Pump up the Volume

The link to the article below includes seven reasons to listen to music while working out. Listening to music can put you in a mental zone that gives you just the pump you need, while also distracting you from the bodily awareness of the pain you experience during a tough work out.  It has been shown that this form of distraction can increase the athletic performance of a work out by 15%.  If you are running, a sing with a steady beat can help you keep the pace while also keeping you motivated and in the zone.  Listening to music you like can boost your mood while making you want to move, increasing the overall motivation to workout.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/why-exercise-workout-music-playlist_n_4173931.html

Fast Food Can Be Healthy Food

We’ve all come across those times when the only option available to us is to make a quick stop McDonald’s or Wendy’s while we’re on the go.  Often times we use these necessary stops as an inevitable excuse that in that instance we have to compromise our diet.  These are times when we justify eating unhealthy foods because we are eating fast food, something that we automatically associate with being unhealthy.  However, we do have a choice to eat healthy even if we have to stop at a fast food joint.  Sure, the healthy options may not be as tasty, but they are available; eating fast food is no longer a viable excuse for making poor diet choices.  The link below provides healthy options from many fast foods restaurants from  McDonald’s to Chipotle.  Give the article a glance and try to keep these simple options in mind.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/on-the-go/healthy-fast-foods/

SMART Goals

When setting goals, it is important to follow the acronym SMART in order to make your goals as effective and attainable as possible. First, your goals should be as Specific as possible.  By setting specific goals, you hold yourself accountable to the process that will lead to this particular outcome.  Vague goals allow for slacking through ambiguous interpretations of the truly desired outcome.  Secondly, goals should be Measurable.  This means that there is a way to measure and assess the outcome as well as the progress towards achieving a goal.  Without a way to assess whether or not you have achieved your goal, there is nothing holding you accountable.  Next, goals should be Attainable, meaning that they are realistic for you to achieve.  If a goal is to out of reach, one will become discouraged and is likely to give up when they are not progressing as they feel they should be.  Goals should also be Realistic, something that you can and will work toward achieving.  In order to set a realistic goal, one must possess the resources (time, motivation, facilities) necessary in order to achieve this goal.  Finally, goals should be Time-specific.  If you do not set a specific date in which you wish to complete a goal, you are likely to put it off until it has been forgotten about completely.  If you are serious about a goal it is important to remember and implement the SMART acronym when setting the goal for yourself.  Also, write down the goal and track your progress on paper so you can see how far you’ve come.

Run It!

The link below provides a list of upcoming 5k’s and running events in the Pittsburgh area.  If you are looking to break free of a stale gym routine, training for a 5k may be the way to go. Training with a goal other than general fitness in mind is likely to keep you motivated on those days when you just do not feel like working out. Running outside can also be a refreshing break from the monotony of the treadmill or elliptical in the gym. If you have never trained for a running event before, make sure to start training by making short term goals for yourself to reach during workouts.  Once you have achieved a goal, increase the intensity of your training by creating a new, more challenging goal.  Also, keep yourself focused and in tune with your running form by creating process goals for yourself during your workouts.  Process goals can include focusing on things like form, breathing, etc.

http://www.runningintheusa.com/race/ListByCityRadius.aspx?City=Pittsburgh&State=PA&Radius=25&Rank=Upcoming&Page=1

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin itself is a great, healthy ingredient that is rich in potassium and antioxidants; unfortunately most sweets that contain pumpkin are also loaded with other, unhealthy ingredients that jack up the calories. The link below provides 19 delicious recipes using pumpkin as a main ingredient.  Not only are these recipes tasty, but they’re also healthy! Each recipe includes all ingredients necessary, often using healthy substitutes in place of butter and other high calories substances.  The site also provides an estimate of calories for each serving of every dish. These recipes are a great way to get your pumpkin fix in the fall, without breaking your diet.

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307007_1,00.html

Avoid Injury on the Treadmill

Most of us are aware that running on a treadmill repeatedly has the potential to cause injury and deterioration of joints. However, if you are a runner and compete outside, a treadmill is the closest simulation to running outside. The link below provides an article with tips and information on how to properly run on a treadmill in order to avoid injury and maximize your workouts. The article addresses issues such as speed work on the treadmill, running on autopliot, boredom while running, and training inside for outside races. Check out some of the advice in the article to find ideas to keep your workouts fresh and effective.

http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/stay-injury-free-on-the-treadmill

Get Involved!

The link below provides the Jefferson Health Club fitness Class Schedule. During the month of October, challenge yourself to get involved in at least two or three different classes.  Maybe you will find a class that really suites your fitness goals and needs.  Taking a few classes a week is a good way to break up the monotony of everyday workouts and add some fun to your workouts.  These classes are also a good way to meet new people and interact with others. So, check out the schedule and give some classes a try!

http://studentlife.rmu.edu/campus-recreation/fitness/class-schedule