10 Reasons To Join Bootcamp!

fitness bootcamp minneapolis 

#1 Exercise early in the morning “jump starts” your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours!  As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long–just because you exercise in the morning.

#2 Exercising in the morning energizes you for the day–not to mention that gratifying feeling of accomplishment you have knowing you’ve done something disciplined and good for you.

#3 Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity–a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends.  Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, instead of wasting it while you’re snoozing.

#4 Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldn’t be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier–especially since regular exercise generally mean a higher quality of sleep, which it turns means you’ll probably require less sleep.  (If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.)

#5 When you exercise at about the same time every morning–especially if you wake up regularly at about the same time–you’re regulating your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes.  That’s beneficial because:   Your body’s not “confused” by wildly changing wake-up times, which means waking up is much less painful. (You may even find that you don’t need an alarm clock most days.) Hormones prepares your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc. Your metabolism, along with all the hormones involved in activity and exercise, begin to elevate while you’re sleeping.  As a result, you’ll feel more alert, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake up.

#6 Many people find that morning exercise has a tendency to regulate their appetite for the rest of the day.  Not only do they eat less (since activity causes the release of endorphins, which in turn diminishes appetite), they also choose healthier portions of the healthier foods.

#7 People who consistently exercise find, sometimes to their great surprise, that the appointed time every morning evolves into something they look forward to.  Besides the satisfaction of taking care of themselves, they find it’s a great time to plan their day, pray, or just think more clearly–things most of us often don’t get to do otherwise.

#8 Exercising first thing in the morning is the most foolproof way to ensure that other things don’t overtake your fitness commitment, particularly if you have a hectic family life. It’s so easy to wimp out in the evening, when we’re tired or faced with such tasks as rustling up dinner and helping with homework.

#9 More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine.  If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout in the morning – then it’s out of the way and you can get on with your day!

#10 Non-morning people can always trick themselves. Having trouble psyching yourself up for a sunrise jog? Do what I did and treat yourself to a delicious and healthy breakfast when you get back. I always have a protein packed breakfast burrito to look forward to after my morning runs.

Not Sure What to Buy at the Grocery Store? Here are some essentials!

groceries

Happy Wednesday Team!

I know Labor Day weekend set us all back a little bit in terms of eating well, but don’t worry – I’ve got some suggestions for you. Let’s start with grocery shopping. This is one of the single most important activities of your week. Why? What you choose to buy at the grocery store directly affects who much weight you lose and how much muscle you gain. You can work out as much as you want, but if you’re not eating the right foods, all your hard work is for nothing. Seriously.

Here are some ESSENTIAL items that you should have on your grocery list:

 

1. Grass fed beef – great source of iron and protein

2. Organic, cage-free chicken or turkey – great source of lean protein

3. Berries – all kinds of berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries) berries are rich in antioxidants

4. Almonds – roasted and unsalted. Roasted nuts are better for you than raw nuts because the roasting process makes certain vitamins more digestible. Go unsalted to cut down on sodium in take.

5. Flax seeds or flax seed oil – great to put in oatmeal or muffins or pancakes. Full of omega 3s.

6. Almond, cashew, or macadamia nut butters – use one of these instead of peanut better. Less salt more nutrients.

7. Kale, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli – these should be staple veggies that you always have on hand. You can make salads, you can steam, grill or roast them with olive oil and some garlic for flavor. Full of nutrients and vitamins.

8. Full fat Greek Yogurt – you must be shocked at the full fat part, but you might be surprised to know that the body needs fat to metabolize certain vitamins.

9. Cottage cheese – great source of calcium and packed with protein – great on toast or by itself.

10. Coconut oil – the only thing I use to cook with, better than olive oil for high heat. Good source of saturated fat, tastes great.

11. Kefir – similar to yogurt, a great probiotic for stomach health.

These are just suggestions, but if you incorporate these food items into your daily diet and take out processed and fast foods, you will see a difference right away. I guarantee it.

 

Got questions? Email me: colleen@academyfitnessbootcamp.com

 

Keep on keepin’ strong,

Coach Colleen

It’s Finally Fall!

opportunity

Happy Tuesday Team!

I hope that you all had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. How many of you tried making some of all of your food from scratch? Was it a success? We’d love to hear about it.

Now that fall is officially here, I want to focus on your present and future goals. Anything you did or didn’t get done this summer is in the past. There’s no sense in bumming around about goals you didn’t accomplish or not doing things you wish that you did.

If I’ve learned anything from life, it’s that we can’t live in the past because we can’t change what’s already been done. All we have in RIGHT NOW.

I think we should start out with small and achievable goals for this week. Will you commit to going for a walk or run at least 3 times this week for a minimum of 30 minutes? If you don’t have an hour and a half to spare for yourself, there’s something really funky going on in your schedule and you DESERVE to have some time to yourself to take care of your mind and body.

So if not having enough time is one of your excuses (and I say excuses, because we can always make time – we just have to change our priorities), then I challenge you to take a look at your day and see where you’re not making the most of your time. Maybe you have a habit of sitting on the couch after dinner and watching TV. Maybe you get an hour for lunch but instead you stay at your desk and you work through your lunch hour. You are not required to work through lunch if your employer gives you an hour. Use that hour to go for a walk around your building or to eat your lunch outside. Get away from your desk for a while! You’ll be surprised at how much more productive you will be if you take a break and move your body a little bit.

As we transition into cooler weather, what are some questions that you have? It can be anything concerning training, nutrition, and/or gear. I am here to act as a resource to you and to answer any questions you have.

Just remember, there is no such thing as a good excuse. So if you’re not getting the results that you want because you’re not taking action and sticking to a plan – you only have yourself to blame. That’s the cold hard truth.

Keep on keepin’ strong,

Coach Colleen

 

5 Ways to Have a Healthy “End of Summer” BBQ Bash

Happy Thursday Team!

Labor Day is only 3 days away and we know that invariably means that grills are being prepped, bags of charcoal are on standby, and grocery store meat departments are bracing for the impact that will come this weekend.

As with all holidays, Monday will be a “cheat day” for a lot of folks. Who in their right mind can exercise restraint when there’s burgers on the grill, chips and guac, and all sorts of other goodies sitting on the picnic table? Never fear, I’m here to tell you 5 ways that you can have a healthy, guilt free, and  tasty end of summer bbq bash that you, your kids, and the neighbors will love.

meats

 

1. Choose QUALITY proteins.

I hate to break it to you but not all meats are created equal. When purchasing meats in general, there are a few important attributes that I look for:

– Locally sourced: I only buy meat that’s been produced locally (within 100 miles). Thankfully for Minnesotans, we have a ton of farms within 50 miles of the Twin Cities so access of quality, local meat is easy.

– Beef qualities: 100% grass fed. There are lots of debates about whether there’s significant differences between grass fed and corn fed beef. But for me, I choose grass fed whenever possible because grass is a cow’s natural diet. Cattle that’s grass fed is usually healthier and leaner. The old adage is true, you are what you eat. Do you want to be fat or do you want to be lean?

– Poultry qualities: 100% free range. I choose cage free eggs and poultry (and local of course) because do you really want to eat something that’s been cooped up in a cage sitting in its on feces with hundreds of other birds? Do you want to eat something that’s been injected full of antibiotics to combat cage diseases that chickens and turkeys get from being cramped up in overcrowded coops? Didn’t think so.

ABC News did a report on non-organic meats and found that about 70% of it has traces of salmonella and that nasty “pink slime”. Don’t put you or your family at risk by buying poor quality meats. Spend the extra money for better quality – you won’t be sorry.

bunz

 

2. Pick the right buns.
With gluten intolerance on the rise and an increase in GMO wheat, you may want to consider alternatives to generic buns this year.

Lettuce wraps: try using romaine lettuce leafs to wrap your burgers and brats. You get the benefit of some extra veggie action and virtually no carbs!

Make your own from scratch: in this day in age, there’s a recipe on the internet for everything. Making your own buns is a great activity to do with the kids and a great conversation starter. Who wouldn’t find some satisfaction in saying, “Try the buns! They’re homemade!”

If you’re buying from the store, READ THE LABELS. Go for something that whole grain with minimal additives. Got a local bakery near buy? If so, hit them up for some freshly baked buns. It’ll be a win for you and a win for them. (I like to support local small businesses as much as I can.)

condiments

 

3. Choose smart condiments.
I love ketchup and mustard just as much as anyone else, but the calories can quickly add up. Condiments used to be 100% homemade, now they’re packed with thickening agents, preservatives (isn’t it strange that ketchup and mustard have shelf lives of like 2 years?)

To choose wisely, here are some things to look for:

Mayo: most store bought mayo has canola oil or soybean oil in it. Soybeans are one of the most genetically modified crops in the US. Even mayo that say it’s made with “olive oil” has soybean oil in it. If you’ve never made your own mayo, now is your chance! Again, there are thousands of recipes online that are simple and tasty.

Ketchup: store bought ketchup is loaded with artificial sweeteners and sugar. In a study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found that organic ketchup contains 60% more cancer-fighting lycopene (an antioxidant) per gram than non organic counterparts.  Want to stick with the homemade everything theme? Here’s a simple recipe for making your own: Combine organic tomato paste, organic white vinegar, organic garlic and onion powder, organic allspice, organic cayenne pepper, unrefined sea salt, organic pepper, and pure stevia extract.

Mustard: Go organic. The white vinegar that’s used in conventional mustard typically comes from GMO corn (roughly 88% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified). Annie’s Organic Yellow Mustard is a good store bought alternative if you’re not interested in making it yourself.

pasta salad

 

3. Choose smart yet tasty side dishes.
There’s are tons of side dishes out there but I’ll go over a few of the common ones.

Pasta salad- the pasta used in pasta salad usually comes from refined wheat that spikes blood sugar. Opt for a healthier noodle by buying ones made from quinoa, amaranth, or brown rice. Or better yet, gluten free noodles. To go one step further in making it healthier, ditch the mayo (unless you made it yourself) and use plain Greek yogurt instead.

Sauerkraut instead of coleslaw: since ‘kraut is a fermented food, it has a lot of healthy pro-biotic qualities that are great for digestion and stomach health. It has significantly less calories and sugar than coleslaw and sugarless.

grilling

 

4. Use good grilling skills
Don’t char your meats. According to the American Cancer Institute, charring meat causes heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) carcinogens to form in the meat. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to eat potentially cancer causing meat this year, or ever for that matter.

To avoid charring meat, use marinades that contain lemon. There are properties in lemon juice that prevent the HCA’s from sticking to the meat. Turn down the heat or raise the rack. The HCA’s are formed primarily when juice from the meat drips on the rack and burns, the vapors that are released then flare up into the meat. Use tongs to flip meats to prevent dripping (which will in turn cause burning and charring).

 

I hope this was helpful for all of you gearing up for this weekend!

I would love to see what you all make so feel free to post pictures on our Facebook!

Until next time,

 

Coach Colleen

 

8 Reasons to Getting Moving NOW

bootcamp, minneapolis, fitness, women only

Happy Hump Day!

Today’s we’re going to share with you 8 reasons why you should be exercising and moving your body.

1. CONFIDENCE
I don’t know about you, but I know that I can use a boost of confidence daily. We have so many stresses in our lives that it’s hard to feel on top of the world 24/7. However, when I’m training regularly and my energy is up – I feel great and now that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to. Whether its making a deadline at work or it’s making it to yoga class on Saturday morning, when I’m working out regularly I’m on top of my game.

2. STRENGTH
This is an obvious one, but an overlooked benefit. Who doesn’t want to be strong? For women, we’re sometimes intimidated by this benefit because we’re afraid we’re going to “look manly” or “get too bulky”. I’m here to tell you that it’s not possible for women to bulk up like men without the assistance of serious supplements. SO DON’T WORRY! You’re not going to look like Hulk Hogan. Don’t you want to be able to run around and play with your kids without getting winded? Don’t you want to be able to go hiking with your significant other without getting tired. Don’t you want to be able to carry 2 or even 3 bags of groceries from your car without your arms falling off? Don’t you want to be able to say that you can do “real push ups”? I know I do!

3. POST WORKOUT FEELING
We all know the feeling we get when we workout super hard and go home feeling exhausted yet glowing with pride. I never regret working out, ever. But I always regret it when I sit on the couch and don’t do anything when I know the weather is beautiful and I should be outside doing something awesome. The temporary discomfort that we feel during the workout is totally worth the results we get. Remember, the discomfort is TEMPORARY. You are don’t going to die, even though you might think that. Pushing yourself to the limit is the only way to see what you’re body is capable of. Don’t be afraid – your body can do amazing things if you just allow it to.

4. ACCOMPLISHMENT
There’s not a lot out there that’s sweeter than the feeling on accomplishment; the feeling you get when you conquer a goal and see the fruits of your labor. I know it’s hard in the beginning to get started because it’s overwhelming, but the simple act of just showing up to a yoga class, or to bootcamp is all it takes. It’s your instructor’s job to help you with the rest of the process. All you have to do is commit to sticking with it! Commit to NOT GIVING UP!

5. HEALTH
I’ve never met anyone who’s said “I like being fat and unhealthy.” It may sound harsh but the reality is that being healthy comes with a price. That price is committing to what it takes. Eating well and exercising takes time and planning, commitment and dedication even when it’s inconvenient or frustrating. Do you want to live a long life? Do you want to see your kids grow up and play with your grand children? Being healthy isn’t something that happens over night or something that you can buy – it’s a lifestyle. Are you willing to change your old life for a healthy one?

6. YOUR LOVED ONES
Don’t you want to be around for the ones you love? I know I sure do! Eating poorly and not taking care of yourself is an act of selfishness. There are people that love you and depend on you. If your body goes out on you because you didn’t have the gumption to take action, that’s on you.

7. HAPPINESS
The pursuit of happiness is something that everyone is constantly looking for. I guarantee that that people who exercise regularly are happier than those who don’t. When you feel good about your body, when you have increased energy and strength, when you can do things that you’ve never been able to do – there’s no way you can’t smile about that!

8. STRESS RELIEF
We all have stress in our life. For some of us it’s our work, for others it’s our home life. For other’s we may feel like our whole life is a stress bucket. But exercising releases a variety of chemicals into the brain like serotonin and endorphins that aid is stress relief. People who take even 15 minutes to get up and move their body feel better on average than people who don’t do anything at all.

With these reasons, you have NO excuse to not exercise. Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. Something is better than nothing. We all have to start somewhere so don’t compare your start with someone’s middle. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they can do. Focus on what you can do right now and what you want to be able to do in the future. That’s the most important thing.

 

Keep on keepin strong,

 

Coach Colleen

Dog Days of Summer in Minneapolis

Beat-the-Heat in Minnesota

Hello!

I know it’s been a while since the last post, but what can I say, I’ve been so busy being active and moving my  body I just haven’t had a chance to check in with everyone.

So let me ask you, since we’re in the final weeks of August, what have you all been up to? Have you done a lot of biking and walking? Have you spent many weekends at the cabin? On the boat?

We are in the thick of what’s called the Dog Days of Summer. Here in Minneapolis, the weather the past 3 days have been in the high 90s low 100s and so humid! I know heat like this can really be a deterrent so here are some tips on how to get in your work out without having to be in the sweltering heat:

 

1. Wait until the evening.

While the evenings the past few days have been muggy, at least the sun isn’t beating down on you. If you can get over the mugginess, training/working out in the heat can help loosen your muscles quicker and strengthen your cardio endurance. After 7pm is a great time to go for a post dinner walk/run/bike ride. Whatever suits your fancy. People don’t realize that a simple 30 minute speed walk, or 30 minute jog or an hour bike ride is more what most people are doing for exercise. Every little bit counts! Make sure you’re staying hydrated to avoid dehydration or heat stroke.

 

2. Pool time!

Swimming or evening running in a pool is a great way to exercise and it’s actually fun. If you like to swim then do about 20 minutes of lap swimming. If that’s too much, then do 10 minutes and then do 20 minutes of pool running. As you get stronger, but up the minutes that you’re swimming. Running in water is a great way to build leg and core strength. The resistance the water provides is a great muscle builder and hard to replicate on land.

 

3. Join bootcamp!

I’m sorry, but I can’t help it. Joining bootcamp is a great way to get in shape or stay in shape all year round because we have AC! The other benefits of bootcamp are that you have a team of equally as dedicated and driven students that share similar goals as you and that will hold you accountable. All the workouts are different so you won’t have to worry about getting bored. We have a ton of fun, but if you’re not convinced then come in for a free lesson and free week!

 

It’s really important to keep training even when the weather is hot and humid, or freezing and snowy. There are no excuses that justify not working out and taking care of your body on a regular basis. At the end of the day, you decide whether or not you’re going to change for the better or for the worse, or stay the same.

If you have questions, give us a call at The Academy. We’re excited to start training with us! You just have to give us a shot. 763-560-5696. We’re also on Instagram: @academywobootcamp, Facebook, Pinterst, Tumblr, and Twitter. So make sure that you follow us and connect with one of our coaches!

 

Keep on keepin strong,

 

Coach Colleen

Training Outside in Minneapolis: Get Fit in the Fresh Air!

Hey Team!

Summer time is here and that means we can ditch the gym and get outside for fresh air and a good workout!

1. Biking
minneapolis-bicyclists

 

 

 

If you are a local to the Twin Cities, then hopefully you know that we have access miles of trails and bike-ways and that we have 9 lakes within the Minneapolis city limits alone! It’s no wonder that Minneapolis got voted “most fit city” and “most bike friendly city” in the country! Here in Minneapolis alone, we have 92 miles of on street bike-ways, and 85 miles of off street bike-ways. That’s 177 miles just in Minneapolis alone! So whether you’re a seasoned biker or you haven’t ridden a bike since you were a kid, the time is now to get on your bike and cruise! Don’t own a bike? Check out the good ol’ Craigslist.org. Otherwise, there are a ton of local bike shops that sell used and refurbished bikes, here are a couple:

One on One Bike Shop: http://www.oneononebike.com/
117 Washington Ave N  Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 371-9565
Great place to buy new, custom made bikes. They also have a huge basement full of used and refurbished bikes.

Behind Bars Bicycle Shop: http://www.behind-bars.com/
208 13th Ave Ne Minneapolis, MN 55413 (612) 436-0255
Does sell new bikes, but mostly used bikes.

The Hub Bike Co-op: http://www.thehubbikecoop.org/
301 Cedar Ave Minneapolis, MN 55454 (612) 238-3593
Used bikes and parts. Great place to go for the bargain shopper.

Handsome Cycles: http://www.handsomecycles.com/
115 Washington Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 353-4035
This is a great place to go for new, custom, MN made bikes. Right next door to One on One.

 

2. Yoga
MinneapolisShowroomLakesideYoga

 

 

 

 

Yoga is great exercise, but sometimes it can get stuffy and crowded in the studio. Try taking your mat outside! If you’re a seasoned yogi then bring your practice to your favorite lake or park. If you like some guidance, check out these outdoor yoga communities:

The Yoga Garage: https://www.facebook.com/TheYogaGarage

Gorilla Yogis: http://www.gorillayogis.com/gorilla-gatherings.html

Luminous Yoga: http://www.luminous-yoga.com/

These are just some suggestions for here in Minneapolis, but do your research and see what else is out there!

3. Mowing the yard
mowingyard

 

 

 

This one might seem silly, but if you have a push mower, then you know that you can work up a good sweat by pushing that thing around the lawn. But make sure you wear sunscreen, light colored clothing, and maybe a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes.

4. Swimming
swimming

 

 

 

 

What’s better than cannon-balling into a lake or swimming pool when it’s sunny and hot outside? Whether you’re in a lake or a pool, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body. It’s cardio and strength training all in one. Start by swimming a few laps, then work your way up to 10 minutes of laps, then to 20, then to 30, and so on. Not only will you have a great tan, you’ll get in fantastic shape.

 

Stayed tuned for our next post on how to train properly during the summer, to avoid dehydrated, heatstroke, and exhaustion.

Keep on keepin’ strong,

Coach Colleen

The Truth Behind Why We Procrastinate

hour-glass

Happy Thursday Team!

We all know that procrastination is a key culprit in why we don’t achieve our goals. All of us are guilty of not doing what we say we’re going to do. How many of us have fallen off the wagon when trying to stick to a diet, or trying to go to the gym regularly, or trying to cut back on junk food? What’s really at the root of why we struggle to follow through?

Fear.

Fear of pain, fear of being vulnerable, fear of hard work, are all at the root of why we procrastinate. There have been countless studies that show that people are afraid of the “pain” or uncomfortableness that comes with making changes in our lives.

HIDING IN OUR COMFORT ZONES

Here at The Academy Fitness Bootcamp we have a saying, “Don’t be a 97%er”. 97% of people are quitters. There’s only that small 3% that never give up on their goals, that always keep pushing themselves to the next level. It’s this small 3% that TAKES ACTION whenever they can to get one step closer to achieving their goals.

The 97%ers out there, like to hide within the confines of their comfort zone. Whether your comfort zone is sitting on the couch with your arm elbow deep in a Cheetos bag, or its giving all your time to others and not saving some for yourself, you need a reality check because you’re wasting precious time!

Procrastinators and 97%ers alike, seem to think that they have all the time in the world and use excuses like: “I’ll work out tomorrow.”  “I’m too tired to go on that run.” “I’m too busy to go to the gym.” “I have too much to get done.”   The list of excuses is endless.

The fact of the matter is, DON’T WASTE TIME. Our time here on Earth is fleeting whether we want to admit it or not and when you’re on your death bed or your life flashes before your eyes, will you be content with how you chose to spend your time here?

Henry David Thoreau said it best when he said people consistently “…live lives of quiet desperation and die with their song unsung.”  You don’t want to leave this place without a bang! So what are you waiting for!

TIPS ON MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME

In order for you to take charge of your life and reclaim your freedom to make those changes, you need a plan. A plan for meeting your fears head on. When you face the unease or dread you feel when you know you should go to the gym but the couch is just too comfortable, you turn that crippling procrastination into POWER. So how do we do that?

REVERSAL OF DESIRE

Phil Stutz, a practicing psychiatrist in Los Angeles, uses a tool called “reversal of desire”. The first step is to visualize the pain or the discomfort that you’re avoiding (the laziness you feel when you want to just watch a movie instead of going for a run) as a black cloud in front of you. Think about what this black cloud has prevented you from doing (losing weight, eating better, taking control of your life, etc).

The second step is to then envision yourself pushing through that black cloud and onto the other side, literally. It may sound hokey, but you’d be surprised how mental exercises like this can help us get over the initial barrier to achieve goals, that is our own fear.

Dr. Stutz calls this, “living in motion”. No one wants to stay stagnant. We all want to improve ourselves and get better. To do so, we must be willing to face fear and uncertainty head on.

So ask yourself, what kind of life do I want to live? When your grandchildren ask you what you were like when you were When your staring the end of your life in the face, will you feel defeated or triumphant?

Today I challenge you to STOP being a 97%er, to STOP letting procrastination dictate the direction of your life and to face your fears. Get off that couch and go to the gym or go for a walk outside. The sooner you start breaking down that mental barrier (fear) the sooner you can start living the life you’ve been yearning for.

 

Until next time,

Coach Colleen

 

Coach’s Corner: How to Beat the Blues

girl running

If you’re reading this as a Twin Cities resident, then you know that we’ve been having terrible weather. It’s almost June and it’s 60 and cloudy?! What the…?

Despite the weather being bad, this should NEVER stop you from training. Here are some ways to beat the blues and stay motivated:

 

1. Exercise can improve your mood!
Studies have shown that exercising is a great way to combat depression and anxiety because it helps your muscle and your mind relax. Since working out puts “stress” on your body, your body responds by releasing endorphins, which as as natural tranquilizers. If you’ve never worked out before, start with 15 minutes a day of walking. Then go up to 30 minutes. Try to exercise daily, but if not then try to do at least 3 days a week.

2. Pay attention to your body!
If you’re feeling fatigued or lethargic, take a look at what you’re eating. Good nutrition is key to fitness and feeling great. If you’re skipping meals or eating fast and processed foods, chances are you’re probably not feeling like a supermodel. Be sure that you only eat when you’re hungry and don’t skip meals! Skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down. It’s like a fire, if there is nothing to burn, then it will burn out. You have to keep “feeding the fire” in order for it to continue to burn. This is not to say that you should eat constantly, but you should eat between 4-6 small meals every 3 or 4 hours.

3. Get a physical.
When was the last time you had a physical? If it’s been more than 2 years, then you should probably schedule one soon. It’s can’t hurt to have all your levels checked to make sure everything is in working order. Just because you feel fine, doesn’t always mean the insides are fine. For example, I went in for a physical last year and they did blood work. They found out that I was showing signs of hypothyroidism despite the fact that I had no other symptoms.  So go see your doctor!

4. Rest to restore and rebuild your body.
Resting is really important for your body to repair and rebuild itself. Try getting into a habit of training every other day. Or every 2 days so your body has time to repair. This will also help mitigate the chances of you getting injured because you’re muscles haven’t been able to full repair.

5. Avoid harmful substances.
The obvious ones should be drugs and alcohol. Using these substances typically make depression and anxiety worse. Instead of reaching for a beer at the end of your day, skip the calories and go for a walk around your neighborhood. I guarantee that the fresh air and the movement will make you feel 10 times better than the calorie dense beer.

6. Comfort yourself with a support group.
Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people that have similar goals as you or that support your decision to get healthy and have an active lifestyle. These people are the ones that will remind you of your strengths and help you improve your weaknesses without making you feel judged. Try to connect with at least 1 supportive friend or family member at least once a day.

7. Use positive thoughts and self talk.
We are our own worst critics, this is true, and often times we’re the ones that hold ourselves back. When I’m feeling insecure about my abilities I always mentally tell myself, “Yes you can. Yes you will.” And I keep going. When I’m working out and I want to give up, I say that little mantra over and over again. When I’m laying in bed and I know I should go to the gym, I remind myself of the goals that I have and that going to the gym will not only make me feel accomplished, it’ll bring me closer to that goal.

8. Get outside! Even if the weather isn’t the best.
Even if the weather is a little chilly and cloudy, don’t let that stop you from going for a walk, run, or bike around your neighborhood. To be honest, I actually prefer to work out outside when the weather isn’t nice and sunny. Why? In part because I detest tan lines, but also because the lake near my apartment is way less crowded on crummy days! It’s on the nice days that everyone is out and about. Use bad weather days (aside from rainy or snowy days) to take advantage of parks and lakes. You might be surprised at how calming and relaxing being outside by yourself can be. For me, it’s the only quite time I have besides the time that I’m sleeping!

So what are you going to do this week to lift your spirits while moving and grooving?!

 

Best,

Coach Colleen

Gearing up for summer

Hi Everyone!

It’s officially May and I’m here to get you ready for summer training season!

If you’re like me, then the coming of nice weather means more outside training. After all these months of training in the gym, I’m usually dying to start running outside and working out in parks.

If you’re someone who likes training outside, or if you’re looking to start training outside here are some key pieces of gear that you’ll need:

1. Good shoes. 
I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to invest in good running shoes that fit properly. There are a variety of local running stores in the Twin Cities that can help you find the right fit:

The Running Room: http://www.runningroom.com/hm/ (located in St. Paul and Uptown)
Marathon Sports: http://www.marathonrunwalk.com/ (located in Minneapolis)
GEAR Running Store: http://www.gearrunningstore.com/
Urban Tri: http://urbantri.net/

runningoutside

In order for you to get the most out of your runs, especially runs outside, you want to make sure that you have shoes that gives you adequate support and motion control. Definitely have someone at one of the above stores fit you for the right shoe.

2. Moisture wicking shirts, tanks, shorts, etc.

You don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on the latest sweat-wicking shirt that Under Armour has put out, but you should definitely look into buying some kind of sweat wicking apparel. Why? Because running in a cotton t-shirt can get really heavy if you’re a sweater like me. Sweat wicking shirts, tanks, and shorts help with keeping you feel dry and gets rid of the sopping feeling that comes with working out in a regular t shirt.

To be honest, I like training in the least amount of clothing possible. But obviously that’s not possible. The less i have on the less weight I have to haul around on my runs. I love running in a sports tank top (usually has a sports bra built in) that wicks sweat away, dries quickly, and keeps me feeling light. I also like wearing running shorts that are made of light material instead of cotton gym shorts because the sweat marks always become clearly visible! Gross…

Target has a partnership with Champion. I really like their products and they’re not super expensive. So if you’re looking for an alternative to Nike or Under Armor, definitely check out what they have at Target or Marshalls.

3. Fitness watch (with heart rate monitor, gps, and/or mileage tracker)

Investing in a watch that keeps track of your heart rate, distance, and time is a great training tool to have. Being able to track your heart rate allows you to see if you’re meeting your target heart rate to burn fat. Distance and time are important because, well, it’s important and helpful to know how far you’re running and how long it takes you!

You can find watching like this on Amazon, REI, or websites like The Clymb. Do your homework and read reviews. These watches can be pricy and you want to make sure you get one that has a lot of great reviews so you get your money’s worth.

4. SUNSCREEN 

If you’re going to run or exercise outside this summer, be sure to wear sunscreen! Just because you’re not laying out at the beach, doesn’t mean you still won’t get burned. Make sure you get easily burned places like your shoulders, your nose and cheeks, and the tops of your ears. Sometimes if it’s sunny but breezy people think, “Oh it’s not that hot out, I don’t need sunscreen.” False. The sun burns you not the heat!
You definitely don’t need to go out and buy all of these things at once, but they’re definitely things you should have eventually you make sure that training outside is comfortable and fun for you.

 

Until next time!,

Coach Colleen