What I’ve Been Doing Lately and the Best Ever Challenge Accepted

I have been quite absent from the blog, but it felt sooo good! During this transition time I really needed to tune down a while, so I can focus more on family and work. I also didn’t work out as usual, but again, I kind of needed that time off.

Two weeks ago my husband and I took a sailing course and we learned how to maneuver a sailing vessel, how to dock it, how to navigate during night, how to schedule carts and so much more! It was a fun but insane intense course, where we made lots of new friends.

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(In charge of the boom winch – mainsail adjusted)

During the training, we sailed on two different boats – a cruiser, which was so comfortable you almost forgot you were on a boat, and a competition boat. Opposed to the cruiser, the competition boat was so uncomfortable, and required a lot of action – with each changing of the tack of the boat (tacking or jibing) the skipper had to do, the crew had to execute the assigned maneuvers and then quickly pass on the other side of the boat to balance the boat. Was so much fun! Not to mention the speed that boat was sailing! Now we have to pass the official exams in order to obtain the sailing certificate and be able to rent sailing vessels on our own.

After we returned home, the same weekend we hosted a series of barbecue parties with family that came from our hometown to spend the holiday with us. We were lucky the weather sided with us and the high temperatures dropped by almost 10 degrees Celsius right before Friday. It was warm enough for having a perfect barbecue party.

Then, after two weeks of almost no workout done, Kelli and Daniel from Fitness Blender announced a new 5 days workout challenge. That was exactly what I needed to get back on track with my training and get back in shape. (I know it sounds so weird that only a coupe of weeks of no activity can put you out of shape, but it’s true! It’s not that you can’t do the workouts or you’ll be sore the next days… It’s just the way you feel during the workout that tells you you’re a bit behind the form you used to have.) From my past experience with Fitness Blender’s 5 days challenges, they rock as they really work! It may sound impossible, but by the end of the 5th day you can actually see a difference. Should you try it, make some photos of you before and after the challenge and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Of course, altogether with maintaining a healthy diet.

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(Day 1/5 – 394 kcal – HIIT and strength workout)

So I encourage you to join this challenge! It’s not important that you’re starting late, it’s important to do it and finish these 5 amazing workouts! So who’s with me? 🙂

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Weekend Five – 5 Running Tips for Beginners

A while ago I was telling you here and here that I’d like to start running this summer, and by late summer / early fall to be able to easily run a 5K race. So I’m still researching, buying running clothing and accessories. While searching for the best training plan, I also found lots of tips and tricks for beginner runners from experienced runners – this kind of tips & tricks are my favorite, because it’s based on experience.

Running seems so easy, but I am sure it’s not. Takes time, patience, perseverance and dedication, like in all things you care about and want to make the best out of it. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, tenth, or last. What’s really important is being able to say ‘I’ve finished’.

For the weeks to come, I am thinking on starting a 8 week series called Gone Running – I’d love to have bloggers who run as guest posting their experience with running from the day 1 until present and where I will be sharing my own progress on running. 🙂 I would love to hear your story and be a guest of my blog! If this idea appeals to you, please send me an email at hiitmom[at]gmail[dot]com.

Weekend Five Running Tips for Beginners

And now, the list of great tips and tricks I found most interesting and real:

  1. Set a goal and make a plan
    I just can’t work out without a goal – that’s why I started the year with a topnotch resolution and  that’s why I plan to run a 5K in late summer. I really need to see the progress, as this gives me the a great satisfaction.
  2. Try to avoid of the terrible ‘too’s – too fast too soon
    I have to admit I feel ready now to run at least 2.5 km (~1.5 miles) right from the start. And I am sure I’d be able to. It just seems that it’s not really good for your body to increase your mileage too quickly, because it can lead to injury. The max recommended mileage increase per week is 10%, so take the time to adjust each week. This means that I’ll be following my training schedule to determine how much I should be running. If I’ll feel like doing more, I’ll supplement my running with cross-training exercises such as biking back home. 🙂
  3. Get the right running gear
    Cotton is not a good fabric for running clothes, because it dries really slowly. Try instead running outfits made out of synthetic fabrics such as spandex and polyester, which are so much better than cotton at wicking away sweat. And, of course, you want to feel comfortable while training and running for your race, which means getting a running shoe that fit best. On this topic, I found a great post where Zelana Montminy give some tips for buying the perfect pair of running shoes for your feet.
  4. Listen to your body
    This one I already know it, but it’s always a good idea to keep it in mind when starting a new sport or activity. Your body is always trying to tell you where you are. Check how you’re feeling, check your morning pulse rate (if it’s up 10 or more beats above your average, it means that you haven’t recovered from the previous day’s training), check your healing injuries and take time off until everything returns to normal.
  5. Warm up, then stretch
    Warming up is really important, so light jogging or just brisk walking is always a good idea. As for stretching , it seems it’s better to stretch after the run, as stretching cold muscles can cause more harm than good.

How often do you run during a week? How do you cross train?

When was your first 5K and how quickly were you able to run a race?

Suspension training or taking my home workouts to a new level

Yesterday was one of those days you just can’t get out of the … bed gym! 🙂 Yeah, I kind of hear how that sounds, but that’s true! I finally received the Kettler Sling Trainer I ordered at the beginning of this month. And I love it! It was my first TRX workout at home and not only today I feel every inch of my body, but Miss I had a blast fooling around with it.

There are so many exercises you can do with the Sling Trainer – I don’t have to worry I’ll ever get bored! Here are a couple of exercises you can do with a suspension training sling. What I love most about that .pdf is that it also shows you the muscle groups you’ll be working while doing a certain move.TRX Workout

The Sling Trainer is a great training tool for home or when traveling to a destination without a gym. It’s a cheaper than the TRX gear, but I’ll have to see how durable this sling is. I hope it will worth its money! 🙂

How will I be training you may be thinking… You already know I love HIIT and bodyweight exercises, so for starters I’ll be focusing on these two types of workouts. When I won’t be doing a full suspension workout, I will most certainly integrate some exercises in my workouts (for instance I’ll be doing a lot of Atomic Pikes, Bridges, and Suspended Lunges or Pistol Squats).

Above you can see my workout from yesterday that led to a calorie burn of 394 kcal. It was a great workout, and I loved every minute of it. Hard, intense, fun and so worth it! 🙂 Especially because seaside vacation coming up really soon! Like this Saturday soon!

Do you use a suspension trainer for your workouts?

What’s your favorite exercise using a suspension trainer?

What was your experience with TRX or other sling trainer?

I’d love to hear from you!

Weekend Five – 5 Gadgets I can’t live without

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad’s 55th birthday and words just can’t express how blessed I am by the parents I’ve been given! Miss I. and I made him homemade birthday cards, because they are better than the store bought ones. And we’ve just started a new tradition: making a happy birthday video of Miss I. singing Happy Birthday and presenting or explaining the gift she made – you know there’s always a trick or a twist. 😉 I can’t wait for my dad to see it!

My dad is all about gadgets – you name one and most certainly he owns it or gives you a reason why he didn’t buy that gadget, but another. Of course, our birthday present is a gadget that I’m sure he’ll love. So while I was looking for the perfect gift for my father, I found myself thinking the list of things I couldn’t live without. Weekend Five Gadgets

1. Smartphone wallet/case

ardium_smartphone_wallet_v2 I love this little wallet for my iPhone. Sometimes I don’t want to bring my entire purse with me but I always need my phone. This enables you to carry your driver’s license, credit card, cash, etc. within your phone case. I also like that it covers my phone face so that when text messages pop up curious onlookers aren’t tempted to read my messages.

2. Polar FT4

polar_ft4_bronze_topI bought my Polar FT4 Heart Monitor watch back in 2012, and I have been using it ever since for each workout I did. So after 2 and a half years of regular use, it works perfectly and gives me an accurate overview of my calories burned and keeps me on track when my heart rate gets higher than the value I set up as a safe max. I absolutely love this watch! You should try it too.

3. Nexus 7

tech-specs-n7I love my Nexus 7! There is no better alternative on the market for a 7 inch tablet, that you can just pick up and carry around with you, easily throw it in a purse or bag (no matter the size), and know it’s there when you need it. I love it for its size, great screen, affordable price and its loooong battery life.

4. Portable smartphone / tablet battery charger

htc-battery-bar-slide-01 If you are on-the-go a lot during the day using your phone or tablet, then definitely you need one of these! I plug my phone into the battery charger using a micro-USB cable and it fully charges my phone and adds more than 50% battery life to my tablet. It’s a great gadget to have around when traveling, or to carry around in your purse for just in case situations.

5. FlipCam Ultra HD Camera

33637213-2-440-OVR-1 FlipCam is so easy to use – just power on and press record to start capturing up to 2 hours of incredible HD video. When you’re done recording, just connect the flip-out USB arm to a PC or Mac and download your videos. Unfortunately Cisco exited the Flip business April 2011, but I am really happy I still have this mini-camera! I’m sure you would have loved it too!

What are your favorite gadgets? 

My First Guest Post is Published!

I’m more than thrilled that my first ever guest post has been published on ForTwoFitness‘s blog! For those of you who don’t know yet, ForTwo Fitness was founded by a fitness-oriented expecting mom, who discovered that there was a major lack of stylish maternity active-wear. The brand encourages women to keep fit and healthy during their pregnancy, while staying stylish and comfy. Even though TwoFor Fitness is serving customers in over 175 countries, it’s still a family-owned and operated business. All I can say is great job, and I hope I’ll be ordering maternity clothing really soon! This time, I’ll be celebrating my bump in style. 😉

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Today’s guest blogger was me, with a post about How To’s of a Fit  Baby Bump. I hope you’ll be following the link and read my blog post, along with the other great posts that have already been published on ForTwo Fitness blog.

Thank you, ForTwo Fitness!

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Do you remember the first time your guest post was published? 🙂