Getting back on the blog wagon

It sure has been a while since my last post. Life has definitely sped up (in a good way) and I just let blogging slip through the cracks. I am still in the process of figuring out what kind of style blog I want and what content I want to focus on. Over thinking all of this has caused me to just avoid it all together. Starting a blog these days is challenging! There are so many amazing blogs out there and I feel overwhelmed about where to start/ how to keep up.

Then I took a step back and realized that I just simply need to write and be real. I want to use this space as a journal, as inspiration and as way to reach out to others with similar interests. Since my last post in June- A LOT has happened! A lot of big life things that I am proud of and that I worked hard for. So I want to re-visit this space and stay consistent with it going into 2017. I don’t have to put pressure on myself to have a beautiful blog with a ton of followers. I just need to put myself out there and write! Simple as that.

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Protein Powder 101

I used to think that protein powders were meant for body builders or those trying to bulk. I didn’t think I really needed one since my goal is to gain lean muscle and improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, when I started to track my protein intake per day, I realized that I was not getting enough protein. How much protein is enough? Well that can probably be its own separate post, but I like to go by 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass as a daily guide.

The first time I walked into the nutrition shop, I felt completely overwhelmed! The stacks of massive cases of powders, supplements, bars and products was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. There are a lot of different powders out there, so I decided to go back home and do some research first. Here is a quick explanation of the different types of protein powders:

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Fitness Certifications: How I became ACSM Certified

So if your interested in working in the fitness industry, getting a professional certification is a must-do. Whether you want to be a personal trainer, health coach, group exercise instructor or work in a clinical setting, there is a certification that fits all of these positions. Professional certifications will help you secure a job in the field and give you credentials to prescribe exercise.

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Mud Run/ Spartan Race Guide: How to be race day ready

You have signed up for a race, trained hard and now you are approaching race day. Planning out food and workouts the week leading up to the race can be challenging. The goal is to have peak energy and strength on race day and be as prepared as possible. I completed a spartan race about 2 weeks ago. This is a guide to how I got race-day ready, as well as tips and photos from my experience!

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How I trained for my first Obstacle Course Race

Last weekend I completed a Reebok Spartan Sprint in Charlotte, NC. There are three different types of spartan races. The Sprint is 3-5 miles in length and has 20-24 obstacles throughout the course. The Super is 9-11 miles with 25-28 obstacles and the Beast is 12+ miles and 30+ obstacles. Since this was my first obstacles course race and I am not much of an endurance runner, I stuck with the sprint. For this post, I am going to focus on what I did to train for the race. My race experiences and tips for race day will come later 🙂

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Weekly Workouts + Happy St Patty’s Day

Happy St. Patricks Day! I remembered it was St. Patricks day this morning as I was getting ready. I don’t ever do anything to celebrate, but I figured I would at least change out of my all-black outfit and put something green on.

Over the weekend, my boyfriend Shan and I went to our first Charlotte Hornets basketball game. The basketball game fell on the same night as  Charlotte’s St. Patricks Day Pub crawl…and holy cow! We did not know what we were walking into. The pub crawl was huge and there were people everywhere (apparently 20,000 people participated). By the time we got uptown, the crawl had been going strong for a couple of hours. So everyone had a dazed look in their eye. It did look like fun, but I was happy that we were heading to the basketball game. The hornets played great, beating the Houston Rockets 125-109.

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Macros, Macros, Macros!

If you are serious about seeing results from exercise, then you must pay attention to your macronutrients. Many people think that because they workout, they can eat whatever they want. Or that weight loss will happen by restricting calories without paying attention to specific nutrients. So wrong! The breakdown of substrates is so important in order to achieve your fitness goals. There are 6 nutrients that the body needs to function: carbohydrates, fats, protein, water, vitamins and minerals. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, protein and water. Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients.

The American College of Sports medicine recommends the following macronutrient breakdown for a balanced diet: 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% of calories from fats and 10-35% of calories from proteins. Note that this is a general recommendation and your macronutrient breakdown will be individualized based on your body composition, activity level, exercise training and your goals. So where to start? Follow these steps to get an idea of how to breakdown YOUR macros to get the results you want!

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Finding the Perfect Exercise Intensity for You

Exercise intensity is the most influential aspect of a workout. It impacts how many calories are burned, how much blood is delivered to muscles, the amount of CO2 removed and what the body uses as its primary fuel source. All that basically means is that the body responds and adapts to the demands placed upon it during exercise.Its important to understand what exercise intensity matches your goals in order to see the results you want. Whether burning fat, strengthening the cardiovascular system or increasing performance is the goal, there is an appropriate intensity to match each.

Lil guy running

Now lets back up and spell everything out.

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Life Lately + Weekly Workouts

This marks my third week as an intern at Carolinas Medical center. I am finishing up my graduate degree in Exercise Physiology through Eastern Michigan University. Since I moved to Charlotte NC over the summer, I found my internship down here. I am working in cardiac rehabilitation and I really like it so far. It’s such a relief that I am enjoying the work and picking up things quickly. The pre-graduation excitement/ nerves are starting to hit me. I am thrilled to be graduating, yet slightly terrified because now I really have to put my big girl pants on and enter the real world.

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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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