We have all been there… working out like crazy a month before our high school reunion, or spending the months of April and May in the gym preparing for swimsuit season. And we may likely be in that place someday again. But, we would prefer to be there in a different frame of mind.
Our guest blogger reminds us that exercise is not seasonal! Rachel reminded us yesterday that we can stay fit even when on vacation! Learn how to get out of that workout-only-when-needed mentality and start making it habitual.
Last week, I was lucky enough to spend the whole week “up north” with my family. Here, in Michigan, “up north” is where we spend our summer vacation time… like in Kid Rock’s song about “Summertime in Northern Michigan”.
Up north, we’ve got beaches, lakes, bays, rivers, trails, sand dunes and enough fresh air to make your lungs darn near burst.
(Oh yeah… in case you’ve never met someone from Michigan… we LOVE our state!)
Getting to spend a whole week there in the middle of the summer is one of the best parts of being a Michigander.
The other thing that is so great about it is that it is nearly impossible NOT to stay fit when your vacation lands you in the middle of endless choices of naturally built-in physical activities.
Running on Vacation
I have said it before, I don’t like running. It’s what I do when I’ve missed a workout or need to burn off some steam. But, on last week’s vacation, I woke up each morning bright and early, ready to lace up my shoes and head out for a run.
The picture above is from the first morning after I ran a few miles and stopped by the beach. That’s Little Traverse Bay from the Harbor Springs side looking across at Petoskey. It was a great post-run greeting!
Yoga on the Beach
Even in July, the nights in Northern Michigan still get a bit chilly. So, it takes a while for the sand and water to warm back up enough before the vacationers all hit the beach.
That gave me the perfect opportunity to do some yoga… right on the beach. It felt great to hold each pose while staring out into that beautiful bay.
Racing the Boys
My sons are at such a fun age right now. They are young enough to still think that their dad and I are cool… but old enough to start teasing us!
One of their favorites is to challenge us to races. “I bet you can’t beat me to the…” or “Last one to that tree is a rotten egg.”
A week of that was like a conditioning course full of wind-sprints! But it was so much fun… we barely even knew that it could count as “exercise”!
For the record, I can still beat my sons (who are almost 10 and almost 7) in races… but I’m sure it won’t be long before they are lapping me! So, I’ll be doing a lot more racing with them this summer to hang on to my title as long as possible!
Paddling on the River
Since the boys are old enough now to do some more physical activities, we took a few hours and rented two little catamarans and paddled down the Sturgeon River.
Though the river moves along pretty well, there were a lot of branches and logs to maneuver around, so it ended up being a pretty good challenge. The boys loved it and my husband and I were both pooped from pushing and pulling against the current for a few hours.
All-in-all, we decided that was just our first of many future trips down the river!
Of Course… the Food and the Beer…
Now, an up-north beach vacation for my hubby and I wouldn’t be complete without a few cases of Corona and Summer Shandy, a few batches of pasta salads and even lunch-meat sandwiches on sticky white bread!
So – we indulged in all of the above… and then some!
But, at the end of the week when I pulled out my jeans… they still slipped up over my hips and zipped with ease!
We joked that had we actually been careful about what we ate – we probably would’ve actually lost weight on vacation. But, hey – I’ll settle for maintaining my level of fitness while having a great time enjoying some treats!
Moral of the story?
If you want to stay fit on vacation, plan a vacation in an area that actually promotes fitness… and take along the people that motivate you to get up and get going!
Certified holistic health coach, Ling Wong, shares with us the reason why dieting can actually be harmful to our health. Learn why we are ditching diets for good and have focused on creating healthy habits instead.
Creating habits takes time. Try using this advice from our expert guest blogger to create a healthy lifestyle that lasts by forming healthy habits.
We know that creating healthy habits is Pretty Hard Work. Unfortunately, eating healthy and exercising have become more and more difficult to fit into our busy schedules. With our lives being centered around the majority of our day sitting at a desk, there leaves little motivation to come home and get moving!
BUT WE MUST! So, this week we are talking about creating healthy habits. Once you’re in the habit of eating healthy and exercising, your body will start to crave it and life just won’t feel right if you neglect it. But, don’t try to start all at once. Set yourself up for success by trying the following plan from health & wellness author, Syd Hoffman.
We’ve all experienced it. We do an everyday activity and all of a sudden—boom—we feel a stiffness or pain. It usually comes from lack of movement. We live and work in a very sedentary environment. Most of us have a schedule like this: arrive at work by 8 a.m., plop down at desk, get up around 10:00 a.m. for a quick coffee break, then sit back down again until 12:30 p.m. and get up for lunch. Outside of an occasional meeting or break, most people don’t move until 6:00 p.m. What’s wrong with this picture?
Our bodies were designed to move, not to stay in one position for hours on end. Exercise is a healthy habit that should be part of each day. When we don’t move, our flexibility wanes and our bodies react with stiffness and pain. Corrective exercise and a variety of stretches can help loosen up these muscles and bring your flexibility back to where it should be.
If you have yet to make exercise a part of your daily routine, start small: make it a point to take several breaks during the day to get up and stretch. Do it at your desk, take a walk or go up and down a few flights of stairs. Here are some stretches to do every day in order to keep your body limber and working properly. The trick is to make the commitment to do them frequently and ongoing – from there, build up to adding more cardio and strength training exercises to your routine.
Place your right arm shoulder height, palm forward at a 90 degree angle with the inside of your elbow touching the wall. Your right foot should be facing forward. Turn your chest to the left. Hold the contraction for 30 seconds before switching sides. Do 1-2 sets on each side.
Get down on your hands and knees. Extened your right arm on a foam roller or stability ball. Your chest should be off the ground and your other arm off to the side. Hold the contraction for 30 seconds before switching sides. Do 1-2 sets on each side.
Stand up tall and place your arms behind your back with your hands resting on top of each other. From this position, push your elbows forward and feel the stretch in the back of your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching sides.
How have you created healthy habits by incorporating exercise into your routine?
It is so tempting for us to go through phases of eating any way we please, frequenting fast food joints and eating loaded salads from the corner popular chain restaurant. Life gets busy. And we get lazy. So, let’s talk about ways to create healthy eating habits that last and ditch our roller-coaster dieting plan for good.
Our guest blogger tells us today how to learn the connection between what we eat and how it makes us feel. Our body tells us in its own way what it needs. Are you listening?
Self defense begins with the right attitude and confidence level. Learn how our expert guest blogger suggests you avoid an attack entirely by using your attitude.
Using Yoga as an intense form of cross-training can be extremely beneficial to a number of sporting activities. Not only does it strengthen, tone, and elongate our muscles, it teaches us to be present in the moment while placing our focus on our breathing.
Learn how our expert guest blogger incorporated this technique into her training and how it improved her performance.
Try using this super shredding exercise for a set of incredible abs you love to show off!
The Ab Shredder
Even thinking about this exercise makes me feel sore. I had it dubbed the ab-shredder because it literally feels like someone is flailing my stomach with a cheese grater.
I start by lying down flat on my back (with my arms stretched out straight behind my head), I take a Swedish exercise and hold it between my feet. Keep it still, you don’t want it to fall out.
Then, I raise it straight up in the air so my legs are perpendicular to my body and the ball is directly above my midsection. I lift my hands flat up in the same direction and grab the ball. Then, I slowly lower my hands and legs at the same time so the ball has effectively been transferred.
Then, you do the same thing in reverse-raise your arms until they are perpendicular to your body, bring your legs up, and transfer the ball. These are killers and I can only do 15 before I want to cry, but they are the most effective ab workout I’ve ever done. I’ve gained a ton of strength this way, and the results look amazing!
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