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3×3 Bootcamp Workout

Boot CampI work with another personal trainer to conduct a 1-day per week boot camp. Most boot camp classes are monotonous–1 minute circuits, burpees, sprints–it gets old. While we try to stay true to the circuit-style routine, we switched it up with something different this week.
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Fitness-y Things to do in the Fall

Fitness-y Things to do in the Fall

5k with my mom
5k with my mom

I will put up a fight with anybody who tells me fall is not the best time of year. I will call out several reasons:

  • It’s not humid, nor over 100 degrees (don’t tell me you enjoy basking in your own sweat)
  • There are pumpkins: Pumpkin carving, pumpkin patches, and pumpkin seeds
  • Cool, crisp air is much more breathable to run in than humidity you can cut with a knife (you hate it too)
  • Bundling up attire is much more cuter than a tank top and shorts (completed with cheap flip flops and a bun on your head. That’s not stylish)

That’s all I’m saying. Anyways, I cannot STAND it when people use fall and winter weather as an excuse to blow off exercising. There are no excuses that justify being lazy when it gets cooler. If anything, you should be more active because there’s so much more to do outside this season. Here are fun ideas for staying active this fall!

  • Sign up for small races, such as 5k’s. If you want to start running, 5k’s are a perfect place to begin. Training schedules are manageable and attainable for people of all shapes, ages, and sizes. And, as I mentioned above, cool, crisp air makes  it easier to breathe than the humidity. Since breathing is a big set back for beginning runners, the cooler weather is encouraging! Sites like active.com or runnersoworld.com are a good place to start looking.
  • Go hiking! No one actually enjoys hiking in warm weather. Other than getting a decent tan, you’re a hot, sweaty mess and pretty much hating your life. Hiking in the fall is perfect because the leaves are changing colors, water is freezing over, and it’s easier to bundle up than feel like you want to melt in your own skin. There is always SOMEWHERE you can go hiking, even if you don’t live in the mountains.
  • Go to a corn maze. People underestimate the power of walking. Walking  is just as beneficial to your health as the next best thing. You’d be surprised with the distance you’re covering, not to mention the calories you’re burning, while you’re venturing through a corn maze.
  • Rake leaves… Then jump in them like a kid. Need I say more? Raking leaves allows you to engage almost all the muscles in your body. Clearly, you’re squatting up and down to rake in and gather the leaves, using your core and moving your arms… Enough said.

There’s no room for being lazy when the weather turns. Get up and do something fun! We can all agree cuddling up on the couch to a movie is wonderful, but who doesn’t enjoy exploring and experiencing new things?! You won’t be disappointed with your new endeavors. Have fun!

Sneaky guide to exercise

Sneaky guide to exercise

It’s almost three weeks into the quarter and when classes start picking up and homework becomes more important, working out becomes less. There are some days I’m out of the house at 8:30 a.m. and don’t come home until 10 at night. (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But, if you’re finding your schedule is often like this you might ask, “When am I going to workout?!”

If you’re feeling motivated enough, by all means, get to the gym at 6 a.m. and your problems are solved. But if you’re like me, working out at 6 a.m. on such a busy day just isn’t going to happen. Here are some tips for sneaking in exercise when you have super long days:

  • Walk up stairs whenever possible! Now I don’t mean walking to the 35th floor of the building, but if your class is on the 4th floor of Arts & Letters Hall, then don’t be lazy and take the stairs.
  • 10 minutes of walking between three classes = 30 minutes a day. Some people think that in order to get good exercise you have to be running uphill sprints on the treadmill. 30 minutes of  walking a day is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will still help you achieve your weight loss goal. It’s better than not walking at all — Think of it that way.
  • 5 minute wake-up drill. I find it hard to believe you wake up at 7:50 and are out the door at 8:00 – If you can do that (without looking like a hot mess) I applaud you. However, most normal people need time to physically wake up in the morning. After you wake up before getting in the shower do: 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute mountain climbers, 1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats and a 1 minute plank.
  • Check out FitStudio.com and register for “Drop 5 in 30 days.” It’s comprised of multiple quick 10 minute workouts by Andrea Metcalf that are simple and you can do them with a small space.
  • “There are many paths to Oz – don’t let the monkey scare you.” – Andrea Metcalf

How are your fitness resolutions coming along? I’ve been working at holding this plank for at least 30 seconds and finally got it! Keep working at it! Would love to hear feedback. Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at Monica.Kucera@gmail.com.

Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
13 Goals for 2013

13 Goals for 2013

With the new year approaching it makes for a perfect time to set goals for 2013. You have 365 days to construct your year how you want it — What will your goals be?? Here’s mine:

1.) Visit Los Angeles & Walk Hollywood Blvd.

PWK_9805

2.) Complete a Triathalon

3.) Reach my goal weight of 140

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/spirit/pinterest-inspirational-quotes-motivation/?page=5
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/spirit/pinterest-inspirational-quotes-motivation/?page=5 

 

4.) Remain on the Dean’s List the rest of the school year

 

5.) Successfully pass my personal training certification test

Study Book From NASM
Study Book From NASM

6.) Graduate & get a job NOT doing admin work!

at SPJ convention in Florida
at SPJ convention in Florida

 

7.) Blog 2-3 times a week on this site

8.) Visit my Nation’s Capital

wash

9.) Volunteer for Global Brigades – Public Health group

10.) Learn & go skiing

ski

11.) Continue living with an open mind and big heart 🙂 

12.) Perfect THIS (Feathered Peacock Pose, I believe)

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13.) Teach group fitness classes — WHEREVER this year takes me in WHATEVER town I end up in

It’s about time for you to think about what your goals will be! I’d love for you to share your thoughts and enter the new year encouraging one another.

Have a fantastic holiday!

Babysitter’s Workout

Babysitter’s Workout

I don’t know what it is about babysitting and eating, but somewhere between the mac & cheese dinners, cookies, Goldfish snacks or leftover Halloween candy — I can never manage to just go for the apple when I have all these other (obviously tastier) options.

 

Cookies at babysitting (Photo  by me)
Cookies at babysitting (Photo by me)

So you splurged and had a bowl of mac & cheese, now what?  You put the kids to bed and start watching tv or doing homework, right? Instead of sitting around feeling lowsy about cheating your diet, you can do a few workouts that are quiet which won’t disturb the kids sleeping.

  • Squats (hold a 2-liter of pop or gallon of milk for extra weight)
  • Lunges (hold a 2-liter of pop or gallon of milk for extra weight)
  • Tricep Dips
  • Push-ups
  • Abdominal hold (Fitness Magazine)
  • Various leg exercises (Fitness Magazine) – sissy squat, split squat, goblet squat, three-way lunge & more

Hopefully these simple exercises will give you some ideas to keep you off the couch at babysitting! They definitely make the time go a little faster when I’m there, not to mention, make you feel better about eating that junk food.

 

 

Can’t hold yourself accountable? This might help..

Can’t hold yourself accountable? This might help..

Sometimes I find myself struggling to maintain excitement in the whole process of weight loss. It’s not that fun, we all know that. But, there are ways to kick it up a notch. If you have a hard time holding yourself accountable, you need to be reminded as to why you’re doing this in the first place.

I found this awesome idea on Pinterest – Create a motivation board. Pin to it pictures that make you feel empowered, motivated or confident. If it’s the first thing you see every morning when you get up, you’ll be reminded of your goals.

There’s also this website, Slimkicker, that lets you log your food, exercise, goals and challenges. You can join motivational groups and invite friends to get in on it too! Oh, and i forgot to mention.. It’s FREE!

Once you sign up the website will calculate how many calories you should be consuming based on your body type and the amount of exercise you do. This gives you a basis as to how much you should be eating depending on how many calories you lose. For example, if I eat around 1,500 calories or less, I should be able to reach 140 in a month or so. But, I try to eat around 1,300 to speed up the process!

Remember, in order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to reach your next goal!

Let me know if you liked the website! Follow me on Pinterest to get some more motivational tips. I love feedback! Let me know how my site is doing! Email at Monica.Kucera@gmail.com or tweet me @goalsforgals. 

Walk off holiday weight gain with these fun outings

Walk off holiday weight gain with these fun outings

It’s very common for people to slowly stop working out when the weather gets cold. Hanging out with friends and family always beats going to the gym. But, why not get in some exercise while hanging out with people? There are several events in Chicago you can go to with friends while keeping fit at the same time.

  • Christmas Around The World @ Museum of Science & Industry 
  • Christkindl Market
  • Lincoln Park Zoo Zoo Lights
  • Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic
  • Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

According to Spark People, a 150 pound person can burn up to 330 calories walking for two hours. You could probably spend that much time walking around any of those events.

Walking isn’t the best form of exercise you can do for weight loss, but it definitely beats sitting on the couch!