For many of us, exercising is something we know that we should do – but not always something for which we have time or energy. With ever-increasing schedule demands –work, family, activities– it can seem impossible to include fitness on the calendar.
But what if I told you that you could jump-start a new fitness routine and boost your overall health and wellness even with your very tight schedule? Would you be down? It’s possible, I promise!
Over the years, I’ve learned that motivation and commitment are the keys most essential to any fitness regimen. I’ve also figured out how to create fitness plans that maximize results for those who are constantly on the move and can’t spend hours at the gym.
You can now share in my tips to success –as well as customized workout moves– in my new online workshop Jumpstart Your Fitness Routine. I’ll break down everything you need to know, demonstrate fitness techniques and detail fitness hacks that maximize your time and space. This 5-day course is designed to help you reinvigorate your health + fitness goals and it starts today! Click here to join me.
T-minus two weeks until Thanksgiving. Can you believe it? Let’s collectively not wait until after the ever-lengthening holiday season to reboot fitness goals! Here’s a look at the bigger picture.
How can you tell if it is time for a fitness reboot?
If boredom sets in during the regular fitness routine, followed by apathy towards exercise in general, it’s definitely time for a fitness tune up! If you avoid outings or leisure time that involves physical activity –hiking, biking, bowling, beach play, recreation league softball even– for fear of sweating and breathing hard or you avoid form revealing workout clothes, that tune up needs to come sooner than later. The mental stress and self-deprication associated with “not working out enough (or at all)” shouldn’t supersede the physical stress that a normal body endures during exercise. Avoiding friends and family who’ve seen your “normal” for fear that they will comment, critique and judge “the new you,” make the tune up a priority. Altering lifestyle routine(s) and personal relationships instead of changing fitness routines is a sign that you are no longer “living” and simply existing. Tune up!
How do you pick a fitness routine that works for you?
It’s important, especially as you age, to approach exercise and wellness in a balanced manner. This means a healthy combination of nutrition, hydration, cardio, resistance training, stretching and core work, both abdominals and lower back. In my experience, many folks’ attempts at “tune ups” involve too much too soon. A better exercise goal is to design a program that is manageable, sustainable and changes every four weeks to ensure that the body does not become too accustomed to the work and plateau.
Depending on the intensity of workouts, the American Heart Association advises working out for at least 30 mins, 5 days per week. Remember though, the greater the intensity, the shorter the required duration and frequency per week. Understanding typical busy working-adult lives, I usually advise that clients workout at least three times per week emphasizing different modalities each day (resistance, stretching, cardio) to keep the body fresh and mind engaged.
Why, besides “looking good,” is exercise important?
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, more than all cancers combined, and it is both preventable and reversible through commitment to exercise and healthy diet. For many, this means simply engaging in aerobic activities like walking and jogging. Resistance training is often neglected but it should be brought to the forefront, especially for women as they often suffer from bone density issues as well. Also, training fast twitch muscle fibers will help people be more reactive in daily life — avoiding falls, being more responsive, etc.
What’s more exciting is the fact that physicality stimulates drive, innovation and creativity! This is especially important in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive society. Sure, the black dress or tailored blazer may fit better but being more connected with one’s body is the true measure of success and a gift to oneself.
What can you do to start your fitness reboot, right now?
The awesome thing about exercise that many people forget is that is doesn’t have to be punishment! In fact, it can involve play and even fun. Dancing, playing with your kids in the backyard, frolicking with your pet at the dog park, joining a recreational kickball league, planning a “heart hour” with friends. What’s more, exercise bouts add up! What does this mean? Interstitial moments of physical activity during a busy day add up and create the same value as sustained workouts. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, 12 minutes later!
I encourage clients to curate their own workouts in nontraditional places and with non-traditional exercise equipment when they can’t make it to the gym. Often times these workouts don’t require any equipment and minimal space is needed. At work, setting an alarm for every hour and standing up from the desk to do 15 squats and arm circles. In the kitchen, doing overhead presses with the fruit bowl (Kitchen Workout), while tackling mountains of laundry using the dryers edge as a push-up platform (Laundromat Workout) and even while commuting to work in the city center (Subway Workout).
Finally, I recommend note taking and data analysis. What did you eat — snap a photo with your smart device. You know that you were planning to post on instagram anyway! Keep record of your workouts in a notebook or with tracking software. Analytics will keep you on track, help with goal setting strategies and prove that the commitment to self was worth it!Turn up and Tune up, Andia
The SXSW Interactive Festival is an amazing experience that you won’t soon forget. The following are cues to maximize your on-the-ground resources and minimize the “could have, would have, should have!” Adventure is near the beginning of the dictionary, and that is where this story will start too. Let’s look at it from a sports perspective.
- Prepare your game plan by downloading the official SXSW App for your mobile devices and peruse all scheduled offerings – both official and “un-official” events. Next, strategize which are “Must Attend,” “Maybe” and “Hey, I’m curious.” RSVP in advance for events, talks and parties if required. But remember, sometimes plans don’t pan out and opportunities that you hadn’t expected present themselves. Game-time decisions are for the bold, just do it!
- Organize your roster of teammates, coaches and subs. Are you traveling with a group? Set up “group text” to build a community around you and maximize intel. Make a list (or several) of people/businesses whom you want to meet and pre-schedule face-to-face time if possible. Take advantage of mentorship sessions offered by industry leaders and have your pitch and questions prepared. Follow Twitter handles and hashtags of folks and/or trends you’re interested in, you just might “street meet.”
- The “Go-Bag” is a must for organized players. In it, consider including: business cards, a Sharpie (permanent marker), and a Mophie self-charging cell phone case or mobile power station (you can bet the provided charging stations and outlets will have long lines). Always have at least 3 pens. You’ll lose one, you’ll let someone borrow another, and that will leave you with your one and only. A protein bar, —or a zip-lock bag full of almonds or other non-perishable protein foodstuffs— bottle of water and breath mints. Hand sanitzer — hopefully you’ll be shaking a lot of hands.
- Rest and recovery. You won’t get much when you touch down to Austin so organize your sleep schedule to include less hours per night. Start tonight.
- Comfortable trumps cute. But comfortable and dapper? You’re a winner, especially in the shoe department! Chuck Taylors are a go-to for many, just add an insole and you’ll be ready for action whether dressed up or down. Also, don’t forget your sweater or light jacket —the conference rooms are often air-conditioned.
- It’s been said that SXSW is the sum of serendipitous meetings. Compliment someone on their exquisitely tied Chucks, ask a friendly face what sessions they’re excited about, strike up conversations with strangers while waiting in line for lunch. There’s no danger there and it’s prime networking time. Remember, that’s just the point of Interactive and no one will find it awkward. Also, try to venture out on your own, you’ll meet friends as you go (plus yours will probably be late to scheduled meet-ups anyway) and you might encounter an awesome session or experience that you hadn’t intended. Snatch a flyer here or there too. If the company/party spent money on advertising, the promotion might just be worth it.
- Get in the zone, live in the present and if you don’t like it —leave it. If there is an event that you’ve had your eager eye on, you had better get there early. Don’t be late. Don’t be on time. Be early. Remember what your grandma said, she was right! The lines may astound many first timers. Then once you’re in a session, engage. Avoid the habit of thinking about what’s next or what could be better that you’re missing. Finally, if you need to take a time out in the form of leaving midway through an unfulfilling session or a taking an unscheduled nap, just take that knee and don’t chastise yourself later.
- Don’t get placed on Injured Reserve. Most likely you’ll be operating on little sleep, high salt, sugar and hops intake and suffering from “tech neck.” Do your body and brain a favor. Hydrate. Hydrate. And then hydrate some more. Try to get fresh air whenever possible, stand up, stretch and un-crane your neck at least once per hour. Also, try to walk to venues whenever possible. Often times lines for free rides and traffic will take longer anyhow.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct can take you out of the game. Get familiar, but don’t get too familiar. The parties and after-hours festivities are memorable but if you go too hard you’ll miss the wealth of day-time opportunity. Don’t forget that the camera is always watching and now more than ever. Folks will take great pleasure in posting your lowest moments to social media and watching them go viral overnight. Be mindful that you represent the company you work for and/or your own personal brand. Have fun? Of course! But don’t do anything that can’t be undone.
- Did you get the win? Not until you follow up post-conference. This means taking account of all that you saw and learned —review your notes and devise implementation strategies. But the human element will prove most important in your game stats accounting. Hopefully you collected business cards on which you wrote the date, time and place where you met the person, and a unique quip or conversation cue that will allow for a personalized email or tweet correspondence.
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia
February is the shortest month of the year but it just might be the fittest. Have you honored your New Year’s dietary and exercise resolutions? Whether you have or whether you haven’t, I’ve got just the treat for you! A cool take on “abs are made in the kitchen,” I’m honored to present to you my newest fitness video –a collaboration with Monique Walton and the American Heart Association– Kitchen Workout. If you need encouragement of the daily variety, I’m excited to join new online outfit BK Nation as a wellness blogger and February #BKN28 Fitness Challenge Captain. There you’ll find my blog, “The Write Fit,” in which I offer exercise tips, workout videos, giveaways and more. And if you prefer TV, I’ll be joining you every Tuesday at noon as a Sports Segment host on BK LIVE.
Why all of the health and sport talk, you ask? Because! On February 2nd, this team from my home town met this other team from my dad’s home town. The result? Seattle Seahawks won the Superbowl for the first time in franchise history! It’s American Heart Month; the 50th Anniversary in fact. February 5th is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, championed by one of my favorite organizations, the Women’s Sports Foundation. February 7th is National Wear Day — a day that celebrates heart disease prevention awareness. And February 7th is also the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Faster, Higher, Stronger! What a day it will be. RED, white and blue speeding all over the place!
For those of you who recall my time training for the Olympics in the sport of Skeleton, I’ve helped to design an Olympic themed workout with the editors of popular app and website DailyBurn. You can bet it will challenge all of your senses, especially common sense, if you accept the challenge! If you want to work out with me in person in New York City, I’ve developed a dynamic sand and alternative resistance training class called Manhattan Beach Workout. Talk about getting ready for Summer with plenty of time to spare!
Oh, one more thing. We’ve been nominated for a Shorty Award in #SocialFitness! This online award recognizes people who “help others make healthy choices in their lives through their influence on social media.” If you’d like to vote, you can do so via Twitter by tweeting: “I nominate @AndiaWinslow for a Shorty Award in #SocialFitness because…” Be certain to write in your reason after “because…” or the vote won’t count. Thank you for your continued support!
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia
We are thankful! But not just on this day. Everyday, and in every way. But as it’s officially the United States’ Thanksgiving, we thought it an opportune time to state our united thanks for giving — to us. A big blog of thanks. Yes, we went there. To those who tune in to our cinematic wellness endeavor, we thank you. To the amateur photographers and videographers who send in their own “get it in where you can fit it in” moments, thanks for keeping things colorful and keep the shares coming! Those who’ve patiently provided support –tactical, creative and otherwise– have our enduring thanks. Major publications, news and lifestyle outlets, cheers for recognizing our efforts on TV and in print. To the bloggers and blogs who’ve shared our #MOVEment, ignited further action around the world and –in fact– sustained us, we thank you. Alphabetical drumroll please (the build up kind, this list is long):
American Heart Association, Bauce Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, BlackWebSeries.com, Black Women DO Workout, Blogalicious, Boxcar Grocer (Atlanta, GA), Center for Health, Media & Policy (Hunter College), DanielleAlex.com, Fit Girl Fuel, Fit Girl Travels, FMI Guild, Forbes, Get’em Girls, Girls Life Magazine, Go Red For Women, Greatist, Hooping.org, Just Diva, KXAN NBC Austin, Levo League, MAC & MUG Creative, Mike Street, Off On a Tangent, Pawsitively Delightful, PhytoLiving, Racked, Seema Style, Shut Up and Run, State of Now, SXSW, The Active Times, Upwave, Upworthy, UrbanWOM Social, WOW Sport (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), YoungBlackVegan. If we’ve neglected to list anyone, you know where our hearts are. In our chests, as are yours. We thank you too. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia
Brandi Stewart, Harlem, NY
2nd – Skype Wellness Consultation
Danita Hall, Phoenix, AZ
Yvette Odu, New Haven, CT
Lili Stansberry, Kent, WA
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpP5oRTtk98&w=640&h=480] “Heart Hour: Partner Workout” encourages people to “trade in the sweet alcoholic drinks and savory tapas of traditional Happy Hour for free-flowing H2O and electrolytes. It shows us how to join forces with friends for dynamic and time efficient workouts. We are our own answer!” To learn more about heart disease and the warning signs of heart attack, visit: GoRedForWomen.org. To better understand the differences between heart attack and stroke –know the warning signs of stroke– remember F.A.S.T:
About Andia Winslow
Professional Golfer, master Certified Fitness Professional and a contributor for the American Heart Association Go Red For Women campaign. Andia’s innovative health and wellness efforts have been recognized globally, with Forbes recognizing her work as the “Smartest, Sexiest Workout Videos Ever”. She works to inspire folks to harmonize their bodies with their environments. Follow her #MOVEment online @AndiaWinslow.
About the American Heart Association – Go Red For Women®
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. Go Red For Women® is the national movement to end heart disease in women. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278) or visit GoRedForWomen.org
About The Fit Cycle
Founded in 2010, The Fit Cycle is a multimedia health movement that is defined by resourcefulness. It works to inspire folks to make the most of what they have –however little, be it time, capital or possessions– to live more active and engaged lives. The Fit Cycle is a cinematic wellness endeavor that is inspired by art, music and a culture of collaboration. The Fit Cycle is moving at the rhythm of life.™ www.thefitcycle.com
For press inquiries, please contact: Publicity at TheFitCycle@gmail.com
For booking, please contact: Pamela Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
A few months back, I had the awesome opportunity to pose for world renown extreme sports and action photographer / storyteller Corey Rich. Our session was part of a bigger learning project called “Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Tech Tips.” Watch as we go behind the scenes for what it takes to realize a striking athlete portrait!
Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia