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3 Reasons I Love To Work For My Beer

One of my favorite things about this city is the overwhelmingly popular beer fitness scene and all of the balanced living enthusiasts that come with it. That’s why when I heard about Work For Your Beer – Charlotte’s hub for all things beer fitness – I knew I had to get involved.  There are few (if any) things that I love more than a nice adult beverage after a workout! So what exactly is Work For Your Beer?

Work For Your Beer is the place to go if you’re looking for beer fitness classes. This site serves as a guide for pub run clubs, brewery yoga classes, bootcamps that end with beer, and more (there are even dance classes — Twerk For Your Beer, anyone?). Outside of the super-helpful calendar that provides details for more than 100 beer fitness events/week, they also post interesting content. The blog shares beer releases and reviews, Charlotte-specific events, and topics that balanced living enthusiasts would relate to (read one of my personal favorites here). PS – if this sounds like your thing, sign up for the weekly brewsletter–you won’t be disappointed!

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Like this shirt? Enter code: christine15 at checkout on the Work For Your Beer site for a discount!

So, why am I so obsessed with being a Work For Your Beer brand ambassador? Find my top 3 reasons below:

  1. The workout variety. So many workouts, so little time (and money!). I love that the beer fitness scene allows you to vary your workouts, commitment-free, for a small price tag. Many of the pub runs are free (you just buy your own beer afterward), and classes are around $5 (which sometimes includes a beer!). So, you get to experience lots of different trainers and exercise styles for much cheaper than a membership or drop-in fee at most boutique studios! The variety of options is great for someone who likes all different kinds of fitness.
  2. The craft beers. Beer fitness is a great excuse to try different craft beers! In Charlotte, there’s no shortage of brewery options. Within walking distance of my apartment, I can go to Legion Brewing, Resident Culture, Catawba, Pilot, and more. It would be easy to fall into a rut of going to the breweries closest to me – but the fitness events offered at other breweries get me out there, trying new things! I’ve since figured out that my fave Charlotte beers are Birdsong Jalapeno Pale Ale and Wooden Robot Good Morning Vietnam.
  3. The community of people. Beer fitness events provide a great way to get out and be social on weeknights. I love being able to connect with people who I already know share two of my biggest loves! And meeting new people is so important to me, being new in town. To all my fellow beer-and-fitness-loving Queen City residents: message me to meet up at a class together!

I’d love to hear your favorite beers, breweries, and beer fitness events (Charlotte or not) in the comments!

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“The Wobble” Ultimate Leg Burner Workout

To me, one of the best feelings a workout can leave you with is that “I can’t walk” feeling. The one where you finish your workout and start walking, only to have your legs wobble like jello. The one where your mind realizes “if it’s this bad right after my workout, the next couple of days will be a struggle”. The afterburn is a great reminder of how hard I worked and it feels like a badge of honor.

This workout is guaranteed to give you that feeling if you choose the right weights and move through each set without a lot of rest.

What you need: 1 dumbbell (I used 35 lb) + 1 bench/box/elevated surface

Format: 10 reps of each move using your right leg, then 10 reps of each move using your left leg. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 2 more times.

Move #1: Elevated, weighted, single leg hip thrust

Lay on the ground perpendicular to a bench with the dumbbell resting on your hips. Put your right heel on top of the bench and lift left leg straight up in the air. Drive down through your right heel and push hips toward ceiling, driving your left leg straight up into the air. Lower back down to the ground. That’s one rep – repeat for a total of 10 reps on the same leg then switch right into move #2.

Move #2: Weighted Bulgarian split squat

Stand a foot or two away from the bench with your back to it. Rest your left foot on the bench and step your right foot out in front of you. Hold the dumbbell in front of your chest or on top of your hips. Lower your hips toward the floor so that your back knee comes close to the floor – almost like a lunge. Drive through the heel of your right foot to get back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat for a total of 10 reps on the same leg then switch right into move #3.

Move #3: Single Leg Deadlift

Stand with feet hip distance apart, holding the dumbbell at your hips using both hands. Pick your left leg up off of the floor and lift it behind you as you lower the dumbbell to the floor in front of you. Return to standing, using only your right leg. That’s one rep. Repeat for a total of 10 reps then rest for 1 minute, before going back to move 1 on the opposite leg. *Be sure to keep your back flat during this movement – if you start to round out, lower your weight*

Give it a try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide: 7 Ideas for the Crossfit Athlete on Your List

Crossfit is a commitment, and most athletes who show up consistently are looking to improve and perform at their best. Get them a gift that helps them reach those goals. This roundup will help the crossfitter on your list tackle any WOD!

Gift Guide

  1. Lifters. Hands down, lifters were the best investment I have made since starting Crossfit. If you’re looking to hit new PR’s, stability and ROM are essential. Getting below parallel on a squat becomes much easier when your feet are locked in place.
  2. Grips. Crossfit athletes are known for their calloused (and often ripped) hands. Lifting and rig work (pull-ups, etc.) take less of a toll with the added protection grips provide.
  3. Jumprope. Double-unders are a crossfit staple, but they require a lot of practice to become proficient. Gift your crossfitter their own rope to practice at home. Bonus: unlike most gym equipment, a jumprope won’t break the bank or take up a lot of space.
  4. Foam Roller. Recovery is an important part of the training process, especially for someone who likes to go more than 3x/week. Help them ease sore muscles with a heavy-duty foam roller.

Stocking Stuffers:

  1. BCAA’s. Drinking BCAA’s during/after a workout is a great recovery tool. They help reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle building. This kind tastes so good I look forward to drinking it after my workouts.
  2. Hand salve. Sometimes even grips can’t stop hands from ripping if there’s a high volume workout. This salve will speed up the healing process and have the athlete on your list back in the gym ASAP!
  3. Wrist Straps. Overhead lifts put a lot of stress on your wrists. Wrist straps can provide extra stability (and may even help with a new PR!).
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Sweaty Sunday Workout

Sundays call for sweating! And due to the endless rain in Syracuse, I took my workout to the gym in my apartment complex.

This 45-minute circuit mixes cardio with total-body strength moves.  Each move listed has a tutorial below to help guide you. Give it a try and leave me your thoughts in the comments!

Sweaty Sunday (1)

Renegade Rows with Pushup

Bicep Curls

Shoulder Press

Single Leg Deadlifts

Alternating Front Rack Lunges

Suitcase-hold Squats

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How To: Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

If you’ve been here before, you know the core purpose of my fitness journey is to encourage balance and living your best life. And if you’re like most people I know, even once you’ve found that “balance”, it can fall out of whack from time to time.

For me, it happened this weekend. I was on my first-ever trip to Boston and I wanted the full experience (aka some craft beers and hot pretzels at Harpoon – seriously if you haven’t done this you need to). I don’t regret it, but I did know I wanted to get back to my veggie-filled lifestyle come Monday morning.

Summer is full of celebrations like this. Traveling, bridal showers, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, graduation parties.. the list goes on. These weekend experiences are key to enjoying life (who wants to say no to a party?) but going overboard can set you up for feelings of guilt and demotivation. We’ve all been there. But the good news is, one weekend of binge eating (and drinking) doesn’t have to be a complete setback. Read on for my tips to start the next day fresh, followed by little tricks to keep yourself balanced on those weekends where you’re afraid you’ll spiral out of control.

How To- Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

  1. Stop beating yourself up. That’s not helping. You can’t set the clock back 24 hours and knock that piece of cake out of your hands, so stop thinking about it. Also, one or two days of overeating won’t ruin your life. What matters is what you do now to set yourself up for success moving forward.
  2. Break a sweat (or two). Push yourself a little harder than you usually do in your next workout. Picture all those extra calories fueling you through one more mile or helping you hit that new lifting PR. If you usually run, add some strength or interval training to your workout in addition to that run, or vice versa. You’ll get your metabolism and motivation fired up!
  3. Hit 10,000 steps. In general, moving more than usual will help you get back on track. It doesn’t have to be high intensity. Bonus if you get outside and go for a walk – the fresh air will help you feel better.
  4. Fuel up on fresh fruits and veggies. Take a break from the processed foods that are probably sitting like a rock in your stomach. Replacing those with only nutritious foods for an entire day will help you get your glow back and increase your energy!
  5. Fill up on clear fluids. Drink water and tea to help get things moving in your system. This helps even more if drinking played a part in your binge.

And as for preventing those feelings of guilt down the road, try these tips on your next weekend of expected debauchery:

  1. Set small limits for yourself. If you love dessert, don’t go for the apps. If dip is your thang, stay away from the dessert. Make a rule that your plate has to be half full of veggies and you have to eat them before moving on to anything else. Little things like this will allow you to indulge and enjoy without feeling like you’re back at square 1.
  2. Still break a sweat. No matter what you have going on that day or where you’re traveling to, set aside 20 minutes to sweat. You’ll thank yourself later. Also, if you’re traveling, it’s fun to check out a workout class that isn’t offered where you live.
  3. Limit your calorie-laden booze. Craft beer and specialty cocktails make a great first drink, but once you’re buzzed a vodka soda or light beer will do the trick.
  4. BYOB. That second “B” being “breakfast”, if you’re traveling. Packing your own breakfast (preportioned bags of oatmeal, bananas, protein bars, etc.) can cut calories (and costs) when traveling.

How do you reset after a marathon weekend? What keeps you on track while celebrating?

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April Goals Update + May Goals

In April, I set some pretty light/attainable goals:

  1. Go Streaking: run outside every day in April (1 mile minimum)
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers.
  3. Self Care Sundays: Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all examples

So, how did they turn out? Streaking and Self Care Sundays were easy. Were there days I didn’t feel like running? Sure, but one mile is a small enough distance that no matter how sore I was or how hard it was raining, I knew I could do it. I loved it, but I’ll be incorporating rest days again in May. I like to be able to listen to my legs and take breaks when necessary (which would’ve been nice the day before and after my half).

As for growing my Instagram: I didn’t put as much work into this as I should’ve. I grew my account, but not by as much as I wanted to. Ultimately, the purposes of my @healthydoseoflife Instagram are to inspire people on their health journey, get people to check out the blog, and connect with other health/fitness enthusiasts. I need to prioritize the “connecting with others” aspect moving forward to achieve my goals!

April Goals (1)

For May, I’ve set a few more goals and am hoping to challenge myself with a few of them:

  1. Do 3 hours of yoga per week. I feel so great when I do yoga, but I’m quick to cut it out when my schedule gets packed. 3 hours/week feels very attainable to reap the benefits without making it a “chore”. I’d love to do more classes, but to keep my wedding budget on track I’ll be youtubing from home. I love Sarah Beth Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne – let me know if there are others I should check out!
  2. Do ab/core work every day. I usually rely on crossfit and lifting to target my core, butI’m going to spend some time outside of class working on bodyweight movements.
  3. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I loved how this goal turned out in March, so I’m excited to revisit it! I’ll probably read “Start Where You Are” but would love to see your recommendations in the comments.
  4. Follow 3 health/fitness publications. I don’t read a lot of news or articles, but I’d like to change that. Starting with a subject I’m passionate about should help this become a habit down the road.

What goals are you chasing this month?

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Race Recap: Eart Day Half Marathon

As the weather here in ‘cuse is getting more enjoyable, I’ve picked up my mileage and made running a priority again. I started running when I was 11, and since then it’s never something that’s fully out of my life (the longest I’ve gone without it was one month due to injury). I do fluctuate on how much I prioritize it though, and it’s been taking a backseat to crossfit since I did the marathon in October. Marathon training takes a lot out of my body (and tends to make me love running less) so I needed a little break from high mileage training runs. Six-ish months later, I’m back at it and lacing up more often!

For the month of April, I’m actually doing a run streak: getting outside for at least one mile a day (most days range from 2-4). On day 23 of the streak, I headed out to Baldwinsville for my first half marathon since September.

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Since I’ve never really “stopped” running, I’m not very concerned about training for races. Aggressive training is what can make running feel like a chore instead of my mental break. Because of this, I don’t enter many races with the goal of winning or breaking my PR (of course there are exceptions to this). But today, I went in with the goal of enjoying the ride. For me, this means getting outside for a longer distance than usual and pushing slightly faster than my comfortable pace.

I also chose to run this race because I love the Earth Day Half Marathon and 5k. This event is in its 3rd year, and I’ve been there for all 3. Year 1 as a 5k participant, Year 2 as an event promoter, and Year 3 as a half marathon participant. Every year they’ve upped the bar, and this was the best year yet. A nice challenging course (country roads with a few hills) followed by BBQ, brews, and the best chia pudding in town.

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And as far as the actual running, I ran with one of my fellow Urban Lifers, and it made for a really fun race! My music wasn’t working, but having a fellow athlete to chat with and push me was great. We conquered every hill and picked up our pace for the last 5k, finishing at 1:44:52 (8:01 pace). I took third place for my age group and he took first for his, so we each won a six-pack of Southern Tier beer! Now I know I JUST said I don’t enter with the goal of breaking a PR or winning, but both happened today and I have to say, it did make the experience even sweeter. They say things happen when you least expect it, and this was a perfect example! Guess we’ll see where my next race takes me.

What’s the best race experience you’ve had? What races are you running this year?

 

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Thoughts On Crossfit and Working Hard

About a month ago, I posted recaps of the Crossfit Open workouts I participated in. A few things happened during my first open journey – one of them being that I learned a lot about myself. Now that I’ve had some time to digest what I’ve learned, I’m ready to document it and use it moving forward.

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Here’s what happened when I did the Crossfit Open:

  1. I fell more in love with the sport. I don’t have games ambitions (or even regionals ambitions for that matter) – but I do have more goals I want to explore when it comes to Crossfit. I’ve stopped viewing it as just my morning sweat session – I’d like it to be more than that, and I think it is now. It’s not just a workout: it’s a sport; where I will be competing with myself every time I do it.
  2. I learned the difference between doing something just to get it over with, and doing something that I’m trying my best at and pushing myself through. I think this hit me truly in 17.4 – I knew I could do each move, but that the workout would require an ambitious mindset for me to perform well. I pushed through large sets of wall ball shots and didn’t give up on the rower (a large mental task in itself). I knew I had pushed my limits when the workout was over and I couldn’t get off the floor/almost threw up. This gave me some perspective – am I really pushing myself hard enough throughout the week? I know I shouldn’t always go 110% or be on the verge of throwing up every day (I need at least a little bit of recovery to be at my best) but was I ever pushing as hard as I should? Since then, I know I’ve improved my mental toughness and stamina. I push beyond what’s comfortable in a workout, even if the moves aren’t my strengths. I perform more reps per set and I move at a faster pace. I go all-out for at least 2 workouts per week. It’s that push that will make me better.
  3. I nailed a move I’d been struggling with previously: the bar muscle-up! Call it open magic (even though it didn’t happen during a workout) or call it focus. Either way, I’m pleased to have accomplished it, and it’s made me less scared of my weaknesses.

What does hard work mean to you in a workout?

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March Goals Update + April Goals

Last month I set some ambitious goals (read about them here) and now it’s time to check in on that progress while outlining my April goals.

March Goals:

  1. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 450 followers. Check! I’ve been hovering just over the 450 mark. A more consistent posting schedule, following and commenting on other profiles, and some professional photos were a big help.
  2. Break my record for “most viewed post” on the blog. No dice. I fell out of rhythm with posting. I’m still trying to strike a better balance among my priorities, so this goal will likely pop up again later on when I have a better plan in place.
  3. Run 75 miles. This goal I actually decided to ditch about two weeks into the month because I realized it was a bad goal. I usually set mileage goals when I’m training for a race or looking to get outside more. Since I hadn’t registered for any races and the weather was not great, neither of these applied. I also found it counterintuitive to my larger priority of performing well in the open. This is another goal that I will likely mix into another month (maybe one where the sun shines?).
  4. Perform a muscle up. Check! This was without a doubt one of the most exciting moments of my life so far (below getting engaged, above completing a marathon). Now I work on them a few days a week after class so I can get more consistent. Once I’m more comfortable with the movement, I’ll try my hand at ring muscle ups.
  5. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. Check! I absolutely loved The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve taken a lot of her advice to heart and intend on starting my own happiness project! As far as books go, I’m back to reading for pleasure for now, but will be dabbling in reading for purpose more often.

April Goals

April Goals:

  1. Go Streaking: A run streak, that is! I’m going to run outside every day in April (minimum 1 mile) since the open is over and the weather’s getting warmer. I’m also doing a half marathon later this month. It’s nice to mix it up and prioritize running every once in awhile!
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers. Same plan as before, just need to keep it up!
  3. Self Care Sundays. This one is more of a resolution than a goal. I intend on making self-care Sundays a regular habit (right now I’m a bit sporadic with them). Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, and relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all going to be part of my Sundays. I push my body and mind pretty hard throughout the week and should give myself more time to recharge.

I’m keeping it pretty light this month since it’s my birthday month and a lot of my focus will be on fun + enjoyment, but I’m excited for new challenges and habits!

What goals are you working toward?

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Friday Faves #2

Happy Friday! Here are some of my favorite things from this week:FridayFaves (1)

  1. Quote: “This has the meaning I have given it”. This sounds like it would make a great mantra when you’re feeling dragged down.
  2. Moment: Accomplishing my first ever muscle-up! A week and a half too late for 17.2, but right in line with my March goals. Checking this off as complete!
  3. Recipe: These protein pancakes. Here’s what they looked like pre-cooked.

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What are your highlights this week?