I love fitness that is evidence based that sets people up for successful habits for life. Here are my tried and true favorite places to get started.
Dogs are a great tool to sustainable healthy habits. During my boys' later days in elementary school, I was increasingly bothered that gym class and outdoor recess were no longer a regular thing at school and I was worried about my boys health so put them on a plan to walk the dogs for a mile a day, its about 15 minutes. It is good for the dogs and good for kids... especially considering over 20% of children are obese today. We need to use all tools necessary to fight this epidemic that is quickly spiraling out of control. A mile walk a day is 365 miles a year. If you double that, you are at 730 miles a year!!
You don't need to be a member of a gym to stay healthy or active. Throw on your sneakers and head out the door and run! If you are new to running, start off with a walk run method and do two 15 minute sessions a day with the end goal of 1.5 miles in the morning and 1.5 miles in the evening. As a new runner, breaking up the sessions will allow for the body to adapt easier while rapidly building endurance while giving your metabolism an extra boost.
Not a runner? Walk. Here's a fun challenge - walk three miles a day for one year and you will cover 1.095 miles!! And walking is a perfect time to catchup on "reading" through Audible books.
Walking and running should be part of everyone's basic regimen and here's why: you need weightbearing exercises to build up bone density. While I love cycling and swimming, I still default to running and walking for this reason... especially if you are high risk for osteoporis and healthy aging.
I have always loved cycling classes but turned to outdoor riding in April of 2020 with 100 miles for the entire month. Since then, I have rode 7,400+ miles outdoors and I love it!! What I love about cycling is the endless hours I spend outside seeing parts of our city I would never see in a car. Because cycling uses different muscles than running, I find running and cycling to be perfect complements to stay injury free. As my long term goal is a full Ironman, I train a lot on tired legs and even on the days I feel like my legs are dead, I always feel better heading outdoors for a quick 15 to 20 mile ride. In my future, I will always spend more money on bikes that cars.
While I swam competitively as a kid, grades were more important in my household so I gradually moved away from swimming. In June of 2020, I returned to the pool to swim laps since being a kid. It was a humbling start; it me nearly 1.5 hours to swim 1.2 miles because of all the breaks I needed as I sucked wind to swim 50M. Instead of getting discouraged, I hit regularly and this past September I completed my first triathlon ever, a 70.3 mile Ironman and completed the outdoor swim in 36 minutes. Since June of 2020, I have swam 400,000+ yards!
What i love about swimming is it is nonweightbearing so it takes the pressure off my legs while providing a full body workout with evidence based strength. At the start of 2021, I had a glass table top I could barely lift. Fast forward to October, I was able to carry that glass table top out two flights of stairs alone. That's what swimming does for you!
The best present I ever received was my Garmin Fenix 5s+ watch. Since receiving my watch in 2018, it has quickly become my "personal" coach as I learned to track my heart rate, V02 Max and other pertinent information to my workouts like stroke rate while swimming. One of my favorite features of my watch is with a press of a button I can setup a route to run around the city in any distance I wish thanks to the roundtrip functionality. My watch is also water resistant and even comes complete with a triathlon mode. If you don't need these features, checkout Fitbit and Apple! My first fitness tracker was a Fitbit and I used it for years. It wasn't until I got heavier into running and triathlon sport that I transitoned to Garmin.
When I first heard of Strava, I was resistant. I thought to myself I already had Garmin, why do I need Strava? I quickly learned I do and it is one of the very few paid subscriptions I have today. Here's why: It holds me accountable to my goals I set at the start of the year. I can see how I can progressing in intensity as I run the same route. I can visually see my progress and watch my journey through a real lens. I didn't have money for a coach for Ironman and thanks to athletes openly sharing their training diaries, I learned how to manage my time across three disciplines to a top 45% finish for women for my first 70.3 Ironman, my first triathlon ever. I love the challenges with ability to try out new products for free or heavily discounted!
These 45-minute classes will get you to your best you yet with a combination of strength and high-intensity interval training! Designed for all fitness levels. I am a fan of this class format! Checkout the Burn Boot Camp Website for a free trial near you!
Depending on the day’s forecast, you will spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes on the bike with different drills of varying tension, HPMs, and watts combined with two circuit trainings during a typical Twisted Cycle Class!
I had the opportuity to participate in a D1 Training class here in Milton, GA and I loved everything about it from the music, turf grass to structure and coaches! Very welcoming non intimidating environment with a perfect blend of strength, power, cardio and stretching neatly built into a 60 minute class. If you are injured or new to fitness, the class is easily adaptable to meet you where you are in fitness.
Are you new to fitness and don't know where to start? Orange Theory is PERFECT. Here's why - it introduces you to the basics of heart training, cardio and strength training in one easy to follow class. You can't go wrong starting here.
I was a member of Lifetime Fitness from 2000 to 2018 and it is one of my favorite gyms to date. Here's why: I love their childcare center, the endless free classes, separate lane pool for swimming laps, the hours to accommodate all types of work schedules, the rock climbing wall, cafe and just the whole environment that evokes health. Not to mention as a Triathlete I love that Lifetime Fitness sponsors races and mini triahtlons within their club. When my boys where young, Lifetime Fitness a Baby Jogger class where our new babies were part of our workouts. No other gym was doing that except Lifetime Fitness. And I love their outdoor pool in the summer time.
In 2015 in the months leading up to my double mastectomy and reconstruction, I needed a good personal trainer and though I was a member of Lifetime Fitness, Onelife Fitness was close by and I quickly discovered a membership to Onelife Fitness with Metcon classes and personal training was less expensive than Lifetime Fitness so I joined. And I became a huge fan of Onelife Fitness. They are hands down the best value of any gym I have ever been a part of. Classes are excellent and did I mention they have a salt water pool??? Onelife Fitness makes health affordable.
With 700+ locations across the US and Canada, LA Fitness makes it convenient to workout no matter where you are! Hours accommodate a wide array of schedules and most locations are equipped with a lap pool!
As someone who has successfully bucked the trend and haven't only lost but sustained a nearly 40lbs weight loss going on four years, I wanted to share evidence based resources to help you with your health journey. Thanks to the plethera of "health social media influences", it can be difficult to distinguish between fact or fiction. Please follow these organizations on social media for ACCURATE and EVIDENCE BASED information.
USDA is responsible for providing a safety net for millions of Americans who are food-insecure and for developing and promoting dietary guidance based on scientific evidence. USDA works to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. USDA provides critical nutrition assistance through Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs that include child nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and emergency food assistance among many other programs. The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) is responsible for developing and promoting dietary guidance that links the best evidence-based scientific research to the nutrition needs of Americans. For those that say that My Plate doesn't work, I challenge you to eat exactly how the government recommends for one year and see what your results are.
Please download this FREE resource based on evidence based health. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf
The Healthy Eating Plate was created by Harvard Health Publishing and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/healthy-eating-plate
In the early 1980’s, nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell, PhD of Cornell University, in partnership with researchers at Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, embarked upon one of the most comprehensive nutritional studies ever undertaken known as the China Project. China at that time presented researchers with a unique opportunity. The Chinese population tended to live in the same area all their lives and to consume the same diets unique to each region. Their diets (low in fat and high in dietary fiber and plant material) also were in stark contrast to the rich diets of the Western countries. The truly plant-based nature of the rural Chinese diet gave researchers a chance to compare plant-based diets with animal-based diets.https://nutritionstudies.org/the-china-study/
Now in its' 34th year, the National Academy of Sports Medicine has been world-renowned for the quality of its' personal trainers and the scientific rigor of their programs. My organization of choice to earn my certifications in health, wellness and fitness. NASM also serves as the foundation for my Ironman Coaching Certification and Ironman Unviersity.
The Athletics and Fitness Association of America has been the leader in group fitness certification since 1983 and now part of NASM.
Atlanta Track Club is a member-based organization centered around running that delivers world-class events, training programs and community outreach activities to the Metro Atlanta Area. They also put on the LARGEST 10K in the world called the Peachtree Road Race!
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
We have all encountered those days when you don't have time to leave your desk to eat a healthy meal. Here are my must-haves foods in my desk to avoid hanger.
Individual oatmeal cups. Add a little almond butter and dried fruit and you have a perfect meal made up of fats, carbs and protein.
Almond Butter is a must have to put onto rice cakes, dip with fresh fruit and spoon into oatmeal..
Rice cakes are a low calorie option when you need something crunchy.
Dried fruit with no added sugar is perfect to curb your sweet tooth
Jerky is a high protein lowfat snack item
Fresh fruit is always perfect
Nuts are a perfect blend of fat and protein
Hot dark chocolate mix for the inevitable chocolate urge. I love Traders Joe's mix for 90 calories and 15 grams of sugar
Once upon a time I used to spend $100 a week at Publix buying things I don't need. Since those early days, I have discovered eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive if you shop right. Here are my top go to places for healthy eating to fuel my endless workouts
After researching prices from major grocery stores including Walmart, Sprouts is hands down the best bag for your buck for healthy eating. Shopping in the bulk items saves you a ton of money on the basics and Sporuts own brand makes eating healthy affordable. I just bought 4lbs of apples for $5.00 and 4lbs of pears for $5.00. Sprouts own brand of organic almond milk sets you back $3.00. I have learned to use Sprouts app to shop weekly sales and make a list out before I go into the store to price shop and stay focused. Did I mention they have $5.00 sushi on Wednesdays?
Individually wrapped frozen chicken breast - under $18 for 20 servings!
Individually wrapped frozen Cod - under $17 for 6 servings!
Individually wrapped frozen Salmon - under $33 for 8 servings
20lbs bag of rice - my favorite carb source! Easily digestible for my endless workouts
organic olive oil - $13.89 for 2 liters
Frozen organic vegetables - under $10 for 5.5lbs!
Almond Butter less than $6.00 for a 27 ounce jar with no added sugar!
Orangic Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Tasters Choice Instant Coffee - not only is it a greener way to make coffee (sans K Cups), it is so good mixed with Laird Superfood Creamer. 210 servings for under $10