handsome muscle

DO // Traveling Fit

I have wanderlust. We all love to travel. Everybody travels whether its for business, pleasure, vacation, or soul searching. Breaking out of our environment is one way to refresh the mind and soul, find creativity and a sense of rest. 

One of the biggest challenges with traveling is getting thrown on our normal routine. If you’re like me, a gym rat, all of a sudden you’re not around your favorite equipment or machines. If you run around your neighborhood, you have to find a new path to follow. Or if you meal prep like I do, then you’re out of a kitchen, all your favorite spices, and even a fridge. The worst thing about traveling is catching a good night’s sleep in a bed that’s not your own.

No matter how much we love spontaneity and change, we are all creatures of habit and nothing is worse than feeling derailed in a routine you’re comfortable with. In the course of my lifestyle change I’ve managed to pick up little tips and tricks that work well for me and I hope that this helps too.

1. Do your research. If you’re someone who has control of booking your travel and like certain amenities like a gym or fitness studio like yoga or cycling spend some time searching the area you’re traveling in. Book a hotel or AirBnB property that is located close enough to a facility in your gym network or a fitness studio you’re willing to try out. Most studios in major cities will have a first time visit free so that helps to save you some extra spending cash for shopping! If you’re lucky enough to find a hotel with a gym, take a look at the pictures online and see what equipment they have that’s close to some of the things you’re used to. 

2. Prepare your meals. Whether you’re jumping on a plane or road tripping, make some meals that are easy for you to take with you. Pack a small cooler or large cooler if you’re road tripping and fill it up with fresh fruit, vegetables, greek yogurt, or your meal prepped meals. When traveling local I like to prepare all my meals that I’ll need for the days I’m out of town and leave myself one or two cheat meals depending on whether or not I’m prepping for a competition. When I’m traveling for a long trip such as our family vacation to Hawaii in 4 weeks, I’ll be packing my food scale and measuring cups (in case the vacation rental we booked doesn’t have these), and one and a half days worth of meals prepped for my travel day. I like to head over to my favorite nutrition supplement store, Active Nutrition, to pick up samples of protein powder that I can bring with me on my trip. If they are out of my favorite I pack several scoops in a ziplock bag to keep the packing containers to a minimum. 

3. Make smarter choices while dining out. I know its easy to get excited when checking out new restaurants, I’m a big time foodie myself and love going on food adventures! But if you know you’ll be indulging on your trip and needing to eat out more often than you’d ideally like, take a look at the menu, and make some alternative choices and swaps. When eating I like to eat local, organic, and seasonal if possible. These choices give me piece of mind when trying to nourish myself with the most nutrient dense foods. When reviewing a menu of a restaurant that is new to me, I first look at all the grilled, baked, or pan seared options. Stick to fish, chicken breast, and lean steak if possible. Stay away from fried menu items, skip the appetizers, and heavily sauced or high carb pasta dishes. Make sure your meals are balanced and if the carb options aren’t the best, ask to see if you can swap it out for grilled veggies, baked carbs, or any other healthier alternatives they may have. Most restaurants place a butter finish on top of their proteins for flavor and yummy goodness, but dairy can also cause bloating and overconsumption will begin to affect weight gain, ask if you can have your meal dairy free.

4. Pack some workout clothes, shoes, and any equipment you can use without the gym! My BootyBands, jumprope, and  blue tooth headphones are a part of my suitcase essentials. These are items I can’t live without especially when I know I can get a workout in no matter where I’m at. My iPhone is a great tool for me when it come it comes to working out. The two apps that are helpful for me while traveling fit are: Interval Timer and Yoga Studio, my new found love.

 

  • Interval Timer allows me to set up specific HIIT training and customize sessions based on what I like. I have three different ones current for my needs: 30 min HIIT which includes 1 minute high and 30 seconds on low, a 5 minute plank HIIT with 1 minute high and 15 seconds low, and a 10 set of 1 minute high and 30 seconds low. You can create as many as you likebased on your own training needs.
  • Yoga Studio has become an app that I’ve recently favored. My chiropractor has been telling me for the past 2 months that tI really need to spend more time stretching and give my body enough rest for recovery. Yoga has been a new found love for me and really helps me to center my mind. I’m hoping that I can stay consistent with it and I’m finding that this app has really helped me with that. 
  • The X Bands Booty Bands are perfect for adding some resistance to your workouts, each band is specifically designed with enough resistance. The entire set comes with 5 bands and my favorite are red, orange, purple, and I’m slowly working up to the blue ones. I love that they don’t take up much room in a suitcase or gym bag and that they bring on the sweat to any plyometrics workout. 

5. Get creative! Just because you don’t have a gym or your normal running path doesn’t mean you can’t take in the sights of the area you are in and make due.

Here’s one of my go-to travel workouts that I love.

HIIT Cardio Session

warm up with 5 sets of 1 minute jump rope

4 sets of 25 each

Burpees

Ice Skaters

Air Squats w/bands

Frog Hops

Box Jumps (find a park bench or tree trunks) or do tuck jumps instead

Lateral Lunges

Regular Back lunges

Fire Hydrants (25 on each leg)

Resitance Kick backs (25 each)

Isolated leg raises (25 each leg)

Hope you guys enjoy! Namaste Fit!

Ice Skaters   // Start on one side and jump laterally to the side while keeping your back foot elevated above the ground as controlled as possible. Repeat 25 times each leg.

Ice Skaters // Start on one side and jump laterally to the side while keeping your back foot elevated above the ground as controlled as possible. Repeat 25 times each leg.

Air Squats w/ Booty Bands

Air Squats w/ Booty Bands

Frog Leaps w/ Booty Bands //   Start in a low squat position and explode up into a hop like a frog, land softly and explode into your starting position.

Frog Leaps w/ Booty Bands // Start in a low squat position and explode up into a hop like a frog, land softly and explode into your starting position.

Lateral Side Lunge and Regular Lunge w/ the Booty Bands

Lateral Side Lunge and Regular Lunge w/ the Booty Bands

Resistance Bands Kickbacks (25 each leg) //   Start on the floor place bands comfortable above the knee on one leg and around the ankle on the stationary leg. Point your toes up on your first leg and kick back to the sky. 

Resistance Bands Kickbacks (25 each leg) // Start on the floor place bands comfortable above the knee on one leg and around the ankle on the stationary leg. Point your toes up on your first leg and kick back to the sky. 

Isolated Leg Raises (25 each leg) //    Start with knees on the floor, bend one knee at a 90 degree angle and place bands around the ankles, extend your first leg and lift up isolating your glute muscles and working on stabilization. 

Isolated Leg Raises (25 each leg) //  Start with knees on the floor, bend one knee at a 90 degree angle and place bands around the ankles, extend your first leg and lift up isolating your glute muscles and working on stabilization. 

Fire Hydrants (25 each leg) //   Get on the floor in table top position, place the bands around the knees and lift one leg laterally to your side, raise parallel to the ground and slowly release down.

Fire Hydrants (25 each leg) // Get on the floor in table top position, place the bands around the knees and lift one leg laterally to your side, raise parallel to the ground and slowly release down.

I finished up my workout this past Sunday's with some stretching using the Beginner Stretches Collection in the Yoga Studio App, a perfect 10 minute stretch I'll be incorporating after all my workouts. 

Yoga Studio App

Yoga Studio App

DO // Importance of Muscle Recovery

If you’re like me and spend a majority of your week lifting weights and working on cardio endurance and training, then kudos for building a strong body! But between all the training and running around in life its important and vital to spend some time off to allow your body and muscles to recover or you wont be able to maximize your fitness goals.

Recovery simply means to gain back and restore. We need to make sure to carve out the time to restore our bodies to its upmost optimum performance in order to get ourselves back into the gym to train hard. 

Here are some things you can do for recovery:

1. Sleep! Its so important that you give your body the sleep it deserves. Lean muscle growth happens more rapidly when the body is shut down. Lack of sleep raises the cortisol level in the body, which can break down the lean muscle tissue you’ve worked so hard to gain. When you lack sleep, stress levels are elevated which is when cortisol level are at its highest. Makes sure you do your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you can take horizontal life pauses (NAPS) on the weekend, do it!

2. Soft Tissue therapy can come in many forms. The most common ones are massage, foam rolling or myofascial therapy, or active release therapy. When you are doing the same form of constant movement such as working out, playing sports, or even working in the office in the same position for long periods of time adhesions are easily formed in the body. These adhesions are most commonly referred to as knots, tightness, or soreness on the muscles.

3. Stretch before and after a workout. I’m guilty of not making the time to stretch both before and after a workout, but its something that is extremely important to do. When doing any type of resistant training you are contracting the muscles making them tight. Its the stretching and lengthening that will help keep the muscles functioning and prevent adhesions and tightness. 

4. Change up your exercise routine by incorporating flexibility and alignment exercise such as yoga, pilates, or barre. These types of workouts help with body alignment and are perfect for an active rest day recovery routine.

5. Take supplements that will help with recovery.

BCAAs are a common intra and post workout recovery supplement. Branch Chain Amino Acids can be found in normal protein structures and help prevent the breakdown of lean muscle. 

Glutamine has some of the same benefits as BCAAs. Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in muscle tissue. During intense training glutamine is greatly depleted in the body, its important to supplement this back into your system to keep those hard working muscles functioning. 

Arnica is one of my favorite remedies. You can get this topical form: gel, cream, or oil. You can also take this in an oral form as a homeopathic treatment. Arnica helps with muscle soreness, pain, swelling, and bruises.  

6. Listen to your body! Overtraining can be detrimental to your results, make sure you take the time to listen to what your body is saying. It is often giving you clues on what you need to do and why. 

 

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EAT // Crock pot BBQ Chicken

The crockpot. This bad boy was always known for old school recipes in my house for pot roast, and chilli, and chicken adobo!

Lately, its been one of my best friends for easy chicken prep. Last night I got home from my girl getaway and there was absolutely no time for me to prep like I normally do, so instead of slaving away for hours in the kitchen I decided to make a very simple clean recipe for my chicken.

2 ingredients are needed for this recipe:

Directions:

  1. Place the 4 chicken breasts in the crockpot
  2. Throw half a bottle of bbq sauce on top
  3. Set to cook for 8 hours
  4. Walk away

After the chicken is done, measure it out to your specific macros, mix in with your carbs, and veggies and you're good to go!

Cooking with the crockpot has been by far the easiest way for me to cook my chicken and the most effortless. Having the ability to throw my meals into the crockpot, walk away, spend the day with the family on a hike, and come back to cooked meals is the best! Enjoy.