Are you a fan of New Year’s Resolutions? I definitely used to be. I would carefully craft long lists of all the new things I was going to do/see/be/improve in the coming year. I would excitedly make plans and then – inevitably – about two weeks later, life would get in the way and all of those things would fall by the wayside. Over the past few years, I’ve realized that as much as I love the idea of resolutions, they really weren’t working for me. So I gave them up. And you know what? It’s been great. Instead of resolutions, I have used the start of the New Year as a simple opportunity to reflect on things that have worked for me in past year as well as those things that didn’t. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about fitness and keeping strong and healthy in 2019. With that in mind, our Good Food Reads this week is some thoughts on fitness as a food blogger!
Photo by Bruno Nascimento
Because I am a full-time working mama of young kids and a food blogger, it can be a little crazy to stay on top of exercise. I know a lot of you can understand! Life is busy and there are always reasons not to move. Running outside is a great workout and stress reliever, but I will fully admit to being a bit of a weather wimp and winter running in Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. Yoga will always be one of my big loves, but sometimes getting to a hour class doesn’t work with my schedule. I enjoy strength training but often don’t know what exercises I should or shouldn’t be doing. Sound familiar?
Over the past few years, I’ve found a few things that have helped me to keep moving and kept me fit, while enjoying all of the yummy food here in With Two Spoons. And since it seems like January is the time for health and fitness re-centering for a lot of people, I thought I would share a few of the things I’ve loved.
01. Home Workouts. A few years ago, my husband and I converted a spare bedroom in our home into a small workout room. We have some basic equipment (treadmill, elliptical, weights) and a space for stretching and strength exercises. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have it. On busy days, I can still typically find time to sneak down and get in at least a quick 20 minute run or TRX workout. There really are no excuses when my “gym” is literally just a few steps away! What I’ve discovered is that you really don’t need a large amount of space or equipment. You can get a great workout at home!
02. Fitness Apps. I am definitely the type that responds well to a little peer pressure when it comes to fitness. I need someone in my ear, telling me to do more. I have a great trainer once a week that I LOVE (see No. 3 for more info on that!) but on days that I’m not working out with her, I will often turn to a few of my favorite apps to get a great home workout. What have I been loving lately? I frequently use the Tone It Up app for their great daily moves to pair with a run or elliptical session. They have tons of strength training videos also available, both for free and with a subscription.
While I was pregnant with my daughter, I began using the Aaptiv app to give me some challenges on long walks. After delivery, I started running again and have loved their audio guided workouts ever since! The trainers have so much energy and the music is always great. They have running, elliptical, walking, and even strength workouts. The subscription is an investment at $99/year but I honestly think it’s totally worth it. If you want to give it a try, send us an email. I have a few one month guest trial passes I’m happy to share with anyone who is interested. (FYI: These are NOT sponsored in any way. I truly love and use them all the time! I paid for my subscriptions to both apps.)
03. A Personal Trainer. Ok, I realize that this isn’t for everyone but having a personal trainer has been the best thing ever for me. It’s definitely a luxury, but I 100% believe it’s worth it. I workout with my trainer, Maureen (hi Maureen!), about once a week. The workouts are always different, fun, and super challenging. I started working out with Maureen while pregnant with my daughter (see below – taken at about 37 weeks!) and she not only kept me strong and healthy throughout my pregnancy but helped me to get back into shape following delivery. I can’t recommend her enough. If you’re local to the Minneapolis area and want to workout with her, send me an email and I’d be happy to give you her info!
04. Google Calendar. Um…what? A calendar? Yup, a calendar. For me, carving out the time to exercise really is half the battle. I’ve started scheduling my workouts ahead of time, even the ones I do at home. If it’s on my calendar, it’s on my mind and it’s a priority. Does it always work? Nope. But it has definitely increased the frequency with which I get my workouts in. Oh, and it’s free!
05. A Wearable Fitness Tracker. Now, I know that the jury is out on whether these are actually effective in getting people to move more, but I started out with one of the first Fitbit wearables years ago and haven’t looked back. I switched to an Apple Watch last year and am loving it. I think the accountability of knowing how much I moved (or didn’t move!) is really helpful day to day.
Do you have health or fitness tips or tricks you love and would share? Recipes you love to make that nourish your body and taste great? We would love to hear all about them! Leave us a comment or share on our IG or Facebook.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fit New Year!!