Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Fix a Workout Rut

After my last half marathon, I sort of realized that I needed to shift things up. I needed a break from distance training, as it was doing a number on my knees. Specifically, my IT band. Plus, a small part of me was bored with my routine. And then we decided to add another Barre Fit class to the schedule at my gym, which gave me a great excuse to shift things around a bit: Instead of teaching Barre Fit on Wednesday morning, I will be teaching it on Monday. A small change, but one that effectively helps me fix a workout rut.

How? Because it gives me an extra day to play with.

Let me explain.
Here's my current schedule with the new Barre Fit class:

Monday: Barre Fit
Tuesday: Spinning
Thursday: Running
Friday: PiYo Live
Saturday: Running
Sunday: Rest

Note how Wednesday is open. I've been going in early for some heavy weightlifting, and yesterday I did an at-home BOSU workout, followed by a short yoga sequence:

I'm alternating between strength and cardio all week, and that's exactly how I like it. Will I be OK with only two days of running? For the time being, yes. If I go into heavy training mode again, I can always add an extra run on Barre Fit Mondays—I typically run light on Mondays anyway. And there's even a small chance I might share that class with another instructor, which means I'd have every other week open for running and/or another strength workout.

Workout rut?
Yeah, I fixed it.

Here's how you can fix your workout rut:

workouts, exercise, fitness, fit tips, personal trainer, exercise advice
1) Sit down with your schedule. We do our best to stay organized and on-time, but life gets the best of us and something always suffers. Maybe it's your workouts. Maybe you're rushing things and/or working out at a time that's not conducive to your success. Perhaps you can switch things around a bit to help you make fitness a priority again. When it's not a priority, it pretty much zaps motivation. When you're highly motivated, ruts are few and far in between.

2) Meet with a personal trainer. I know, training sessions are expensive. And no, you don't have to buy a full package. Tell a trainer you need some new ideas and they'll be happy to "play" with you.

3) Try a new group fitness class. Is there one going on at the time of day you're typically at the gym? Maybe you need to spend time in the studio instead of on the fitness floor. Trust me, group fitness classes can be just as good (sometimes better than) time spent on the fitness floor.

4) Take a break. Sounds counterintuitive, I know. But sometimes if something isn't going well, the best thing to do is walk away for a minute. Get out of the gym for a week or put away your has-been favorite DVD. Spend a week walking around outside. Or maybe you just need a day or two of something different. And don't worry, it takes more than a week to ruin any advances you've created.

5) Buy a new piece of equipment. If you exercise at home, make your at-home gym a touch more awesome by purchasing a new piece of fitness equipment. Remember when you were a kid? That new toy did wonders for your creative play, right?

6) Buy a new piece of fitness clothing. Sounds silly, but it works. #retailtherapy

7) Enlist a friend to exercise with you. Because #fun.

Now it's your turn:

Question: How do you bust through a workout rut?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Zucchini Bread Waffles

Guess what? It's National Waffle Day. Are you hungry? I am. And I'm going to nosh on some zucchini bread waffles because YUM. I love zucchini, it's literally one of my favorites. I have an entire cookbook devoted to recipes with zucchini.

recipes, recipe book, zucchini, 101 things
But obviously, I always want zucchini bread because there's nothing better than a warm slice of it. Except I'm usually the only one that eats it. So with an abundance of zucchini in the house and only so much space in the belly for zucchini bread, I decided to get creative. Hence, the zucchini bread waffles.

waffle, waffle recipe, national waffle day, zucchini squash, breakfast
I literally just whipped up the dough as per the zucchini bread recipe in my cookbook, sprayed down the waffle iron and cooked up a few large waffles. So as not to waste them (or get sick of them) I cut them all up...

waffle, waffle recipe, national waffle day, zucchini squash, breakfast
...and now they're in the freezer. Lesson of the day, though: Your favorite quick bread recipe turns into delicious waffles. Banana bread waffles? Sounds delish. You just have to be ready for longer cooking times. As in, a few minutes longer than your standard waffle mix recipe.

Trust me, it's worth the wait.

I had some zucchini left over that I ended up sautéing, which added some extra flavor to the whole concoction. And you can't go wrong with bananas and syrup, either.

waffle, waffle recipe, national waffle day, zucchini squash, breakfast
I'm dreaming of breakfast right now.
I'm always dreaming of breakfast.
Your favorite meal, too? We can be friends, then.

Go ahead, find a zucchini bread recipe you know and love and give this technique a try. Or, check out these ten delicious waffle recipes from some of my fellow blog friends:

national waffle day, breakfast, food, waffles, recipe
1) Oatmeal Waffles with Cinnamon Maple Greek Yogurt (This Runner's Recipes)
2) Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Waffles (Food Pleasure and Health)
3) Breakfast Wafflewich (The Fit Foodie Mama)
4) Mini Waffle Crostini with Gorgonzola, Cranberries, Pecans and Honey (Run Wiki)
5) Secret Ingredient Carrot Cake Waffles (Strength and Sunshine)
6) Whole Wheat Applesauce Waffles (Slim Sanity)
7) Pumpkin Spice Waffles (The Live Fit Girls)
8) Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Waffles (Ari's Menu)
9) Breakfast Waffle Sundaes (Uproot From Oregon)
10) Green Chile Cornbread Waffles (The Fit Fork)

Question: Waffles or pancakes and why? Favorite topping?


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