Friday, July 27, 2012

A Quirky Girl's Guide to Working Out


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One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling edgy or stressed out is to throw on my sneakers, grab my pup, and go for a run. The endorphines you receive from physical activity have a magical effect on me, especially when I get my heart pumping while jamming out to my favorite workout playlists. Now, I haven't always been a big fan of working out. Like a lot of people, I used to trudge to the gym a few times a week just to stay in shape. These days, I try to get active everyday in fun & unique ways. For me, working out has to have variety in order to keep me engaged. 


The other day, a random girl at the gym asked me how to get started. She expressed that she really wanted to utilize our gym, but she was completely lost. I am not an expert when it comes to fitness, and I would suggest consulting your physician especially if you have any health issues. But I was inspired to write a blog post with some tips on getting started because I have always loved being active. Getting active does not require a lot of fancy equipment. Having a gym membership is a great workout resource but it can also be quite costly. All of the fancy machines & weights can also be intimidating for those new to working out. Working out should also be fun and personalized for your physical needs.
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Advice on Getting Started:

 Before you start a workout regime, sit down and write out your workout goals & limitations. Do you want to slim down? Are you hoping to tone up? Do you have any health issues to keep in mind? How much time can you commit to your workout on a daily basis?  These are things that you need to keep on mind when you begin your workout journey. 

My best advice for anyone starting a workout routine is to start out slowly. I would not advice jumping into a rigorous program if your body is not accustomed to such conditions. Slowly add more activities & challenges into your routine as you go. If you find that an exercise that was once challenging has become easier, increase the intensity or add more repetitions. If you find yourself completely exhausted or very sore, give yourself some time off to rest. Don't overdo it or you could do more damage than good to yourself.

I tend to be very organized about my workouts. At the beginning of the week, I sit down and jot down the different activities I want to accomplish during the week, and then I schedule when I will do each activity in the calendar section of my filofax. Having a plan in place helps me so I don't have to think too much during the week when I'm really busy. Some people enjoy making up their workout routines as they go. It is all about personal customization.
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No-GYM-Required Workout Ideas:
A lot of people shy away from working out because the idea of huffing & puffing in a crowded gym sounds more like their own personal type of torture than a way to stay in shape. I have always loved a well stocked gym because there are some many choices & options. Gyms also usually have someone on staff who can answer questions & give you workout ideas. But if gyms are just not your thing, worry not. There are plenty of other ways to stay in shape outside of the gym.  Here are some of my own ideas for a non-gym workout:

Go for a walk around your neighborhood, play tag with your kids or pets, vacuum your entire house (yes, cleaning is exercise), jumprope, dance, pilates/yoga, exercise DVD's, run up & down the stairs, chase your dog around the yard, play frisbee with your friends, jump on a trampoline, go to your local mall and walk around the entire building a few times, do jumping jacks during all of the commercials while you are catching up on your trash tv, park as far away from your building as possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator ( we used to live on the 15th floor of an apartment building, and I would always get my cardio when climbing up the stairs), do leg lifts & squats while brushing your teeth, go for a bicycle ride ( some cities even have bicycle rental available), put on some hip hop music while you are cleaning the house and have several dance breaks in between rooms, or go swimming at your local municipal pool.
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My Workout Essentials:

Comfortable workout outfits...Look for comfortable and breathable fabrics when shopping for workout clothing. You don't want to feel self-conscious about your outfit while you are trying to focus on a challenging workout. I tend to pair shorts or breathable sweatpants with a comfortable tee or tank top. Make sure to bring a hair tie/headband to keep your hair out of your eyes. I also like to wear an elastic headband to keep my bangs from getting sweaty( oh, so glamourous) Victoria Secret's PINK makes some really cute workout clothing. 

Colorful sports bras...I tend to buy Champion Women's sports bras because they are comfortable & very supportive. Victoria's Secret has some cute sports bras, but their sizing can be selective.

A good pair of workout sneakers...I recently purchased a pair of toning Reebok sneakers and wore them for an entire week during my workout. The results were incredible. Toning sneakers are not a requirement because they can be costly, but you do need a pair of good quality athletic shoes. Make sure that your shoes fit you well before wearing them during a workout. Shoes that are too tight or too big can cause extreme blisters. I gravitate towards black sneakers, but you can usually find sneakers in many different color combinations. Before working out, be sure that your sneakers have proper arch support or you could end up with an exercise related injury.

A water canteen...Fill up your canteen with cool water prior to working out and keep it with you in order to stay hydrated through out your workout. I just bought a hot pink glitter canteen to tote along on walks & workouts.
A workout bag...A place to put all of your small workout essentials & a change of clothes. I like to pack my sneakers & workout clothes inside my bag the night before. I'm more likely to workout if half the battle is already packed & ready to go in the morning. Some others things to consider putting in your bag include baby wipes, mini hairspray, body mist, mini deodorant, hair clips, dry shampoo, headphones, and a small snack.


Sunglasses...Make sure to protect your eyes if you decide to workout while outdoors. I love to go for walks/jogs outside, but it's important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. You can also wear sunscreen if you so desire. 
Yoga/pilates mat...I love to do pilates, but it's such a pain when you don't have a mat to workout on. A lot of pilates/yoga studios will provide mats, but there is always a chance that you may not get one. It's also handy to have your own mat if you want to do pilates/yoga videos at home. I found some cute yoga mats at Marshall's the other day in a variety of sizes and colors.

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Working out can be fun as long as you continue to change things up and keep your personal goals in mind. Remember to constantly reward yourself for all of the hard work. I like to get a pedicure or spend an evening watching my favorite shows as a reward for getting through my weekly workout routine. Think of some ways to keep yourself motivated and go with it. And if you get off track or simply don't have time to workout when you had planned to, let it go and hit your workout even harder the following day.

I would love to hear some of your workout ideas!

Lots of love & positivity,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thankfulness: My Gratitude List

THANKFULNESS: MY GRATITUDE LIST

Hello, Lovely Friend! I do hope that you are having a most splendid week. The heat of summer has been weighing on me lately, and I find myself longing for a nice dip in a crystal blue pool, a fruity drink to sip on, and a long nap while stretched out underneath a colorful umbrella. Of course, these daydreams are usually deflated by my gigantic stack of projects at work. Oh, well. A quirky girl can dream.

Summertime is a time for clandestine dreams & serendipitous adventures! What are some your favorite things about the summer months? As much as I complain about the sweltering heat, I do love being able to wear flip flops & sundresses all the time. I usually stock up on flip flops from Old Navy at the beginning of every summer. I think I have pair in every color of the spectrum.

I have decided that Sundays are officially my favorite day of the week.  I always enjoy a lovely day of leisure filled with grocery shopping, manicures, and catching up on my favorite magazine/book. What better way to enjoy my favorite day of the week than to compose my weekly list of gratitude!

MY LIST OF THANKFULNESS

Kate Spade iPhone cases, strawberry lemonade, talking on the phone with my older brother, listening to music while doodling inside a hot pink composition notebook, side braids, t-strap heels, cute umbrellas, hot fudge sundaes, American bull dogs, hot showers, Bath & Body Works shower gels, colorful flip flops, singing along to the radio while driving all over town, creative duct tape, shopping with my best friend, dinner dates, tempura shrimp sushi, vintage typewriters, having someone to talk to about everything, going to see The Dark Knight Rises at the IMAX with my fiance, vanilla bean scented conditioner, orange tabby cats, and job interviews.


What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Peek Into My Life Via Instagram!

Lovely sunsets are one of my favorite things about living in Texas. I'm sure that there are some beautiful sunsets in other states, but Texas sunsets are my favorite. 

I made this collage using the Martha Stewart iPad app. It's one of my favorite apps for photo collaging.

An inspiring quote that I pasted inside my filofax.

 I bought this cute wall print for my new apartment. I'm moving to Amarillo in less than 4 weeks. Eep!

 I have stalked this makeup palette for the better part of the year. I finally splurged on it.

My work space

I went on an ice cream date with my fiance the other day. My favorite flavors of ice cream are birthday cake & mint chocolate chip. 

There is an adorable frozen yogurt shop in my town. I took my best friend there last night and we enjoyed our yogurt while sitting underneath a colorful umbrella.

There are my favorite sunglasses. I always feel like I should be wearing a silky headscarf that flaps in the breeze while wearing these cat eye sunglasses.

Do you have an instagram account? I would love to be insta-friend! My username is happytobequirky.

Lots of love & positive vibes,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Little Reminder!


"You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere." 

--Buddha


Lots of love & positivity,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello July: Resolutions for a Month of Magical Positivity!

Some recently asked me what my handwriting looks like so here you go! 
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Hello Lovely Friend! I'm beyond excited to welcome a brand new month, although I cannot believe how fast the summer is whisking past us. There are so many amazing things just waiting for us to do this summer, and we still have plently of time to get it all done.

I took a long walk outside today to think & stretch my legs. I always throw on my sneakers & head out for a walk whenever I need some alone time to think. It helps me deal with stress & anxiety. I was thinking about how the beginning of each month is sort of like a blank canvas. You can start over because it's a new beginning and set new goals & resolutions for yourself. I came up with some for myself while doodling inside my pink Filofax today and thought it would be fabulous to share them with you. 

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Resolutions for a Month of
Magical Positivity!
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Continue working through my blogging rut...I completely forgot how much I adore writing. I've even been writing in my journal during the day. I want to continue working through my rut & overcome my writers' block. 

Get active & be more healthy...I started eating more healthily a few weeks ago, and I have already started to see results. I want to continue trying to be healthy & active. 

Drink more water...because I often find myself dehydrated during the hottest months of the year. 

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Little Resolutions

Sing in the shower, take my time & avoid being in a hurry, tweet some of my favorite quotes, use my Instax camera more often, go to the movies with my sister, organize my closet, try new hairstyles, make room for positivity & let go of negative thoughts, smile just because, stop trying to make everything perfect & embrace splendid imperfections, read 3 more books on my reading list, leave little post-its with words of encouragement in random places, and make more time for myself during the week. 

What are your goals for July??

Lots of love & positive vibes,