sweat

Sweating Right: My Must Haves

I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.  Okay, maybe I do both quality and quantity.  But, hey, how can you not justify multiple quality purchases?

Whether it’s fuel for my body or my mind, I’m going to make sure it’s a good investment.  And, that includes my sweaty gear.  When you lead an active life style, you want comfortable, functional, cute gear that’ll last through your many sweaty adventures.

Here’s a list of my “Must Haves” when it comes to sweating right: 

1: lululemon’s What the Sport Shorts

Runners…you MUST check these shorts out.  There are MULTIPLE reasons I’m in love with these shorts.

  • side pockets for my phone, keys and mini water bottle (they stay in place!)
  • they are the perfect length…not too short, not too long
  • internal drawstring incase you’re like me and your booty is a bit bigger than your waist so sizing can get complicated
  • waistband pockets for running goos, your key, chapstick etc;

I literally do ALL my long runs in these shorts.  They’re perfect for race day, too! Gone are the days of carrying your belongings in your hand…or bra.

2: A Good Pair of Shoes 

…and more than one pair.  Your feet do A LOT for you.  Treat them right.  Whether you’re a runner, weight lifter, CrossFitter…whatever…pay the money for good pairs of shoes.  Also, do your research on shoes.  And I don’t just mean read other people’s reviews.  While this is helpful, everyone’s body is different and has different needs.  Just because a shoe did/did not work for them doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Test the shoes out, and see how your body reacts to them.

For me, I LOVE my Brooks adrenalines.  I’ve started running longer distances on the weekends, so I needed to find a shoe that was going to support my body along the way.  I also just invested in a pair of Mizuno Wave Paradox…stay tuned for a review of those 😉

3. lululemon’s The Mat

My mat is my everything.  Split Pea has taken me adventures my runs couldn’t even dream of.  The Mat absorbs sweat and stays in place.  I can’t imagine perfecting my downward dog on any other type of mat!

My Towel Mat is also fabulous.  A holiday gift from my boo, it has been the perfect accessory for hot yoga, tanning pool side and relaxing on a sandy beach. It’s easy to wash…and it’s the perfect length!

4. Tracking

I by no means look at myself as a “serious” athlete.  Well, actually I am.  “Serious” in the sense that I’m serious about taking care of my body.   I work out to honor my body, to free my mind.  However, part of honoring my body is understanding what my body is doing.  So, I invested in a Polar watch and Heart Rate Monitor.  These two purchases have been my most expensive investments, but the most worth it.  My watch helps me monitor my milage, pace, sleep etc;  My heart rate monitor allows me to track how many calories I burn during my yoga, pilates & weight lifting sessions.  It was important for me to know this so that I could properly refuel my body before and after each workout. (See below)

5. Fuel

As I’ve added long runs back into my weekly routine, staying proper fueled is SO important.  I made sure to invest in a mini water bottle from Bull City Running Company (also where I purchased my adrenalines!) I just squeeze and the water pours perfectly into my mouth.  Plus, it fits perfectly into the pockets of my What the Sport Shorts I bragged about earlier.

I’ve also started consuming carbs while running.  My body burns through food quickly, so it’s vital I keep it energized.  I’m loving Clif Shot Bloks.  They give me the burst of energy I need as the miles add up on my runs.

Your body needs fuel all day every day…not just when you’re working out.  My nutrition is without a doubt what keeps me sweating right.  If you’re just fueling up the day before/day of…you’re doing it wrong.  How can you expect your body to do all that it does (like live…) without the proper nutrition?  Just like my gear, I invest in my food.

Sure, sweating right can get pricey.  But, when you’re treating your body to quality products…you can’t go wrong!

Here’s a picture that includes almost all of the above:

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Happy Sweating!

Shvitzing At Home

In light of opening my Hanukkah present (early) this evening, I thought it was only fitting to use the word shvitzing in my post.  And for all my friends who are unfamiliar with Jewish lingo, shvitzing is sweating.

That being said, now a days I’m doing most of my shvitzing at home.  This is mostly due to an anxious puppy needing to get his sprints on *ahem, Pood* and me attempting to make adult like decisions in the finance depart.  I’m taking the advice I give to my second graders a bajillion times a day: use your resources.

Gym memberships can be rather pricey.  I’ve decided to budget money for weekly visits to Hot Asana (literally a walk away from our apartment!) whereas cardio is taken care of by daily runs with baby Pood and swole sessions are at the free gym in the apartment complex.

Wanting to get a kick ass workout or get your bend on at home?  Here’s some of my favorite online fitness gurus:

Bad Yogi

What I love about Erin Motz is she makes yoga real. Your practice is what you make it…even if it is followed by cookies and wine (guilty!)

Clasique Acupuncture & Pilates Studio

Pilates kicks my ass every time, whether its a 30 minute session or a 5 minute session.  Check it out.

CrossFit

Prior to my days in CrossFit gyms, Adam and I followed the programming from the CrossFit HQ website and squeezed our WODs in between our shifts at the YMCA.  Most movements can be completed with basic equipment.  And if anything, modifications are only a google search away.

Any other free & fabulous fitness resources I’m missing out on?  Feel free to share 😉

Happy shvitzing!

Why You Don’t “Have To” Work Out

 

Disclaimer: I am in no shape or form saying that you should not work out.  I (obviously) am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and understand the full benefits of getting your sweat on.

That being said, you don’t have to work out.

I have always loved to sweat.  From softball to basketball to volleyball to track, being an athlete is a part of who I am. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get carried away and obsessive about sweating.  I’m a passionate person and when I dedicate myself to something, I give it my all.  This isn’t exactly healthy, though.

My biggest lesson in the past year is if your place/form of sweat is causing you stress, you’re doing it wrong.  Your workouts should be stress relievers, not stress endusers.

Like I said earlier, I’m a passionate person.  My sweat life has a history of getting the best of me and taking over.  First it was running, and then it was CrossFit.  You refuse to miss workouts.  You assume you’ll be weaker by taking another rest day.  You must push through the pain. It’s easy to think you’re being healthy, because, hello, you’re working out.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I’ve been there.  You give your workouts your all because they make you feel good.  They help you escape.  They help you feel good.  But how good do you really feel if your workouts are controlling you and not the other way around?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to work out.  Still sore even after a day of rest? Focus on stretching. (Yoga is just as important as lifting!)  You didn’t PR today?  That does not mean you’re weak.  Not every day is going to be PR day.  In my post Why You Should Step Outside Your Fitness Zone, I talked about the value of switching up your sweat routine.  Well, I’ve taken my advice and have been spreading the love.  And you know what?  I feel healthier than ever.  I may not be making the same gains I was in CrossFit, but I’m not beating myself up over it.

If you ask me, that’s what working out is all about.  Getting your sweat on. Having fun. Feeling good.

Sweat Schedule

SWEAT SCHEDULE

Happy Sunday!

One way to make sure you fit (see what I did there?) sweat time into your schedule is by planning for it.  As you read in my Motivation Monday: Get Organized post, I write down where I’m sweating for the week in the planner.  And now, I’ll be dedicated to sharing my upcoming sweat schedule with you every week.
Sunday: 3 mile run with Pood
Monday: SuMMit CrossFit at 3 PM
Tuesday: 2 mile run
Wednesday: Warm Vinyasa Flow at Asheville Community Yoga 6:30 to 7:45 
Thursday: Spin Class at Asheville Racquet Club 9 AM, Bikram Yoga with Lex at Bikram Yoga Asheville 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Friday: Tower 1 at Pure Pilates with Meagan 8 to 8:50 followed by Gentle Flow with Michael at Asheville Community Yoga 9:30 to 11.
Saturday: Rest Day
 
Happy Sweating!

Rule of Thumb

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So, apparently I (and Pood) have what seems to be the best kept secret for athletes.  Except that it’s not a secret at all.  In fact, it’s pretty freaking important.

Alright guys…are you ready for this?  Well here it is:

Listen to your body.

Seems simple right?  You would think.  Yet, many athletes have this big fear that missing a workout will automatically make them weaker.  Despite feeling fatigued, lack of nutrition or even being injured, many people choose to fight through the pain.  Now, I’m all about perseverance, but perseverance doesn’t always mean forcing yourself to finish a workout.  Sometimes it means you listen to your body.

Next time you’re beating yourself up, try these:

1. Check your ego: Because honestly, it doesn’t matter how strong or athletic you think you are.  If you ignore your body, you have a higher risk of getting injured.  Instead of having the injury check your ego for you, listen to what your body is saying.  Slow down. Hydrate. Eat.  Be humble.

2. Modify: Not everyday is a PR day.  And that’s okay. Some days, a weight is going to feel heavier than it should.  Or maybe your run feels slower than usual.  This doesn’t mean you’re weaker.  It’s your bodies way of talking to you.  Don’t push through the pain: modify.  I promise, you’re going to be judging yourself way more than anyone else (despite what you’re thinking…)

3. Rest: Rest days allow your body to build strength.  Although we see the strength gains at the gym or on the trail, those gains come from rest and nutrition.  So in the midst of obsessing over your programming, make sure you’re also planning your rest days and meals.  And be flexible.  So what if your rest day comes a little earlier than you had scheduled? You can train again tomorrow.

Having a Type-A personality, sitting still is hard for me.  The fact that I was expected to rest for not only one day but for five was something I was not looking forward to.   Now, I may have been out and about for an hour a two a day, but majority of my day was spent on the couch soaking up puppy cuddles. A week later, I’m so thankful for this. 

I may feel like myself again, but I’m still listening to my body.  Not working out was…annoying…but obviously necessary.  Getting back into my sweat routine, I’m checking my ego, modifying and resting as needed.  And guess what?  I haven’t lost any strength or my endurance. 

 I’m taking this to mean that incorporating puppy cuddles into my scheduled routines is a must.

Obviously.

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My First Time With Bikram

Incase you are unfamiliar with the yoga term, Bikram is not a person.  But if it was one, it would be a hot, sweaty, strong person.

Let’s rewind for a minute.  I’ve been steering away from Bikram yoga for a couple of reasons.

1. I was petrified of hot yoga.  I have a fear of sauna’s.  I slightly blame my mother (love you mom!) for this fear.  Growing up watching horror movie after horror movie, you can’t help but fear getting locked in a sauna by some crazy serial killer. Obviously this fear carried over into a hot yoga room…

2. I am so not flexible.  And, yes, this is exactly why I go to yoga.  But Bikram has a reputation for being strict with it’s poses.  I will be the first to admit I don’t know my poses.

This being said, I was slightly fearful to meet Bikram.  I knew this fear would only turn into a series of unfortunate events: uncontrolled breath, panicked thoughts, (extra hot) hot flashes, running out of the room…you know, everything that could go wrong with a yoga class.

So, instead, I committed to being present. I committed to my breath.  I committed to listening to my body.

And, oh my lanta, I am obsessed.

Basically, this class covered every pose I love to do.  (When I’m a really good yogi…I can tell you the names of those poses…)  We held the pose for x number of seconds, relaxed, and repeated.  I could feel myself loosening up as the sweat dripped poured off my body.

Luckily, the instructor I was practicing with was not your typical, strict instructor.  He was encouraging during each pose, giving the perfect cues letting everyone know how to adjust their body.

Okay, here’s the cheesy part.  My favorite thing was the mirror.  The instructor, Ross, was always reminding us to look at ourselves in the mirror.  Watch yourself move.  Focus on yourself and how your body looks.  Of course there were moments where I did just the opposite.  It wasn’t for comparison, though.  It allowed me to see all the diversity in the room; diversity among 10+ half naked people. It was beautiful.

Last, but not least, here are some tips on how to survive your first time with Bikram

1. Commit to being present.

2. Remember to breathe…especially during those moments of panic

3. Bring a towel…or you’ll be slipping and sliding like I was!

4. Embrace your half nakedness.  It’s going to be hot as hell in there…you’ll want minimal clothing.

5. You may or may not get a little delirious towards the end.  It’s fine, really.  Just listen to your body and rock the heck out of child’s pose or shavasana if needed.

Oh, and check out Bikram Yoga Asheville. I will without a doubt be sweating (profusely) there again.