Listen To Your Body; It Knows You Best

over-training

Last week, I was so excited to get back into my workouts. I signed up for classes early and if you saw my post on Friday, you know I had a workout planned for every day of the week. Here’s how my week progressed:

-After my HIIT (high intensity interval training) on Monday, I was sore, but I felt great.

-Tuesday was a dance class and afterwards, the soreness from the previous day persisted but I still felt good.

-Wednesday was a full body rowing class and at this point, I started to feel a little draggy. The soreness hadn’t subsided at all and I felt like my energy wasn’t where it had been on Monday.

-Thursday was yoga, which is usually a stress free workout for me where I can let go, stretch out my body and feel great. This week, I felt agitated when I couldn’t get the poses right, I kept losing my balance, and my sore muscles made it hard to hold the poses correctly.

-Friday was one of my favorite classes, barre. I was psyched to go because it had been awhile but as soon as we started, I felt the pain. My muscles ached so badly that I couldn’t keep up. I was sweating more than usual and my feet kept slipping. I felt pretty miserable.

I’ve heard people say ‘you never regret a workout’ or ‘there’s no such thing as overtraining’. But I couldn’t disagree more. The most important thing when engaging in any type of fitness routine is to listen to your body and know your limits. The results will be better workouts and it will help you avoid injury. Yes, you should push yourself and yes, your workouts should be a challenge, but your body will tell you when you’ve crossed that threshold.

After more than a week off from my regular workout routine, I should have started out slower and given myself more rest. My yoga class on Thursday should have been a sign to myself that I needed a day off. This week, I’m going to be a little smarter, rest more, and listen to my body when it’s trying to tell me something.

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! As expected, this was a long and full week after such a nice relaxing vacation. I was glad to get back to the real world though and enjoyed feeling productive and healthy again. Instead of my faves for this week, I thought I’d share some photos from our vacation in Vegas. Enjoy!

Workouts for the week –

Monday – 30 minute express HIIT drill workout at Pace for Success

Tuesday – Broadway Cardio at Broadway Bodies

Wednesday – Express Rowing at Row House

Thursday – Yoga at Yogamaya 

Friday – Barre at FlyBarre (part of FlyWheel)

Saturday and Sunday – Must needed REST

Have a great weekend!!

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26 years after Seinfeld first aired (1989) and he’s still hilarious. I felt like I was seeing a legend.

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Beautiful Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio Hotel.

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Cirque du Soleil costumes up close and personal.

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Having some fun at the Neon Museum

What’s Your Motivation?

When it comes to motivation, there really isn’t a one-size-fits all approach. People are motivated by different ideas and different messages. Some respond well to extrinsic motivation – when behavior is driven by external rewards like money, fame, or praise. And some people respond better to intrinsic motivation – when a behavior is driven by internal rewards. For many people, it’s a mixture of both, but most of us lean more towards one or the other. One of the keys to being successful in anything is understanding what motivates you so you can use that to your advantage.

When I look to Pinterest for motivation (as I often do) I get a great mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I might lean more towards one or another but I find these words of encouragement are great mantras that I use to keep me going strong when I need an extra push.

Here are some of my favorites:

Intrinsic

intrinsic

Extrinsic

extrinsic

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, has a great little quiz to help you figure out which way you lean. You can check it out here.

What type of motivations works best for you?

A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way

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My vacation is in full swing and so far, I’ve been enjoying every moment of it. Everyone needs a break once in a while and I’m trying to really turn off work and relax. On Thursday, Jared and I leave for a 5 night trip to Vegas, and I can’t wait!

I know for me, it’s easy for diet and exercise to fall to the wayside when I’m away. I don’t beat myself up over it because you SHOULD indulge, that’s what vacations are for. But falling off the wagon completely always makes me feel worse, so I try to get a bit of exercise in when I can. For me, it’s all about preparation. When I’m home, my workouts are in the calendar so I do the same thing on vacation. Maybe not as specific, but I plan in advance which days I’m going to work out and which days I have off. I call the hotel ahead of time to find out if there’s a gym. If there isn’t one, I decide ahead of time what ‘in the room’ workout I’m going to do (for this trip, I’m using a barre video from Gina at The Fitnessista). It takes a little extra planning, but I’m always glad I did it. And everyone is ALWAYS impressed when they hear you worked out over vacation!

**Click here for Gina’s awesome workout!

Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone! I felt a little off all week because I couldn’t work out at all due to an injury. The difference in my energy levels was really amazing. I’m doing better though and looking forward to working out tomorrow at one of my FAVORITE dance class, Broadway Bodies.  Also on the agenda for this weekend is the Brooklyn Winter Flea + Holiday Market and a beer pong tournament to support a good friend and her Team in Training team. They’re raising money for cancer research, so if you’re in New York City and looking for something to do, come join us!

Have a great weekend!

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I love getting gifts ready for Hanukkah!

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I just bought these rain boots and they were just in time for the gross weather this week.

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There’s a very good chance there will be at least 1 picture of Christmas in NYC until December 25th.

**None of the links in this post have been sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Friday Faves

This week was wonderfully productive and fun – a great way to come back from a long weekend. This weekend, I have very little on the agenda which I’m so excited about! Decorating for Hanukkah, hanging out with friends, and what will hopefully be a healthy and delicious brunch that (if all goes well) I’ll share next week!

My workouts this week were varied and super fun. I always try to take a day or two off each week from my heavy workouts, but on those days, I try my best to hit a high step count (which for me is anything over 14,000)

Monday – Zumba at the Ailey Extension

Tuesday – off, 14,685 steps

Wednesday – Barre at FlyBarre

Thursday – off, 16,886 steps

Friday – Spinning at FlyWheel

Saturday – Broadway Dance at Broadway Bodies

Sunday – Yoga at Upper West Side Yoga and Wellness 

Here are some of my faves from the week.

Christmas lights

New York City Christmas lights

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Adorable puppies in adorable sweaters (This is Abbey Road, my parents pup)

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Fishing in the Hudson River. A rare site.

My favorite part of the week - a live recording of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me at the NJ Performing Arts Center. The picture's not great, but I can check this off my bucket list!

My favorite part of the week – a live recording of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me at the NJ Performing Arts Center. The picture’s not great, but I can check this off my bucket list!

 

Have a great weekend!!!

 

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**None of the links in this post are affiliates nor is this post sponsored by any of the mentioned studios.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

4 Tips for Working Out in the Cold

winter workout

Happy December! I hope you all had a great weekend whether you were celebrating Thanksgiving or not. I loved spending time with family and getting some time off to rest and recharge.

Every year, December sneaks up on me.  I have a love/hate relationship with December because I can’t stand the cold but I love the holiday season. Hanukkah is my favorite holiday of the year (I decorate our apartment thoroughly and throw a Hanukkah party almost every year) and I love Christmas in New York.  Even though I don’t celebrate; I love the festive cheer, the lights, the craft markets, and the carols.

Winter is also the season when people start hibernating. It’s tempting to stay bundled up on your couch all winter, but imagine how great you’ll feel if you can motivate yourself to keep working out even when it’s cold outside.  You’ll be invigorated, energized, and have a feeling of accomplishment. Not to mention that each winter-workout will bring you one step closer to your fitness goals!  Here are a few tips to keep you safe, happy, and feeling great during your winter-workouts!

  1. Wear the right gear. Check out this fantastic page on Runnersworld.com. You put in your information (like the weather conditions, time of day, how you like to feel when you run) and Runners World suggests what to wear to keep comfortable. A hint: layers are always a good choice. Click Here.
  1. Warm-up and Cool-down the right way. Before your workout, jog in place or do some jumping jacks indoors. You’ll want your body to be warmed up before you head into the cold. After your workout, keep your cool-down brief and go back inside to stretch.
  1. Drink. You might not seem to sweat as much during a cold-weather workout, but it’s just not as obvious. Make sure to stay hydrated the same way you would in when you sweat a lot.
  1. Know your Limits. Sometimes it really is just too cold and outside workouts can become unsafe. If the wind chill is extreme or the temperature is well below zero, keep your workout inside.

Hang on to your buds. BudStraps are here!

I’m excited to tell you all about a great new product that will seriously change the way you work out.  They’re so simple and functional that it’s shocking no one has come up with this before.  So what are BudStraps?

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Have you ever been running on the treadmill and your earbud cord gets stuck on something? All of a sudden, your earbud is ripped from your ear and your iPhone fall onto the floor and you need to interrupt your workout to pick everything up again. Happens to me all the time.

Or you’re listening to music and go into a Starbucks. It’s time to pay the cashier, but you can’t hear her with both earbuds in. Your options are:

  1. take one earbud out and hold it awkwardly
  2. let the earbud hang down to your knees where it gets tangled
  3. wrap your earbud cords around your ear, up your shirt, or around your neck – not comfortable

Enter BudStraps.  It’s a lightweight and flexible strap that goes around your neck and clips onto your earbuds.  You barely notice it’s there. I make a point to walk every day during my lunch break and I always bring BudStraps with me.  I take them when I’m at the gym, grocery shopping, the subway…basically anywhere that I’d want to listen to music or a podcast.

budstraps

If you’d like to get in on the action check out Budstraps.com/kickstarter.  You’ll have the chance to get discounted Budstraps before they go to retail in a few months.  The campaign will help to create a new sportier design and cool new clip.

 

**This post has not be sponsored by BudStraps.  All opinions are my own.

My Worst Nightmare

roosevelt quote

Twice in the past few weeks I’ve uttered the words ‘this is my worst nightmare’. Both instances involved all eyes on me and I was sure I was going to make a fool of myself. I was sure that I would be judged and ridiculed, and that I wouldn’t be good enough.  Have you ever felt like that?

The first was my favorite dance class that I take almost every Saturday morning.  I arrived at class to find I was the ONLY participant. While I silently patted myself on the back for getting to the gym at 10am the day after Halloween, I was mortified by the idea of a one-on-one class. The instructor would see just how badly I danced, just how long it took me to get the choreography. I prayed that class would be canceled, but of course it wasn’t.

The second was a few days later, I signed up for a 30 minute express HIIT class (high intensity interval training). I got to class and learned that all exercises would be done in pairs and we would rely on each other for every exercise. My partner seemed to be in such great shape.  What if I slowed her down? What if my form was wrong? I hated the idea of having all this attention on me!

The funny thing is that once the classes started, my partner in the HIIT class was too concerned with her own performance to pay attention to me.  And after the dance class, the instructor told me I made her entire day just by showing up.  Just as I was completely focused on myself, so was everyone around me. So much so that I didn’t really need to worry what anyone else thought of me.

It can be so scary to try something new and put yourself in a situation where you might fail but those experiences are usually the most rewarding.   I know that next time I go to a class with partners; I’ll have less anxiety about it and will be able to focus on my own performance. Have you had any similar experiences?

 

App Review – Seven

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I love that there are apps for practically everything and there are TONS designed to help you lose weight and get in great shape.  I’ve tried many of them and one of my favorites is called Seven. 

In 2013, The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal found that high-intensity interval training can actually give you the same benefits of a longer workout but in less time.  The key is intervals of super intensity (read uncomfortable and unpleasant) with brief periods of rest in between.  Enter Seven.  Seven is a 7-minute workout based on this theory and runs you through 12 different exercises – each one is done for 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between.  With the free version you get the full body workout but you can unlock workouts that concentrate on upper or lower body, or abs.  In the newest version, you can even create your own workout.  You don’t need any equipment and the audio guides you through each move so you don’t need to keep checking your phone.

white spacelittler

white space

Try it out and let me know what you think! Click here!