Tag Archives: Relaxation

Back To Basics: Working Out For The FUN Of It

Hi loves!

First of all, congratulations to Germany for winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

germany

What a beautiful goal it was!

Also, I apologize for disappearing on you for the second half of last week. The truth is, I’ve been having somewhat of a workout mental block that started right after the Spartan Sprint. Not that I didn’t want or feel like working out, I was too exhausted to do anything. To make things worse, my knee felt weird. I couldn’t help but feel discouraged: the Spartan Beast is only 2 weeks away and I pretty much haven’t run over the past 2 weeks.

you don't workout

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It is easy to get overwhelmed by a demanding training schedule. Oftentimes, routine becomes too routine, and the novelty of it goes away. At some point I even got scared that I was losing my love for running… And believe me, I don’t want this to happen… EVER! So  I dug deeper to find the real root of the problem. Over the past week, instead of centering my mind on the upcoming race and being harsh on myself, I decided to focus on the following basics:

1. Getting enough sleep: In my opinion, this was the biggest issue. It seems like 6-7 hours is not enough for me. I feel best when I get closer to 8 hours of sleep. So I made a conscious effort to get to bed earlier. After all, it’s all about prioritizing, and my top priority is TO FEEL GOOD. *Read more on how to sleep better here.*

getting enough sleep

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2. Eating clean: Nobody likes to feel heavy. I’m no exception. This being said, I couldn’t help myself but feel bloated all the time. The fix was quite simple: I cut down on the amount of meat and alcohol, increased the intake of fruits and vegetables, and started controlling my portions more. The result was almost instantaneous: I FEEL AWESOME!

Here is a picture of some cherries and gooseberries from my parents backyard. They’ve got pretty much everything in there: white, red and black gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, not to mention a wide variety vegetables and plants! *Can’t wait to have my own little garden too!*

berries

In addition, I recently discovered Freekeh. This grain is packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients. And it tastes delicious. I added it to my salad instead of quinoa, and it was a nice change!

Freekeh

3. Staying hydrated: This one is pretty much self explanatory. I make it a point to drink more water throughout the day by having a water bottle next to me at all times. *Read more here to learn about dangers of dehydration, and here – to find 4 delicious favored water recipes.*

4. Relaxing: I needed it  more than I realized. So I treated myself to a nice bubble bath with candles…

bath time

Learning more about running…

reading

And, of course, treating myself to a dessert!

cupcake

5. Doing exercises that make me feel good: Yoga has been one of those things that made me feel exceptionally energized and alive recently. I won’t lie, I am sore after my yoga workouts. They make me feel strong and determined. It is an energy and confidence boost I needed.

I took it even a step further and registered myself for the EMPOWER challenge from Yoga With Adriene. *If you are interested in subscribing, you’ll have to hurry and reserve your spot by July 15, watch the video below for more information.* Can you tell I’m hooked?! *Haha!*

6. Thinking of workouts as ME-time not Jeez-I’ve-Got-To-Do-This-Again: This point is the MOST important. At least to me. Somehow we get so caught up in training for a race, competition, achieving a new PR, that we forget the initial reason why we started this fitness journey all together. Go ahead, and I ask yourself this question, ‘WHY?!’

Unfortunately, I can’t answer for you, but I can for myself. I love how being active makes me feel strong, unstoppable and healthy. It makes me feel alive. So why not go back to these basics and focus on them? It helped me!

So forget about timing yourself, tracking the distance, and just run… FOR THE FUN OF IT!

change the way you look at things

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What do you do to bring excitement back into your workouts?

xoxo
Olena

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Fitness & Happiness: Bringing The Kid Back Out Found Within

Good morning beauties… and beautifuls *LOL!*

As you can see, I am in a great mood, and my trip to the spa yesterday is largely responsible for that!

Spa Diva

I got a 50-minute Swedish massage and it felt great! The masseuse had strong hands *just the way I like it!* and really worked on my shoulders and legs. I was in heaven!

Plus what could be better than a date with a friend that you haven’t seen in a WHILE at the spa?! Girl’s time at its finest!

Everyone deserves a treat every now and then. Even Bella!

Bella's addiction to carrots

Guys!!! She is crazyyyyy about carrots! She’ll do anything for them!

There is something I’d like to discuss with you today. I’ve got a question: What happens to us when we grow up?

Last summer, as I was sitting outside in a square during my lunch break. I saw these two kids. They where having the time of their lives!

be a kid from within

Do you remember being a worry-free kid running and jumping around all day long, climbing trees, falling down, scraping knees and yet getting up laughing and continuing to run? Somehow throughout the years, we tend to lose this ability. Running and jumping becomes a chore or a to-do thing on our daily list. When we ‘fall’, we fall hard. When we get hurt, we tend to shut ourselves off as a defense mechanism.

How about going back to basics and being a kid within again? Not only will this bring in happiness  and enjoyment back into our lives, but also health and success.

i'm too blessed to be stressed

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My workout today, as per the Spartan guide, is as follows.

Cross-train: Do this outside.

Jump rope for 10 minutes.
15 walking lunges on each leg
15 push-ups
15 stone deadlifts
Belly-crawl 10 yards
10 stone squat chest-pass (hold the at chest height, squat the stone, then chest pass it as far as possible. Pick up the stone and repeat 10 times)

Repeat the cycle twice.

Super Spartan Run: 4-mile trail tempo run

Warm up 2 miles with a heart rate in zone 2;
Run 4 miles with heart rate in zone 4;
Cool down 2 miles with heart rate in zone 2.

30 sit-ups for 30 days Spartan challenge

fitness happy drug

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How do you bring your kid out from within?

xoxo
Olena

 

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Morning Yoga: Cute Bunnies & All Other Great Benefits That Come With It

It’s FUH-ridayyyyyyy! I guess, it’s needless to say but…

I love Fridays

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So ummmmm, about that workout I did on Wednesday….. my behind still hurts!!!! Ahahaha! Those damn lunges, so good and so painful! Has this ever happened to you? I mean, I REALLY underestimated the routine! Today I was really in no shape to complete a 30-minute run yesterday.

no-pain-no-gain

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I am super happy today is the rest day. My body could definitely use a break. Therefore, the only thing I really have planned is a short morning yoga routine. But then, who would say no to these super adorable bunnies?!

morning yoga

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It’s a very short routine, but I can guarantee you that you’ll be full of energy and positivity for the rest of the day, once you complete it.

According to Urban Nirvana, there are 7 benefits to practicing yoga in the morning:

  1. Yogic breathing stimulates your body and mind. *Save on coffee!* 
  2. Improves your self-esteem. *Who doesn’t like feeling accomplished?!*
  3. You will be peaceful, all day long! *Imagine! ON FRIDAY!*
  4. Get a healthy glow. *Just in time for Friday night HA!*
  5. Speeds up metabolism. *Buh-byeeee extra weight!* 
  6. Helps to build a healthy, consistent workout routine.
  7. Regulates your sleep rhythm.

for-the-love-of-yoga-620w

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Now, that’s how my weekend workout looks like.

Saturday 

– Super Spartan Trail Run: On trails (in my case, on the treadmill), run in zone 2 and the low end of zone 3 for 4 miles.
– AB 500

Sunday

Spartan Bike

Warm up for 10 minutes in zone 2.
Repeat 6 times:
– Ride 3 minutes in zone 4.
– Ride 1 minute in zone 2.
Cool down for 10 minutes.

workout motivation tip

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What are your plans for the weekend? How do you recharge your ‘batteries’?

xoxo
Olena

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The Best Restorative Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress From Indecisiveness Of Gift Shopping & What The Active Rest Day Is

I don’t know about you guys, but EVERY SINGLE TIME a holiday or a birthday comes around, I get super stressed out because I have no clue of what to buy as a gift. Like zero, nada, ZILCH! And with the Saint-Valentine’s only in 2 days, I am totally clueless… S.O.S.!!! HEEEEELP!

gift shopping

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Please, don’t misunderstand me though! Not that I don’t know my husband well enough, I actually normally have quite a few ideas of what to get for him… when there is no occasion! I always vow to myself that I will remember these ideas, and then I just forget them…

why

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I guess, I should finally learn a lesson and start writing down my ideas! *It only took me 5 years to figure that one out!*

Anyhow, since today is my rest day, I decided to take it easy and do something to calm my nerves down and hopefully come up with an idea for a gift. *Fingers crossed!* And what could be better at that than doing some restorative yoga???

The best restorative yoga poses to relieve stress

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As you know, rest days are just as important as training days. This is the time when our bodies adapt to the previous day’s workout. According to the training guide, I should make this an active rest day. Some of the suggestions are:

  • Walk to the store instead of driving,
  • Take the stairs at work,
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot,
  • Every hour take a 1-minute break and stretch

Active rest

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Now you tell me. What are your favorite restorative yoga poses? How do you prefer to spend your rest days? Also, how do you brainstorm for gift ideas?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Holidays