One of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone who is looking to improve their health and nutrition is to DRINK MORE WATER. Water does amazing things for your body! Sometimes we even confuse thirst for hunger and many people are dehydrated without knowing it. If you feel thirsty at all, you're already pretty dehydrated. To estimate how much water you should be getting, divide your weight in pounds by 2 and drink that many ounces (more if you're working out)! Thank you Taralynn McNitt at Undressed Skeleton for this great post of how to mark your water bottle so that you can check in throughout the day and make sure you’re getting it all in! If you want to add a little flavor to you water, try a squirt of lemon, a squeeze of lime, a few sprigs of fresh mint or a cucumber or orange slice. You can even add a few berries or watermelon. What ever gets you to drink it up!
I like to carry a water bottle around with me, so I always have water on hand - that's why I was so excited when Nalgene reached out to me to try their products.
Nalgene has come a long way since their original shatter proof water bottle. They are now ALL BPA-free and leak proof (and still SUPER durable)! They are dishwasher safe and some are even graduated (so you wouldn't even need to mark your bottle as pictured above - it's already marked for you! They come in a variety of sizes as well as cap shapes, so great for sippers and chuggers! There are even sizes specifically to fit in cup holders and bike cages, so it really doesn't get much more convenient than that! They also have food storage containers (pictured on the far left). They've really thought of it all!
My personal preference is the "on-the-fly" style (pink bottle pictured above) because of it's easy flip-open design. It's great for carrying around and doesn't spill in my gym bag. Take a look a the variety of bottles they have and try one out for yourself! You'll love all the water you're drinking and how you'll feel afterwards!
What's your favorite water bottle?
Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, which is also my 1-year Blogiversary (check out my first blog post ever)! Although my blogging has been a little sporadic lately, I thought I'd update you all on how things are going over here at FitYaf! I first started this blog after running a "100 days till summer" Challenge Group. There were so many great things that came out of the challenge - I wanted a place to share it beyond my group.
What has my fitness been like lately?
What have I been blogging about?
And finally, here are the top 5 blog posts that people find through searching on Google:
What is coming in the future?
In the immediate future, I have two Challenge Groups starting soon: a Shaun T boot camp and a PiYo boot camp. You can email me if you have any questions or if you're interested in joining on of these.
I do have some exciting product reviews, giveaways and recipes, coming your way this summer, and I'm going to be posting some more Fitness Friday Workouts. I'm not signed up for any races, and I don't plan to race again until next year. I look forward to the second half of my pregnancy and of course meeting my baby fitness guru in October!
What do you want to see more of on FitYaf.com? Have you had experience working out through a pregnancy?
Have you heard of the Bulu Box yet? If not - click here to learn more about it!
What would you like to see in your Bulu Box?
How long is the fitness challenge?
The fitness challenge will last for 21 days, as it takes about this amount of time to form a new habit.
What will participating mean for me?
The challenge will take place in a private Facebook group, where you'll check in daily and post updates about your goals. You can participate by following one of Shaun T's exercise programs or incorporating some of his workouts into your own workout routine.
What will the workouts be like?
The workouts will be at your own pace - even if you're a beginner doing Insanity, you will approach each workout from you own fitness level. I will help anyone come up with modifications, such as low-impact options if necessary.
What sort of nutrition program will I be following?
This group will focus on cleaner eating - we will share recipes and tips for helping you meat your health and fitness goals. You will also have the chance to buy discounted Shakeology for the 21 days (purchase of Shakeology NOT necessary to participate).
If you've got long hair and/or you sweat a lot when you workout, you probably are constantly searching for the perfect headband to keep your face dry and hair-free during your workouts. If you're anything like me - you're convinced your going blind the moment your sweat drips into your eye.
I do have a couple brands of go-to headbands, but I'm always looking for something new. That's why I was so excited when BondiBands sent me some to try out. Not only are these headbands fun and functional with great wicking capabilities, the company also donates 10% of all profits to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
There are headbands of all colors and sizes, and even ones with fun sayings on them. These are the ones I was sent to try out:
I tried these bands out for both a high intensity cardio workout and a weightlifting session. The bands staying in place and were able to wick-away all of the sweat from my forehead (which can be A LOT during those high intensity cardio sessions).
Here are a few facts about BondiBand:
But don't take my word for it - try it out on your own. Enter below to win your own FREE BondiBand!
If you know me personally, you know I like to make my own shirts when I run marathons. Unfortunately, I'm not that skilled, don't put too much time into it and wind up ironing something on to a cotton T-shirt. While I don't hate running in cotton as much as most people, it's certainly not ideal.
I was recently contacted by MyRaceRagz about trying out one of their custom made tech T-shirts. I got to pick the style of the shirt and upload my own design onto a microfiber performance polyester shirt. While I don't have any specific races coming up that I could design a shirt for, I've been dying for a shirt that says "I run this city" and a picture of downtown Philadelphia - they ALWAYS seem to be out of these by the time I get to race expos. So, I took to the computer (and PicMonkey.com), and designed my own shirt!
My Race Ragz is a custom apparel company that offers printing and embroidery services. One of the unique things about My Race Ragz is that they will do your printing with no minimum order. The printing is done through a dye sublimation process where the dye is applied directly to the shirt. This ensures that your shirt retains its sweat-wicking properties and that the design never peels off (however this does limit the shirt color to white only).
My Race Ragz offers a wide range of styles for men and women and three fabric types: a 100% Microfiber Performance Mesh, a 100% Smooth Performance Microfiber, and a stretchy 88% Microfiber/12% Spandex blend. The My Race Ragz website has a variety of standard designs available, but you can upload your own design if you want!
Creating my custom shirt was easy. I went to the “Create” tab, uploaded the art, placed it where I wanted it, and submitted it! The shirt itself is excellent. It’s a nice quality, a normal thickness, and wicks well. I went with the men's T-shirt style, because that's what I prefer to wear while running. There are a variety of styles to choose from, including tanks and short sleeve shirts - both fitted and loose. I can't wait until I can custom design a shirt for a specific race!
Want to win your own custom My Race Ragz shirt? Enter below!
One of the biggest life-savers when it comes to sticking with my eating plan is keeping healthy snacks with me at all times. I am often found with pistachios in my purse or cashews in my desk drawer at work. If you always have something with you, you never have to worry about what happens when you get stuck in traffic, get stuck late at work, etc.
Today, I'm sharing with you a recipe for Gooey Shakeology Oatmeal Bars that you can make with Shakeology or whatever protein powder you have in your pantry! These are great to keep for those "on-the-go" moments!
Combine Shakeology, oats, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a large bowl, and mix well. Add milk, peanut butter and vanilla extract, and mix well with a spatula or by hand. Place in an 8x8 inch pan that is coated with spray. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to flatten in pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
Try to switch it up by using different flavors of protein powder and adding dried fruit, nuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.
Q & A with Celebrity Trainer and Creator, Chalene Johnson
PiYo is NOW AVAILABLE! Follow THIS LINK for the base kit ($59.85) and THIS LINK for the Challenge Pack ($160)!
What makes celebrity trainer Chalene Johnson’s programs so effective? She answers common fitness needs by creating targeted, killer workouts.
That’s where PiYo® comes in. A few years ago, Chalene noticed people wanted a program that combined strength, flexibility and cardio. She developed and introduced PiYo to gyms around the world and now, for the first time on DVD, Beachbody is releasing this low impact workout with high intensity results to YOU.
Chalene shared with us why PiYo is the workout your body wants, what you should stop skipping during a sweat sesh and the music that powers her through a typical PiYo workout.
Why are you so excited to introduce PiYo?
PiYo is a proven program that has been so effective in gyms around the world. I’m super excited to bring it to DVD because it’s the program that will shape, strengthen and heal people’s bodies.
Sounds incredible. Who is the ideal PiYo customer, then?
PiYo is for anyone who wants a workout that will help them work on flexibility, cardio and strength—at the same time.
What are the main things you need to know about PiYo?
Studies show that a more flexible muscle has greater strength potential which leads to better results. The training you get during PiYo allows you to burn incredible amounts of calories that you wouldn’t in a static type workout.
What inspired you to create PiYo?
Whenever I create a fitness program I start with a need. I was doing yoga, but I still felt like I needed to stretch certain areas, do more cardio, and lift more weights. So, I started to think, “How can I get more flexible and develop strength and cardio?”
Did you develop PiYo in response to anything you struggled with personally in your own training?
Totally! I always found I would finish and feel like I didn’t really stretch certain areas. I felt so tight and I’m a fitness professional, it was embarrassing. So when I was developing PiYo I asked my students to show me the one muscle that was the tightest. When people did that I saw five different stretches. It made me realize the important of focusing on flexibility needs so my students could be better at running, etc. I wanted to make PiYo really functional and forget the traditional rules of stretching.
What types of results can people expect to see from PiYo?
My goal is to make everything easier for you. I want you to trust that you can use your own body weight to make yourself stronger. The transformation people will see is amazing.
For example, I have a letter from a lady who said, “Since I started PiYo six months ago, I have broken every single personal marathon pace and I’m astonishingly faster than I ever dreamed possible. I broke the four-hour mark for my marathon time and I know it’s because of Piyo. Plus, normally I’m spent for a week after a marathon, but the next day I felt great!
Would you say PiYo is accessible for all fitness levels?
Yes! PiYo is truly accessible for everyone from the brand spanking new, to the super tight, but super fit. We did some cool things with camera angles so it is very clear how to do each move.
You always have such good playlists. Do you have favorite songs for your PiYo workouts?
When I do PiYo I like moody, cool indie music. I love Marine and the Diamonds, Lady Gaga, even old school like Marvin Gaye – anything that gives me a sexy, cool, soulful mood. The music in PiYo is really important because if the right song is playing it tells you how to move and flow.
Do you have a favorite move or workout from PiYo?
It’s not a move or workout, but Beachbody granted me my wish. I had an idea to incorporate a piece of equipment that we don’t currently have in our catalog. I’m absolutely in love with it and all the workouts that feature this equipment are my favorite. It’s going to blow peoples’ minds and it’s killing me not to tell you what it is. But more details to come soon…
Recently, I was teaching a Bodypump class, and as I scan the room, checking people's form, I realized that a few people were flat out just not doing the workout the rest of the class was doing. Now sometimes in group fitness, a participant will come up to me in the beginning of class to let me know about an injury and ask for modifications, which I appreciate, but this wasn't the case in this particular class. At the end of the day, it's the participants' workout, but first and foremost is our participants' safety while engaging in group exercise, so I can't help but take it personally when participants come to my class, stand up front even, and then do their own thing. It makes me wonder why they are even coming to my class in the first place. There is so much I love about group fitness that I wouldn't get out of the experience if I was just chugging along doing my own thing. But everyone is different - and maybe you're taking a group fitness class for a completely different reason!
Which brings me to...
Imagine you're running a race, and you all start and end at exactly the same time. Your feet hit the ground together with every foot strike. Pretty amazing, right? That's what every group fitness class is like for me. It's one thing to complete an awesome workout, but it's a completely different feeling when you're doing it with 30 other people.
Group fitness classes are at a specific time each day. Often times, you have your favorite classes and you create a schedule for yourself. The class isn't going to wait for you to finish watching that episode of House Hunters - it's going to happen whether you're there or not, which believe it or not makes it more likely you'll go. If you can do something at any hour of the day, you're more likely to procrastinate, but when you have one chance that day, you're going to be there!
If left to do my own thing at the gym, I'm probably going to stick to the treadmill and some dumbbells - my comfort zone. Group fitness classes add so much more variety to my workout routine. I would never get on the stationary bike in the gym, but a spinning class? Absolutely!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - the people you meet in the group fitness setting are second to none. There is so much camaraderie and respect in one room, it's amazing the whole room doesn't explode.
What do you love (or not love) about group fitness?
One of the reasons I love my TeamBeachbody account is the great recipes they provide. This one sounds so delicious, I just HAD to share it here. ENJOY!
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 329 mg
Carbohydrate: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 23 g
To my readers, please note this website and blog is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, dietary restrictions, and/or medical diagnosis, and before beginning any diet and/or exercise program, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional.