Fight Fat Tuesday

How fitting that I decide to start a fitness blog on none other than the “fattest” day of the year–Fat Tuesday! I can giggle at the irony. And to induce more giggles from other dessert lovers, here is a nifty baked (healthier!) beignet recipe that I found from another running-girl blog, “Eat, Live, Run.” It’s a gem everyone. Just like these beignets…

Whether you are indulging in king cake and beignets today or not, the fact that you are here indicates that you care about health and fitness. We already have something in common! (Let’s be friends)

When I began running four years ago, I ran the same 2.9 mile loop around the school district of my hometown for three months straight. Yes, three months. Same stoplights, same bushes, same rocket-fire homestretch blaze of glory back into the high school parking lot for 90 days. It was not instant love, it was not a natural feeling at the beginning. No siree. It hurt. There was huffing and puffing and enough side stitches to make a quilt for my deathbed. But I stuck with it. I pulled my tennis shoes on everyday after the final bell and ran that 2.9 miles rain or shine. Now I am running half marathons in an hour and a half. Four years and a lot of dog-gone grit can take you places you never thought you would be.

So my challenge to you today is to fight Fat Tuesday! Here are a few options for any fitness level!

In the Beginning(ers): Go on a brisk 20 minute walk. This will burn around 100 calories. Whenever you get back do 25 calf raises and 25 dips with a chair or barstool or whatever you can find! Skip the soda today. Put some frozen fruit in your water in place of ice. It’s surprisingly refreshing 🙂

The Mod(erate) Squad: Fartlek for around 30 minutes. No, this isn’t some crude insult. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” which means a new challenge for your run! Changing pace changes your heart rate, which changes your body. Run for 8 minutes at a warm up pace, and then alternate 1-minute hard pace with 2-minute moderate pace for 15 minutes–and when you go hard, go hard! Cool down for 8 minutes. Finish your workout with “Strength Quarters.” 25 pushups, 25 lunges, 25 dips and 25 ballerina squats (feet wide, toes pointed out, deep squat). Swap potatoes, rice and starches today for veggies. Here is a recipe for some amazing mashed cauliflower.

Been Around the Block(ers): Today is a good day to try something new, as is every day. Introducing..Strength-Inducing-Mile-Splits. Run a mile as hard as possible. Stop! 30 burpees and 30 lunges quick! Now on to the next mile as quickly as possible; then 50 jumping jacks and 25 pushups! Time to churn out that last mile–then 50 mountain climbers and 100 crunches! Whew! This workout is TOUGH, but it goes fast and you feel like a champ when it is all said and done. It is like a runner’s version of CrossFit. Tonight, don’t undo all of your hard work with that king cake. Skip traditional dessert and bake an apple. Top it with greek yogurt and enjoy!

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