Tag Archives | gym

Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

PumpkinSeeds

Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:

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The Man Behind The Camera

Other than my dear friend Liz, the remainder of the MCLV Personal Style photographs are taken by the current boyfriend Sean. He has written a guest post for us in the past and trained me in the ways of CrossFit, but has never been featured on the blog for his fashion prowess before.

That is, until today.

True, he spends the majority of his waking hours in workout clothes, but when he does deign to put on street clothes, he has a great personal style.

When we initially met in our senior year of high school he was extremely preppy – Polo shirts, button downs, and wool or cashmere collared coats. But over the years his style relaxed, becoming more and more low-key, and when we got back together two years ago he wore very little other than t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops.

But miracle of miracles, over the last two years his sense of style has begun evolving again. And more than that, he has actually started to enjoy clothes and fashion more, like he did when he was younger. Now he shops online, asks for advice on putting together pieces in his wardrobe & picking things out, and genuinely has an interest in shopping and expanding his wardrobe.

These days he prefers to keep his daily look low-key and minimal, and primarily wears black, white, and navy. Jeans are usually his preference and he traditionally pairs them with a Lacoste Pima V-Neck, a button down, or a Polo shirt. As for brands, we’ve found that the shirts that fit him best are Express for Men and Lacoste, they both have slim fit versions that work well for his frame.

When it comes to shoes he’s tried virtually everything, from boots to slip-ons to boat shoes to loafers. He loves slip ons and its all I can do to make sure he doesn’t wear his rubber soled slippers out of the house. The most worn pair of shoes he has are his tan, lace-up Banana Republic loafers, but he did just get a new pair of slip-on boat shoes that are very versatile.

They can even be worn with pink!

And a style post wouldn’t be complete without mentioned his creativity, he picked a kick-ass Halloween costume last year that suited him quite well despite being an incredibly last-minute choice – The Travelocity Gnome! 🙂

In the mood for more? Check out my Let’s Hear It For The Boys post filled with tips, ideas, and inspiration for putting together a complete and stylish wardrobe.

What do you like most on the men in your life? Are there certain styles that appeal to you more than others? When it comes to mens accessories, do you think less is more?

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A Healthy Mentality

With bathing suit season nearly upon us I think that now’s a good time to turn our thoughts to healthy living, diet, and fitness. Rather than crash diet or give ourselves 10, 15, or 20 days to reach specific goals in the upcoming months, why not change our habits and lifestyles so that we can stay healthy, happy, and in-shape all year around?

So with that goal in mind here are some health and fitness-related to links to get you motivated and in the mood for positive, healthy life changes. It’s a well-rounded list of reading materials, from interesting new workouts to healthy daily changes you can make to recipes you should try out. This is a great first step in a healthier direction!

Healthy Mentality Workout Motivation Gym Fitness Fashion Food Lifestyle Blogger San Francisco Workout Gear

Workouts:

Whether you’re a fan of free weights, classes at the gym, running, or yoga, we all know the importance of staying active in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting your heart rate up a handful of times a week is vital and adding walking to your daily regime will make all the difference in the world. I promise. You can even try low-intensity fasted cardio and get some walking in first thing before breakfast. Or ride to and from work each morning on your bike! Below are some ideas for different types of workouts to try, ways to mix up your trips to the gym, DVDs you may be interested in trying, and running tips.

Healthy Mentality Workout Motivation Gym Fitness Fashion Food Lifestyle Blogger San Francisco Workout Gear

Food:

How we fuel our bodies is the single most important thing that we do for our health on a daily basis. We make countless decisions every single day about food and beverages, and its easy to make the wrong choices if you’re not paying attention, haven’t educated yourself, or even if you procrastinate and wait until you’re starving before reaching for something. Fad diets will come and go, but eating a healthy, balanced diet is always going to be the best approach. Always.

Healthy Mentality Workout Motivation Gym Fitness Fashion Food Lifestyle Blogger San Francisco Workout Gear

Motivation:

Finding the internal motivation to lace up your sneakers or grab your gym bag can be a challenge sometimes – when you have a bad day, when your schedule is hectic and you swear you don’t have time, when you’re tired, or it’s that time of the month…

Extras:

Healthy Mentality Workout Motivation Gym Fitness Fashion Food Lifestyle Blogger San Francisco Workout Gear

{Images from Workout Motivation}

And if you’re just starting out in the fitness arena and feeling a bit unsure of where to begin read through my Gym Goddess posts for workouts, inspiration, and things to keep in mind for beginning gym-goers:

What are my personal health and fitness goals for this Spring and Summer? Finally get through my spinal injury, start running, hitting the gym for circuit training, going to Pilates classes, and get up the courage to check out boxing and martial arts classes!

And just to make you guys laugh, here’s Shit Girls Say At The Gym!

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Workout Gear vs Streetwear

Whether you fit your gym sessions in before, during or after work, you’re always faced with a very specific quandary – What do you wear as you traverse between locals?

This is something that I’ve always thought about and is one of the things I notice most during my walk home from work. If you go abroad you’ll notice how rarely you see anyone on the street in tennis shoes, let alone full head-to-toe workout gear. And in car-centric cities where you drive to the gym, this isn’t really an issue.

I prefer to keep my street clothes on the appropriate side of the spectrum so when I see girls walking around in spandex shorts and a sports bra it gives me ulcers. On the other hand, I have to confess that when I used to head straight from work to Pilates, which is near my apartment, walking over in my workout gear was the most convenient option.

So that begs the question – What’s a girl, or guy, to do? With an endless number of adorable workout gear companies, there are tons of chic choices that can go straight from the street to the gym.

{Spandex done right – Gents, take notes! I also love the bag & old school kicks, fun additions to the look}

Whether you like mesh shorts, running tights, or cropped pants there are great options available, from high-end to basic. There are great speciality stores like Lululemon Athletica and Raw Threads as well as more readily available stores like Old Navy, GAP, Adidas, Nike, or other sporting goods stores.

{Karolina Kurkova paired her bright pink highlighted running tights and orange shoes with a snug wool pea coat.}

Especially during fall and winter you need some extras to keep you warm and outerwear is also a great way to cover up during your pre and post workout time and keep your sweaty shirt and sports bra straps out of the public eye. 🙂

{Not sure what the best way to accessorize is for your next gym trip? The Sartorialist’s Gym Dandy knows just what to do… And here I thought no one worked out in Italy!}

{Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio at PilatesCropped yoga pants, basic tank top, leg warmers, a high ponytail & a long-sleeved shirt to throw over everything!}

Now that you’ve got the gear it’s time to get your booty to the gym!

What workout gear or gym goodies can you not live without?

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