20 Min HIIT Workouts are THE Best

travelLast week, my gym membership expired. I had been attending this super popular gym, that was located pretty much in every neighborhood of Jacksonville, for two years straight. But to be honest, I wanted out. I had issues with the way they handled business. So, I figured in the meantime while I look for a gym, I will just workout at home.

Easier said then done, my brothers and sisters.

When you live with someone and sleep schedules are different, finding the time to workout can be a little difficult. If I tried to wake up early in the morning, I ran the risk of waking my boyfriend up. Then when I get off of work, I would have to cook (so that I don’t eat late) and then I’m normally working on something else that’s important! It just seemed like time wasn’t on my side — and I get it, it happens.

Well, for some reason I thought “HIIT”! All I need is 20 minutes!

HIIT stands for high interval intensity training! In a nutshell, the way I see it,  you burn a good amount of calories in a short period of time. Sounds pretty idealistic for someone with not much time in their everyday schedules. Someone like me!

The most recent HIIT workout that I tried (and it kicked my butt, but I loved it) was this one: Brutal HIIT Ladder Workout – 20 minutes HIIT Workout at Home

We started off stretching and then we did four exercises, each 60 seconds long with a 25 second break. Then the same four exercises but 50 seconds long with a 25 second break. We did the same routine up until 20 seconds and it was in fact thebomb.com (Not a real website by the way 🙂

It’s exactly what I needed, and I felt like I actually did something instead of being lazy and not doing anything because I didn’t have “time?” You know what I mean?

It was so convenient because I was able to do it within the hour that my better half would be waking up!

So, I mean if you haven’t tried it yet — or are afraid to, don’t be. It’s convenient, you get a great workout and remember no one is judging you.

With that being said, I’m probably going to incorporate more 20 min HIIT workouts because they’re pretty convenient.

What’s So Bad About Multitasking?

Multitasking can be a beautiful thing.  You accomplish many things at a time, make plenty of people happy and have time to do more of what ever else you may need to do.

But is it the easiest? Not exactly. You see, in order to multitask successfully, you must write it down. Again, in order to multitask successfully you must write it down. The reason for this is plain and simple: your liable to lose track of time, forget a few things and mess up your order of things you need to do. When you lose track of time and get some things done instead of others, you’re wasting your energy and time.

So, how do we maximize our time? First, we write it down.

Now, I know there are many articles, and research journals that shows that multitasking isn’t good for your health. But what kind of multitasking are they referring to?

  • Driving and texting?
  • Sending emails during meetings?
  •  Talking on your cell, feeding your child and feeding the dog?

IT'S NOT THAT BAD

Probably, so. But I’m talking about something a little differently. I’m talking about organizing your tasks through out the day so that you can spend efficient time on them and get them accomplished. Now, technically, the definition of multitasking according to the Oxford Dictionary is, “the handling of more than one task at the same time by a single person,” and what I am alluding to is multitasking but doing so in an organized manner.  

For example, today I have a few things I need to do, but it’s a Saturday and I don’t want to stress my self out. Besides, if I don’t manage to multitask successfully in my life during my work week – then leave it there because weekends shouldn’t be stressful. So, first things first – I write out everything I want to get done: gym, shopping, writing, cleaning, watching my favorite TV shows, cooking Dinner, talking to my mom. Ok, boom. I have quite a few stuff I need to do. Now, I organize my tasks in the order to maximize my time!

Is it that simple? Yeah, it can be. If you have children, or have social ties that you need attend to – then fit them in your schedule and start checking them off one by one. I pair up activities that I know can be done with others. That is multitasking.

See, the issue at hand is that if your multitasking then your not giving something your full of attention, only partially meaning their is a chance for failure. Charles J. Abaté, a writer for the National Education Association, conducts research of his own on the subject. He says, “For certain kinds of behavior, brains (like microprocessors) are essentially linear devices that are incapable of performing two separate tasks simultaneously. In a more colloquial sense, though, it seems quite obvious that people are capable of at least some level of simultaneous activity.”

In my opinion, if you write it down and plan accordingly you can successfully multitask. I believe it’s good to challenge yourself and it’s healthy for you.

The beauty of multitasking is that it allows you to live at ease with everything that you need to do. Stress free. Now, if your stressing yourself attempting to do 4, 5 things at once – then your missing the point. Literally, the point is on the other side of the room and you totally just walked by and missed it.

Remember your not trying to complicate your life.  It’s all about being stress free.

No Time To Function, Plenty of Time to Eat

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How I felt every time I heard the gym calling my name!

Hello Fitness lovers, Clean Eaters, Running Fanatics it’s been awhile.

Excuse the hiatus, but I kind of had this summer school, work, internship thing going on. I’m finally starting to get back into the groove of things. Well, at least I think so.
Since, my last post I was getting ready to embark on a new school semester, a new job schedule and a new internship. All three of those things took a toll on my body.

It was hard.

I was sleeping about 4 to 5 hours a day — during the day. And let’s be honest, when you live on the second floor, of a busy street, in front of the court house, who can really sleep? Right? Needless to say it was difficult for me. On top of that, I missed so many days of working out, running, and heading to the gym because I was either too tired, had to go to work or just didn’t have time. So, what did I do? I turned to food.

Yup, not even going to lie. I relied on fast food for a quick fix and then would go hours without eating. My weight has fluctuated so much it’s crazy. One week I gain 3 to 4 pounds, the next week I lost 6. That’s not good and it’s certainly not healthy.

But, I think I’m coming back around. I have two weeks left of my internship and I’m doing pretty darn good. I’m finally getting into a schedule of things at work and school is almost over! I’ve also done much of my short and long papers ahead of time, so I’m pretty much ready. Now, the next thing that’s in store for me is a job search as reporter in a small market (if God permits) and getting my fitness into tip top shape.

Thank you for understanding me, Mr. Gosling.

Thank you for understanding me, Mr. Gosling.

Because I like being healthy, and I gotta look good whenever I get on camera. Not going to lie.

So, yeah. I messed up during the past two months. I had no time to function, but I found plenty of time to eat – badly. That’s okay. I’m human. I messed up and I’m not perfect. Now, that I realized it, I can get back on track. It won’t be easy but it’ll definitely be a challenge.

And honestly, I can’t wait to see the results!

– Alba love 

To Race or Not to Race…That is the Question

On March 15, 2014 the Annual Gate River Run will take place in downtown Jacksonville. The Gate River Run is a 15k race, the largest 15k race in America. I had decided back in January that I would be participating within the race. Have I since January prepared for this race? No, no I have not. Have I been choosing to enjoy a bachelorette cruise and a weeklong celebration of mine and my sister’s birthday? Why yes, yes I have. I am dehydrated, bloated, exhausted, and am in pure disbelief that I have agreed to participate The Gate River Run this Saturday.

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The Gate River Run 2013 Image credit via Facebook @ Gate River Run Team Gate

I am absolutely terrified that I’m going to fail horribly and have to get picked up in one of those “no man gets left behind” shuttle buses. Like I said though, I told myself that I would do it so, therefore, I am going to suffer through this brutal race. I am literally depending on keeping hydrated and eating healthy all this week so that I can just have somewhat of a shot of doing a mediocre at best in this race.

The only person to blame is myself for not properly preparing for this race. To be honest I slacked off, I will admit it. I partied hard this past week and I am definitely paying for it to the max. I even decided to give up drinking for a while because I feel like when I drink I stay up late, when I stay up late – I don’t get enough sleep or wake up early enough to workout, when I don’t work out – I do not burn any calorie intake, and last when I don’t work out I also make bad choices in what I decide to eat.

The moral of the story is that sometimes the choices you make become habits. Just don’t create bad habits because later on when you see that you have made little to no progress, the only person to blame is yourself. I have decided now that I will start a good habit by taking the little time I have to prepare for this race. I am going to try to do well to the best of my ability and that is the best that I can do.

xoxo
Jaz

Meal Prepping for a First Timer

Today is Sunday and for most body builders, fitness junkies and gym heads it means MEAL PREP Sunday. For those of you who don’t know, meal prepping is basically cooking your food for the week (or a few days) and putting it in food storage containers. It’s a way to have your meals ready, especially if your on a tight schedule, or are trying to eat 5-6 times a day. It’s also good because you know exactly what your consuming and it’s cost effective. When your on a path to a healthier life, food prepping can become one of the best tools, especially when it’s combined with a good exercise regimen. Also, if your always full you save money, avoid temptation and properly fuel yourself healthily for your body and your workouts!

Well, as the title states “Meal Prepping for a First Timer” it was my first time meal prepping for the week. I’ve always been a healthy eater, I cook most if not all of my food but I’m always taking my time cooking. So, I finally decided that I would try meal prepping my lunches, dinners and some snacks for the week to save me some time and properly fuel my body for workouts. Also, I figured I could be more consistent with my meals and my portion sizes. After all of the time I spent, I must say I am pretty content, but boyyyy was I unprepared.

Here are the facts:

  • It took me about 4-5 hrs, (if done correctly it should only take about 2).

    I did a little something something in the kitchen!

    I did a little something something in the kitchen!

  • I watched two full movies while I was cooking, Thor & Iron Man 2; I couldn’t multitask and I wasted time.
  • I was looking up recipes right before I started cooking; (I knew what I wanted to cook, but not how to cook it. Un-prepared).
  • I forgot to thaw out my ground Turkey meat, (even more time wasted).
  • I was cooking and washing my dishes at the same time, (I’ve never used my dishwasher, bad experience).

***I didn’t burn anything. I didn’t cut myself. I didn’t hurt anyone***

What an experience, huh?

After all of the time I spent, I must say I am pretty content, but boyyyy what I unprepared.

The Meals – Iceberg lettuce medley with sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes and sautéed chicken breast (3 containers). Baked sweet potatoes with baked asparagus, steamed broccoli and easy peasy Turkey meatballs, that came out delicious by the way (4 containers).

The Snacks – Sliced strawberries which you can place them in just about anything like; Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and ezekial toast with almond butter, (to name a few). Also some celery sticks grape tomatoes which are also great with any healthy dipping sauces; I like eating them with almond butter.

All in all, I would have to say that I wish I would have planned and prepared myself better because it took me entirely too long but now I know better for next Sunday. Next week, I will have my recipes prepared, my ingredients ready (and thawed) and some good music in the background (probably

End Result, timely and yet successful !

End Result, timely and yet successful !

Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor type music). Time is key, and so is less distraction try not to watch movies like I did! Remember to prepare!

Giving thanks to the Freckle Foodie for Baked Sweet Potato instructions; Wishful chef for her amazing Baked Turkey Meatball recipe; Simply recipes for the Roasted Asparagus recipe; and Google because without it I would not have found them and meal prepped semi-succesfully!

-Alba

No Time for Gym? No Problem.

Hey guys,  Alba here, so I want to discus the problem of not being able to go to the gym. Let’s face it, when regular, normal, un-super active people like myself decide to start on a workout regimen, we can find a million and one reasons why we can’t go to the gym or just “work out.” What are the reasons? Why do we do that? It’s because we think we have no time. I mean we know we should try to make time, but sometimes we’re so busy that we neglect to go to the gym, or go on a walk, do yoga or take that spinning class you always wanted to try! But there’s a solution to that problem, especially if you’re on a path to being fit: we find ways in our ordinary lives to be active without stepping foot in the gym.

Photo credit Google

How many of us have been there?

For example, on some days when I have class all day, and I know I won’t make it to the gym, I make sure to park all the way at the back of the parking lot. Boom! A few extra calories burned right there; or, let’s say, I’m studying for an exam at night – you know, pulling an all nighter – what I can do to fit some type of workout is to set a reminder on my phone so that every half hour (or an hour) I’ll take a break and do some activities like; crunches, push-ups and leg lifts. And just like that I’ve worked out, burned some calories and can still get back to my homework. Not to mention working out (exercising) can give you more energy. There are studies that prove it! Experts at WebMD also have quite a few statistics that researchers found when doing studies on exercise fighting fatigue and boosting energy.

Laura, blogger of Heavenly Homemakers, also did a bit of her own research with the question of “Why does using energy to exercise give us more energy?” She asked, Jen from GettingfitwithJen and the response was simple — it’s because of the increased blood flow. Which makes sense when you think about it, because sometimes your heart is just really pumping after an amazing workout. Normally, when I work out late at night I’ll usually be up for a lot longer, then if I didn’t workout at night. Try it, and let me know, I’ll wait to say “I told you so!”

At the end of the day we’re always going to be busy because we all have things to do. I have school, family, a job but I know what my goals are. Therefore, even when I can’t go on that long run, or spend 1 – 2 hours at the gym, I find time to keep moving. Fitting in a little bit of a workout here and there can and will go a long way. Mommies can squat with their baby’s, or simply take them to the park to hang out and play. Business professionals can take the stairs (or at least some of them) instead of always taking the elevator to the office. Greatist actually has an article on 33 ways of working out at work! See, its not hard. If you can find time to stand up for a while, instead of sitting down you’ll also be burning calories too!  

Please do not let not being able to go the gym be the reason why you can’t work out, there are always options. Always.

– Alba

Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail

Right off the bat let me just say that this saying has become my mantra throughout life. Just last year, I had discovered that I have a gluten intolerance and the changes that I had to make were healthier ones and honestly for the better. Although, just because something is better for you it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is easier to do, or to stick with. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Literally, when I do not plan my meals for the week – especially with my booked schedule between 2 jobs, school, and working out – my body gets all out of whack.

It is so easy to go through the drive through at McDonalds and get a burger when you are on the run! But if I were to do this, I would have ended up like I had 3 weeks ago, in bed with the worst stomach pains and headaches. Three weeks ago I was miserable! I had just begun school again and by the end of the day I was just exhausted. I didn’t want to wake up and go work out, I wanted to sleep in! I didn’t want to cook for 2 hours to prepare my meals for the week! I wanted to just relax and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians since it is just mindless entertainment that doesn’t require me to really pay attention to details, like I had done so already throughout my long days at school and work. I felt down and just had no motivation! I began to turn into the driveway at McDonald’s (which I normally hate and never eat…ever) and ordered cheeseburgers that would leave me sick by the morning.

I was emotionally eating because I was upset at my lack of motivation. I was hurting myself knowingly until one day I was just like, “Jasmine, tighten up!” and pretty much just like that I got back on track and made myself do the things that I didn’t want to do.

“I was emotionally eating because I was upset at my lack of motivation.”

Now, three weeks later I have all my meals planned out for this week and I have been feeling ten times better. When I get into my hopeless moods, I do what any girl does and blame it on aunt flow and hormones. What I have learned is that nothing and no one is perfect. Sometimes we just fall off the wagon and you just need to stand up, dust off, and move on. The road to success isn’t a straight shot, it is bumpy and sometimes there are detours, you just learn from your mistakes and carry on. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

– Jasmine