Category Archives: Blog Design

fitness magazine blogger meet and tweet

WORKOUT-
3 mile run

Greetings from Los Angeles!
I’ve had an exhausting but super educational day today that started off with a 7:30 flight out of Nashville to the City of Angels.
Once properly caffeinated I was good to go.
It was my first time flying American Airlines in the longest. The flight was pretty empty and I had an entire row to myself as well as an upcharge seat at no charge because I let them put me anywhere at check-in when all the seats in the back were full. No complaints here. Their military rate made the flight much less expensive than my beloved Southwest this trip so I fearfully strayed but it was worth it. Do it.
From the airport I headed to Santa Monica’s Annenberg Community Beach House to meet all the other fit bloggers, sponsors and speakers.fitmag2013I got pretty excited about coming here when I saw pictures of all the swag from NYC recaps. When I found out on Friday that Tony Horton would be speaking I was pee my pants NSYNC is reuniting excited.
My love is that serious.
Check-in was quick and it was on to the speakers!
Tony Horton was up first.fitmag201301The man is 55 years old. Can you believe that? I couldn’t help noticing that even his muscles have muscles. My day was made when we blogger bombed him for pictures and I got one. Yay!fitmag201302They let us loose for lunch and the best sponsor party ever. It was like Christmas for fitness enthusiasts in there.fitmag201308fitmag201303fitmag201304 fitmag201305 fitmag201306 fitmag201307Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak spoke next about The New Way to Lose Weight.fitmag201309My favorite session was about monetizing your blog. I’m still working out all the kinks of that particular subject but the panel included three bloggers I’ve been following since before I started blogging!fitmag201310I had to be a creeper and get a picture with these two gals.fitmag201311Monica and Sarah.
We finished off with a 3-mile group run hosted by Saucony.fitmag201312I ran with Betty Wong, editor of Fitness Magazine for a good chunk of time before figuring out it was her. She just kind of threw that into the conversation nonchalantly. So humble. We had some good conversation before everyone split up for the day. It was a great time.
Now it’s time for a little more sightseeing before I head back to Nashville tomorrow for Ragnar Relay Tennessee. I couldn’t ask for a better week but hitting my own bed on Saturday is going to feel amazing.

Have you ever been to LA? I’ve loved my time here but I’m definitely an east coast girl for life!

fitness and health social media conference: the learnin’

WORKOUTS-
2 mile speed work (9:21, 8:57)
Tabata WOD

So aside from these crazy awesome views…
mountainssunsetA $70 million health and wellness center to explore.
cu1And the pine trees!
pineAs well as the variety of workouts offered at FitSocial this weekend there was an equal variety of educational sessions about fitness, health and social media.
My hands-down favorite of them all was Social Media in the Fitness World with Chris Freytag. Surprise.
Highlights?
Chris talked about what she called the Social Media Commandments.
Be authentic. Be mindful about what you do. Create useful content. Be responsive. Be grateful.

When writing, she also suggested bloggers go through the following checklist:
Are your posts the right length?
Is your blog formatted correctly?
Are you incorporating SEO best practices into your strategy?
Are you making the most of your blogging platform?
Do you have a content strategy?
Are you tracking the performance of your blog?

While I try to be authentic, mindful, useful, responsive and especially grateful on the regular, some of the checklist points get me.
I’m still working on my formatting, tracking performance and content strategy. My goals for the rest of the year are to work on those three things. I installed Google Analytics to see how you crazy peeps are finding me and I’ve put together a loose editorial calendar (content strategy) to keep me more accountable in posting regularly and get you guys more content!
I found it super funny and grounding that while talking about maintaining an organized Pinterest board one of my fellow Fort Campbell Army wives popped up on the screen. Apparently Chris has a wide reach that spreads all the way to my new friends in Kentucky.
workshop2Small world, huh? I thought so.

Dr. Denise McGuire also talked to us about Successful Health Behavior Change.
workshop1She explained that:
Successful changers (in our case those that change to lose weight and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle) generally focus on success, are persistent, know and practice change all the time, change their beliefs about themselves and are willing to look at underlying issues. Only 20 percent of the overweight or obese population is ready to make a change.

Twenty percent! I see that every day in the military community. So many people want the quick fix but aren’t willing to put in the work to get the job done right.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking the steps I need to take to become a certified personal trainer to remedy this. I want more people to think, no, BELIEVE that change is attainable.
Speaking with ACE on Saturday further encouraged me to pursue that goal using MyCAA, a workforce development program that provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses. Unfortunately for me, MyCAA requests will not be approved until this whole government shutdown thing blows over (couldn’t happen soon enough) so I’m kind of at a standstill with that business. Poop.

On the bright side, I also met some new “IRL” blogger friends at the conference.

My roomie Courtenay.pound5And Kelly at No Thanks to Cake.nothankstocakeI had a great time.
But next…the food.
Check back Friday for Clean Eats in CO.

What tips do you have for maintaining a healthy lifestyle? What changes have you made?
Also, is this government shutdown affecting your lives?

 

fitness and health social media conference: the workouts

Greetings from a jet plane!
As I’m writing up this blog post I’m sitting on a Southwest flight home digesting all of the information I’ve learned in the past three days at FitSocial 2013. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot about SEO and of course my favorite part of the conference- the workouts.
I’d been looking forward to some kickass group sweat sessions since the day I signed up to join everyone in Boulder and Denver. I loved the idea of meeting a community of like-minded people in the fittest state in the country so when I heard about a blogging conference nearish to where I hoped I’d be living now, I jumped at the chance to sign up. More on that later.
Sessions were held at the Millenium Hotel in Boulder and the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora where they’re currently filming ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Season 4.

anschutz1 conference1The conference actually started on Thursday but the only thing scheduled was a canceled then rescheduled hike. I was a little bummed to be missing it, but chose to fly in on Friday instead. For my purposes then, Friday will be Day 1, k?

Day 1
I’d connected with Christina from FitScholar.com on Facebook and we met near baggage claim to carpool to Boulder for the first session of the day, a Vinyasa yoga class.
You all know how I feel about yoga. Feel great afterwards but hate it during? Yeah. I’ve been working hard at my Nashville Half Marathon training plan all week and was tons of sore. I hoped yoga would work out all those kinks for me on a scheduled rest day.
Even though I knew we were cutting it close getting into Denver about an hour before the AM class I crossed my fingers and brought a yoga mat through security hoping to save some time.southwest1Sadly, we didn’t make it. Boo.
I also didn’t get a picture with Christina the entire conference. Double boo.
We headed to breakfast instead and I had one of many cups of coffee flavored with Nestle Natural Bliss Vanilla Liquid Creamer. They provided the coffee for the conference and also had pumpkin spice and sweet cream flavors that PSL lovers seemed to enjoy. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spiced things but I loved the vanilla!
Anyway, since I missed yoga I told myself I couldn’t pass up Chris Freytag’s PM HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. I’ve run sprints before and figured the class would be similar to that. Working at high intensity with periods of rest and that sort of thing (sort of like CrossFit).This was way harder than I thought it would be and I finished the class looking like I’d gone for a swim. Not cute but effective.hiit1Chris made us sweat with a combination of plyometric exercises, cardio and body resistance strength training. No equipment. Tabata-style. There were eight sets of three exercises at a time done for four minutes each. Twenty seconds on and 10 seconds off.
I’ve seen Tabata offered at gyms before, but had never experienced it myself. Now I know why everyone says it’s so brutal! But it gets the job done. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, squat jumps. You name it we did it.hiit2I left the class feeling strong and ready for dinner. It really didn’t seem like an hour because of the breaks. This was definitely something I would incorporate into my cross-training in the future.

Day 2
Saturday we were given the choice of three sessions: Tabata Cycle, Zumba and Barre Conditioning. I chose Barre because we only had 15 minutes to change for dinner after class and I sweat like a man.cobarre1 cobarre2I’ve taken Barre before here and here so the class was just as hard as I expected. The little pulses and micro movements get you just like in Pilates. It’s intense.
I heard Tabata Cycle was pretty fun too. Their instructor had them do similar HIIT to what we did the night before but on a spin bike.

Day 3
This morning we all got to demo Pound. I’d spent the night chatting it up with Angel (@brownawell) the night before in the hotel lobby (wedding planning is still fascinating even after my hurricane disaster vows) and went to bed pretty late. I made myself sleep in my gym clothes to make sure I’d get up in the morning but man, was it a rough start.
But that’s what coffee is for.
Once caffeinated I was ready to go!pound2Melissa, an instructor from New Jersey led us in the relatively new class.pound3pound4Pound started in LA and combines cardio, strength training and drumming in an “easy to follow workout”. Melissa’s class had a heavy emphasis on squats and lunges while standing and leg lifts while on the mat.
The quarter-pound plastic drumsticks (called Ripstix) are all you really need but we used a mat for our floor exercises as well.pound1Overall it was a great workout and would be fun when you’re looking for something different to do for cross-training. It did feel a little gimmicky so I don’t know how that will play out? Right now Pound is available in some major cities but I haven’t found any information about existing classes in the Nashville area. New Yorkers and those of you from Jersey, D.C., Miami and LA, give it a shot!
pound6Last night we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Denver and they had a pretty decent hotel gym. springhill1I didn’t get to use it since we were so active this weekend but it’s one of the reasons I would book there in the future. Kudos, Marriott!

Did you try anything new this weekend? What workouts did you all do? I came home with all of this so I think a giveaway is in your near future. :)
swag