Setting Weekly Goals

Setting Weekly Goals

I talked before about setting goals for each week that will help your overall goal. I wanted to share mine with you to give you an idea about what I mean:)

 

What are your weekly goals? I’d love to know!! Email me, tweet me, Facebook me –  Namaste! 

My goals week of 1/20/13
My goals week of 1/20/13
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Greet The Morning Sun With Cardiovascular Exercise For A Great Mood Boost!

Greet The Morning Sun With Cardiovascular Exercise For A Great Mood Boost!

By Gym Source

For most people, working out and exercising is the last thing on their minds right after they wake up from sleeping. It sounds like a terrible idea — after all, you’re groggy, tired and don’t have any energy so why on earth would you want to exercise? Wouldn’t that make you even more tired? Fitness enthusiasts have been recommending early morning exercise for years, since it has a number of benefits that can keep you in a great mood throughout the entire day.

It’ll Keep You Pumped Up All Day Long

Interestingly, working out in the morning may actually help you have more energy throughout the day and keep you in a positive mindset. While doing clinical studies on rodents, scientists have found that regular endurance exercise significantly increases how efficient your brain is at using dopamine. The National Parkinson’s Foundation has an excellent summary of the benefits of the exercise on your brain in how efficiently it uses dopamine.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in your brain that reinforces behavior. Anything that you find pleasurable will cause your brain to release dopamine; this creates an association between that activity and dopamine release, and the brain loves dopamine. Working out early in the morning can help you keep a consistent workout regimen, as your brain will get used to working out right after your wake up and eventually begin to crave it as soon as your alarm goes off.

Working out also releases endorphins, which have been identified as causing what athletes refer to as the “runner’s high.” These brain chemicals cause feelings of well-being and help to reduce pain and inflammation. Cardiovascular exercise in the morning can give you a jolt of endorphins that help you to start the day off right; endorphins early in the morning can help contribute to you having a positive and energetic mood all day long!

It’s Better For Weight Loss

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Teaming Up With My Biggest Inspiration

Teaming Up With My Biggest Inspiration

By Monica Kucera

I’ve mentioned Andrea Metcalf in an earlier blog post and how she is a huge inspiration for me and my writing. Since then, I’ve become more involved and interested in the subject of fitness and health and decided to take my curiosity to the next level. Well, I’m happy to say I am one of Andrea’s new interns for this upcoming fall. I definitely could not be more thrilled.

Andrea Metcalf (Middle) & Guests while filming Cougars Across America
Andrea Metcalf (Middle) & Guests while filming Cougars Across America

This past weekend I was able to assist her in producing the Pilot shows of Today TV Live, streaming television straight

Kerry Knee -- Owner of Flirty Girl Fitness & I
Kerry Knee — Owner of Flirty Girl Fitness & I

from your computer screen! I got to meet the owner of Flirty Girl Fitness, Sergio Rojas – an NBC Fitness expert, Masala Bhangra fitness instructor and

Sergio Rojas
Sergio Rojas

MANY more. I learned a lot of information about the world of fitness and health and everything that goes into producing a television show.

Needless to say, I am more than eager to continue working for Andrea in the fall. This opportunity has proven the quote, “Fight for your dreams, give up on your doubts” to be true. Andrea is an amazing fitness journalist and a person I have admired for a few years now. Interning for her was something I never dreamed would come true.

I am more than gracious for this opportunity. If you have a goal — Go out there and get it!

On set of Today TV Live
On set of Today TV Live
100 Calorie Mini Workout

100 Calorie Mini Workout

By Monica Kucera

Welp, I’m in Greece and the accessibility of a gym isn’t as simple as it is in Chicago. Even though I’m signing up for a kickboxing place tomorrow, my friend Karen had this mini workout for us to do in the mean time.

It’s a 100 calorie workout that took us maybe 5 minutes. Here’s the deal:

  • 40 jumping jacks followed immediately by
  • 30 crunches
  • 20 squats
  • 10 push ups

Yup, that’s it! Her physical therapist gave her this idea to do while abroad when all else fails. I must say, it did get my heart rate going a bit. I mean, I was too excited to blog about it so I didn’t repeat the cycle. However, obviously if you do it three times you can burn up to 300 calories. And, hello! it’s under 10 minutes! It’s something that can be easily done before bed!

Karen & I in front of the Temple of Zeus -- Athens, Greece
Karen & I in front of the Temple of Zeus -- Athens, Greece
New Take on Resolutions

New Take on Resolutions

By Monica Kucera

A new year is the perfect excuse to throw away old habits and start new, positive ones. Some of the most common resolutions pertain to fitness, health or dieting, which are great, but can result in negative traps if they aren’t concrete ideas. You have to make sure your resolutions are not vague because it will lead you to failure.

Mistake #1: “My new years resolution is to go on a diet.”

Personally, I hate the word diet. What is a “diet” anyway? Instead of saying you want to diet, choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Diets have such a negative connotation aside them because they make people believe that they’re going to become deprived and depressed by thinking all they can eat is salad and fruit. By living a healthier life you can opt to maybe give up fast food, cut back on drinking pop or switch from white bread to whole wheat bread. Simple things like this will help lead you to a healthier life. Start by reassessing your diet and getting rid of the foods you know are no good. However, we all know this isn’t easy. Start by cutting back and in no time you will be able to fully eliminate the junk.

My food issue is definitely ordering the wrong foods when I go out. In 2012, I really want to look at restaurant menu’s online before I go anywhere and pick a healthy option.

Mistake #2: “My new years resolution is to work out more.”

No, you can’t just simply say you’re going to work out more. It gives you too much room to let yourself slack. If you already work out one day a week, say you’re going to shoot for 3 days a week. If you already do work out a good amount, try switching up your routine a bit by attending fitness classes or trying a work out video, such as P90x. Push yourself by going out of your comfort zone. Sign up for a 5k or check local gyms to see what they’re offering. Most of the time gyms will let you try things out once for free or a small price if you’re not a member.

For this year, my goal is to run a 15k. I’ve accomplished a 10k and hope to run the marathon one day. But I want to take is one step at a time and just go for the 15k next. I don’t want to psyche myself out by going for the half marathon because I know I’ll tell myself I can’t do it. I’m going to get my confidence up with the 15k first. Also, my goal by the end of the year is to be able to do 50 consecutive pushups.

Something that helps me is writing my goals out and taping them somewhere visible where they’ll be in the back of my head. According to SELF, “Nearly one quarter of respondents in a SELF.com poll say they keep their New Year’s goal on the down low. Bad idea. We’re more likely to achieve our resolutions when we make them public.”

Resolutions aren’t meant to be stressful, they’re supposed to motivate. Use the new year as fuel to your engine that drives a new lifestyle!

Bounce Back From Post Christmas Blues

Bounce Back From Post Christmas Blues

By Monica Kucera

There’s nothing worse than waking up the morning after Christmas and saying, “Damn it, I shouldn’t have eaten all that food!” Actually, there are worse things, but you get my drift. It always seems like a great idea at the time when you’re stuffing your face with french rolls and sugar cookies, but after the fact you seriously want to kick yourself in the ass for doing that.

Before I begin, Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your holidays were great and had good family company.

The last thing you want to do after a bad night of eating is say, “I’ll get back on track in 2012,” because you’re going to get in such a rut it will be impossible

My cousin & I
My cousin & I

to get out. It’s okay that you jumped off the wagon on Christmas, but find the motivation to get back on it before it’s too late.

Start by throwing away all of the unnecessary junk in your kitchen. If you’re having a New Years Eve party and want to save some sweets, wrap them up and store them where you won’t be tempted to munch. If not, throw away the leftovers and move on.

Next, get to the gym. I’m not saying you need to do this colossal-epic workout… Just going to the gym will get your motivation going again. Remember, the past is in the past and pushing yourself to do the fastest sprints ever will leave you short of breath and with a horrible stomachache (like me). Just start with a jog and get your body back in the groove.

You can also take advantage of fitness events near you using Fitness Magazine. It’s always exciting trying new routines with new fitness instructors. It’s always cool to get new ideas that you can bring back to the gym near you.

That last thing you want to do is let yourself slack. Remember it’s okay to divulge in a few sweets, but don’t let it carry over into the new year.

Stay positive, be confident and live a healthy life!

Smart or Stupid?

Smart or Stupid?

By Monica Kucera

My friends all make fun of me for many reasons. But, there’s an ongoing joke I’ve caught on to lately.  Apparently I have an emotional attachment to Smart water. Sounds silly, actually, but I just love it! It tastes great, and, it comes in such a stylish bottle. This habit started off as something I would buy when they were on sale at Walgreens. Three for three dollars, how can you pass that up!? But, let’s get real, this occasional stop turned into buying cases at CostCo every few weeks or so. So, what’s the deal, anyway?

Smart water is a vapor distilled electrolyte enhanced water. It’s apparently the equivalent of drinking a Gatorade, but you’re getting the water “taste.” Electrolytes help prevent dehydration and that’s why it is claimed to be beneficial.

At the end of the day, I really just like the bottle because I like drinking a lot of water. Having such a big bottle forces me to consume more. They’re sturdy enough to refill and they can last me about a week! (Seriously disgusting, I know, but what’s a broke college girl to do!?)

To me, drinking a lot of water is crucial when you’re trying to lose weight. I use it as a way to hold me over when I’m feeling hungry in between meals. Also, I started drinking half of my Smart water bottle before eating meals to make me feel more full before I even eat. It helps you eat less food and make you feel satisfied quicker.

So the question is, smart or stupid? I think it’s smart 😉

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