HTTP/1.1 200 Connection established HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2022 20:48:08 GMT Server: Apache/2.4.6 (CentOS) mpm-itk/2.4.7-04 OpenSSL/1.0.2k-fips PHP/7.4.28 X-Powered-By: PHP/7.4.28 Last-Modified: Mon, 28 Feb 2022 09:55:09 GMT ETag: "b2a33b20aa3aa13eb3df939ab79ae5fb" Link: ; rel="https://api.w.org/" Connection: close Transfer-Encoding: chunked Content-Type: application/rss+xml; charset=UTF-8 Hungry Runner https://www.hungry-runner.com Run Far, Eat Good Food Mon, 28 Feb 2022 09:55:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.2 https://www.hungry-runner.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/cropped-hungry-150x150.png Hungry Runner https://www.hungry-runner.com 32 32 Are You Suffering from Wellness Fatigue? https://www.hungry-runner.com/2015/08/08/are-you-suffering-from-wellness-fatigue/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2015/08/08/are-you-suffering-from-wellness-fatigue/#respond Sat, 08 Aug 2015 11:17:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=78 Right now, you might be thinking to yourself, WTF is wellness fatigue?

Let me explain…

Wellness fatigue happens as a result of constantly thinking about and tracking your health stats. Whether it be through simply keeping a daily log of what you eat or tracking a wide range of elements, like your daily steps, your sleep quality, your calorie intake, etc.

The best and simplest example of this is using an activity tracker like a FitBit.

The fatigue part? Well that comes into play when you become tired, overwhelmed or disheartened with constantly and relentlessly logging all of these details.

Wellness Fatigue

If you’re a huge FitBit fanatic or you love sharing your workouts on social media (like me), maybe this idea seems silly to you.

Wellness Fatigue Feelings

I’ll admit, it is a little bit silly, but not entirely because I actually recently experienced it while using an app called Rise — it pairs you with your own personal dietitian and they rate your meals on a daily basis. (There’s actually much more to it than that, but that’s the basic gist.)

You can actually read more about the app and my thoughts on it here: Can A Virtual Nutrition Coach Actually Help You Lose Weight?

Anyway, while I found a lot of value in the app and my coach Katie (yes, she had the same name as me) taught me so much and I actually felt like I was making progress and my eating habits were improving, after about three months of literally logging every single thing that I ate, I was suddenly starting to find that I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

Here’s part of what I wrote to Katie to let her know what I was thinking:

“I’m feeling like I’ve become overwhelmed with keeping track of everything I eat. I think I may need a break from it for a little while. I hope you already know that I’ve valued your feedback SO much since I signed up and I feel so much more confident in my ability to eat healthy and to do it consistently. I just have grown weary of photographing all of my meals and tracking everything I eat. Sometimes I feel like I can’t eat something just to enjoy it because I’m worrying about what kind of rating I’m going to get. And I love that you understand that there needs to be a balance and “treats” are allowed, but even knowing that, it still takes a mental toll when I log something and get a poor rating.”

And that my friends, is wellness fatigue. As least as I’ve personally experienced it.

Light Bulb Moment

Have you ever experienced anything like this? Am I just overreacting or do you think this whole wellness fatigue thing is actually a legitimate concern?

One reason I really do think it’s legitimate is because just as I was experiencing all of these feelings, I came across a pretty interesting tip that I included in a story I once did about building healthy habits that last for life.

I wrote it back in February, and my job is to write, write, write and write some more, so I had kind of totally forgotten about it. But I was going back through it for research on Friday and found this:

“Due to the accountability trends of fitness with wearable trackers, social media support groups, and post-workout selfies, we feel compelled to be working on our bodies every single day,” said Julie Stubblefield, a fat loss coach and founder of Fit Mom Revolution. “This can seriously contribute to wellness fatigue.”

She says these things can sometimes serve as a healthy form of internal pressure to keep working hard, but that it’s important to disengage when tracking, counting and reporting starts to become mentally tiring. “Yes, it is truly okay to take a week or two here and there to not stress about what’s going in your mouth or if you nailed your workouts,” Stubblefield said. “That time away from accountability is a mental and physical relief.  Additionally, those brief breaks won’t set you back or cause you to gain all that you’ve lost.  If anything, they can bring fresh insight, remind you that your body feels better when you are eating well and moving, and allow you to appreciate how far you’ve already come.”

Light bulb! Thank you Julie for helping me (and others) recognize this! As soon as I read this I thought, “She hit it right on the head. She nailed exactly how I’m feeling. It’s time for me to take a break.”

Just like your body needs rest and recovery after exercise, your brain needs some time off from begin SO engaged with healthy habits. Especially in this day and age when we’re constantly connected digitally and not to mention, frequently bombarded with images of seemingly “perfect” fitness personalities.

A Few Tips for Overcoming Wellness Fatigue

So, if you are experiencing wellness fatigue, what can you do to overcome it?

Here’s my (amateur) take in a few simple steps:

  • Identify the source. Is it a specific app or tool? Is it a certain goal that you’re working toward? Figure out what exactly it is that’s making you feel overwhelmed.
  • Once you’ve identified the source, vow to take a break from it.
  • Establish parameters for that break. Determine how much time you would like away from whatever it was that’s making you feel overwhelmed. If you still feel like you’re not ready to go back to it after that period of time, maybe you either need to extend the break or if you’re really not enthused by the idea, maybe it’s time to find a new approach–something you’ll enjoy more — or, maybe you don’t need it at all. Explore all possible options!
  • If and when you do reconnect, be mindful. Pay attention to how you feel and make sure that you’re feeling good about your health and fitness routine as a whole.

Would you all add anything else to this list? Let me know!

As for me, well I’m still on my break from Rise and I’ve vowed to make it indefinite as of right now. If I feel like I want to go back, I will. But if not, then I won’t. It’s really that simple.

Now, I want to hear from you! As I mentioned earlier, I want to know if you all have ever experienced wellness fatigue? If so, what, if anything, did you do about it?

I think this is an important topic, so leave a comment and let me know what you’re thinking!

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Good Running Shoes: How to Find Running Shoes that are Right for You https://www.hungry-runner.com/2015/08/02/good-running-shoes-how-to-find-running-shoes-that-are-right-for-you/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2015/08/02/good-running-shoes-how-to-find-running-shoes-that-are-right-for-you/#respond Sun, 02 Aug 2015 09:53:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=93 How do you find good running shoes? Well, it’s pretty simple and easy as long as you know a few basic ground rules.

Just like with running apps, I very frequently am asked, “What are the best running shoes?” or “What running shoes are your favorite?”

How to choose good running shoes

While it’s not necessarily “hard” to find good running shoes in the sense that there are so many different top-quality running shoes available, these are still hard questions to answer because quite frankly, the answer is different for everyone. And just because I personally like a pair of running shoes, doesn’t mean they’re right for you.

I’ve actually written about how to choose good running shoes in the past (waaaay back in 2012), but since this is a pretty important running topic, and since Daniel Ayers from the extremely helpful running and fitness blog, Walk Like a Butterfly, kindly shared a very detailed infographic that outlines each important step in the process, I wanted to revisit it.

Before we get to the infographic, though, I want to re-highlight what I personally think are the two most important steps when it comes to finding and purchasing good running shoes.

OK, now that we’ve got those two important steps covered, check out this infographic to learn some of the more in-depth details you may want to know about before heading to the store!

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Easy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/12/07/healthy-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/12/07/healthy-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies/#respond Sat, 07 Dec 2013 06:46:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=68 I only say this like everyday, but I love easy recipes. The kind that involve only a handful of ingredients and take 30 minutes or less from start to finish. Unless it’s for a special occasion, I normally don’t have the patience (or the cooking expertise) to spend like nine hours in the kitchen whipping up some kind of gourmet concoction.

Easy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Now, there are all different types of easy recipes, but my favorite kinds are dessert recipes. Because let’s be honest, if there’s no dessert after dinner (or at any time of the day, actually), well that’s a major problem as far as I’m concerned. So since these cookies are both those things, obviously I had to share the recipe.

They came about when I very randomly decided to experiment with a recipe posted by Instagram user Healthy Hayls. She made them using only oats and mashed banana as the base, but I added a few extra ingredients to make them a tiny bit more cookie like. Check out the recipe below, try it for yourself, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!

(P.S. They’re vegan and gluten free, too!)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 T creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the mashed banana to the dry ingredients and then the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  • Stir everything together until all the ingredients are blended and you reach a thick batter-like consistency.
  • Scoop spoonfuls of the dough onto an oiled cookie sheet (I made about 12 cookies) and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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25-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/09/11/upper-body-weight-lifting-workout/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/09/11/upper-body-weight-lifting-workout/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:16:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=56 Happy Hump Day, Hungry Readers! In keeping the Workout Wednesday tradition, I have a very special gift for you all in the form of a new 25-minute upper body #QuickLift workout. (See image above.)

Except for the first exercise (the lat pulldowns), all you need to complete this workout is a few pairs of dumbbells and a resistance band. If you don’t use or have access to a gym, simply substitute the lat pulldowns with a two dumbbell bent-over row.

25-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout

Before you start, a few things to note: 

  • The first two exercises, use HEAVY weights if you’re in the gym and have access to them. If you’re at home and only have lighter weight dumbbells, increase the number of reps to 15, 20, or even 25. Make sure your muscles are really burning by those last few reps!
  • Instead of 30 seconds rest between sets for the resistance band exercises, you’ll be doing some core work. If you can’t use a captain’s chair you can easily preform the leg lift exercise on the floor and replace the captain’s chair knee tuck exercises with a bicycle crunch.
  • The last three exercises are higher reps, so you can switch to slightly lighter weights. Light enough so that you can complete 15-20 reps, but heavy enough so that it burns by the end.

Got it? Good!

This workout is a complete upper-body routine targeting your back, chest, bicep, tricep, and shoulder muscles. Try including it in your routine 1-2 times a week (on non-consecutive days) to build upper-body strength and endurance.

Last week, on my Tumblr page, I was talking about how after weeks of struggling with 8 and 10 reps, I was finally able to press 30lb. dumbbells for 12 reps. It was amazing how I walked into the gym that day, picked up the weights, and they suddenly felt just a little bit lighter. It reminded me of the importance of staying focused and dedicated because even though it takes longer than we’d like, our hard work does pay off.

So, remember… Set measurable goals for yourself and then start chipping away at them, one step at a time. Never forget that it takes time and dedication. You have to be persistent and work at it every day. I know how easy it is to get discouraged when you don’t see or feel results after just one or two workouts. But that’s not how it works.

We all want instant gratification (and with working out you do get it a little bit because you will definitely ALWAYS feel AWESOME after a sweat sesh), but depending on what your goals are and where you’re starting out it might take weeks, months, or even years. Don’t let that discourage you though. Let it be your motivation, because the feeling of accomplishing what you set out to achieve is always worth it.

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How To Make Fitness Fun And Stay Motivated To Exercise + A Fun Fit Bodyweight Workout https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/08/11/how-to-make-fitness-fun-exercise-motivation/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/08/11/how-to-make-fitness-fun-exercise-motivation/#respond Sun, 11 Aug 2013 13:18:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=10 Finding the fun in fitness isn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s absolutely possible and something that I want to inspire everyone to do. I encourage others to find exercises that they love, activities and sports that will continue to keep them coming back for more on a daily basis. That way, keeping up an exercise routine feels less like a chore that you have to force yourself to do and more like a fun hobby that you look forward to. 

After high school, when I stopped swimming competitively, exercise was no longer a regular part of my routine and it took me quite some time to get back in the groove again. Eventually, I discovered that I love to run. Soon after, I decided to give yoga a try, and to my surprise, found that it was another activity that I really enjoyed. And even though I’d much rather be running or practicing on my mat, over time I’ve grown to enjoy lifting weights in the gym every now and then too. So I create a balance and fit all three into my exercise routine. This way I’m constantly challenging my body in different ways and the chances that I’ll become bored are pretty slim. (And of course, I still try other new exercises every now and then!)

How To Make Fitness Fun And Stay Motivated To Exercise

That’s  what works for me, and it took a lot of trial and error before I figured it out. At first, I didn’t love running. In fact, I hated it. But I stayed consistent, pushed passed that “beginner struggle” that comes with trying out any new exercise, and eventually came to fall in love with the sport.

The key word here though is trial. In order to find the fun in fitness, you have to try new things. And that doesn’t mean deciding that you hate Zumba after just one class. Sign up for something that you think you might enjoy (or hey, maybe even something you think you might totally hate) and stick to it for a few weeks. You might fall in love or you might not. If you don’t, start over again with something new. Eventually you will find your one true exercise love. And the best part is, the entire time you’ll be maintaining an active lifestyle and as a result, improving your health and fitness.

To celebrate finding the fun in fitness, and so that I could test out Puma’s new PowerCELL Tech ACTV Compression Tights, I created a workout that incorporates all my favorite forms of exercise. Running, yoga, and strength training. This is a workout you can do anywhere (even at the beach!) without any equipment, so I want you all to gear up and come get sweaty with me! When you’re finished, you can scroll down to read my review of the Puma tights.

Let’s go!

– Fun Fit Bodyweight Workout-

Repeat each circuit 3 times. Complete 20 reps for each exercise, alternating right and left for exercises utilizing both sides of the body. No rest between exercises. 20 seconds rest between circuits.

If I’m being honest, when I first got my hands on these new Puma pants, I was skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, I like my high-tech active wear just as much as the next fitness freak, but at a first glance I wasn’t quite convinced of the benefits that were being touted on the product’s label.

The tights are geared for high performance and endurance sports. They are made of Lycra, an elastic fabric designed to enhance athletic performance by providing muscle support and freedom of movement. The most important feature of the PowerCELL ACTV tights though, is the strategically placed athletic tape on the inside of the garment, incorporated for the purpose of micro-massaging the skin during exercise, which according to the label can “help maximize your workout and energy supply.”

After reading all of the above information on the label, I was instantly reminded of my days as a swimmer. During competitions, I would wear a special suit called a Fastskin. It was also made of Lycra and designed to mimic sharkskin. These suits were tight, extremely hard to get on and off, and were definitely not the most comfortable of swimming attire. I thought that if these tights were going to be anything like that then (at least for me) they would be more hassle than they were worth. Because when it comes down to it, it’s the athletes performance that matters most. If you don’t put in the time and effort, if you don’t work hard, it doesn’t matter what kind of gear you have. You can’t perform well unless you work hard. In other words, you can’t rely solely on gear that promises better performance to do the work for you.

A Fun Fit Bodyweight Workout

Some of my initial thoughts were that they were going to be super hard to put on, that they would feel really uncomfortable (especially while working out in the heat of summertime), and that they would be hard to take off (the tape is sort of sticky) after I was finished working out and had sweat in them.

But all of that was just my skepticism. To my surprise, the tights turned out to be quite comfy. Of course, putting them on isn’t as easy as slipping on a pair of shorts, but the packaging comes with directions to show where on your legs the tape should line up, and I found the process to be pretty simple and straight forward. However, I did need to adjust them slightly to make up for my short stature. I am five feet tall and a size small is about an inch or so too long for me. (Curse my short legs!)

Working out in them was comfortable. I ran in them on two occasions, once during the extremely hot heat wave that we experienced in New York back in July, and again during the evening in much cooler temperatures. I was really surprised at a how light they are. Even in super sweltering heat I felt comfortable running in them despite the fact that they are full-length tights, which is not an option I would typically agree to run in at any time during the summer.

My fist run in them didn’t go so well, but that was because of me, not the tights. I was sore, my left IT band had been bothering me, and ultimately the workout failed. I wasn’t able to concentrate on the tape and how it felt.

But my second run with them was much better. I found that they were actually beneficial in that I could feel the tape moving and massaging my skin in different ways depending on how I altered my gate. I found this extremely helpful because it forced me to pay more attention to my form and reminded me to adjust my body when something didn’t feel in place.

I don’t think that these are a MUST HAVE piece of active wear, you can certainly be a successful runner without them and I’m not 100% convinced of their “performance enhancing” abilities, but they’re definitely helpful and most certainly comfortable. If anything, I would recommend them for more serious runners and athletes who are training for competitions.

Just like I used to wear my Fastskin suit during swimming competitions, I am excited to try these tights during a race. I think they’ll be a great piece of gear to put to use on the day of a big race day that I’ve been training hard for. If nothing else, they’ll at least provide a little bit of a mental and psychological boost.

In addition to the Power Plus compression tights, Puma also sent a pair of Formlite XT Ultra Fluo sneakers for me to test out.

The Formlite XT’s are designed for aerodynamics and flexibility. Despite being super lightweight, they provide a ton of cushioning, stability, and comfort. They are also designed for breathe-ability, which makes for a perfect summertime sneaker. I haven’t tried running in the them because they are a tiny bit too minimalistic for my needs. However, I really like them for walking in and as a cross training shoe for when I’m working out in the gym. I especially like them for summer because I found that they’re comfortable enough to wear without socks!

All in all, this is definitely gear that I will continue to train with. BRB, going to make more room in my closet. 

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Does Social Media Help Or Hurt Health And Fitness? https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/06/24/how-social-media-influences-health-and-fitness/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/06/24/how-social-media-influences-health-and-fitness/#respond Mon, 24 Jun 2013 13:28:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=18 As a self-proclaimed social media and blogging addict, it’s really quite baffling how hard it was for me to begin writing this post. How does social media influence health and fitness? I asked myself that same question over and over again, each time feeling like I just couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer because personally, it has a very profound influence on my day-to-day routine and therefore, my health and fitness too.

So, I brainstormed a little bit. And this word cloud that looks like it was created by a five-year-old is what I came up with.

Does Social Media Help Or Hurt Health And Fitness?

As juvenile as it may be, it helped me figure out that while I love social media, and think that it’s a great tool for helping keep up with a healthy lifestyle, it has the ability to negatively effect health and fitness too. But in the end, as long as it doesn’t become something that overwhelms our lives, I think that the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Below I’ve hashed out both the positive and negative ways that I feel social media influences my own health and fitness.

Pros:

– It keeps me accountable for both my workouts and my meals: I love sharing my recipes and healthy meal ideas on Instagram. Having a log or some type of food diary (weather it be visual or a list) helps keep me accountable for what I’m eating. If I look back at my Instagram feed at the end of the week and see more pictures of ice cream and cookies than I do vegetables and fruit, it tells me I need to step my healthy eating habits back up to the next level.

The same goes for working out. Weather I went for a run, took a yoga class, or lifted some weights at the gym, I like to share my weekly workouts with you all on Facebook and Tumblr and Instagram. If too much time goes by and I haven’t shared a workout, not only do I know that I’ve probably skipped a few sweat sessions, but you guys do too. And while it’s certainly OK to miss a workout here and there or take a rest day, I definitely don’t want to give off the message that slacking off all of the time is OK. 😛 Of course, no one is perfect, but when other’s are paying attention and also holding you accountable, you’re much more likely to do a better job so you can impress your friends and yourself too!

– It connects me with likeminded lovers of fitness: Thanks to social media, I have met and become friends with so many inspiring and just generally wonderful friends… Most of whom also happen to love health and fitness. Friends support us and make us happy, and happiness is an important part of being healthy.

– It forces me to think critically and analyze everything I read: There is a TON of information about health and fitness on the web. Like, more than is even fathomable. Unfortunately, a lot of it is un-trustworthy, false, misleading, or stereotypical. (Memes that perpetuate awful stereotypes, gender inequality, and silly fitness myths are among some of my least favorite things.) When using social media as a tool for health and fitness, it’s important to keep an open mind and to fact check everything that you read. Some people are just out there to make a buck, and they’ll come up with some pretty crazy stuff to try and sell you their “miracle products” or whatever it is they’re trying to get you to buy. Luckily though, there are reliable sources out there too. Like GreatistThe ExercistSavannah Rose… And the list goes on. But those are just a few of my personal favorites.

– It allows me to be a source of information, motivation and inspiration: My number one goal is to inspire others to live their healthiest lives.When I left my social media marketing desk job, it was ultimately because I wanted to do something that would make a difference in other people’s lives. Of course, as a personal trainer, I have the opportunity to do that in real life. But social media and blogging allows me to amplify my message and share my knowledge with more people than I could have ever imagined reaching. When one of you emails me or comments to say that you tried one of my workouts or that your dinner was inspired by one of my recipes, I smile for like five minutes straight. My reaction looks like a combination of all of the following…

– It serves as a source of motivation and inspiration: Not only does social media let me share my health and fitness journey, but of course there are millions of other runners and lifters and healthy-recipe-makers out there sharing their stories too. I can follow along with them and they inspire and motivate me to eat well and exercise everyday. Everyone needs outside sources of motivation and inspiration. There is an enormous community of loving people who will encourage you, support you, cheer you on, and help pick you back up if you fall out there, and that’s something that anybody and everybody who is on a health and fitness journey definitely needs.

Cons:

– It is addicting: One word. Time-suck. If I didn’t implement limits for myself, I’d be checking my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds 24/7. Literally. Remember how I was just talking about the fact that I LOVE hearing from you guys? Well yeah, that also makes social media like a drug, because I’m always looking out for the next comment or checking to see weather or not Jillian Michaels messaged to say she wants to collaborate with me yet. (One day… one day! ;)) I also love creating content for you all, and social media makes it so I can do that anywhere at anytime. Which is both a blessing and a curse. Being in front of the computer or on your phone all day is definitely not healthy. And I especially find (and studies have proven) that using electronics before bed has a negative effect on my ability to fall asleep and my sleep cycle. (Good, quality sleep is necessary for total health.) So I make sure to set aside time for disconnecting during the day and try (it’s so hard) to shut down at least an hour before bed each night.

– Its graphic-heavy nature fosters a “comparative” mindset: I’ll be the first to tell you not to compare yourselves to others. That’s a message that I and all of my favorite fitness bloggers and personalities put out there almost everyday. And while it’s true that you shouldn’t, because it gets you nowhere and is probably one of the most counterproductive ways to use your energy, I’d be lying if I said I never did it myself. We all do it, and if our social media feeds are filled with photos of the fittest of the fit, the fastest of the fast, and the strongest of the strong, it fosters an environment that makes it so easy for us to indulge the habit.

Raise your hand if you’ve scrolled past a picture and thought something along the lines of, “I wish my abs looked like that,” or “If only my arms looked more muscular.” If you didn’t just raise your hand, you’re a liar. It’s ok to have these thoughts, it’s human nature. But when we use social media all of the time and are constantly being bombarded by all different kinds of images we have to remember to consider them more as a source of motivation and inspiration, rather than using them to compare ourselves to what we think we’re not or what we wish we could be.

So, it looks like (for me at least) the good outweighs the bad.

And in case you’re wondering, here is a list of my favorite social media tools for health and fitness:

1. Instagram: I am that guy who must take a picture of every one of my meals to post on Instagram. Some people hate that guy, but I don’t care. Instagram is a gold mine full of healthy eating inspiration and I love both contributing to and benefiting from it. The same goes for workout motivation. Everyone makes fun of the dudes who update their social media every time they go to the gym, but those people are actually just jealous that they’re not there working out with them. I love trying workouts that others share on Instagram and I love sharing mine with everyone else. And all of the same can be said for Tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest.

2. MapMyRun and Cruise Control Run: My two favorite run-tracking apps. Read more about MapMyRun here and more about Cruise Control here.

3. MyFitnessPal: I don’t always count my calories, but it was a method that really helped me while I was first trying to lose weight and something that I employ if I feel like I’m slipping off track with my eating habits. MyFitnessPal is a super-simple calorie tracker and food diary that helps you keep track of your weight loss goals.

4. Nike Training Club: Plain and simple, this app is great for exercise beginners and advanced fitness freaks alike. It has almost every exercise you could ever want to know about, pre-planned workouts, a community with awards and points that makes it fun and rewarding, and best of all, video explanations for all of the exercises so you can learn to do them right.

Now I want to hear from you!

How does social media effect your health and fitness? Can you think of any more pros or cons to add to the list? And what are your favorite tools and apps?

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I Tried A New Exercise! AntiGravity Yoga at Studio Anya https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/03/24/antigravity-yoga-studio-anya-review/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/03/24/antigravity-yoga-studio-anya-review/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2013 06:29:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=62 AntiGravity yoga. OK, I know it sounds kind of crazy, but it’s a real thing! It’s a fairly new form of yoga (created in 1990), and yes,  it is every bit as fun and impressive as its name makes it sound.

I tried it for the first time ever on Friday with The Holding Space at Studio Anya. It was one of the most playful and relaxing yoga classes I’ve ever taken and I really can’t wait until the next time I can take another class! For my first time around, I signed up for the restorative class (described as “the gentle, deep stretching, healing side of AntiGravity Yoga“) so that I could learn the ropes in an easy going, slow-paced environment. It’s important to take it slow and be gentle when learning a new kind of exercise.

You know, especially when you’re going to be hanging upside down and stuff 😉

Antigravity Yoga

I Tried a New Exercise! The 411:

What: Restorative AntiGravity Yoga.

AntiGravity yoga classes incorporate a floating hammock (the purple thing I am hanging from in the photo above) to allow for greater spinal decompression, enhanced weight resistance, and deeper stretching. The atmosphere and feel is extremely similar to a typical yoga class, only traditional poses are modified in order to work with the hammock.

Where: Studio Anya at West 24th street between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

The studio is exquisitely clean and beautifully decorated. It’s not a traditional yoga space, but it totally works. It’s unique in that it includes a small kitchen where you can enjoy some healthy snacks and a cup of tea! In addition to their AntiGravity yoga classes, they also offer a handful of other options including AntiGravity and traditional Pilates classes.

Antigravity Yoga

Instructor: Joy

Joy was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The classes are small (about 6 people) and allow for a lot of individual attention and assistance.

I tried it. Did I like it?: Yes! I really enjoyed the class for the fact that it put a completely new spin on a familiar and favorite exercise. I’m always talking about how you should try new things and explore to find the exercises that you love, yet lately I’ve been so glued to my running and weight lifting routine that I haven’t strayed from the norm for quite some time. Not to mention I’ve totally been neglecting my love for yoga. Not cool!

My favorite part about the class was how playful it was. Hanging and swinging in the hammock made me feel like a kid on a swing set. Depending on what kind of studio you go to and who your instructor is sometimes you’ll be reminded, but yoga (and all exercise in general) is supposed to be fun and make you smile. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the time that aspect of it is lost, so this was a really refreshing breath of fresh exercise air.

The class began with a breathing meditation in what’s called “womb pose,” which simply requires that you sit in a cross legged position in the center of the hammock. When you do this, you’re completely elevated off of the ground and the hammock sort of engulfs you, and not in an overbearing way, just so that it’s literally like you are in a womb. It sounds a little ridiculous, and I’ll be honest, I felt a little ridiculous at the time (I was laughing internally), but honestly it is one of the coolest, most relaxing feelings ever to just float there and focus on your breathing. It actually feels like you are levitating. Like magic!

As I mentioned earlier, the restorative class was very easy-going, so if you’ve never tried AntiGravity yoga it’s a great place to start and get your body accustomed to the hammock.

Antigravity Yoga

Would I do it again? Absolutely! I’d definitely love to take the restorative class again, especially at the end of the week when I’m in need of some good rest and relaxation. And when I want to get a great yoga or strength workout, I can’t wait to give the traditional AntiGravity yoga and Pilates classes a try!

Calorie Burn: Unknown. I took off my heart rate monitor and watch before the beginning of class because it’s recommended that you remove all watches and jewelry so they do not snag the hammock. If I had to guesstimate, I’d say I burned about 100 calories, if that. The class is one hour and fifteen minutes long but I doubt my heart rate went above 80 or 90 beats per minute for the entire time. So, the restorative class is better for relaxing and meditating. But if you’re looking for a big calorie burn, I would imagine that the traditional AntiGravity Yoga and Pilates classes are challenging and will work up a sweat.

Would you try AntiGravity Yoga?

*Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or endorsed post. However, the kindhearted yogis of The Holding Space did offer a discount on my first class with them. I was not obligated to write about it and all thoughts and opinions above are my own.

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10 Reasons to Add Coconut Oil to Your Diet https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/01/06/health-benefits-coconut-oil/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2013/01/06/health-benefits-coconut-oil/#respond Sun, 06 Jan 2013 10:54:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=50 I know, I’ve been talking your ears off about coconut oil lately. In fact, I just gave a 32oz. jar of it away to a very lucky reader.

Sarah was the winner of my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway. Everybody say, “Happy coconut oil cooking, Sarah!”

So, the reason I can’t stop yapping about coconut oil is because including it in your diet comes with a lot of great benefits (besides making food taste really good). And if you decide to start cooking with it more often, you might as well get the 411 on all of the amazing things it can do for you and your body.

10 Reasons to Add Coconut Oil to Your Diet

Coconut oil is not only a super-healthy alternative to other oils that are commonly used for cooking and baking, but it can also be used as a moisturizer for skin, a shine treatment for hair, and the list goes on and on.

I love that there are a lot of really cool things that coconut oil can be used for, but since we all know I like talking about food the most, I’m going to share my top 10 reasons why coconut oil should be added to your diet. Especially for runners, athletes, people with weight loss goals, and well actually… Just everyone in general!

1. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Coconut oil is known for improving thyroid function, which in turn boosts metabolism and increases energy and endurance levels. (What up my fellow runners?! How about some coconut oil before that long-distance run?)

2. Belly Fat Blaster: A study from 2009 revealed that a group of women who regularly consumed 30 milliliters of coconut oil for 12 weeks were not only more easily able to maintain their weight, but also more efficient at burning abdominal fat, which we all know is the most stubborn kind.

3. Fountain of Youth: Coconut oil stops the process of oxidation. This is good because oxidation breaks down the healthy fats and tissues in the body, which encourages the process of aging.

4. Immune System Insurance: Remember before when I mentioned that coconut oil fights oxidation? Well, rigorous exercise triggers oxidation. And since oxidation breaks down healthy fats and tissues, our bodies ability to fight off illness is weakened when we exercise. Coconut oil is a great immunity booster, especially for athletes who are more prone to a weakened immune system as a result of intense training.

5. Oh-so-Satiating: The healthy fats in coconut oil keep its consumers feeling fuller for longer, which prevents overeating. One study showed that adding medium chain triglycerides, like coconut oil, to the participants diet caused them to spontaneously reduce their daily caloric intake by 256 calories. (AKA: Lose weight the natural way!)

6. Medium-chain Triglycer-whats?: Coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (or medium chain fatty acids). It’s a kind of fat that’s made up of 6-10 carbon molecules and is therefore used by the body as energy immediately (just like carbohydrates), unlike oils that are made of long chain fatty acids, which are more likely to be stored as fat.

7. Take care of your tummy: Coconut oil has been shown to ease digestion. It can be especially helpful for Runners and athletes who experience stomach upset as a result of training. (Don’t pretend like you’ve never experienced THAT before, runners.)

8. Heart Healthy: A few studies have shown that coconut oil may increase HDL (good) cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.

9. Best Friend to Blood Sugar: Regular intake of coconut oil can improve the body’s use of insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. This is important because it increases your body’s ability to more effectively at break down and use sugar as energy.

10. Tastier Treats: Like I said before, it’s so fragrant and flavorful that it turns any food you add it to into The Most Exquisite Item You’ve Ever Eaten. There are no “official studies” to prove this, but I’ve done plenty of experimenting in my own kitchen and have a few exhibits to back my standings. See: “4 Easy Coconut Oil Recipes”.

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Creamy Greek Yogurt Guacamole https://www.hungry-runner.com/2012/09/21/easy-guacamole-recipe/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2012/09/21/easy-guacamole-recipe/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2012 07:00:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=71 When life hands you avocados… Make guacamole!

OMG, cliche! I know. But I had to. I just had to go there.

Plus, why is that not the saying? Avocados are so much cooler than lemons and I’d rather have guacamole over lemonade any day.

Having this homemade guacamole on hand during a busy week to easily throw atop your lunch or add as a side to your dinner is so convenient it’s ridiculous.

And much better than having a pitcher of lemonade in your fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good glass of fresh, homemade lemonade. But you can’t dip chips in it or use it to top your veggie pita pocket, soooo… Gucamole takes the cake in my book.

Life, stop handing out lemons and start handing over some avocados.

Now, please.

Note: This will yield about four, 2 tablespoon sized servings. To make more at once, just double the ingredients!

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and mashed (the more ripe, the better)
  • 1/4 large tomato, diced
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion pieces
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 T corn kernels (fresh from the cob or from a can)
  • 2 generous T plain Greek yogurt
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper

What to do

  1. Cut up the avocado and mash it well until it forms a pasty mixture
  2. Add the Greek yogurt to the avocado mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. Toss in the remaining ingredients and mix until everything is well blended.
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Hungry Running Recap: Run Somewhere You Love And Do What Makes You Happy https://www.hungry-runner.com/2012/09/13/hungry-running-recap-run-somewhere-you-love/ https://www.hungry-runner.com/2012/09/13/hungry-running-recap-run-somewhere-you-love/#respond Thu, 13 Sep 2012 08:33:00 +0000 https://www.hungry-runner.com/?p=88 A lot of people ask me how I stay motivated to run on a consistent basis. Most of the time I’ll say it’s because I love it, which is true. I really do enjoy running. It’s that simple.

But even so, there are certainly times when I know that I should go out for a run, but really just don’t want to. It’s nothing personal against running, I just don’t feel like it. We all have those days. And that’s fine.

Yesterday wasn’t one of those days, though. In fact, yesterday I couldn’t wait to lace up my sneakers and go. And that’s because I got to run here.

And discover picturesque little parks like this one here.

It was such a gorgeous day out, I felt like I was on vacation. I’m pretty sure every other New Yorker in the park felt that way too.

This dude definitely did.

My point is. If you find fun, pretty, exciting places to run, you’ll actually look forward to hitting the road for a few miles. And this concept doesn’t only apply to running.

Not everyone was meant to be a runner. Some people will just never enjoy it, I know. But if you find a type of exercise, whatever it may be, that you love, it will always keep you coming back for more. Then, finding that motivation to get up and get at it everyday won’t be so hard.

Exercise should never feel like a chore. It should be enjoyed. There’s really no need to grit your teeth through an entire workout just because you “need to burn the calories” or “get in your 30 minutes for the day.” Why force yourself to do something if you’re not gonna have fun? It’s your free time that you’re using to exercise, you might as well enjoy it!

What’s your favorite way to exercise?

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