World’s Greatest Stretch

A combination of awesome and tough, tightness and strength, hurt-so-good movements built around the idea that movement should be on purpose. It goes through a series of 5 dynamic (active), full-body movements. Dynamic stretches are excellent as pre-workout movements to prepare you for activity, after a warm up to compliment the warm muscles or after exercise to take time and thoroughly move through the actions you just completed in your workout. When: Daily Before your workout After a short warm up End of your workout Next day when you’re sore

5 Dynamic movements: Hold each for 3-5 seconds.

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Lunge
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Lunge

1. Lunge– Step forward with one leg (about 2 stride lengths). Bend the front knee while keeping the back knee straight and the leg extended. Arms are both on the inside of the front leg with the hands flat on the ground.

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Twist

2. Twist– In the lunge position, take the arm closest to the front leg and reach it to the ceiling while twisting your torso all towards that front leg. Let you eyes and head follow the path of your arm so your final gaze is up at the ceiling.

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Hamstring

3. Hamstring– Untwist your torso so your chest and eyes are facing your front leg again. Place the hand you just reached to the ceiling on one side of your foot and your other hand will be on the opposite side of the front foot. Straighten and lengthen that front leg by extending the knee and lifting your toe to the ceiling.

Groin
Groin

4. Groin– Replace your front foot flat on the ground. Lift your entire torso to the upright position. Bend your back knee and sink into a lunge. Lean your torso back slightly to elongate from your shoulder, through your groin and down to your back knee.

Triple Extension
Triple Extension

5. Triple Extension– Drive that back leg up and forward until you hug your knee into your chest. In the same motion, the foot on the ground will elevate into triple extension. The 1. ankle will fully extend, you are on your toe, you 2. knee extends fully and so does the 3. hip.   *To transition to the other leg, simply step out with the knee you are hugging and repeat the entire stretch on the other side.   Movement should be practiced, repeated, and done well. If you practice it correctly, every time, when it comes to applying those movements to everyday life or to competition it will come naturally and without overthinking. Each of these movements in the Worlds Greatest Stretch are transitioned into seamlessly. Play Hard, Get Fit *L*

Tortellini Spinach Soup

Perfect recipe for before a long race or run the next day, a cold winter evening, or a cozy lunch a work!

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 celery stalks

2 cloves minced garlice66d9fa3157bb0e50a57339cf9384b65

6 carrots

1 onion

1 package frozen spinach (thawed)

2 packages tortellini (partially cooked)

1 whole rough cut potato

32 oz. chicken stock

2 “cans” cream of chicken- homemade roux (recipe below*)

2 cups of water (may need 1 extra cup)

(salt and pepper to taste)

1.In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium. Add celery, garlic, carrots and onion. Stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes.

2. Add frozen spinach to the pot. Breaking up the spinach and stirring until thoroughly combined.

3. Add homemade roux (recipe below), chicken stock and water slowly. Stirring while adding each.

4. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

5. Add tortellini and potato.

6. Salt and pepper to taste. (I add this at the end as to not over salt the soup. It’s just a personal preference of mine.)

20141108_180819Makes 8 Servings.

*Note: Pasta will absorb fluids. May become a stew-like consistency when stored.

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Cream of Chicken Soup Homemade

3tbsp. unsalted butter

3tbsp. flour (brown rice flour, all purpose, whole wheat)

½ cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla)

½ cup low sodium organic chicken stock.

(salt and pepper to taste)

1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Slowly add flour while stirring constantly.
2. Slowly add in milk, then chicken stock while stirring until thickened.

Makes about 1 can

 

 

 

 

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Play Hard, Get Fit

 

*L*

Bleacher Creature Workout

Mom at your son’s track meet. Dad at your daughter’s soccer game. Gym rat looking to get outside on gorgeous days. Athlete in between classes and jobs. This workout is for each of YOU! Busy schedules, time constraints, and specific locations are the constantly changing variables involved in your workouts. For all those bleacher creatures, bench riders, and pop up chair cheerleaders, there is no excuse left to stop you from getting a sweat session in!

Equipment: Bleachers, Bench, Stairs, or other safe elevated surface.

Sets X Repetitions: 2X15

Burn More Calories: Walk, jog or run 1 lap (2-3 mins.) in between each set! Add an extra set!

*Working out on bleachers requires an increased level of fitness and balance. If you suffer from vertigo or have other balance issues, do not attempt to work out on steps.

 

Bleacher Creature Workout:

1. Uneven Squats- quads, hip flexors, glutes

2. Step Ups w/ Sprinter Start- quads, core,

3. High Knee Quick Feet- cardio, quads, agility

4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up- core, chest, shoulder stability

5. Climbing Squat Jumps- cardio, quads, glutes

6. Squat Jumps- glutes, quads, hamstings

7. Elevated Lunge w/ Sprinter Start- quads, hip flexor, glutes

8. Elevated Push Ups w/ Variations- chest, core, triceps

 

1. Uneven Squats: One foot on a bleacher or bench so that it is elevated higher then the other. Push your hips back and squat like you are about to sit in a chair.

2X15
Uneven Squats- One foot on the ground or lower bleacher. Push our hips back like you are about to sit in a chair

2. Step Ups with Sprinter Start (on bottom step) -Video Below: Step up with one leg, as soon as that leg is fully extended on the step, follow by driving the other knee straight up into a march position, lower that leg down and repeat on the same leg.

3. High Knee Quick Feet -Video Below: Alternating between right and left feet tapping them quickly and lightly onto the bench.

 

4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up: Complete your push up and rotate your body weight onto one hand until you are in a side plank position. Return to the push up position and complete the other side.

Push ups
Push ups

5. Climbing Squat Jumps onto the bleachers: (all the way up and down) Squat down and jump on the first bleacher, then the second, third and so forth.

6. Squat Jumps (on and off of bottom bleacher)-Video Below: Squat onto and off of the bleacher landing with soft knees, abs tight, hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.

 

7. Elevated Lunge + Sprinter Start- Video Below: Lunge as pictured below and left the back knee up and drive that knee forward into a marching position. *be careful with your balance! notice in the video it takes me a second to get centered. Also, watch your dismount OFF the bleachers!

Lunge
Lunge

 


8. Elevated Push ups + Single Leg + Single Leg bend and extend-Video Below: 3 levels of difficulty include:

1. basic push ups- bend your elbows until they are at 90 degree angles, squeeze your armpits as you straighten your arms and press up into a straight arm position.

2. push ups with one leg off the group

3. push ups bending your knee while you lower down and extend your leg when  you push up.


Cartwheels and Handstands: My version of a fun workout intermission, ending, or just because! (Do not attempt if you are not trained. Can result in injury.)

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This workout makes the best use of your time and resources all while hitting major, calorie burning body parts! Focus on your form, take your time completing each set properly and have FUN! get creative with your locations, keep gym clothes in your car and don’t hesitate to get a great sweat session in!

Play Hard Get Dirty, Play Hard Get Fit!!

 

*L*

 

 

Questions or feedback: feel free to comment below or message me on the links on the top of the page by email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Fun Runs for Everyone

 

            The warm weather is finally trickling back into our weekends and we are now in the midst of race season! Every weekend you have your choice of fun runs and charity races. Do you want to get dirty, muddy, colorful, glowy, foamy, sweaty, wetty, and a cool, free tee shirt? Of course you do! Well, that makes two of us.

I recently ran in the Color Me Rad 5K. It was definitely one of the best 5Ks I’ve ever participated in! This was the true definition of a FUN RUN.

Fun– (Noun) Enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleasure.

Run-(Verb) Move at a speed faster then a walk, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time.

             Fun Runs are excellent starting points for the first time runner, or the athlete looking for inspiration. I saw such a wide variety of age, size and ability. Each person had their own reason for being there and the commonality that brought them together was the idea of accomplishing this race all while having a huge amount of FUN.

            That morning was dreary. It was a cold, gray April morning. It was threatening rain and my cousins and I were wearing white and not nearly enough layers. I was borderline dreading this run. I quickly realized that this was a massive event, much bigger then any 5K I had ever been a part of. Everyone was dressed in different combinations of athletic gear and white clothing with sweet neon-colored shades on (although we did not need them with no sun shining). I heard the Start/Finish area before I saw it. Music was blaring, there were inflatables, tents, people covered in color, people with clean white clothes on everywhere!

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Pre race Flexing at the starting line! Clean still!
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Pre race! Still rocking bright whites!

         The race start was informal. Get behind the starting line in whatever combination you’d like. In other races I’ve ran you are corralled by your 1 mile run time. BUT, this is where the party started. People had packets of color that they were throwing at each other and playing tag with. There was a little kid running around with what looked like a squirt bottle… a pressurized blaster filled with COLOR!! He was short so he kept shooting strangers in the back and I quickly ended up with a yellow streak across my stomach. The starting line party continued with the dreadlocked MC shooting droves of this magical neon corn starch into the crowd by means of an ACTUAL fire extinguisher! Just drenching people in teal powder and sending it into the back of the masses by means of some solid wind gusts.

              BANG! WOO! AHH! Race starts and all I’m trying to do is warm up! I was so involved in all the sights and sounds around me and crazy combinations of outfits and people passing me and I was passing that I quickly forgot about everything I usually have on my mind in races: are my shorts sitting right, headphones in, mileage tracking app on, music pumping, sneakers tied, re-tied and tied, my pace, my knees, my ponytail, my stride, etc. the mental checklist could go on and on. All of that was gone. I tucked my headphones into my shirt, I kept pace with my two cousins, who I was super excited to be doing this with, and trotted along and actually looked up at the scenery. The trail was dirt (my knees were so happy), the first check point was blue powder and they seemed to be running low or completely out so it was up to the other 3 color checkpoints to get us blasted with a blaze of neon glory. The next color check point was yellow and I was dusted with what resembled pollen. I quickly learned that if I walk through the check point and stand in front of one of the volunteers they would launch color directly one me. Perfect! At the orange check point I was ready to get covered. I had orange down the ENTIRE left side of my body. (and was still getting it out of my left ear 3 days later). Awesome!! The final checkpoint was purple and I floated through the purple cloud with the gracefulness of a wood nymph and then trucked it to the finish line!

              The finish line was filled with people handing out snacks, water and more COLOR! We each got a color packet which the three of us quickly threw at each other. There was a stage with music, that same dread-locked MC was rocking the mic with ease and exuberance. His energy was contagious and the color soaked crowd was dancing and screaming for more color! He was throwing packets and buckets of color off the stage and the did a massive countdown and everyone at once released handful upon handful of vibrant color into the air! It was a beautiful sight to see and an amazing way to finish out this run. From start to finish, I did not notice the gray sky or the cold. I saw only rad colors!

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Post Race Color Blast Party!!

Fun Run “Gottas”:

  1. Gotta leave your headphones home. They are a pain in the butt to clean the little ear buds of the dusty cornstarch. (Mine are permanently orange tinted still.) There is music at the checkpoints. It promotes chumminess if you can talk to and hear the people around you. They are having a good time and so are you.20140419_105243

  2. Gotta invite friends… family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. It IS the more the merrier. The more people there are, the more variety of paces you can chose from. You can stick with the running pace of someone who matches your pace. If you are needing motivation or that final push to the finish you’ve got an entire squad of cheerleaders running ahead and behind you. You may have been the inspiration one of your friends needed to TRY a race. You are now the fitspiration that convinced them to “Do Rad Stuff!”

  3. Gotta take pictures. I don’t care if you’ve never taken a selfie in your life. There is nothing more fun then to see a crisp, white tee shirt and shorts turned into a technicolor, mosh pit of neon that goes from the crown of your head and swirls down to the soles of your shoes. Also, color bomb pics are essential. If you can get an action shot of hundred of people throwing handfuls of colorful dust into the air you will instantly be in awe and want more.

  4. Gotta have fun. I know you competitive athletes out there want to focus on time, form, pace and stride (like I started out doing) but find the place in yourself where you can enjoy the entire experience as much as possible. I am able to time myself in my next training session, I can beat my 5K time at a road race, I am able to pass people when they are my equals but doing these things at a fun run like this one takes a little bit away from the experience you are in the midst of. Actually, the SLOWER you go through th color check points the better because then they get you realllllyyyyy good! Doused, drenched, splashed, blasted, soaked, covered, and splattered with color!

  5. Gotta do you. It’s your race. If you want to walk, walk-run, sprint, jog, trot, skip, frolic, trudge… Do it! Know your abilities, know when it’s too much (we do not want injuries), also know when you could push it more! Often, a good adrenaline rush and high excitement situation, like a race, brings out your best performance. You may surprise yourself!

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Play Hard, Get Dirty! Play Hard, Get Fit!

*L*

10 Hydration Tips You Can’t Live Without

I want you to picture the daily tidbits of your normal routine MORPHING into intricate labyrinths of murkiness and confusion. Then, please ADD a headache that causes one eye to twitch and you hair to hurt. For the finale, SWIRL in the attention span of a toddler after nap time…with a hangover…after working a 12 hour shift… and the winner is…!?? MILD DEHYDRATION. Enjoy!

drinking_water-10-commandA study published in the Journal of Nutrition

found that mild dehydration (~1% loss of body weight) in healthy subjects caused:

-Increase in perceived task difficulty

-Increase in headache severity

-Increase in tiredness

-Decrease in ability to concentrate

-Decrease in alertness

water splash

There was one week at work where I didn’t take my water bottle out of my bag for two eight-hour shifts. By the third day, I was having flu like symptoms. I slept terrible, I felt nauseous and weak. It was hard to focus on one thing. I was clammy. I felt horrible. I came into work on the 3rd day and thought “That’s it! I’m downing my entire 32 oz. water bottle STAT!” I drank three of those water bottles that day. I laid off the coffee and tea. I started to feel more alert by that afternoon. I needed water! My body was sending me a strong message that felt similar to a punch in the face. I like water. I just constantly have to tell myself that I need to drink it! It’s refreshing and easy to drink but I forget about it during my work day. (Sometimes, though, I don’t bond with my water bottle: the nozzle is complicated,  the water is extra cold, it’s too much water I can’t possibly drink all of it…)  On a regular work day I drink sips, but some days it goes untouched because there are more pressing issues at hand! (Like what? No idea! Drinking water is  a complicated process, right?)During my workouts, however, rest periods make convenient water drinking sessions. It is an issue and I make a conscious effort to drink certain amount of water by specific times each day. I even set calendar reminders for myself!

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Quick Facts:

-Water makes up between 45-70% of a person’s body weight. That means that a 150 lb. person could potentially be made up of 105 lbs. of water!

-Muscle tissue is approximately 75% H2O. Fat tissue is made up of about 20% water. (dehydration means thirsty muscles)

-American Council on Exercise recommends 91 oz. of water per day for female athletes and 125 oz. per day for males.

-The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that dehydration resulting in a loss as little as 1% of body weight will affect performance. Clinical dehydration starts at a 3% loss in body weight during an exercise session or series of exercise sessions (two-a-day preseason training). This means that if a 150lb. person loses 3% of their body weight during an exercise session, they’ve lost 6 necessary pounds of hydration.

-General joint pain, excessive soreness after a workout, and feeling tired are super common complaints that could be the result of dehydration.

 

Effects of Dehydration:

-Increase in body temperature.

-Increase risk of heat illness or heat stroke.

-Physical and mental exhaustion.

-Decrease in cardiac output. (During exercise it should increase based on an increase in stroke volume, the amount of blood pushed out in each heart beat, and the heart rate)

-Increased resting heart rate.

-Decrease in urination and urine production.

-Prolonged muscle soreness. (ahhhhhh!)

10 Dehydration Prevention Tips:

1. Water is the ideal fluid replacement.

This does depend on duration and intensity of activity, temperature of the environment and the individual.

2. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Once your thirsty you are already at least mildly dehydrated.

3. Divide you body weight by 2 = daily water intake in ounces. I weigh about 145. Divide that by 2=72.5 oz. of water. Now take into account activity. Replace what was lost. This does not mean drink your entire daily requirement of water in 1 hour. It means drink through out your day.Strawberry_splash

4. Have a Game Plan.

              Before Exercise: 16 oz. of fluids 2 hours before competition or session.

              During Exercise: 6-8 oz. of fluid every 15 minutes.

              After Exercise: 16 oz. of fluid for every pound of body weight lost. (Compare to pre-exercise weight)

5. Entice your water. Make your water something you want. Put sliced lemons and oranges in it. Put mint and raspberries in it. Give it some flavor with natural fruits.

6. Decrease your routine’s intensity on days that are hot and/or humid.

7. Frequent breaks during your workout sessions. This is a great time to adjust clothing (take some layers off), get water and rest.

8. IF your exercise session or competition is greater then 90 minutes in length, IF the athlete is producing a large amount of sweat and/or IF the environment is hot or humid, electrolytes, as well as water, must be replaced. Electrolyte drinks can be purchased, Gatorade, or made at home. Another popular replacement is coconut water, which is a viable source of potassium.

9. Check you Urine. Yup, we are going there: I’m going to talk about your pee. As long as you don’t have medical issues associated with using the restroom this rule will apply. Normal people pee 8-10 oz. of fluid about 4 times per day. If you are trying to rehydrate aim to pee once per hour. Your kidneys are only semi-efficient at this rehydration process so peeing does not signal complete rehydration BUT it is a good marker to follow while tracking your fluids.

 

10. Spend at least 3 days keeping track of how many ounces you drink and how your body feels. If symptoms of dehydration aren’t alleviated you may need more water of see your doctor for further medical attention. sports_drinking

MORPH your daily routine back into it’s previous, Bing-Bam-Boom structure of intricate balance and awesomeness. LISTEN to the signals your body is communicating. Put in your best STARTING LINEUP to have a winning, productive day. UNTWIST the knots and bows a nagging headache is famous for. RELEASE the mental toddler from it’s nonsensical tirade. You are the PROOF that water is life giving. STAY HYDRATED.

 

Play Hard, Get Fit.

*L*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Workout Stick into Your Life

Sundays are my preparation day. I make my lunches/dinners for the week. Sometimes that just means making sure I have all my ingredients for a crock pot meal on Tuesday to go along with the lunches and dinner I make ahead of time. I know I have to make 10 meals and I mix it between hot meals and salads. I try to give a variety of food combos and themes so that I don’t get bored with my food during the week and crave other foods that aren’t beneficial to me.

Clothes laid out for 5 days
Clothes laid out for 5 days

I lay out my clothes for work for the whole week. I got the idea from a friend of mine who works in an office and has a lot of components to getting dressed in the morning. I’ve found that it works for my work clothes and workout clothes. Having all pieces ready to go in a folded bundle, neatly on a chair means I don’t have to think about clothing in my nightly routine or in getting out the door in the morning.

I check my agenda planner at the beginning of my work week. As much as everything is digital, I keep my written agenda my main go to and then sync my digital to that. Sometimes writing things down helps me remember my week better. I want to make sure I have my workouts written down. I also include any fitness classes that I plan on taking. I shuffle and schedule anything else I have to do around work and my workouts. This makes them the priority. If I were to schedule workouts around the things I want or need to do it would allow for too many variables and for me to make excuses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to go food shopping and workout. If I go food shopping first I don’t get to my workout but somehow when I get an hour in at the gym, I get through my grocery list as well. I am much more productive when I get my fitness sessions in.

Make your fitness journey a WIN. No matter the goal, weight loss, marathon, batting average, you need to equip yourself with the Tools of a Success.

Schedule. Schedule work outs like you schedule meetings with your boss or doctor’s appointments. They are important commitments to yourself. You don’t miss appointments at the auto body shop or the hair dresser so you don’t miss appointments with your fitness either. You are booking time with your body. Set alarms in your phone, reminders and update your calendar.

Logistics. Take into account everything that may effect your workout. Book time for the work out AND for travel to and from the gym. If your going to the gym or if your running outside, take into account the weather and time of day you are training. Peak hours at the gym might mean you don’t get a piece of equipment you want and you’ll need to be more flexible. Also, pack clothes for whatever you are doing after the gym, work or a date. Just in case you run over time.

Gear. Lay out your workout clothes for the week.  Pack your workout bag. Anything you may need keep in there all the time. Deodorant, pre-wrap, tape, padlock, or a snack for example. Having everything in one place all the time will help dwindle your excuses and help keep you focused and motivated.

Stats. Take your measurements. Know your short and long term goals. What is your waist and hip measurements, weight, BMI, body fat percentage, blood pressure, 40 yard dash speed, 1 mile run time, and/OR vertical jump height. Track your stats regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly). Your stats should coincide with your goals. Don’t drive yourself nuts and weigh yourself everyday.

Do Work. When you get in the gym don’t just walk around aimlessly. Having a plan for your workout will ensure you get in the most sets and reps for your time. Plan your workouts. Write down all of your exercises for each day, and your theme or goal for the week. Capitalizing on the time you have with lead to results.

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Make your workouts a priority. Set yourself up to succeed at each one of them. It is understandable that things change and need to be adjusted. When you have a basic schedule shell, the things lower on priority should be what is moved or cut out of your day. Your workout should not be on the top of your cut list. Make time for your life between workouts not time for your workouts in between your life.

Play Hard, Get Fit!

*L*

 

 

 

The Best Place to Start is the Beginning!

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Entry number 1! The best place to start is at the beginning.

Everything our eyes absorb started as a culmination of ingredients and efforts, including ourselves. We Are What We Absorb. Sunlight. Nutrients. Information. Experiences. Your body responds to the information you give it directly and indirectly. OK, you just ran a mile on the treadmill. You have directly told your body its time to burn calories, release endorphins, increase the heat, increase the sweat, oxygen and blood flow, and be ready for the rest of the workout

This blog is here for you to arm yourself with the materials to get moving! I’m here to make you think about what your current fitness status is doing for you and your goals. Your future self will thank you for taking the initiative. Choosing to make changes to your wellness status will positively impact every single aspect of your life.

I want to jump feet first into what changes you see for yourself and your body. I want to dissect the pitfalls in your diet, road blocks in motivation, and the abyss that was once your workout plan. Even the most elite athletes, avid triathletes, and extreme gym junkies get in a funk and need a reboot. That’s why I’m here! To put a foot in your rear and get you back in gear! To jump start what you haven’t started or stuck with. To sift through the clutter that is the fitness industry and bring you real information the way your body really works.

The outcome of your comfort zone is staying comfortable. Moving out of that comfortable place allows for movement, growth, change and achievement. These are all things necessary to reach weight loss/gain goals, break personal records, and succeed at that new activity, pose, or move you’ve been wanting to conquer.

I am excited that you are along for this ride with me. I want to share my energy and passion and hope you absorb the info that will benefit you the most! I also want you to enjoy reading something that brings positivity and inspiration to the forefront.

Play Hard, Get Fit.

*L*