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?
>> Stay in touch with me!
If you enjoyed hearing from me, I’d love to stay in touch. You can follow me and A Lady Goes West on Bloglovin’, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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!
Heather @Fit n Cookies
These are all fantastic points! I remember the days when I would only do cardio. How silly of me!! I love lifting weights now, and teach group fitness classes focused on lifting. For drinking water, I need to have the water bottles at easy access, and sometimes set a timer and make sure I’m drinking water. There are days that I just totally forget!
Hi Heather! Thanks! I too, used to only do cardio, long before I was in the fitness industry. Sometimes we don’t know any better. Using a timer to drink more water is a great idea. Hope you have an awesome day!
I think we all have those days sometimes. It’s great to have a reminder every once in a while!
Amen to the variety suggestion! I fall into a rut way too easily – and my mind gets just as bored as my body, making it less enticing to bang out a workout. Mixing things up has really helped!
Hi there! Glad you’re on board with mixing things up. And it’s true, you can get bored just as easily as your body gets bored. Have a great day!
This summer, I got stuck in the cardio rut. I was running 3-4 miles 5-6 days a week and barely added in ANY strength training. I paid the price when I endured a injury this fall, that now causes my back and hips to hurt on a daily basis. Long story short, now with the help of physical therapy, I am strengthening my core and doing daily adjustments to realign my hips. While I don’t know the actual cause, I am almost certain that this could have been avoided if I had rotated strength training into my weekly routine!
Great tips, thanks for sharing!
Hi Katie! Thanks. Oh yes, even the best running program should have a couple of cross-strength training days. I hope you’ve recovered. Happy running and lifting to you! 🙂
Oh man, sorry to hear that! I know what you mean. It’s easy to forget to strength train when you’re running so much. I know my arms have definitely gotten weaker over the past 6 months! Time to get back to it 😉
Loved writing this post for all the Housewife Glamour readers! Thanks, Heather. Hope you and Scott are enjoying your getaway. 🙂
Diane Oui In France
Love Ashley’s blog! The “too much cardio” point is so, so true in France too. Women haven’t gotten the memo yet that lifting heavy is actually going to change their body in the way they’re hoping cardio will. I’m often the only woman in the weight room while most women stick to the cardio area. Don’t get me wrong, cardio has its place but I’m a huge proponent of weight lifting. Great guest post!
Hi Diane! Fancy seeing you here over on HWG! I’m glad you brave the weight room in France, so you can show everybody that it’s not scary to lift weights!! Thanks for the love! 🙂
You love in France?! Love that! Thank you for reading. And I love to hear you are getting to the weight room 🙂
Diane Oui In France
Yup, husband is French and I moved almost three years ago. 😉 My blog is all about expat stuff and soon to be more of a focus on healthy living (thanks ashley!). I live in Western France, not a big, trendy city or anything and yea I really am one of the only chicks in the weight room. But it’s been my thing since college so I”m not intimidated haha
Wow, that’s so cool! That’s so great you are able to keep up your lifestyle in a challenging environment. I LOVE France!
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries
Excellent tips, Ashley! I see many of these mistakes happen all the time, so to address them is awesome and will be helpful for so many people.
P.S. I never knew the reason you moved out to California. So interesting you and Heather have such similar stories! 😉
Hi Ashley! I know, small world, right? 🙂
Haha I just saw this reply. #twinning
Small world right?! 🙂
Chelsea @ Raw N' Toned
I live in California and may be moving to Tennessee next year because of a Boy haha. I’ve recently began to love changing up my workouts, it just gets me excited for the next one! And I’ve also recently began being obsessed with body weight exercises, which are surprisingly hard! But then again, my body does weight more than those 8 lb dumbbells haha. For me drinking water is pretty easy. I drink all my water at my meals, otherwise I won’t drink it throughout the day. I shoot for about 25 ounce with every meal and snack :).
Hi Chelsea, Well you are not alone in the bodyweight thing. In fact, on my own blog I wrote about bodyweight training today and how it’s the biggest trend in fitness for 2015! And … moving to Tennessee for a boy? Good luck! Big change can be hard, but so worth it in the end:)
Bodyweight exercises have always been my favorites <3
Leslie @ Life Begins at 30?
I’m so bad about skipping strength training. Luckily when it is cold, running outside is less appealing…so strength it is. 🙂
I moved from Texas to Kansas City 10 years ago. It isn’t quite as far as you moved, but it was a big change! I love KC, but having my family 600 miles away is always tough.
Hi Leslie! That’s a big move from one place to another too! I’m glad you love KC, I’ve never been there, and I’m sure you rack up travel miles throughout the year visiting home. Well, I hope this post inspires you to do a little strength work this week. Have a lovely Tuesday! 🙂
It does get tough… especially around holidays and life milestones! Scott used to live in KC 😉
I love these tips!! I hear it constantly from people about skipping breakfast and not drinking enough water, such easy things to fix…..I carry a water bottle around with me anywhere I go!
Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Wonderful tips! Being a slave to cardio gets you no where fast – how boring!! I love the change up the routine tip! I just started a new lifting routine that my boyfriend suggested after hearing me complain about not enjoying the last routine. What a welcomed change! I’m so motivated and excited to get into the gym again! Have a wonderful day and thanks for sharing our tips today. Now I must go find some water 🙂
Hi Sam! Well thanks. How awesome that your boyfriend offers some workouts. Enjoy the new program and then switch it up again! Have a great day:)
Sara @ Lake Shore Runner
Heather – I was at the Pistons game last night too!
Love these tips and think they are so true. I never can skip breakfast, I am actually hungry right when I wake up.I used to only run for my workouts especially when I was training for a race. And I would see no change because my body was getting used to that workout. Now I do more HIIT and strength workouts with cardio and see so much more change.
Also, I love San Fran went there for the first time last month 🙂 You can see all my recaps here:http://www.lakeshorerunner.com/tag/san-fran/
Hi Sara! Awesome! I love San Francisco too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the links. And that’s great you’re changing your routine up from time-to-time. It’s so important:)
Hey Ashley! Great to see you on Heather’s blog! What a nice surprise 🙂
Well thanks, Nancy! It’s good to see you here too. 🙂
I have been SO guilty of falling into a cardio rut. I love to run. Running is almost a reward to me if I have had a hard day, or just need to clear my head. I found an app not to long ago, this is not sponsored, called Nike Training Club. It really helped me add weight and resistant training. The app is totally free, give you a workout, and has a video for an example if you do not know how to do it. http://www.eatallovertheworld.weebly.com
All great points Ashley! I am definitely guilty of being a slave to cardio. I absolutely love running and the “runner’s high” feeling that comes with it. I have to constantly make a conscious effort to work in strength training or I will completely ignore it. Emily, I’ll definitely have to try that app! I’ve heard great things about it but always forget to download it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Hi EmilyAnne, Yes NTC app is awesome, I see people using it at the gym all the time. There are a few of them like that out there, so use any resource you can to get lifting. Thanks!!
What about eating breakfast after an early morning workout? We usually head to the gym around 5:30am and then make a green smoothie for breakfast when we get home.
Hi there! It’s truly up to you, but I always recommend eating a little something before your workout in the morning to get you going. Unless it upsets your stomach, have something small, then have your full breakfast when you’re done. Something small could be half a banana and a small scoop of almond butter? Or a snack-size protein bar? Just something! But if you’re feeling good in your routine, no need to change.
My favorite way to break a sweat is running or spinning, but I’m trying to work more weights into it also. My biggest tip for drinking more water is to get a fruit infusing water bottle and look up some different detox water recipes and try different ones for variety. I have been loving plan cucumber water lately, but also like apple cinnamon water!
Hi Tricia! I drink WAY more water when it’s got a little bit of flavor too, so yes, your tip is spot on. Thanks! And hey, pick up those weights, girlfriend:)
Thank you 🙁 It’s great beneficial information.
write my paper for me
Great points. We often do these mistakes.