work out

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?

For the 4th

I was filled with a little bit of sadness this 4th of July. I realized that this time last year I went hiking– 9 miles on the 4th of July. A 9 mile hike. It was a glorious hike with perfect weather and I remember feeling so happy I did it. I didn’t know at the time that it might have been one of the last hikes I was going to go on for awhile. And a month later, I started to think about my knees and whether or not I had some issues going on. Funny how that premonition came to fruition only two months later.

This year instead of a 9 mile hike or a 40 mile bike ride like 2 years ago, Michael and I went for a fairly easy, very flat, short bike ride since that’s all that I am allowed to do at this point. It had been almost 2 weeks since my first experiment on the bike and I’d successfully run (only 1/2 a mile so far) and hadn’t had any knee pain of note as a result of that ride. So that was good news! Time to go out again.

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Or so that was the plan. Michael had a flat tire, so he changed it. Then it wouldn’t hold air and he changed it a few more times. He gave up, rightly frustrated, and I said I’d just go to the gym. No big deal. I got to the gym and did a short weights workout–upper body only–and he messaged me saying he got the bike to work. I came home early to go riding and when we got to the parking lot at Johnson Creek, he had another flat. He ended up using another bike instead and we got to ride but it was sure a pain in the ass to get going!

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Once we got going it was good. We headed East on the Springwater and despite being a nice, sunny day and a holiday, the trails weren’t too busy. Maybe it was because we got a late start. At almost 6 miles my right knee started to feel a little irritated. It didn’t hurt but it didn’t feel great. I wasn’t sure what it was so we decided to turn around. The way back is slightly downhill and much easier so there were no issues.

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Woot! Almost 12 miles this time! Yay! I felt great the rest of the day and the knee issues didn’t come back. Here is the calorie burn for the weight session and the bike session:

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Not bad!

We had some friends coming over to BBQ and our street was having a block party so the rest of the afternoon was spent cooking. I made a Southwest Quinoa Salad that was fantastic!! I went off this recipe from My San Francisco Kitchen and kind of made it my own. I used red kidney beans instead of black, used a chili lime mixture of nuts that I got a Trader Joe’s instead of pistachios, and added red, yellow and orange peppers to it. LOVED IT.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings

From: http://www.mysanfranciscokitchen.com/southwest-quinoa-salad/

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chili lime pistachios
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup corn
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ? cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp finely chopped jalepeño
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot.
  2. Add quinoa and cover.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. In the mean time, add olive oil, lime juice, jalapeño, salt and pepper to a salad dressing cruet or small bowl and shake or whisk together well.
  5. Place the dressing in the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Once done, remove the lid and allow quinoa to cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add pistachios, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, red onion and cilantro.
  8. Drizzle with chili lime vinaigrette and toss everything together.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=39429

I have no idea how she only got 2 servings out of this recipe because that’s about 3 or 4 in my house! But I tripled the recipe to make a ton for the party.

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Everyone at the party loved the salad, even the ones not keen on quinoa! I loved it too and it was great as a leftover. I will most definitely make this recipe again–especially for potlucks. Michael grilled up bratwursts and hot dogs cooked in beer, onions and sauerkraut. They were great!

There was tons of food. Our friends brought a green salad made from their veggie garden, Michael made guacamole and I also made a bunch of cheesy kale chips (at the request of several neighbors days before the holiday. Because it was a block party, the neighbors offered us some of their goodies. There was chicken and veggie kabobs, lots of munchies, dips, mixed nuts, etc. There was just too much food and I oddly wasn’t as hungry as I thought I’d be after my two workouts.

I did, however, have a small piece of the oreo ice cream cake that our neighbors had. I mean come on, how could you resist this dessert? It’s been YEARS since I’ve had ice cream cake. Mmmm good.

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Our neighbor across the way put on a big fireworks show once night fell but Michael helped Hans with the kiddie fireworks that our friends brought along with them. They also had their 6 month old baby with them and he slept through the whole show! What a good baby!

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I was so glad our friends joined us this year. It was fun to entertain and just kick back and relax. I ate a little too much, drank a little too much and paid for it a tiny bit the next day. But it wasn’t too bad and Michael and I zipped up to Seattle for the weekend! More on that later; I’m still sifting through pictures. 🙂

How was your holiday?