Welcome back from spring break HC Fitness readers! I hope you're feeling rejuvenated and ready for the last leg of the semester! I also hope you're ready to ramp up your workout!
Throughout this whole fitness process I have realized that some of the best advice I get is from my readers, and this week I took the opportunity to get advice from one of my best high school friends. Although she goes to college in North Carolina she is a very loyal Fram Fram to Fitness reader: Meet Katrina (in pink dress below).
She was my partner in crime in high school at Winnie’s Restaurant and Dairy Bar serving sea food and ice cream to loyal customers, my summer road trip companion to Bar Harbor, Maine, and my motivator who encouraged me to try out Track my senior year. I asked Katrina to answer some questions for Fram Fram via email, and I am thrilled with all the info she offered up. Read on Fitness Readers, for some fantastic and thorough tips, from an all around wonderful gal and friend.
HC: What are your favorite exercises for both in the gym and outside?
Katrina says: "Running is definitely one of my favorite things to do! It isn't easy to become a runner if it is something that you hate, but there are plenty of sites that can ease you into it. For instance, the couch to 5k! (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml) When it comes to running, one of the best things you can do is intervals. whether it be sprint for 30 seconds, walk for a minute, or sprint for 2 minutes and rest for thirty. For me, listening to my iPod is essential! Motivational playlists with upbeat songs can help pump you up and actually push you harder in a work out.
In terms of the gym, I see a lot of girls who hop onto the elliptical and bust out a 30 minute workout on level one. Why not push up the level so you feel more exertion? Putting more effort into the workout will raise your heart rate and help you burn more calories. I like to try different things at the gym. The stair climber is a different take on a cardio workout. And my new gym craze? The rowing machine! My first 20 minute workout resulted in my legs, core, and shoulders being sore, and being sore after a good workout is something I personally find to be one of the best feelings in the world. If you don't have time for the gym, anything works. If anything, spare 8 minutes and find an 8-minute ab workout on YouTube, or look into getting Insanity. It's a more intense version of p-90x and I can’t wait to start it."
HC: Can you recommend gym attire that isn’t too pricey? And what do you like to wear while working out?
Katrina says: "In terms of gym clothing, I've never been the name brand type. Wearing more clothes (such as long pants and sweatshirts) while working out will make you sweat more, but you have to be extremely careful in becoming dehydrated since you are sweating so much. Also, currently living in North Carolina and originally being from Maine, I break a sweat just walking to class if it's over 60 degrees outside. I couldn't imagine running all bundled up!
Target is a great place to shop! However, the stores I tear apart are Marshall's and TJ Maxx! You can find brands such as Underarmour for a quarter of the price. And I'm all for running in an old T-shirt and spandex shorts. Another important thing about fitness attire is shoes. It's incredibly important if you workout consistently to buy new shoes! You may become emotionally attached to your favorite shoes, but in reality using the same pair of shoes for more than 350 miles of exercise can lead to injuries that may sideline you for a few weeks, or possibly even longer."
HC: Are there any foods or drinks you recommend post-workout?
Katrina says: "Oddly enough, the BEST thing to drink after a workout to help your body recover is chocolate milk. I would never have thought of this myself, but playing college soccer my coach was practically pouring it down our throats. It helps replenish your body better than Gatorade or Powerade. Also, when you feel hungry after a workout, more often it is because you are thirsty. So drinking water pre-and post-workout is essential.
After working out, you may want to treat yourself with something like one, two, or five Little Debbie snacks – try to refrain from the urge! Grab some chocolate milk: it will give you the sweet flavor you may be craving, and have some water. If you still feel hungry afterwards, munch on some baby carrots or a granola bar. Give your body time to recover after the workout, but be sure to have your body fueled before the workout by having eaten a good breakfast, or at least drinking some water."
HC: What workout jams are on your iPod right now?
Katrina says: "One of my favorite songs right now is “We are Young” by Fun. It's an awesome song to workout to! I also like aything upbeat, like pop, which motivates me to run for faster and longer."
HC: Any final tips?
Katrina says: "For those who are looking to be more fit, or tone down after the freshman-15, remember: It's not healthy to be the same size you were in high school - your body is evolving! If you do think you want to lose a few pounds, and your doctor ensures you that it is healthy, you can try out: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. The site is awesome; it lets you enter your weight, what you ate throughout the day, what exercise you did etc. Therefore, you can try to meet a certain level of fat, calories, carbs, and protein for the day, it's become my new best friend."