The 5 Puzzle Pieces of Fitness

So what makes someone physically fit and healthy? Of course lifestyle choices, diet and exercise are things that influence our fitness and overall health. But when thinking about what makes someone physically fit, what comes to mind? Being strong, energized, lean and confident are a few that come to my mind. There are 5 components of physical fitness and its important to train each part in order to increase performance or reach goals. Can you name all five?

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A Southern Snowday

I moved to Charlotte, NC from Ann Arbor, MI about 7 months ago. This is my first winter here in Charlotte and its been quite the treat compared to Michigan winters. We did get out first snowfall yesterday and the entire city shut down! I was shocked because we only got about 2 inches. No school, no work, the gym and yoga studio were closed, even the bank was closed! Since there was not enough snow to hit the slopes, I decided to stay in and make some hearty yet healthy eats.

First, I made some no-bake Cranberry Oat bars. They are packed with protein, antioxidants and healthy fats. They are also gluten free, vegan and soy free. Everyone can enjoy these delicious gooey bars. Only 5 simple ingredients are needed.

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Weekly Workouts

I have been keeping a fitness log since September of last year (so about 5 months). I started tracking my exercise because I signed up for my first Reebok Spartan race! With something specific to train for, I have been much more motivated to keep up with my workouts. Having a goal makes such a big difference. It pushes you on the days your really not feeling it and its something to look forward to. My race date is in April, so I still have plenty of work to do.

When I track my workouts, I include the following:rpe-scale.gif

  • Main activity (HITT, yoga, running, weight training, etc) & duration
  • Main muscle groups targeted
  • RPE- rate of perceived exertion, which is a fancy way of stating how hard I worked. I use the Borg 6-20 scale.
  • What was most challenging
  • Any other notes- how I felt, if anything come up mentally, how sore I feel or just anything else I feel like noting.

 

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The real “secret” to weight loss

Understanding Weight Loss: Back to Basic AlgebraNike Math.jpg

Who knew that the key to understanding weight loss is to go back to 8th grade algebra? I know your probably thinking that weight loss is hard enough and now Im supposed to do math…I’m not having it. BUT- having this knowledge is so powerful and will allow you to understand the basic science behind weight loss. We have all heard that the real key to weight loss is diet and exercise, and guess what, thats right! It boils down to a caloric balance in the body. We must burn more calories then we eat in order to create a negative caloric balance. A negative caloric balance = weight loss. On the other hand, when we eat more calories then we expend, weight gain occurs, due to a positive caloric balance.
So how do we know how many calories we are burning? This is where the math comes in. Continue reading

5 New and Fun Workouts to try in 2016

Dancin’ and Drumming

This workout is what inspired me to write this article. I was home over the holidays and my mom brought me to this class on new years eve (which was her birthday, so of course I was excited to work out with her). You set yourself up with an exercise ball on top of a couple aerobic step risers and each person has a pair of drumsticks. During the workout we did various drumming movements (working the upper body), squats behind the ball (hello legs), reaching over to drum your neighbors ball (obliques) and intricate footwork around your ball. We did not stop moving for the entire hour. This class was great steady state cardio and it was so much fun! It also gets your brain working in order to pick up the choreography and various drumming rhythms. It felt great to be synchronized with the group. It was like we were all united together and when we pulled off all drumming at the same time, it looked really cool. This workout will for sure put a smile on your face. Its a great workout for all fitness levels. Im so happy I tried it (Thanks mom).

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A B C’s of Y O G A

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I have been actively practicing yoga for three years now. Yoga has always been something I was interested in. Throughout college, I went to a few classes here and there, but never quite reached that mind body connection. After college I was no longer doing gymnastics and I missed feeling in tuned with my body. So I stared practicing yoga, and this time I actually focused on what I was doing rather then just going through the motions. My what a difference it has made. I have grown both physically and mentally throughout my yoga journey. I have tried a bunch of different methods to really find what I like best. Here is a little insight into my yoga experiences and just some fun facts!
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Welcome to Fitlosophy

Hello therIMG_0605e. My name is Karen Thompson and I am starting my blogging journey with Fitlosophy.  My vision for this blog is to provide readers with knowledge they can use to live a healthy lifestyle and understand a bit of the science behind exercise. I believe that understanding is motivating and the more we are aware of what our bodies are capable of, the more we strive to be our best.

Ill start off by sharing my fitness story. I grew up in a small town in Michigan. We had 10 acres of land, so I had plenty of room to run outside and be active. My mom decided to put me in gymnastics because I had so much energy. Gymnastics became a big part of my life once I joined the competitive team. I loved gymnastics more than anything. It did not come easy to me and I was hard on myself, so there were challenges throughout the years. But the sport taught me so much about myself; how to push myself physically, work through fear and be confident in myself. I continued with gymnastics throughout high school and competed on my college club team for three years.

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