Sunday, June 28, 2015

An article: ways to exercise on the cheap

I'll often see these types of articles and roll my eyes at the unoriginal suggestions, but I think this one is quite worthwhile :)

While I love buying exercise equipment (and you can definitely get creative without much equipment), working out can also get expensive, if you let it. Or if you have a Lululemon addiction. (oooh guilty)

Your health is certainly worth investing in, but sometimes it's nice to find things for freeeeeee :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rolling with the punches...

When it comes to exercise, I’m a planner. I like to write out programs, planning out weeks or months ahead the systematic progressions I want to make.

This makes it hard when interruptions (inevitably) happen.

Like my car accident.

Like my surgery.

Like little things like invitations to go on trips or make evening plans or being extra-tired on the evening a workout was scheduled.

And once one day/plan/workout is interrupted, it can feel like a domino effect where suddenly the workouts for the rest of the week are thrown off. And if I don’t complete the workouts for the week, then the month is thrown off. And then I might as well cancel my plans/race registration/dreams and hopes.

Extreme, right? Well, yes, of course, and it’s not all that bad, but it can sometimes feel like that.

I’m trying to have a better, healthier attitude. Rolling with the punches is an important way to handle all of life’s ups and downs, and it definitely applies here. In the grand scheme of things, what is one workout? Will I really be ruined if I sleep in one morning? Will my whole training program be thrown off if I miss one run?

No. Of course not.

Keeping that in mind makes it a lot easier to say yes to fun dinner plans, scuba diving at the Crater with my love, and sleeping in on the mornings where I can tell me body really needs it. And I’m a whole lot happier for it :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No one would ever lead you astray when it comes to your health and fitness....

It can be very overwhelming to sort through all the fads diets, nutrition advice, exercise programs, and general information out there. Just because something seems appealing or "studies prove" it, doesn't make it good advice.

In my latest Nutrition and Health class, I read something that really demonstrated this point:

“The study was done in 1000 adult men and women that were recruited to participate in the study examining the side effects of statin drugs. To assess the frequency of chocolate consumption subjects responded to the question: how many times a week do you consume chocolate? The energy intake was estimated using a so-called food frequency questionnaire that looked at total food consumption. What was interesting is that the researcher found that the more often people eat chocolate, the higher their energy intake, which of course makes perfect sense, but the lower their Body Mass Index or body weight. Let me repeat this, the more often people eat chocolate, the lower their degree of overweight.
The authors concluded that although frequent chocolate consumption increases energy intake it does not lead to weight gain.
Really? Do you believe it? The authors of the studies admit that their study has limitations which may explain their highly curious results.
Unfortunately, those new answers are completely lost in the press release of UC San Diego where the study was done, which among other things, says, I quote: “In the case of chocolate this is good news, both for those who have a regular chocolate habit and those who may wish to start one.” Those who may wish to start one? Are you kidding me? Is UC San Diego insinuating that picking up a chocolate habit may be actually a good idea? Because it may make you thinner? If the press office of UC San Diego was already doing such a bad job, how can we expect other news channels to be more accurate? Indeed, BCC news wrote that chocolate may help keep people slim. Whereas CBS news reported that eating lots of chocolate helps people stay thin. What is surprising is that Elle magazine, of all sources, was actually the most responsible by including the disclaimer "But before you reach for that Mars bar remember chocolate bars contains high levels of fat and sugar. It’s best to stick to a little dark chocolate now and again to reap these possible benefits." What I want to convey with this little story is that there is plenty of bad science out there.”

Basically, don't believe everything you read on the Internet or in a book. Use common sense, see if other studies back it up, and be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. Just because the media say it, doesn't make it true :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Delicious Honeyed Peaches

Ok. Want something super easy and so so delicious?

Take a peach. Cut it in half and ditch the pit.

Score the top with a knife (just random slashes are fine) and drizzle with a little honey.

Pop em in the oven, broil for a few minutes, and eat!

You can also add cinnamon and/or nutmeg.

Seriously yummmmmmmm :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Aligning values with actions

As I've stated time and again, I love learning. I loved college, I love reading, I love certification tests, I love everything about it (okay, except finals).

I found this really cool platform where you can take online classes on all kinds of subjects - you can learn Mandarin, learn to be more resilient, learn about nutrition, anything you want. You can pay for classes, or you can audit them! Best day ever! I signed up for a couple, and I'm loving it so far.

One thing I learned from a recent lecture was about aligning your values with your actions. Here's an excerpt:

"We identify specific behaviors that we want to engage in that enable us to live consistent with who we want to be. But it's another thing to actually stay committed to engaging in those behaviors. For example, we can take the love to be a volunteer. Many people believe and have a value of volunteer work, but when we really break down to it, people aren't spending time volunteering. They're not engaging in the behavior. So they're not committing to that action. So a really essential component to being a resilient person is to go from values to value statements identifying specific behaviors and actions you can take to living consistent with them. And it's the next thing to actually staying committed to doing what matters most. So we have to do commitment check-ins if you will. And that is reflecting on our core values, really self-reflecting on the behaviors we're engaging in, and looking at the alignment. Are our behaviors consistent with who we want to be or is there a disconnect? And if there is a disconnect, what types of things are getting in the way of you being the person you want to be in whatever value domain it is? So the next part that is really essential, and this is the make or break to becoming a resilient person, and that is the commitment part, not only clarifying your values and identifying the actions, but staying committed to them."

I really like that. Do my values (fitness, serving people, family, learning, etc.) drive my actions? Do I spend my time on those things, or do I spend my time on things that aren't as important to me (Facebook, anyone?)?

Definitely something to think about :)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Everyone has different reasons to exercise

We all have different reasons for exercising and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I do it for the things I can do and the way I feel. I love to be able to climb and jump and pick up heavy things and race my husband down the road and do a women-only race and rope swing and on and on and on. I also love feeling strong and healthy, the feeling of setting a new PR, and feeling accomplished and disciplined.

Those aren’t the only good reasons to exercise, but they are mine. Other people exercise for looks and appearance, for competition, for comradery, for health or weight loss, and for a whole host of other reasons. Which is awesome.

Two things I found (and liked) on this topic:

First, for the people who want to be really lean.

I have a lot of respect for people who can be that lean. But so many people want it (thanks, media and unrealistic expectations) without realizing what goes into it. For some people, what it really takes is worth it. For most people, it’s not.

Second, for women who think they will get bulky and mannish if they lift.

Again, certain people like the very-muscular look, and it works for them. For most people, however, the amount of work that has to go into that level of strength and size isn’t going to happen, so it’s a completely unnecessary worry :).

Now I’m going to go and eat a cupcake.