Friday, December 30, 2011

Eat Healthy

It's so important to eat healthy. These last few weeks have been tough, but I think i've handled the sweets rush quite well. As you're thinking about your goals for the new year make clean eating one of them.

My eat healthy lunch for the day.

Garden Greens Sandwich:

Cucumber slices
Tomato slices
Artichoke hearts
Spring mix
Hummus spread
Sun-dried Tomato pesto spread
Two slices whole grain bread

Pair this sandwich with an apple (my favorite are honeycrisp apples) for the ultimate power punch and to help fill you up!

Delicious and nutritious!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Personal Trainer Benefits

Often it's hard enough to afford a gym membership, let alone personal training sessions. I know I don't have extra money to spend on weekly personal trainer sessions, but I recently had the opportunity to have a session with one of the trainers at my gym and I was pleasantly surprised.

The trainer I spoke to was incredibly knowledgable and had many new exercises and ideas to share with me about training. He listened to my goals and created a training program to help me improve my tennis game. I loved being able to tap into someone else's knowledge and learn more about training and improving my body.

Here are some options if you are thinking about getting a second opinion on your training goals:

  • Set up one or two sessions with a trainer at your gym so that you can get new exercises to do and apply their suggestions to your current routine.
  • Check out the many exercise apps for your phone, ipad, or tablet. My favorite is the Nike Training Club app for iphone. It is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. It provides workouts and video demonstrations so you can see the exercise they are asking you to do and gauge your form. And best of all, it's free!

  • Check out a few classes at your gym like strength training or TRX classes to give you new moves to work on in your personal workouts.
  • Get a workout buddy and plan different workouts with each other. Alternate days in which you each plan a workout and teach each other different exercises. 
Remember to keep mixing up your workouts and teaching your body new drills every few weeks so you keep your body guessing and keep those muscles growing. Good luck and happy training! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hydration Questions Answered

Often when I see people at the gym working out they are toting their traditional sports drink alongside them. I admit I have done this as well, but before you go out and spend a fortune on the newest gatorade or electrolyte drink take these points into consideration.

  1. Sports drinks are loaded with extra sugar and calories that you do not need, in fact, if you are working out less than an hour or at a low intensity water will be just fine and much better for your body. After all, do you really want to reverse all the progress you made with your workout by replenishing those calories from sugar in your sports drink?
  2. If you are working out longer than an hour or at a high intensity a sports drink may be necessary because water alone cannot replace the sodium you are losing. 
  3. Sports drinks taste better than water so you will be more likely to hydrate yourself during the workout.
Alternatives to sports drinks are:
  • Traditional water - for shorter, less intense workouts
  • Coconut water - packed with 5 essential electrolytes and as much potassium as a banana, coconut water can rehydrate as well as the leading sports drink without the sugar and calories. It tastes great too! (I recommend VitaCoco). 
  • Lemon water - if you like your water flavored but don't need the extra calories 

As always, it is up to you to gauge the intensity and needs of your body during a workout, but if you want to cut down on extra calories try one of the alternatives. You just might find that you like it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fitness Staycation

Staying active after Christmas is sometimes harder than it should be. When I start to feel the slow downward pull of the post Christmas blues I know that is when I need to go to the gym the most. This coming week I am taking a fitness vacation. I am trying classes at the gym that I normally couldn't take because I am at work and jumpstarting my New Years resolution fitness goals.

What have I learned so far:

  1. Spin class is no joke and is a total body workout. I was huffing and puffing halfway through this class and I loved every minute of it. I burned 450 calories in a one hour class. Also, Spin is  a low impact class that provides a killer calorie burn. Definitely worth trying. 
  2. Yoga class can provide my body with a challenge unlike any other fitness challenge I have experienced and it is definitely a new staple for my gym experience. I recently had an injury due to decreased mobility and am doing yoga to get back to running soon. I am already feeling more flexible. 
  3. Weight training classes can provide me with that extra push to lift a little more and introduce new moves that I can work into my personal weight training routine. 
  4. While I always looked at group classes with a bit of skepticism, I now realize the benefits of sharing fitness with a group of other like minded fitness fanatics. It is motivating as well as challenging. 
I challenge you to try a new class at the gym. You'll feel the benefits right away, it is a great cross-training opportunity and you can get some great instruction and ideas without paying the high fee for a personal training session.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Exercises for the Family

This is me after a trail hike sporting my Nike gear! 

The holidays have arrived and sometimes it is hard to fit in a trip to the gym when relatives from across the country are crashing on your living room floor. This year turn your exercise time into time with the family. Here are some fun activities to do with you family and friends that will get you moving without feeling like exercise. 

1. Go on a hike through the woods, or go on a trail run. Not only will this up your heart rate and burn off those Christmas cookies and holiday parties, but it is also a great way to relax the mind and body. Nature has a way of healing the soul and a brisk walk through the woods may be just the thing you need to get your mind off crazy aunt Gertrude and back into the Christmas spirit.

2. Go sledding. Trudging through snow and climbing up and down hills is a MAJOR calorie burn. So grab the kids and some inner tubes and head for the nearest snow covered hill. You'll be having a blast in no time! Only an hour could torch up to 600 calories!

3. Take a few extra laps around the mall when finishing up your Christmas shopping. You'll feel better about yourself once your heart is pumping and you will be less likely to stop in the chocolate shop if your are speed walking by rather than merely taking a stroll and window shopping. 

4. Do 10 jumping jacks and squats in the fitting room in between trying on clothes. Every small movement counts and this is an easy place to get in a few quick leg strengthening drills. Plus it'll make you feel like you have earned your purchases because of all your hard work.

5. Do lunges around the kitchen while baking. Every time you take a dish out of the cupboard or go to the oven lunge your way there, you'll be surprised how quick you feel the burn! Tired of  lunges, then power press your rolling pin over your head. It's your kitchen, make up a workout...squats while mixing, back kicks, it's up to you! (Just be careful of sharp objects and be aware of the space around you)

I hope you are all with family and friends this Christmas and enjoying yourselves. Merry Christmas everyone, I hope these simple tips helped. Let me know if you did any of them and how they turned out in the comments below! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nike Brand Marketing

Nike does all the right things in Brand Marketing. They sell a feeling, a state of being, in essence they sell soul. In everything they set out to do they think of the athlete first. They product test their new designs on many product testers, sometimes thousands of product testers before they let them hit the shelves. I was lucky enough to be one of these testers and have experienced Nike's commitment to excellence in their products. They are always striving to be more, to achieve more and to make a better product for their athletes, whether professional or simply a consumer.

Some people say that I am obsessed with Nike and I would have to agree with them to some extent. I think I am more obsessed with what they represent. Nike represents everything that I hope to embody in myself. I am always striving to become a better version of myself, always working harder to try to become more.

Success is not measured by how many times you failed, but by the result of you trials and errors. Success comes as a result of working hard every day, of always pushing for more. Nike is just one brand that stands out above the rest because of their global presence. Nike has embraced social media, immerses itself in college and professional sports, and focuses campaigns on improving an athletes performance rather than on their product. Isn't that what it is really about? Nike would have achieved nothing if they didn't back up their promises to athletes to constantly be striving for more. Nike practices what they preach in every way possible and I hope that I do the same.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that it is my career goal to work for Nike and become one of these game changers. I know that I have the passion and the knowledge of Nike and their culture to succeed, it's just a matter of always striving for my best and getting that first chance. Someday I will be proud to walk their Beaverton campus and work towards achieving a better tomorrow for athletes everywhere. Until then, I'll keep on running, running towards my goal.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nike ID

Customization is awesome! I love that Nike has so many different items that you can customize at They even have a NikeID iphone app!!! I can't imagine a better way to personalize your own athletic gear and really make something fun and motivating for yourself to workout in.

From shoes, to shirts, to bags. At NikeId you can customize almost anything Nike makes. What a great Christmas present. I know I would live to get something customized for me. Whether you want to include your jersey number, life motto, or name. Whatever you choose, Nike can make it for you.

I think the coolest feature is being able to customize your shoes. You can pick the colors, style, and then add a saying to the tongue of the shoe or to the heel. Nike has given the creativity to you. You are the designer and you pick what you want.

I hope there is a shoebox sized package under the tree this year for me!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nike Women's Half Marathon

Nike had a great idea with this one. What better idea is there than to give the gift of fitness? Now you can gift your running friends the chance to participate in the Nike Women's Virtual Half-Marathon taking place on January 15. All you have to do is sign up online and then sync a run with your nike+ enabled device totaling 13.1 miles. Best of all, 25% of your entry fee goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and will make a difference in many lives.

To gift this amazing race to your favorite Nike athlete just go to the Nike+NHM Gifting page and sign her (or him) up! This race can be run anywhere and with anyone. So recruit your friends, recruit your relatives, maybe even recruit some enemies, this race is just too good to pass up.

Oh, and every finisher gets a Hurley Finishers bracelet! How fun is that?

What do you Run to Be? Come race with me on January 15, 2012 and find out. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yoga is for Everyone

I am NOT flexible. I never have been and probably never will be able to do the splits, so until about a month ago I never felt like I would make a good yogi. Alas, thank goodness for a moment of inspiration, those super cute yoga mats and the courage to try a new class because now I am hooked!

Yoga is such an amazing workout. I never thought that even at such a rudimentary level such as my own, I would feel the burn. Not to mention how much looser and more relaxed I feel after every class. Yoga truly is a great exercise for anyone, the flexible and the inflexible.

The great thing about yoga is that it is a personal journey that only you can take. It is your journey to center yourself and to work towards achieving your goals. My number one goal is to become more flexible and I think with regular practice I will be able to achieve this.

I started my yoga journey with a yoga dvd, then worked up to the Leah Kim yoga workout on the Nike Training Club app for iphone, and now I have started going to a regular yoga class at my gym. Sometimes it just takes a spark to light a fire and this new yogi is all in! Also, a special thanks to Jenae at YogaEatRun for her yoga blog post that helped push me towards taking a class, and for her ever inspiring attitude!

Are you a yoga fanatic? What inspired you to start? And if you have never tried yoga before I dare you to sign up for a class. You won't regret it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Travel Friendly Holiday Fitness Tips

The best holidays are those where you don't leave your exercise routine behind. I have included a few tips for essential items to take with you when traveling for the holidays (or to add to your Christmas list) to keep you fit and healthy all through the holidays!

Nike Legend Slim Training Pant. $70

These pants are by far the best I have ever worn, they fit amazingly well around the back-side and don't bunch up or show off unnecessary skin while performing complex movements. By far my favorite pant! Plus, they are part of Nike's Better World campaign and are made out of at least 10 recycled water bottles! 

 Nike Victory Shape Sports Top. $37.97 at

This Tank is so versatile, it is perfect for yoga, has enough support that it can be used for running and comes in great neutral colors for the holidays. It comes in an amazing stretch fabric and would even be perfect layered under your favorite hooded sweatshirt while traveling on the plane!
Nike Yogirl Pilates/Yoga Mat. $51.97 at

This mat is perfect for travel and you will be able to still do your favorite workouts in either yoga or pilates because of the thicker mat. It has excellent grip and can easily be wiped down after a hot yoga session. 
Nike Plus Sport Watch GPS. $199  at

This watch is perfect for all your runs while traveling and is small enough to be worn daily or thrown into your bag for easy access later. It tracks your miles, calories, records, and laps. It is the perfect way to keep logging those miles and burning calories even when away from the gym.
Nike LunarGlide 3+.  $100

My absolute favorite running shoes. I ran my first marathon in my Lunarglide's and they felt amazing the whole 26.2 miles. These shoes have just the right amount of cushioning and stability to be perfect for running long distances. 

Monica Standard Bag. $175 at

This is by far the best gym bag I have come across, it has high quality construction with real metal hardware, leather accents, a yoga mat strap, multiple pockets, a shoe bag, two large compartments, a side compartment, a lined zipper pocket for jewelry and delicate items, and comes in a color to match your training outfits. It is even stylish enough to use as a carry-on for the plane. My top recommendation! 

Nike Training Club App.  Free for ipod touch, ipad and iphone

This is my on-the-go workout buddy and personal trainer. I can't think of a better workout program that provides the same variety and instruction that this app does. It talks you through the exercises, has three levels of difficulty and allows you to choose between cardio, strength and toning. It was created by Nike Master Trainer Marie Purvis and is the best app for travel since you can do the exercises with or without equipment. I have completed over 4500 minutes of training with this app and take it everywhere I go. I love it and I know you will too! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Running and Nike+

The great thing about running is that it is one of the only sports that you can do whenever and wherever you are. You can run in the daytime, at night, on a treadmill, on a track, at a field, on the sidewalk...I never run out of places to run. Thanks to nike running now I can track all my runs via GPS with their sport-watch and Nike+ gadgets.

I love the ease of use Nike puts into their GPS products and the simplicity of their website. In a way, their approach to outfitting the athlete is the same as my approach to running. It is simplistic, yet can bring you more joy than anything, and is always something you can count on. I love my new Nike+ sport-watch and can't imagine running without it now. It is so accurate and pushes me to go further every run.

Nike has given me top notch shoes, clothes, and accessories to turn my ordinary runs into exceptional runs. Nike began with running and so it is fitting that they have transformed the running community into what it is today.

Check out Nike Running on Facebook and follow @nikerunning on twitter for up to date news and motivational tips from their global running community!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ads That Inspire

Click on the image to enlarge print.

Marketing is my passion and Nike pretty much encompasses everything that I dream a great marketer can do. They have managed to make me an unconditional believer in their product and in myself. Their ads are inspiring, empowering, and tastefully done. They show such raw athleticism and incredible talent. They inspire me to always strive for more.

The advertisement above is one of many that is focused on women and they are all so inspiring to me. Nike took an aspect of the body, like the arm, thigh, butt, and made an advertisement that praises muscles. They took beauty from a place of skinny, anorexic models and made beauty become a toned body, an athlete's body.

I grew up with these ads and they helped to shape my life in such a positive way. I will never apologize for being strong or athletic. Being able to keep up with the boys will never be something I am afraid of and I will rock this body because I worked for it! What ads inspire you?