Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: Weight Loss through Plyometrics

Anyone trying to lose weight has probably done every plan, diet and exercise fad that is currently available on the market. There seems to be a compulsion to eliminate an entire food group, eat only one food group or take special pills and powders that promise instant weight loss. The truth is, everyone knows that the only way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. You have to burn more calories than you take in if you want to lose five pounds or 50. The math is simple, and there is no magic cure. If you are having trouble burning off more calories than you consume, you might want to make an adjustment to your exercise routine. This is often more appealing than shaving off even more calories from your daily diet.

One way to increase the number of calories you burn is to try an intense exercise program such as plyometrics. This type of exercise is done by athletes to increase their physical performance when they compete. You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit, though. In addition to making you strong, faster, leaner and more flexible, plyometrics will also help you lose weight. The number of calories you burn during a plyometrics training session will more than compensate for any foods you have eaten that you maybe shouldn’t have. The short, intense bursts of physical activity will burn calories quickly, helping you lose weight and turn fat into muscle.

Plyometrics involves jumping, lunging and squatting. You will be required to work your body to its limits, and to keep doing it until you feel the results. Many people who do plyometrics use equipment such as benches, boards and other raised surfaces. With these props, you can jump on and off of them, working your legs and your heart and burning calories with every move. If you do not have any raised surfaces, you can improvise. Run up a flight of stairs two at a time to give yourself a good plyometrics workout. You can also do huge jumps from a squatting position or practice lunges that stretch your leg muscles and require you to move yourself up and down quickly.

Squat jumps, lunge jumps and any other jumping motion that requires you to move quickly with sudden, intense bursts of strength will help you get a thorough plyometrics workout. Even jumping on and off a box is a good way to burn a lot of calories quickly. You will also notice an increase in your leg strength. You waist and stomach will get toned and your endurance levels will improve as well.

If your weight loss has hit a wall, or you find your basic walks on the treadmill are not doing much for your fitness routine, give plyometrics a try. It will be challenging, especially if you are not accustomed to intense and difficult physical movements, but the results will be worth it. You will lose weight more quickly than you would with other forms of exercise, and you can do it without cutting back on additional calories.

This post was written for Pretty Girl Fit by Dr. David Kulla. Dr. Kulla is a licensed Synergy Wellness and a nutritionist as well as owner of Synergy Wellness in Manhattan.

Guest Blog: Be a DIY Diva

Thank you to Ryan over at Calm Clinic for the post

If you’re looking for a new hobby, getting into arts and crafts is your best option. It’s easy, fun, and inexpensive, and you will surely enjoy every minute of it. When you come home after a long day, check in on your art supplies and think about what you can do to relax your mind and liven up your spirit. Whatever may have been an anxiety cause can be buried under the delight of getting crafty and inventive. There are a lot of websites you can draw inspiration from to start on your DIY projects, and here are some suggestions on what you can do to get started on being artsy fartsy.

Deconstruct your clothes

Does your closet need a revamp? You don’t have to spend so much money for a new wardrobe. What you can do instead is to take all those old tops and cut them up into new ones! It’s so easy – get started by making tank tops out of old shirts. Fashion them into gym tops by tying them at the back, or go for a summer top by tying them in the front. Look for patterns on the Internet to inspire you, and don’t forget to think of your own style.

Of course, for the fun of it, you can always go for good old tie-dye shirts. Doing it with friends and throwing a hippie party after would be fun. If you feel like keeping up with the latest trends, dip-dying your shorts can also be a good idea. While you’re at it, you can stud them with spikes. This way, you not only end up with good-as-new comfortable pieces of clothing, you also save and explore new styles that could suit you.

Try sewing or crocheting

Who says crocheting is only for your adorable grandmother? There are a lot of things you can create with that string, yarn, and hook if you only try. You can make a lot of gifts for people through crocheting, and you can also use it to update your wardrobe. Crocheting is a very cheap hobby, and it’s also fun to see what you can create while just sitting idly on your couch or even on the bus to work. You can do it whenever you have free time, so you can create more things and marvel at what you can do with just a needle and string.

You can crochet small things like pot holders or coasters for starters. Use it around your house so you wouldn’t have to buy. Next, you can try things like smartphone holders or small pouches. You can give these away to friends and family just to show something for what you’ve been up to. Then you can try crocheting fashionable items like beanies and collars as additions to your accessories. These will be cute updates to your outfits, and you can also take that opportunity to show off you crocheting skills to people.

These are good ideas for starting on being a DIY diva. When you’re ready to explore other DIY activities, you can try getting crafty by assembling furniture or home decor for your living space. Try gluing Scrabble letters together for coasters, creating body pillows out of throw pillow cases, or gluing corks onto a frame to create a bulletin board. Search the Internet for inspiration and see what you can do with only little materials and time on your hands. The best part is it will be fun the whole time.

Guest Post-The Wrong Carb Mindset

Hello! My name is Alek, I am a 15-year-old MALE (in a world of ALL female) healthy living/fitness/food/running blogger. My blog is called Run Serve Cook because I run XC, play tennis and like to cook and experiment with food all the time;)

So now onto my first guest post! I was really excited when Coco at  emailed me and asked if I wanted to guest post, I was happy to give it a try!

Carbs. What are carbs? Carbs or carbohydrates are what gives your body the fuel and energy to do anything. Sit, eat, run, workout, anything you name it carbs can fuel it. Carbs along with protein and fats are where all of our energy comes from. Carbs are the best fuel for exercise though because they are easily converted to energy and stored in our muscles for later use. Protein can fuel exercise too but is mainly used for repairing cells and growing muscles. Protein calories and carb calories are not equal because only some amino acids in proteins are usable for fuel. Fats are more calorie dense and also can fuel but the body first uses stored carbs to power through the day.

That being said carbs are ESSENTIAL! Carbs are the most important for endurance athletes and growing teens because if the body has no fuel it starts “eating” itself for fuel (that’s what happened to me). In growing teens without carbs(and more calories than needed) it is almost impossible to grow any more muscle because all energy is put into living. Carbs should account for anywhere from 40%(losing weight)-75%(gaining mass or heavy exercise). I found this online to back this up.

The problem I find is the misconception about carbs people have. I know from experience because I had this misconception also. People think some carbs are BAD and some are just fine. I thought this when I first started my journey to recovery so I asked someone very knowledgeable in the subject and they told me for me carb=carb no good no bad just carb. For someone exercising a lot or trying to bulk up a carb should be a carb don’t overanalyze it.

If you search carbs the first few links all go to websites showing “good” and “bad” carbs. This stuff is good but you don’t need to live always by this! The first link says “What should I eat?” The answer is simple unless you are trying to lose weight, ANYTHING if you trying to grow and gain don’t cower away from “simple” carbs don’t discriminate them and make them feel bad about themselves! They can’t help being tasty but not keeping you satisfied, it is just in there nature!

Now I am not saying some carbs are not better scientifically than others. Some burn slower giving you sustained energy, no crash and satisfy you longer. Some had fiber which helps your digestive system. Some have gluten which some people are allergic to. Complex carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes and brown rice are definitely better choices than simple carbs like sugar, pop, cookies and other yummy treats but don’t obsess. Treat yourself sometimes! You deserve it after that tough workout! Instead of 50g of carbs from whole grain bread have a couple Oreos or some ice cream. Live life and don’t let food control you. Don’t avoid certain foods because they are all carbs and no protein.

I know this is all true because over the past month I have done this and gained about 8 pounds! I still look great (click the progress link at the top to see me!). Odds are increasing your carbs you will feel more alive more energetic and more free. Let go of your carbophobia and enjoy!

I hope you learned something from this! I tried my best even though I am not a writer but if you could come check out my blog Run Serve Cook that would be really awesome! While you there enter my giveaway here ! ;)The story of my blog is me trying to live a healthier happier life and get better with people and also get fitter. I am also an aspiring model and soon have a big break were I could get scholarships and signed if I bulk up and look good enough! (see here) Recently I have been growing some and getting some samples to review which I love! I also am hosting my first giveaway right now on amazing Justin’s Nut Butter, go here to see and enter! I also have twitter and instagram @runservecook and a facebook page. If you want to learn more or have questions feel free to ask! My email is alekprus@aol.com.

Guest Post: Playing With The Boys

Hello all! I’m Maria and I blog over at Pappa Don’t Preach. I am thrilled to be Columbia’s guest today and even more thrilled to share some fun stuff with you!

I love fitness, I love the gym, and I love my weights. This wasn’t always the case, in fact, I was quite terrified of all of the above. I know there are many just like myself. Intimidated by the gym, scared of what others will think, especially when you’re not comfortable in your own skin. It takes a lot to overcome these fears and here are just some things to get you there.

  1. Find the right gym. Shop around, ask your friends for recommendations, and when you begin checking out different locations, ask questions! Membership advisors should be providing you with as much information and incentives as possible, including free training sessions when signing up! They want you, so finagle when possible. Think about your schedule. When will you be going to the gym? Will you need to utilize the locker rooms and showers? Into classes? Make sure the gym you choose offers a variety at times that work for you. And last but not least – make sure the gym is CLEAN. Cleanliness is Godliness!
  2. Find a friend. Joining the gym with a friend or family member provides additional motivation and accountability for the both of you.
  3. Do your research. If muscle building is your goal, research your workouts and plan ahead. There are plenty of resources online including specific programs like Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program. READ the information, review the pictures and watch the videos for proper form. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself.
  4. Get a trainer. If free training sessions are included in your initial membership, take advantage of it. Trainers can become quite expensive, but purchasing sessions here and there will help you understand proper techniques and make you feel more comfortable when you navigate the gym solo.
  5. Find the right outfits. You’re gonna sweat, but you can still look good when you do. Wearing clothes that look good, will make you feel good and more confident. Personally, I love wearing bright colors, prints and fun sneakers.  If you plan on lifting heavy, go for the Femme Fitale fitness gloves. Columbia and I are both huge fans of these funky girly gloves. You don’t have to spend tons of money at Lululemon (even though it’s worth it!) You can make your own gym tees, just like Columbia did using a tutorial from Blogilates. What a great way to make use of old tees!
  6. Own it. Do not be intimidated of anyone at the gym. Everyone is there for the same reason (most often than not.) There is a wide variety of members, all looking to achieve a better and healthier self. The gym is a community, and full of helpful resources in both the staff and  members. Trust me, as I have developed my own family at my gym. It’s a great feeling to have others to lean on that understand your goals and objectives and are there for you when you fall. 
  7. Ignore the Grunters. They’re just grunting to compensate for less developed areas of their body. No one cares and neither should you.

There ya go! Throw caution to the wind and do it. You’ll be so proud of all that you’ll be able to accomplish once you let go of your gym fears.

 If you’re already a member of a gym, how did you choose?

 Do you prefer to work out with others or fly solo?

 Thanks for having me, Columbia! Hope you’ll all visit me at Pappa Don’t Peach!

xo

Maria

Guest Post: Athletic Wear-From the Gym to the Runway

This post was written by Keelia and Tamra over at Filthy Chic. Thanks ladies! I was not compensated by the companies that are featured in this post.

Looking through most of the magazines a current trend and one that will go in to the fall is athletic wear. No longer is it just a place for the gym, but now you can see it everywhere from the office, to running errands and a night out.  The styles are the same, but the fabrics, textures and prints used are what make it appropriate for these different occasions. Here’s our take on athletic wear from the gym to our everyday lives.

  

Keelia’s wearing

Zara demin shirt| H&M tube top| Bar III shorts| Steven Madden wedged sneakers| JCrew hot pink chain|www.fashionable.com ring

  

Tamra’s wearing

Urban Outfitters silver sequence jacket| Free People crop top| Zara pants| Jessica Simpson shoes| Ann Taylor necklace| Target sunglasses

Guest Post-WOD Wednesdays: Why You Should Start Cycling

Hi! My name is Yoli. I am the blogger behind Tough and Tiny. My blog focuses on health and fitness, and being a vegetarian, with a side of advertising and social media.

Today I’m going to talk about cycling. I’m fairly new to cycling, however, I’ve already learned it’s one of the best ways to be active and be happy.

Here’s why:

1. It’s a non-impact sport

That means your body gets a break from the constant pounding that happens when you run, there’s less stress on joints and you can be active on the bike longer. Yay.

2. Work the major muscle groups

If you want a workout, hop on a bike, put in some effort and speed, and by no time you’ll be working (and feeling!) your quads, glutes and calves.

3. Improve coordination

It’s tricky for some at first to grab a bottle with one hand while continuing to steer and ride with the other hand. It may be difficult to hold your hand out to signal left or right and continue riding. With time, you’ll develop better coordination and actions like those mentioned will be like second-nature.

4. Bring yourself back to nature

Of course you can cycle inside at a gym, but who wants to be stationary when you can be moving through nature?? You can travel miles within an hour and get a glimpse of so much you may night see while running or driving.

5. Built-in exercise

A benefit to cycling is that you can do it anywhere: in a city, in rural areas, anywhere. All you need is a bike, helmet and off you go. You get exercise when you cycle to work, to school or for leisure.

6. Good for your mental health

Getting outside and riding gets you into a rhythm where you’re focused on the ride, not on the stress of work, the events of last night, or whatever else is on your mind. Cycling can be a good stress reliever in that way.

7. Good for your waistline

Cycling is a good form of cardiovascular fitness and can burn a lot of calories. That leads to losing inches off your waistline when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace. Cycling also leads to a higher metabolism, even after you’ve ended your ride.

8. Spend quality time with a friend, loved one, etc.

Cycling is a great activity for two or a group to do. Most people learn to bike at a young age, and even if you haven’t learned yet, it’s not too late! Ask a friend to teach you and then you’ve an activity you can both do and enjoy together. It makes for a great alternative to family walks, improv for a date (and costs less too :b), etc. Cycling can also introduce you to a new set of cycling friends if you join a group at the gym or invite people to cycle with you.

9. Build stamina

It’s easy to keep pedaling and not realize just how far you’ve gone. Cycling helps you performs tasks at work or home more efficiently, too.

10. Good for the environment

You know I had to bring up this point. 🙂 Cycling emits no fumes and reduces pollution. Instead of driving or walking a mile to the store next time, bicycle! To learn more, visit CLIF Bar’s 2 Mile Challenge.

11. Improve overall level of fitness

Cycling helps improve your deep breathing, strengthens muscles and makes you perspire. What a great way to get fit! And you get to travel.
Next time you decide to go for a walk, drive to the store or be a tv couch potato, consider getting out the bike and going for a speedy ride.

Do you cycle? What’s your favorite aspect of cycling?

xoxo
yoyo

Guest Post: What Gets You Out The Door?

Todays post comes from Alex over at The Run Within. Check her out!

Got to say, it is always exciting to write a guest post especially for someone with such amazing fitness accomplishments like Columbia. She is definitely one of those females I would say is kicking butt and taking names with strides.

 I think it can be tough to start a fitness routine, especially one that may be brand new. For me, I began a new job and knew that meant a whole new fitness routine. No longer was I a college student with an unlimited gym and free fitness classes. (Man oh man was I bummed about that realization!) So what is a girl to do? Get pumped about the new routine – that’s what.

I knew the way to get in my distance runs each morning, was to wake up at a time I never though I would see 5:30 am. Two months in and I can genuinely say I am happy I have the routine I do. I cherish my mornings and their sweat sessions. So what can you do to get yourself into that new routine whatever it may be?

  1. Remind yourself of why. Each morning when I see the clock and feel the warm covers, I remember of how tired I am at 7 pm after work and how exhausted and crappy I will feel during work if I did nothing that morning. Those little reminders get my butt out of bed.
  2. Think of the after glow. The after glow for me is that endorphin high as I walk as sweaty into my building after a great run. I mean who doesn’t love the after run feeling?
  3. Make the routine easy. For me, that means setting all my gear out the night before and wearing my workout clothes to bed. Some people that means packing a gym bag for work the next day. You get the picture. Do what will make the new routine seem seamless and easy.
  4. Keep your goals in the forefront. I always remind myself of the next race I am running or my ultimate mileage I want to hit at the end of the week. I like the physical reminders so maybe a little motivational sticky note by your bed would work.

New routines are never easy or fun but remember new routines can make habits and those healthy habits are what make us accomplish those fitness goals we never thought we could.