Fitness Friday 07.20

July has been off to a heat wave start here in the Midwest — which makes a small window of outdoor workout time if you want to beat the heat. And after spending March and April quarantined, we try to be outside as much as possible when we aren’t working our 9 to 5 – especially with the beautiful weather.

During April and May and even early June, I was running almost weekly if not more with the nice transition of weather. But June quickly became a quieter workout month – as I mentioned in my Life Lately – June Update, it was a busy month and also a mental break month, although the hits just keep on coming.
FitnessFriday07.20_beelifeblogSo with the heat, running has come to a halt. But getting up and fitting in morning workouts has been our new go-to with the help of group workouts with my aunts! We’ve continued to do online workouts and with the help of my aunts hand weights and other equipment, we’re able to do a bit more than just body weight workouts or running which is a nice mix-up.  Sadly, I don’t think B or myself will be returning to a gym anytime soon — and for multiple reasons. One reason is, I believe there is a perception for some people that the less you expose yourself too, the more likely people are to be OK seeing you even if it’s outside and socially distant. Another reason, is I just don’t fully understand the mask, droplet thing, and how that works in a gym if you’re not wearing a mask.

I was excited to start running again, as one of my 2020 fitness goals was to run 6 races this year. Well, I’m stuck at one — they all keep getting pushed back or rescheduled. I think eventually they’re all going to become virtual. Which is fine, I guess, I’ll still run with B, as long as we get our race metals! So there is definitely some push that is going to happen here late Q3 or Q4 to get the 5 more races finished! So far 2, have been rescheduled.

So until then, and while this heat continues, I’ll be squatting and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated!

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Fitness Friday 05.20 – Mental Health Edition

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which I found to be pretty fitting as I’ve had a rollercoaster of anxiety, stress and mixed emotions, this month, about everything happening in our world as time continues to go on — and a few friends I’ve spoken to as well are feeling the same, anxious about doing things we used to never think twice about.

This past week has been tough. I’ve cried a bunch, dealt with my hamster wheel of thoughts and chest pains brought on by my anxiety. Even with all of that I’ve made sure to maintain one thing to help stay physically sound — my workout routine.  I’ve even started to do some virtual yoga with some friends on a weekly basis which has been a nice transition into different physical challenges and focused mental breaks.FitnessFriday05.2020In the midst of my tough week, I stumbled upon a LIVE White House Press Conference, which I don’t tend to watch normally, but I figured I would give a listen. Not long into the conference they transitioned to speaking about the mental health risks and had a Doctor speak about how these stay-at-home orders have and will affect mental health (Start watching at 31:52 – with limited Trump speaking). Her words, echoed fears that I’ve faced with slow interactions of getting back to ‘normal’ — I’ve feared that my anxiety is going to be amplified to the point that I may need to take medicine to just do everyday things, like traveling or visiting with friends/family — medicine is something I personally try to avoid, but understand it helps many people and glad that people utilize it to manage their stress/anxiety. I’ve feared that some of us might come out worse, than we went in, that maybe we won’t all be okay right away.

So if you’ve been struggling like me, I wanted to share some tips from the CDC for mental health, and specifically for mental health awareness month:

  • PAUSE. Breathe, notice how you feel.
  • TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 news/information
  • MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise
  • REACH OUT and stay connected
  • SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe

Click here to see more how to manage stress from the CDC.

I would like to add, another way of seeking helping, it’s to talk about how you’re feeling with trusted family and friends. I’ve found that just sharing that I’ve feeling anxious and not great, takes those feelings out a bit, so they aren’t just pent up inside of me. The state of Ohio has started to open things up, and the walls are starting to come down, which has led us to face how we even just interact with some family that has caused some doubts, questions and unsure feelings.

I hope these 60+ days of ‘quarantine’ don’t lead to an ever life changing bout of increased anxiety for myself or others, but we just have to remember to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies and minds when we’re not feeling okay. Stress and anxiety can really affect our physical state without us knowing — so pause and check-in with yourself and even others.

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For more resources check out the these Mindfulness Tools from Kevin Love and Headspace, Inspirational Instagram Feed, Mental Health America, Stress and Coping Resource from the CDC

Fitness Friday 04.20

Hi Bees! Looking back at last month’s Fitness Friday, we were just a week into quarantine, and the news of settling in and adjusting our lives and fitness routines accordingly was fresh and still settling in. Now it is very much a reality and further adjusting has been a continuous journey as each of the days passes. So now the real question — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it?
Fitness Friday_04.2020For me, I’ve been sticking to my workout routine pretty well — it’s of course been different, not as intense and shorter some days than others but I’m sticking to getting my days in. I missed a few days at the beginning of the month because I was having some bad medication side effects I was dealing with, but once I figured that out I was back in commission. I have even gotten a few runs in this month and pushing myself to slowly increase my mileage – this has been nice to get some extra calories burned!

One of my biggest hurdles is my new WFH gym. I have one kettle bell weighing in at 25lbs, one hand weight at 10lbs, a jump rope (that I can only use outside) and a yoga mat. I tried to order to hand weights early in the pandemic for in-store pick-up at Target, but those quickly sold out, hence after I ordered two — only one was available *face palm* So I’ve been reliant on body-weight and cardio based workouts and my runs when the weather is decent. Anyone else the same?
FitnessFriday_04.2020(2)Now for some real talk. I’ve been able to maintain a pretty positive outlook through all of this — but this week I hit a wall. Wednesday was tough. It was a long work day, I had intentionally pushed my workout to the evening — but by the time the day wrapped up I had no interest in working out. I wanted to cry. I was feeling on an island, feeling drained, and uninspired. So I sat and stared out the window for a bit, ate a pretzel stick and four animal crackers and debated with myself in my head. I finally got up, made myself go to my basement gym, put my sneakers on and queue up a 36-minute cardio workout. I’m glad I made myself workout, I needed it. I felt about 80% better, but it was definitely better than crying and feeling sorry for myself — although I know we all need those moments sometimes.
FitnessFriday_04.2020(3)Luckily, my Coach is still sharing and posting lots of free workouts on his YouTube Channel so if you’re looking for something new be sure to check out his page! I have also done some virtual yoga with my dear friend from Yogatta Give Back— she is hosting a donation based session every Tuesday. Finally, I’ve seen that through sharing my workouts and talking with friends/family we’ve all sort of kept each other motivated knowingly or not — so share your struggles and share your successes because you just might inspire someone to go for a run!

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Here are a few of my favorite Quarantine Workouts: The Big Nasty, Fitness Test, Giant Metcon Circuit

Fitness Friday 03.20

Hey Fitness Bees! How are we holding up? It’s almost one full week down of this quarantine — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it? Last week when all the news started changing within 48-hours and schools started closing, my gym proactively closed for the same amount of time. I figured if anything, at least we will be able to workout and stay healthy!

Needless to say, I was selfishly upset, angry and super bummed — I was doing SO good staying in a routine with my workouts, getting my days checked off each week, while also sticking to a good routine with my food and nutrition. And now, that was going to get thrown away with 3-easy weeks of no workouts… and later to become quarantined and even working from home. Anyone else feel the same way?
FitnessFriday032020-beelifeblogBut, here’s the thing. I quickly changed that attitude into a mindset that I wasn’t going to let this 3-week (at a minimum) quarantine throw off my workout routine and all the progress I’ve made in the last 4-months. Sure, it’s going to change and look a little different and will be an adjustment — but I told myself I’m going to stay committed to getting my four workouts in each week. To help this first week, my coach and trainer has been INCREDIBLE and posting workouts every day, the first one ‘Corona FREE Body Weight Workout‘ was also clutch and I’ve been sore since Monday from it! This is definitely going to be a go-to for the next few weeks.

I’m also hoping to incorporate a few runs into the mix — of course, when weather permits. We are also making sure to get out almost each day to get Moz on a few walks. However, I’ve also come to realize and will again be faced with more fitness goal road bumps. I imagine and know that the two races we have planned in April will most likely get cancelled or rescheduled… meaning I’m again being pushed back from a few of my other 2020 Fitness goals that I felt like I was easily crushing.

It has been easier to get outside with Moz after I’ve gotten my work done by just walking downstairs — no commute home, no stops at the store, not to mention I’m ready for some fresh air! I’ve also been able to incorporate and be a little more flexible with my workouts, squeezing them in during lunch or late afternoon to adjust around work.

So, as a lot of us are feeling knocked down, we have to jump back up and push through stronger and focus on the positive, while taking care of our minds and bodies. We got this!

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Fitness Friday 02.20

Happy Fitness Friday! Since the start of the year, I’ve been sticking tight on sticking to my workout routine and making sure I’m checking off the boxes each week. I’ve been feeling great, feeling slimmer and my jeans and clothes have been fitting great! Although, I was recently quickly reminded at how easy it is to fall out of a routine. FitnessFriday 02.20 - bee life blog
This Valentine’s Day we definitely over indulged on a few sweet treats and I also missed a workout or two, in addition to enjoying leftover cookie skillet for a few extra days (so good!)!  So what I quickly realized was that it’s easy to fall off a bit if, I’m not sticking to the workout routine that works for me.  I know myself, and I know I need to stick to a minimum of three days of a good workout, stick to a stricter diet and limit my cheat days — and any derivation of that hurts more than it helps!

Bonus is we’re only two months into the new year, so this reminder definitely comes at a good times, especially as busy season is quickly approaching.  I’ve been sticking to my goals and also know which ones I need to continue to work on, like my core strength!  What lessons have you learned about your fitness journey so far this year?

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Race Recap – Resolution Run 5k

This past weekend I ran my first race of 2020! It was a last minute decision to sign up just four days before the race — but I’m so glad I did and I’m glad my running pal, K said she would run the race too.  One of my fitness goals is to run more, and completing six races this year – check the first one off the list!
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With the race being the first weekend in January, I knew the weather could be a crap shoot, but I didn’t want that to be an excuse.  It was 37 degrees and misting rain, which was manageable for the dead of winter and quite frankly my type of running weather.  I was feeling good and started with a slower pace for the first half mile or so and then picked it up to have a 9-minute pace for the second and third miles.  Kayla was not far behind and had an awesome time for her first race of the new year, too!
RaceRecap5k-beelifeblog(2)Part of the resolution was was pre-race toast with sparkling juice to toast to everyone’s resolutions.  There was even a resolution wall that everyone could write and share their resolutions for thew New Year on, K and I both thought of meaningful resolutions and wrote ours on the board.  Mine was not necessarily fitness based, and even a little cliche, but it’s true! I want to be more in the moment, with friends, with B, with family and even with coworkers.
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It feels good to have one race down. I signed up for my next race in April, a race we do every year. With two races already figured out, I only need to work on getting four more.  Not to mention it was truly great kicking off the new year with an awesome time, feeling great and staying motivated!

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Fitness Friday 01.20

It’s the first Friday of 2020 and what better way to kickoff the New Year than planning out your 2020 fitness goals. If you read my last Fitness Friday of 2019, you saw I graded my 2019 fitness goals, and how well I did them — or not! I feel like I really bounced back at the end of this past year coming off a big middle hurdle and without a big wedding coming up, or other major motivations, my primary fitness goal is to not only maintain, but just feel good and happy with myself.
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I’m going to be a little boring, but a lot of my fitness goals are going to be the same as last year. Why? Because they’re what works for my routine, what my body needs, and also what I enjoy doing. Although I’m going to tweak a few, include a few more specifics and guidelines to help make these more attainable this year!

Build and Maintain My Core Strength. My back injury was definitely a wake up call to how I not only need to build my core strength but I also need to maintain it.  I learned so much about how different parts of my body help or overwork themselves to makeup up incompetencies in other areas. So I’m going to start focusing on integrating my PT exercises in 3X a week.

Bootcamp 3X a Week.  This works for me. Waking up and getting my workouts in before I head into the office, ensure I get my workouts done and checked off for the week.  Even getting all three done within the work week opens Saturday’s up for volunteering, a run, or just social time with friends!

Finish 6 Runs in 2020. Usually B and I are able to get a few runs in each year, this past year we only did one! So I’m putting a number to it, to plan better and have a goal. I’ve already signed up for two races, one is tomorrow, and looking forward to getting a few more in the books throughout the year.

Healthy Food Balance.  I generally try to eat less carbs, so that is something that isn’t going to really change. But I want to continue to maintain a healthy balance of less snacking, mixed in intermittent fasting, and those delicious cheat days. Maintaining food balance, while not depriving yourself is key to loving yourself and not sacrificing with fad diets.

What’re your 2020 fitness goals?

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Fitness Friday 12.19

OMG! It’s the last Fitness Friday of 2019! And as I’m not completely ready to throw in the towel on my 2019 Fitness Goals — I’d say I can only keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last few months to maintain my routine! So I’m going to do a little early reflecting on my goals… as I already know I did not do so HOT on them… I even graded myself on how I did, take a look!
FitnessFriday1219-beelifeblogGoal #1 = Run More | My Score = FAIL
Yeah, this was a complete fail. It started out strong getting our yearly 10-miler run in and then slowly trailed as the next day I literally threw my back off which ended up being a 5-month shut down. Not to mention, all the races we wanted to sign up for we were out of town or had prior commitments, so this just didn’t happen. I did get a few runs in but not nearly to the definition of ‘Run more.’

Goal #2 = Build My Core Strength | My Score = C+
As I just mentioned above and in my July Fitness Friday my back threw me for a loop this year and led me to PT. I honestly felt like it was the universes sick way of getting me to accomplish this goal for 2019 — going to PT and purposefully working on my core strength. Well, I held strong for about a month, and then completely fell off the PT train. However, I know have the tools to build my core strength – so this goal will be coming back for 2020, since my chronic back pain is not going away.

Goal #3 = Carbs | My Score = B
I didn’t do so bad with this one! Of course I had a few times when this was a bit heavier than others, but as I got back into my fitness routine this late summer, my eating fell more in line, even though I was lying to myself about being stricter on food in the months when I was out of commission.

Goal #4 = Remain Consistent with Boot Camp | My Score = A-
I was pretty good for the first 3-4 months of the year took a 5-month break because of my back and then have been in the game since September going strong and feeling great.  I’ve continued to take it easy, make modifications and get my ass out of bed each morning during the work week to maintain on track with getting my three days in. Because I’ve felt better and have been working hard, I’ve been more conscious about what food I decide to eat (and ruin my workout with) and also feel better in my own skin and my clothes. I feel more toned even if the pounds are staying the same!

I’m a firm believer of not only writing down your goals, but also reflecting on your goals and being honest with yourself on successes, opportunities and struggles.  This year was definitely not what I was hoping it would be — which often happens in life, so I’m happy that I was forced to be patient, try new things and also continue to rebound and accomplish my goals!

What fitness goals did you conquer this year?

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Fitness Friday 11.19

Hi Bees! I have to take a moment and celebrate. I’m in the middle of month three of finally getting back into a workout routine after my back flair up over the summer, and you know what? It feels SOOO good to be back.
FitnessFriday11.19-beelifeblogI knew getting back into a routine after being off for four months wasn’t going to be easy, but sticking with it and fighting through the moments of wanting to skip, have only helped to stay focused and motivated!  And now whenever I put on a pair of jeans I take little moments to celebrate how good I am looking and how good I feel! 

I’m happy to be back into a routine, especially with the holidays creeping in.  But at the same time, the holidays can easily kill all that amazing progress we’ve been making all year.  That’s why I like to revisit my tips for maintaining and not gaining over the holidays. And as important as our workouts are, our food choices go hand in hand with that routine — especially as the parties, alcohol and multiple family dinners begin!

So if you’ve been celebrating and kicking butt at your fitness routine — keep it up! Keep on celebrating and don’t let the holiday celebrating get in the way of those goals.

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