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6 Creative Ways to Get Your Workout on While Traveling

Ever feel like it’s impossible to get your workout on while traveling? There’s packing (did I forget something?), getting to where you need to be on time, delays, outings, social gatherings, food temptations (I mean you’re on vacation, right?), among many things. With so much working against you, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s […]


Ever feel like it’s impossible to get your workout on while traveling? There’s packing (did I forget something?), getting to where you need to be on time, delays, outings, social gatherings, food temptations (I mean you’re on vacation, right?), among many things. With so much working against you, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important — taking time for yourself.

Whether at home or on the go, make yourself a priority. It’s a choice you need to make to research the resources available and put in the effort. Don’t know where to start? Check out these creative ways to get in your workout while traveling.

6 Creative Ways to Get Your Workout on While Traveling

1. Be picky where you stay. You (and your pocketbook) are in control of where you stay. Most hotels have some sort of a gym. Make sure that you’re filtering your search criteria based on accommodations that offer a workout facility. It doesn’t have to be the most glamorous gym. Most hotel gyms aren’t, especially if you’re on a budget. But don’t let a small outdated gym discourage you from reaching your goals. Make the most of what’s available. Something is always better than nothing.

2. Check out the local gym scene. Many gyms offer reasonably priced day passes. Some even let you join in on group classes (which may or may not require a drop-in fee). Don’t have a car? That’s okay! Hail a taxi, grab an Uber or hop on local transit.

3. Pack that running gear. Running, although physically challenging, is one of the simplest ways to work out while traveling, not to mention, it’s a GREAT way to explore new places. Packing your kicks and an extra outfit won’t take up too much space. Try rolling your clothes instead of folding. It makes a world of difference. Still a tight squeeze? Ask yourself what you can live without. Do you really need that extra pair of heels?

4. Set up a circuit. Not comfortable venturing out in a new place by yourself? Don’t! Set up a circuit where you’re staying. Hit the parking lot (who cares that people can see you!) or grassy area, grab sticks or rocks for markers, space them a good distance apart and run from one to the other doing an assortment of moves in between (jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, burpees, step-ups on a curb, bear crawls, etc.).

5. Make the most of that computer you’re lugging around. I get it — sometimes we just don’t want to leave the hotel room. Heck, most days I don’t even want to get out of my pajamas. You don’t have to! You can get an internet connection just about anywhere. Boot up the computer, navigate to YouTube and find a workout video that meets your needs (we’ve got some great ones!). Staying in the boonies and not sure if you’ll be able to find a connection? Pack a workout DVD and pop it in your laptop or download a video on your tablet before hitting the road. Enjoy working out in the luxury of your own room and top it off with room service if you like.

6. Make the airport your own personal walking track. Stuck in the airport? Two-hour layover and not sure what to do with your time? It’s way too easy to sit around and munch on all of that ridiculously priced airport food while waiting for your flight. Don’t be a victim! Get up, get your walking shoes on and make your rounds. Luggage in tow? No problem. Consider that carry-on a bonus weight to your workout. Think ahead and consider your situation (although not always expected) so you don’t over-pack. Pack smart and no matter the situation, you’ll be ready.

What’s your favorite travel workout? —Nichole



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How to Have a Breakthrough at the Gym (or in Any Area of Your Life)

You guys know how the gym is a metaphor for life, right? via GIPHY Like, how the challenges you face in workouts — be it a race, lifting a heavier weight or conquering a new move, like a pull-up — are a great parallel to the challenges you face in life outside of the gym? […]


You guys know how the gym is a metaphor for life, right?

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Like, how the challenges you face in workouts — be it a race, lifting a heavier weight or conquering a new move, like a pull-up — are a great parallel to the challenges you face in life outside of the gym? I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to deal with something annoying like a tech issue or a flat tire, and been like, oh, hey, I GOT THIS. After all, I did 50 burpees this morning.

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It’s all about changing your perspective. And building confidence. Because when you build confidence in one area of your life by doing something new — maybe something you thought you couldn’t before — that feeling bleeds over into other areas of your life. And that’s awesome. Because confidence feels GREAT. (And looks good on ya.)

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And we want you to feel confident. And amazing. And like everything you truly are. Which is why today we’re sharing ways for you to bust out of your comfort zone in ALL areas of your life. The gym is on there of course — that’s always a good place to try new stuff and we’re certainly in favor of that — but there’s also suggestions for busting out of your comfort zone in areas outside of the gym.

Because just like a breakthrough in the gym can result in a breakthrough in another area of your life, a breakthrough in your career or relationships, can also give you a breakthrough in the gym. Neat, huh?

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Your Career

There’s so much room in the workplace to grow. Maybe it’s by asking for a raise. Maybe it’s taking on a new project. Maybe it’s mentoring someone — or asking someone to mentor you. Maybe it’s applying for a new job or researching how to start your own business. Maybe it’s going back to school.

For Kristen and me personally, we’re putting this one into action by taking the online certification course for Zen Barre (for the record, they offered us this opportunity and we loved the concept so much we jumped at the chance). We’ll be talking about this much more in the coming months, but we are SO excited. Kristen and I have certifications in other areas (her: track/tri and me: personal training/health coach), but nothing like Zen Barre, which puts a mindful/meditation twist on barre. (And, if you guys want to join us in the training, you can actually get 20 percent off with the code “fitbottomedgirls”!) It’s definitely getting us out of our comfort zones and pushing our limits — and who knows what cool things will come from it!

Your Home

Take a look around at the place you live. Is there a home renovation project you could tackle? An area that you could declutter? An art project you could take on? A new recipe you could try in the kitchen? An area that you could plant something new or start a garden? What new thing can you do to make your space more … well … YOU?

Your Relationships

There’s so much possibility to bust out of comfort zones in your relationships. Maybe it’s starting a new one. Or ending one that’s no longer serving you. Or speaking your truth (even when that’s really scary). Maybe it’s forgiving yourself or getting to know yourself better. Maybe it’s taking the path to loving yourself unconditionally or finally breaking your all-or-nothing mentality.

Your Community

Like Toni Carey said in our podcast ep with her, when you see a need in your community, fill it. How could you get out and make a difference in the immediate world around you? Could you volunteer? Go to a community event? Reach out to your neighbors? Make a new unlikely friend? How can you bust out of your daily bubble and met others different from you?

Your Workouts

Again, there’s nothing like a new workout class (hey, maybe you want to take a Zen Barre class!) or a new, kinda intimidating goal to help you see that you can tackle just about anything. I mean, after I ran my marathon, I knew that I could do ANYTHING I put my mind to. I think of that race pretty much any time I am struggling with something. Honestly, pretty much every time I run, I find myself saying: Girl, surely you can get through this 5k; you ran a freakin’ marathon!

Where is a breakthrough just waiting to happen for you? —Jenn



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7 Things You Can Do Today to Be an FBG

You know what it means to be a fit bottomed girl (or guy). You realize you were put on this planet to do more than worry about your weight. And you’re pretty damn aware that dieting really, truly, seriously doesn’t work. You get it. You get us. But maybe you’re still not sure about just what it […]


You know what it means to be a fit bottomed girl (or guy). You realize you were put on this planet to do more than worry about your weight. And you’re pretty damn aware that dieting really, truly, seriously doesn’t work.

You get it. You get us.

But maybe you’re still not sure about just what it is you need to do. Knowing all of this is great, but taking tangible steps toward a healthier, happier future?

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Yeah, that’s next level. And we’re sharing seven things you can do — today — to become an FBG. Some are simple, some might take you a little bit outside your comfort zone, but the one thing they have in common is that they’ll all help you become an even more awesome version of yourself.

Step 1: Find your why.

The real reasons most of us have for wanting to be fitter, leaner, and healthier rarely have much to do with how we look. Not that liking what we see in the mirror isn’t a factor — because it is! But the truth is that when you love who you are, and you make healthy choices stemming from a place of self love (i.e. I’m going to the 6 a.m. bootcamp because I want to be strong and have more energy, versus I have to go to the 6 a.m. bootcamp because I ate pizza and need to work off those calories, plus my thighs rub and deserve to be punished), guess what? You’re far more likely to actually like what you see in the mirror — regardless of how that reflection actually looks. Finding your why requires some digging, and maybe a big of journaling, but once you find it, get ready for your game to change.

Step 2: Figure out how you really want to feel.

Once you’ve got your why, drill down deeper and think about how you want to feel. How do you want to feel when you look in the mirror? When you wake up in the morning? When you meet friends for coffee? When you play with your kids? When you give a presentation at work? When you make love? Then dig deep into what it would take to feel that way, like more effort at the gym, a cleaner way of eating, a keener focus on your mental health. This will help you set goals — and that why you just came up with will help you stay on track as you work toward them.

Step 3: Show kindness … starting with yourself.

When a negative thought pops in, (like, “I’m not fit enough to even run around the block,” or “I have no self control around cookies,) ask yourself if you can see things differently. Maybe you’re not ready to run around the block yet, but what can you do — and how does that compare to what you could do when you tried it the first time? Perhaps you had more cookies today than you would’ve liked, but empower yourself with the knowledge that a new slate starts now — and you truly deserve the effort it takes to make better choices. It’s about progress, not perfection, and each small step you take, every seemingly tiny good choice you make, all add up to awesome results down the road.

Step 4: Then spread that message.

The more you notice — and change your thinking around — negative self-talk, the more you’ll notice it when it comes up with friends. Instead of joining in when your friends start discussing things they dislike about themselves, jump in with positivity. What do you admire about them? Think beyond physicality, too, because although we can fixate on that when we’re on a fitness journey, we all know that there’s a lot more to each of us than a body. Speaking up can be scary, but seeing your friends come around and learn to love their own perceived faults is worth working through a bit of fear. Trust us on this one.

Step 5: Honor — and listen to — your body.

It’s one thing to push yourself to your limits, but it’s another to ignore the messages your body is trying to send. Nutrition and fitness don’t have one-size-fits-all labels, so while the high-protein eating plan your friend who loves CrossFit is following might be perfect for her, know that it might not give you the energy you need. Some people do really well with a diet higher in healthy fats, some folks process carbs well. There are athletes who live for the next ultramarathon, and there are plenty of yogis who’ve found health and joy on their mats. Find the healthy foods — and the activities — you love, see how your body responds, and adjust accordingly.

Step 6: Befriend your fears.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. After all, if the workouts or types of meals you’ve been sticking to for years aren’t giving you the results you want, why stick with them? It doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things you enjoy — because, hey, if you love long walks on the beach or your Saturday morning Vinyasa flow class, stick with it. But don’t avoid trying new things out of fear of the unknown. Join a knowledgeable, fit friend at the gym (or take a class or book a session with a personal trainer) and ask them to take you through the weight room if you’re intimidated. Unable to imagine more than a day or two without ice cream? Commit to nourishing yourself with whole, healthy foods for a few days — and enlist friends or a support group to help you stay accountable. And that leads us to …

Step 7: Surround yourself with support.

The people who love you want you to be healthy — but seeing a friend lose weight and become quite fit can bring up some tricky emotions, too. It’s important to have at least a couple of people in your corner when you’re committing to a healthier lifestyle for the long haul, not only because you’ll hit some obstacles as you get started, but also because, once you get near your goals, it can be easy to fall back into old habits and lose some of the progress you’ve made. The good news? This support doesn’t have to come from people you’re around in person — you can find it in loads of places.

And, sure, we’re a little biased, but we think the support and accountability found in our 10 in 4 Challenge private Facebook group (open to all members who have ever done the Challenge) is one of the best around. Everyone there is on the same page (no Facebook-y pun intended) — they’ve learned the value of meal prep and planning, they understand portion sizes, and they’re all enthusiastic about sharing what’s worked for them in case others find it helpful. Oh, and yes, Jenn, Dave, and I are all in there too, answering questions and offering guidance as needed. It’s a pretty sweet community to be a part of.

Looking for a place where everybody knows your name — and is right there with you on your healthy lifestyle journey? Join us in the next 10 in 4 Challenge! —Kristen



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Podcast Ep 56: Dr. Josh Axe on Natural Health

Get ready for a super informative episode! Dr. Josh Axe is a certified doctor of natural medicine, a clinical nutritionist, a chiropractic physician and best-selling author with a passion to help people get well by using food as medicine. He recently authored Eat Dirt and Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine and operates one of the world’s most visited […]


Get ready for a super informative episode! Dr. Josh Axe is a certified doctor of natural medicine, a clinical nutritionist, a chiropractic physician and best-selling author with a passion to help people get well by using food as medicine. He recently authored Eat Dirt and Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine and operates one of the world’s most visited natural health websites at DrAxe.com.

We chatted with Dr. Axe about everything from functional medicine to adrenal fatigue to what his favorite essential oils are (hint — he never leaves home without his top pick!). Plus, he talks about his daily “spiritual triathlon,” favorite workouts and so much more.

Oh, and did you guys notice our new podcast sponsor? Yay, VARIDESK! Be sure to head on over to their site now to see all the cool active workspace goodies they offer. It’s seriously work- and life-changing! 

Some of our favorite quotes from this episode: 

Podcast Episode 56 Highlights With Dr. Josh Axe

  • The differences between traditional and functional medicine
  • The signs of adrenal fatigue and how to best treat it
  • How your food choices can affect your hormones
  • What causes a leaky gut and how it affects your overall health
  • His favorite essential oils and their different uses (and we share some of our favorites, too!)
  • Best practices for weight loss and the No. 1 food in which most people are deficient
  • The foods he keeps in his fridge and what he eats on a daily basis

Get the episode with with Dr. Axe here or below!

Get more info on our podcast here and be sure to subscribe on iTunes so that you never miss an episode!

Have you ever tried functional medicine? —Margo

Want to sponsor the show? Yay! Drop us a note at advertising@fitbottomedgirls.com and let’s make the world a healthier place together!



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3 Things My Exercise Injury Taught Me

There are many downsides to getting an injury — you may have pain, you may have to take a break from your exercise routine, or you may have some serious damage to your body. All of it sucks! But what if you chose to see your injury as something more than just a setback? What […]


There are many downsides to getting an injury — you may have pain, you may have to take a break from your exercise routine, or you may have some serious damage to your body. All of it sucks! But what if you chose to see your injury as something more than just a setback? What if you could use the experience as a teachable moment, an opportunity to learn so you can move forward in your life with more insight, even wisdom?

As a hip labral tear has made me rethink the way I use my body, I’m reflecting on the good things that this injury has taught me.

What I’ve Learned From Being Injured

1. To listen to my body. My injury didn’t happen overnight; it came from years of overuse. My body gave me the signs along the way that something was wrong, but I chose to ignore it. So as I was running, and my hip started aching, I ran through it. I always pushed through the pain because I was determined to stick to my workout no matter what. Our bodies know best. When something isn’t right, your body will let you know. It’s up to you on how you will respond. Now, as I go through a rehab program, I’m paying close attention to all the signs my body gives as I don’t want to trigger the injury. So if you notice a little pang of pain in your workout, tune in and notice what your body is telling you. The sooner you start to listen, the more in touch you’ll be, and the less likely you will get injured.

2. To slow down. As a yogi, I was always comfortable with the idea of slowing down — on the mat. But on the running path or during a HIIT session the last thing I wanted to do was go slow. The problem with moving too fast is that often our form gets sacrificed. As our alignment gets sloppy, we are more prone to injury. Now that I am actually injured, moving fast feels rushed. It’s harder to notice the signals when my body is rushing around. Going slowly allows me to be more mindful with my movement, which not only helps heal my injury, but also it keeps me more present in the rest of my life.

3. Nothing is permanent. The situation I’m in now, like everything in life, will change. Currently, I’m in PT for my injury, and that will eventually end, bringing me to a new situation. Whether my hip heals completely and I return to the running track, or I end up in surgery, it’s all just a phase, or season of life. If I can listen to my body and slow down along the way, I’m more equipped to enjoy myself as the seasons change.

How do you deal with injury? —Elysha



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What It Means (and What It Doesn’t) to Be a Fit Bottomed Girl

So you say you wanna live that sweet, healthy, fit bottomed life. via GIPHY But … do you know what that really means? Do you know what a fit bottomed girl (FBG) actually does? How she treats her dreams, her food, her body? via GIPHY It’s cool! It’s not like FBG is defined in Webster’s […]


So you say you wanna live that sweet, healthy, fit bottomed life.

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But … do you know what that really means? Do you know what a fit bottomed girl (FBG) actually does? How she treats her dreams, her food, her body?

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It’s cool! It’s not like FBG is defined in Webster’s Dictionary … yet, anyway. But it’s important to know that being part of our fit bottomed world actually has very little to do with the size, shape, or relative fitness of your bottom — or any other part of you, for that matter.

It’s more about attitude, because when you get yourself in the right mindset, the other things you’re looking for (weight loss, muscle tone, the ability to eat foods and live a life you really love) tend to come along with the package.

So, what would an FBG do?

She would:

  • be curious, not judgmental
  • focus on what she can add rather than subtract
  • love life with zero shame in her game
  • listen to and honor her hunger
  • respect her body
  • love herself — even her perceived faults
  • cut herself a break
  • trust her intuition
  • not take herself too seriously
  • laugh often
  • take time for herself
  • understand the importance of rest

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And she would not:

  • count calories
  • obsess about the number on the scale
  • engage in negative self talk
  • judge herself — or others
  • skip meals
  • see workouts as “work”
  • always be on the go
  • spend lots of long hours at the gym to compensate for food she’s eaten
  • restrict food for the purpose of weight loss
  • beat herself up for not adhering to any of the above, because each day is a new day and a new opportunity to grow

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Dikembe Mutombo is right — ain’t none of that allowed up in here.

Essentially, it all comes back to the idea that you can’t hate yourself healthy. When you start from a place of self-love, and you see the creation of healthy habits as a way to show yourself the love and respect you deserve rather than a way to punish your thighs for rubbing, it becomes easier to make choices that lead you down that better-for-you path.

Not totally following why we don’t consider weight loss, in and of itself, to be the best reason to embark on a healthy living journey? Remember: building a body that fits into a pair of skinny jeans can never change your life in the same way that building confidence and positive habits can. —Kristen



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13 Things to Know Before Training for Your First Ultramarathon

  Ultramarathon. It has nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Nothing inspires oohs and aahs quite like mentioning that you run them. The odds are that once you’ve got a couple of marathons under your belt, the thought will — at some point — cross your mind to try stepping up to the next distance. […]


 

Ultramarathon. It has nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Nothing inspires oohs and aahs quite like mentioning that you run them. The odds are that once you’ve got a couple of marathons under your belt, the thought will — at some point — cross your mind to try stepping up to the next distance. Wanna know how I know? I’ve done six ultras in the past three years.

Ultramarathons typically start at the 50k distance — or 31(ish) miles. Now, it’s really tempting to think of it as “just a few miles longer than a marathon” but ultras — which are typically done on trails — are a completely different animal than a road marathon. Unless your goal is to hate the experience of running your first ultra, don’t assume that your standard marathon training will do.

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Training is the hardest part. I mean, sure, it’s tough to run 31+ miles, but it’s the grinding it out day after day after day that’s the toughest part. Staying motivated and positive through months of training through all sorts of conditions is hard — especially if you’re training alone. Honestly, if you can get through training, you’ve got the chops to get through the race.
  2. Have a training plan. You may have been able to get away with willy-nilly training for other distances, but it’s a supremely bad idea to do an ultra without a clear plan. There are free plans online (be sure they are from reputable coaches) for first-timers which you could adapt to your own schedule or — better yet — hire a coach with ultramarathon training experience to write one for you.
  3. Back-to-back “long” runs are where ultrarunners are made. This is the bread and butter of ultra training — a weekly long run that increases (similar to the way a marathon long run would increase with a mileage cutback every couple of weeks) and a second shorter “long” run the next day. The object of this second “long” run is really just to be on your feet for 60-90 minutes to learn what it feels like to have “dead legs” while still keeping your running form together.
  4. Train for your course. Research the course you’ll be running and spend some time training in similar conditions. For example, if you know that your course has a huge climb at mile 20, pick routes that have uphills toward the end of the course and/or include more hills in your second “long” run. Also, be sure to put in as many miles as possible on a similar surface to what you’ll encounter on race day.
  5. Be okay with walking. This goes double if you’ll be on trails. Road hills are built to accommodate cars so they’re never as steep as what you’ll see out there on the trails. Often, it’s far more energy efficient to walk up certain hills than it would be to run them. Also, some downhills can be steep and dangerous — especially if it’s wet out there or if you’re on loose rocks. But even in general, walking is totally acceptable on ultra courses. We all do it — seriously. Don’t try to be a hero; walk when you need to.
  6. Be ready to make sacrifices. Ultra training is a big, time-consuming commitment. No doubt somewhere along the line, you’ll get an invite for a happy hour the night before your long run. And you’ll want to go and you’ll really want a drink. I’ve totally been there — but trust me, you’ll pay for it in your run the next day. Be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of training.
  7. Recovery rituals become critical. Stretching overused muscles, foam rolling, restorative yoga, epsom salt baths, etc. become more important than ever. You can’t train if you’re too sore (or mentally burnt out) to run. Stress-relieving activities throughout your week will help your body and your mind gain resilience rather than breaking down. Be proactive with your recovery. Above all else, keep your rest/easy days sacred.
  8. Your fueling has to be on point. This is a biggie. You need to fuel and hydrate appropriately while training — it’s non-negotiable. Just because you’re running all the miles doesn’t mean can eat all the crap. On your runs, always take more fuel with you than you think you’ll need because trail conditions can vary widely. Also, consider using electrolyte tabs during your long runs to help keep muscle cramping at bay. Replenish after every run.
  9. Practice your race day strategies with your race day gear. Use the hydration pack you plan to wear on race day, consume the same energy gels/gummies, etc. Everything down to your socks should be thoroughly tested during training.
  10. Expect to have tough runs. Like any other distance, some runs will be inexplicably tough. Get through them and know that this is the mental side of training well. You have to struggle a little to become tough enough to endure whatever gets thrown at you on race day.
  11. Aid stations on the course are like mini parties. Unlike other race distances, runners actually stop at aid stations in ultras — they eat something, refill a hydration pack, have a conversation, take a seat, fix a shoelace, or put some petroleum jelly on the spots that are chaffing. Know where the aid stations are on your course and allow yourself the time to stop — it could be an hour (or more) before you see the next one.
  12. Run your own race. I mean it, eyes on your own paper! Stick with the pace and fueling that you’ve tested throughout training. Going out too fast in a half-marathon makes the last six miles suck. Going out too fast in a 50k makes the last 16 miles suck … badly. Aim to be comfortable for most of the race, moving at a pace that you feel confident you can sustain. As the final miles approach, you can always take it up a notch — but you can’t get back the energy you blow in the first 10-12 miles.
  13. Smile. It’s an adventure and an amazing accomplishment. It requires dedication and mental toughness. But it’s totally doable. And if you take the time and energy to do it right, you’ll be really glad you did it.

There are as many ways to train for an ultra as there are ultra runners. As with any distance, don’t expect that you’ll get it right your first time. Every time you complete an ultra, you gain a ton of experience — you come back next time stronger and wiser.

Be honest: did I talk you into (or out of) training for your first ultra? —Alison



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This Is the Mindset You Need to Lose Weight

If you’ve ever dieted or tried to lose weight before, you’ve likely read a lot of different advice. And a lot of books. And been to a lot of websites. And tried a lot of products. So you, like, KNOW A LOT about what it takes to lose weight. And, if you’re like a lot […]


If you’ve ever dieted or tried to lose weight before, you’ve likely read a lot of different advice. And a lot of books. And been to a lot of websites. And tried a lot of products. So you, like, KNOW A LOT about what it takes to lose weight. And, if you’re like a lot of us, probably even more about what it doesn’t.

Information can be awesome. It’s exciting to have all the facts on nutrition and studies on workouts and really learn some cool facts and strategies to help you to be your healthiest right at your fingertips. Yeah, information is power!

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Except when it isn’t.

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Stay with me for a sec.

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You can have all the facts in the world about weight-loss … and not actually lose weight. Because weight-loss isn’t just about information — it’s about putting that information into action. Which requires motivation. And … trying something different. We say this all the time in our 10 in 4 Challenge support group (learn more about how you can join the next challenge here): You can’t expect to see a change unless you make a change.

And yeah, that can be hard. Because change is hard. But it’s the truth.

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It all begins with your thoughts — and being totally and completely open to learning something new despite the fact that you know a LOT. It’s a little something we call the “beginner’s mindset.”

What Is the Beginner’s Mindset?

A beginner’s mindset is simple. Basically, you take everything you know, and you keep it in mind, but you check it at the door and open up to the possibility that you don’t know everything. You even remain open to the possibility that what you think you “know” may not actually be working for you. (Because, hey, if it was, you probably wouldn’t still be trying to reach the same goal, right?) You soften your approach to your body and your life. Even though you’re not a “beginner” in healthy living know-how world, you change your perception and accept that there’s much, much more to learn — and you’re ready to welcome it with open arms.

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How Can I Have a Beginner’s Mindset?

The first step to having a beginner’s mindset is to simply set the intention to have one. Easy, right? Take a deep breath, acknowledge (with lots of self love) that you’ve been doing the best you could up until this point, but decide that now you’re ready to grow, learn and change. It’s time to leave what’s not working for you behind and open up to new possibilities.

Then, pay attention to your thoughts. Repeated thoughts trigger emotional responses, which, in turn, result in behaviors. When behaviors are repeated, they become habits. And you guys know how important habits are. This is why thoughts are SO important.

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Whenever you start to think: “This isn’t going to work for me,” or “I already know that I need [insert food/activity/other healthy living tip you’ve relied on for however many years here],” or you just start to resist any sort of change because you “know” XYZ … lovingly remind yourself to open up and shift back to that beginner’s mindset.

Why Does a Beginner’s Mindset Help?

It takes practice and some self-awareness, but the results can be huge. Why? Because without a beginner’s mindset, change and growth in any area of your life is darn near impossible.

Think about it. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, why would you hold on so tightly to those habits? Adopt a new open mindset and break free.

via GIPHY

How open are you to new ideas when it comes to healthy living? And if you guys need some extra help with this, we do a lot of breaking these patterns in the 10 in 4 Challenge, which you can get more deets for here. It’s life-changing for so many women! Jenn



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Sightseeing on the Run: My London Running Tour

I truly believe the best way to get a good feel for a city is by exploring it on foot. I didn’t fall in love with New York until I had an opportunity to stroll the streets from the Lower East Side up to Central Park — but from that day forward, I totally got […]


I truly believe the best way to get a good feel for a city is by exploring it on foot. I didn’t fall in love with New York until I had an opportunity to stroll the streets from the Lower East Side up to Central Park — but from that day forward, I totally got it.

My husband and I recently visited London for the first time, and it didn’t take nearly so long for that city to claim my heart — but maybe that’s because, from the moment we stepped off the train from Heathrow, we spent a lot of time walking around, sometimes getting a bit lost and constantly finding cool new corners of the city to explore.

But, you guys know me — I wasn’t entirely content to just walk. The second I laid eyes on Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, I knew I had to run those paths. Our time was a bit limited, but on our last full day, I set an early alarm, laced up my sneaks, and headed out to get in a few miles.

kensington palace
Kensington Palace — gorgeous view and hey, free wifi!

Running as a tourist is much different than running in your own city. For one, obviously, you are less familiar with the area, so I had a map pulled up on my phone and kept it handy so I could make sure I didn’t get too lost on the way. (And good thing I did. London is amazing, but it’s not exactly laid out like an easy-to-follow grid.) The going was extra slow for me because, not only did I have to navigate loads of crosswalks, but — well, they drive on the other side of the road there, you know, and if you’re thinking that’s only wiggy to someone behind the wheel, let me assure you that it’s also something you need to be mindful of as a pedestrian. There’s a reason most of the busy crosswalks have “Look Left” or “Look Right” written in big letters on the street! So, every time I crossed a street, I stopped for longer than was strictly necessary to make sure I wasn’t darting out in front of a double decker.

But those aren’t the biggest differences. For me, at least, the biggest one is the fact that I tend to stop every half mile or so to look at things. Buildings, flowers, people, pubs that I definitely want to stop in later … I didn’t know when I’d be going back, so the whole time I ran, I was looking, watching, taking it all in, and stopping to really soak it up when needed.

Big Ben and the London Eye
Big Ben and the London Eye. (Not seen on this specific run, but I walked by both numerous times.) If you look closely, you can see the “Look to Your Left/Right” notes on the street.

What’s quite cool about this is that, all in all I ended up logging about five miles — which is considerably more than I’d really planned to do. It wasn’t speedy, and the only time my heart rate really shot up was when my wifi connected in front of Kensington Palace (thank you, FREEPALACEWIFI) and I received a notification that my flight home had been canceled (but I made it home eventually — don’t worry), but my legs got a killer workout, and I experienced a bit of zen at the same time.

With all that in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips for having a super successful, totally touristy run the next time you find yourself in a new city.

london phone booth
If you can get past the flyers for escort services pasted all over every single one of these in the city, they’re awfully picturesque!

Tips for a Sightseeing Run

Safety first. If you’re traveling with someone, either have them join you or tell them where you’re going — and approximately when you expect to be back.

Know where you’re headed … at least somewhat. I LOVE getting myself lost on a run … but only to a certain point. Be aware of areas you might want to avoid, and have at least a loose idea of the direction you want to go. If you’re not sure and are staying at a hotel, ask the concierge. Some might even have pre-planned running routes available for you. If you’re capable of logging some miles, you can often see a lot of sights within a city while you get in your run!

And know how to get back. Sounds obvious, but make certain you know the name or address of where you’re staying. It’s one thing to come back via the same route you took when you left, but it can throw you off if you come home a different way!

Don’t go empty handed. If you don’t know the area, take a map or your phone (make sure you have a map available to use offline if you don’t have data available; there are loads of map apps with that functionality, often for free or pretty darn cheap).

Have a backup plan. In addition to my phone, I had a credit card, my ID (but not my passport) and my public transportation card (pro tip — if you’re visiting London, get a Visitor’s Oyster card. You are welcome) so that if I got way off track or hurt or the weather turned, I’d be able to pop into a cafe, at the very least, or find an alternate way home if needed.

Be aware. I know that, as my heart rate soars, often my cognitive faculties … don’t. Even if you’re sticking to safe areas, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out so you don’t get pick-pocketed, followed, or worse.

Don’t miss a thing. This isn’t a hardcore training run. This is a sightseeing jogging tour that you can take at your own pace, so make it what you want it to be. You can sprint from one spot to the next or take everything in at a slower speed. Just be sure you take the opportunity to really see it all, because hey, that’s why you’re there!

In hindsight, I kind of wish we’d spent part of the previous day running the city at a leisurely pace together. We walked the bulk of the day anyway, and you can get in more running miles than you’d think when you’re stopping to gawk as often as we did. Oh well — next time! (And there will be a next time — I can’t wait to go back!)

Have you ever taken a running tour? Where, and what did you see? Got any tips you’d add to this? —Kristen



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5 Yoga Poses for Runners

If you’ve been pounding the pavement for years as a runner, an achiness may have crept into your 8-minute mile. Whether it’s soreness in the knee, tightness in the hips and groin, or an upset ankle, missteps taken along the running path can be alleviated with the right set of yoga poses. Often, with runners, […]


If you’ve been pounding the pavement for years as a runner, an achiness may have crept into your 8-minute mile. Whether it’s soreness in the knee, tightness in the hips and groin, or an upset ankle, missteps taken along the running path can be alleviated with the right set of yoga poses.

Often, with runners, it’s a weakness in certain muscle groups that places too much strain on the joints resulting in overuse. By stabilizing and strengthening these muscles, your body will realign, perform better, and stop hurting.

While checking in with your doctor is always a good idea for pain that lingers, consider adding these yoga poses into your post-run routine for more efficient use of your muscles, and less injuries along the way.

Low Lunge

This is the ultimate runners’ stretch! In addition to releasing tension in the hips, it opens up the quads, hamstrings and groin while strengthening the knee. Hold each side for five to 10 breaths after every run, and you will notice a shift in your running stance.

Half Moon

As you stand on one leg, you’ll strengthen the ankle and stabilize the glute muscles surrounding the hips, which are often subjected to overuse. By balancing and extending your other leg outward, you’ll engage your core, which is key for keeping a steady gait during your runs.

Dancer

Another weight-bearing posture that encourages activation of the glutes, this balance posture will build your core strength, and provide a quad stretch to help align and protect the knee.

Hero

The constant flexing position of the foot while running can tighten the tendons and ligaments on the front of the ankle. While this pose will counteract that position and bring some relief, it will also lengthen the quads. Be warned, many runners find this pose super intense so you may want to start off sitting on a prop.

Boat

Instead of doing crunches, which can shorten and tighten the psoas, consider doing this pose, which helps lengthen and tone the abdomen. Additionally, when you extend your legs off the ground, and engage your hip flexors, it relieves stress from the groin.

So if your runner highs are followed by the lows of aches and pains, try adding in these yoga poses to retrain your muscles and get your body back up to speed.

Which yoga poses do you incorporate after your run? —Elysha



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5 Minutes With World Champion Skier Mikaela Shiffrin

We love getting the real scoop on how elite athletes train and eat, so we were psyched when our pals at Barilla hooked us up with the opportunity to send a few questions over to alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, 2017 World Champion and big time food lover. The 22-year-old had a heck of a […]


We love getting the real scoop on how elite athletes train and eat, so we were psyched when our pals at Barilla hooked us up with the opportunity to send a few questions over to alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, 2017 World Champion and big time food lover.

The 22-year-old had a heck of a season, winning her first season title, earning the Overall Crystal Globe (oh, and by the way, she’s the fifth American and third woman ever to do this) — and this is all in addition to winning her third straight Slalom Gold Medal and earning a bright and shiny Silver in Giant Slalom at the 2017 World Championships. Shiffrin is gearing up for the 2017-18 season which, as you may have already deduced, will include the Olympics.

So how’s she preparing for what’s sure to be a big year? You know we asked her all about it!

What’s your fave workout to do off the slopes? Any moves you really love — or love to hate?

Mikaela Shiffrin: I sort of love to hate all of the moves that I ever have to do! I think my favorite workouts are generally the core workouts. The burn you get in your core is that immediate gratification — you can feel it and you know you’re getting stronger. I feel like my core is strong, my back is strong, and it just ties everything together.

What are your fave foods or recipes? Is anything off-limits?

MS: Nothing is really off-limits. I try to limit the sugar but I like to eat dessert so I don’t cut it out completely. My favorite go-to meal, especially when I’m racing, is a simple pasta dish with maybe some chicken and salad or some vegetables — broccoli or something like that. It’s super easy, and it’s flavored with butter and garlic and salt. It’s one of the only things I can eat before races when I’m really nervous, but it’s also one of my favorite meals outside of competition season.

Can you tell us about how your nutrition or training will change going into racing season?

MS: I try to keep my nutrition consistent — I don’t follow any diet programs. Going into the race season or the Olympics … there’s a theory of carb loading, which I sort of do. Before races, I might go a little heavier on the carbs and then after go a little lighter — just to get a little extra energy for the long race days. But there’s not a very big change in my nutrition program. Or even in my training — it’s just always about trying to make the most of any second I get on the snow, on my skis.

What are your top tips for someone who wants to improve their healthy lifestyle?

I think a lot of people say, “I want to get healthy, I’m gonna detox,” and — I don’t even know what detox means. I think it’s something like starving yourself for three days and only drinking smoothies, or tea, or something? I don’t know how you can do that. I feel you should take it step by step.

Like, I go through phases. I want dessert every night. I make cookies every night and I have dessert. And then I get to a point where I’m like, okay, it’s time for me to stop having cookies every night. You just take little steps. And then I’ll say, I’m going to stop having sugar three days a week. And then, all of a sudden, you’ve gone a week without sugar and it’s really easy to continue, and you don’t crave it.

How do people get it wrong when it comes to carbs?

MS: Some people say they want to cut out carbs, and, for an athlete like me, carbs are necessary. For the average person, [too many] carbs can be a really big bummer, but carbs are necessary for energy so you want to make sure you’re balancing that. You should find a couple of go-to recipes that are delicious and give you what you need. Like I said, go step by step — you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of pasta, but maybe you have an accompanying side dish along with your meat and your salad. It’s like finding loopholes to satisfy what you want and not cut it out all together. I LOVE food. I can’t imagine giving something up — even dessert, even in the name of ski racing. But I can find a compromise.

What are you most looking forward to with the upcoming season and getting back into competition mode?

MS: I’m just looking forward to getting back to racing. Our first race is at the end of October and it’s always a really exciting time. Everyone’s coming back together again, you see competitors you haven’t seen all summer. That first race of the season is always nerve racking because you don’t know where you stack up against everyone, but it’s really fun too. When I’m actually doing it, I’m really nervous and just wish it was summer again. But right now I’m looking forward to that!

We’re wishing Mikaela all the best in her upcoming race season — and in the kitchen, although it sounds like she doesn’t need our luck in either realm. But now, we’re curious — what are some of your favorite healthy pasta additions? —Kristen



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Go on a Gratitude Run

It’s safe to say that we all have stuff we’d like to change in the world — and in our lives. Like A LOT. And we should absolutely go out there and change and grow and speak our minds and make the world a better place. FOR SURE. But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t […]


It’s safe to say that we all have stuff we’d like to change in the world — and in our lives. Like A LOT. And we should absolutely go out there and change and grow and speak our minds and make the world a better place. FOR SURE. But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also take a little time now and again to reflect on what we do have. Or the ways in which the world is beautiful. And just how amazing our bodies and this human experience is.

Because for every negative news story, there’s a positive one.

And we can choose to see the good, even when shit is bad. And that helps give us the energy to go out and do the stuff we need to do. Like be kind — kind to ourselves, kind to others.

Which is exactly why now is a great time to go on a gratitude run.

What’s a Gratitude Run?

It’s pretty much exactly as it sounds. Go out for your usual run. (Best if you can run outdoors, but you can also do this on a treadmill.) Except, leave your earbuds at home. Instead, really pay attention to everything around you: the air, the smells, the sights, how every single part of your body feels as it moves.

Then, with each couple of steps, think of something you’re grateful for. They can be big, important things or itty bitty things that bring you joy or comfort.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  • People (and animals) you love: Just think of ALL the people and pets you love (and have loved)!
  • Your body: There are so many things it does — thank it for all of ’em.
  • Your surroundings: Everything in your home, everything in nature, every trip you’ve ever taken, everything you see or have seen!
  • Food and drink: Lots of delicious options here. We’re looking at you, dark roast coffee (and even light roast coffee).
  • Your soul: What aspects of yourself would your loved ones say are your best? Thank yourself for all of those.

That’s it! See how long you can run without repeating one. We bet you can get through your whole run, and tomorrow’s run and the one after that … !

Check in With Yourself

After your run, do a quick check-in. How does your body feel? How does your soul feel? Do you have more energy? Do you feel lighter? End your run with a huge THANK YOU to yourself for going on a gratitude run in the first place. Because you know what? Endorphins are the best — but paired with gratitude, they’re even better.

Have you gone on a gratitude run? How did it make you feel? Tell us! I’ve found that this is seriously the best way to turn a bad day around. —Jenn



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4 Ways Yoga Helps Your Regular Workouts

Are you one of those people who doesn’t do yoga because you think it’s not a good workout? You believe that flowing through a sequence of postures simply cannot bring you the same benefit that comes from a heart-pounding cardio kettlebell and interval-training routine? Or maybe it’s the sitting still part of yoga that drives […]


Are you one of those people who doesn’t do yoga because you think it’s not a good workout? You believe that flowing through a sequence of postures simply cannot bring you the same benefit that comes from a heart-pounding cardio kettlebell and interval-training routine?

Or maybe it’s the sitting still part of yoga that drives you crazy. Those long holds which constantly kick up a sea of emotions while sending your to-do list into a swirl around your brain is not your thing.

And you probably already have a friend or two who raves on about the amazing yoga class she just came from as a preamble to her ongoing attempt to convert you to the practice. Which gets a little annoying.

Well, don’t worry! I’m not going to try and get you to become a yogi. I’m only going to explain how including yoga in your regular exercise routine —like an add-on — will not only enhance your workouts, it will also make you happier in your life.

4 Ways Yoga Helps Your Regular Workouts

1. Breathing. Enter a yoga class and there’s a good chance you’ll hear an instructor counting breaths out loud. In fact, this may even be the scope of her instruction. Why? Because breathing is the foundation of yoga. In order to truly advance through the practice, you must be connected to your breath. It enables you to use your muscles more efficiently while allowing your body to move more fluidly. And guess what? The breath will do its magic outside of a yoga class. So if you’re a runner, connecting the breath to your stride will provide an even steadiness that gives you more control.

2. Stretching. You probably already know that your body needs a good stretch post-workout. And the five minutes tacked onto the end of class is fine if you’re looking to reduce muscle soreness. But in order to prevent injury, you want your muscles to be in tip-top shape so they are flexible and receiving optimum blood flow. Yoga as a cross-training exercise will help you do this. On your rest day, consider adding in a series of poses to lengthen your muscles, which will help keep them from pulling and overuse. Also, in conjunction with the contraction that comes from activities such as weightlifting, the stretching from yoga will give you a better range of motion. Plus, being more flexible (especially as you age) feels good.

3. Stabilizing and balancing. While you don’t need to stand on your head for 10 minutes a day, working on your balance is important for both your workouts and your everyday life. The muscles engaged while balancing help stabilize the rest of your body to prevent overuse that can lead to injury. Yoga as a balance practice teaches you to ground into your center, engage your core and lengthen the spine. So if you are a cyclist or Spinner, yoga teaches you to work from this center which will improve your form, posture and core strength.

4. Mindfulness. No need to get all fancy on this term, mindfulness simply means being present — which is the equivalent to keeping your head in the game. And this is the whole purpose of yoga: to stay connected to your body and breath throughout the practice (and in the rest of your life!). The discomfort that this can cause — like unwanted emotions — can be a turn-off to many non-yoga people. But really, this is key to living a fuller and richer life. If you can keep your mind present while you’re working out, you will have better results that can help build endurance and strength along with preventing injury. While most people probably do not want to pay attention to the aching hip on a run, if you use this discomfort as a sign to slow down, or even stop running, you could be protecting yourself from a muscle tear. On the flip side, if you feel a burning sensation in your quads, and you stay with it, you’ll push past your limitations which will thrust you across the finish line in the race.

Are you convinced? How do you think yoga could enhance your regular workout? —Elysha



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5 Steps to Make Morning Workouts a Habit

It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm sounds, hopefully to the beat of your favorite song rather than one of those annoying buzzers. You’re super tempted to hit snooze (like five times) and roll over for a few more zzz’s. Before you do, think about how much better your day will play out if you kill […]


It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm sounds, hopefully to the beat of your favorite song rather than one of those annoying buzzers. You’re super tempted to hit snooze (like five times) and roll over for a few more zzz’s. Before you do, think about how much better your day will play out if you kill your workout now — rather than trying to convince yourself later after a long day at work.

Yes, it’s hard, really really hard, to get in that morning workout, but totally worth it. How many times have you said “I’m going to work out right when I get home” only to throw on your comfies and lounge the night away, binge-watching your favorite shows while eating a whole lot more than you should? Sound like most evenings?

Truth is, we work hard and at the end of the day, we’re tired. But we can’t lose sight of what’s important: ourselves. Eating right, sleeping and working out are essential to our well-being. So how do we fit this all into our day? By developing a solid routine and sticking to it. Get started with these five steps.

1. Wind Down and Prep the Night Before

A realistic goal is to start winding down around 9 p.m. (meal prep, put the dishes away, get the kids bathed and to bed, walk the dog, do your nightly beauty regimen, etc.) with lights out by 10. Whether it’s white noise, essential oils or reading a book, allow yourself time to unwind, letting go of the day’s worries. Be sure to set out your clothes, make your pre- and post-workout grub, fill the dog bowl, etc., the night before so it doesn’t become one of many potential excuses. After all: “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

2. Get a Solid 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep

According to WebMD, most adults need 7 to 9 hours a night for the best amount of sleep. You have one body. Give it the rest it needs! If you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep, experts say. Read more about why getting a good night’s sleep matters at WebMD.

3. Make Yourself Get Up/Create a No-Phone Zone

Put your alarm across the room so that you have to get up and walk over to it in order to shut it off. This is also a good habit to get into if you use the alarm on your phone and like to use your phone at night. Phone lighting is not your friend when trying to sleep. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to make the bedroom (your oasis) a no-phone zone entirely.

4. Develop a ‘Whatever It Takes’ Attitude

Rise fully rested, throw on your gear, grab your pre-workout snack, feed the dog and get on your way. Now I realize if you have littles, this schedule may look a little different and that’s okay. It’s totally doable! Adjust and adapt to your situation. By that I mean, you may be going to bed when the kids do (i.e. 7 or 8 p.m.) so you can get up at 4 or 5 a.m. Implement the “whatever it takes” attitude and get it done. Once you have a routine in place, it becomes habit, and we all know that habits are hard to break.

5. Don’t Hesitate … Get to It and Get on With It!

Wrap up your workout, snag your post-workout snack, jump in the shower, and get on with the day. This way, once the day is done, you get to enjoy the time you earned with your loved ones rather than trying to convince yourself to get a workout in.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? —Nichole



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How to Create Your Ideal Home Gym

You just got home from a long day at work and you know you’ve got a long night of household duties ahead, but you also know you need your workout to keep your life balanced. Or maybe it’s freezing cold, first thing in the morning, and you’re not super excited to leave the comfort of […]


You just got home from a long day at work and you know you’ve got a long night of household duties ahead, but you also know you need your workout to keep your life balanced. Or maybe it’s freezing cold, first thing in the morning, and you’re not super excited to leave the comfort of your home to get your heart rate going. Or maybe it’s just Saturday afternoon and your basement is a lot closer than your gym.

Or maybe you have been in all of these situations at some point in your life. You wish you had a home gym, huh? If you read about that time I went to the gym but came home and lifted wine bottles instead, you know I, too, have wished for this.

According to home-gym designer Michael Blauner, this dream may be more realistic than you thought. If you have a rack of dumbbells, a treadmill, and enough room to move around, you’re well on your way.

Blauner says the best thing for anyone to have in their home gym is a rack of dumbbells, or a universal weight rack as he prefers to call it, appropriately weighted for the individual. “Nothing works better than old school.”

The only other essential is a treadmill. “When it comes to cardio equipment, nothing compares to a treadmill,” he says. “If you’re prone to injury, you can walk at a slow pace. It’s a natural motion. It’s the most enjoyable feeling of cardiovascular exercise.” 

If you have a lot of control in your design, Blauner suggests either a hardwood floor covered with a rubber mat or wall-to-wall rubber flooring. He does not recommend tile or carpet.

Changing your flooring may be a bigger commitment or investment than you want, so a simpler undertaking is to incorporate nature and color. Painting is a great start. Blauner suggests using bright colors, such as bright blue, green, orange, or natural tones to complement any kind of nature you can pull in. It’s helpful if you are able to use a space with a lot of windows. If not, try adding artwork.

Another of Blauner’s suggestions is to include a wall of mirrors if possible. These are more to check your form than your hair, he says, and they help to make the room feel larger.

Blauner cautions against including a TV in your home gym if you can avoid it. They’re good if you need a distraction for a long cardio session, but they can provide unwanted distraction at other times. Instead, if you can incorporate music, such as with a sound system, that can help improve your workout flow. He’s had some clients feel in such a zone during a workout with good music that they barely remember what exercises they did when they were done. It may not even be something you consciously notice, but music can have a great effect on your workout.

Above all, the key to creating a home gym is to find what works for you. “Start with the basics,” Blauner suggests, “then develop from there. It doesn’t take much.”

In the possibility that is your own home gym, Blauner says, “the sky is the limit.”

What would you include in your ideal home gym? —Megan



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Get Your Healthy Habits Back on Track With the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge

The following post is sponsored by General Mills Big G Cereals in recognition of September being National Whole Grains Month and the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge. Find more on our sponsored post policy here. Summer’s over and school is in session. Which — for you summer lovers (looking at ourselves here) — may be a bit of a bummer. I […]


The following post is sponsored by General Mills Big G Cereals in recognition of September being National Whole Grains Month and the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge. Find more on our sponsored post policy here.

Summer’s over and school is in session. Which — for you summer lovers (looking at ourselves here) — may be a bit of a bummer. I mean, we do love our pool time. But, guys, if you’re in the same missing-summer boat, we have just the challenge for you! You know the whole “but first, coffee” joke? We’ve got a healthier twist on it that’s not only going to get you psyched for a new season but will also help you and your fam set healthy habits — starting with whole grains. Because, as you know, man we love our whole grains.

Not-so-fun fact: did you know that 99 percent of adult peeps and kiddos don’t get enough whole grains in their eats? Forty-eight grams of whole grains are recommended for adults daily and choosing foods made with whole grains is a key part of a healthy diet and has been linked to several health benefits, including: heart health, better weight maintenance, improved digestive health and reduced risk of certain cancers. Not to mention that whole grains are also a great source of energy and provide B vitamins and minerals (great for workouts!).

We think the best way to help people hit that goal of at least 48 grams of whole grain recommended daily is to put whole grains not just top of mind — but also top of plate or bowl (or hand!) with the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge. And with General Mills Big G Cereals.

Whole grain is the FIRST ingredient found in every box of General Mills Big G Cereals. So, besides being totally and absolutely delicious, you know that you’re getting in good stuff. (Plus, has there ever been an easier and more convenient way to snack or have breakfast than with cereal — especially for busy moms? We think not.)

And because September is National Whole Grains Month, we’re challenging you this week to …

Take the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge With Us & Win

We’re giving away four prize packs of our fave whole-grain first General Mills cereals to people who participate in the below on social media and/or comment on this post. So, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use #ButFirstWholeGrain and tag us (@FitBottomedGirl) and @GeneralMillsCereal when replying! (U.S. only please — winners will be notified on social media and in the comments below in about a week.)

Monday (today): Munchable Monday
How can you get whole grains into your next snack?

Tuesday:  Take-It-Up-a-Notch Tuesday
How will you get your 48 grams of recommended whole grains today?

Wednesday: Ready, Set, Go! with the Grain Wednesday
Show us whole-grain breakfast!

Thursday: Thrilling Thursday
Since whole grains are great energy, tell us what fun activity your whole grains are giving you an energy boost for!

Friday: Finish Line Friday
What’s your best #ButFirstWholeGrain tip learned from the week?

General Mills Cereal believes in the power of whole-grain goodness and so do we. So, who’s in to take the #ButFirstWholeGrain Challenge with us? Leave a comment below to enter to win. We’re challenging our buds @carrotsncake, @hungryrunnergrl and @runeatrepeat to BRING IT! —Jenn



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Can Aromatherapy Boost Your Workout?

We’re all looking for a better, more fun, more enjoyable workout. One that leaves us feeling uplifted, energized — and a bit like a badass. Okay, a lot like a badass. But, when it comes to smell — er — that’s the one thing we’re typically trying to have LESS of during a workout. However, […]


We’re all looking for a better, more fun, more enjoyable workout. One that leaves us feeling uplifted, energized — and a bit like a badass. Okay, a lot like a badass. But, when it comes to smell — er — that’s the one thing we’re typically trying to have LESS of during a workout. However, turns out the right smell, a la aromatherapy, may actually help your workout. We chatted with Tracy Griffiths — creator of Aroma Yoga, director of the Life Energy Institute and spokesperson for Young Living Essential Oils — about how and why that is, plus easy ways you can boost your next sweat sesh.

What are the benefits of incorporating aromatherapy into a workout?

“Aromatherapy, when used during a workout, helps us bring our body, mind and our intentions into the present moment, thus increasing our focus and attention on any task at hand, especially our workouts.”

How can you incorporate aromatherapy into exercise?

“Place a drop or two on the palms, gently rub the palms together, bring the cupped hands over the nose and deeply inhale, completely exhale and repeat two to five more times. As you are practicing this deep, slow breathing exercise, take this time to set your intention for your workout.”

What scents do you recommend for getting energized to move?

“The crisp scents of rosemary, peppermint or lemon can help sharpen our awareness and help us become more mentally and emotionally connected to our physical body. Because of the physiological and emotional components of the olfactory system (how our brain processes scents), we can use our sense of smell to anchor a particular feeling to a particular essential oil. So by breathing in favorite essential oils, it may trigger a positive emotional response and help us get in the ‘zone’ before working out. Most athletes know being in a positive and empowering mindset is crucial to a successful workout. Using aromatherapy in your fitness routines can be a great way to get the most out of yourself!”

Anything else we can do to boost our workouts?

“Close your eyes and visualize how you want to show up for yourself. See if you can visualize your body going through the exercises. Focusing your mind and being present can really make a difference in how you feel before, during and post workout.”

Will you try it? I’ve been using lemon oil in my diffuser to get energized to write lately. And now I’m excited to try it before I hit the gym!Jenn



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How to Stand Up and Speak Out When You Don’t Know What to Say

Talking about current events right now is … well, it’s awful. And not in a “man, my favorite fitness class got cancelled today” kinda way. It’s more in a “IS THIS REALITY?” end-of-the-world sort of way. (Yes, this is happening — and no, it’s not new.) It can feel like, the more you pay attention […]


Talking about current events right now is … well, it’s awful. And not in a “man, my favorite fitness class got cancelled today” kinda way. It’s more in a “IS THIS REALITY?” end-of-the-world sort of way. (Yes, this is happening — and no, it’s not new.)

It can feel like, the more you pay attention — and maybe even the more you educate yourself — the more difficult it becomes to find the right words, or to do the right thing. But a lot of us (including my white-woman self and my white-woman business partner, Jenn) are fully waking up to the fact that remaining quiet and on the periphery is not a viable option.

(Let me be clear — I understand that some people DO opt to remain silent, avoid the news, change the subject when friends make comments, but being able to do so is a luxury. But make no mistake: If you’re able to do this, it’s a mark of your privilege, and if your circumstances or the color of your skin were different, it would no longer be an option.)

We need to step up — now, today, in real and meaningful ways — if we really care about fit bottoms coming in ALL shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds. And we do care. So we’re addressing it. And we’re hoping to helping readers in our shoes do the same.

Now is not the time for any of us to allow our lack of perfect words or flawless advice stop us from speaking out. Not me, not you.

You might feel some guilt or even shame, particularly if you’re someone who’s never historically been targeted by hate groups or discrimination and are only now waking up to the fact that this shit has been happening all along. That’s understandable. Allow it — then move past it and start doing good work.

Because there is a lot of work to do. I know it’s uncomfortable. As you know, I am fairly terrible at confrontation. Often, my voice will shake and my knees will tremble, but when I hear or see overt racism, sexism, homophobia or other types of cruelty or ignorance, I know I have to stand up and speak out. And I know that, more often than not, I can speak and my voice will be heard and it’s unlikely that I’m risking bodily harm. It’s worth noting that that’s not the case for everyone in this world.

Where I find things get trickier, though, is in the everyday instances. It’s one thing to stand up and put someone in their place when they’re clearly and purposely preaching hate or intolerance. You want to talk to me about why loving a woman loving another woman is wrong, or why you think those “very fine people” in Charlottesville maybe had a point? We will certainly have quite a discussion, and no, I will not mince words.

But sometimes, when a topic is more nuanced, I’ve questioned my ability to properly address the issue. I’m not an expert on race, or feminism, or gender fluidity. I haven’t been a lifelong activist. But I’m learning that too many of us feel that way, and too many of us hold our tongues out of fear — fear of not saying the right thing, fear of alienating friends, family and colleagues, fear of being seen as angry or unreasonable or (gasp) impolite.

Well, you know what? If you’ve always been comfortable, then talking about race and gender and privilege is probably going to feel a bit scary. And that’s fair, because there are a lot of people out there who have never been comfortable. Ever.

I never worried about whether there’d be a Barbie with whom I could identify. It’s not hard for me to find movies or books that feature women like me or men like my father or husband. I am not followed or watched when I go into a convenience store — even if I have my hands in the pockets and my hoodie pulled over my head. As a white, middle class, cisgender, straight, employed woman, I am the definition of privileged.

And regardless of your current status or background, I’m betting there’s at least one way in which you can consider yourself privileged. (Don’t believe me? I beg you to please watch or listen to this video Brené Brown posted in the wake of the horrific events Charlottesville. Yes, it might make you feel a little uncomfortable. Please do it anyway.)

Okay, okay, so you’re on board to speak up for oppressed communities to which you don’t belong … but you still don’t know quite what to say. Totally fair! I’m going to share a few links to resources I’ve found helpful below, but I want to make one point really clear: It is not the duty of the disenfranchised to educate you. If you have friends facing discrimination, and they want to share action items with you, awesome. (My advice in this case: listen with open ears and don’t try to compare your experiences. Just hear what they have to say, period.) And remember, our black friends, our gay friends, our trans friends — they’ve been fighting their fight all along, so let’s educate ourselves so we can go directly to the front lines to join them.

How to support victims, pressure leaders, teach acceptance and more. This is a rich and informative guide with lots of actionable takeaways. Read it. Share it. Act on it.

A website “dedicated to bringing white folks up to speed on the racial justice conversation.” Got questions? Feel like even talking about being white might be racist? Start here.

Whether you’re a fitness professional or a professional with a voice and a following in another realm, read this for your call to action.

Why we all need to do more than spread love and light. Get ready for your eyes to be opened wide, especially if you consider yourself spiritual and loving.

Want to engage in discussions with a community of people who are actively working to fight injustice in America? Welcome home.

Please know that EVERYONE is welcome here in the Fit Bottomed World. And, this is just a start — there are so, so many more great think pieces and guides out there, and we’ll add more as we go along. What would you add to this list? There’s strength in numbers, so let’s work together — starting today. Kristen



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7 Lessons Learned at the First FBG Retreat

If you’ve been reading FBG for awhile, you probably already know these things because we say them all the time … But after holding our first live retreat at 1440 Multiversity on “How to Be a Fit Bottomed Girl,” we learned a few new lessons along with our lovely attendees. And, guys, it was everything. […]


If you’ve been reading FBG for awhile, you probably already know these things because we say them all the time …

But after holding our first live retreat at 1440 Multiversity on “How to Be a Fit Bottomed Girl,” we learned a few new lessons along with our lovely attendees. And, guys, it was everything. Because being healthy isn’t just about eating healthy foods and being active. Sure, that’s a large part, but it’s also about what you think about yourself, what you think about others and how you push yourself to be your best. Not to go all Oprah on y’all, but it’s all about living YOUR best life. And no one gets to decide what exactly that means except for you. So grab your power from within, and let’s get to those life lessons!

7 Lessons Learned at the First FBG Retreat

1. You can do more than you think you can. This was the overarching theme everyone felt after this workout that we did together. Never done squat jumps? That’s cool, start with squats because there’s no shame in modifying. Never done mountain climbers? Try it. You just might be surprised at your own abilities.

2. There’s power in vulnerability. We experienced this firsthand when we shared our personal stories with dieting and body image and *maybe* shed a few tears. But that’s awesome because when you’re open and real, emotion comes out — and it’s that emotion that, when shared, lets people know that they’re not alone and that their feelings are valid and honored, too. Being real is the first step to true change.

3. You were put on this planet to do more than worry about your weight. There might have been more tears shed on this one during the retreat. And it’s because it’s such a personal message and mission for us — one that hits at the soul because it’s so true.

4. Leave space for the unexpected. We had all of our time during the retreat pretty planned out. We knew when we’d be going through slideshows, when we’d work out and when we’d hike. But 30 minutes into our retreat, our plan had to be tweaked and changed to meet the needs of the group. Which actually worked out beautifully — and ended up resulting in some really tender and precious moments with the group that weren’t planned at all.

5. Get outside. The 1440 Multiversity campus is GORGEOUS. Which we expected, but not to the degree that it really was. The piney smell of the redwoods, the crisp air, the breeze that just bowled you over with calmness. It was both relaxing and energizing — and we soaked it up at every opportunity, whether that was a hike with the group, eating outside or simply sitting on our balcony and watching the fog lift each morning.

6. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Okay, yeah, we say this one in the video above, but it’s because it’s so, so, so true! And it’s one of those lines that kept coming up again and again over the weekend. And challenges don’t just lead to physical changes in your body — once you meet a challenge, it boosts your self-confidence and makes you feels unstoppable.

7. Knowledge is power but support is everything. Sure, we had slideshows detailing the science behind nutrition and exercise and self confidence and how you get results, but you know what? If you don’t have support to do those things or implement those changes in your life beyond our wonderful weekend in the woods, then it’s really hard to do. Despite having different goals and backgrounds, the women we worked with at the retreat all supported one another, and it was beautiful to see.

Ready for your own mental ah-has and body breakthroughs? We have SO much fun stuff coming up! Be sure to sign up our online weight-loss with self love program here and make sure you’re signed up to receive our FBG Life email that will keep you in the loop on all upcoming opportunities for us to be awesome together. —Jenn & Kristen



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6 Unexpected Truths About Your First SoulCycle Class

Interested in taking a SoulCycle class? Amy Williams has all the deets on what you can expect. As an attorney and freelance writer who’s curiously exploring ways to make healthy living more entertaining, Amy blogs at Bibsandblisters.com and Tweets from @aymer22. Be sure to check out her post on what to expect training for your […]


Interested in taking a SoulCycle class? Amy Williams has all the deets on what you can expect. As an attorney and freelance writer who’s curiously exploring ways to make healthy living more entertaining, Amy blogs at Bibsandblisters.com and Tweets from @aymer22. Be sure to check out her post on what to expect training for your first half marathon, too, here!

Preparing for your first SoulCycle class can feel a little intimidating, even for the most fitness-savvy gym rats. From rented shoes to dark rooms and candles, SoulCycle is an experience far beyond the typical group exercise class. Before you reserve a bike and commit to your first class, get up to speed on these unexpected truths about that first class.

1. You will sweat.

This may not seem like an unexpected truth; obviously you will sweat during a 45-minute cycling class. It’s actually the amount that you will sweat that is unexpected. Even after you wipe your face on the towel draped across the bike’s bars, you will feel the sweat running out of your pores. It’s a tight room, filled with others also gushing sweat, so leave your self-consciousness at the door. Just don’t plan to immediately head to brunch when class is over.

2. You may feel an urge to cry, shout or smile.

Even if you expect the physical workout to be a challenge, you may feel unprepared for the emotional workout. The SoulCycle instructors have a unique way of pulling you inside yourself in almost an aggressive meditation. Between cues to increase speed or resistance, the instructors also call out positive affirmations or challenge you to create something in this particular moment. Between bouts of utter physical exhaustion, there’s an emotional release that you might not expect, but don’t want to miss.

3. You feel like a member of the “pack.”

If you’ve tried group exercise before, you already know there’s a certain magic to the shared endorphin rush of a hard group exercise class, but this is different. After one visit to a SoulCycle class, I felt like I became part of the “pack.” From the instructors to the experienced participants to the friendly staff, newbies aren’t just welcomed, but are initiated and applauded. The round of applause at the end of class for the new members was a great pick-me-up after a challenging workout.

4. You don’t have to push yourself; the music does.

Don’t worry about being able to keep up with the pack during the class — the music has a way of forcing you to keep up. Once you click those rented shoes into the bike’s pedals, the beat of the music will be the push you need to go faster or push harder. Follow the music and don’t worry too much about pushing yourself.

5. Your arms will burn, too.

Obviously, you expect your legs and buns to burn after a SoulCycle class, but the added arm workout is an unexpected benefit. Don’t scoff at the two-pound weights on the back of each bike because it’s actuallu the number of reps — not the amount of the weight — that leaves your arms burning.

6. There’s no room for personal space.

The bikes are packed very tightly into an already small studio. If you’re at all claustrophobic, try to reserve a bike nearest the door and toward the back. Once the class gets going, you will probably be too busy to care that 45 strangers are packed around you — all sweating and cycling to the beat — but when you’re climbing over bikes to find yours, it can feel a little intense. Arrive early, find your bike and take advantage of the staff’s willingness to help you find just the right position for your body.

Despite the unfamiliarity you may initially feel when you enter your first SoulCycle, you’ll probably leave feeling eager to go back. Regardless of your fitness level, check it out and enjoy your experience! —Amy Williams



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It’s Not Fair (but You Have to Do It Anyway)

We all know that gaining weight as we age is pretty common (and that losing it becomes more difficult year after year). Dropping a few extra pounds now, in my late 30s, is a wholly different experience than it was in my 20s — and, from what I understand, it’s likely to be a completely […]


We all know that gaining weight as we age is pretty common (and that losing it becomes more difficult year after year). Dropping a few extra pounds now, in my late 30s, is a wholly different experience than it was in my 20s — and, from what I understand, it’s likely to be a completely different story when I hit 40.

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A friend of mine recently shared her experience, saying that her weight didn’t creep up when she turned 40 — it hit her like a truck. And since she was already active and stuck to a pretty healthy diet, it seemed pretty unavoidable.

But here’s the thing. Age-related weight gain is certainly common — but we shouldn’t view it as normal. Not because it’s so important to fit in a certain size or look a particular way, of course, but because added weight (especially if it continues to creep up year after year) is detrimental to our health. And if carrying that extra 10 pounds makes a difference in the way your knees feel today, you know it’s going to make a difference as those joints grow older.

So what’s a girl (or guy) to do? If you’re already following a solid eating plan and working out in ways that have kept you fit and healthy in the past, you probably feel like you should just be able to keep on doing what you do and getting the same results.

But that might not be the case, which means you’ve gotta make new, different — and potentially more challenging — changes.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m thinking it too. But …

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Rose Nyland doesn’t always get it right, but this time, she’s got a point. Life isn’t always fair.

It’s not fair that what’s always worked for you no longer does. It’s not fair that your friend is older, fitter, and can eat like a garbage disposal. It’s not fair that, in order for you to get back to a weight, size, or body that feels more like “you,” you have to make additional changes to a lifestyle that’s already healthy — and one that you love.

It’s not fair. But if your health is important to you, you have to do it anyway.

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Different changes work for different people — which is why we tend to have a “choose your own adventure” approach to weight loss, especially with the women who join us for our 10 in 4 Program (and we’ve got another round starting soon, in case you’re interested!). For the friend I mentioned earlier, the key was to cut out added sugar, which she found really difficult, but the payoff was immediate. The tweak that I, personally, find super effective is to take a veggies-first approach to snacks and meals.

For others, it might mean adjusting portion sizes or changing up the ratio of, say, protein to carbs; or maybe it’ll take eating at home more frequently, or incorporating HIIT or strength training into their routine. Maybe it even involves taking a look at their DNA to see what foods and workouts are truly most effective for their personal weight-loss goals — and stay tuned, because we’re going to have some extremely cool opportunities for you guys to do just that coming up later this year, if you’re interested. We seriously live in the future, y’all.

If this is something you’re struggling with, then work with me to take the “it’s not fair” argument out of the equation. Because, honestly?

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Joey, like Rose, is spot on. It might not be fair, but … that doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that you are worth taking care of. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. So let’s challenge ourselves already!

Is there one small, sustainable tweak that comes to mind that you could make — starting today? —Kristen



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How a Flatlander Trains to Run Up a Mountain

FBGs, welcome our newest contributor: Nichole Curran! Nichole is a thrill-seeking two-time Ironman triathlete and Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier, and today she’s sharing the new challenge she’s taking on — Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon — and how she’s training for it even though she lives far from the mountains! According to the Merriam-Webster […]


FBGs, welcome our newest contributor: Nichole Curran! Nichole is a thrill-seeking two-time Ironman triathlete and Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier, and today she’s sharing the new challenge she’s taking on — Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon — and how she’s training for it even though she lives far from the mountains!

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, flatland is defined as “a region in which the land is predominantly flat and lacks significant variation in elevation.”

Wiktionary breaks it down further, describing a flatlander as “a person who lives at low altitude (used by those living at higher altitudes).”

Now I may be mistaken, but this Kansas City girl thinks walking to the mailbox and back is quite the uphill climb … no?

So a flatlander I am.

Let’s Do Something Crazy

Apparently finishing two Ironmans and a handful of half Ironmans wasn’t enough. What’s a thrill-seeking, endurance-junkie, always-looking-for-the-next-big-challenge FBG to do next?

If you’re me, you find yourself out on a leisurely group trail run with your girls, talking about life, taking in nature, thinking about what you’re going to eat later, and then out comes: “Let’s run a up a mountain!”

A mountain? Where is such mountain?

This particular mountain is Pikes Peak, located just outside Colorado Springs, Colo. It’s the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

What could possibly be going on there? Only the toughest half marathon in America: Pikes Peak Ascent.

Halfmarathons.net breaks it down for us: “You’ll run literally up the side of a mountain at this race, which starts at 6,300 feet above sea level and climbs all the way to 14,115 feet.” A fourteener! “Temperatures at the start can rise to the 90s during the day, while runners might face near-freezing weather at the summit.”

Game on.

How to Train for Running Up a Mountain (When You Have No Mountains Around)

Being a flatlander, how on earth do you train to run up a mountain? Raw answer: the best you can! Here are a few more tips …

1. Utilize any and every resource you have available. You know that friend who randomly has an altitude-training mask (yep, the one that makes you look like the evil Bain character on Batman)? Borrow it!

I’m pretty sure I gave many children nightmares, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! Strap it on, turn up the altitude and go for it! This thing will literally leave you breathless. There were times it caused me to have minor panic attacks. ripping it off as quickly as I could. But you know what? I didn’t give up. I put it right back on and I went further the next round. Push yourself!

2. Train on stairs. How about those Rocky Balboa wanna-be stairs downtown? Run them … REPEATEDLY! Wake up those muscles that have been hibernating and climb your heart out! Want a more intense stair workout? Skip a step and stride! It’s a killer.

3. Hit the trails. Lots and lots of trails! Look down. Trails make you focus by eyeing each and every step. You never know when you’ll encounter a rock, tree root or animal(!). Hence, running trails trains you to be alert and aware.

4. Stay safe. Safety first! Never run secluded trails alone. The buddy system doesn’t just keep you safe from other unsavory characters, but also, if you were to take a tumble or roll your ankle, you’d want the comfort of knowing someone was there to help.

5. Train in the heat. The temps are still hot. Take advantage! Lather up and (safely) get your heat training on. Check out this Runner’s World article for more.

6. Fuel properly. All that training (especially in the heat) can be hard on the body. So be sure to fuel properly with these tips and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with these tips.

7. Focus on mind over matter. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely terrified to take on this beast of a race. I mean shaking-in-my-boots, wanna-run-away-and-hide kind of terrified. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my years of racing, it’s all about mindset. Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, it’s going to hurt (like hell). Yes, I’m going to want to quit. BUT I didn’t come this far and train this hard for nothing.

I’m a true believer that if you think positive, positive things will happen. Vice versa, if you think negative, negative things will happen. The moment those “I can’ts” start to creep in, shut ’em down. YOU CAN! Of course things will happen that are out of our control and we must know our body well enough to listen when it’s talking. Push your limits, but know your limits.

With that being said, put your go-getter attitude on, check your fears at the door and get it done! You have three options … give up, give in or give it all you got.

And stay tuned for the upcoming race recap … I can’t wait to share how the race goes!Nichole



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10 Things I Wish I Knew About My Vagina When I Was Younger

I’m really lucky in that, when I was growing up, my mom was very open about all things “becoming a woman.” We talked about sex, she helped me figure out the whole pads and tampons thing, and I always felt like I could ask her anything about my body. It wasn’t until the other day, […]


I’m really lucky in that, when I was growing up, my mom was very open about all things “becoming a woman.” We talked about sex, she helped me figure out the whole pads and tampons thing, and I always felt like I could ask her anything about my body. It wasn’t until the other day, when I was talking about this article with a friend, that I realized just how lucky I was to have a mom that was, honestly, pretty enlightened and progressive about her body and wasn’t shy to pass that knowledge on to me (thanks, Mom!).

I felt like I got an early headstart on info that I think a lot of girls don’t get until they’re in college — or have read countless issues of Cosmo or sat through the “Vagina Monologues” and discussed with friends at length after. And the rest I learned, honestly, through my fertility issues.

And, really, vaginas are awesome for a lot of reasons. They’re pretty damn magical. But, even today, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, not to mention just, well, a lack of knowledge. Here are 10 things I wished I knew about my vagina when I was younger.

1. Discharge is normal and changes throughout your cycle.

This is a great read on what your discharge is trying to tell you. And while, definitely, if your discharge is, like, green or really dark and has an unusual odor for you, you may have something going on, having discharge in and of itself — and having it be different in consistency and amount throughout your cycle — is totally and absolutely normal. In fact, it can tell you A LOT about your cycle. (For more: check out these books.)

2. There are lots of options out there for dealing with your period.

Pads are easy to use. Tampons, once you get the hang of them (which, probably won’t happen on the first try), are awesome, too. And reusable menstrual cups? Another option once you conquer the tampon (and really convenient after you have kids). Basically, there’s a lot of different stuff out there for your period, and what you’ll need might differ quite a bit from what the other women you know needs — and, in fact, your needs might even change as you get older. Your period might be heavier or lighter at different stages of your life. (And, no, using a jumbo tampon won’t stretch you out.)

3. Same goes for birth control.

I took the pill for 10-plus years — and it was awesome in that it gave me control over my reproductive health. But? It did also affect me in some ways I wasn’t aware of until I was ready to have kids. Not saying I would have changed anything, but it would have been nice to have been aware this was a thing. And I wish I’d considered this more, too.

4. You’re not gonna smell like roses … and that’s fine.

It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And it’s definitely not healthy to cover it up with fragrances or douche. One of Amy Schumer’s stand-up shows puts it hilariously perfectly (NSFW but see no. 3 and 4). Shower regularly; change your undies after workouts. It’s all good, girl.

5. You can call it whatever you want to call it.

The vagina has a lot of names — as long as what you call it (or your partner does) makes you feel good, use it. (And if it doesn’t, call it something else and request your partner does, too. It’s YOUR body after all.)

6. Do what you can to prevent UTIs and yeast infections.

Pee after sex and don’t stay in sweaty undies, running shorts or wet swimsuit bottoms for too long. And in case you do get a UTI, don’t delay in going to the doc and certainly don’t be embarrassed about it. They’re so common, but, holy hell, they hurt if you wait to get treatment.

7. It’s about more than just the vagina.

We’re focusing on the vagina in this article, but, really, it’s just one part of the whole awesome situation. And if you’re interested in having orgasms (which, um, you should be; they’re awesome), get acquainted with the whole area on your own so that you know what pleases you. (Here’s a cheat sheet.)

8. It changes all month long.

Just like discharge, the shape and angle of your cervix can change all cycle long due to hormones and how aroused you are. This can change everything from how putting a tampon in feels to sex. Amazing, right?!

9. What’s normal for one woman might not be normal for you.

Even if that woman is your mom or your sister! We’re all a little bit different — in a ton of ways. Vaginas look different, feel different, smell different — and it’s all okay That said, you know your body best, so when something feels offs, pay attention.

10. It deserves your love.

It’s amazing and does amazing things. Don’t let anybody tell you anything different.

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If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself about your vagina? And if you’ve got a young girl in your life, don’t be shy in passing along some of the info in this post. We ladies gotta keep it real with each other!Jenn



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Why Do You Exercise?

I can proudly say that exercise has been a part of my life for a long time. Of course there have been ups and downs, but the important thing is I have stuck with it, and somewhere along the line it became an integral part of who I am. And I couldn’t be happier! But […]


I can proudly say that exercise has been a part of my life for a long time. Of course there have been ups and downs, but the important thing is I have stuck with it, and somewhere along the line it became an integral part of who I am. And I couldn’t be happier! But how does one keep it going? Where do you get the motivation to give up part of your day, year after year, for 39 years? Motivation Through The Decades Teens: Luckily I had a great role model. Mom wasn’t the type to let you lounge around …

The post Why Do You Exercise? appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.



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5 Tips for the New Dog Owner

So you got a dog. Get ready for unconditional love, instant companionship and unwavering loyalty. But with reward comes responsibility. Your new pup has needs that must be met. Ignore his needs and your dog might become unhappy, withdrawn, destructive and difficult to control or, worst case, aggressive. And then nobody’s happy. But take heart! […]


So you got a dog. Get ready for unconditional love, instant companionship and unwavering loyalty.

But with reward comes responsibility.

Your new pup has needs that must be met. Ignore his needs and your dog might become unhappy, withdrawn, destructive and difficult to control or, worst case, aggressive. And then nobody’s happy.

But take heart! There are plenty of things you can do ensure you’ve got a happy, well-trained dog who loves and respects you.

1. Provide Structure and Training

Providing your dog with structure — like a regular schedule and rules that are consistently enforced by all members of the family — is a way to both help your new dog build confidence and make life easier on the humans in your home. In order to modify any unwanted behavior your pup exhibits, stick to reward-based training rather than scolding him or relying on punishment. Fear-based training can be effective in the short-term, but training your dog using rewards and positive reinforcement is a better option in the long run.

2. Make Your Walks Count

Walking isn’t just good exercise — it’s also both a chance to bond with and train your dog. Continuing to use positive reinforcement, get your dog leashed up and only move forward when he doesn’t tug at the leash or exhibit other unwanted behaviors. Don’t yell at him, but stay still until he’s relaxed at your side. When he walks without tugging, praise him like crazy and give him rewards — and when he pulls again, stop where you are until he returns to your side. This will likely take a while, but you’ll be happy you put in the time when you have a well-behaved pooch trotting next to you!

3. Be Smart About Socialization

Your dog is now part of your life; don’t banish him to the backyard when company arrives. Introduce him to new people and situations (again, using that awesome positive reinforcement and rewards!) so he becomes confident and stable from the get-go. But also be sure to read his body language and watch for clues — some dogs are simply not comfortable with children, other dogs, men with beards, etc., and this can be particularly true when it comes to adult dogs who join your family well after the ideal socialization period (7 weeks to 4 months). You should never force your dog to spend time in those situations if he seems scared. Instead, continue providing opportunities for him to interact with what scares him at his own pace, and if what he really wants is to retreat to your room and curl up in the closet when your friend’s toddler comes over, respect that.

4. Consider Your Sleeping Situation

Curling up with your pup every night might sound dreamy, but it’s a slippery slope. Aside from the fact that pretty much any dog, no matter how well-groomed, will bring dirt and fur into your sleeping space, you should also consider whether you want your sleep to be dictated by your dog on a nightly basis. Once you allow him into your bed, it’s much harder to train him to stay on the floor. To alleviate any guilt you might feel about not letting him snuggle with you at night, get him a cozy bed or crate (fun fact: many dogs truly love their crates and, when given the option, actually choose to sleep in them!), either in your room or outside by close enough for you to hear him if he whines to go out as he adjusts to his new home.

5. Entertain Him When He’s Home Alone

Dogs feel safest when they are part of a pack. Too much alone time can create anxiety and/or boredom, which can lead to inappropriate chewing, barking, urination and more. You can even try something like DogTV, a television channel created for dogs. (Yes, seriously!) Designed by experts, DogTV offers programs specifically geared toward doggie relaxation and/or stimulation. There’s also stuff for the humans: tips for bonding, info on specific breeds and — great for both you and your pup — a program to stay in shape together.

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Studies show that dog owners enjoy better health than those without a furry friend to call their own. —Kristen



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6 Tips for Being a Superstar Race Sherpa

Race day means many things to different people, but to those chosen few who have been selected by their friends to Sherpa for a race, the expectations can be high. Your work as a support crew for your athlete can help make their race day into the best ever! Here are six tips for being […]


Race day means many things to different people, but to those chosen few who have been selected by their friends to Sherpa for a race, the expectations can be high. Your work as a support crew for your athlete can help make their race day into the best ever! Here are six tips for being a superstar race sherpa.

1. Know your athlete.

Discuss with your athlete what they need from you in order to support them in the best way possible for their race day mental health. Do they like to be reminded of the entire weekend schedule of packet pick-up, transition check-in, and warm-up swim time? Or do they like to zone out with their headphones and favorite pump-up tunes, seeing you at the last minute to toss that iPod your way? First-time racers can be overwhelmed with the process, especially at big races, so be ready to help navigate if needed. Be flexible with your plans — if your athlete wants to eat dinner at 4 p.m. and go to bed, then the early bird special it is.

2. Bring the supplies.

Pre-dawn transition check-in? Great, bring the coffee. Super long lines at the subpar Porta Potties? Cool, you’ve got extra TP and hand sanitizer waiting. I always make sure my Sherpa has a couple of extra hair-ties on them for a last-minute hair ER. Keep extra nutrition (know what your athlete likes) with you in case they need it on course. (Disclaimer: be sure to check race rules; some races, such as Ironman brand, will disqualify an athlete for taking assistance from spectators. However, most running races do not have this stipulation.)

3. Know the course.

Also, please see no. 1 again. Does your athlete hate the swim and need a smiling face as they exit the water? Or does your athlete hit a wall at mile 21 every time and need words of encouragement and a cowbell in their face? Plan how you will get around the course with all of the goodies you have with you. Might I suggest a beach cruiser? Just because your friend is running a marathon doesn’t mean the Sherpa has to!

4. Be the paparazzi.

For many athletes, this is their big moment after months of hard work. Take photos of your friend whenever you can — trust me, they will want to see how bad-ass they look as they dominate their race course! Some athletes will want you to post updates on social media so that friends know how they are performing without having to download any race-tracking apps (which always seem to crash anyway). But, probably a good idea to discuss this with them ahead of time — they might prefer to fill people in on their own after the fact.

5. Bring your spirit!

You are your athlete’s biggest fan — let the world know! Posters, cowbells, motivational speeches … all of these and more are just the best when you are out there on course. If you have ever run a race, you know that a well-timed cheer or motivational poster can give you that extra jolt that is needed to push through.

6. Celebrate post race!

You did it — you managed to Sherpa for your first race. Oh, and your athlete completed their challenge as well. Time to celebrate. The post-race fog can be overwhelming with such an achievement so be prepared to help with a change of clothes or a cold adult beverage. Know what your athlete likes to eat and drink after a race, and know if they are going to need reminders to eat, change, go to the bathroom, call their mom … Now that you are reunited, take some celebratory selfies and get ready to rehash every detail of the race!

Congratulations on your successful Sherpa quest — the biggest compliment is to be asked to do it again, so get your cowbell and backpack full of snacks ready for next time.

Have you ever been a Sherpa for someone at a race? Any other tips you’d add? —Cara



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How to Keep Your Metabolism Burning Long After You Leave the Gym

Love the feeling that comes with a really great workout? Hey, us, too! And today, in this guest post, Brent Frayser — a media relations representative for Orangetheory Fitness and a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in  business administration — is telling us how to get our burn on both in […]


Love the feeling that comes with a really great workout? Hey, us, too! And today, in this guest post, Brent Frayser — a media relations representative for Orangetheory Fitness and a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in  business administration — is telling us how to get our burn on both in and out of the gym, all day long. Brent was born and raised in the South and is very outgoing, with a strong sense of determination. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, writing, coaching baseball and football, and spending time with family and friends. Read on for his best metabolism-boosting tips!

To stay in good shape, most people need to eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis. But, most people do not have a lot of time to spend in the gym. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to stay active and get that metabolism going, even when you’re away from the gym!

Do High-Intensity Workouts

My first tip is to do high-intensity workouts. High-intensity workouts, such as those that are done in classes by Orangetheory Fitness, make your body work as hard as possible during a shorter exercise session. When doing a high-intensity workout, you will likely only have to exercise at a high intensity for 20 to 30 minutes, five days per week. This is much shorter than some workout routines that suggest doing more than one hour of exercise at a time at a lower intensity.

Lift Weights

Another tip that can keep you burning is to lift weights. The process of lifting weights can be intense, which leads to short bursts of hard activity. This process alone is considered a high-intensity workout. But, lifting weights regularly will help you to build lean muscle mass, which burns far more calories than fat. This means that the more muscle you build by lifting weights, the more you will burn fat once you are away from the gym. You should focus on lifting weights at least twice per week, hitting the major muscle groups (legs, back and chest).

Find Time to Move

Think outside the gym and find time to move during the day. While you will burn the most amount of calories during a good workout, most people can still find a few times throughout the rest of the day to bump up their activity. Ideally, you should find a way to go for a quick 5-minute walk or do another task, getting your heart rate up every hour. While these mini workouts may seem small, they really add up by the end of the day!

Stay Hydrated

One of the most important tips is to stay hydrated, both during your workout and afterward. All adults should try to get at least 64 ounces of water on a daily basis. This can help to prevent short-term dehydration, which has been shown to slow your metabolism. Furthermore, drinking water can help prevent you from feeling hungry, which can help you avoid snacking during the day.

Nail Your Nutrition

It’s also important that you follow a healthy diet. Focus on eating plenty of whole grains, proteins, and fruits and vegetables. This will give your body plenty of fiber, which will keep you feeling full and energized. Furthermore, avoid eating added sugar and processed carbs, particularly during the first hour after you have completed a workout.

What’s your favorite way to burn … and burn … and burn? Brent Frayser



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Podcast Ep 39: Tina Haupert and Kerrie Gotell of Designed to Fit Nutrition

Tina Haupert of the popular Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog and Kerrie Gotell, owner and head coach of KFITBODY in Weymouth, Mass., have teamed up to create a unique meal planning service designed for people who want to clean up their eats … but also wanna live in the real world and enjoy their favorite foods: Designed […]


Tina Haupert of the popular Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog and Kerrie Gotell, owner and head coach of KFITBODY in Weymouth, Mass., have teamed up to create a unique meal planning service designed for people who want to clean up their eats … but also wanna live in the real world and enjoy their favorite foods: Designed to Fit Nutrition. And if you think two smart, focused and down-to-earth women can be equal parts engaging and fun, then you’d be right about that for this interview!

These two fitness pals are eager to help people eat healthier, and we talk with them about everything from the buzzword “macros” to what it means be realistic about health and fitness goals. (Hey, if you need a peanut butter cup once in awhile, then enjoy it and move on!) Plus, get ready to hear some new, clever ideas for easy peasy meal prep.

Some of our favorite quotes from Tina and Kerrie in this ep include …

Podcast Episode 39 Highlights With Tina Haupert and Kerrie Gotell

  • How they came up with the idea for Designed to Fit Nutrition
  • The top challenges their clients face and how they advise those clients to overcome them
  • The importance of macros in your diet and how it helps deliver proper nutrition
  • Expert advice on how to meal prep with ease
  • How to coach people to make healthy living a lifestyle
  • Their favorite go-to recipes
  • Working with people with dietary restrictions
  • Workouts they are digging right now 

Also in this episode, Jenn, Kristen and I discuss how we each joined the Fit Bottomed World!

Get more info on our podcast here and be sure to subscribe on iTunes so that you never miss an episode!

What are your favorite meal prep tips? Tell us about it in the comments below! —Margo

Want to sponsor the show? Yay! Drop us a note at advertising@fitbottomedgirls.com and let’s make the world a healthier place together!



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