Getting Back on Track


As a health and wellness professional, there is always a low-level of pressure that I put on myself to make sure that I'm "walking the walk" so to speak. I would say I try my hardest to live by example- making sure that I get enough movement during the day, eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains (promoting a vegan lifestyle), and allowing time for self-care.

Lately though, I've been feeling a little off track with my physical fitness. I'm lucky that I fence 2-3 times a week and walk with my dog every day which usually helps me meet my 10k steps. However, I set a goal at the beginning of the year to be consistent with a strength training program and there have been a lot of bumps in the road.

I've been giving it some thought over the past few days (thanks to my fellow CAPP-sters for coaching the coach) and I came to a few realizations.

  1. I'm very hard on myself. This is something I'm working on. I'm trying to appreciate my body in its current state and being thankful for all of the things it allows me to do.
  2. I keep trying to stick to a "program" of some sort instead of just allowing myself to do whatever works for me on a particular day/time. I already get a lot of cardio with fencing and walking with my dog so I really wanted to have a strength training routine to complement those things. The program I was doing at home used weights but wasn't the heavier lifting I was looking for.
  3. I need to spend a bit more time in the preparation stage- making sure my workout clothes are clean and laid out, having shoes that are comfortable, and keeping my workout area clean and tidy.

I know how important physical fitness is and I'm a pretty motivated person. I actually like working out if you can believe it. It was challenging to figure out what was getting in the way of my success and it was really helpful to pick apart the process. When all is said and done I don't care if I start and stop a hundred times with a hundred different workouts, as long as I never stop permanently.

The reason I'm sharing this is because the road to well-being is rarely a linear path. There may be bumps, curves, and obstacles that get in your way. The important thing is to never lose sight of where you are going. Pull over if you need to, re-orient yourself, and enjoy the journey.

The Great Crossfit Experiment

I seriously never thought I would see the day when I would be talking about Crossfit workouts. I have heard opinions about the workouts from both ends of the spectrum but never gave it any real consideration until the past couple of weeks.

About 2 months ago, my husband Chris decided that he wanted to check out our local Crossfit box (gym). He really wanted something that would take his physical fitness to the next level and had a group setting (the social butterfly that he is). We were also toying with the idea of building a home gym in our garage and had priced out a few items. However, this would definitely not provide a group setting unless you count our dog Ripley who likes to supervise.
"I'll just be here, judging your form"

There happens to be a Crossfit location within a 5 minute bike ride from our house so he decided to take a free class to see if it was a good fit. He came home almost giddy with excitement and proceeded to tell me that this was EXACTLY what he was looking for. An incredible workout, knowledgeable coaches, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and a group setting. He wasted no time in joining up and started attending classes 3-5 times a week. Every Chris came home from a class he was drenched in sweat and raving about how awesome and challenging that day's WOD ("workout of the day") was.

A few weeks into his membership, he started encouraging me to come try out a free class because he was convinced I'd get hooked too. At the time, I was working out at home, following the Kayla Itsines "Sweat" program which I think is a great option for people who want to workout at home and have limited equipment and time. However, I was starting to feel that I was going to need to do something a little more intense if I wanted to increase my fitness levels. I decided to see what this gym could do for me and after my first class I definitely understood what all the hype was about.

The coaches and other members were an incredibly welcoming and friendly group of people and they made this introvert feel right at home. The workout left my whole body feeling sore in the very best way. The hour seemed to fly by and I really enjoyed having a structured and timed workout. Classes are 1 hour and include a warm-up, explanation of the exercises, and the actual workout. I ended up getting a 3 month membership to see how it ends up fitting into my fitness plan (going at least 3 days a week) and I can't wait to try and make some plant based gains.

I will be blogging updates on my progress once a month and am so excited to share my thoughts with you all. Included in that will be more information about how I fuel myself on a vegan diet.

And just because I have a sense of humor and couldn't help myself...

7 Free Physical Fitness Resources

Happy New Year! I know the new year has inspired a lot of us to set new fitness goals so I thought that I would share a few free fitness resources for you. All of these programs can be done at home and usually with minimal (or zero) equipment.

1. Yoga with Adriene - I love Adriene's attitude and the welcoming atmosphere she creates in her videos. She is all at once calm, funny, and inspiring. The YWA Youtube channel has something for everyone, including several job related or situational yoga programs. I just started her newest program, Yoga Revolution which is a 31 day free guided yoga practice.

2. Fitness Blender - FB provides absolutely free workout videos and has everything from HIIT training, strength training, core work, and pilates. The website has a really useful search function where you can narrow down workouts by time (here are all of there 10 minutes or less videos), difficulty, training focus, and equipment (here is the search I did for all workouts that require no equipment.).

3. Couch to 5K - C25K is a training plan that starts you off by walking and builds up your endurance so that you can eventually run a 5K race. I think that this plan is great for beginners and individuals looks to set a running goal. The plan is available online and via a free mobile app.

4. 7 Minute Workout - The 7 Minute Workout is a free app that is available (from several different developers) for both Apple and Android device. I have linked one here, but as I mentioned, there are several different ones to choose from. I think this is a great option for people who really feel like they are challenged with finding time to workout. The exercises are voice prompted and there are video and text descriptions of each exercise. Bonus- no equipment necessary! 

5. BeFit - BeFit is a YouTube channel that has a comprehensive library of workout free workout videos. You might see some familiar faces, like Jillian Michaels, Billy Blanks, Jr., and Denise Austin. There is definitely a wide range of options (to include yoga, stretching, core work, cardio dance, post natal exercises, and body weight work) and videos average about 10-12 minutes long.

6.NerdFitness - Shoutout to all of my fellow nerds! The team over at the highly successful created a few body-weight workouts for those of us who want to unlock our inner superhero. Check out the 20 minute hotel workout if you're on the road a lot, or want a workout you can do in your home office.

7. Dr. Paul Lam- Tai Chi for Health - I was looking for some alternative movement resources and came across Dr. Paul Lam's YouTube channel. The videos are older but there are quite a few instructional and informational videos. If you are looking for something that is low impact and can be done at home (or in a park) I highly recommend trying Tai Chi. I was so intrigued by his Tai Chi for Beginners- Free Lesson and Introduction video that I think I might be picking this up on active rest days.

** Photography by Erin Ammons- Lifestyle Photographer