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Traveling Sets Me Back

When I go to NYC for work, I usually chalk that week up to a wash on my healthy routines. I don’t sleep that well in the hotel room, I tend to miss exercising, and I eat pretty much every meal out.

After almost 10 months of making the bi-monthly commute I’ve been trying to make some adjustments.

  1. Planning: I started bringing in oatmeal to at least get me through breakfast so that I make smarter choices (and less likely to grab that bagel that I miss so much). Doing this has allowed me to make better choices for lunch and then if dinner becomes pad see ew or a giant smothered veggie burger I feel less guilty.
  2. Routine: I’ve identified “travel friendly” workouts, consisting of yoga and cardio DVDs that do not require much more than my body weight. Also, going back to the planning, I look at my meeting schedules and determine which days will be easier to get on the treadmill in the morning, even if it is just for 20 minutes.
  3. Prioritize and reorganize: One of the things I love about going to NYC is that I get to see my friends. So if I know that I am going to have dinner with them on Tuesday, that may be my rest day for the week. Or I walk to dinner to meet them.
  4. The killer session: Last week, I was bad. I ate better, but couldn’t get in my workouts. So  I messaged my trainer @LAQfitness that I was in desperate need of a hard workout. Having one predetermined long session gets me back in the groove and helps me restart my exercise routine

Other tips for making sure your healthy routine doesn’t bite the dust when you travel for work?

Concentration Challenge

I’ve read a bunch of articles about how some of the best exercises are actually the ones that work out both your mind and body. So I added in yoga a few years ago and loved the results. I learned to relax and have been known to break out the breathing exercises at work when things get a little hairy.

While yoga helps your brain learn to relax, I also was on the look out for something that actually worked it out. Finding something that requires coordination is probably the best thing you can do to challenge your brain during a work out. I am not talking about stepping on or off a bench, or whatever moves you do in Zumba. I mean the type of coordination that is necessary to do more than one thing at a time, like juggling while walking coordination.

I’ve found that in Revolve’s Complete Body Ride. The first time I took this class, I scoffed. How hard could riding and strength training really be? Especially when a two-pound weight was resting on your handle bars. I was very, very wrong.

I'm not even insync with the rest of the group

I’ve been going to Grant’s Wednesday night classes for a few weeks now and each time I am surprised at how hard it is to keep your legs moving while punching across your body. It takes a lot of concentration to keep your legs moving at the same pace, let alone moving at all. Also, those two-pounders are pretty heavy by your umpteenth punch.

I’ve gotten better at it, and I am going to own that to the fact that I am growing my brain power somehow. Kinda like getting the results of a Sudoku puzzle while you are sweating.



More (Kettle)bell!

The American Council of Exercise recently released a study that concluded that kettlebells provide a much higher-intensity workout than standard weight-training routines and offer superior results in a short amount of time.

When I started working out with trainers I was introduced to kettlebells and TRX. My workouts with kettlebells always leave me breathless and a shaking in my behind from all the squats. I think what I like best is that you run through all the workouts once and get the same results as breaking them into segments.

According to the study, you can burn  approximately 20 calories per minute during a typical kettlebell workout, and 400 calories for a 20 minute workout.  In terms of calorie burning, these results are equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace, or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace.

The Tone It Up Girls have a great workout that you can print and take with you on your next venture to the gym.

Overeating? You may be burned out at work

It was another crazy busy week at work. I always feel like when I am in the physical office there is more to do, or maybe I just feel less in control about when to do it.  I had a lot of need to happen moments this week between client meetings and presentations, and a few commitments after work.

While I pushed myself to get up and work out in the mornings, my portion controlled diet slipped. I was constantly hungry, and couldn’t stop myself from devouring the delicious hamentashen one of my colleagues got me.

Then a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a connection between work burnout and overeating and uncontrolled eating behaviors in women. This made me say “duh” because I know when stressed at work, I turn to sourpatch kids, goldfish and yogurt covered raisins as my saviors.

What did strike me were the comments on the study from outside experts. Dr. Melina Jampolis, physician and nutrition expert for CNNHealth.com noted that long-term stress can make it harder to make dietary and exercise changes. So while I was exercising because I knew it would make me feel better, I was eating massive cheesey veggie burgers and drinking down martinis because I like to soothe my stress with comfort food.

Dr. Jampolis also mentioned that short-term diet changes, like cutting out carbs, could also alter your brain chemistry making you feel even more down.  Pushing you to grab a handful of M&Ms when you don’t even like them! (I said that, not her)

The Mayo Clinic has a good description of job burnout and what to do to keep it at bay.  For me it is all about perspective. It has taken some time for me to learn the walk away skill, but I am getting better at it so that I can stop burnout in its tracks.






Second Breakfast?

I’ll admit it, there are days that I eat my breakfast and less than two hours later my stomach is rumbling. Usually this is when I work out really hard or I am up really early in the morning.

Apparently I am not alone though. More on-the-go Americans are consuming their morning calories over several hours instead of sitting down to devour the type of breakfast you see on TV–with the eggs, O.J. and side of bacon. So what do you do when it is too early to break out your salad?

I grab “second breakfast” or a morning snack (which sounds less fatty right?) The market research company, NDP Group, estimates that the number of times people snack in the mornings will jumpy 23 percent between 2008 and 2018. That’s compared with a 20 and 15 percent increase in afternoon and evening snacking, respectively.

Also heard that the packaged food business is capitalizing on this trend with healthy morning snack options like bars, greek yogurt and the such.

My morning snacks are typically:

  • 1/4 c of almonds with 1/3 c of craisins
  • Luna bar
  • Banana
  • Homemade smoothie

Other snacking recommendations for the morning lull?

Exercise=More Excited and Enthusiastic Laney

The last two weeks have been one of those weeks where I am too stressed to function at life. Here’s an image for that…I am pretty sure the only thing that got me to change my clothing was the fact that I had to go into the office. It was an effort picking out clothes (more so than usual).

This type of week also means that my workouts typically are the first thing to go in favor of sleep, especially on the weekends. Then I saw the recent study from Penn State University, which found active people were more enthusiastic and excited! (The use of exclamation is a demonstration of my enthusiasm brought on from being active.)

The study also found that the positive feelings were especially evident on the same day they exercised. So, when I had to work the weekend I decided that I wasn’t giving up my workout–particularly because my new favorite obsession, Revolve, had a special Spring Break Boot Camp that was calling my name.

One of the reasons I love Revolve is because they jump right in to the workout. They don’t waste time and you are immediately feeling the burn during your warm-up.

Serious determination here, and we are in the first part of the ride

The partnership between Christianne and Grant was pretty rocking. Since they both have music backgrounds their selections are spot on when it comes to the transitions, speed work and climbs.  This ride had the total body aspect, which I find seriously awesome because it forces me to concentrate even harder. Keeping your legs moving while doing bicep curls is a lot harder than it sounds.  Did I mention that the 2 lb weights had my arms burning?

This is a LOT harder than it looks

By the end of the ride, my legs were crying and I was dripping in sweat (though I didn’t win the wet T-shirt contest). When I got home I easily plowed through my work and was able to enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening.

To cap off the Spring Break ride we even had shots (of green stuff, chased with orange stuff)


Losing My Running Skirt Virginity

We have a winner, and that winner is CARMEN!!! Using random.org Carmen was selected to receive a running skirt to test out. 

Here’s a confession for you. In the height of NYC and DC summers  I am a frequent visitor of the baby product aisle, purchasing Desitin like a baby who can’t get rid of a diaper rash. When the temperatures hit high 90s with a humidity of nearly 100% I do not leave the house without some sort of chafe proofing mechanism.

So while everyone I know has tried running skirts I stayed far far away. I hardly run in shorts with their breezy little openings, I am a year-round crop or full pant runner.

That is I was a crop or full pant runner. After commenting on FitChickintheCity‘s blog, Pam from EllaSport contacted me and asked if I wanted to test their run skirt. I adore EllaSport. Their tights are probably some of the most comfortable running pants I own, so yes I thought if I am going to try any skirt it should be this one.

Of course, it is 40 degrees or less in DC right now so even if I am using the 25 degree rule, I am NOT running outside in a skirt. On my trip to San Diego though, I broke out the skirt.

My first running skirt!

I was prepared for the skirt to be a little long on me, but I actually really loved the length. The compression shorts attached were really comfortable too. In my first few strides the shorts started riding up a little bit and I had to stop to pull them down. It happened again, but I just chalked it up to them needing to be in the right place.

I literally LOVED running in this skirt–to the point where I am now thinking in investing in a few others. I will want to test these out when it gets a little warmer, but right now 60 degree weather and the skirt are my new favorite system.

Have you ever tried a skirt? Are you afraid to try one? Guess what, here is your chance to win one! Enter by Friday, March 9 at midnight.

In the comments section (each one counts as an entry):

  1. Tell me what led you to try a running skirt, or if you haven’t tell me what is keeping you from doing it
  2. Make sure you follow me on Twitter @lanes0220
  3. Follow @ellasport
  4. Like Ellasport on Facebook

(FTC Disclosure: I received the Ellasport skirt for free, but no other compensation. The review and opinion is my own.)

The Scale Isn’t the End All Be All

I’ve been struggling to get my weight back down to where I want it to be since the wedding. Unfortunately, no matter what I do that number on the scale just won’t budge.

I was a religious morning scale person. Every morning my day started with stepping on the scale, recording the number and berating myself for the fluctuation. Then I saw a tweet from Tammy Beasley from RevItUp! Fitness saying that you shouldn’t weigh yourself on rainy days. That the barometric pressure can add a pound or two. 

As we all know, salt can severely increase your water retention and put a few “pounds” on the scale.  I asked Tammy to tell us some other things that can make your weight fluctuate.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, or steroid type drugs for allergies may cause fluid retention
  • Not getting enough sleep may slow down your body’s ability to burn carbohydrates, which makes more glucose available for fat storage, and increases the stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates your appetite for rich, high-fat foods
  • Hormones can add 2 to 6 pounds over a three to seven day length of time

Tammy recommends taking circumference measurements if entirely needed. I’m shucking the scale and going for getting back into some specific clothing.