The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week

Warm Up: Body Movin'- The Beastie Boys
Workout: Strut- Adam Lambert
Bulletproof Heart- My Chemical Romance
Beautiful Thieves- AFI
Cool Down: Pretty Little Liar- Honor Society

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tip #12: Keep Active

Now, I'll be perfectly honest. I've eaten horribly this past week, not even thinking about health, but I stepped on the scale this morning and was down half a pound. Now, I've always heard that diet comes first, then exercise, and I'm certainly not saying to forgot your diet all together, but I am saying that maybe exercise is more important than people realize.

I've been keeping active a lot lately. Before this whole hurrican started, I was at the Jersey shore. I ate a Dunkin donut in the morning, topping it off with a latte. Then, for lunch, I had a peanut butter sandwich with chips. Then, for dinner, I had a hamburger and onion rings and fries. And I picked up an ice cream cone on the way home. However, instead of laying on a towel tanning, I ended up in the ocean, pedaling and pushing through the waves. The next morning, my legs actually felt tired and I felt like I didn't completely screw up the day before. That day I had I-Hop crepes, mac and cheese, a giant chocolate chip cookie and then did a Barre workout in the morning, walked with Shape-Ups in the afternoon and did yoga at night. Then I discovered, dispite my horrific diet, my increase in exercise regime had helped me go down half a pound. Now, imagine what I could do if I actually kept up with this increase in exercise and my diet! I might be able to lose double, triple, maybe even quadruple of that.

What I'm saying here is exactly that. Pay attention to not only diet, but also exercise. If you've been tracking your food (good for you!) start tracking your exercise. See if you can add an extra ten minutes to your exercise. Maybe an after dinner walk (instead of an after dinner cocktail) or yoga while you watch television. It's not as hard as you may think it is!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tip #11: Thinking Negatively Gets You No Where

I recently picked up the book Skinny Bitch, thinking that it was a diet book that would be sarcastic and funny, based on the title. I was sadly mistaken. The book says that it gives you tough love when all it really does is insult you and decrease your self esteem. It basically calls the reader a fat pig. Its like a bully in a book. Do yourself a favor and skip reading this one.

Truth is, when it comes to creating a healthier life, tough love is not what you want. I admit that I'm sensitive on topics like my weight so reading that eating a burger makes me a fat cow doesn't exactly put me in the right mindset to want to lose weight. For me, I found that the happier I feel about myself, the more I want to treat my body right. Many people are emotional eaters, like me. When someone used to mock my weight, it only made me sad, which made me eat more. I'd convince myself that I wasn't worth losing the weight. That I wasn't worth increasing my lifespan and that I'd never reach the hourglass figure I wanted anyhow so it wasn't worth trying. So I ate, and ate, and ate.

The best thing for emotional eaters to do is to let go of the negativity. Surround yourself with people who know that you are trying to get healthy and are supportive of your mission, not rude-comment-making, self-esteem-busting frenemies. Keep a good friends number handy to call when you feel so bad to that you are ready to start a binge session, so that he or she can talk you down from the ledge and put your emotions back in check. Try reading a book that is uplifting, like Portia Di Rossi's Unbearable Lightness. Reading about her overcoming her own problems might help you do the same. Or squeeze in a workout you like. It gives you endorphins which makes you happier and healthier. Plus I always found that a workout can clear my mind and relax me better than any slice of cake is anyway.

The thing is, being overweight doesn't make you a pig. Last time I checked people look nothing like them and have different gene codes anyway. If you are overweight, yes, losing a little weight won't hurt you, as long as you don't overdo it. Listening (or reading) negative comments, though, that does hurt. Bullies, wherever they may be, aren't worth the time listening to. I'm not trying to give you that speech saying that they are just jealous or wish they could be you. I'm saying that bullies are people that don't deserve your time. They make life harder and take too much effort to deal with. Ignore them and focus on the good people (and good books) in your life that are worth the effort and time. They'll make you happier in the long run. There is no sense in pleasing bullies, and trying to lessen their insults is doing exactly that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week

Party Poison- My Chemical Romance

The Enemy- The White Tie Affair

How Far We've Come- Matchbox 20

Strut- Adam Lambert

Til The World Ends- Britney Spears

Cool Down: Goodbye to the Girl- David Cook

Workout #10: Barre Method

I was again all set to go swimming for a half hour straight until I woke up to find a downpour, which started yesterday and continued right on through the night. If anything, it actually got worse here. Obviously, swimming was out. I decided to try something new today and I was so happy with it that I had to share it here!

The Barre Method has been showing up everywhere lately! Madonna shared that she used it and television actresses Aimee Teegarden and Anna Paquin soon shared their love of the workout, which is a combination of ballet poses, yoga, pilates, and strength exercises. Soon Barre began showing up in gyms and sports clubs all over.

The workout I used was Barre3 Total Body Lift Workout which I found under the Exercise TV category OnDemand. I had read that it would be hard and was completely prepared for it, however it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be. Sure, it was far from easy, but it wasn't impossible. The dvd begins with a quick warm up of stretches, squats, and lunges. Then, with both hands on the back of a dining room chair (as most people don't own a ballet barre), you begin a killer low body workout. Your legs will beg you to stop after a few minutes, but your trainer (Sadie Lincoln) doesn't do so many reps as to make your legs give out. Just when you think you should stand up or put your back leg down behind you, she tell you that you only have five more reps to go, and you feel like you just have to push through the last reps. Then you do a quick stretch and move on to the upper body. You use a light pair of hand weights to target the back, chest, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Your arms will be up and lifted the entire time, so, like with the legs, your arms will be begging you to stop after only a few minutes, but you are just going to have to push through it. Then you get a quick stretch before moving on to a mat for another quick lower body workout. Then for the abs. This is mostly all pilates and yoga moves, which will target your abs perfectly. Your abs will hurt, and the pain will come on quickly. The best thing you can do is push through it as, eventually your abs will just get numb and it will get easier to continue. The workout stops five minutes early, when you start a nice, relaxing, soothing cool-down. All-in-all, the workout may be difficult, but push through it to the end for the cool-down. You will be sore afterward, but it's a good kind of sore. It's your body letting you know that you worked hard and your hard work will pay off.

Barre3 40 Minute Workout $25.00

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

This is a new feature I decide to put in the blog: the playlist of the week!

Thinkin' Bout Somethin' - Hanson
I Can't Get Enough - Rooney
Rich Girl$ - Down with Webster
Oh Glory - Panic! at the Disco
Can't Box Me In - Honor Society

Cool Down Song-
I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case

If you have any songs you want me to write, comment on the post and I'll add them next week!

Tip #10: Get Some Inspiration!

I love to try new things, but sometimes I just run out of ideas! It happens to everybody! Like today, for instance, I woke up thinking that I'd go swimming, for a half an hour straight like I've been doing for the last few days. Of course, I had to scrap that idea because it is pouring outside! I had been planning on doing that, bathing suit on, cell phone out to time myself, and then my workout plan was completely wrecked for today. I was kind of discouraged, because I kept going down my list of workouts that I usually do but I couldn't find one I really wanted to do. Dance? Nope. Yoga? Just did that yesterday! Kickbox? Did that two days ago!

Some days that just happens! This is the best opprotunity to try something new! Try and get some new ideas! I love to try health quizzes to get an idea of what's out there to try. Quizzes help to find workouts that are tailored to your personality!

Try this one which helps to find what type of workouts you might enjoy! You are either a trendsetter (like me!), busy bee, fitness beginner, sports star, or chill chick! After you take the quiz, go to and find a workout made for the category that fell into!

Or maybe this one which matches you with a celebrity and tells you how they stay in shape!

This last one gives you a workout class. So if you feel like going to the gym, take this quiz and give the class a go!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Workout #9: Nia Classes!

I love trying new workouts! Some are good, some not so much, but Nia is one that I hope sticks around for a long time. Nia is a mix of tai chi, yoga, and modern dance. Like Zumba, it's set to music, different music for different types of classes. Some classes are set to Latin music or the Billboard charts. I have even seen it set to specifically George Micheals music. Whatever the music, Nia is a great way to get your cardio. The dance part of Nia is excellent for toning abs and legs,while yoga and tai chi is great to build balance, flexability, and helps to take care of your mental health. Yoga and tai chi, much like mediation, helps to put your mind at ease and put stress at the back of your mind. Start looking for classes at your local gym!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tip #9: Work Out Whenever, So No Excuses!

Once upon a time, science said that working out before bed can keep you up all night thanks to your increased heart rate. Now it says that might actually be a good thing! In Finland, in a recent study, eleven volunteers rode stationary bikes three hours before bedtime until exhaustion and slept more easily and deeply than nights when they didn't. In Belguim, the same result was found during their study when nine people biked for an hour two hours before going to sleep. So the truth is, working out is working out, whether it is morning or night. No matter what, you should squeeze in cardio four times a week and strength training at least three times. No excuses! If you don't like working out in the morning, now you can fit it in at night!

If you still don't like the idea of a high intensity workout before hitting the hay, don't sweat it! Just getting twenty minutes of some form of exercise is good enough. I try to get a forty minute one, though, by doing a ten minute lower body workout and half hour of yoga. Actually, "laughing yoga" as I watch Drew Carey's Improvaganza while I do it. Laughing yoga is a major workout for your abs! Do you know how hard it is to laugh and try to keep your balance? Hard, but also really fun and, interestingly enough, relaxing! Forty minutes sound like too much? Try twenty minutes of yoga or pilates, which shouldn't raise your heartbeat so much but should exhaust you enough to get a deeper sleep. Give the new Nia a try, which is a blend of tai chi, yoga, and modern dance! It's a relaxing, tranquil workout to put your mind at ease.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tip #8: Laugh it off!

My goal is to help make you healthy, which means that I don't want to just help you lose weight, I want you to be healthy inside and out. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself is laugh. Laughter helps in more ways than more people know. It relaxes your whole body, reducing tension and stress. Most people know that laughing releases endorphins, which lessen pain, but laughing can also help your body by boosting your immune system and increases blood flow, lessening your chance of heart problems. Laughing also burns 78 calories an hour and a hearty belly laugh helps to tone your abs! 

The emotional benefits are just as great as the physical. Laughter gets rid of stressful emotions. It also shifts perspective, making you feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed. Try to laugh with friends, as it has even greater benefits. It strengthens relationships and helps you be more spontaneous, releasing inhibitions.

There are so many ways to get a laugh in the day! Take mine, for example. I'm listening to "Superego" podcast right as I'm writing this and I've been laughing the whole time!

Here are a few other ideas:
-Go to a comedy club with friends!
-Host a game night with friends!
-Read a book from the humor section!
-Watch a funny movie like Blazing Saddles!
-Watch a funny show like Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza!
-Go to a laughing yoga class (get the stress-relieving benefits of yoga and laughing!)
-Listen to a comedian's special or funny podcast while you work!