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Fitness Friday | Activewear Essentials

I’m a creature of habit and when I find something that I love, I tend to carry on happily until something jolts me out of my routine. This approach applies to my style, and even more so to my activewear choices. When I like a piece, I buy multiples. Sometimes lots of multiples.

So to celebrate Fitness Friday, I thought I’d share what I’m currently repeating, ad nauseum, at the gym right now.

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Tops:

I am quite devoted to Lucy Activewear tops and was devastated to hear that they were closing their stores. But relieved when I found out that they’re being absorbed into North Face, so I have high hopes that I can still find my favorite tops.

Luckily (Lucily?) I have three of my favorite tank and two of my favorite t-shirt in my at-home inventory right now.

Bottoms:

I’m a Lulu leggings girl. While I’m not a huge fan of some of their pieces, the running tights are amazing. I have three pairs of the Tight Stuff Tights and three pairs of the Fast & Free 7/8 Tights for non-running activities.

I’m not weird. You’re weird.

Under Things:

Victoria’s Secret Sport has GREAT pieces for under your favorite gear. I also love Alo Yoga and Adidas. {Check out more of my sports bra favorites here}

I also really like the Fabletics seamless underwear and I have 2-3 of their crop top length sports bras that are comfy, flattering, and functional.

Accessories:

Here’s a quick and dirty run down on some of my favorite little extras and accessories.

Do YOU have any activewear favorites? A piece, or two, you can’t live without?

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2018 Challenges | Project Comeback with Sarah’s Day Sweat It to Shred It Review

My first workout challenge for my year of challenges, was to undertake a personal Project Comeback with the Sweat It to Shred It e-book from YouTuber Sarah’s Day.

I’m a huge fan of her channel and have loved all the workouts she’s posted there, so this seemed like a natural fit for me. Truth be told, I love bodyweight workouts that mix things up and enjoy tabata, so I was psyched to give her e-book a try.

Read on to see how my very own personal Project Comeback went.

Before:

I was feeling a bit sluggish after thoroughly enjoying the holidays and taking some much-needed rest days to help my body heal after all of the traveling. So January seemed like the opportune time to take on a new challenge in the gym to mix things up and get myself back into a healthy, happy space.

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8-Week Active Lifestyle Challenge:

Week 1: This program is all about building on itself. You start out with a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday workout, plus an optional weekend session. No gym needed. No equipment needed. A great start.

Week 2: You may start out underestimating this program. The workouts seem pretty simple and they don’t take ages, but MAN, it’s an effective workout. 20-25 minutes of HIIT is no joke!

Week 3: This week you’re still doing 3 days a week plus an active day on the weekend. But the workouts start to amp up and you’re doing more complex moves and you feel the intensity.

I’m generally used to working out 6 days a week, so I’ve been supplementing the Sweat it to Shred it workouts with long walks, cardio sessions, and the occasional Barry’s Bootcamp class.

Week 4: This week we add in a Tuesday workout, so 4 full days of training, plus stretching and rolling time over the weekend. The “forced” recovery time was much appreciated by this time. And spending some time focused just on that helped me really loosen up.

Week 5: Halfway through Week 5 I got called into jury duty and ended up on a two-week trial. This is where the versatility of this program became very evident. I was able to keep up with the workouts by doing them at home after court.

No equipment, no problem!

Week 6: This week I continued to do the workouts either at home in my apartment after a day at court, or during my lunch break. I got a few day passes at a the Life Fit Gym near Civic Center and would pop over during lunch, knock out the workout, and then head back to court.

This week had workouts scheduled daily Monday through Friday, so when I missed one day due to working through lunch, I was able to make it up on Sunday. 🙂

Week 7: Similar schedule to week six, but with a challenge day on Tuesday – i.e. choose your own workout. I’m still finding the workouts challenging, I’m sweaty and sore, but some of the moves appear multiple times a week. Not necessarily a bad thing, if something works that’s great, but each workout isn’t 100% new at this point.

Week 8: By the final week you’re really seeing how the program builds on itself. The workouts are still challenging, but you feel strong and capable while you’re sweating your way through them. I’m still surprised, after 8 weeks, how much a 20 minute bodyweight workout and make me sweat. And how sore I get!

After: I’m feeling really strong after getting through this program. I definitely missed some workouts here and there, or doubled up after missing a day, but it doesn’t feel like I lost anything. I feel lean and definitely have some new definition in my abs and arms.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this program. I like the style of workouts and how she mixed up different formats so you didn’t do the same thing every day and get bored. I stayed engaged and challenged the whole time. And, very exciting news, apparently Miss Sarah is planning a new version of her program!! So stay tuned for Sweaty Shredder – Reloaded.

Yes, it sounds like an action movie sequel, and I’m loving that!

Have YOU tried a comeback challenge?

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Kaiser Half Marathon | Second Edition

I caught the racing bug two years ago, but unfortunately between a chronic back injury and foot issues, I’ve never been able to maintain a strict training schedule. But I don’t let either of those issues get in the way of my love of running, or the fun I have signing up for and tackling half marathon races.

For my first race of 2018 I decided on the Kaiser Half Marathon, which I ran last February as well. I enjoyed my first attempt at this course so it seemed like a good choice.

As it turned out, I found that I had to psych myself up for the race in a way that I have never had to before. Why? I got a PR last year on this course – Breaking my goal to get under 1:50 – And going into the race this year, I knew that I couldn’t push myself quite as hard. While I understood intellectually and rationally that my body wasn’t up for the same level of punishment, I had trouble taking my ego out of the equation.

Perhaps it’s my nature, perhaps it’s a byproduct of starting competitive athletics at a young age – But I am in it to win it. And my favorite opponent? Myself! I live for breaking my own records and shattering milestones that I’ve put in place for myself.

So I headed into this race with my mind in a war with itself. On one hand, I wanted a new PR! On the other hand, I really wanted to be able to walk after the race.

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{Lululemon Tight Stuff Running Tights // Lucy Racerback Tank Top // Brooks Ghost 10 Running Shoes // Long-sleeved Asics t-shirt}

  • Course: This course was just as beautiful as I remembered. I love the Golden Gate bridge views from the San Francisco Half and the Golden Gate Half, but this jaunt through the park and along the Great Highway/Highway 1 is simply stunning.
  • Organization: I had my bib delivered so I didn’t get a chance to see the race expo. Race day was quite organized though, with plenty of volunteers, a giant field full of porta potty facilities, and lots of water stations along the course. This race also starts on the late side – 8:10am – So it’s fully light and everything is easy to find.
  • Race Day Vibes: It might be the location or the late start, but there is always a MASSIVE crowd for this race. Families stand outside their apartments on the panhandle cheering with signs and bowls of orange slices. People are walking their dogs in the park and cheering from the paths near the race. And there are crowds lined up along the Great Highway jumping up and down and keeping everyone motivated and moving forward.
  • Personal Performance: Here’s where I have to separate out, as best I can, an objective overview of my performance versus my secret hopes for the race. My number one goal, as always, was to finish. Done. Next, I really wanted to try to listen to my body throughout the race and adjust as needed to ensure that I didn’t injure myself. Done. Finally, I really wanted to run the race in under 2 hours after hitting 02:02 at the SF Half over the Summer. Done. So, in terms of those goals, I succeeded. Also, I really enjoyed the race. So I’m going to chalk this up as a win!

Are YOU a runner? Would you sign up for a half marathon?

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Top Tips to Start Running

Running is an amazing workout and it’s an easy, no-equipment-needed type of activity, which is great for beginners. Anyone can run and all you really need are tennis shoes.

That being said, I hear people all the time complaining about not knowing where to start or what the first step is to becoming a “runner.”

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I love to run and initially started about 10 years ago, though I only fell in “can’t live without it” love about 3 years ago and just caught the racing bug over the last year.

  1. Outfit yourself – While shoes are really the only thing you need, you may also want a hat or visor and headphones. Head into a running shoe store and have yourself fitted for your beginner pair of sneakers.
  2. Find out how YOU like to run – This is actually a two-part equation. You need to decide if you like to run indoors or outdoors AND you need to figure out whether you’re a solo runner or a group runner. I’m one of those people who took up running just to get outside, so you’ll never find me on a treadmill. But you’ll have to do your own research and see what works best for you.
  3. Walk it Out – Start by walking and going for short jogs, and work your way up. You don’t become a “runner” overnight. Walk, jog, run-walk, run. You just gradually build up your distance at your own comfort level. That’s what’s great about running, you can do it at 100% your own pace.
  4. Intervals – One minute of running, two minutes of walking. One minute of running, one minute of walking. One minute of running, one minute of jogging. Then build up.
  5. Download – A fitness app, like Nike, or a Couch to 5k app, are a great way to track you runs and stay motivated. You can even create a running program for yourself and work each week to keep up on your schedule.

Are YOU a runner – How did you start? Any tips for a beginner? If you’re not – What’s holding YOU back?

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2018 | A Year of Challenge

Happy 2018! I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years celebration this year and is ready to tackle 2018. I LOVE new years. I love a fresh start, a clean slate. It’s so… Freeing! And I also love thinking about what I want to achieve for the year and how I can challenge myself. Rather than write out resolutions or make huge plans that I’ll never keep, I’m going to challenge myself instead.

I really enjoy trying new things and mixing up my routines – From the kitchen to the gym to the medicine cabinet. So this year, I’m going to set up some challenges for myself and share the results.

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What kind of challenges? I’m so glad you asked!

From diets and ways to eating to workouts to beauty routines – I’m going to try out some of the popular or famous or new options out there and write about my experiences.

The first ones to look out for are going to be…

Drum roll please…

  • Intermittent Fasting – This is a way of eating that includes fasting for a set amount of time each day and consuming your food during a scheduled window
  • Water Challenge – Drinking one gallon of water a day to see how my energy, skin, health, and body feel
  • Sarah’s Day Sweat It To Shred It – An 8 week workout guide from Australian YouTuber Sarah’s Day
  • Whole 30 – A one month extremely clean eating paleo diet, I’ll be doing a variation for vegetarians to ensure that I get enough of all my micro and macronutrients
  • Holistic Beauty – I’ll be ditching my standard beauty, hair, and skin care routine for holistic, DIY, and eco-friendly products ONLY
  • No Waste – This is one that I’m nervous but excited for, creating ZERO WASTE for a week
  • Cell phone detox – Yes, I am going to give up my phone. GASP.

What challenge would YOU tackle? Anything I should add to my list?

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