Good morning and surprise… Scott and I are in Chicago!
We got in yesterday just in time to catch the Pistons/Bulls game and had a great time at the United Center. We are taking the day to soak in the sights of the city and spend time with friends. I asked a blogging (and real life) friend from Orlando to fill in while we’re away and think you are going to enjoy reading her tips on health and fitness. Take it away, Ashley!
Guest Post: Ashley from A Lady Goes West
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before…
A born-and-raised Florida girl meets a boy in Orlando, they date for a few years enjoying their huge social circle and community, and they get married. Then, about two years ago, the boy gets a new job with an NBA team across the country, and the girl goes with him, leaving behind her friends and family and all that she’s ever known.
Am I talking about Heather? No. I’m talking about me. That’s right. Heather and I share a very similar path. We’re both living “abroad” in a sense, Heather in Michigan and me in California. And we’re both part of this big ol’ blogging world, sharing our lives online.
Here’s a shot of me posing on the streets of San Francisco in my shades.
I’m so grateful that Heather asked me to guest post for her while she and Scott are on a little getaway, because I love getting introduced to new readers, and just like Heather, I like to keep it real.
I write A Lady Goes West, which is a healthy-living blog I started shortly after moving to San Francisco. Because I’m a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, I write a lot about my weekly workouts, everyday fitness tips, pointers for instructors, the foods that I eat, healthy recipes, living in the Bay Area of San Francisco and whatever else is interesting me at the moment — basically it’s like my own magazine column.
Here’s a shot of me and the boy who brought me to California, Dave, after I put him through a training session.
Both Heather and I like to lead pretty healthy lifestyles and document that with our readers. During my time working in the fitness industry, I’ve not only learned some of the best ways to stay healthy, but I’ve also seen some common ways that people may end up derailing their health and fitness goals. That’s why I thought it might be interesting to share with you all a few of the things you don’t want to do.
So here we go…
The Top Five Health and Fitness Mistakes People Make
1. Being a slave to cardio.
I can’t tell you how many girls I see on a regular basis, come into the gym in a cute outfit, bounce on the elliptical with a magazine, and hit the showers after they’ve done their requisite 30 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, any bit of movement is great, and it’s awesome that you have the motivation to go to the gym for a workout, but you’ve also got to try using some weights, resistance bands or even the yellow-and-black TRX contraption to build strength. Lifting things is good for you, and no you won’t bulk up. Muscle helps you look lean, and it also helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
2. Not eating breakfast.
There have been a few studies lately claiming it’s totally okay to skip breakfast. But I disagree. In working with clients in the gym, those who have something in their stomach before a morning workout perform much better than those who don’t. And in the working world, I’ve seen people who are much more focused and energized once they’ve eaten their first meal of the day, than they were when running on fumes. You need food. So eat a good breakfast to start your day off right.
3. Getting too comfortable in a routine.
If you can do you workout routine without breaking a sweat because you’re so familiar with it, that’s a problem. Our bodies love variety. And when you have to work in new ways or try hard at new things, you’ll reap the benefits. Don’t be scared to try a new group fitness class, do a new workout at home via a streaming service online or invite a friend to go for a bike ride, if you usually just walk. Changing things up is nothing but a benefit to you. And you may even discover something that you didn’t even know you’d like.
4. Relying on take-out food.
I live in the city of San Francisco, where there is truly a restaurant on every corner, under every building and on every block. In bigger cities like mine, I see people relying on take-out food for most of their meals. In fact, I’ve had clients who eat all of their meals out and have no food in their fridge. While there are plenty of healthy options available in San Francisco, I know that’s not the case everywhere. In fact, you can’t be totally sure how your food is cooked, unless you make it yourself. Yes, it’s totally fine to go out to lunch here-and-there, enjoy some take-out when you need it and dine out on the weekends. But don’t be scared to buy a few things and make a couple of meals at home, or pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand during your work-day.
5. Not drinking enough water.
I’d like to think that most of our problems can be solved by drinking more water. You don’t know how many clients I’ve had swear that they drink plenty of water. By plenty, they mean they finish one small bottle throughout the day. That’s not enough, folks. Chug your water! Tea counts, coconut water and sparkling water counts as well. If you have trouble drinking water because it’s boring, try adding in some cucumber for a little flavor. If you drink more water, your muscles will be more hydrated, your limbs more flexible, your mind clearer, your skin fresher and your body will perform more optimally. Just do it.
So there you go!
And of course, nobody’s perfect, and we’re all always trying to be a little bit healthier. But I hope my insights shed some light for you. Now, get out there and have a great and healthy day! Oh, and drink some more water already, will you?
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Questions of the Day
What’s your favorite way to break a sweat? Do you have any tricks for drinking water? Has anybody else out there moved across the country?
I’d love to hear your experience!