A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout, Brick Betty, and the Lucky Streak

So somehow, even though I’m not working at my “real” job this summer, I am staying really busy. I’ve been able to run most mornings, though it’s been so hot and humid even really early that I’m not getting a whole lot of miles. I’m also working hard this summer to build up the blog, and, as other bloggers know, that can take hours a day. Add in some weekends away, projects around the house, and I don’t seem to have a spare minute. Good, that will make the time go fast, so before I know it, summer will be over. (Sorry I’m not sorry for those of you who love summer. Try it in 115 degrees.)

A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout

Squataliscious – def – 1. involving many squats. 2. exercises that make the butt look delicious.

Alan and I also just made a re-commitment to the gym (again). So aside from being really sore this week, it has me thinking about faster, quicker workouts, especially those that can be done at home. I plan to introduce him to the TRX (though the only decent place to anchor it is outside, so hot/humid again). I’m also thinking about this Tabata workout. There’s is nothing like a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout to get your workout done quickly and leave you in a sweaty pile on the floor. I really like this one because it requires no equipment, so you can do it at home, in the gym, or, if you’re a bit of an exhibitionist, on the trails.

Squataliscious Tabata is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that will get you fit fast. No equipment needed.(Gee, look who’s working out on the trails.)

Brick Betty Ambassador

I’m really excited that I was asked to be a Brick Betty Ambassador. I love representing this beautiful line of fitness wear, designed for people who appreciate the best fabrics, bright colors, and high quality products, all of which are made in America. They are truly the Rolls Royce of fitness clothing. I’ll tell you more soon.

Brick Betty beautiful and colorful fitness wear for people who appreciate high quality, comfortable fitness fashion, made in America.

The Lucky Streak Continues

You may remember a few months ago I wrote about my lucky streak. Over the course of a couple months I won several prizes on blog giveaways, including my Blendtec Designer 725 blender, a $100 Lululemon gift card (both from Fitfluential), socks and a pair of Croc shoes (the cute ones!) from Katie, a Sparkly Soul Headband, an Unplugged t-shirt, a package of NuNaturals from Jody, not to mention that I received a Magic Bullet blender from Influenster (we’re doing really well in the smoothie department around here!).

Well, I seemed to cool off for a while (missing out on winning a tablet computer that would have been very cool), but it looks like things are heating up again! Last week I found out that I won a $75 Synergy Organic Clothing gift card from Lora Hogan, and biggest of all, the entire Schoen by Yu denim collection from Popsugar Select’s first ever giveaway. And finally, I won a prize package from Fit Approach! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure it will be filled with all kinds of Sweat Pink goodies!

Catch me at Blogfest (at the IDEAWorld Urban Party) in this pretty dress from Synergy Organic ClothingThis is the dress I ordered from Synergy Organic Clothing. Just in time to pack for Blogfest!

I’m thinking I better get myself to Vegas as soon as possible before this lucky streak wears off!

Have a great Independence Weekend everybody! We’re hanging around home this year in spite of the heat. What about you? Any fun plans or adventures planned for the 4th?

 

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party. Oh! I can’t forget Jill for Fitness Friday! I hope you’ll check out off of these amazing blogs!

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

How to Pack for Blogfest

With Blogfest just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about what to bring. I always tend to over-pack, and since I’m driving to Los Angeles, that’s not too big of a deal. However, if you’re flying in you will want to make sure to pack as lightly as possible, yet still bring everything that you need.

Packing for Blogfest

Blogfest is different than any other blogging conference, even those designed for healthy living bloggers. In addition to two days of blogging education, Blogfest also includes registration for the last two days of IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is the largest fitness convention in the world. So what does that mean?

1. At four days (five if you arrive on Wednesday to attend the free Zumba instructor training course), Blogfest is twice as long as most blogging events.

2. While healthy living blogging events include a variety of exercise classes, IDEA World kicks that up a notch with even more classes and workshops, including the opportunity to workout with Beto Perez and Jillian Michaels, plus other celebrity fitness pros, not to mention Blogfest Keynote speaker Gabrielle Reece, who will lead her HighX class. That’s a lot of sweating, which requires a little planning so that you don’t end up sweaty and stinky at your next session.

3. Blogfest also includes an invitation to the IDEA World opening party. The theme is Urban Party, and you’ll want to dress to impress.

4. If you choose, you can participate in one or more of the LA Adventures: The Hollywood Walking Workout Adventure on Wednesday, the Hollywood Hills hike on Saturday, or the Legendary Beverly Hills Bike Tour on Sunday (all adventures are available for an extra fee).

5. Your registration includes access to the IDEA World Fitness Expo, where you will not only have an opportunity to meet and network with a variety of vendors, you will probably load yourself up with freebies, great deals, and other fitness purchases, all of which take up luggage space on the way home.

These are just a few reasons why packing for Blogfest takes a little extra planning and consideration. To help you out, I’m sharing my suggestions for what to pack when you head to Los Angeles on July 16.

How to Pack for Blogfest

Clothing

Face it. It’s a fitness bloggers conference, so you will mostly be wearing fitness clothing.  Four or five days of fitness classes mean that you’d better bring a lot of fitness clothes (think yoga, Zumba, circuit training, and possibly running and walking). Unless you have access to a laundry, that’s a lot of clothing. In addition, fitness clothing is the norm for attending both Blogfest and IDEAWorld sessions too. I like to change into fresh clothes after a workout, but that’s entirely up to you. Fortunately, fitness wear doesn’t take up a whole lot of room in your suitcase. While you’re at it, throw in a couple gym towels too.

After hours, in addition to the Urban Party, you’ll probably head out for dinner or cocktails with your new friends, plus you’ll want to attend the Blogfest networking party. Pack according to your tastes, a pretty dress, jeans, or more yoga pants!

Oh, and if you’re sharing a room like I am, you’ll probably want to pack pajamas, a robe, or at least a big t-shirt. Your roommates will thank you.

How to pack for Blogfest

What does take up a lot of room is shoes. You’ll need comfortable shoes for the sessions and walking around the expo, a good pair of cross training shoes for most of the workouts, running shoes if you plan to go for a run, and if you’re going to spiff up for the evening, appropriate shoes for the Urban Party. And, of course, a pair or two of flip flops or sandals. You are in California after all.

And even though you’re in California, the evenings and mornings can be cool, not to mention the air conditioning inside the convention center. Bring a sweater or sweatshirt. Or two!

All your regular accessories: Hair care, makeup, underwear, etc.

Since you will be going straight from exercise classes to sessions, I recommend a fitness specific body wipe like Shower Pill. They come individually wrapped, they’re large and thick, plus they’re anti-bacterial.

For the Sessions

Bring something to write on and with. Paper, pens, pencils, computer, tablet. One of the best purchases I made a couple years ago was a keyboard for my iPad. It makes it so easy to take notes plus I can toggle back and forth between notes, Twitter and Instagram.

Power! You’ll be active on social media during Blogfest and taking a lot of pictures so don’t forget your charging cables and  an extra battery if you have that option. If you want to make a lot of friends, bring a power strip. These were provided last year at Blogfest, but you’ll find plenty of people at IDEAWorld who would be extremely happy to share your power.

You’ll be taking a lot of pictures, so if you have one, bring your “real” camera. And a Selfie Stick, because let’s face it, you’re going to want to take pictures with all the bloggers that you’re meeting.

How to pack for Blogfest.

Business cards! Blogging conferences are all about networking so bring plenty of business cards with you. Don’t have cards yet? Order now and you’ll get them in plenty of time. I love Moo.com. They’re very customizable and can be printed on both sides. And you’ll get 10% off your first order if you use this link.

A reusable water bottle and snacks. You’ll need to stay hydrated and refueled with all that working out going on! I also like to bring along some Sunwarrior protein powder and a shaker cup. Because I’m vegan I can’t always count on having plant based food available, so at least I can know that I’ll be able to start my morning off right.

A roomy but light bag or briefcase to carry all of the above around at the conference. A messenger-style bag works well.

For the Expo

If you’re a shopper, you’ll probably want to save room in your suitcase or bring an extra bag to carry it all home. Plus you’ll be getting some great swag at Blogfest, so remember that when you’re packing.

How to pack for Blogfest.I’m sure I forgot something, so if you think of something not on the list, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it.

I had an amazing time at BlogFest 2014. I know that BlogFest 2015 will be even bigger and better (maybe because you will be there?!). I am an IDEA Inspired Advisor, so I will be there (with bells on). I hope you will be there too!

There is still time to register! Use my code at checkout to save $100: BLOG100.

Blogfest Register 2015

Can’t get enough of Blogfest? Here are my other posts:

Meet My Blogfest Buddies!
The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld, Gabby, Jillian, Beto and More!
5 Reasons You Need to Go to Blogfest 2015
Blogfest: It Starts with the People
(From 2014) 6 Women (and 1 Man) I Can’t Wait to Meet at Blogfest

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

10 Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy

Stretching has become a much debated topic in recent times. For years it was touted as the key to restoring flexibility, improving athletic performance, and reducing injuries. Then stretching, particularly passive stretching, fell out of popularity in favor of more dynamic moves that were designed to prepare the body for sport. Passive stretching is reserved for after the workout, and even then its value is controversial.

FST 2

What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

Enter Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST), a type of stretching that targets not only the muscles, but the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and joints. FST also targets the entire joint and joint capsule, using traction to remove restrictions from movement and to stimulate lubrication. A therapist will gently pull and move the arms, legs, spine, and neck in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement. There is no pain, not even discomfort. Instead, the gentle movement is stimulating and relaxing at the same time.

The problem with many standard stretching programs is, well, they are standard. An athlete will finish her workout, run through her “usual” stretches, maybe paying extra attention to tight hips, sometimes pushing through some pain to get that final stretch. Sadly, this type of stretching is not effective and may even be causing more tightness and inflexibility. When you cause pain with stretching, your muscles respond to protect themselves, tightening up in a rebound type effect.

By contrast, a Fascial Stretch Therapist will evaluate their client, looking for imbalances, as well as the source of those imbalances. Then using breath to help with movement, the therapist will first warm up the joints and muscles with undulating stretching to maximize blood flow. Then using techniques of slow undulating movement, as well as traction (gently pulling to create space in the joint) and modified PNF ( proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), synchronized with the breath, the therapist will stretch the entire body, following a logical anatomical order, to lengthen muscle, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility.

10 Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy

  1. Increase Range of Motion
  2. Muscular Balance and Symmetry
  3. Improved Performance
  4. Reduced Pain
  5. Reduced Risk of Injury
  6. Improved Posture
  7. Improved Muscle Function
  8. Improved Circulation
  9. Decrease Compression and Impingement in the Joints.
  10. Improved Energy

The effects are cumulative. It took a while to develop the imbalances and stiffness in your body. It will take a while to reap the benefits of FST. But, that being said, you can feel immediate benefits, even after your first session.

Remember, I am not (yet) a certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. I will be studying and preparing for the class that I’m taking in August. My information comes from my experience as a client, as well as from the Stretch to Win website, and the book, Stretch to Win, which is written by Ann Frederick and Christopher Frederick, the developers of Fascial Stretch Therapy.

The above, by the way, is an affiliate link. I will make a few cents if you purchase that book through Amazon. Other than that I have received no compensation for this post. I have experienced FST first hand and I’m a believer in the benefits.

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday!

  
Have you heard of fascial stretch therapy? Have I piqued your interest? You can find a list of certified FST therapists on the website.

Are You Confident Enough to #GoCommando?

 

GoCommando 5

Quick confession: I’ve been going commando for running, fitness, and yoga for years. And, since I work as a personal trainer, and wear spandex daily, I #GoCommando in my work clothes too. So there. Of course, I’m a longtime Cottonelle fan, so I’ve had clean confidence for a while.

Cottonelle 5

Of course, Cottonelle is not the only thing that gives me confidence. I work really hard to stay fit and strong. I start most days with a run, sometimes long, sometimes short, occasionally fast(ish), frequently slow. I work my muscles with some type of strength workout several days a week. Some days it’s yoga, others it Pilates. I also love weights, using the TRX, and once in a while an outdoor, body weight only workout.

Continue Reading

It’s All About the Bass: The Workout

It’s Fitness Friday and I’m excited to bring you a fun and challenging workout for your butt rear aspect. Actually, it will strengthen your entire lower body, improve your balance, and protect you against injury.

It’s All About the Bass: The Workout

The only equipment you need are dumbbells or kettlebells, and a stability ball, plus a slider disk or paper plate. Be sure to use a weight that challenges you and use good form for each exercise (they are explained below). Warm up for about 10 minutes before you begin.

All About the Bass

Squat: Holding two dumbbells at your side, begin by standing with your feet about hip width apart. Sit back, bending at the knees and hips, keeping your back neutral, your knees aligned and your chest up. Pause then return to your starting position.

Combo: Rear Lunge/One Leg Deadlift/Rear Leg Lift: Start by standing straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Shift your weight to your left leg then step back into a rear lunge, lowering until your back knee almost touches the ground, and your front knee is bent to about a 90 degree angle. Straighten up, then start to bend forward at the hip, keeping your right leg straight and your spine neutral. Extend your left leg behind you with the knee straight. It should stay in alignment with your body throughout the movement. Lower until you’re about parallel with the ground (see the photo below). Slowly return to your starting position, then keeping your right leg behind you and your spine neutral, squeeze your glutes and lift your leg behind you. Lower your leg. That is one repetition. Complete the reps with the right leg, then do the other side.

One Leg Deadlift

Wide Leg Squats: Stand with your legs wide apart and your toes pointed slightly out. Holding one dumbbell or a kettlebell in both hands, squat down, making sure that you keep your knees tracking over your toes and your spine neutral. Pause then return to your starting position.

Lateral Slide Lunges: Stand with your legs together and your right foot on a slider disk or paper plate (you can even use a towel). With your weight on your left leg, start to bend your knee and sit back while sliding the right leg to the right, keeping the knee straight. Press your right foot into the plate to contract your adductors and slide your foot back to your starting position. Complete the reps with the right leg, then do the other side.

Combo: Hip Lift/Ball Roll/Squeeze: Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball. Lift your hips, then roll the ball in, keeping your hips elevated. Squeeze your glutes 5 times, then roll the ball out and lower your hips. That is one repetition.

There you go. Enjoy!

I’m linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday!

FitnessFridayRev3

Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

No treble here!

Do you have a favorite butt lower body exercise?

Meet My Blogfest Buddies!

blogFestBody

Blogfest is fast approaching and I’m getting really excited. Because I’m returning for a second year, I was asked to be a Blogfest Buddy! I would be matched up with a first-timer and I would help show her the ropes, so to speak. Now I am doubly excited because I have two Blogfest Buddies!

Introducing My Blogfest Buddies!

Jen from Pretty Little Grub

Jen lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a Registered Dietician and a Makeup Artist. I think that is such an interesting combination of careers and I can’t wait to actually meet Jen and find out how it came about (and get some makeup tips!). She blogs about all of her interests, nutrition, fitness, running, and beauty. She loves to travel too, so she writes about that as well.

JenJen is a pretty new blogger so she’s coming to Blogfest to make more blogging friends and form real connections. She loves how the blogging community is so open and how everyone helps each other. She also wants to learn more about the business side of blogging, and to develop more succinct blogging goals.

Jen is passionate about health and fitness (she’s going to love all the workouts that are offered at Blogfest and IDEA World!). She recently ran her first marathon! One thing that Jen and I have in common is that we both tend to be a little introverted, so we express ourselves through our writing.

Sessions that I’d recommend for Jen are Legal Advice for Bloggers, with Elizabeth Blaine and SEO Tips and Tricks with Sara Downey Robinson. And I know she’s going to love roaming the IDEA World Expo, trying new classes, meeting the vendors, and generally soaking in the fitness experience.

Michelle from Michelle Denise

My second buddy, Michelle, lives in Beaverton, Oregon, where she is a single mom to both a 20 year old and a six year old! She’s a director at Yahoo, which sounds like a pretty cool job. She previously lost 150 pounds, gained some back, and is now blogging about her challenges, her love of running, and finding her way back again.

MichelleMichelle is really excited about coming to Blogfest and meeting some of the people that she reads every day. She can’t wait to bond with them, share with them, and learn from them.

Michelle loves to run and recently completed her ninth half marathon, the Avengers, at Disney.

Sessions that I’d recommend for Michelle: Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths with Melissa Burton (one of my Ragnar teammates!) and the Future of Blogging with Jessica Matthews. And I’ll bet she’ll love the Fitness Icon workout–HighX with Gabrielle Reece.

I have to say that I am excited that both of my Blogfest Buddies are runners. I hope we’ll get a chance to take a run together. Or two.

I’m looking forward to all of the sessions I mentioned above plus How to Create a Career out of your Blog with three of my favorite bloggers, Katy Widrick, Laura Peifer, and Katy McFarland.  And I can’t wait for Mind Blowing Blog Tips with Jenn Hellickson and Jamie King (another Ragnar teammate!). Plus so much more! Great workouts, amazing speakers, and informative sessions that will really help you build your blog and your social media.

Blogfest Register 2015 new

I have a special code that will save you $100 on your registration! Just click here to sign up and use the code BLOG100 at checkout. There are a limited amount of openings, so don’t delay.

So, have you signed up yet? What blogger would you like to meet?