Couch to 5k

Fall Into Fitness

I love Fall! I skip the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (gross) and the Pumpkin Beer (even grosser) but I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and cooler weather. I love the fall leaves and crisp air. And I love getting re-focused on my fitness goals.

For me, I tend to gain weight in the summer time and lose weight in the winter time (kind of the opposite for most people). Part of that is summer BBQs and vacations and indulging. And part of that is that in the summer time my fitness switches to the outdoors–hiking, biking, running. So lots of cardio and less weight lifting. Once the weather turns bad, I move my workouts indoors and focus on weight lifting.

Maybe you are the same. Or maybe you are ready to make a change in your life and want to kick start the plan before the mad-rush of January 1st!

So no more excuses! Here are some ideas on how to get started (or restarted) on your path to fitness!

Schedule It

If you are new to fitness or trying to get back on the bandwagon after a break, I think the best way to get into the habit of working out is to schedule it. I’ve done this since the beginning. I schedule my workouts in my Google Calendar like appointments that can’t be missed! It makes it a lot harder to skip the workout!

I know a lot of people say “never miss a Monday” because it sets the mood and motivation for the week. I kind of agree with that. But if it’s not your thing, maybe Mondays are the hardest day of the week for you, make your workout week start on Tuesday. Maybe you aren’t a morning person–schedule your workouts during lunch time, or go after work if you can. Figure out what works for you and what you will stick with, and do it!

Fit It In When You Can

Sometimes you just don’t have time for an hour long sweat session. In the past, I would have tried to make it happen no matter what, but since I had my son and went back to work full time, I am finding it harder to make that happen. Weekends are my long workout times because I do have more time. But during the week I just don’t anymore. I work long hours and when I get home I have about an hour or so to spend with my baby before he goes to bed. So I fit in my week day workouts during my lunch break at work. It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than nothing! And if you are really short on time, try interval/HIIT training or kettle bell training.

I have access to a shower at work, so that makes it easier. I have a bag of toiletries that I keep at work (travel sized) and mini hair dryer. I keep some towels at work, too. All of that makes it easier to workout at lunch. If you don’t have access to a shower, my tip: BABY WIPES! You can clean up and freshen up before going back to the office.

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

I is for Intervals

Too Busy to Exercise

There are actually a lot of weight and body weight exercises you can do without belonging to a gym!

Injuries

I was talking to a friend recently who is dealing with an injury that is lingering. I suggested that she try and find something she can do, if nothing else, for her mental health. I’ve been through too many injuries to count. I remember the worst, when I couldn’t run at all for months, I still had to find some kind of exercise I could do. That was when I started lifting weights. I needed some activity to maintain my fitness level and to help stave off depression from lack of activity. I focused on upper body weights and core and it made a huge difference!

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

W is for Walking

Try Something New

If I lived in a place where the weather was a little more predictable, I would totally sign up for a Turkey Trot type of race. I think it’s a great idea! Signing up for a 5k in the Fall is a great way to give you something to focus on, a goal to work towards.

Couch to 5k

It’s even better if you can get a friend your partner to sign up with you! Doing something like a Halloween costume 5k or Turkey Trot with a buddy makes it more fun. Even better if you can get that person to train with you. Having an accountability partner can do wonders to staying on track.

If running isn’t your thing but you are lacking motivation to do fitness on your own, sign up for a fitness class you’ve been curious about!

Food

Another way to get back on track for Fall is that clean up the diet. This is especially important this time of year before the holiday “eat everything bad” season starts! Here are a few of my favorite recipes for fall:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

West African Cashew Soup

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to get fit in the Fall?

Lately & In Due Time

Lately

So a little while ago I got a jar of black strap molasses because it was supposed to loaded with iron and for whatever reason I was still anemic even though I was taking both a prenatal vitamin that had iron in it AND an iron supplement. I was trying to eat more iron rich foods and the molasses? So not for me. 🙁 I tried it a few times in my oatmeal and just did not like it at all. The flavor was not something I could get past.

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I decided to give it a try in baking. I found this recipe and it sounded really tasty so this weekend I finally tried it! It was rainy and stormy and seemed like good baking weather.

OATMEAL MOLASSES CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

From: http://www.persnicketyplates.com/oatmeal-molasses-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • 12 oz (1 bag) chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli baking chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl, add the butter, sugar, eggs, and molasses (which should all be at room temp). Mix until smooth using the paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
  3. In another large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together (or you can sift it).
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2" in between.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown with the centers almost done. You want them to be chewy, not crispy.
  8. Let cool on the pan for about 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Notes: Betty Crocker recipe passed along from a family friend
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=49566

The cookies were super easy to make and took maybe 15 minutes to prep. I baked each batch for 10 minutes on the dot and that worked well. They came out chewy and not crispy or too raw.

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The cookies were FABULOUS. I am partial the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and these were so delicious. There was a HINT of the molasses flavor but for some reason it didn’t bother me in the cookies–it added to the richness of flavor instead of being off-putting for me. I definitely recommend this recipe. It’s really delicious, easy to make and they came out perfectly!

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This weekend I also had a lunch date with my friend Erika. We went to Pizzicato. I was craving a slice + a salad! I really like their pizza. Since I’d had a small breakfast and went swimming before lunch I was kind of famished when I got there so I ended up getting two slices of pizza–cheese and the puttanesca (artichoke hearts, tomatoes, basil and kalamata olives) — so good!

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The lunch special comes with a salad and we both got the Arugula and Pear salad (it’s one of my favorite salads). It’s arugula and spinach with pear, gorgonzola and candied walnuts. Lunch was perfect and hit the spot on all my cravings!

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We hung out for a few hours talking and catching up. Last time I saw her was at my baby shower but it was so busy and chaotic it was hard to talk about too much so this was nice….just getting out of the house and catching up with a friend.

In Due Time

I signed up for two 5k’s! Yahoo!

Damn, it’s so weird to see old photos of me! This was two summers ago:

5k

Crazy.

So yeah…I signed up for two 5k’s–one in August and one in September. Michael signed up, too. I was so happy I was able to run two 5k’s last yearboth while pregnant. One race was with Michael (his first) and one was with my dad. They were both cool experiences and I’m really excited about doing it again this year.

I am not putting too much pressure on myself in regards to training because obviously, things will be different this year. Once I’m cleared to exercise again by the doctor I’ll start training slowly. Lots of walking with the babe and eventually get back to running. I will probably do the Couch to 5k program again.

That was my weekend. How was yours?