Want a Nap? Try Working Out to Increase Your Energy Level Instead

Fitness Article: Want a Nap? Try Working out to Increase Your Energy Level Instead

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Though exercising when you are tired and want a nap may sound counterintuitive, and maybe even counterproductive, working out to increase your energy level may work for you. When I first heard from a mentor that I should exercise when tired instead of taking a nap, I was exhausted between working full time at my internship site and finishing up grad school assignments. Although sleep is, of course, important, I knew a nap would put me at risk of not being able to fall asleep that night, which could contribute to my sleep debt. So I decided to do a 20 minute workout with Les Mills Pump. I figured that it was short enough to power through and if it didn’t work, I could always take a nap afterward.

It did work! I shouldn’t have been surprised, of course. I had heard long before this advice was given to me similar sentiments from Chalene Johnson. In one of her Turbofire workouts, she talks about how people ask her why she always has so much energy and she says that she works out. People say that they’re too tired to do that, and she says that if they worked out they’d have more energy. That’s how it works. How does exercise work to increase energy?

The Body Creates Energy from Exercise

According to nutritionist Samantha Heller, energy production begins with mitochondria in our cells, which she says are like “tiny power plants to produce energy”. The more activity you have, the more mitochondria are required, so doing regular cardiovascular exercise prompts the body to increase the mitochondria available in the body to meet your energy needs (1).

Robert Gotlin, MD, DO, and the director of sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, says that the energy increase from exercise is also related to improvements in mood and fitness level. Hormones called endorphins are released when doing things requiring a burst of energy, like working out, and the increased level of endorphins helps people feel more focused mentally after a workout. Better cardiovascular health comes from working out, which leads to more endurance, allowing people to have more energy left over at the end of the day. People may also experience improved sleep after exercise which leads to more energy the following day (2).

Types of Exercise that Boost Energy

The type of exercise you do may matter if your’e hoping for an energy boost. In a 2008 study by University of Georgia researchers, it was discovered than inactive people complaining of fatigue could decrease fatigue up to 65% and increase energy up to 20% through participation in regular, low-intensity exercise (1). According to behavioral therapist and personal trainer Therese Pasqualoni, Ph.D, exercise that is in your low to moderate training heart rate range “will prevent you from depleting your body and help you from feeling fatigued…” (1). According to experts mentioned by Bouchez in a WebMD article, yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi, are among the workouts that can be beneficial for this goal (1). There are some excellent home workouts that incorporate these workouts including yoga workouts Ho Ale Ke Kino and Yoga Booty Ballet, PiYo (a cross between Pilates and Yoga), and Tai Cheng, which is based on Tai Chi.

Robert Thayer, Ph.D, a psychology professor at California State University Long Beach, indicated that a 10 or 15 minute walk “has a primary effect of increased energy”. He discussed with WebMD a study in which people had more energy on days when they had more total daily steps than on days when they walked less (1). I have heard from several people that 10,000 steps a day is a good goal to have, and I know some who use a FitBit or similar device to track their steps and other activity levels. I haven’t given such a thing a go yet, but for awhile my car was broken down and I was walking nearly every day for at least 40 minutes, and I did feel a lot more energetic those days, even though I had to motivate myself to take those first steps. You can read more about increasing your motivation to walk or run here and some fit facts about walking here. If you do prefer high intensity workouts, Thayer reports that it might be possible that within about an hour of an intense workout “when your muscles recover, you might see a surge of energy but without the tension” (1).

Bicycling at Wildwood Recreation Site, Welches - horizontal - 281 Photo by Mt. Hood Territory via Flickr (creative commons)

Bicycling can be just for fun or to help you exercise on the way to a destination. [Photo by Mt. Hood Territory.]

Pete Mcall, Exercise Physiologist at the American Council on Exercise recommends bicycling for pleasure and to run errands or commuting to work. He says, “Research indicates that most errands people run are within two miles of their home, a distance easily covered on a bicycle.” He points out that bicycling for errands has a dual benefit, in that it reduces the the amount of carbons in the air as well as helping people to exercise (3). I may actually be getting a bike soon for both purposes. He also recommends working extra activity into your day by taking the stairs or parking in a spot further from your destination. McCall says “chronic exercise beats chronic fatigue every time” (3). I’ll have to keep that line in mind next time I do multiple (not overly strenuous) workouts in a day and am asked “Why are you working out so much?”

If you want to know the absolute best workout for an energy boost, Gotlin says the best workout is “up to you and what you like to do” because “it’s not going to work if you don’t like it”. (2).

What do you like to do for exercise (and hopefully fun)? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Sources:

1. Exercise for Energy Workouts that Work by Colette Bouchez on WebMD

2. Boost Your Energy Levels With Exercise by Diana Rodrigues on Everyday Health

3. Exercise as a Cure for Fatigue and to Boost Energy Levels by Marion Webb on AceFitness.org


Note: As an Independent Beachbody Coach I do make a commission on sales through my shop, which is where links to Beachbody products will point. If you choose to purchase through them, I thank you for your support, and I look forward to helping you invest in your fitness!

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Combating Stress for College Students

Combating Stress for College Students

Me buried under books toward the end of my first degree, which was in creative writing. Click to go to the Pinterest board where you can see some of my writing.

As a recent graduate from a master’s program in counseling psychology, I know firsthand that being a student can increase stress due to anything from worrying about grades, to juggling a heavy workload, to trying to meet deadlines, to trying to figure out how to pay for school. I’ve experienced all of these things, and I know that stress in any form can impact productivity, health, and overall wellbeing.

CollegeDegreeSearch.net has asked me to share an infographic on stress in students, which has a lot of information on things that contribute to student stress and ways to combat student stress. They’re not compensating me for this post; I just thought that the info might be useful. I also wanted to comment on a few of the facts and ideas presented, so I’ll do that now:

Get Enough Sleep to Help Manage Stress

This infographic mentions the importance of getting enough sleep. Though adults should get an average of 8 hours of sleep a night, a quarter of students are sleep deprived. While the infographic doesn’t mention it, a lack of sleep also builds up a sleep debt. You can learn more about what that is and how to pay that back here. To reduce stress and help you fall asleep, one thing you may want to try is taking baths. You can find out more about how baths can help in relaxation, stress relief, and getting more sleep here.

Even if you fall asleep easily, if you can’t stay asleep, your grade point average can suffer. This could be due to the fact that a lack of sleep reduces your concentration. In addition to getting tired, getting less than 6 hours of sleep can lead students to feeling more sad and stressed. Check out these 10 sleep hygiene practices to help you sleep better.

Reduce Stress Through Exercise

One suggestion the infographic makes for reducing stress is to exercise. Some individuals get stressed trying to figure out how to fit exercise into their schedule, and I know even as someone who enjoys working out it is easy for me to let exercise slide during times of stress. However, when I do make time to exercise, I always feel better. The infographic points out that even walking for 30 minutes while listening to music counts. I did this a few times recently and it was a great workout. You can check out more ways to motivate yourself to walk or run here. There are also many Beachbody home workouts, some of which only require 30 minutes such as Insanity: Max 30 and P90X3. Still too much time? How about 10 Minute Trainer? Everyone’s got time for that.

Eat Healthy Food When Stressed

Although eating healthy is important all the time, this infographic also mentions the importance of eating something balanced and healthy when dealing with stress. It’s really tempting to grab unhealthy foods, especially as a college student, because they’re often cheap and take little to no time to prepare. What if you had a healthier alternative? Shakeology is a great grab-and-go option which, unlike fast food, contains superfood ingredients with nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The cost is about $4 per shake, which is less than many fast food meals or coffee-shop lattes high on sugar and low on nutrients. If you are interested in working out and trying Shakeology, Challenge Packs offer you a way to save on both. This tool can help you select a Challenge Pack that’s right for you, or you can contact me for assistance and with any questions you might have.

Find out more info on the impact of stress on students and ways to handle stress in the infographic below. If you found this post useful, please share it with others via any of the social media options below and consider subscribing to Investing in Fitness so you don’t miss future posts on fitness, health, and improving your wellbeing.

Combating Student Stress "Stress Outbreak" InfoGraphic via CollegeDegreeSearch.Net

Pin the infographic to your Pinterest board for Student Life or Improving Wellbeing for easy access to the information on it and to this post.

CollegeDegreeSearch.net

 

Note: Though CollegeDegreeSearch.net is not compensating me for the post, as an Independent Beachbody Coach I do make a commission on sales through my shop, which is where links to Beachbody products will point. If you choose to purchase through them, I thank you for your support, and I look forward to helping you invest in your fitness!

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Choosing a Yoga Method

Choose a Yoga Method Image “Sunset Yoga” © by EpicStockMedia via Canva.comI used to think that yoga was yoga, and that yoga was generally boring. I have a short attention span and had been doing yoga workouts that were slow moving and/or asked me to hold poses for what seemed like forever. Occasionally I got in a mood to practice yoga, but mostly I avoided it. Sometimes when a stretch/yoga day came up in a workout program I was doing, I downright dreaded it.

Then I tried Ho Ale Ke Kino, which I’ll post about in the future. While the type of yoga was not specified in the workout, it was more fluid than some of the yoga I had been doing, and I found it relaxing. Recently I have found myself enjoying the “Flow” workout from Les Mills Pump, which I’ll also post about in the future. Still, it wasn’t until I started participating in the various yoga challenges I’ve discussed here, many of which are hosted by yogis of the Ashtanga method, that I began to realize that there are many different styles of yoga. I have enjoyed some yoga before and have been enjoying these challenges. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right yoga method for myself yet.

So I began to read up on the various methods of yoga to help myself with choosing a yoga method to suit my personality and fitness goals. I’ll discuss seven of the yoga styles I’ve seen mentioned most often below, though there are many others. Sources are listed at the end of the post and numbered in the text. The order reflects the order I found the sources, not the order they appear in the text.

1. Hatha Yoga

This form of yoga, which originated in India in the 15th century, has a slow pace and focuses on breathing and meditation. Benefits include stress relief and improved breathing (1). A study in Psychosomatic Medicine indicated that women who perform Hatha yoga once or twice a week recover from stress twice as fast as women who don’t (4). This may be a good form for beginners as it is the style from which many modern styles are derived (5).

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Said to be a variety of Hatha, this method of yoga places the focus on a series of 12 poses called the Sun Salutation where yoga is matched to the breath (1). I had heard of the Sun Salutation before and was pretty sure I had done it a few times at various points in my life. Instructions for performing it can be found here. Benefits include strength and flexibility, toned abdominal muscles, reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes (3). Considering I already have hypertension to manage (which I’ll tell you about some time), this might be a good yoga method for me.

day 7 YogaGivesBackChallenge crow pose

Crow pose for YogaGivesBackChallenge. Click to see more poses on @investinginfitness

3. Ashtanga Yoga

This is a form of Vinyasa, which was developed by K. Pattabhi Jois (2). Some have said Ashtanga is a form of power yoga (1). However, it seems that power yoga is really a Western spin on Ashtanga, created by Bender Birch (6). Ashtanga is focused on eight metaphorical body limbs and has a fast pace (1). Practicing Ashtanga or power yoga can burn about 500 calories per hour (4). This is the form of yoga practiced by many of the yogis whose Instagram yoga challenges I’m participating in. You can read a more in depth discussion of Ashtanga by Sarah (one of the hosts of the JunieBeYou yoga challenge) including how it relates to her spirituality as a Christian (though it does not have to be a Christian practice) here

4. Iyengar Yoga

Invented by BKS Iyengar (8), this yoga sounds to me like Ashtanga-plus since it is said to incorporate everything from Ashtanga plus bodily alignment (1) although it was created as a blend of hatha, traditional Indian wrestling, and gymnastics (8). Yoga teachers in this method are trained in biomechanics and can teach people how to modify the poses to reduce risk of injury (4). Due to the focus on alignment, the poses are held for longer than in traditional classes (7). (Side note if you want to work on bodily alignment you may also want to check out Tai Cheng which is a Tai-Chi based workout).

5. Bikram Yoga

Probably better known as “hot yoga”, bikram is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room with a purpose of flushing out toxins and deep stretching (1). According to WebMD, those who have hypertension or diabetes should check with a doctor before doing this type of yoga (3) so that’s probably off my list of yogas that I’d want to do regularly.

6. Yin Yoga

Slow-paced with poses held for up to five minutes, this form of yoga is good at helping people recovering from pain and stress (4). The slow pace and long hold time is why I would probably stay away from this form of yoga except perhaps if I had a day where I particularly felt like having those things.

7. Jivamukti

I can’t seem to find my way back to the site on which I first read about Jivamukti as a yoga practice for those who like movement as well as spiritual and philosophical teachings. But I found similar sentiments echoed on Yoga Journal in which it is discussed that Jivamukti combines an ashtanga background with ancient and modern spiritual teachings (6). Jivamukti has 6 tenets shasta (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (kindness), nada (music), and dhyana (meditation) (7). Part of ahimsa is ethical vegetarianism (veganism), and I’m not sure if that’s something I’m ready for.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the methods of yoga I’ve come across. There are many others. I haven’t decided what method I will end up choosing, or if it will end up being one not on this list, but for now I’m having fun exploring. If you want to learn more about some of the yoga masters and lineages, check out the LightOnTheMasters Yoga Challenge, which started today with Iyengar and continues until the 21st.

 

Do you have a favorite method of yoga? Let me know in the comments below!

 

References

1 5 Different Types of Yoga–Which One Suits You Best? on Daily Cup of Yoga
2 My Christian Yoga Practice: Ashtanga on The Foxy Post
3 Which Style of Yoga is Best for You? on WebMD
4 Which Type of Yoga is Best for You? on Health.com
5 A Yoga Style for Every Fitness Personality on BestHealthMag.ca
6 Not All Yoga is Created Equal on YogaJournal.com
7 What is a Jivamukti Yoga Class? on JivamuktiYoga.com
8 Yoga Practices Personalized: 10 Yoga Styles to Choose From on MedicalDaily.com
9 Core Philosophy: Jivamukti Yoga on JivamuktiYoga.com

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LightOnTheMasters 8-Day Yoga Challenge

LightOnTheMasters Yoga Challenge

Click to go to @twincities_yogi on Instagram.

Tomorrow begins the #LightOnTheMasters Yoga Challenge on Instagram. For each day, a different yoga master and lineage will be featured (for example Ashtanga and Shri K Pattabhi Jois, Jivamukti and Sharon Gannon and David Life, etc.) with information on each presented by one of the hosts. The challenge part is for each participant to choose a pose she or he feels best honors that master/lineage. Participants have the freedom of creativity; however, for those unfamiliar with the master/lineage of the day, the host will be offering suggestions.

The hosts of the #LightOnTheMasters challenge are @twincities_yogi, @lightfulyogini, @minnesotayogini, and @yogasassygee, and they will rotate presenting the master/lineage of the day. The schedule according to a post by  @twincities_yogi is as follows:

 

June 14: @minnesotayogini with Iyengar-BKS Iyengar

June 15: @yogasassygee with Yin-Paulie Zink

June 16: @twincities_yogi with Jivamukti-Sharon Gannon & David Life

June 17: @lightfulyogini with Ashtanga-Shri K Pattabhi Jois

June 18: @minnesotayogini with Restorative-Judith Lasater

June 19: @yogasassygee with Kundalini-Yogi Bhajan

June 20: @twincities_yogi with Para-Rod Stryker

June 21: (International Yoga Day) @lightfulyogini with Baptiste-Baron Baptiste

 

Want to join in this Instagram yoga challenge and maybe win a prize? You’ll need to follow all the hosts (above) and sponsors: @lululemon, @lunajaiathletic, @yoga_democracy, @mymatmymantra, and @balinisports. Repost the photo above from a host’s Instagram account and tag some friends who may want to join the fun. Make sure your Instagram profile is public. Post a yoga pose that you feel best represents the master/lineage of the day each of the eight days. Use the hashtag #LightOnTheMasters and tag all hosts and sponsors in the posts. Enjoy!

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a brief overview of my understanding of some of these yoga methods as I have sorted through information trying to figure out which style or styles best fit my personality and fitness goals.

 

 

What is your favorite yoga method or lineage? Let me know in the comments below!

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It’s Not Too Late to Join the YogaGivesBackChallenge

YogaGivesBack yoga challenge

Click to go to BeachYogaGirl on Instagram

I am a little late bringing you the YogaGivesBack Instagram challenge, but it’s not too late to join in the yoga fun and fundraising! Hosted by @beachyogagirl and @kinoyoga and sponsored by @aloyoga, this challenge is also a charity fundraiser for @yogagivesback, a nonprofit focused on raising awareness and funds to alleviate poverty in India. You can read more about Yoga Gives Back here.

Participation in this yoga challenge costs nothing. Rather, @aloyoga and the hosts have committed to donating funds to @yogagivesback based on the number of posts hash tagged #yogagivesbackchallenge by the end of the month. At 50,000 photos, @aloyoga will donate $1000. At 100,000 they’ll donate $2500. At 150,000 the hosts will donate $2500 for a total of $5000. I’ve read that not only is it acceptable to start from the day you join but also to catch up on past poses as long as they’re in by the end of the month. I started at Day 10 and have also been working my way back through the previous poses. As I’m writing this post, there are 40, 885 posts in the challenge. Your own posts can make a difference and help you get into shape at the same time.

If you choose to participate you’ll be trying one pose daily from the Ashtanga method of yoga, which is a form of Vinyasa, or flow yoga. Sarah of The Foxy Post, and one of the hosts of the JunieBeYou challenge I’m also participating in describes Ashtanga in this post. Although some of these poses may look difficult, or it may seem hard to figure out what’s being done in them, the hosts each post videos on their Instagram accounts which you can follow to take the pose down a notch (or in some cases up a notch if you’re an advanced yogi).

Even if you think you can’t hold a pose for long, it’s worth trying them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold Day 7’s crow pose, which I caught up on tonight, for long, if at all. I started with downward dog and walked myself into it based on this suggestion from Jenny at PopSugar Fitness. Because I set my camera on a tripod and had a 10 second timer with 5 continuous shots, I managed to capture the whole 2-ish seconds I managed to pull it off. You can follow along with my progress on this and other Instagram yoga challenges here.

day 7 YogaGivesBackChallenge crow pose

If you want to join in this challenge, repost the #YogaGivesBackChallenge from one of the host’s Instagram pages. Post a picture of you doing the daily pose (or a variation) with the hashtag #yogagivesbackchallenge. This month, @aloyoga is also donating $1 for all sales of their Sweat It Trunk to @yogagivesback. If you want to donate directly to Yoga Gives Back, you can do so here.

 

Are you participating in any yoga challenges this month? Let me know in the comments below.

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Get Creative With Yoga BecauseYogiSays

Yogi Says Challenge

Click to go @momwhatsfordinner on Instagram

Tomorrow (June 11th) begins the #BecauseYogiSays yoga challenge on Instagram, which is like Simon Says, but for yoga. Each day through June 20th, the hosts @momwhatsfordinner, @lydiamakokha, and @rackerman722 present a different “yogi says” challenge. For those who like to plan ahead, each day’s “Yogi says” is printed on the image.

Each “Yogi says…” is open-ended, so participates can, and are encouraged to, use their own creativity in choosing an asana. This also allows for flexibility, so beginning and advanced yogis can have fun. There are ten sponsors (see image) and there will be ten prizes awarded. Host @momwhatsfordinner says that they only ask two things “express yourself” and “have fun”. Sounds simple enough.

If you’d like to join the #BecauseYogiSays challenge, make sure your account is public during the challenge. Repost the image above from one the sponsor’s Instagram accounts and tag two friends in the image whom you think might like to join you. Follow all of the hosts and all of the sponsors. Post your daily “Yogi says” pose using the hashtag #BecauseYogiSays. Enjoy! Starting tomorrow you’ll be able to follow along with my participation on Instagram.

If you’re wanting to participate in another yoga challenge or need a challenge that’s more directive, check out the JunieBeYou challenge and the JuneOYourChakras challenge. I’m participating in both of these and having fun so far. There is one more challenge I’ve found and started participating in, for which sponsors and hosts are going to donate funds to help the poor in India. Although it’s already in progress, I read today that it’s okay to start from the current day and to catch up if you want to. Stay tuned tomorrow for more info on that. If you haven’t already, consider subscribing by email so you don’t miss that or future posts.

 

Will you be participating in #BecauseYogiSays? Let me know in the comments below.

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Join the JuneOYourChakras Yoga Challenge

JuneOYourChakras Yoga Challenge

Click to go to Alekmp7’s Instagram

Do you know about chakras? Do you want to learn more about them? If you answered yes to the second question, you’re in luck. Starting tomorrow (June 10th) until June 30th, you can learn more about your chakras, practice correlating mudras (positions of the body that can influence your energy or mood) and poses, and participate in some meditation from your root to your crown with the #JuneOYourChakras Instagram Yoga Challenge.

The JuneOYourChakras challenge is hosted by @brit_labonte, @alekmp7, and @momwhatsfordinner and sponsored by @omsoulshop, @trybe_gofree, and @earthrunners. According to @brit_labonte, it’s suitable for beginners and advanced yogis alike. To participate, you need follow all of the hosts and sponsors on Instagram, repost the photo above from one of the sponsor’s Instagram accounts, and tag friends who may want to participate. Follow along with the challenge and post your pictures, tagging the hosts and sponsors each time, and using the hashtag #JuneOYourChakras.

In the mean time, if you’re excited to learn about chakras, you can get a basic overview of the seven chakras here. Although I have heard of chakras before and have a basic understanding of what they’re about I don’t know a whole lot, so I’m excited to learn more in this challenge. I just discovered Instagram Yoga Challenges the other day with the JunieBeYou Challenge, but I’m already finding it a great way to learn more about and practice more yoga.

 

Have you ever participated in an Instagram challenge, or are you interested to do so? Let me know in the comments below.

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Join the JunieBeYou Daily Yoga Challenge

Screenshot of #JunieBeYou Photo from @jonesy.the.yogi

Click to go to @jonesy.the.yogi on Instagram

Lately I have been thinking that I should do more yoga. I enjoy getting a good stretch and increasing my flexibility. And, as I was especially reminded today, yoga can help me build strength.

Today I discovered the JunieBeYou Yoga Challenge on Instagram, which began today and continues through June 21st. Hosted by @jonesy.the.yogi and @erinpeoplesfitness and sponsored by @FoxyMalas, the challenge, according to host @jonesy.the.yogi (Sarah J) “revolves around feeling good physically, and feeling good about who you are.” Participants have the chance to win jewelry from Foxy Malas.

This challenge sounded like a great idea to me. And I happened to be just in time to participate with the first day’s challenge pose, “wild thing” also known as Camatkarasana. Sarah J said she picked this pose to start with because she thinks “we all have a little wild side”. The position requires beginning in side plank. From there you reach back with the top leg and point your foot toward your head. Then, slowly reach back the arm on the same side as the leg you moved, opening your chest.

Sarah J said to hold the pose for as long as you feel relaxed. That wasn’t long for me. This pose was harder than I had expected. I’m not sure if it was because I had done it toward the end of the day after doing Les Mills Pump‘s “Pump Challenge” and taking a 40 minute walk, or if it would have been as difficult to hold myself up even if I’d done it at the beginning of the day. However, I got the hang of it well enough to call my attempts good enough for myself. You can see my second-to-last attempt at the “wild thing” pose below, which unfortunately I only just noticed went a bit blurry with the arm. My last attempt, in which I got so far back with my arm it disappeared from the photo, is on @investinginfitness. You can see what the “wild thing” pose is supposed to look like in Sarah J’s photo here.

JunieBeYou Wild Thing Yoga Pose Attempt Investing in Fitness

For those who might wonder my shirt says “Keep Calm and Stay Shiny” which is a reference to Firefly.

If you want to participate in this challenge, follow both hosts and the sponsor. Repost the challenge intro photo above from one of the sponsors’ Instagram pages on your Instagram. Take a photo of yourself attempting the daily pose and post it to Instagram and include the tag #JunieBeYou. If you have difficulty with “wild thing” or aren’t comfortable attempting it, Sarah J posted a modification, which is to remain in side plank.

Want to participate in a yoga challenge but want to try more than one pose per day? Check out IGYogaChallenges, which details several different yoga challenges going on this June. I think I’m also going to attempt BecauseYogiSays, which is like Simon Says but with yoga directives, JuneOYourChakras in which the hosts discuss chakras and share related poses, and LightOntheMasters in which the hosts teach about a yoga master per day and individuals participating can decide what pose best honors the daily master and post a picture of themselves in their pose of choice. Namaste!

Will you be participating in this or another yoga challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Walk or Run

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Walk or Run Image  "Family Walking on Southern Ocean Lodge" © Tourism Australia via Canva.com

I’m currently doing Les Mills Pump, and there are some days when a walk is on the schedule. It can be replaced with any other cardio activity, but today I decided to go for a walk because I found out my car has to stay in the shop longer than expected, and I had somewhere to go that I estimated would take me about half an hour to walk to. It was actually a bit further, but not by much. If I hadn’t had that place to go, I probably wouldn’t have done that walk (though I would like to believe I would have motivated myself to do another workout). While on the walk, I started thinking of ways to motivate myself to take more walks (which could also apply to going for runs if I work back up to wanting to do that). I’ll start with what I did today and share four more:

1. Walk or run with a destination in mind 

Having a destination was a motivator today, but it has been in the past as well. For a period of time when I lived in Florida I was running, but I didn’t always want to do it. On days I didn’t, I ran to the store to get a few things I needed and then walked or jogged back depending on how much I was carrying. Although some people live further out from destinations than others, “walking distance” is really only determined by the time you have available and the effort you’re willing to put in to getting somewhere.

2. Take dogs for a walk or run 

My dogs love to go for walks and get very excited to do so. Although it’s not necessarily good for an aerobic walk since one of them wants to pee or stop to sniff something every few seconds, it is good for covering a distance, and I tend to walk for longer if my dogs are with me than I would if I walked alone. For shorter distances, my dogs will also tolerate a run. If you don’t have dogs but want to do this, you could look for people hiring dog walkers, which would be a way to get some exercise and make an extra income. Here’s a clip of my Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Miniature Pinscher taking a walk through the leaves in the woods near our home. 

3. Walk or run somewhere scenic 

If your local streets aren’t doing it for you, find a nice park or garden to stroll through. When I lived in Toledo, I used to go to Swan Creek metro park. In Florida, I liked to find a neighborhood with trees since mine didn’t have any or drive to the beach and walk. In Heidelberg, we were lucky to have a nice city to stroll though which also had a trail up the side of the mountain with a great view over the city. In Kaiserslautern, I’ve walked through the Gartenshau and the Japanese Garden.

Swan Creek, Philosophenweg, Japanischer Garten, Gartenshau

4. Walk downtown 

Even if you choose to drive downtown (or whatever you call the main area in your city), find somewhere to park and walk around. Whether you have a destination in mind or not, you may notice things about your city that you wouldn’t if you were in a car. Although we used to walk around Heidelberg all the time, we were in Kaiserslautern for a year before I finally took a walk around the city, and I saw a lot of interesting little things I probably wouldn’t have noticed while driving.

Kaiserslautern collage

5. Walk when you travel 

I get the most walking done when I’m traveling because I tend to go everywhere on foot instead of using public transportation. Although I might not want to cover the same distance locally, while traveling it doesn’t bother me as much because I have so many new things to see. Doing this is also a helpful reminder on days like today (when I was debating whether I really wanted to get where I was going) that if I can spend a full day covering a city end to end, I can certainly spend half an hour to get to somewhere that would have taken a few minutes by car. If you’re going to spend a day walking, don’t forget the sunscreen.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 ideas to help get you motivated to take your next walk or run. You may also want to check out these fit facts about walking. Although I’m hoping our car is fixed soon, we’re a one car household at the moment, so there is probably a lot of walking in my future if I want to get anywhere while my husband is working instead of staying home feeling like I’m living the opening scene of Tangled. So I’m sure I’ll be returning to my own list to get myself motivated. I’m also thinking about getting a bike so I can cover some distances further from home without taking all day to get there.

If you have any favorite ways to motivate yourself to walk or run or any tips on buying a bike, please share in the comments below! 

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Investing in Fitness by Dancing With ClubFitz Videos

ClubFitz Quote by Lauren Fitz and Kelsi Comer

Click to enlarge

While looking for Zumba videos, I found Club Fitz on YouTube. I put together a workout for myself with some of my favorite videos from their channel, which I just worked out to again last night. I’ll be sharing that below, but first a bit about ClubFitz.

About ClubFitz

ClubFitz is run by Lauren Fitz who is a doctor in addition to a dancer (and I recently learned from her ClubFitz bio is also a military spouse) and Kelsi Comer. Awhile ago they announced in a vlog they won’t be posting YouTube videos anymore except for teasers but they will be posting on their website. With a free FITzBasic membership at ClubFitzFitness.com, you’ll have access to some of their privately linked videos. They’ll also have a paid FITzPro memberships for the price of two Starbucks coffees, as they say, (about $10) which includes more videos and choreography tutorials. I had signed up to be informed about the site’s launch but forgot to create a profile until now (oops!) which you need to do if you want to have access to the basic membership and the blossoming ClubFitz community. You can also find ClubFitz on Pinterest. (You can find me there also).

The Videos

Below you’ll find the videos the ClubFitz YouTube channel I use as a workout, which lasts about 22 minutes. If that’s not long enough, you can always find another song on their channel or website, borrow a song or two from my post about Zumba songs or do some pushups and sit-ups. However, the first time I worked up a sweat in 22 minutes and was satisfied to call this my workout for the day. The second time, this workout took the place of a walk and I followed it with Les Mills Pump Flow, which I’lll tell you about sometime in the future.

As with the Zumba post, you may want to pull these up and pause them so they have time to buffer before you get to them. You can also find the songs in a playlist here.

Hasta Que Salga El Sol

Thriftshop (Lauren says this was actually their first video that went viral).

Single Ladies

Go Girl

Makina

Que Viva La Vida

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of songs from ClubFitz. If you did, make sure to head over to their site to sign up for one of their memberships.

Speaking of memberships, you can sign up for a Free Team Beachbody Membership giving you access to the community message boards and the SuperGym, where you can track workouts. The Premium Team Beachbody Club Membership is also an option. For $2.99 a week you’ll get access to Beachbody On Demand (free streaming of a select library of Beachbody workouts), sample workouts, personalized meal plans, 10% off all Beachbody products and more. Hope to see you there!

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