2 Bloggers answer – Why do you love running?

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Since I started eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis I feel better, I sleep more and I see some changes in my appearance (which is the real reason why I am watching what I eat and trying to exercise on a regular basis).  I started my new exercise plan with 90 days of yoga. I love yoga because it’s relaxing and it also helps stretch out my super uptight muscles. But honestly I am not totally physically satisfied.

Satisfying My Exercise Needs

I needed to find a workout plan that would help me clear my head and let out all of my mental aggression. Thanks to my Twitter friends Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful and Kate from Kate Moving Forward I was inspired to start running.  You may remember from one of my recent posts that running burns the most calories of all the at home workouts.  I asked these lovely ladies (and fellow bloggers) to sit down and talk with me about why they loving running and this is what they had to say.

Looking Cute is the Key to Successful Running

Kristina: When and why did you get into running?

- Shannyn: I started running earlier this year after I finished grad school. I started dating a guy who loves running & at first laughed in his face when he told me – I thought running was stupid. After I saw the cute gear, I bought it on impulse and then had to justify said impulse and found that the gear, the challenge and the little achievements were addicting!

Kristina: How often do you run and do you belong to any online or in person running groups or communities?

- Shannyn: I run 3-4 days a week and run races several times a month. My twitter friends who run are by far the best support group ever!

- Kate: I would say 2-3 times a week is pretty average. I am part of the Sweat Pink community and FitFluential community—both promote healthy fitness involvement and are great places for encouragement in healthy living!

Kristina: Did you experience any defeats when you first started running? If so how did you overcome them?

- Kate: During my first ½ marathon I struggled with some knee pain and soreness that made me want to give up. I spent a lot of time researching and reading blogs of runners to help me find a way to deal with the issue (ice and ibuprofen!). Don’t be afraid to reach out into running communities to get help and motivation when you find yourself feeling defeated.

Kristina: What is your #1 piece of advice for anyone who wants to start running?

- Kate: Do it! I would suggest using a Couch to 5K program to ease you into running so you don’t burn out or get injured.

- Shannyn: If you want to start running, set a goal, like a big race and commit to FINISH even if you’re not super fast. Knowing I signed up for a non-refundable race 6 months ahead of my start date to train with was key to keep going. I knew that I put a short term goal together that wasn’t too long to get bored or too short to be unrealistic plus the race itself looks like a blast.

Love Always,

Photo by lululemon

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The Top 5 Calorie Burning At Home Workouts

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TRAIN INSANE or Remain the Same Fitted Hoodie

Photo by Blogilates.com

I am trying to lose weight by making healthier eating choices and by trying to exercise on a regular basis. I prefer to work out in the comfort of my own home because it saves both time and money. I know that many people prefer to work out at a gym because they feel it’s an overall better total body workout, but that is not necessarily true.

I discovered Blogilates today

I recently discovered a very helpful website called Blogilates.  Just as Yogalates (Hello O.C. fans) is a combination of yoga and Pilates, Blogilates is a combination of Pop Pilates and Blogging. Blogilates is a fun website that actually makes me want to work out. It is full of kick-ass workout videos (including the Victoria’s Secret model workout), nutritional meal plans (veggie friendly) and healthy recipes.

Cassy Ho is the creator Blogilates; she is also the creator of oGorgeous which sells work out apparel and Pilates accessories. When you visit Blogilates and you see Cassy Ho’s killer body you will also want to work out.

Work out at home with Blogilates

Of course you can take yoga or a Pilates class, but why would you when you can work out in the comfort of your own home? It is a fitness myth that people can only get a good workout at a gym. Blogilates recently published a helpful chart which tells you how many calories you can burn with different types of exercises based on your current body weight.  Surprise! Surprise! The workouts that burn the most calories can actually be done in the comfort of your own home.

Check out these calorie burning at-home-workouts (based on 140 lbs.)

1. Running at a pace of 10 minutes per mile burns 315 calories. You can run on an outdoor track at a local high school or college and you can also run outside around your neighbourhood.  It is a calorie burning workout and you don’t have to go to the gym.

2. Swimming burns 305 calories. If you are lucky enough to have access to a pool then you can take full advantage of a calorie burning total body workout.  If you have an injury then swimming can be a very cautious and weight less (aka strain-free) workout.

3. Circuit Weight Training burns 252 calories. You don’t have to join a gym or pay for a personal trainer if you want to get a muscle-building workout. Workout DVDs can be purchased on eBay for around $10, which is a fraction of the cost of a monthly gym membership. I love The Biggest Loser Workout DVD.

4. Bicycling moderately burns 252 calories.  Working out at home doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in your home, it can also include working out outside.  Working out at home just means not working out at a gym.

5. Walking fast burns 161 calories.  If you want to get outside and get some fresh air then put on your workout shoes and go for a walk. Walking around your neighbourhood can help you discover new stores, shops and restaurants…and it’s a calorie burning workout.

Love Always,

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At Home Workouts for Germ-a-phobics like me

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Good Morning Everyone. It’s time for the next post in my “Save  Yourself. Skip the Gym.” series.  This is a blog post series all about the benefits of working out and the decision to change our daily habits in order to live a healthier lifestyle.  I am on a personal mission to make healthier choices in my life; I want to exercise at home on a regular basis and I really want to change my eating habits.

It’s not my first time

In the past I have tried a variety of diets in order to lose weight such as replacing my meals with nutritious (but not delicious) shakes twice a day as well as eating only soup for two weeks.  I have also tried a variety of exercise routines such as working out one on one with a personal trainer and lifting weights in the rain during a boot camp class, but unfortunately none of these diets or exercise routines have initiated a permanent change in my lifestyle.

Trying to make healthier choices has been a challenge in the past because between working my 9 to 5 job and trying to build my own business as a freelance writer I am very busy. I definitely want to exercise at least three times a week, but I don’t really have a lot of free time to spend travelling to and from the gym every day.  The key to my success is trying to find an exercise routine that is effective but doesn’t take away from my regular job or my own business. I need to find an exercise routine that fits into my busy lifestyle because if my exercise routine doesn’t disrupt my life then I am more likely to stick with it.

Working out at a gym doesn’t work for me

I don’t like exercising at a gym because it is expensive, time consuming and gyms are full of germs.  A public gym is a warm room full of sweaty people; we all know that sweaty people are not clean and that germs cultivate in warm temperatures. I prefer to skip the gym in order to save myself from contracting some type of incurable disease.  If you don’t like germs but you do enjoy the social aspect of working out at a gym then I recommend taking a yoga class.  Doing yoga in a public studio or at a gym is ok because you aren’t touching any public services, your area is confined to your own yoga mat.

I had no idea where to find good at-home-workouts so I asked my friends on Twitter; I wanted to know when, where and how they exercise at home.  Through the wonders of social media I discovered an awesome website called Blogilates which encourages women to work out on a regular basis through making exercise fun, entertaining and interactive. I also discovered three great Yoga DVDs and just like that my “Save Yourself. Skip the Gym.” personal mission was born.

I hope that you join me along my personal journey towards saving myself and skipping the gym by exercising at home with Yoga, weight training and Pilates.

Love Always,

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A little bit about me and why I want to lose weight

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Earlier this month I decided to start 90 days of at-home-yoga in an effort to get healthy, lose weight, and increase my overall well being. My “Save Yourself. Skip the Gym.” exercise plan will help people who don’t want to go to the gym get an effective weight loss workout at home.

I have never been a “skinny girl” per se, but over the last 6 months my weight has increased and I don’t like it; I am also sick of my excess weight making me unhappy in all aspects of my life because it’s all I can think about. This year my new mentality is all about making positive changes in my life; this includes being happy and being proud of my personal appearance.  We live in a very superficial society and unfortunately I often define myself by my appearance.  If I am happy with my personal appearance then I will (hopefully) be a happier person.

Lose Weight? Why Now?

One day I woke up and I decided to stop complaining about my health and actually start doing something about it, this is why I am going to save myself and skip the gym.  I personally hate going to the gym for a number of reasons which include it being very time consuming as well as being full of germs.  Despite my dislike for public gyms I still want to exercise on a regular basis and I want to lose weight; therefore I am forced to find alternative methods of exercise.  I no longer want parts of my body to touch that should not be touching and I no longer want to be defined by my weight.

Today is the first day of the rest of my healthy life. If you have a personal weight loss story or a favourite workout routine that you love I would love to hear from you, please contact me anytime.  I hope you join me on the path towards loving life and learning to love myself.

Love Always,

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Save Yourself. Skip the Gym: 90 Days of Yoga

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This year is all about making positive changes as I work towards loving life and learning to love myself. One of my goals for 2012 was to find a career that I honestly and truly love, and I discovered that career is writing.  I want to be an author, but until my fiction and motivational books are published I would like to work for a literary agency, a public relations firm, or even a financial institution in corporate communications.  I want to wake up every morning and go to bed every night feeling good about myself.

In order to achieve my career goal of becoming a professional writer and in order to achieve my personal goal of becoming an author I decided to go back to school. I am currently enrolled in the journalism program at Concordia University here in Montreal. My class this semester is called “Writing for the Web” and our assignment is to create a blog and start writing on a regular basis. Since I already have a blog, I decided to blog about one specific topic on My Diary Entry throughout the school semester.

In addition to achieving my career goal of becoming an author I also have a personal goal to be healthy, get fit, and lose weight; but I absolutely hate going to the gym.  My ideal weight is 120lbs for my 5 foot frame and therefore I would like to lose 20 to 25 lbs.  It is very hard to lose weight if you don’t exercise because you hate the gym, so I decided to do a little investigative journalism and find effective at home exercise routines that will help me get fit.

From October 1 to December 31 I am going to do a yoga workout routine in my apartment every other day.  I can’t commit to exercising every single day because between working my 9 to 5 at the bank, going back to school, and all of my freelance gigs I just don’t have the time. Finding the right balance between work and life is a dilemma that a lot of people have when they are trying to achieve career goals and trying to achieve personal happiness at the same time.

One of the main reasons why I don’t exercise on a regular basis is because I get bored easily and a regular gym routine is boring.  The key to achieving success and continuing to exercise on a regular basis is to have a variety in my yoga routines. I already have the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD and I purchased 3 other Yoga DVDs from eBay, including Shape Lean & Strong Yoga, Rodney Yee Power Yoga, and The Biggest Loser Yoga for Weight Loss with Bob Harper.

I am looking forward to exercising on a regular basis because endorphins from exercising make people happy. I am also excited that I will actually be taking a break from my freelance work every other night to do some yoga, instead of just working from 6pm to 11 pm every day.

If you have a favourite yoga DVD please share, I would love to read about it.

Love Always,

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