This Motivation Monday post will be a short and sweet reminder that fitness can be used for so many good reasons. In addition to keeping the ticker in tip-top shape and helping us maintain a healthy weight, it’s also a great resource to get people involved in good causes.
Last Monday my fellow St. Mary’s Gael, Danielle, nominated me to take part in the 22 push-up challenge. The goal is to bang out 22 push up for 22 days to honor those who serve in our military and raise awareness about suicide among our nation’s veterans.
I think the push up is of the most empowering full-body exercises anyone can do. Getting through them knowing you’re bringing attention to an important issue only adds to the endorphin rush at the end of the set. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen the past week’s worth of push-up videos. Below is a link to my favorite one of the week when I dropped and did my 22 at the Yankees game on Saturday afternoon.
If you want to make sure I’m keeping up my end of the bargain, I hope you’ll check out my LauraLovesFitness Facebook page and Instagram account (@FitnessLaura) to watch my daily videos. And if you’ve been looking to add a kick to your fitness routine this spring, why not consider going the distance for our veterans. You’ll find all the rules for the challenge at 22kill.com
So, who’s up for the challenge? Remember, breaking a sweat for a good cause is one of the best ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
There’s definitely an extra spring in my step today. Along with riding a residual sugar rush from my annual Easter candy splurge, it also happens to be Motivation Monday and opening day at Yankee Stadium! Not wanting to ignore the “other” New York baseball fans, I should mention it’s also opening day for the Mets at CitiField. (Of course, whoever’s responsible for having both games start at 1:05 pm ET on the same day should not be in charge of scheduling next year.)
Even though many of my beloved Yankees are starting this year sidelined thanks to a range of injuries, I’m going to stay positive that they’re back in action in time to make this another championship season. Perhaps you’ve been dealing with an injury of your own in the “off-season” and just returning to your fitness routine. If that’s the case, remember to start slowly and listen to your body. (Make sure you’ve cleared any activity with your doctor before you get started.) Remember, it’s better to sit out a few first games of your softball league than risk a serious injury that could bench you for the season – or worse, secure a trip to the operating room.
My short and sweet message for this Motivation Monday is to use it as another reason to get active. If you’re sick of the treadmill, then think about pounding the pavement in your neighborhood for a morning or post-work run. Maybe this is the year you get the tennis racquet re-strung and find a friend for a few sets during the week. It may not be quite warm enough for the beach yet, but there’s no reason you can’t find an outdoor volleyball net in a park and get a group together for some post-work de-stressing or weekend fun.
If you can’t figure out a way to coordinate schedules with family and friends for a team sport, then take that jump rope outside and start skipping. Park benches are also perfect spots to brace yourself for push-ups or take box jumps to a different level. Tree branches (sturdy ones!) are also the perfect prop for pull ups. If you really want to have some fun while breaking a sweat, don’t underestimate the power of swinging on the monkey bars at the local playground. There’s also no rule that says you can’t bang out some Tabatas in the great outdoors.
As we get ready to tackle another work week, remember, now’s the perfect time to embrace each minute of extra sunlight and add some extra outdoor activity to our typical routines. It’s all part of the overall game plan to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
I had been looking forward to spending this past weekend in Boston since I bought my Amtrak tickets back in February. Getting tickets to the Red Sox v. Yankees game for my first-ever visit to Fenway Park and seeing my beloved Bronx Bombers beat their rivals in a comeback of epic proportions was a bonus. Earlier in the day, I got to enjoy another first-ever visit to Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool. Thanks to a gracious invitation from the friend of my lifelong friend, Ania, I was able to enjoy a pool-deck view for Boston’s inaugural team relay challenge for Swim Across America.
The event brought swimmers of all ages and skill levels together with one common mission: “making waves fighting cancer.” For two hours straight, the swimmers dove into the pool striving to be on the team making the biggest splash in the fight against pediatric cancer. The proceeds from this event benefit the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
As I watched the swimmers and cheered them on from the pool deck (luckily, no one threw me in despite my Yankees gear), I found myself in awe of their stamina and mostly of their determination to make a difference.
Before the relay started, I was fortunate to meet a woman named Suzanne. She started swimming less than a year ago and here she was swimsuiting up and making a splash in the fight against cancer. I also had the joy of meeting 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist Janel Jorgensen who has been the Executive Director of Swim Across America since 2005. Also on the pool deck was Craig Beardsley, who would have most likely won gold at the 1980 Olympics had the US not boycotted the summer games in Moscow. Then there was Kitty, who aside from directing volunteers in their tasks that morning also spent countless hours helping organize the relay’s details before diving in with the other swimmers.
While the swim relay spanned a few hours, it’s really impossible to clock the amount of behind-the-scenes prep time leading up to events like these. Between the fund raising, training and hammering out all those pesky little details, the swimmers and organizers reminded me how a passion for swimming, running or any kind of physical activity can do so much more than get the heart pumping. Using that passion to raise awareness and money in the fight against cancer is one of the best ways I can think of to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
This is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the day my beloved New York Yankees play their home opener in the Bronx.
This day makes me feel like spring has officially sprung. That means it’s the perfect time for me to encourage anyone looking to be more active to use the season to your advantage. No more excuses – Mother Nature is giving you the ideal backdrop to get out and get moving!
I know I’m a gym rat. I also know there are people who just don’t like to go to the gym. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise and feel great!
We’re supposed to enjoy near 70-degree temps here in New York over the weekend. So, there’s no excuse not do any or all of the following:
- Take a hike: I mean that in the nicest way possible.
- Take a walk: You can do double-duty and make up for some overdue catch-up time with a friend by taking him or her along for a brisk jaunt around your neighborhood.
- Hit the park: You don’t need a gym to do squats, lunges or even burpees. Use a bench for box jumps. Heck, go climb a tree!
- Hit the beach: If you’re a beach bunny like me, it’s never too early to get near the water! Wear or bring an extra layer of clothing to keep the spring-breezes at bay and hit the boardwalk. For an extra challenge on an uneven surface, take your feet to the sand.
- Hit the playground: Be a kid again! Swing on the monkey bars or use them for pull-ups.
- Play some pick-up: Get active and make new friends by shooting some hoops.
- Try a new racquet: Do you have a tennis racquet collecting dust in a closet? Dust it off and hit the court.
- Turn fantasy into reality: Forget make-believe baseball – get some friends and get on the field!
Wherever you live and whatever your pleasure, I hope Mother Nature smiles on you this weekend so you can find some new opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!