Category Archives: Exercise

Tips for Running Motivation

I’m often asked for workout advice. This can range from what type of workouts they should do, how to lift weights, explain Street Feet, and about running. I have a love/hate relationship with running; there are many amazing benefits to CARDIO and running is an easy and effective cardio routine. But, sometimes getting out the door to run can be… Ehhh… not appealing.

So, I thought I would include some tips for running motivation, to get you out the door and #MakingFitnessFun! Some of these are my recommendations and some are what I’ve found to be a general consensus of my closest peeps.

  1. A DOPE Playlist – DUH! This one is super easy to overcome because you can just download the latest Street Feet mix 😉 #ShamelessPlug, #It’sFree. Here’s a link to my SoundCloud mixes
  2. Running with someone. Running with a friend is a great way of getting out the door to run. You’re more likely to show up if you have plans with someone, you can catch up with a friend, focus on conversation rather than making that next mile! And, if you don’t have a friend to run with, your dog can be a great running partner! Try to find someone who either keeps up or slows down. There’s nothing worse then running with someone on another level can completely defeat the purpose. Agree to a pace and distance ahead of time incase you get ahead or fall behind you know where a meeting place is.
  3. Use a training plan. There are so many training plans out there, a handful of my friends say they’ve had great success with Hal Higdon running plans. They’re structured for beginners, intermediate runners and more advanced. This helps you set goals and make appointments with yourself to stay accountable and make sure you fit it in to a busy schedule!
  4. Download some apps!There are now so many fitness related apps, some great ones for running include:
    1.  Map My Run, which will provide running routes for you nearby to eliminate that pressure, and you can share some great ones that you enjoy as well.
    2. RunKeeper. This app is awesome if you don’t have a running watch and want details about your run or are on a specific training plan. It tracks your distance, pace, time and heart rate. It measures your performance over time and gives you updates. Provides training plans for you! And, even syncs to your music.
    3. Nike + GPS. GPS, running watch all in one, another great app that syncs to your iPod and tracks your workouts.
    4. Couch to 5k. This app is modeled after the pretty well known Couch to 5k training plan that really outlines everything for you through your phone.
  5. Enter a race – That’s motivation for ya – spending money on a race gives you that financial incentive and a deadline!
  6. Setting your workout clothes out beforehand. This is a big one in my opinion, and is great for WORKOUT motivation, not specific to running. Especially if you exercise in the morning. When you don’t want to get out of bed, make it as easy on yourself as possible. Set everything you’ll need out the night before so you just roll out of bed and can go. You’ll also make sure you don’t forget anything. Put your socks in your shoes, set out your outfit, put your iPod and running watch (if you use these items) and any fuel (for long runs) with it! If you don’t want to carry a fanny pack while you run FINE. just bring ID and some cash and if possible pass by a convenient store during your run and hydrate there. Less to carry and squeeze a little break into your run.
  7. Think about how great it will feel when it’s over. Runner’s High is a real thing – no matter how short of a run, your endorphins get moving and you feel amazing. You’ll always feel accomplished once you’ve hit the pavement!

What did I miss? Obviously there are a bunch of different types of motivators– what are some of your favorites?

#MakeMoves

Guest Post: Review of Pure Barre

Hey Everyone, I’m Sami, a friend of Kupah’s and this week I am guest posting about a new (to me) fitness trend I’ve tried out – Barre classes. I have been spending a lot of time in the past 9 months really trying out some new areas of fitness to get into a better and more enjoyable routine. Barre seemed like it would be a natural fit for me and so far it’s been AMAZING! There are many different studios and variations of barre; The Bar Method, Physique 57, Figure 4, etc and Pure Barre –

Spotlight on: Pure Barre. The Pure Barre website describes the technique as follows:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.   Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body…. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping.  Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk.

The Pure Barre studio in Boston just opened in the winter; I purchased their opening special, 5 weeks unlimited for $100 and you could start anytime. As soon as I signed up I immediately began second guessing what I had just done. Full Disclosure: I get super self-conscious exercising in front of other people and now, not only did I just sign up for this – but on Newbury St everyone is bound to be a size 0, perfect looking specimen right?

I read multiple reviews so I would be fully prepared going in (all of which said the classes were amazing and there was nothing to be worried about.) I walked in RIGHT on time because I couldn’t find parking – stress level through the roof, and BOOM girl at the front desk super welcoming, telling me not to worry, showing me to the lockers, changing room, what gear to pick up (small red ball, resistance band and 2 small hand weights<2-3lbs>) and sent me on my way. Complete calming effect.

The instructor asked if there were any new people in class, I was the only one – score! (eye roll) The class started and just jumps right in! I just started moving and trying to keep up for the first few minutes. She didn’t go over technique specifically, but the beginning was easy enough to follow. While I was a little disoriented, this was actually great for 2 reasons; you’re not wasting time and there’s no time to be worried about if other people are looking at you or if you’re doing horribly.

The first section of abs was REALLY hard for me. I was thinking about just how awkward it would be if I walked out. Then before I could finish that thought, we were switching to arms and I was fine! This was the tone for the class; as it’s getting almost unbearable and you’re ready to quit, you’re doing a change in the movement or on to working the next area of your body.

There are constant changes flexing your foot, going up on your toes, moving to tempo and then you’re moving from abs to arms to legs/thighs to seat to abs and stretching in between each. This made the time FLY!

The instructor, Courtney, could not have been nicer. The instructors walk around and will help you with your form, you can’t hear what they’re saying to someone else, so it’s never embarrassing and she specifically left me alone quite a bit, I’m pretty sure it was because I was new and I think she didn’t want to mortify me; I totally appreciated this. When she did approach me, she would ask if I was feeling it in the part of my body we were working on and I would say yes or no and she’d advise accordingly. I thought this was a great teaching tool, rather than just saying, “you’re doing this wrong!”

Your muscles are supposed to be shaking and burning.. And you may wonder how intense this was.. I think the best way to explain my experience is that it felt like my legs disengaged from my body and Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance took over. But, this felt AMAZING! I enjoy feeling the burn when I exercise, whether or not it’s true, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting something out of my exercise.

I stayed after to ask for some pointers from Courtney who was more than happy to help and very encouraging. I’ve since taken a few other classes and honestly need to stress that the instructors have all been SO NICE! They’re helpful, they’ve shown me modifications and told me that it’s tough in the beginning and you just need to build up strength in certain areas.

I do want to add that they say you’ll start noticing changes in as little as 9 classes. I have finished 6 classes and do already see some small, but measurable changes; some lifting 😉 , I fit into a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear for a year and my core is stronger – I can now complete ab work without stopping or modification!

Between instructors and other people in the classes, not one person has given off a negative or judgmental vibe. No one has been paying any attention to me; there are women of ALL shapes, sizes and age. I have never felt LESS self-conscious in my life.

I highly recommend Pure Barre for anyone looking to add some variety to their routine, or to ease into fitness. It doesn’t require knowledge of complex fitness moves (ex: Clamshells – what ARE those? Sounds like a sex position to me.) The movements are simple and small, they’re not strenuous but you will burn so good and FEEL your workout. If you’re like me and a million other women who feel self-conscious and insecure, you can check your fears at the door. Everyone is encouraging, positive and kind. Check out a class and let me know what you think!

Fruits of Labor Now Or Later?

MakeMoves everyone!

Like most things I write about this one comes from a conversation I was having with a dear friend whom I respect very much (DD.) We were discussing the wealthy and how many of them spend so much time building empires or their net worth that they neglect the freedoms they have created for themselves.

Allow me to explain. I am now 30 and I am always having conversations with others about how to save, invest & spend. Most people don’t know my entire history so let me share that I didn’t come from private schools, annual family vacations, toys or other luxuries. In fact I remember going food shopping with my mother and we had a little game where I would take my friends to the car when it was time to check out because I was young and embarrassed that we were paying with food stamps. So to avoid the awkwardness we would go start the car and wait there.

Please know that I am now a young entrepreneur who has been fortunate enough to change my situation dramatically from Buick’s Discover Boston to Boston’s Stuff Magazine Sexiest Entrepreneurs, to AOL’s Authentic. I have also been able to create fitness classes and work as a Peer Mentor to teens in the Norfolk County area.

The conflict I have is the ‘how much is too much’ to indulge with what I have built for myself. I currently have a company which supports my life and I’m fully self employed. I have no kids, wife, girlfriend, I don’t do drugs of any kind, zero drama (That’s right, I said it ZERO) yet sometimes I feel as if I shouldn’t be able to go to the movies twice in one week because it costs money?

Let me say this, I understand saving for the future is important and I have a retirement plan already in place. But if I can’t buy iPhone’s and go to the movies or order take out or drive something I like then WHAT IS THE POINT? I don’t want to be 60 and buy a convertible (LameSauce) I want to be 31 and drive a Bentley! Period! I don’t want to be 60 on a beach in Malibu looking at the young couples running around. I want to be the young couple running around being watched by the 60 yr old. Feel Me?

What I’m trying to say to all of you is what ever you like to do that makes you happy DO IT. And then DO IT AGAIN! Then talk about it with friends and DO IT AGAIN. Don’t wait for tomorrow or $100,000 of net worth. The movies are expensive but if you like Movies… Go to the Movies. If you’re a Gamer, GAME ON! You like Vacations? Then VACA! All I’m trying to say is that if you are a hard worker and you are doing what all adults are telling you to do all of the time you will miss what’s right in front of you which is Parks, Walks, Talk, Travels and experiences that don’t need Donald Trump’s Equity to do so either.

Live the life you have while you have the life to live it. Don’t wait until some bodily malfunction limits your comforts at a later time in life when you can enjoy the very same comforts right now.

Let me know what you like to do and what you do if Money wasn’t an object. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siu6JYqOZ0g&sns=em …)

Breathe. Stretch. Pose. Let it go.

I had mentioned on my previous fitness post that I go to a yoga class twice a week and I thought I’d tell all of you about my classes and about my experience getting into yoga. As I had no idea when I started.

When it came to yoga in general I was a blank slate – I knew it was focused on stretching, breathing and overall calmness but that was about it. I went to a class, a traditional yoga class, and it was just too dull/not challenging enough for me. I like stimulation and to feel some energy!

After this, a friend invited me to a Bikram yoga class. I don’t know if any of you have heard of or been to a Bikram yoga class but it’s basically yoga in an extremely hot room. Like over 100 degrees, those of you that know me personally know I already sweat a ton when it’s cold out, you should see me in a Bikram yoga class #JuSayin. Each class is 90 minutes long and covers 26 poses and breathing exercises.

When I went to my first class I had just pulled my back (I would not recommend exercising/yoga when you’re injured) my muscle was inflamed, I was very uncomfortable. But, even though I was really hurting I was still so calm. I went back when my  back was better and was sold. I love Bikram and look forward to my classes. They’re a KJ#CoSigned way to #MakeFitnessFun

Source: Google Images

It’s the only thing I do for me specifically and each time I go I’m in competition with myself. In competition over poses; getting an extra inch out of bend or stretch that kinda thing. For example, there’s a spine-twisting pose and I just can’t get my arm behind my knee and down to the other knee. But I will and I work towards that LOL.

Source: BikramYoga.com

On a sidenote I am extremely humbled by all of the women in the classes who were killing it! I am so impressed each time.

End of the day I love Bikram, I highly recommend it for any and everyone. Men get to a class, women bring your men to a class! 90 minutes in a crazy hot room sounds intense, and it is, but it’s also relaxing and does so much for your flexibility, balance, well-being.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you ever tried a yoga class? What was your experience like, have you tried different versions?

As always, thanks for reading!

 

The WORK(B4 I Go)OUT

6′, 200 lbs of straight man-child is what I am. Half Black, Half Puerto Rican and I’m a fitness fanatic. And, not just in the gym, but across the board in my thinking and my behaviors.

There’s so much conversation about fitness today regarding eating, supplements and sleeping patterns etc. I am frequently asked what I do to exercise, eat and any general health routines I follow. I am not about to make any recommendations or tell you what you should do because I believe, and I do want to stress, in the importance of your individual life and chemical makeup. So full Disclaimer: The following is what I do, that works for me individually and may not be right for you. I am not a dietician or personal trainer and none of what I write about should be taken as medical advice or recommendations.

I, for example have an overactive thyroid gland that borders on HyperThyroidism. Your thyroid regulates your metabolism, which determines how fast and effective your body breaks down food in your digestive system. What hyperthyroidism means for me is that I can pretty much eat whatever, whenever (hate me, I know) because I will process it at an accelerated rate. With that said I still take pride in a healthy-ER diet however, I have no problem crushing a double cheeseburger with everything at 12 Midnight and then passing out.

My actual lifestyle acts as my work out in many ways as I am constantly moving for work and I’m an active, busy person in general. I get about 5-1/2 to 6hrs each night which works well for me. I do change up the bulk of my exercise/fitness routine quite frequently, but I did want to include what my typical exercise week has looked like for the past few months.

Monday

  • Morning: KJ 20 Min AM Routine
  • Evening: Street Feet(Cardio), Body Pump(Cardio Build)

Tuesday

  • Morning: 90 Min Bikram Yoga (Core)
  • Evening: Gym (Build) – I always do a strength workout, usually upper body

Wednesday

  • Morning: KJ 20 Min AM Routine
  • Basketball with the fellas (Cardio)

Thursday

  • Morning: 90 Min Bikram Yoga (Core)
  • Evening: Gym (Build) – I always do a strength workout, usually upper body

Friday

  • Morning: KJ Morning Routine Redux – Repeat 5x
    • 100 Push ups
    • 100 Crunches
    • 30 Pull ups
    • 30 Chin ups

Fitness is such an important part of my life and one of my deepest passions that I’d like to start sharing more about my active lifestyle and different work outs or healthy living details that I try out or adopt. Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime and maybe I can create a post with that information!

As always thanks for reading and spread the word #MakeFitnessFun #MakeMoves