Tips for the Exercise Newbies

Tips for the Exercise Newbies

Howdy, friends!

I’ve come up with a little list of tips for you to use while you start your exercise voyage. I know I definitely struggled with these things when I first began, so if you’re feeling the same way, just know you’re not alone and I’m excited to help you! If you’re not new to exercise but just want to see what this post is all about, try to keep these things in mind as you continue to workout or prepare to start a new routine! Let’s go.

1. Make small, digestible goals and then build on them.

It’s important to not overwhelm yourself in the beginning to avoid things like overexhaustion, burnout, and injury. Try to fast walk, then jog, then run. Try squats without weights, then add weight, then move into weighted squat-kicks. Try to workout twice a week, then three times, then four. Small steps create milestones.

2. Be realistic about your schedule and how often you can exercise.

If you know you can workout on Monday and Thursday nights, but your schedule is hectic for the rest of the week, focus on working out on just those two days. It’s more important to make exercise a habit and commit to working out a couple days a week than to overload yourself and potentially give up in the end. When you don’t have a lot of time, you can workout in small increments throughout the day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Make it a goal to to squeeze in more time as you continue to exercise. It’s okay to move slow, as long as you’re moving!

3. Get creative with how you’re going to do your cardio and strength training.

Maybe you want to dance around your house non-stop for an hour instead of jogging. Maybe you want to take a HIIT class instead of doing your usual at-home resistance routine. Maybe your friend is moving and needs your help, so you’ll count that work towards your workout! Try lots of things because there isn’t just one way to exercise, and don’t believe anyone who tells you there is.

4. Start caring about your water intake.

Your body needs water to function, and it especially needs water to function while working out. Download apps like Plant Nanny, Waterlogged. and Gulp to track your water intake.

5. Find a workout buddy!

They can be your best friend, co-worker, mom, coach, personal trainer, or whoever else you want to workout with. Exercising with someone else can help you push yourself further, skip the gym less, try new workouts, and spice up your regular workout routine. Just be sure that the person you choose has similar goals in mind and will hold you accountable. There’s nothing worse than having a friend talk you out of working out instead of into!

6. Avoid crash diets

Avoid them like the plague. Please, for the love of all that is good and true, do not crash diet. I know it’s tempting, but I have seen so many people do it and it never works. You’ll starve your body of nutrients to lose a few lbs but only until you realize the diet isn’t attainable and the weight comes right back. Crash dieting can actually destroy your metabolism, which will screw you over in the long run. My advice: talk to a dietitian. Not a nutritionist (that’s a topic for later) but a registered dietitian. They can help create a diet plan for you, but if a dietitian isn’t exactly in the budget, you can go to websites like choosemyplate.gov to help you make healthier choices.

I hope this helps you guys! I’ve learned all of these things from personal experience, and you’ll figure out what works best for you as you go. Remember that these tips aren’t set in stone either, and if you have any tips from your own experiences, please comment below! I’d love to hear what helps you. 

Talk to you next week!

High fives and chest bumps,

Victoria

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Make Your Own Home Gym (Under $100!)

Make Your Own Home Gym (Under $100!)

Today I have a post for all of you lazy guys and gals out there that are interested in creating your own home gym and need a good place to start. As your Lazy Godmother, I’ve put together a list of five basic items that you can buy from Amazon to make it all yourself, and the best part is you don’t even need to leave the house (well, you might need to walk to the mailbox but that’s half the battle). So clear out a little corner in your living room because we are going shopping!

Yoga Mat

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You’ll have a comfy space to do crunches in front of your TV in no time. Just be sure to pick the color you want! Get yours here for $11.99-$16.99.

Resistance Bands 

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Don’t resist getting these for yourself. See what I did there? They await you right here for $13.99.

Exercise Ball

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It’s an exercise ball and a giant bouncy ball. What more do you need? Oooo, they come in pretty colors, too! Get it here for $19.95.

Dumbbells 

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You’ll be swole and getting gains in no time with these puppies, bruh. #yeet? Get a pair of 8 pounders here for $24.99.

Foam Roller 

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After using all of this equipment, your muscles will need a nice massage. Don’t starve them of their needs and get one already! $13.12.

And voila! There’s your starter home gym! Only five pieces for under $100 and you’ll still have some money leftover to buy that avocado slicer you’ve always wanted. Wasn’t that short and sweet?

All of these items are easy to use, effective, and will help you get your workout in comfortably and at a low cost. If any of you buy these items, be sure to leave a comment below and tell me about how you like them or leave questions so I can help you out. Now GET 👏TO 👏WORK 👏!

 

Peace sign and duck face,

Victoria

HIIT Me With Your Best Shot

HIIT Me With Your Best Shot

Good afternoon, peeps!

I hope you’re all having a lovely start to the weekend. Today I’m writing to you from the germ-infested comfort of my own bed because I’ve been sick all day so please bear with me on this one. My sickly body can only come up with so much! Anyways, I’ve been on a huge HIIT kick lately and I want to share my love for it with the world so I’m coming to you guys! If you don’t know what HIIT is, give me a beat and I’ll take a second to break it down for you.

HIIT means ‘high intensity interval training’ and it’s any activity where you have intervals of short duration, high intensity work mixed with low intensity recovery periods. Simply put, you workout as hard as you can, take a moment of brief rest, and then workout really hard again. You can do HIIT with practically any exercise, and it’s great for increasing your heart rate, burning lots of calories, and improving your steady-state endurance. It’s also great for training your body to produce and use energy from your anaerobic energy system. What’s your anaerobic energy system? I’m glad you asked!

Your anaerobic energy system (say it with me) is the system in your body that produces energy without sufficient oxygen. This is super important to consider when you’re doing HIIT exercises because your muscles are going so HAM that the oxygen you breath in isn’t enough for them to sustain themselves, which is why HIIT intervals are so short. If we made them long, then we’d probably pass out or feel really light headed which can lead to injury or just a bad case of the weeble wobbles. Listen to your body when you’re doing HIIT. If you feel light headed or dizzy at any point during your workout, stop and take a seat. Find a cool area, drink plenty of water, and be sure to have a little carb and protein-dense snack on hand to help you recover. (Cliff bars are my fave!)

TL;DR it’s SCIENCE! And it’s awesome and you probably should’ve read what I wrote.

A good starting point for HIIT is a 1:2 ratio, meaning that you exercise at a high-intensity for ‘x’ amount of time and then rest for double that time in-between. Aim to complete HIIT twice a week, three times MAX when you’re starting to avoid injury and allow your muscles the proper recovery time they need. They deserve love, too!

Here are a few of my favorite HIIT exercises that you can try at home or in the gym. I can almost promise that you’ll love them, but if you don’t, you didn’t hear any of this from me.

LET’S HIIT THIS!

Burpees: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Move into a squat, placing your hands between your feet and shifting your weight into your palms. Push your feet back into a plank position. Hold for 1 second. Jump your feet forward into original squat position. Explosively jump upward with arms extended above your head. Repeat.

30 seconds x 3 sets

Star Jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms to your side. Move into a squatting position, bringing your palms together at chest level. Explosively jump upward, extending your arms and legs laterally (like a star!) Land into original squat position. Repeat.

40 seconds x 3 sets

Fast Jacks: Start in a standing position with feet together and arms by your side. Jump feet out away from one another while raising your arms, bent. Your feet should land slightly farther than shoulder width apart. Jump your legs back into original standing position. Rapidly repeat.

1 minute x 3 sets

Push Ups: Start in plank position with arms extended and positioned slightly more than shoulder width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the ground, keeping your back straight and head in a forward position. Pause for half a second. Push yourself back up into plank position. Repeat.

30 seconds x 3 sets

Sprints: Using a treadmill or the ground, run as fast as you can, walk, repeat

30 seconds of running, 60 seconds of walking, totaling 15 minutes.

Cycling: Using a stationary bike or bicycle, pedal as fast as you can, rest, repeat

30 seconds of pedaling, 60 seconds of cruising, totaling 15 minutes.

These are just a few examples of my favorite HIIT exercises, but I think they are a great starting point if you’re considering giving HIIT a try for the first time. If you can’t complete the exercises in the allotted time, that’s OKAY. We are all learning here, but do your best and try to have some fun with it! It’s not the laziest workout you’ll see on my page, but it’s super effective, quick, and perfect to do in the comfort of your own home while watching a new episode of Impractical Jokers. Remember to work hard, drink plenty of water during each set, and don’t be afraid of failing. You got this, friends! 💪

Hugs and high fives,

Victoria

 

 

 

 

My Ride or Die Workout Products

My Ride or Die Workout Products

Welcome back to my blog! It’s great to see all of your shining faces.

Today, instead of posting the promised workout plan that I haven’t lived up to yet (awk), I want to talk about my favorite workout products that I love and hold near and dear to my heart. They’re the essentials to helping you get started with your fitness journey (I sound like the Bachelorette) or add onto what you use to workout already. The best part is that you can take them with you to your workout sessions or use them in the comfort of your own home. Take a look!

Resistance Bands

These little suckers don’t get enough love in the gym. Resistance bands are a great addition to your strength training routine, and they can also be used for stretching and rehabilitation. Just like dumbbells, resistance bands come in different shapes, sizes, and resistance levels. The most common resistance bands that you’ll find in the gym have a handlebar attached to them or look like giant rubber bands. Both of them are perfect to use during your warm up and/or cool down, but if you’re new to working out you can use them for your whole routine as well. A few examples of workouts that you can do with resistance bands are bicep curls, tricep extensions, lying glute bridges, and squats. Just take a peek around YouTube or the internet on how to use them properly, or ask me! That’s what I’m here for. Utilize me, people.

Also, a key to remember is the tighter the resistance band, the harder the workout and vice versa. They can be stored virtually anywhere and kept clean quite easily. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s seen them lying around and thought, “What on earth are these and how do I use them?” and hopefully now you have a better idea!

Yoga Mat

You had to have known this one would be on my list. Yoga mats are an absolute necessity because they give you a clean and neat space to workout anywhere and everywhere you want to. Seriously, if you have a yoga mat you could climb up a mountain and have a sweet spot to do some crunches. You could workout in the parking lot of a Walmart. You could workout during your wait time at the doctor’s office. Literally anywhere. Yoga mats take up virtually no space, and most of them come with some sort of holder for easy transport. Most gyms provide yoga mats for you, but if you’re a lazy girl like me, you need one for watching the Bachelorette and working out at the same time. I also like knowing that I’m the only one using my yoga mat and a ton of other sweaty bodies that I don’t recognize haven’t touched it before. Get outta here, unidentified bodily fluids!

Dumbbells

Okay, so I know some of you may be thinking, “Hold up, Victoria! I thought you just said resistance bands are a good alternative to dumbbells. If that’s true, why would I need to use these as well?” Hold your horses, Charlie. Resistance bands are great for strength-training and can give just as good of a workout as dumbbells, but there’s some things dumbbells can do that resistance bands just can’t – and that’s okay! Variety is the spice of life. I personally prefer to use dumbbells during the meat of my workout, aka when I’m looking to push my limits and put up weight that resistance bands can’t match. Dumbbells are also simple to just pick up and start working out. You could be sitting on the couch watching TV (do you see a pattern here?), pick up a dumbbell, and just start doing tricep extensions on your couch. They take up no space and can be used in 1,000 different ways! Great workout without a lot of equipment = my personal utopia.

Foam Roller

This is another thing that I’ve always looked at in the gym but never really knew what it was for or how to use it. But now I know and want to share it with you! In a nutshell, foam rollers are used for self-myofascial release which is a fancy term for giving your muscles a deep massage to release tightness or tension. They’re also great for improving circulation and stretch reflex. I typically use a foam roller after my workout since my muscles are warm and ready to be massaged, but it’s always okay to use it during your warm up to loosen up any tightness as well. My best advice is to take a look at YouTube videos for instruction on how to use one properly before you get started because form is everything when using a foam roller!

Giant Starbucks Cup

We’ve all been to Starbucks, right? Have you ever seen those giant 24 oz plastic cups that they sell by the merchandise? The ones that resemble regular Starbucks cups but bigger and have crazy patterns? Yeah, those! I’ve always thought those were a little overpriced (as with everything at Starbucks) but I decided to buy one after seeing my coworker take hers everywhere. She says it’s been her lifesaver because she only needs to drink about three of them a day to hit her water goal, and it’s a little cuter than your typical water bottle. The straw makes it virtually spill-proof, and the clear ones are usually $12 so you won’t have to chop your arm off to buy one of the fancy styles. It has been a total LIFESAVER because you need to stay hydrated throughout the day if you’re working out or not. You. Need. To. No more thinking of getting in your water as a hassle with this cup! Take this sucker everywhere and sip away.

Fitbit

I saved the best for last because I’m absolutely in love with my Fitbit. Honestly, if marrying my Fitbit is wrong then I don’t want to be right. This little watch works in so many different ways and is the best thing that’s helped me stay on track towards my goals. Even us personal trainers need a little help! It does all of the logging for you, plus more. It tracks your heart rate, how many steps you’ve taken, how much water you’ve consumed, how many calories you’ve burned, etc etc and you can even download the Fitbit app to set goals for yourself, track your sleep, challenge your friends, and evaluate your progress overtime. Did I mention you can see text messages, control your music, and take phone calls all through the touch of a screen as well? Bonus points! It’s honestly the best investment that I’ve made for myself, and there’s preset workouts that you can use if you need some help. If you’re reading this Fitbit, holler at a girl for a job/sponsorship?

And that’s all I have for you guys! These are the items that I use on a weekly basis, and everything can fit inside of a tote bag. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out because I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you all for the support, and keep tuning in!

High five and huggies,

Victoria

My Fasting Experience

My Fasting Experience

Hi, friends!

I’m not so thrilled to be writing this post today because I have something to admit…

I DIDN’T COMPLETE MY 32 HOUR FAST.

I know I know! I’m shamed as well. I lasted 24 hours, though! I couldn’t make it through the whole time because at the end of the day I really, really, felt like complete sh*t but I’m still proud of myself for even attempting it. My body went from feeling awesome, to feeling deliriously awesome, to feeling like I was hungover but at the same time not?

Idk.

BUT! I did learn very valuable lessons like…

Don’t fast when you have a full day of work ahead because you WILL TURN INTO HUMAN MUSH. You know that scene in a Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Gilderoy Lockhart turns Harry’s arms into basically rubber? I’ve never related to a scene so much in my life. I was a weakling and my usual strength just wasn’t there! My body felt useless, and filling the ice machine at work felt like I was moving a boulder up a mountain. Yeah, it sounds dramatic but that’s really what it felt like in the moment. All strength went through the window.

Most juices have way too much sugar, and you’ll probably burn that off first which will send you on a weird sugar high journey. Burning those sugars will cause you to go into hyper-person mode and then crash –eeeeeek! Eye twitches and blank stares will happen as a result, and you’ll probably wonder who gave you the authority to drive a moving vehicle on your way home to work. Seriously, I felt reeeeaallllyyy weird throughout the day and had to listen to orders over and over at work because they just didn’t click. That was all just the sugar crash talking to me, and she played some mean games.

Don’t fast on a whim. Yeah, I know most of you are probably like “No sh*t, Victoria! I’d never do that” and for those of you who aren’t like that- thank you. Because I didn’t know what I was doing! And that’s not my fault, right? Eh, wrong, and you should probably plan your fast out unlike what I did. If you plan it you might actually have success. Yay for me setting an example of what not to do!

There’s a juice bar I really love next to work called I Love Juice Bar.co and I’ll probably be revisiting at least once a week to get a yummy lil snack. I hated most of the store-bought juices I had, but none from a real juice place. This part isn’t an ad. I just learned that I love me some good juice squeezed before my eyes and I highly support all of you trying one out wherever your local juice joint is!

And that’s all I have for you! I really didn’t feel any benefits of my fast at all, besides Tyler cracking at the same time as me and feeling sweet sweet victory of his mutual failure. That felt REALLY good!

Hopefully this wasn’t a total waste of time for you because I do think you should take my advice before starting your fast. It wasn’t the WORST experience ever, but it wasn’t like anything I read online. It was much harder, and affected my body in more severe ways than the average person. I had nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, etc., etc. and as I’m typing this I realize I probably did have some malnourishment. (I called that in my last post! Is that considered a win?)

But if you want to try it – go for it! Just be sure to check out my previous post before you do anything. It might help you out!

Tune in next week when I post my first Lazygirl at-home workout routine. If there’s anything special you want to read about, please let me know! I haven’t made it yet so I’m totally up for some suggestions.

Anywho! Happy Wednesday, and I’ll chat with y’all later.

Chest bumps and high fives,

Victoria

Is Fasting Healthy? A Personal Study

Is Fasting Healthy? A Personal Study

Hi, friends!

Today I want to talk about a tricky subject in the health and fitness world: fasting.

Traditionally, people partake in fasting as a religious observance, but today it’s more commonly used as a rapid weight-loss tool and there’s tons of different types of fasting out there. There’s the 5:2 Fast Diet, water fasts, cleansing fasts, protein fasts, juice fasts, extended fasts, short fasts, etc., etc. and if those words mean nothing to you then I’m right there with you because to be honest it’s all very confusing to me.

However, I’m no dietitian, and according to ~internet~ medical professionals there are a number health benefits to fasting. As a personal trainer, I would never partake in fasting for weight loss or recommend it to my clients, but I do want to get some hands-on experience to really understand what it’s like to go through a fast and see if I actually feel any benefits at the end of it all.

So I decided to take the plunge, put myself through a 32-hour juice fast, and conduct some research throughout the process. And I’m here to share it all with you!

Let’s start with the research. Keep in mind that all of this research is from the web and not any of my own (I’ll be sure to add my references at the end, plz don’t sue me). I’m going to keep my reports basic because there’s so much information on fasting out there and I don’t want to get lost in a black hole of 1,230,483 results.

Still with me? Cool!

Here are my findings on the benefits of fasting, including some risks that you should definitely watch out for.

The Benefits 

  1. Fasting can detoxify your body: The key word here is can because the scientific evidence backing that claim is debatable. However, Dr. Furham, a WebMD contributor that I discovered a few minutes ago, makes a pretty compelling argument. He believes fasting can detoxify your body because after a day or two of not eating, your body goes into ketosis. Which is a fancy word for your body using fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates. A lot of the toxins in your body are stored in fat, so while your body is burning fat it’s also gets rid of toxins. Keep in mind that our bodies naturally fast while we sleep, so when you’re catching some Zzzzz’s you’re also detoxing. Cowabunga, dude!
  2. Fasting can treat diseases: This one was a shocker to me. For some reason I thought fasting would be worse for you if you have a disease, but apparently I am wrong (go figure!) According to our all-star Dr. Furham, fasting, in combination with a proper diet before and after the fast, can lower blood pressure, eliminate skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and even help reduce arthritis. There’s also studies that suggest fasting can provide psychological benefits for depression and anxiety. I’ll cheers my juice to that!
  3. Fasting can help normalize your insulin levels: When we eat too many carbs and sugars, our body can become insulin-resistant which is common in people with type 2 diabetes. If you cut out the carbs and sugars via fasting, your blood-glucose levels can “normalize” and your body can become more insulin sensitive. Higher insulin sensitivity helps your body store carbs in more muscle and less fat. Not too sure if I buy this one, but I found a couple of resources that back this claim. I’ll take the bait for now!
  4. Fasting can help control your appetite: This one I definitely believe. According to a study by Dr. Jason Fung, fasting can decrease your ghrelin levels, aka the hormone that makes you hungry. He researched a separate study where 33 subjects had their ghrelin levels measured, fasted for 3 days, and then re-measured to see if anything changed. And guess what! Their ghrelin levels gradually decreased and most of the subjects found that they just weren’t hungry anymore. They had better control over their appetite and became fuller sooner. Tyler, my boo thang, also fasted for 3 days and came back saying the same thing. Now he has much better control over his appetite and rarely feels like he’s “starving.” Hmmmm, now I’m getting excited!

 

The Risks 

  1. Unhealthy weight-loss tool: This one seemed pretty obvious to me, but a lot of people fall victim to fad diets that convince you that the lbs you’re shedding off are from fat, but it’s really all just excess fluid. It falls off easily, but will come back quickly once you start eating regularly again. Womp womp.
  2. Slower metabolism: If there’s one thing you don’t want to f*ck up while you’re trying to lose weight, it’s your metabolism. You can think of your metabolism like a mitochondria – it’s the powerhouse of your body. Your metabolism is a chemical process that takes all of the fuel from what you eat and drink and turns it into energy. It powers everything we do! From thinking to moving to eating. When your metabolism slows down, you don’t burn energy as quickly and the unused calories are stored as fat. This often happens with crash diets because they create muscle and water loss rather than fat loss. So you’re in worse shape after your fast than when you started. Double womp womp.
  3. Possible undernourishment: Since you’re not eating food while fasting, you’re robbing your body of the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to be healthy. I chose to do a juice cleanse to avoid this problem, but I’m not certain that I won’t face a little bit of undernourishment. There’s only so much fruit and veggie juice can give you people! Undernourishment can have some nasty side-effects as well, such as dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, low blood sugar and low energy levels. No thank you!

 

So, there you have it! Some benefits and disadvantages to fasting. Would I say that fasting is healthy? I’m not really sure. The best advice I could give you is to talk to your doctor about fasting before you do it. They know a lot more than I do, and can help you pick the right fast for your situation as well as guide you through the process. I’m just a lazy girl trying to get her education on!

I’ll be posting about my personal experience with fasting in another post soon, so be sure to check that out!

Fist bumps and hugs,

Victoria