Posts Tagged ‘fitness and health

Back in highschool, I did what I wanted; I didn’t pay much regard to the wants or needs of others. And then I went to college and realized how easy I had it back at home. My mom did the dishes, my dad mowed the lawn, my teachers gave me step-by-step plans for success, and my friends usually said yes to everything. High school is a far cry from the real world. In the real world of college I had to wash my own dishes (in an often puke-scented mop closet); I maintained my own space (I know maintaining an 11ftx8ft dorm doesn’t seem like much, but with two long-haired clutzes living in that space it got pretty messy); I kept a planner and sought  resources for academic help that were never mentioned by professors in lecture; I made friends who were busy and learned to prioritize. Last year, I began to really appreciate the occasions when someone said “yes” to helping me out and began to pay it forward. I was definitely a “no man” for the first 18 years of my life and am now more selfless.

Selflessness is an admirable trait right? Right…ish. It can be what allows you to make the days of others or ruin your own day, day after day. I want to use my best friend Elyse as an example of someone who could back off the yesses on occasion and probably gain some peace of mind from doing so (btw Elyse is one of the few specific examples I will ever give in my blog because she totally takes my self-improvement talk like a champ). I have witnessed this girl give the shirt off her back to someone, volunteer for hours on end when she could have been working for money, and leave almost every social event to shuttle her siblings around. She is a classic “yes man” and gets great reward out of helping others. On the other hand though, Elyse gets little recognition from many of the people she helps out, little time to spend with friends, and little time to herself. Because I care about her success and her happiness, I notice that sometimes people take advantage of her giving nature. I think if she would balance her yesses with nos, she would benefit academically, physically, and emotionally from taking some time for herself. If you are a “yes man” you probably could to.

We all know I am big on balance: balancing workouts, eating, and life. Surprise, surprise, balance is the bottom line of today’s post. Try responding to requests/invites with your schedule and overall happiness in mind. Will saying no to helping with a neighbor’s garage sale in favor of a beach day with family end in major negative consequences? Probably not. Will saying yes to a professor who would like you to come in for extra work on a paper instead of going to party with friends change something in your life for the better? Potentially.

On another note: I am officially starting my own challenges (both challenge 1 and challenge 2) today. I ran 7 miles this morning and have been tracking like a good girl. It’s definitely not too late to start. If you follow the instructions provided at either link any time this week, you are eligible to win a Starbucks gift card. Let’s end summer in the fittest way possible!


We all know those running fanatics who claim that pounding the pavement is the only way to get in great shape and the ONLY exercise they enjoy doing, or the pilates princesses that turn their nose up to any workout that takes place off of their beloved mat. Not to minimize the positive effects and importance of engaging in any type of exercise even if it is just one format, but the reality remains that repeating the same workout day after day can lead to plateauing results–not to mention unbalanced muscle groups that can screechingly halt your routine with an injury. To get the best results from your workout, pair a couple of formats that compliment each other; here are some suggestions for pairs:

1. Running and pilates: Running is extremely affective for fat burning, endurance building, and mind clearing –add in some stretching and strengthening Pilates to help you utilize powerful core muscles as you run and prevent stiffness in the quads, hip flexors and hamstrings. Pilates can be done anywhere, just as running can so look up various moves on the internet and write yourself a short routine.

-Or use these moves to get you started

2. Zumba and weight training: The popular cardio/dance workout, Zumba, is offered in nearly every city in America and is a fantastic way to sweat out your stresses without realizing that you’re working out; start strength training 3 times weekly and see even more muscle definition, greater calorie burn, and overall faster results.

-some stregth training options for you

3. Cardio Fusion and Piyo: Well what a fantastic fitness buddies we have here! You caught me, plug for my own classes. But, hey, I teach these two formats because I truly believe that they are fun, affective workouts that are great not only alone, but are perfect when done back to back or both in the same week. Cardio Fusion is an hour of cardio and strength intervals set to awesome music. Interval training is how athletes get better, faster, and stronger and I strive to help my participants think of themselves as athletes, no matter what their current fitness level. PiYo is a totally innovative workout that combines the gentle toning of Pilates with the flexibility training of yoga. Put both of these formats together and you have a totally wholesome fitness regimen. If you’re in the Elkhart area check out one or both of my classes at The Music and Dance Academy in Elkhart next to Flavor Freeze. Class times are Tues/Thurs 5-6pm Cardio Fusion and 6-7pm PiYo. $5 drop-in rate or $40 for a 10-class pass.

-Check out this video of PiYo if you want to know more about it

Since I started blogging it has become the joke amongst my close friends: Who will be AnnMarie’s next fitness buddy?

Will it be spaghetti-inhaling, pre-workout expert Garrett? Iron pumping, stair master Sophia? Calorie-counting cycle instructor John?

I have many, brilliantly fit friends who inspire me on a daily basis with their lifestyles tailored around healthy habits. However, today’s fitness buddy is extraordinary not for her limitless knowledge of proper nutrition or motivating spirit but rather for her desire to be inspired, her newly made healthy lifestyle changes, and for being my best friend in the entire world. Today’s fitness buddy is Elyse Eldridge.

“I’m a vegetarian now. I’m not even kidding.” “My legs are shot! I ran so much this week.” These are two texts that I recently received from Elyse that, had you asked me 6 months ago who these texts were from, Elyse would have been my absolute last guess out of everyone in my contacts. It is not often that I see someone make a total health-minded turn around as Elyse has in the past month.

About a month ago, she noticed that the food and fun inevitable in a college lifestyle were leaving her sluggish and out of shape. So she bought a pair of sweet Brooks running shoes and hit the pavement. She now runs to class, to see friends, and to just work up a good sweat in her down time. She even runs with me, something I couldn’t pay her to do for the entirety of our friendship (approx. 15 years). Then today, she tells me she read a brochure on animal cruelty and can’t eat meat anymore . Not only is a vegetarian diet proven to benefit the planet, the elimination of saturated fats found in animals is beneficial for cardiovascular functioning.

Starting a running/workout regimine and completely changing one’s diet are two extreme shifts in one’s lifestyle, and for Elyse to take on both of these challenges is admirable. I always thought that Elyse was admirable for her ability to talk to ANYONE, lighten ANY situation, and adapt to ANY enviroment, but never for her health habits–I am happy to say that I now admire her more than I ever have. I know that  if she keeps up with these positive changes that the positivity will spill into all other facets of her life.

Elyse makes me laugh, smile, cry, and now she makes me proud.

Keep up the good work champ.


It’s been a while since I’ve done a product review so here is one of my favorites:


Almost 7 years ago when I first started working out, I began with TurboFire’s precedant, TurboJam. I quickly became addicted to this fusion of kickboxing and dance set to hot music and sound effects; not to mention, it was an insane catalyst in my 30 pound weight loss and overall lifestyle transformation. So, needless to say when TurboFire,  the ramped up version of my soul mate work out was released two years ago, I had to have it.

Better music, better moves, better results all categorize complete workout system. It comes with 10 DVD”s including cardio endurance workouts, strenth, yoga, and HIIT workouts. TurboFire is one of the first at home fitness programs to employ the principles of HIIT training. This revolutionary training meathod combines short (1-3) minute intervals of high intensity movements with shorter (30 seconds to 1 minute) periods of rest for maximum calorie burn and fitness advancement. I love it because it allows you to torch a large amount of calories in a short period of time. Another amazing aspect of the DVDs is that they are all instructed by the fabulous Chalene Johnson, fitness phenom and a motivational inspiration to me. Just watch her do her thing for 5 minutes and you will be twisting, rowing, and uppercutting your way to happiness in no time.

The program comes with a plan that you can choose to follow and I followed the given plan two times through and had great results. I now whip out the workouts whenever I am looking to supplement my usual running routine. The Stretch 40 DVD will forever be a favorite of mine. If you haven’t dabbled in home fitness systems yet, I encourage you to free yourself from the gym or pavement and experience the joy of sweating with or without others, in your kitchen, garage, living room, or backyard while embodying grunge at its finest.

Visit the link below and ignite your fire:


So I have been working out and eating a healthy diet fairly regularly for the past six years. I am a regular in fitness classes and at the gym, tend to choose semi-healthy meals when eating out, and continue to educate myself on expanding knowledge about health and fitness. That being said, I have a few pet peeves about health noob-sauce (novices). I will list them for you, so that you can avoid committing these health and fitness faux pas.

1. Yoga pants on the treadmill. So yoga pants are the greatest thing since sliced bread when it comes to sitting on the couch, downward dogging, or sleeping in what you plan to wear the next day; but when it comes to high intensity exercise during which you will be sweating a decent amount–invest in a pair of running tights or forever subject yourself to the nickname “booty sweat.”

2. Rolling eyes in a fitness class: Hello? This isn’t a psych lecture or a mandatory floor meeting; you chose to get your sweat on in a group setting! I simply can’t understand why people pay the money for passes to exercise and then complain the WHOLE time. Some spicy unwillingness during a workout with a friend can add some humor to a lift session, but don’t penalize a fitness instructor for giving you the workout for which you PAID.

3. Telling vegetarians they need meat. To each their own. And seriously, do you mean a lean cut of chicken breast (Which is still unappealing to me) or a hormone-laden, processed hamburger? Regardless, a plant-based diet is proven to be more heart-healthy and environmentally friendly. So maybe next time you have the inclination to force hot wings or pot roast on someone, thank your vegetarian friend for doing their part to keep your water clean and air breathable.

4. Thinking that some inner-thigh raises and crunches will transform you into something like a Victoria’s Secret model. Genetics are real everyone, as real as the awful smell of West Lafayette, as real as exams the week after Spring Break, as real as… booty sweat. The truth is, you may not have the genetic makeup to get a six pack, or buns o’ steel, or biceps as large around as my thighs (that’s fairly large). No, I am not cutting myself down, or you down. Your shape is yours, mine is mine, it’s going to be that way for ever so love it, tone it, perfect it, flaunt it. It is perfectly normal to admire the shapes of others, but don’t cry yourself to sleep every night or deny yourself lunch in hopes of attaining the same waistline as the cover model of Cosmo.

Head into the weekend with a balanced mind about your diet and fitness, relax, and don’t wear yoga pants if you’re running.

Next Post: Fitness Buddy(Buddies)?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers