FAQ Fridays: Fitness

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Friday, It's Friday it's FRIDAY! In honor of running the Richmond Half Marathon tomorrow I'm posting the frequently asked questions I get asked about fitness and running.

photo from @bossgirlssquat. Feeling motivated yet?
How are we supposed to stay in shape in the winter? 
Look, I hate cold weather as much (or more than) the next person- my winter in Rhode Island scarred me for life. While I watch everyone else trek to the warmth of their $120/month gym I go on home and get a great workout for FREE. Four or five days each week I go home and cut on youtube alternating between Fitness BlenderBlogilates, and Mr. Shut Up and Train's workouts. A HIIT here, a Pilates workout there, a boxing workout that day, a cardio blast another day. It's important to alternate so you don't get bored and so you keep burning fat and cals.

Also, I get pretty down in the winter- it's so dark all the time and I just feel like eating and sleeping. I've found that exercising daily not only makes me feel better about myself (who else gets into that winter hole of "I'm fat, I'm tired, I'm cold, I just want to eat..") but gives me more energy, reduces my stress and improves my attitude and sleep schedule. Plus it's nice to come out of winter hibernation without that extra 10-15 lbs.

I run every day and I look as blobby as I did when I started running. Why??
The oldest trick in the book. Running is good for you, but it is important to switch it up and to keep pushing yourself HARD. When I run every day I find it a little too easy to slip into running at the same pace and not pushing myself harder. Like I said above, our bodies adapt and it is important to have a variety. Our bodies get used to workouts, so if I run 3 miles every day for 4 weeks I will actually burn less calories by the end of the 4 week period than I did at first. Also: Studies by the American College of Sports Medicine show that 20 minutes/day of HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3 times per week yield more cardio (and weightloss) benefits than 60 mins/day of jogging/elipticalling 5 days per week. Another thing to consider is how important diet is in weight loss- just as important as exercising. Click here for meal plans and healthy options.

I have approximately 10 minutes of free time every day. How do I stay in shape?
I definitely recommend HIIT workouts- these are short and to the point and really get the job done. 20 minutes 3 days per week has tons of benefits. Fitness Blender has a great variety of short HIIT workouts, and Blogilates has 9 HIIT printables in case you don't have time or a place to follow the videos. Also think about how much time it saves to not have to trek to the gym, change, and get back home. And I have done all these workouts in the two square feet between my bed and my wall, no no space necessary.

But I'm so tired after work...
Suck it up, follow some fitspo on Instagram (may I recommend @fitspo4women, @instafemmefitness and @bossgirlssquat for those of us working on our booties), and remember your long-term goals. Plus, while it is exhausting exercising gives us MORE energy! Another thing to consider is diet- making sure you're eating healthy foods that are giving you more energy aka intentional eating. I post all my clean eating success recipes here

Why do you know about these youtube workout videos?
I worked at a YMCA for years with the benefit of a free gym membership. When I relocated to DC for a gym-less job I was appalled at the price of gym memberships but was determined to stay in shape. I started out doing Netflix workouts, but those just disappeared one day. Enter: Youtube. I have wasted a lot of time on crappy online workouts and would have loved to have recommendations from others of legit online fitness programs, so I'm not letting anyone else waste their time on crappy workout videos!

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