Today, I’m happy to bring you a FANTASTIC guest-post, written by the author and creator of An Apple Per Day, Kaitlin Gardner. Enjoy!
Like any exercise regimen or practice, consistency is essential to long-term benefits to your health. Swimming is no exception, but the health benefits of a swimming routine are special, if for no other reason that the environment in which it takes place. Additionally, with the growing popularity of indoor swim centers, along with traditional gyms and YMCA facilities, swimming can now be enjoyed year-round in nearly every region of the country.
The benefits are plentiful, and if you ask ten people, you might get ten different answers. There are reasons why I think swimming is one of the very best overall healthy exercises a person can participate in. Here are a few links with even more great ideas and reasons working swimming into your routine:
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias
It can be really hard to get motivated to workout, eat healthy or get enough steps in each day. I am constantly looking for new and fun ways to keep myself motivated. A huge motivator for me has always been rewards, I love rewarding myself and I love being rewarded via contests or competitions. I just love the thrill of competing! Today I’ve found a new way to keep myself motivated, and I’m VERY excited to share it with you!!
If you’ve ever shopped at Walgreens you know their customer loyalty program is called Balance Rewards. With Balance Rewards you earn points for everyday purchases you make, as well as setting up some prescriptions for auto-refill, getting certain immunizations and NOW for setting goals, taking steps, losing weight, maintaining your weight and taking your measurements, through their healthy choices program.
THIS. IS. HUGE.
Walgreens Balance Rewards work up to be essentially free items. Those points that you earn eventually turn into rewards that can be used to purchase items. That means that when you walk, weigh-in or track some of the other items in Walgreens healthy choices program, you’re earning points that will eventually be used for stuff you need. So awesome!!
My Day in the Life with healthy choices
The moment I heard about this app, I downloaded it and began using it. The first thing I did was set up some goals, I went with basic ones, like hitting 10,000 steps a day and losing 25 lbs within 3 months. I wanted to make sure my goals were achievable and fun to meet. Your options for goals are limitless, so no matter what you’re trying to achieve you can work towards it with the help of the healthy choices program.
Every morning I open the app, enter my weight (and earn my points), enter the hours that I slept the previous night (you do not earn points for entering your sleep) and then head to make my coffee.
While at work, I try to ensure that I’m getting up from my desk every hour to hour and a half to take a quick walk around the building. My steps add up quickly, which all get entered into the Walgreens app at the end of the day, to earn more points!! I love it, I’m constantly looking for new ways to get my steps in. So, I’ll march while I’m folding laundry or while Emmett is playing in his sand box, I’ll take laps around our yard, anything to add them up!
However, in addition to my walking, I’m also doing a PiYO workout. I’m loving it, but some of the moves are pretty intense and require you to bend or move into positions that my body is not quite ready for. So what did I do? I went to Walgreens and got myself a yoga block. Yep! Walgreens sure does carry these, and it was super affordable, too. In fact, I don’t know if you’re aware, but Walgreens has an entire section dedicated to diet & nutrition.
Since I’ve been doing my PiYO with the yoga block, I’m able to get into deeper stretches and put myself into positions, I couldn’t get to before. My posture is better, and my form and alignment are getting more and more accurate. I love the way I feel! I feel like I’m doing so much good for my body.
And, you guessed it! I add my PiYO workout into my Walgreens Balance Rewards app and earn even more rewards that will go towards stuff I need around the house. My workouts are going to save us money!! How can I say no to that??
One last thing I want to mention, and for me, it’s a big one! You can link your RunKeeper account with the healthy choices program. That means, that any workout you complete with RunKeeper is then communicated with Walgreens earning you more points.
So here’s my recommendation: Work to get healthy, eat better, exercise hard, and download the Walgreens app and sign-up for the healthy choices program. I’m pretty sure earning points towards items you need is enough motivation to get you up and out the door, or up and on the treadmill. Do it! Go now! 🙂
What are your favorite ways to get yourself motivated to workout?
When you download the Walgreens app, please share how much you LOVE it, in the comments below!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias Thank you for helping to support my family.
Last week, I took a very short hiatus from Fitness Fridays. I decided to take the time to regroup and refocus on what I wanted out of these posts, because what I previously had wasn’t really working. Well, it was working, but it wasn’t what I had in mind when I decided to revive these from the dead.
I find my Fitness Friday posts to be very motivational and inspirational because I am forced to come here and report to the internet at large, what my goals are and whether I met them. There is nothing that holds me more accountable than not wanting to report a failure to my readers (or anyone, really).
I decided to keep these weekly posts light on the advice (with the occasional advice post, when I have something I really want to share) and heavy on how the week went for me, what worked, what didn’t, etc. I don’t want that to be relegated to the very bottom of the post. For me, the whole purpose of this is to be like an online journal where I share my trials and tribulations, keep myself motivated and maybe inspire someone else in the process.
So, I’m hoping you’ll join me on this new andimproved expedition!! There won’t be a link-up at this time, but I’ll re-evaluate that as time marches on.
For now, I hope that you can except my brutal honesty towards myself and support me as I do so. Ready? Set… GO!
Fitness Fridays…… Renewed!
Week of 7/26/14 – 8/1/14
This was a hell of a week! It was my first full week back since being on vacation and I wasn’t happy about that, so I was really caught up in the emotions of work and not really paying attention to my eating or exercise. However, I did manage to keep my nutrition to at least a 7 (out of 10), for the majority of the week.
I got back into drinking my Shakeology, which keeps a lot of my cravings at bay, but I was still wanting salty / carby foods, thanks to PMS. I did manage to eat lots of veggies all week long, which helped keep me full and away from the junk. I didn’t weigh-in this week, because I just didn’t want to face the music AND I’m considering taking the scale out of my life, at least for the near future, (more to come on this in future posts).
But, while my eating was around a 7 all week, my exercise was a big FAT 0. 🙁 I felt low in energy all week, and just couldn’t find the get up and go to get a workout done. I did walk with Emmett a lot, but no intense sweat sessions. I do realize, that if I had worked out, that low energy probably would have gone away, I’d have felt amaze-balls (yes! I did just say that). 🙂
I do want to say one thing, and it is a REALLY important thing. I refuse to beat myself up any more, for anything. Whether it be a lack of motivation to workout, or the way I naturally react to a situation. I’m sick and tired of always hating the way I am, or the way I look. In order to overcome that I need to change my mindset, and realize that I am okay the way I am. I’m not saying no to self-improvement, but I am saying no to beating myself up for not being 100% amazing RIGHT NOW.
Fitness / Food Goals for the next week:
Complete the 3 Day Refresh! I start on Monday! I’m kind of nervous, but I can do anything for 3 days, right!?
Workout 4 times. Beachbody recommends that you do light to no exercise during the refresh, due to the lower number of calories you’re taking in, because of this, I am aiming for 4 workouts, instead of 6 or 7.
I will keep my nutrition at a 7 out of 10.
What do you think of the new (again) format of Fitness Fridays?
Share one or all of your goals in the comments below, let’s hold each other accountable!!
Have you heard of theSkimm? No?! You need to! It’s an online, daily email newspaper, that shares all the important stories from the previous day. It’s free to sign-up, and you’ll start receiving the newsletters daily (Monday-Friday). You can check them out, and see what they’re all about by clicking here.
I know most people are super excited that it’s Friday, but I’m not. That means the majority of my vacation is done and over with. I don’t go back until next Thursday, but I am not looking forward to that. Either way, here we are again at my Fitness Friday post.
This week I thought I’d shake things around her up a little and go with 5 things from the past week, that I thought you should know about.
Yesterday I weighed-in for a work incentive. If I had lost 15% of my body weight in 6 months I would have been eligible for a $250 prize. I didn’t get it. 🙁 I was .9 over my goal weight. SO frustrating! I did have 6 months to complete the loss, so the fault lies completely with me, but I’m still frustrated with myself. However, I have the opportunity to lose an additional 15% by January of 2015 to earn $250, so I’ll be focusing on that and I WILL get there.
This vacation has been anything BUT productive. I got done the things I absolutely needed to do but getting ahead on my blog, or getting things with my Beachbody business scheduled pretty much did NOT happen. Honestly, though, I’m not all that disappointed. I work my tail off all the time, I deserve some real genuine down time.
My sweet baby boy Emmett is going to be TWO YEARS OLD on Tuesday. Can you believe that!? No big parties this year. Since my sister and her family is in town visiting, we’ll have a small dinner at my parent’s house on Saturday. On his actual birthday we’re planning on going to the zoo and then to Friendly’s. I’m hoping my little boy enjoys his special day!!
My eating hasn’t been the greatest this week, but it has not been as bad as vacations in the past. We’ve gone out for lunch a few times and, get this, I’ve actually STOPPED eating when I was full. Like legitimately left 1/2 a sandwich on my plate, because I was full. I felt strong and empowered and in charge of my life when I did this. GO ME!
My husband surprised me with a new mouse yesterday, it’s super cute and blue. I’m loving it!!
Now Onto the Goals
Amount of Weight Lost
I actually didn’t weigh myself this morning. After yesterday’s disappointment of not losing enough to be eligible for the $250, I didn’t want to see what the scale would say this morning.
Don’t worry, I’m not giving up, or quitting, or any other such thing. I simply took a vacation from everything for the week (and it felt good!!!).
Last week, I said I wanted to workout 6 days and also run or bike twice. Well, I stuck to part of this. I worked out about 4 times and went on a couple walks with Emmett. Not terrible!
Next week, I want to get back into my focused 21 Day Fix practice. So, 6 days of working out with that and 2 run/walk or bike days.
My plan for this past week was to stick with the Shakeology and 21 Day Fix meal plan. I stuck with Shakeology, but I veered a bit from the actual meal plan. I had some food that doesn’t fit BUT I ate it in moderation and I do not feel guilty.
Next week I’m back on track!! Shakeology and clean eating!
Can you believe with in our 5th week of Fitness Fridays?
All I need to do is get through today, and I will officially be on vacation for 12 glorious days!! I’ll be busy on some of those days, but there will also be plenty of relaxing. I deserve it!
Alright, let’s get down to business, first things first, I’d like to thank Hanna Lei for linking up last week. I’m really digging her blog. First of all the layout is simple, and I love that. It looks so fresh and clean and is easy to follow. Secondly, her posts are relevant and fun to read. I’m a big fan of the post she linked up about Sports Bras and a Confession (go ahead and click there, I’ll wait).
If you read my blog frequently, you know that I’ve struggle with Binge Eating Disorder. For a long time I had no idea what it was that I was dealing with, and I assumed there was no way of overcoming it. Thankfully I was wrong!
I started writing about it on my blog, doing research, reading everything I could get my hands on about the disease and realized that with hard work, I could beat B.E.D.
It has been a long slow process, and I still occasionally find myself craving junk, but for the most part, I am now able to ignore those feelings, and fuel my body in healthy ways. You’re probably wondering what has helped me get to this point, right?
My Tips to Keep Your Diet on Track
1. Hard Work and Dedication – There’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that resonates true here.
[Tweet ““Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. -Theodore Roosevelt”]
There are so many times when I’ve reached for junk food, and had to talk myself out of actually eating it. Telling myself that isn’t how I lead my life now. I am conscious of my decisions! It is a constant struggle, happening multiple times a day, but each day it gets easier to tell myself no and to enjoy the fresh food I bring from home.
Eating better and fueling my body appropriately is well worth it. I have been feeling amazing and so positive! I feel like I’m on top of the world. 🙂
2. Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People – This is HUGE! I have several people in my life that I trust entirely, and that I feel 100% comfortable with. I share everything with them, every single success, and every single downfall.
For instance, when I ran an errand in the middle of the day and managed to come back without stopping at McDonald’s or any other fast food place with a drive-thru.
To some people that may seem insignificant, but to a food addict, being able to go out on your own, and come back without junk is one of the biggest accomplishments you can have. Having someone to share that with, that understands how HUGE that is, and celebrating with you is one of the biggest things that will help you through this.
3. Drink Shakeology – Okay, I know you probably think this is a cheap shot, added for a sale. But I swear to you, that it is not. I simply want to share what has worked for me.
I’ve been drinking Shakeology for a month now. In the beginning I didn’t notice even the difference and I really thought that all the hype was just that, hype. However, now a month in, I realize it isn’t. It has been life changing!
Prior to drinking Shakeo, when I’d think of a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder, my mouth would instantly water (I’m being 100% truthful). Now, a month out, when I think of those foods, I think of all the grease and fat involved and how awful it made me feel. That type of thing NEVER phased me before, I didn’t care what was in the burger or that my blood pressure would raise and my fingers would swell, I just wanted the burger. A bad food day to me now, is something like a salad or turkey sandwich at Panera.
I’m not touting it as a miracle drug (it’s not), but the different nutrients and herbs involved truly help stave off cravings. And it is now clinically proven to…
So yes, I’m smitten with Shakeology and I’m not afraid to scream it from the rooftops, so that everyone knows it.
I haven’t had a binge in 4 weeks!!!!
I want that to just sit there a second, because it feels amazing. I’ve never gone more than a few days, even on previous diets.
If you would like more information on Shakeology, you can email me at email@example.com or check-out the Shakeology website.
Those are my 3 tips that I proudly standby and support!!
Now Onto the Goals
Amount of Weight Lost
I’m happy to share a success with you…
I lost another 2.2 lbs!! Bringing my grand total to 7 lbs, which means I can get my manicure. 😀 I think I’m going to wait until my nails are a bit longer, though. I just trimmed them and they wouldn’t look very pretty painted so short. I can’t wait!
Last week I set a goal to continue with the 21 Day Fix and workout with it 6 times and then 2 additional workouts of running or biking.
COMPLETE! Boom! I sure did do six days of 21 Day Fix workouts and 2 run/bike workouts. I am on FIRE!
Next week I am going to stick with the same goal – six days with 21 Day Fix and 2 run or bike workouts.
Last week, I stated I wanted to continue with the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan and Shakeology. Another success to share, I ate on point and followed the meal plan perfectly, with only 2 handfuls of m&ms all week. Goodness it feels good to share successes!
I’m going to stick with the same program because it is working and I’m not bored.
Okay, that’s enough from me for today. 🙂 Be sure to share you posts with us in the link-up below. We love featuring new blogs!
Oh yes, folks – It’s Friday!! Though, a lot of folks had off today, so yesterday was their Friday.
I’m so excited for this long weekend! We don’t have a lot planned, but it is shaping up to be productive, purposeful and fun. 🙂
First up, I’d like to thank Rebecca from Flex and Shout Fitness, for stopping by and linking up. Please stop on over and give her some love!! She has a great circuit workout on the post I linked up there, make sure you pin it for future use.
This week’s Fitness Fridays is a bit different, Kathy is taking a week off, but I wanted to post this week for two reasons – number 1 being so I can talk about my weight loss (we’ll get to that in a bit), and number 2 is because I want to keep the routine going. I tend to get lazy if I stop a routine. So, here I am!
This week week I decided that I would talk a little bit about…
[Tweet “How I Find Motivation in the Darkest of Moments.”]
It’s no secret that I have struggled with depression, I’ve talked about it on here and in my in personal life. My moods swing up and down, but lately, they’ve been swinging more UP! I’m really happy that I can say that it isn’t just happening, I’m working hard at it. I am doing things to make my life better and stronger!
Here are my Top 3 tips I use to keep my motivation for life UP!
1. Wake-up and Make No Excuses! On those days when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and I don’t feel like doing anything but hitting snooze and the pillow, I literally force myself out of bed, I won’t except no for an answer. Once I’m up and moving I tell myself that I need to move around, make my coffee, sit at the table and think, anything but lay on the couch for at least 10 minutes. 9 times out of 10, once that time has passed I’m awake enough to get my workout in and don’t feel like laying down, wasting the quiet time. That workout is KEY to my happiness, right now!
2. Follow Health and Fitness Accounts on Instagram. If you’re about to consider eating that doughnut or skipping that workout, open Instagram and skim through the hundreds of thousdands of motivational pictures there. You have inspirational quotes, before and after photos and even short videos of people working out. People post healthy recipes, or short-burst workouts, the motivation is endless. I use IG a lot to find my motivation when I’m struggling. Something about other people accomplishing their goals moves me to mine. You can follow my IG account here: Jillian41681
3. Surround Yourself with People that Motivate and Inspire you. I know this seems like a given, but so many people don’t understand the necessity of having people who like to workout and eat well in your life. These are people who are a walking billboard for health. They’re the ones that kick your a** when you say you don’t feel like working out today, or that you’re going to eat that delicious cupcake. They’re also the ones who praise you and high five you when you do EPIC sh*t! 🙂
Those are my top three! I’d love to hear about yours in the comments!
Now Onto the Goals
Amount of Weight Lost
Are you ready for this…………..?
3.2 lbs!! Bringing my grand total to 4.8 lbs! I am .2 away from my first reward. Yay!
This is what happens when you work the program. I’m still following the 21 Day Fix (if you’re interested in learning more about the program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org), and it is working AWESOME!
I haven’t taken my measurements yet, but I will as soon as I get a chance. However, I know I have lost lots, because my tight pants are no longer tight. WOOHOO! 😀
I wasn’t completely successful, but I am not disappointed in the effort that I put in. I did 6 workouts, but only once a day. I just couldn’t squeeze in that 2nd workout. I need to work on that!
Next week’s goal is to continue with the 21 Day Fix, doing 6 workouts and then 2 days of running or biking outdoors. Getting outside and in the sun will really benefit me.
Before I go into what my goal was and will be next week, I want to share that I have not had an emotional binge or any other type of binge in 3 weeks. That’s not to say that I haven’t had some junk foods (ie: pizza), but I did not binge. I ate a normal, healthy amount, and felt no guilt! THIS IS HUGE! I’ll be talking more about this next week. I honestly truly feel like I can attribute this curbing of cravings to Shakeology. The stuff is so darn good, makes me feel good and has cut out most of my cravings. And the ones I do get, I am getting better at ignoring, or finding ways to cope with them.
Alright, last week, I stated I wanted to continue with the 21 Day Fix meal plan and Shakeology. I did both to a T! Go me!
Next week, I will continue to stick to the 21 Fix Meal Plan and Shakeology (love this stuff!).
If you’re wondering the reason for me continuing with the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan, it’s because it is so easy to use. The different colored containers and the lists of foods that you can eat, make it completely fool proof.
If you’re interested in learning more about 21 Day Fix or Shakeology, I can provide you with information on both. Please email me at email@example.com I’d love to hear from you!
Okay that about does it, be sure to link-up your posts below, I love reading them and highlighting your blogs on mine. Let’s grow our followings together!
What’s your favorite way to keep your motivation up? Share in the comments below!
Who remembers watching TGIF on ABC on Friday nights?? Anyone? I’m sure I am not the only one! I used to look forward to that night of TV more than anything. Well, that’s not entirely true, I did look forward to the night Full House was on. I’d love that show, still do (and I still watch it today).
Anyhoo – I completely veered off topic there. We’re in week #2 of our Fitness Friday link-up and I’m really excited because we had two great blog posts link-up with us.
Last week, I explained that we would be picking a weekly theme to talk about on our blog. Last week’s theme was ensuring you fit exercise in while traveling, this week we decided that we’d discuss how to keep motivation for working out when the newness of a fitness program has passed.
Staying motivated when the newness has passed
If you’re like me, it’s can be really difficult to stay motivated to eat right and workout hard, but there are ways to overcome your slowly waning drive.
1. Assess the Workout You are Doing. Consider the workout you’re doing, is it something that you enjoy or do you find it boring or repetitive. If you find that your answer is yes to either of those, PICK A NEW WORKOUT! There are so so many options out there for staying active, don’t ever let yourself get bored and fall off track.
2.Have You Plateaued? If you’ve been doing the same routine or type of exercise for some time, it’s possible that you’ve plateaued. When that happens, you can get frustrated and have a hard time keeping your focus. Switch it up, try something new, take a different running route, anything that will shock your muscles back into action.
3. Are you getting lazy? Yes, it may sound harsh, but are you getting lazy? Is your motivation disappearing because you just can’t “find the energy” to get up off the couch and put your sneakers on? Then stop making excuses, put the sneakers on and just work out. Even if you convince yourself to do 10 minutes, that 10 minutes is better than keeping your butt on the couch.
Onto the goals
Amount of Weight Lost
Last week I maintained, this week I gained 3 lbs. I’m not really surprised, I had pizza Wednesday night and on Tuesday, for lunch, I had pulled pork and pasta salad (at a work meeting). Neither lend itself to being healthy, so I gained.I need to get focused next week!
Last week I said I wanted to keep working out, using the 21 Day Fix and I can share that I have continued to stick with it and I am enjoying the workouts so much. I got through the entire 7 days and I loved them all, even the hardest day, Total Body Cardio Fix. Yikes! That’s a toughy!
This week, I am going onto my 3rd week of 21 Day Fix. I’d like to continue with that and get 7 days worth of workouts! On the side, I’d like to take some more walks with Emmett and get to the outdoor pool with him a few more times.
I set a goal to continue sticking with healthy eating and drinking my Shakeology, and I partially completed that. I had my Shakeology every single day (I am loving it!) and I stuck to the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan about 75% of the time. It’s a wonderful feeling, I just need to get to 100%. 😀
Next week, I want to continue following the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan, and drinking my Shakeology. I look forward to reporting a loss next week. 🙂
Alrighty, that about does it for this week’s Fitness Friday – We’d love it if you shared your awesome fitness related posts with our link-up below.
How do you keep your motivation up when you’ve been working out for awhile?
What are some of your exercise and food goals for the next week?
If you want to start your Monday off on a generous foot and want to support cancer research, donate to my ride. I’m riding for Roswell Park Cancer Institute and their Ride for Roswell. Anything will help me reach my goal, and further advance cancer research. Just click HERE to donate.