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Fitness for a Cause

Push-Up: One of my Tabata training faves

Photo by Lauren Bachner

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

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!



Play Ball! (Or Tennis, or Golf, or….)

Bring On Another Championship Season!

Bring On Another Championship Season!

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!

Even the Mighty Fall

The Game Must Go On!

Anyone who’s known me for a long time will tell you along with health and fitness, one of my biggest passions is following the New York Yankees. My dad’s been taking me to games since I was six-years-old, and I’m very lucky to have witnessed some of baseball’s most memorable moments while cheering from my seat at Yankee Stadium. When the Yankees make it to the postseason, it makes October that much more fun. That includes the nail-biting moments and sleep-deprived nights.

Game one of the American League Championship Series was one of the toughest postseason nights I can remember. During the four hours and 54 minutes of play, I watched my beloved Bronx Bombers come back from a 4-0 deficit by tying it up in the 9th inning, only to fall apart and lose 6-4 in the 12th. However, the biggest loss wasn’t the one reflected on the score board. It happened when Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter went down lunging for an infield hit – and stayed down. The collective gasp of the crowd sent shivers down my spine.

Jeter always gets up. I remember the game at the old Yankee Stadium when he dove into the seats to catch a foul ball and returned to the field with a bloodied face. He’s also known for pushing through the pain and playing with injuries ranging from bone bruises to tweaked muscles. Yet, here he was down in the 12th, and he couldn’t stand up. When I saw he couldn’t even put weight on his left leg as manager Joe Girardi and athletic trainer Steve Donohue helped him hop off the field, I knew it was bad. Sure enough, the grim news soon broke that Jeter had fractured his ankle. He’s done for the postseason and will spend at least the next three months healing.

Call me crazy, but while Yankees fans continue to digest the bad news, there’s also something I know for certain: Jeter will be back. This wasn’t a career-ending moment. It was a setback, but being the amazing athlete and gifted baseball player that he is, I have no doubt he’ll come back swinging, literally. Okay, I realize making millions of dollars is a pretty big incentive to get back in the game, but Jeter also possesses a determination and drive that has gotten him where he is, and it’s what will get him back in the game.

We may not be big-time sports stars, but each of us possesses the same power within. We just need to remember to harness it when the unexpected happens. Whether it’s an injury that sidelines your fitness goals or a painful moment in your personal life that throws your best-laid plans out the window, it’s important to accept the event has happened; work through the emotions that follow; allow yourself to heal and never lose sight of the fact that there will be better days ahead. In other words, the game must go on.

I’ll be cheering on my Yankees for the remainder of the postseason and following updates on Jeter’s recovery when it’s over. During that time, I have no doubt there will be unexpected challenges that pop up in my own life. The good news is I also know I have the power to rely on my inner strength to push toward the happier days filled with new opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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