5 Tips for Working Out Without Breaking the Bank

When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. Check out my 5 tips below:
5 tips for working out without breaking the bank

1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.

If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If  you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band. If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.

DSC_0504

2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.

Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!)  Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!

DSC_0612

3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training

Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.

SAMSUNG

Painting a fence counts, too!

4.) Be Social and know your city.

If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!

8e0522f5

I found a trail!

5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.

This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales, or free shipping for online products. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I tell them running gear,  or a running store gift card.

fabletics

 

QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?

Meal Preparation: A Key Element of a Healthy Lifestyle

Hey yall! Aint gonna lie, I am one exhausted little blogger. My flight was delayed and I didn’t get back to NOLA until 8:00 last night, and now I have to drive home this morning and start to get “back to normal”. Never fear, I plan to tell you ALL about my Under Armour experience. I am waiting on some awesome professional pics to share with my posts so it will be worth the wait! For today please show some love for this guest post from http://www.tapaslifestyle.com/.

An important key element to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is meal preparation. In other words, it just doesn’t happen by chance. In our journey to be healthier, the concept of “What should we eat on a regular basis?” came up. We wanted to use Sunday as our meal prep day, which we would cook and prepare food for the both of us for the week ahead.

We started to research ideas and noticed a big trend with quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah”. As Wikipedia states, “quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus and iron.”

We already had Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Good, and as I was thumbing through it, I saw that she used quinoa in a lot of her recipes. She states in her cookbook that quinoa is, “A must for all healthy contemporary diets, quinoa is a protein-packed grain that cooks quickly and is a wonderful canvas for all sorts of add-ins and dressings.”

clip_image002

I was interested in Gwyneth’s statement. We started out with the below recipe as a base. Then as the weeks continued we started adding different ingredients such as different kinds of beans and vegetables. We love adding lightly steamed broccoli. We try to ensure that all the ingredients we use in the recipe are organic – the quinoa, beans and vegetables.

Zesty Quinoa Salad recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com

3 cups of Perfectly Cooked Quinoa* (recipe below)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 limes, juiced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

5 green onions, finely chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt & ground black pepper to taste

clip_image004

Gwyneth instructs the best way to prepare quinoa on page 178 in It’s All Good, as stated below.

*Perfectly Cooked Quinoa

Makes 3 cups –

1 cup quinoa

1¾ cups water

Coarse sea salt

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer (although this may sound like an unnecessary step, it really makes a huge difference in flavor; since quinoa’s natural coating tastes like soap.)

Place it in a pot set over high heat with the water and a big pinch of salt. Bring the quinoa to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa’s germs look like lots of little spirals, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, place a dry paper towel between the pot and the lid, and let the quinoa sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.

In addition to the Zesty Quinoa Salad, we also prepare a crock pot full of organic chicken breasts. We purchase the organic chicken breasts and sauces at Costco. We cut the chicken into cubes and add it to the crock pot. We then add Robert Rothschild Farm’s All Natural and Gluten Free Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Sauce and All Natural Jack’s Cantina Style Salsa to the crock pot until all the chicken is covered. We stir all the ingredients together and cook on low heat for about 4 hours and it comes out delicious.

The Zesty Quinoa Salad and the crock pot chicken make up our main meal during the day while we are at work. I also bring fresh fruit, vegetables and Kind bars for snacks throughout the day. When we get home, we’ll have a lighter meal such as a salad or a light snack. We have restructured our eating habits since we met with the nutritionist at our gym. She said to eat our larger meals during the day and then taper off as the day progresses. We’ve been following the nutritionist’s suggestions and we have been very happy with the balance it has created within our lives.

It takes planning and discipline to prepare our meals every Sunday; however, we know how important it is to take care of ourselves through proper nutrition. It’s a great feeling to know that in just a few hours on Sunday, most of your meals for the week are already taken care of and all you have to do is pack it up and take it with you.

QOTD: Do you eat Quinoa? How do you prepare it?

Friday Favorites: Random Bits of Health News

 

In the past couple weeks I have been contacted by a few different companies letting me know about different products and events going on. Instead of mentioning them in their own posts, I thought I would combine them all as a Friday Favorite for you all to check out.

1.) Odwalla kid smoothies. I love when companies make healthy options specifically for kids lunchboxes, so I was thrilled when Odwalla let me know about this new product! These smoothies are a great source of vitamin C, and are natural, 100% juice. and gluten free.

odwalla

 

2.) Virtual marathon relay. Check out the website to join in a fun virtual marathon relay! It’s free to enter, and is a total of 52 miles. There are all kinds of prizes you and your team could win as well.  Don’t know someone who would want to join you? There is an option to find a team mate online as well.

3.)Fitness and Health Bloggers conference. You can still register for this awesome conference in Colorado this summer! I may or may not have something to share with you soon about this. Colorado seems like an awesome place for a fitness and health conference, and it is going to be held at a beautiful new facility with some great speakers!

fhbc

 

4.) Saucony Find Your Strong project. Strong can be found in every runner.  Personal.  Powerful.  Insanely motivating.  We find strong in others.  We find it in ourselves, and when we share it, we all get stronger. Check out the video to learn more. You could win some great prizes!

201204_find_your_strong

You may recognize this beautiful lady in the photo above!

—————————————————

Today I am busy doing some work before I go out of town with my mom and her sisters next week. Oh, I didn’t mention? I am going to Disney for a quick trip! So excited! Also, thanks for all you’re kind words on my name in Woman’s World magazine article! Yall are the best.

QOTD: What are YOU loving this Friday?

RWS Features #17

 

Good morning! I got on the Mickey Boat yesterday (The Disney Fantasy) and will be getting back to reality (and my computer!) On Monday. I hope you have been enjoying the guests posts I lined up, and I can’t wait to share pictures with you when I get back from my trip!

Today I want to introduce you to Tiffany, who blogs at Love, Sweat, and Beers. You can also find her on Twitter @LoveSweatBeers. Tiffany has managed to keep a healthy, active lifestyle since she was in school playing soccer and running cross country, and now she does all kinds of workouts to stay fit.

tiffany

1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I have always enjoyed writing, and writing about some of my hobbies and passions makes it that much more enjoyable.  It’s a wonderful outlet.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

Love, Sweat, and Beers brings together the fun and excitement that comes from nurturing your passions, getting your sweat on, and kicking back a couple of really good beers!

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

I want to continue making blog friends, enlightening others, and becoming a more well-rounded and open-minded person.

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

My biggest healthy living accomplishment is the length of time I have spent leading a relatively healthy lifestyle.  I’ve never had many health extremes, but I’ve maintained my health, weight, and fitness levels for years, and I’m proud of that.

Thanks Tiffany!

QOTD: Have you always been healthy or did you have a specific turning point in your life?

The Small Things

 

clip_image002

Hola! My name is Adventures with Alexandra and I will be your guest blogger today. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

Hey, everyone! When I’m not blogging over at Adventures with Alexandra, I am squeezing in time to eat right and workout between all of my other activities! This past week or so, I’ve been trying to come up with a list of small things one can do throughout the day to be healthier and fit. Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Take the stairs!

Classic.

 

clip_image003

Photo from here.

 

 

2. Park far away in parking lots and walk!

I recommend doing this one during the daytime only!

 

3. Wear ankle weights!

Our server the other night gave me this idea. She wears ankle weights as a workout during her shift – her doc actually recommended it!

 

clip_image005

…so you can get awesome calves like this dude!

Photo from here.

 

4. Cut meals in half immediately upon receiving the food!

One reason restaurant meals have a lot more calories when compared to home cooked meals is because the portions are huge! By cutting your food in half and boxing it, you won’t see it and feel the need to eat it…unless you’re still hungry, of course! However, I think the “out of sight, out of mind” saying will likely kick in here.

 

5. If you don’t love eating leftovers, you can split meals with others instead.

 

clip_image007

Photo from here.

 

 

6. Keep liquid calories in mind!

My mom stopped drinking sweet tea and lost 10 pounds! I gave up soda as well and try to drink as much water as possible. Don’t like the boring taste? Soak some fruit (oranges are our fav!) in water overnight…mmm, mmm good!

 

7. Pack your lunch and snacks!

Bonus points for packing them the night before! This will save you more time in the morning. I suggest throwing a water bottle, protein bar, bag of trail mix, or piece of fruit in your bag to avoid any stops by fast food restaurants and/or vending machines throughout the day.

 

clip_image008

Photo from here.

 

 

8. Drink a glass of water before each meal!

I feel like everyone always mentions this tip, but it works! Sometimes when your body thinks it’s hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water and/or chewing a piece of gum before chowing down on a big meal or snack.

 

9. Do hourly exercises!

I’ve been doing hourly exercises a lot recently and they are a great way to fit in a workout throughout the day. You’ll be surprised by what you can actually accomplish! I either do a certain pre-planned amount of reps or as many reps as I can in one minute every hour. I’ve done lunges down the hall at work, I’ve used weights from Target, I’ve done push-ups on a yoga mat I stash in the corner of my office, I’ve walked at lunch, etc!

 

clip_image010

True story.

Photo from here.

 

 

10. Plan workouts and meals ahead of time…I’m talking a week in advance!

If you can plan your workouts around your weekly social calendar, you will feel less stressed about fitting them in each day. Same goes for meals – you will know when you need to make meals in advance and/or take them with you. This will keep you from any late night fast food stops after work. It’s also good to plan ahead so you know when you need to hold off on some extra calories. For example, if you know you are going to a birthday party Friday night where there will be alcohol and birthday cake, then maybe you should hold off on diving into the sleeve of Girl Scout cookies at lunch.

 

I know Heather always has a QOTD, so here is mine – what small things do you do daily to stay healthy and fit? Let me know in the comments below!

I’d like to thank Heather for letting me take over her blog for the day. I hope she’s having a blast – I’m super jealy of her cruise! I might need to give her a call, so she can book me a Disney cruise ASAP! Also, if you have time today, be sure to check out my blog, Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for reading!

Stay fit and fabulous,

Alexandra

RWS Features #16

 

Happy St. Patrick’s day! Did you know I am part Irish? (my mom’s maiden name is Richardson). This morning Bobby and I are running the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. Then we are adding some miles to make it our long run along the beach before heading back home. I will write a full recap for next week.

Today, I want to introduce you to Lindsay. She blogs at In Sweetness and in Health. Having an out of control sweet tooth, I love her cute blog! She is in grad school right now and still somehow finds time to blog. be sure to go over and say hello!

lindsayD

1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because after reading healthy living blogs for a couple of years and loving them, I decided I wanted to create my own! I realized that I really wanted to blog because it combined two things that I love: writing and health/fitness. It took me a bit to actually start one because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do, but then I finally got up the courage and did it! I’m so glad I did :).

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

In Sweetness and In Health is essentially a blog where I can share my passion for healthy living. However, it’s not limited to the standard “healthy living” ideas. I think living a healthy life is about more than eating well and exercising. It’s about enjoying life, experiencing wonderful relationships, and doing things that you love. I try to show that in my blog.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

Honestly, I just want to have a place where I can do something that I love and share my experiences with others. Sure, it would be amazing to become well-known and write for big publications, but if it doesn’t happen that’s fine! I enjoy having a creative outlet and challenging myself in new ways!

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

I don’t really know haha. But I do always feel accomplished whenever I can help others see that living a healthy life will make you feel amazing and that it can be fun!

http://insweetnessandinhealth.com
https://twitter.com/#!/SweetNHealthy

QOTD: Any big St Patty’s day plans? Who is racing this weekend?

Childhood Obesity Vlog

 

Good morning! I am actually away/busy this weekend, but here is something fun I filmed for you yesterday before the craziness started. I decided due to some coaxing from some blends to do some more vlogs. I have some great ideas for some fun and action packed ones for when I am out of the boot, but for now you just have to listen to me talk. Smile

Today’s vlog is about something near and dear to my heart, the childhood (and college student) obesity epidemic. Hear what I have to say on the matter, and I would LOVE your feedback! I will “recap” below the post in case you don’t have speakers/don’t want to wake your entire family up by listening to my dog growl at me in my video. Enjoy!

Oh boy. Yes, my dog DOES growl to be held, like a child. Well, kids don’t growl…I hope. Anyway, as a recap:

-Obesity in children and young adults is worse than ever

-College students need better education on healthy habits and eating/exercise coming into an already overwhelming Freshman year.

-kids need to step away from the screen and go PLAY outside.

-PARENTS need to take responsibility for instilling healthy habits, and with the help of schools and the community, we need to come up with more ways to fix this problem.

QOTD: My questions for you:

1.) What can we do as a parent/teacher/member of a community do to fix this

2.) What do you already do/implement as a parent/teacher/community member to teach children and young adults healthy habits? I would love to start some discussion!

*Bloggers! If you are running Disney Princess and want to take part in a meet up please vote on the poll on my right sidebar!

*readers and bloggers, if you would like me to share a picture of your Christmas tree and or outdoor lights e mail me a picture at runningwithsass@gmail.com and your blog link (if you have one) and I will post them all as a virtual Christmas tour as we get closer to Christmas

 

…aaannnddd for your enjoyment, I present you this six second little gem. By the way, the last word I am saying (which sadly got cut off) is “fail!”