Monthly Archive: June 2014

Cardio is a Beautiful Thing

Cardio is one of the most essential building blocks to health & fitness. In addition to enhancing cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency, it burns fat, boosts metabolism, reduces stress, and is a catalyst for the ever-sacred workout-induced endorphin rush. Yay cardio!

Even better yet is that cardio comes in many different forms: running, swimming, dancing, Zumba, cycling, rollerblading, hiking, and team sports, just to name a few. This variety is wonderful not only because it can prevent us from getting bored of the same old routine day in and day out, but it can also enhance the quality of our overall training program. A combination of low-, medium-, and high-intensity cardiovascular training (in addition to strength & flexibility training) is an ideal foundation for getting fit with exercise.

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Sample High-Intensity Interval Workout!

Looking for a quick cardio fix? Do you have 10 minutes? Try this high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout for a quick boost!

  • 0:00-1:30m        Jumping Jacks
  • 1:30-2:00m        Rest
  • 2:00-3:30m        Mountain Climbers
  • 3:30-4:00m        Rest
  • 4:00-5:30m        High Knees
  • 5:30-6:00m        Rest
  • 6:00-7:30m        Burpees
  • 7:30-8:00m        Rest
  • 8:00-9:30m        Squat Jumps
  • 9:30-10:00m      Rest

Extra credit – keep track of how many of each exercise you do, then try to beat your record next time! You can do it!!!

What is your “Why?” and Other Thoughts on Motivation

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Imagine you’re 15 miles in to your first-ever marathon, wondering what it was that ever possessed you to subject yourself to such a tortuously long race. Or maybe you’ve just been sweating it out hard on the treadmill for 20 minutes and the ‘stop’ button is seductively staring you down. Imagine you’re 2 sets in to your 3-set workout, thinking about dropping your weight to about half of what you should be lifting, or ditching the last set altogether to finish up early. In those moments, when you feel your resolve slipping away and nothing sounds better than giving into the temptation to stop or slow down or give up, you find yourself asking “why?” Why am I doing this? Why should I keep going? Why not go easy on myself? Why not give up?

It’s nearly impossible to achieve any goal without having proper motivation. Our reasons for living a fit life are as diverse as we are, and in times of doubt and temptation and weakness, it’s important to know what your “why” is. Whether it’s to rock your bikini on the beach this summer, to cross the finish line at a race you’ve always wanted to participate in, to play with your kids without having to stop and catch your breath, or maybe to add a few more years to your lifespan, your “why” is what will keep you focused on your way to achieving your goals. It’s what will make you turn those moments when you feel like giving up into the moments when you push yourself the hardest. (more…)

Let’s Be Honest: It’s Not Easy, But It’s Easier Than You May Think

On this journey to achieving health & happiness, I always want to be honest with you. Let me begin by honestly admitting that this blog won’t always be a constant source of motivation and positivity that will instantly inspire you to throw out your junk food, stock up on organic meats and produce, and make you enjoy kicking your ass at early morning workouts. Because, honestly, it’s not that easy. It’s one thing to say it’s easy, but anyone who’s tried drastically altering their lifestyle knows that it isn’t true. Especially not for people like me who love chocolate and wine and sleeping in late and could spend an entire day on the couch watching every episode of Friends back-to-back without feeling the urge to hit the gym. Honestly.

In my experience, living a fit life can be hard. It takes time and effort and sacrifice and commitment and patience. It can be hard to take the time on the weekend to plan, shop for and prep your meals for the week. It can be hard to push yourself during your daily workout when all you want to do is sleep, and it can be hard to choose cardio power hour over happy hour at the end of a grueling week. And it can be really hard to stick with it when you’ve been working so hard and still aren’t seeing the results you want. It’s hard to stay focused and sometimes, trying really sucks. I know this. All I’m saying is that it’s worth it. With the right mindset and motivation, it can get easier.

If you get only one (or 3) thing(s) out this blog, let it be that 1) you’re not alone, 2) that you don’t have to be perfect, and 3) that living a fit life – as annoying and inconvenient as it may sometimes be – is entirely worth the hassle. Honestly. (more…)

Journeys Begin with a Single Step

All my life, I’ve been reluctantly labeled a perfectionist. This drive to achieve unrealistic heights of perfection has led me to some of the greatest accomplishments of my life: earning my Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University, graduating ahead of schedule (with honors), landing a great job in my desired field at an amazing company right out of college, marrying my high school sweetheart, traveling to new places around the world, building a great life and making a name for myself in a budding new career. It’s also ushered me into some of the darkest moments of my existence thus far: battling depression and anxiety for most of my adult life, and struggling with body image and eating disorders in my late teens and early twenties.

The past several years have become an unfinished ‘coming of age’ tale as I guide myself to let go of my unattainable idea of perfection and accept myself for who and what I am – flaws and failures included. Throughout this journey, I’ve learned to distinguish between what I can and cannot control, to pay attention to what makes me feel good about myself, and to be proactive about living the life that I want for me.

Like most people, the most fundamental thing I want for my life is to be happy and healthy. Luckily, I’ve discovered that these two things often go hand in hand. There are plenty of things in this world that we can’t control. What we can do is make a commitment to ourselves to choose to live a fit life, and to be grateful for the infinite benefits that a healthy and active lifestyle affords us.

This blog is a testament to my commitment to love my fit life. My hope is that it inspires others to make a commitment to their health & fitness, and practice daily gratitude for the life they create for themselves. It’s not about trying to do every single thing perfectly, but rather doing what you can every day to live fit, and to love your fit life.