DISNEYLAND FITNESS DISCOVERIES

So I realized – I never really shared about my Disneyland trip!

I was nervous about the trip initially because I associate Disneyland with FOOD. (I mean, and magical childhood wonder, of course.) I always leave trips like this feeling bloated and basically malnourished. Did you know you can’t survive off of churros alone? Shocking, right?

Well anyway… I actually discovered that my Disneyland trip was a lot healthier than I was anticipating, and it made me reflect on some other things in my day to day life. While at Disney, I wore my Fitbit. Since this is a recent purchase, I’ve never been able to see my steps while on vacation before. And like, I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking, but DAMN! I was consistently walking over 25,000 steps a day (11.5 or more miles!) and burning approximately 4000 – 4500 calories. For reference, on a normal day here at home, I’m lucky if I burn 2700 calories. It really made me think because honestly, I wasn’t really ‘exercising’ – or at least I didn’t think so. I was just walking around the park, standing in line… the usual. But the difference between that and a day at my desk job blew my mind. Suddenly, I was a little less concerned about the extra calories I was eating. (Oh, and I weighed myself post-vacation, and I’ve only gained back 1.5lbs, so I’m pretty proud of myself!)

I’ve often wondered what is causing me to have so much trouble losing weight this time around. After my Disneyland findings, I’m thinking that a large contributor is definitely my desk job. I try my best to get up and walk around as much as possible, but I usually only end the work day with about 4000 steps. Back when I was in great shape before, I was eating similarly and exercising similarly…. BUT I was working in retail. So essentially I was standing and/or walking around for 8 hours a day. And looking at what the standing/walking combo does for the calorie burn, and thus very likely the metabolism… it’s all starting to add up. (Literally.)

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot I can do to remedy this situation. I like my job and my career path, so I’m not going to go and change it just for the steps. And there are only so many opportunities for me to get steps in during my workday…. so I guess I’m just going to have to make the most of them.

It just goes to show how much walking and meeting your step goal can affect your calorie burn and your health!

If you need me, I’ll be pacing back and forth in my office, lol.

 

xo,

J

Advertisements

HIIT – WHAT IS IT, AND SHOULD YOU BE DOING IT?

HIIT – I know it sounds like something violent (it kinda is) or like some kind of special ops team (it’s definitely not that). Little did we all know, it’s actually an AMAZING weapon to have in your fitness arsenal.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT comes in many forms: circuits, running, cycling, and there are even entire fitness classes devoted to HIIT now! The essence of what you will do during HIIT sessions is you’ll ‘max out’ your body for a short period of time, followed by a short period of more moderate activity. I personally like to do my HIIT on a stationary bike, and I do 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of normal-speed biking, and repeat. During the sprint phase, you’re basically supposed to push yourself so hard that you wouldn’t be physically capable of maintaining that intensity for longer than about 30 seconds to a minute. And let me tell you – you will sweat. Like. Crazy.

One of the nice things about HIIT is that it takes only a short time to complete, and you get allllll the cardio benefits. I can usually complete my HIIT workout in about 16 minutes (meaning I’ll do 16 30-second sprints and 16 30-second rest periods), and that does the trick.

One of the questions people often as is: why? What are the benefits of doing HIIT vs. just going for a regular old run or bike ride? Turns out, according to mounting research data, there are actually a ton of benefits! New research actually shows that doing HIIT workouts can help to slow your body’s aging process (as it pertains to how your body creates and uses energy) at a cellular level, which is pretty freakin’ cool. Additionally, HIIT has a lasting effect on your metabolism, meaning that if you do a HIIT session in the morning, the calorie-burning effects will last all day. The quick time frame is also a selling point for people who are looking to get in a good workout but don’t have a lot of time to devote to it.

On a personal note, I have found HIIT to be super beneficial. I often opt to do fasted HIIT (meaning I do it first thing in the morning before I eat breakfast) and have really seen results that way. I shied away from integrating HIIT for a long time, but once I started I realize how effective it was for leaning out and losing weight. (It should be noted that you don’t have to do fasted HIIT to reap the benefits – there are just some studies that suggest you burn more fat when you do fasted cardio vs. doing it later in the day. Either way you’ll get great results!) I usually try to do 1-2 morning HIIT sessions per week, and then I’ll incorporate some other form of exercise in the evening, whether that be LISS (low intensity sustained state – basically walking) or resistance workouts. I’m not really a morning person (although I’m working on it) so HIIT is a great way for me to get my workout in before work without having to wake up at 5am. (Hard pass on that one.)

I would definitely recommend looking into HIIT and adding this component to your workout regimen. As always, if you have any questions for someone who has done it (in case you haven’t already realized, I’m far from a professional, haha), feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

Happy Thursday all, the weekend is near!

 

xo,

J