Tag Archives: Fitness

Winter Fitness

Keeping active throughout the winter months can be challenging if you live in colder climates.  Personally, I am one of those people who seems to always be shivering, and there is nothing about 10 degrees that would entice me to get outside for a run.  While some people feel comfortable layering up for a run in below freezing temperatures (hey, more power to ya!), I know that my muscles don’t function well in those temps and therefore usually look for alternative ways to get my sweat on.

winter

(image)

Here are a few tips for moving your workout indoors:

1. Find a studio or gym that offers an indoor class you like (i.e. Crossfit, spin, yoga) and take your workout inside.  You don’t always have to purchase a full membership.  Many places offer a drop-in rate, 10 class pass, or a guest membership for cheaper than a full membership.

2. Check out Groupon or Living Social for highly discounted, short-term deals on classes/gyms.  This often allows you to try a new class or gym location you may not have otherwise tried.

3.  Online and On-demand exercise videos.  Cable providers often offer exercise channels such as FitTV, or you can access many other free videos on Hulu, YouTube, FitSugar, etc. to get your workout in at home.

4. At home workout DVDs.  There are so many to choose from, but having a few on hand for blustery, cold days is always a good option.

5. A homemade workout.  Throwing together a good sweat session in your living room is easy and doesn’t require equipment (although if you have some, you can incorporate that, too!).  Choose exercises that target multiple muscle groups at a time, add an element of cardio to increase your heart rate, and incorporate minimal rest intervals.  This is a great way to burn calories and strengthen muscles, while still being time-efficient.

Here’s an example:

LIVING ROOM CIRCUIT

Let me know if you try the at-home workout and what you think!

Tagged , , ,

A Few of my Favorite Things…

“These are a few of my favorite things…”  (for health and fitness)

Lululemon Wunder Under crop. Best Workout pant ever.

These are worth their weight in gold.  Awesome waistband, “no stink” luon fabric (look it up, it will change your life), and perfect for every type of exercise – from yoga to CrossFit.  They have also lasted so much longer than their cheaper, “knock off” counterparts from Target, Dicks, etc. which is perfect considering I wear some form of these pants almost everyday.

TRX Suspension Training System

The TRX system is probably one of the best “home gym” pieces of equipment to invest in, aside from maybe a yoga mat and stability ball.  You can do so many things with this system, and tailor it to your own ability level.  This is a hard workout for both beginners and advanced athletes, you will not get bored.

The Tofu Xpress

If you cook tofu on a regular basis, this is a must-have.  I just got one for my birthday (yes, lame, I know) and it is the best method for pressing tofu out there.  Easy to use, this tofu press helps press out water from your ‘fu, leaving you with delicious tofu -ready to marinate, bake, or broil.  YUM 🙂

All hail Trader Joe’s.

This is pretty much self-explanatory.  TJ’s is awesome because they are a cheap grocer who stands by their products and sells inexpensive, wholesome food without all the crap that you should be are reading the food label for.  They cut out the middle man because they make so many of their own products, making them affordable and more awesome.  And if you live in a state that sells wine/beer at grocery stores, I highly suggest the vino.

Strength Wraps

Inexpensive wrist support wraps that are great for powerlifting, Crossfit, etc.  Made by a fellow Crossfitter, and comes in lots of fun colors.  (Thanks, Ashley, for my pair!)

Soy Lattes

Soy Lattes.  No dairy, lots of coffee, pretty foam design :).  Awesome.

Merrell Pace Glove

Saucony Kinvara 2

I use the Merrell Pace Glove for CrossFit, speed work, and short runs.  These are “barefoot” shoes with minimal support, but have helped me build up my lower leg muscles for faster, more efficient running.  For longer distances greater than 3-4 miles, I use the Saucony Kinvara to provide more lower leg support during higher mileage.  These are a “minimalist” shoe, and therefore provide slighly more heel cushion without the bulk and weight of a regular running shoe.  These seem to have last much longer than my Nike Free’s, which felt good too, but wore out very quickly.

Kindle Fire

My new Christmas toy from Mom and Dad.  Love having my books on the go, with the option of internet access.  However, if you’re looking for more internet speed and capability, go for the iPad.  This is truly a Kindle first, with web access, not a computer.  Since I already have a MacBook, this was great for me 🙂

Lululemon Destined for Greatness Duffel

This bag will change. your. life.  I use this bag to take to work daily.  It holds my stethescope, workout clothes, shoes, Kindle, wallet, laptop, phone, lunch, water, chocolate, EVERYTHING.  And there seriously is a labeled “spot” for everything you can think of.  It even has straps to hold your yoga mat if you’d like.  Since I need to have so many things packed with me to go from work to CrossFit, to wherever, this bag fits everything without being bulky and somehow never getting heavy.  This also makes a great carry on bag for traveling.  IN. LOVE.

Tagged , , ,

Run.

As my Annapolis 10-Miler training commences, I start to prepare for my last two big races of the year:  The A-10 and the Nation’s Triathlon.  Both of these races will require a lot of training sessions, the majority of them being running intensive.  There will be good days and bad days…hot days and hotter days…but the more I remember to enjoy the ride, the better my running and my mind will be.

Kristin and me after completing the B&A Half Marathon 2011

The most important thing to remember when training for a big race is just to get out there and listen to your body.  Maybe its a shorter run because your body is not feeling that 5 miler.  Maybe you’re feeling awesome and you add an extra mile to your planned 6 miler.  Whatever the day brings, listen to your body and accept what it is telling you.  As long as you get yourself out on the road that day, you have done well.  Sure, there will be difficult runs and easy runs….but accept that difficult runs are supposed to be difficult and that they have served their purpose in bringing you closer to your goal.  Don’t skip, but rather enjoy the easy runs and be grateful for your body’s ability to be out on the road and running.  Those easy runs are serving just as important of a purpose as the hard runs.

Cherry Pit 10-Miler

Running helps in your understanding of your body and mind.  A better understanding of these can help you decide when its best to push through a tough workout and when its time to slow down.  The more you listen to your body, the more you realize when it wants exercise, and when it needs a break.  Learning to listen is half the battle, and forces you to become more in tune with your body’s needs as opposed to your mind’s wants.

Take Flight Triathlon 2009

Most importantly, all these running lessons apply to life in general as well.  I think running and exercise makes me a better person in general.  I believe that exercise and is an essential part of a person’s well being.

Image from Mizuno

Here’s a great article on a similar topic that I would love to share with you. 10 Life Lessons from a Reluctant Runner puts it in perspective.  This is about running, but I would argue that it could be applied to any form of exercise.  You don’t have to run everyday.  You don’t even have to run for long.  You don’t even have to consider yourself a “runner”.  You just have to get out there, keep trying, do your best, and don’t let excuses get in your way.  You might even find that you like it. 🙂

Tagged ,

Work It

Practice Makes Perfect. I’ve been making some good progress on my power lifts lately and my pullups.  So today I decided to show you a small montage of what we’ve been up to lately at CrossFit.  Did you sweat today?

Adam doing a Kettlebell swing

Running between exercises

The 4:30 Crew

Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch 21-15-9

Close-up

4:30 Crew doing Power Cleans on the minute for 10 mins.

 POWER CLEAN PROGRESSION PICS:

Beginning of a Power Clean (foreground – Me, background – Ashley)

Hang Stage

Triple Extension

aaand catch!

P.S. – Annapolis 10-Miler training kicks off July 10th…excited to get back to some distance running!

Tagged , ,

I’m Baaacckk!!

Oh my GOSH do I owe you guys a post or 10!  Here’s some highlights of what I’ve been up to the past 3 weeks!

  • Heather and Sam’s Wedding – Athens, GA

The fam at Heather and Sam’s beautiful wedding

  • MURPH. (Memorial Day CrossFit Workout) RUN 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, RUN 1 mile again.  To see the history of the real “Murph” for which the workout is named, click here.
  • American College of Sports Medicine Conference 2011 – Denver, CO

Denver, CO

  • Race for the Cure 5K – Washington, D.C. – My client, a breast cancer survivor, raced this with me and had a PR time!!
  • ZOOMA 10K – Annapolis, MD – Hilliest 10K to date, no PR, but still a great race with great friends and ZOOMA ambassadors!

Ashley, Me, and Kaitlyn

  • Most Awesome Vacation Ever! (Charlotte, Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC) – included MetroDash, wakeboarding on Lake Wylie/Catawba River, eating at a vegetarian restaurant, biking everywhere (Mount Mitchell -highest point east of the Mississippi!, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms), beach time and weddings!

Top of Mount Mitchell! hardest bike ride of my life!

Adam at one of the other views on the way to Mt. Mitchell

My veg meal – zucchini manacotti with spinach pesto (raw, vegan, GF)

Adam’s veg meal – veggie burrito and side salad

Homemade Kombucha tea!! mmm

Finn at the beach, laying in a freshly dug hole

Finn dug holes all around the umbrella

Man’s best friend

Such a happy dog!

Finn loves king sized hotel beds

Riding in the back seat of the truck

Beautiful Charleston harbor and the Cooper River bridge

  • Elyse and Chuck’s Wedding – Charleston, SC — Pictures soon!
No wonder I haven’t had any time to post!  Whew…back to reality!
Tagged , , ,

10 Healthy Living and Eating Tips

  1. Sweat every day.  Get your body moving everyday.  Some days can be more intense than others, but it’s important to keep moving.
  2. Count your veggies.  I had a running friend who used to say she was a walking V-8 bottle, always focusing on the amount of servings of veggies she was getting.  She would count her servings of fruits and veggies to make sure she got in the recommended amount each day (2-3 servings fruit, 3-4 servings veggies by the way), and then work her meals around those.  Obviously proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are important too, but we don’t seem to be lacking on those here in America, so if we focus our attention on the vitamins we’re getting through real food, the rest will come naturally.
  3. Strength train.  Are you a cardio queen trying to lose weight?  Yes, cardio will burn the most calories and give you the best burn for your buck, but weight training is equally as important.  Building muscle helps you raise your resting metabolism so that you will essentially burn more calories doing everything else you do.  Also, muscle gives your body a little shape and tone and allows you to be more efficient during those cardio bouts. If you’re clueless on proper form, take a Body Pump class at the gym, which leads you through a set routine, or hire me .  Hehe. 🙂
  4. Mix it up.  If you’re bored with working out, its probably because you’re doing the same thing way too often.  Take a new class, switch up your routine, or kick your weights up a notch.  The body is extremely adaptable and if your mind is bored, your body was probably bored a long time ago.  The best results happen when your body is outside its comfort zone.
  5. Start with a good breakfast.  Include some complex carbohydrates and protein, and possibly some fruit if you’re still hungry.  This combo will keep you full, and set a good tone for your eating the rest of the day.  Try oatmeal with banana and scrambled eggs.  Check out some of my links over on the Blog Love sidebar and you will surely find some creative, yet simple eats that are made for those on the go!
  6. Write it down…occasionally.  I personally HATE writing down my eats.  But if you’re not seeing results, try writing all your food, eat times, and portion sizes down for just 3 days.  If you’re not sure about portion sizes, look up the calories and write those down too.  CalorieKing.com is a good resource for this.  This should give you a good idea about where you stand in your calorie budget, as well as what unneccessary things you might be grazing on randomly.  Make the necessary adjustments and get yourself back on track.  If you have to write down those 5 pretzels you might think twice about if you really needed them. 🙂  Note: if you do better electronically, here are a few good sites for online food journaling and figuring out your daily caloric needs: Fit Day, The Daily Plate
  7. Ask for help.  If you’re having trouble leading a balanced workout or eating life, look for a professional to help you, even if it’s only temporary.  You can use ACSM’s ProFinder to find an exercise professional, and find a registered dietician here.
  8. Set a goal.  Goal setting can be for all aspects of your life.  It helps you to stay accountable, feel accomplished, and work hard towards something that matters to you.  Follow Lululemon’s Goal Setting tips – a great resource.
  9. Drink water.  Lots of it.  You should have at least 64 oz. of water per day, and more before and after working out.  Water obviously helps you to maintain hydration, but also helps your body systems to work properly and efficiently.  Also, its a great way to keep your calories down during the day by not drinking your calories.
  10. Take a day off.  Work hard and eat well 90% of the time.  Save your cheat days and rest days for special occasions. Enjoy your cookie, your beer, your birthday cake, whatever.  Give yourself a little break, and enjoy it.  Then get back on the wagon 🙂

Lululemon Manifesto – http://www.lululemon.com

Tagged ,

A Good Kick in the Pants

Hi everyone, I just had to do a quick post about this article Ashley found on a great website called CrossFit Lisbeth.  Lisbeth Darsh is the director for Social Media at CrossFit, Inc. She’s one tough gal and will give it to you straight – no B.S. 🙂  Here is her awesome article called No Damsels in Distress which I absolutely love.  It’ll give ya a good kick in the pants.

photo/logo courtesy of CrossFit Springfield

Speaking of a kick in the pants, here was our Workout of the Day today that we did in the pouring rain.  Sweet life.

Warmup: 400m run, shoulder stretches

Skill WOD: find 3RM push press

WOD: As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 mins. of – 400m run, 7 muscle ups (or ring dips as the scale down)

Cooldown: Foamroll, stretch, drink lots of water

Happy Tuesday!

Tagged ,

Exercise Programming!

Sadly, this post title was the course title of a few of my college/grad school classes.  So, just let it be known that there is a TON of information out there on this topic and that I will NOT fully delve into its complexities and take up semesters of your life :).  However, here are just a few “skim the surface” tips on planning your exercise programs, especially those of you who are multi-sport athletes like myself.

My best advice to give when programming your exercise schedule is to actually make a written schedule.  You can use a regular calendar, or make your own calendar on MS Word just for your workouts.  But make sure it goes past just a simple Monday-Sunday schedule.  Your workouts will and should change as you get closer to your goals.  Here’s a few steps on how to start programming:

How do I start scheduling workouts?

  1. Take a look at your schedule.  First, your race schedule.  What big races/events do you have planned? Your biggest/most important race should be your target goal.  If you don’t have a goal race or event, I always suggest having at least one per year, even if its a small or short term goal because it will keep you motivated to train consistently.
  2. What is your goal for your target race/event? A personal record? Completion of the race?  Take this into account with your programming as well.  If you have a big endurance event such as an IronMan triathlon or something, it’s often smart to plan shorter, smaller races in strategic places weeks or months before the big race to work out training kinks and get those race juices flowing!  Also, these smaller races are good “time trials” to get a feel of where you’re at with training and build confidence.
  3. Now look at your personal schedule.  Add to your schedule any major vacations or time commitments.  If you know you’re going to be out of town for a week, take that into consideration when programming.  You probably don’t want to peak your training during vacation.
  4. Start figuring out what time of day you work out best.  If you’re doing multi-sport programming, are there days where you need to fit in a morning and afternoon workout, or a brick workout?  If you workout best in the morning, stick to it.  If not, find a time in the evening or mid-day that you can hold yourself accountable to do.  Consistency is the main goal here and the key to success and results.

What type of workouts do I need to include in my workout schedule?

  • Sport-specific workouts (i.e. triathlon = bricks, swim, bike run.  Half-marathon = long runs. etc. Rugby tournament = rugby practice) – this is where you fit in interval training, sport skills and drills, etc.  This should be done 2-3 times per week.  If you are not training for a specific sport, use this time to do activities that you like that involve exercise.  For example: kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, etc.
  • Weight lifting – strength is important to every sport and overall health.  This should be done 2-3 times per week.
  • Stretching (usually done post workout, or during yoga if desired) – You should use a dynamic warmup before all workouts, and static stretching after cool down.  Yoga is also a great tool if you can fit it in a few days a week.  I am a big fan of yoga for stretching everything you didn’t even know needs stretching and for mental health 🙂
  • Cardiovascular exercise (i.e. running, swimming, elliptical, biking, cross-training) – Should be done a minimum of 3-5 days per week.  Cardiovascular fitness is important to your sport and your overall health.  I recommend about 3-5 total hours per week of cardiovascular exercise for general health, but if you’re an athlete, you’ll probably do more.
  • Rest Days.  Clearly not a type of workout, but very important none the less.  You need at least one rest day, maybe two per week, depending on how your body is responding to training.  Feeling tired after a workout is normal, but signs of overtraining such as sleeplessness, lack of appetite, poor training performance, and unusual lack of energy on a daily basis should not be ignored.

How do I progress my workouts?

This is the complicated part.  Often times a training program is provided for the race/event in which you are participating. If you’re looking at running programs and triathlon programs, there are a lot of great ones available online at places such as Runner’s World or BeginnerTriathlete.com.  I definitely recommend a lot of these sites because they are tried and true schedules that are free with easy access.

If you need help making your own, I’d be happy to help as well and can recommend a variety of books to help you create your program properly.  You can look at your own training results from the past or your starting point, and use that data to help you figure out how and at which rate to progress safely into your goal race or event.

Hope you enjoyed these few tips on making an exercise program, and please email me at katie.dondero@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like more information. 🙂

Tagged

Saturday’s a Rugby Day

Well friends, the spring rugby season has come to an end.  We spent this past weekend in Brandywine, PA at the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union Championships.  Severn River Rugby played a tough match against Doylestown RFC and unfortunately lost in the semi-finals.  These men played well through a rough game with some less than stellar referee-ing, and still managed to hold their heads and spirits high.

Severn River won their consolation match against Jersey Shore RFC to end the season with a victory.  Doylestown RFC went on to win the MARFU finals against Rocky Gorge RFC later in the day.  Here are some action shots for your viewing pleasure:

SRRFC vs. Doylestown RFC

SRRFC vs. Doylestown RFC

Adam passing the ball

SRRFC vs. Jersey Shore RFC

Severn River Rugby Football Club

Great season boys!  Stay tuned for an upcoming post on fitness periodization…trying to fit a variety of activities into your daily life?  We’ll talk about trying to stay sane and energized!  After all, ’tis the season for multisport athletes 🙂

Tagged

SWEAT – One Word Wednesday

*Photos courtesy of Crofton Crossfit

Tagged ,
%d bloggers like this: