Fitness Plans Tailored To Your Specific Fitness Goals

Are you in good shape but want to get into better shape for a 5K or perhaps a marathon? If so, then consider the pieces of advice in the below article. These tips can help you get into the top notch shape in order to compete in your particular race.

A simple way to improve overall fitness can be done right at home. Whenever an individual is at home they can go up and down the stairs an extra time for every time they use the stairs. By doing this one will double the amount of exercise that they would get from using the stairs.

fitness goals

Do not be afraid to motivate yourself before a work-out. There is no audience and no judgment if you want to give yourself a little pep-talk on the way into the gym. The benefits are very real; when you exercise with positivity you work out more successfully. Tell yourself you are going to have a great work-out and you probably will. Nowadays Fitness is most important part of our daily life so we can use an indoor spinning bike for home workout.

You may have a distinct goal in your personal fitness journey. However, you should avoid obsessing over this goal. Ideally, fitness is a life-long habit, not a short-term fix. Your fitness program should be one that you personally find enjoyable so that you will not be tempted to abandon it. While there is such a thing as being “too fit,” there is no point in time, where you can begin ignoring your fitness entirely.

When doing crunches, make sure that your neck is properly protected. The neck can easily be strained or hurt and cause major problems because of its location. You can easily align your neck by touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth. It straightens the alignment of your neck to prevent neck strain or injury.

When you feel the burn, go back the next day for more! Exercising to the point that we feel it can make us really sore for days. The best way to prevent that, or at least to minimize it, is to exercise again the very next day and the day following that. It may be prudent to take it easier but don’t forgo exercise all together.

Running is a wonderful and effective way to get in shape, but it can also lead to extreme muscle fatigue and exhaustion. For one week out of every two months, cut the average length and intensity of your regular runs in half. This period of rest allows your body to more effectively repair itself and avoid chronic running injuries.

Forward lunges are a very effective way to increase the strength of your leg muscles, but reverse lunges really step up the pace. During forward lunges, one leg is active for only half of each lunge. Backward lunges engage the front leg for the entirety of the workout, which quickly tones and strengthens the muscles.

Try to avoid burnout during your workout sessions by keeping track of your pulse the next morning. If your pulse appears to be 10 bpm or much more than the normal pulse, it means that your body is still in a state of recovery and that you must take it easy.

When playing baseball and trying to hit a home run, hit the ball with a slight angle and an upper cut towards the center. This will make the ball have more hang time in the air, and the more probable chance of you scoring a home run than a line drive.

When you are running up a hill, a great tip is to keep your head up with your eyes focused on the top of the hill. Doing this will open up your airways more than hunching your body forward. When your airways are open, your breathing is improved, which makes it easier to run up the hill.

Increase the speed of your strides, not the distance. When you shorten your stride but up the speed, you will have better form and increase your endurance. You can always move back to longer strides later, but to reap the benefits of a better run, speed up and take smaller steps.

Therefore, if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to getting into the shape you need to be in for your race. These tips show that you don’t have to be in your teens or twenties in order to compete in a 5K or even a marathon. You just need to put in hard work, and the results will follow.…

Crispy Chicken & Spring Veggie Pasta With Pea Pesto + Upcoming Fun!

Happy Friday!

This week kinda flew by. I feel like that’s been rare the past few cold months, but we’re headed into the busy summer season here soon, so that always makes the weeks go by faster and faster. And we have so much going on this summer – starting off with a bang Memorial Day weekend!

A week from now, Zan and I will be in San Francisco, eating allllll the foods, drinking allllll the drinks, and going on allllll the adventures! We’re spending three days in SF and three in Napa!

You guys, this is my dream vacation. Back in college, I began to love wine, and with that, wine and food pairings. I took two wine classes in college. One was Geography of Wine where I learned the history of wine, how it’s made, which grapes grow in what regions, etc. The other was Wines of Northeast Ohio where two of my best college friends/roommates and I rode around in a bus with our classmates and went winery hopping in NE Ohio. I know what people are thinking: “Wine in Ohio? WTH?” But there are some truly lovely wineries out there, and the cold climate is great for growing white grapes.

I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction when I told him these wine classes had an additional fee on top of my tuition. He was like, “I’m paying for you to go around and get drunk?!” Haha. Dad, have I not paid you back by passing along all of my wine knowledge? :)

Also, fun fact: my dad grew up in Northeast, PA where the delicious and addictive concord grapes grow abundantly and where Welch’s has its largest manufacturing plant. People don’t really think of grapes growing in cold climates, but I’m tellin’ ya – it happens. My dad’s high school mascot was “The Grape Pickers,” which I think is awesome and hilarious.

Wow, I just really went off there about wine. Anywaysssss, you can see why I’m so excited to head up to sunny wine country with my love! I’ll be sure to post a recap of our trip when we get back.

I’ll leave you with a nice little chicken and veggie pasta dish that we enjoyed last night. The combination of the cripsy chicken and creamy pea pesto was delicious and satisfying. Shout out to my main squeeze who helped hold my new photography lamp while I snapped away and our dinner got cold.

Have a great weekend!…

Poached Egg & Butternut Squash Breakfast Kale Salad

Poached eggs on toast may be one of my favorite meals. The combination of the crunchy toast and the creamy yolk is just divine. Add in avocado, roasted tomatoes or a garlic cheese spread to the mix and I’m legitimately in heaven.

If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures posted of this dish. I can’t believe in my year+ of blogging that I haven’t actually shared many breakfast recipes on the blog. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!

Well, I’m hoping to change that over time, starting today.

I think it’s important to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Most weekday mornings that’s a bowl of cereal or oatmeal with dried cherries and sliced almonds, but the weekends — that’s my time to play. Nothing beats a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning in the kitchen with some coffee (with Rum Chata – thank you to Zan’s sister, Lindsay, for introducing it to us in the islands!) and time to cook up a delicious breakfast.

I love, love, love the combination of hearty sauteed kale with a roasted vegetable. So I figured I’d combine the two and throw a few poached eggs on top — why not?! I added in a some chopped walnuts for crunch and was left with a delicious breakfast salad to inhale enjoy.

Hope you fellow egg lovers give it a try!…

Shrimp & Snap Pea Soba Noodles + Life Lately

Hey guys! It’s been a minute.

Last week was.. let’s just say.. busy. Work was crazy, I had to deal with a recall on my car, had a few after-work things planned, and oh yeah, my bike was stolen. Total freakin’ bummer. Just as I was gearing up to dust off the bike after the long, cold winter and take ‘er out for a spin.

Some ass hat broke into my apartment bike locker and stole my it, along with two others. Zan’s was safe.. thank God. Good news is, it looks like my renter’s insurance is going to help me out. I am eagerly awaiting that outcome so I can re-order my new beautiful bike!

The weather has been a little off and on around here — some days it’s super warm and sunny. Others, it’s rainy and cold. Hopefully spring will stick around for awhile starting this weekend. But during the nice warm days, I’ve gotten in a few good runs and workouts.

I ran five miles last Monday, in honor of the Boston Marathon — all of those running and those who were victims last year. I ran another (speedy for me) five miles Saturday, (average pace 9:41, even clocking in a 8:39 mile!) I’m excited to work on speed after working on slow and steady endurance for so long.

Last Wednesday was my final session with my personal trainer, Liz, and she really went out with a bang. I was completely beat after and felt a good sore for the two days following. I will really miss working out with her, but am determined to save up some money for another personal training package later in the summer!

And yesterday, I got back in the pool after seven long months. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I swam 30 minutes, varying between freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. I am loving my new Speedo Vanquishers. They fit great on my face and they’re anti-fog (my older pair of goggles used to drive me nuts with the fog.)

And on the food front, I got a little creative last week and whipped up a few new recipes — one being this shrimp, snap pea and soba noodle dish with peanut sauce. I’ve been meaning to try dishes with soba noodles for quite some time. Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat. They’re gluten-free, high in vitamins B1 and B2, and a great source of fiber and protein.

I ate this dish at warm/room temperature, but most soba noodle dishes are served cold. I think this would taste great either way. I will definitely be making this again!…

Chocolate Banana Split Protein Smoothie

I don’t know about you guys, but smoothies are my jam, except lately, I haven’t been making them as much as I would like. I have a feeling that will change once Mother Nature gets her ish together and decides whether it’s going to finally get warm out.

Come spring and summer, I could have a smoothie for breakfast or a snack every day. And to be clear: I have a large bowl of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and THEN make a smoothie to take with me on my commute to work. I’d shrivel up and die if I just had a smoothie for breakfast. ha. Unless it had oats or something substantial to keep me full.

Anyways, it was a gross, rainy morning on Tuesday (hence the photos) but after my workout, I was craving a cold, delicious smoothie. And since I haven’t been grocery shopping in forever, I had to use up what I had on hand.

Enter: Chocolate almond milk, frozen banana and dark cherries and chocolate protein powder. This turned out so good and honestly tasted like a milkshake or dessert in a cup.

Give it a try!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend and Easter Sunday!…

Spicy Mushroom Miso Soup + My Thoughts on Plant-Based Eating

More soup… I know. I know. I need to get a grip, but I can’t. I keep coming across so many good recipes that I need to make and enjoy immediately.

I recently picked up Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Energy Cookbook and can’t wait to make all of the things. First up: spicy mushroom miso soup (vegan).

It’s the perfect balance of savory and spicy. I was pleasantly surprised how rich the broth was being all veggie-based, and the meaty mushrooms left me feeling very satisfied for several hours. Plus, any soup topped with scallions and bean sprouts has a very special place in my heart (cough, pho, cough). These aren’t the prettiest photos in the world, but I’m tellin’ ya it tastes so good.

Since it’s in a cookbook and I don’t see it anywhere online, I can’t post the recipe. But if you’re interested in incorporating more plant-based recipes into your diet, get this book. Not only are the recipes great, but there’s great educational information included as well.

I discovered Brendan about a year ago, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, Brendan is a former professional Ironman triathlete, a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, creator of Vega,and the bestselling author of the Thrive book series.

Basically, he’s an amazing athlete and does it all while eating a plant-based diet. He’s the man, and one of my idols. I recently bought the Thrive Fitness book and look forward to learning even more through that.

A year ago, I was pretty ignorant to the whole vegan thing. I knew a few people who followed a vegan diet and knew they didn’t eat any animal products, but I always wondered “why?” and “how?”

After reading some blogs and seeing mentions of Brendan’s online program, Thrive Forward, I decided to check it out for myself — and I’m so glad I did. The first thing Brendan says in the beginning of the series really resonated with me and is a positive message to people with all different diet types:

Upon signing up for the FREE program, you’re able to fill out information on your lifestyle. The Thrive Forward team then personalizes the chapters based on what you submitted. I chose to focus on “optimal weight,” “digestion” and “sport edition” for my endurance training. But the cool thing is, you have access to all of the other chapters, too, in case you want to read up on a number of things.

This series, as well as a number of vegan blogs and cookbooks, have really opened me up to the lifestyle and benefits of a plant-based diet. Since becoming more educated, I’ve proactively made some changes in my own diet that I believe have helped me a lot with my digestion.

Last year, my body was reacting very differently to food than it ever had before. I had no idea what was causing the issue, but after months of discomfort, I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet for two weeks to see how I reacted. I felt a lot better and knew that had something to do with it, so I took the next step and began to cut some things out.

As a former gallon-of-milk-a-week drinker (no joke) and greek yogurt lover, this was hard, but I’ve replaced dairy milk with almond and coconut milk and eliminated my daily greek yogurt intake. I do still eat cheese (goat, feta, mozz, and parm mostly) and ice cream from time to time because it doesn’t seem to bother me like milk and yogurt, (weird) although I try to cut back where I can.

I’ve also cut back on meat. To be honest, I could really take or leave meat and have felt this way for the last 5 years or so. Last year, I tried a pescatarian diet for a month and didn’t miss meat one bit, and it didn’t affect my energy or protein levels either. I started eating it again out of convenience, but I don’t know if I could take the stand to completely cut it out for good. We’ll see. Maybe 5 years from now I’ll be completely over it.

I read a lot of blogs with a lot of different options/stances on certain topics, and it’s hard not to get sucked in and question your own diet and health choices. But over the past few months I’ve learned to listen to my own body and give it what it needs/wants, which is usually lots of veggies and whole grains, so it works out nicely :)

For now, I’m going to continue to actively fuel with fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes as much as possible because it’s what I enjoy eating and it’s good for the body. If down the road I feel compelled to eliminate different things, then I will.

P.S. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. I’m just a huge fan.…

Spring Salad with Watermelon, Orange & Feta + Track Workout

This week, the sun was shining, the breeze was warmer and I ate all the fruits and veggies. Something about the change from winter to spring makes me crave salads with lots of crunchy, delicious toppings.

I initially wanted to make this salad with blood orange and grapefruit, but while I was perusing the Whole Foods aisles earlier this week, I kid you not, there wasn’t one blood orange and not one grapefruit that wasn’t rotting. WTF, Whole Foods? Really? Not impressed. So I looked around for a replacement and found some cute baby watermelons all lined up and decided to go with that instead, along with a navel orange.

The combination of watermelon, citrus, avocado and feta is delicious, and truly tastes like spring or summer in your mouth. I used bibb lettuce and added arugula to give a nice peppery bite to rest of the mellow ingredients. The crunch of the radish and buttery sunflower seeds was just divine. And all that goodness tossed in a simple champagne vinaigrette makes my heart sing. You must give it a try (recipe below).

I have a feeling I’ll be doing several spins on this salad throughout the next several months and use whatever looks fresh and delicious at the store.

In addition to eating all the wonderful things this week, the spring weather has also encouraged me to get my butt out of bed in the morning and workout. Last spring/summer I was so good about setting my alarm and not snoozing. After the cold, harsh, dark winter we’ve had, mornings have not been my friend, but I’m hoping the spring weather helps out and I get back into my morning workout routine. I feel so much better when I get up and at it — it’s just the actual up and at it part that can be sooo hard.

On Tuesday, I ran a nice 4 miles (my longest run post-marathon) and it felt great. I think the legs are finally back to normal. Thursday, I made my way over to the Washington & Lee track for a little interval workout. I knew I wanted to do some arm toning, so I used the bleachers as my bench for tricep dips and incline push ups.

This workout really got my heart pumping, especially the sprints at the end since I’ve been focusing on endurance for so long and not speed. It was nice to switch it up, and over the next few months I’d like to do more speed workouts to (hopefully) become a faster distance runner over the next year.

Give it a go and let me know if you like it!

Roasted Tomato Bisque with Goat Cheese

Man, I don’t know about you guys, but I am over this cold weather. Actually, yeah, I know everyone is. Hopefully this is my last rant about it – it’s officially spring now, for God’s sake!

During my lazy, relaxing Sunday, I also whipped up a roasted tomato bisque. Roasted tomatoes are definitely one of my favorite foods because they taste good in everything: salads, soups, as a side dish, with quinoa or pasta, on toast with a poached egg on top — the list goes on and on. They taste like candy to me.

I’ve never made homemade tomato soup before Sunday, but have been itching to give it a try. And the thought of a roasted tomato bisque just brings a smile to my face. Luckily, this is a healthy version — it’s actually vegan if you choose not to add the crumbled goat cheese on top (but I think that makes the dish. It’s so rich and delicious.) But no guilt from any heavy cream here.

I think Zan is a little over my soup-cooking adventures; I’ve made so many different kinds this winter. But he knows I’m crazy and could eat soup just about every day, no matter what the season. Like that time it was like 100* out last summer and I made him walk with me to get pho. At least I got to enjoy it in a nice air-conditioned restaurant :)

Here’s a little warming-of-the-soul soup that can be enjoyed any time of year. I know I will!