What I Learned: Third Annual 30 for 30

April has come to a close and May is officially here.  Events such as weddings, horse racing (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) and graduations are taking over the calendar, which makes me happy that I blocked out the month of April to dedicate to my fitness and health. Health is a journey, not a destination and this year, there were a few lessons I learned.

Healthy Living

1) Stay hydrated.  This is especially important as the weather warms up and the humidity soars.  Water is needed by every metabolic and cellular function in your body, and when you are dehydrated — even slightly — your body has to extract fluid from your food and hold onto it, creating a supply reserve, to ensure your cells have enough to work properly.  This energy is used to take water from your foods rather than repair your body.  Dehydration also causes fatigue and mimics feelings of hunger. To make sure you are properly hydrated, divide your weight in pounds in half and drink that number in fluid ounces every day).

Water

2) Schedule workouts.  I have to put workouts on my calender and schedule them one week out.  If I don’t take the time to plan, workouts get pushed to the back burner and work, coffee dates and dinners take priority.

calendar

3) I have a hard time trying new “things” and in this case, workouts.  I’ve said for months (possibly years) that I’m going to take a Zumba class.  Guess what? This year’s 30 for 30 came and went, with nary a Zumba class in sight.  Or a barre class.  Or paddleboarding.  You get the point.  I stick to what I know: running, biking, swimming, yoga, strength work.  Exercise should be fun, and the above workouts are, but I often “forget” that hiking, hip hop class or kayaking count towards my daily activity.

4) Fitness is more than a number on a scale.  While I didn’t lose the 5 pounds I had hoped (I lost 3), I did notice that clothes fit better, which ultimately means a more toned body. I felt better from day to day, there was a smile on my face and a bounce in my step.  Working out until it breaks me or severely limiting my calories won’t provide any of those effects.

Thank you, dear reader and 30 for 30 warriors, for joining me on this leg of the journey.  But, as I said, this path continues and we continue to walk it together.  I LOVED reading all of your experiences and am grateful for all of the wonderful (and constructive) feedback.  Tomorrow, I will announce the winner of the Giveaway, which includes a Springy Danielle Nicole handbag and items (including nutrition bars!) from Vega.

Keep plugging along; update me on your progress and remember to enjoy the journey…

Until tomorrow (or next year for the challenge)…

slow and steady

Genuine Joy’s Third Annual 30 for 30

It’s here! Genuine Joy’s Third annual 30 for 30. For those of you who are new, that boils down to 30 days of fitness to feel 30 % better.

Today is April 1, which means pools open in 8 weeks over Memorial Day weekend.  We start to shed our winter layers, put away the wool sweaters, boots and heavy coats in exchange for shorts, dresses, short sleeves and open toed shoes.  Most of us, to some degree, are like bears over the winter months.  We hunker down inside, eat a little bit more and aren’t as active as we are in the warmer Spring and Summer months. Today is the day we make the change!

Do Something Today

Here’s how it works:

1) Do something active everyday for 30 days.  If this is the first time you’ve worked out in months, take it slow and ease into consistent workouts.  Often we want fitness to be a destination and not a journey.  Health is a journey  — enjoy the process.

2) Set a goal.  Why are you doing this? Do you want to register for a 5k? Lose 5 pound? Or simply feel better? Whatever your motivation is, keep it in mind when the voice inside your head says “let’s not workout today.”

3) Community helps.  Grab a friend and do it together.  Or go to HilaryPhelps.com and register for the community, where you can post questions and chat with others who have committed to the 30 for 30.

4) The 5 P’s.  Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  Make a plan.  Schedule your workouts as if they were a meeting.  Look at the week ahead and determine the best times for your workout, each day. Check the gym schedule and plan to hit a class that you’ve been meaning to try and look at the weather forecast, so you can plan outdoor activities on the days that it’s sunny and warm.

5) Small changes = big results.  Small changes made over time equals big results.  Park the car in a spot farthest from the door, take the stairs, drink more water and add more fresh veggies to your diet.

It takes 21 days to create a habit, so let’s get started!

What is your goal? What are you doing today, to be better than you were yesterday?

My workout today is a run.  It’s beautiful here in the district, so I’m going to pull out my running shoes and pound the pavement.  Tomorrow, I will report back on the workout and share what I’m planning for day 2. Throughout the month, I will post healthy recipes (sorry, no “dirty brownies” for the month of April, but I will post healthier treat alternatives!), workout tips and inspiration.  At the end of the campaign, I will post my results and I hope that you, too, will share yours with me!

My goals are to tone up, shed 5 pounds and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep.  I find that consistent workouts help me sleep better and that after a few days, my body craves the exercise.  I look forward to the journey with you! Send me an email, leave a comment and let me know how you are doing on your journey…

Until tomorrow…

 

Winding Down

It’s hard to believe that this year’s 30 for 30 is officially winding down.  But, to be honest, it has served as the launching pad to continue fitness throughout the Summer and beyond.

Yesterday was a cardio session, followed by body weight strength and then another cardio session for a total of 90 minutes.  After the workout I stretched and cooled down.  Yesterday I felt strong and I like that feeling.

Saturday’s workout, where I felt broken, was similar to yesterday’s, but I felt different during and at the completion of this one.  I like feeling that the workouts are making a difference.  To be honest, toning and tightening is a huge benefit, but the way I feel is the greatest reward. That makes me happy and that feeling keeps me coming back to a solid workout regime.

Today is a short run.  I’ve been cautious with running and easing back into it, post bursitis.  The longest run has been about 3 miles, but I keep in the back of my mind that I’m getting back into it after an injury and not training for a race at the moment.  It’s important to listen to my body and not jump back in, making an(other) injury a near certainty.

During this month, I’ve incorporated the healthy eating strategy (minus the Memorial Day feast… there was macaroni and cheese!) and followed the detox program I shared in January (as seen here).  Probiotics, lots of alkalizing lemon water and snacks that include good mono-unsaturated fats found in raw almonds and avocados.

Those of you following along, how’s your fitness journey coming along?

Until tomorrow…

 

Day 8 = tough

Yesterday’s workout felt pretty good, except for the heavy legs I was working with early on.  You know the feeling, when your legs are tired and it feels as if you’re moving cinder blocks every time you take a step? My calves are sore from the explosive work, and the last round I had to really pump myself up.  I found Lil Wayne’s & Drake’s “Right About It” on my iPod and cranked it as I crushed the last set of bleachers.  I was pretty wiped after, but felt equally as good, which was unlike Day 5, where I wanted nothing more than to lay down and not talk to a single soul.

My back is still sore, but seems to work things out when I get into the workout and feels less stiff today than it did yesterday.

Today’s workout is another ridiculous one, with plyometrics, running stairs, wall-sit, lunges, etc, etc… oh, and then some hard cardio at the end for good measure.  Ouch.

Most often, when I’m pushing myself in a workout, I’m envisioning the jeans that will fit better when this intensive workout phase is complete.  But, today, I will be envisioning Key Lime Pie… yummy! Today is Doug’s mom’s birthday, so I whipped one up last night. It was my first attempt at making a Key Lime Pie, but it was pretty easy to make and looks like it turned out well. I’ll share the recipe and write-up with you after we taste it tonight.

Until tomorrow…