Walk It Off: is exercise is the best medicine?

Hellooo…it’s Wednesday and I’m halfway through another crazy week. I want to talk about stress management…because I’m stressed.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I have to often remind myself that I work an EXTREMELY high stress job, and as a naturally high stress person, sometimes it gets overwhelming. I’m lucky to work in a great school system, but my chosen profession has a relatively high turnover rate due to the high demand from students, families, administrators, etc. PLUS, I do like 3 trillion other things outside of school. OY!

Anyway, yesterday I got home from school after a particularly wild and crazy day and didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I had sort of planned to go to the gym, but my motivation was long gone. So, I put on my new favorite leggings, my new puffy vest from the little boys department (#boyshapedgirlproblems), and my sneaks and hit the pavement for a long walk before the sun set. Did you know that there are numerous studies about the benefits of walking vs. running? Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Improve blood lipid profile.
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
  • Enhance mental well being. (Source)

photo 1

We all know that exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but did you know that walking can help decrease anxiety for hours afterward? Some people even practice “walking meditation“, which combines that practices of mindful meditation with walking to help be aware of your surroundings, body and emotions without judgement. Moderate exercise is an extremely important aspect of my therapy approach to anxiety, but walking is something that I tend to hold sacred for really stressful days. I always feel so much better after popping in my earbuds and wandering around my neighborhood. I come back with a new sense of ease and calmness…yesterday was no exception. I honestly felt so much better about my job, my life, and my current situation when I got back. Plus, I got to experience this gorgeous sunset over my super townie town:

photo 2

And if walking it off doesn’t work…you could always try to Shake It off:

Have a fab day!

xoR

About these ads

Back to Reality: a Monday back workout

Wahoo! It’s Monday! How was your weekend? Super amazing? I bet.

Chris and I were so happy to have a weekend at home. Well…at weekend at my parents home, since we’re homeless vagabonds for 2 more weeks. We took care of lots of grown up homeowner stuff, which is awesome and makes the idea of moving into our new home much more real! We are also in the progress of refinishing our bedroom furniture with my dad…which is SO fun and messy and rewarding. I’ll post a little DIY blog later this week when they are all done, but I will have you all know that while I am possibly the least creative and handy person in all of Massachusetts, I am LOVING my dressers and it was ALL MY IDEA! (disclaimer: not my idea).

Anyway, on Saturday I went to the gym with my dad like old times and did the following back, bicep and core workout. Be forewarned: if you belong to a YMCA (specifically the YMCA that I currently belong to), someone may yell at you while doing twisting slamballs against the wall because you are scaring children on the other side of said wall. She will also make you feel stupid and will not respond to your glares. You also may need to find a new gym. #whoops. Complete each set 3 times excluding the jog, 8-15 reps per exercise, followed by the 5 min jog between sets.

photo 3

Slam Balls

Twisting Slam Ball: Stand with feet shoulder distance apart and parallel to the wall. Rotate torso and throw medicine ball with power toward the wall. Do not move your hips.

I’m super into back workouts, in case you haven’t noticed. I LOVE the look of a strong back on a woman (and a man, obvi), but in addition to looking hot, back muscles are way important. Back muscles, like the traps, deltoids and serratus, attach to your hips, abdominals, chest, shoulders, and neck. Therefore, strengthening these muscles can give you better posture, stronger core, more power for explosive exercises, and stabilization throughout your day. According to the NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, back pain impacts approximately 8/10 adults in the US, which is pretty crazy. Strengthening those muscles may help keep pain at bay, so give it a try and let me know how it goes!

In other news, I received pretty much the world’s best blogger perk last week: homemade ice cream delivery. If you haven’t heard of Scoopsies, then I am giving you permission to leave my blog and go check out their website right now. Seriously…could there be anything better? Homemade ice cream. Delivery. Adorable local owner. If you live in Cambridge, Somerville, Allston, Brighton, Newton, Brookline, and/or Watertown, then PUHLEEEEEESE go check out Scoopsies!

That’s it for me! Have a fab week!

xoR

Hump Day Lady Lumps and Free Personal Training!

Hi Everyone! It’s hump day and I am LOVING this short week!  It’s also halfway through the month, which means Chris and I are halfway through our month of living with my parents! Time flies when you’re having fun :) We are SO grateful to my parents for letting us crash while we’re homeless, but also SO ready to move into our house and get started on our new grownup life. It’s tough to feel grown up with you’re living in your parents basement with all of your worldly possessions piled up in the garage and your cats banished to the dungeon.

Anyway, yesterday I made the massive mistake of going to the gym after school. It was crawling with high school boys monopolizing the squat rack and milling around texting one another (I can only assume). So…I had to make due on my leg day with no squat rack. I made use of the leg machines, kettlebells and plyometric lower body exercises to absolutely tear up my lower body in a really good way. Check out my workout and give it a try! It only took about 35-45 minutes, so I followed up with a quick 15 uphill walk on the treadmill.

Lower Body Super Set Workout

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

IMG_6977.JPG

While I have your attention, everyone in the Boston area should TOTALLY check out TriJake’s First Anniversary Gala on Friday, November 7! Here’s some info:

TriJake Fitness Studio is celebrating it’s One Year Anniversary with a benefit dinner and silent auction event as part of the TriJake Gives Back initiative. This year we are proud to partner with The Forsyth Kids which addresses one of todays most pressing oral health challenges: delivering effective oral health care to children at risk. Trijake Fitness is commited to improving everyone’s overall fitness and well being through both personal training and community based programs.

All proceeds from this event will go to The Forsyth Kids.

Grab your tickets HERE! And in case you need extra incentive to come, I am offering 1 free training session to any 1 person that purchases 2 tickets at $125/couple. Just email TriJake with your receipt! So go! Go now! Buy ‘em up!

image

For more info about TriJake, check out their website at http://www.trijake.com and schedule your session with me ASAP!

That’s it for me! Have a fab day!

xoR

 

The Wedding of the Century! And Tons of New Workouts!

Hi everyone! I’m back! Super sorry for the radio silence lately, I’ve been CRAZY busy the past few weeks with work, training, moving and Rachel’s fabulous wedding weekend!!!! I am so thrilled for my bestie and the wedding was absolutely perfect. Before we get to business, how about some pics?!

This event was pretty important for me. A few weeks ago, I went to the tailor to have my bridesmaid dress altered and was basically instructed to lose weight due to the dress being tight. I pretty much had a full fledged meltdown in my car and pulled in all my troops to get my mind back into the recovery game. What it came down to is that the dress is just a dress. It being tight doesn’t mean I’m a bad person or I’m fat or that I need to run back to ED to fit back into it. Instead, I decided to add more cardio intervals into my workouts (which I really actually like!) and was more thoughtful about what I ate (no, I didn’t cut back on anything, just became more mindful during meals) and remember that I’m bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding…this can’t be about me. Plus,  Rachel needed me to be there for her…not worrying about myself all weekend. Well guess what? The dress fit, the evening was perfect, and now I’m feeling even more empowered! Not bad ;)

Like I said, I’m adding more cardio into my workouts and also focused on full body circuit workouts last week. Here are a few I found on pinterest that I really love!

I added 5 minute elliptical intervals between super sets on that KB workout. It actually kicked my butt pretty hard…give it a try!

And here’s a TRX workout I wrote last week that was also PRETTY awesome! For more info on TRX check out my blog post HERE

TRX Full Body Blowout

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete each set 2-3x for 10-15 reps per exercise. Rest 1 full minute between sets

Set 1:

  • TRX squat
  • TRX row with neutral grip
  • Rowing machine 200 meters

Set 2:

  • TRX bicep curls
  • TRX tricep extensions
  • TRX flies
  • 150m row

Set 3:

  • TRX hip drops
  • Plank 30-60s
  • 100m row

I just want to stress: I changed my workouts because I wanted to, not because I had to. I wanted to feel my best at the wedding and I managed to change my body slightly without starving myself or excessively exercising (or using any ED behaviors). I continue to strive for balance and acceptance of my body, and do not promote weight loss for individuals of healthy weight (which I am). What I do promote is love, health and happiness. /soapbox rant

Have a fabulous week! I am hoping to get back into a blogging rhythm this week, so be on the lookout for new workouts, recipes and general Rebecca-Ramblings.

xoR

Fitting It All In: can you have it all?

Life has been really busy lately. Like…crazy busy. I’m still settling at my new job, we moved last weekend, I see clients after work and still volunteer at MEDA. Oh and sometimes I like to see my friends and (god forbid) husband. I’m freaking exhausted! So, how do I still have time to workout, keep up with celebrity gossip and blog?? It’s not easy, but here’s the deal: I make time.

image

my priorities have shifted a bit in the past few weeks. Last spring I was writing new workouts to do every morning at 5, take pictures and post across social media. I was super unhappy in my professional life, so I focused my time on building my blog and following. Now, my new job is going really great and I find myself wanting to get there early and not minding staying late. That means waking up even earlier to get my workouts in. It also means I have less time at the gym, so I really have to have a plan of attack when I’m there! I’ve been utilizing outside sources like http://www.bodybuilding.com and the Fitness Games to help me organize workouts.

Another way to fit things in: do fewer things. If I had it my way, I’d work all day, train clients all night, blog every morning,  run support groups every week and drink wine with friends every weekend. Sounds nice…but I’d also last about 1 week before hating my life. I’m the kind of person that wants to do it all, but also the kind of person that gets overwhelmed VERY easily. So instead, I made the very conscious decision to work all day, train a few clients, blog when I have something important to say, and see my friends as much as I can. What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy yourself?? The. Ore I get involved in, the less important each part becomes. I am much happier and fulfilled when I dedicate myself to a few special things.

Anyway, speaking of making time, I’m WAY into interval and circuit training. I have an interim gym membership while we camp out at my parents house at the YMCA, which is actually the worlds tiniest gym. Therefore I need to be pretty creative with my workouts as to avoid equipment that’s being monopolized by high schoolers or the elderly (I’m the only one in between I think). I did the following workout the other day, and I have to say that I successfully did not wait for a machine or walk into any meatheads!

image

Do each set 3x, then do a tabata interval before moving to the next set. Tabata intervals are 20s of work followed by 10s of rest for 8 rounds or 4 minutes total. Finish the workout with 3 rounds of the shoulder circuit with no rest.

And in case I don’t have enough to do, Chris and I are participating in the Light the Night fundraiser through Chris’ company, Agios. Funds support leukemia and lymphoma research and treatment. Please consider donating to our team goal!

you can learn more about Agios and the cool stuff they’re doing in this New Yorker Article!

So, how do you fit it all in? 

xoR

The Fitness Games!

I am a HUGE Hunger Games fan, so when the Fit Approach offered the chance to review a new app called The Fitness Games, I was totally in. Ok, I was a little disappointed when no bow and arrow were required, but still pretty pumped.

image

The Fitness Games is basically a super awesome marriage of social media and fitness. Here’s how it works:

When you join and make a profile then you have the opportunity to add friends. Since the app is relatively new, you should definitely demand your friends join too! That way you can complete against one other. However! Never fear: if you don’t have any friends (#suckstobeyou), you can compete against strangers or yourself!

image

The app contains over 50 awesome workouts between strength, cardio, full body and cross training. Depending in the level of membership you purchase, you will have access to different numbers of workouts for free, but each additional workout is only $.99 and TOTALLY worth it! These workouts are awesome! They’re all written by real personal trainers and vary from beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. I tried a lot of the workouts including all four areas and can honestly say that they’re all really good!

I was able to compete against myself (which is actually really useful to measure progress) and against friends (which is really useful when you alike yourself to Katniss Everdeen).

There are a couple things I would change: the workouts themselves are not really visible while you’re working out. To see the sets, you have to click an external page, which stops the clock on the tracker. I learned that the hard way when it looked like my workout only took 3 minutes because I accidentally left the external page open. Obviously not a huge deal, though. Also, if someone does not accept your challenge, the workout does not go to your tracker…so you just have to trust that you did, indeed, workout. Again…not a huge thing.

All in all, I REALLY enjoy this app. It made me step outside my fitness comfort zone and try some new, awesome workouts! So go! Download the app here! You won’t regret it! Make sure to add me as a friend (Rebecca Mahoney), so that I can kick your little tushes!

image
Tweet: Challenge your fitness with #TheFitnessGames! Check out @TFGapp and let the games begin! http://ctt.ec/gd5dj+ @fitapproach #sweatpink

xoR

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Fitness Five Friday!

Happy Friday! Here are my 5 fitness faves this week!

1. Circuit training:

imageI’m super short on time lately. Between working full time, training clients, packing my house to move, and everything else, spending hours at the gym is just not going to work. I have about an hour from the moment my sneakers hit the gym floor until I hit the shower, so I have to get the most out of my time. Circuit training allows me to hit strength, cardio, stability and flexibility all during one quick workout. Experiment with varying rest time and adding cardio intervals to find what works for you.

2 The Fitness Games:

imageThe Fitness Games is an awesome new app available on iOS and android! It integrates fitness and social media and allows users to challenge friends (or themselves) to workouts! I’ll have a post dedicated to TFG very soon, but in the meantime check it out! Feel free to add me as a friend! My user name is Rebecca Mahoney.

3. This Buzzfeed article:

image

It’s hilarious. And painfully true. I live an Instagram lie #supersorry.

4. Misty Copeland:

image

As a former dancer (I know…), this chick is SO inspirational. I did ballet for 14 years and don’t ever remember encountering a positive body image role model like Misty. She’s strong, beautiful, and talented (like me! Or something…). Read more about Misty here and see some workout tips while you’re at it.

5. #nextmilestonechallenge with Katie K!

image

our Instagram challenge is underway! Head over to @katiekactive for your daily challenge and make sure to tag your pics with @katiekactive and #nextmilestonechallenge. I’ve had a sneak peak at some of the prizes and they are LEGIT!

Have a fab weekend!

xoR