya’ll know what I’m talking about) I still have not mastered. I need to practice doing them in free space with the help of a spotter and I’m there! It’s all a mental game now, trusting myself to kick up with the perfect amount of drive and using my core to make the micro-adjustments to stay in the air without anyone right next to me.
Do yourself a favor and find fun goals to set during your health and fitness journey. It will keep you motivated and excited. And when you finally reach those goals you will show yourself how capable you really are!
Happy June Everyone!
Time flies, doesn’t it?? I cannot believe it is already June. I hope this finds you at a happy time in your life. It’s a good time of year for a little self reflection and check in. Is 2014 what you expected? If not what needs to change? have you reached your short term goals or on the right track? Are you keeping up with your physical and emotional/mental health? Do you have good energy? Are you sleeping enough? How about time for fun?
The list goes on.
What is important to realize is that we are not perfect and our lives will never be “perfect” especially if we hold ourselves to high standards. I can’t speak for others, but I know I hold myself to very high standards and tons of expectations & this does not always lead to a positive spirit. I found it’s the little things each day that you can do to start working towards your goals. You must grab the bull by the horns and take on YOUR life. You choose what happens, you choose how to react, and you make your own happiness. As for me I just keep trying and trying again and find what works for me. Right now here are a few of my “things” I’m doing.
A few of my little favorite things
1) I started a water challenge! The first of my few favorite things (lately) I want to challenge myself to drink more water and be conscious of my water intake. It’s important as the summer heat comes to stay hydrated especially with an active lifestyle. It will also benefit my digestion and skin. My goal is 5 bottles of my Contigo waterbottle (20 oz.) a day plus whatever tea/applecider vinegar water I have.
2)I’ve also been enjoying Dandelion Root tea a few nights a week. I like the taste and it’s really calming for me. It’s said to be a good detox tea as well. You can try it out and see what you think!
3) BURPEES!!!! You’re probably wondering who in their right mind LOVES BURPEES?!?! It’s a love-dislike relationship, because I don’t really hate anything. I have been doing my fair share of burpees lately and they are oh-so good. My favorite time (in a crazy exercise enthusiast type of way) is after a WOD or hard workout. I do 25 with a few friends and they do the trick! just think if you did 25 burpees 4x a week[ just 2-3 minutes!] ontop of what you already do, that’s 100 burpees a week!
4) NomNomPaleo’s Frittata! I made it w/ Spicy Sausage, white onion, and chopped broccoli. I make it Sunday night so I have a quick delicious&nutritious breakfast ready for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Recipe found @ link below!
I did my cycling workout to this playlist this week, and it was so fun!
I know many people out there are working towards new goals in this new year, and hopefully getting healthier is one of them. No matter how “healthy” you think you are, there is always room for development and changes for a healthier YOU! Getting into the routine of working out and being active can be difficult, but it’s the same for everyone. “When will I have time? I feel tired. I’m more hungry. What should I pack as a snack before? “etc. etc. Well let me tell you, we have all had that DAY ONE, or WEEK ONE. And trust me, it will get easier. As your body adjusts you will begin to crave being active. Remember, lifestyle changes are those that stick, so it’s a work in progress and once it is apart of your lifestyle, it will not be so difficult. This brings me to this post, exercise should be fun! And an easy way to have more fun more often is with your music selection. This oldies playlist changed up my routine, and I enjoyed having different beats to look forward to.
I hope this inspires you to create some fun playlist for yourself to spice up your fitness time!
1) Everyday People- Sly& The Family Stone–> warm up song
2) Otis (Ft. Otis Redding)- Jay-Z & Kanye West ) This is a remix on an oldie!
3) Brick House- Commodores
4) Ain’t Too Proud to Beg- The Temptations
5) Groove Me- King Floyd
6) We Didn’t Start the Fire- Billy Joel
7) Welcome to the Jungle- Guns N’ Roses
8) Highway to Hell- ACDC
9) Good Vibrations- Beach Boys
10) Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye
11) Thunderstruck- ACDC
12) Paradise City- Guns N’ Roses
13) Sympathy for the Devil- The Rolling Stones
14) Cherry Pie- Warrant
15) Black Dog- Led Zeppelin
16) I’m Moving Out- Billy Joel
17) Nothing But A Good Time- Poison
18) Forever Young- Rod Stewart –> cool down song
Now go get your heart pumping!