Search Results for: label/get fit

Get Fit // Park Bench Workout

Trying a little something new with this latest edition of the Get Fit feature… Hold onto your seats (literally) and keep reading for S&P’s very first exercise video featuring my snazzy new gear from the Sofia by Sofia Vergara activewear line.  Not only do I have some helpful fitness tips for you today, but I’m also sharing a fun interview with the lovely leading lady herself, so be sure to check out all of the great goodies below! 

I get asked about my exercise regimen quite a lot, and I thought it might make sense to post a quick and easily customizable interval circuit that you can complete with just two handy tools: a standard bench at your neighborhood park, and a simple stopwatch app or interval timer.  Excited to have you watch the quick clip and let me know what you think… if you like what you see, please share with your friends, and be sure check out my “Fitness” pinterest board full of more inspiration! 

Shop the Episode

Now, let’s have a quick chat with Sofia about her latest project… 

Hi Sofia – You’re so fabulous!  :)  Can you tell me a little bit about why you decided to design an activewear collection?
“My Kmart line is all about giving women affordable fashion that makes them look and feel good.  I wanted to design this line so all sizes and shapes of women can find activewear at an affordable price and still look great when they are working out.”
I totally agree… The better you feel while exercising, the more you’ll do it!  What do you think is the most important piece of clothing to ensure a good workout?
“I think the whole outfit has to be comfortable and make you feel good.  You have to be able to move to get the benefits of the workout.”
What is your current favorite way to exercise?
“I don’t really like exercising, but lately I have been doing a lot of spinning classes and it is a great workout. I also workout with Gunnar, my trainer, and he keeps me motivated. “
Spinning is definitely one of my favorites, as well.  Are there any workouts that you dread but try to keep doing because of the great results?
“I dread all of it! It’s not fun, but you have to do it to stay healthy.”
I have to say I love a lady who prioritizes a healthy lifestyle, while keeping a realistic approach. :)  If you’re interested in trying out this new Sofia by Sofia Vergara activewear line for yourself, it’s available exclusively at Kmart – Be sure to also check them out on twitter and facebook to stay posted on upcoming collections and events.  
Now I’m turning the tables and asking YOU the questions:  Have you started working on toning up for Spring yet?  Do you have any favorite current workouts that you can’t live without?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so feel free to share!
This post is kindly brought to you by Kmart Fashion.
The Sofia by Sofia Vergara activewear items were gifted to me, 
but all opinions and original content is 100% honest and my own.  


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Get Fit // What to Wear

*Tweet me @styleandpepper  
with how you plan to #getfit this week!*

Time for another Get Fit feature, Friends!  Today, I’m going to talk about something that is often overlooked, but can be a surprisingly effective element of success in your own fitness routine… functional, AND fashion forward workout clothes.

These two elements do not always go hand in hand, but here is a simple concept that I’ve found to be true:  If your active wear makes you look and feel great, you’re more likely to want to put it on, and the more you have it on – the more inspired you’ll be to actually spend time being active!  (It’s true… Promise!)  See below for some helpful notes to remember when shopping for workout wear, and find out how the new Active by Old Navy line measures up!

Feeling good about what you’ve got on can absolutely create more motivation for a healthier you, but what you’re wearing to workout can also have a huge impact on your performance and overall success.  I recently had a chance to shop Old Navy’s Active line (perfect timing for my “More in 2013” goals), and I’m excited to share my favorite goodies and why I love them here with you…

  • Compression Cami – $10 // One of the most important things to me in a running top is that it comes with a decent built-in bra.  Most women wear a sports bra when they exercise, but I prefer something that has a little automatic support.  The tank I’m wearing above was just the right amount of snug, and I love that the thin straps will be great for minimal tan lines during sunny runs along the water this Summer.  Added bonus: I have one of the longest torsos EVER, and am so happy to finally find a tank that is long enough and doesn’t ride up when I move around! 
  • GoDry Running Pull-over – $20 // Layering pieces are one of the most important elements when you are determined stay active no matter what the weather is doing, and this pull-over is one of the best I’ve ever encountered.  It has all of my three most important criteria (moisture-wicking fabric, a zip-up turtleneck, and handy thumb holes!), and the slim cut with a slight flare at the hem is flattering on any shape.  I have to add that I wore mine around the house nearly all weekend, and it is very possibly one of the softest shirts that I own.
  • Cropped compression leggings – $20 // I like to think of myself as a legging connoisseur, and these puppies passed the test with flying colors.  With a smidge of a high-waist, strategically placed seams (more figure flattery!) and ControlMax material that holds everything in just like a pair of Spanx, you’ll be the envy of your Pilates class in no time.

I honestly am so pleased with everything that I brought home, and am already planning on heading back to get my favorite new pull-over in every single color (also going to nab one of these compression zip-up jackets to match the leggings above).  I’ve linked to the items here in the post, but because of the popularity of the pieces, have noticed that many are out of stock at the moment.  Definitely recommending that you head to your nearest store for some new exercise-inspiring apparel, and even more amazing:  All Old Navy Active is on sale for 40% off the already really incredible prices.  

Am I the only one that likes to look semi-polished before heading out to “pump-it-up”?  Tell me I’m not crazy! :)  Be sure to check out the earlier Get Fit features if you’re looking for more, and stay tuned for another fun fitness-focused post tomorrow!

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All thoughts & opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

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    Get Fit // High Intensity Interval Training

    Today’s post is the second installment of a fairly new S&P series called Get Fit, and features one of my favorite work-outs known as high-intensity interval training, that I affectionately refer to as HIIT (pronounced ‘heat’).

    Known for increasing both speed and strength, HIIT is a great option for when you only have a small amount of time but want a big impact, and it has proven to be a great way for me to get in some cross-training on my off days of running.  Keep reading for a full-breakdown of how I use HIIT to Get Fit, and be sure to let me know if you try it for yourself!

    The Basics // The main purpose of HIIT is to complete a dynamic mix of aerobic activity with weight bearing movements in order to maximize the peaks and valleys of your heart rate combined with the muscle-building of strength exercises.  True HIIT workouts should fall between 12 and 20 minutes and include a short burst of cardio at maximum effort possible, followed by a recovery period that allows your heart rate to come back down a bit before repeating the next set.  By alternating between the two, your body gets tricked into different stages of heart rate recovery, which provides a more efficient fat-burn along with toned, strong muscles. 

    My Routine // There are many different ways to do HIIT, but I’d encourage you to find a good system that works for you, and then just switch it up every now and again to keep from getting bored/burnt out.  Currently I adjust my workout based on how much time I have available and the conditions outside, but most often I’m either doing a video (see below) or some version of the following sequence. 

    • 5-10 minute warmup of a light jog – I head to the outdoor field of a nearby university campus because the stadium steps, bike racks, benches and grassy areas make for the perfect props.
    • 5 sets of 4 minute reps (using a timer, see below for workout break down), Total of 20 mins
      • 1 minute of stadiums* followed by 3 minutes of step upsUsing a bench (or other firm surface that is knee-height or lower), step onto the surface with one foot, bringing the other up to tap the same surface and then stepping down with the “tapper” foot – alternating feet each time.  Focus on putting your weight into the heel of the “stepper” foot to maximize the bootie-sculpting. Advanced: add a jump up off the bench instead of a tap, using your legs and the momentum of your arms to launch you straight up into the air.
      • 1 minute of stadiums followed by 3 minutes of modified push-upsTo get into position, place hands on a railing or wall (I use the top of a bike rack) with arms extended and walk your feet backwards until your body is straight as a board.  Complete as many push-ups as you can in this time, going at your own pace.
      • 1 minute of stadiums followed by 3 minutes of swing squats Standing next to the backrest of a bench or other hip-height stable prop with feet together, start by lifting your right leg straight up in front you and then swinging it backwards and planting your right foot several feet behind you while sinking down into a one legged squat.  In this first squat, the upper part of your left leg should be parallel with the ground and the knee should not go farther than the toe.  Stand back up by pressing down through the left heel and repeat, alternating sides as you go.
      • 1 minute of stadiums followed by 3 minutes of absI alternate between several different standing pilates movements here because I’m usually too tired to walk over to the grass for sit-ups, but you can do insert whatever ad exercises you like.
      • 1 minute of stadiums followed by 3 minutes of plankThis is a long time to hold a plank pose, but you’d be surprised how quickly your body will be able to work up to it.  My advice would be to keep from looking at the timer as best as you can and to think about a motivator (flat tummy!) or mentally go to your happy place (puppies/sandy beaches/new shoes!). 
      • *Stadiums = Sprinting at maximum effort/speed up and down the concrete steps of the bleachers.  Start carefully if you’re a beginniner, and please watch your step so you don’t get hurt!
    • Cool down by jogging/walking back home and don’t forget to stretch all those tired muscles you just worked while they’re still warm! 

    The Gear //  One of the huge draws for this form of exercise is that you can incorporate as much or as little actual equipment as you’d like.  In most cases you can either use props you have at home or that can easily be found in your neighborhood or at the gym, and that’s one of the reasons that this workout can truly be done almost anywhere!

    • I use (and love!) this simple interval timer, because I’m usually jumping/sprinting/using my hands for the entire 20 minutes, and it just stays handily clipped to my clothes without getting in the way or falling off. 
    • Another amazing resource that I recommend to people wanting to give this training format a go, is to check out the website Bodyrock.tvFull dislclosure: some of the posts are a little racy (read: lots of skimpy workout wear and sweaty skin showing), but if you can get past that I think you’ll be hooked.  The HIIT videos that they make and post (I did this killer quick leg work out yesterday!) feature different sequences and are super fast and easy to complete with plenty of adjustments that you can incorporate, as needed.  The best part about Bodyrock, besides the fact that the workouts produce amazing results, is that it’s completely free! 
    • You can make endless amounts of variations to your own system by incorporating cardio machines at the gym, light weights/bands, or even partner exercises to complete with friends.  If you’re feeling intimidated or are afraid of looking silly, you can even start simply by running for the full sequence:  Sprint for 30 seconds and then walk/jog for 3.5 minutes, repeat 3-5 sets and don’t forget to warm-up/cool-down before and after.  (Note: if you aren’t a fan of treadmills or don’t have access to one, try and find a place to run HIIT outside that doesn’t have stop lights or much foot traffic.  A park, school track or boardwalk can work really well because they’re typically flat surfaces with little to no obstacles to get in the way.)

    I know that’s a lot to digest, but hopefully you were able to extract enough helpful information and inspiration to try this workout for yourself. :)  Feel free to share in the comments if you have any tips, questions or personal experiences with HIIT, and I’m really looking forward to hearing your feedback on this one! 

    Also: What are your thoughts on the Get Fit series… is fitness something that you’d like to see as a continued feature, or do you prefer it when I stick to posting about personal style and pretty things?  Any other specific Healthy Living topics that you’d like me to try and tackle?  I’m no expert, but I do like to dabble, and am always happy to share my experiences and successes with others!

    [Courtside] Catwalk // Jersey Girl

    As you can see, I traded in my usual Concrete Catwalk for the courtside version today…

    With all of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, spending time outdoors has been a priority, and any excuse to combine exercise and enjoying the sunshine at the same time sounds like a pretty great afternoon to me!

    I wanted to switch things up for my workout routine this past weekend, so I threw on my brightest mesh jersey tank (which doubles as a great running top), and my compression leggings that I’ve already begged you to buy (they’re the best!) and we headed out to our neighborhood nets.  A rousing game of pick-up paired with some of my new activewear by Old Navy, and I’m already thinking about my next fast-break!

    This usually comes as a surprise to some, but I’ve been a basketball fan for as long as I can remember, and growing up around the NBA has given me a serious appreciation for the game… Do you have a favorite professional sport that you follow closely? Am I the only one who will be watching the finals this week?? :)

    Ps.  While we were playing and shooting these photos this weekend, I got a little inkling of an idea for a new Get Fit post for you guys, so stay tuned for a fun basketball-based workout video coming to the site very soon!

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    Recipe // Creamy Pea Pesto Dip

    I always get a little nervous when I branch out from sharing more than just my personal style with you on S&P, but I’m very excited to get back into the swing of posting healthy recipes here every once in a while.

    For the sake of easing back in, I’m starting of with one of the simplest and tastiest little snacks that literally whips up in minutes and can be used as pasta sauce, salad dressing, marinade or a delicious party dip with the addition of some pita chips and a few chopped veggies.  High in both protein and fiber, this would make a great snack to refuel with after trying out one of my Get Fit workouts!

    See below for the ingredients and steps, and let me know if you have any other fun ideas for creative ways you might use it in your own kitchen!

    Get the Goods 
    (Makes enough dip for a party, shown above)

    1 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed and drained)
    1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
    3 large garlic cloves
    1/2 teaspoon of dill
    S+P to taste

    Just ONE Simple Step!

    This “recipe” is literally just as easy as mixing everything up in a blender or food processor (I use my Magic Bullet for small batches like this one)… Isn’t that ridiculous?  As noted, I used 1/3 cup of greek yogurt for the dip pictured here, but if you’re going to be using it as a sauce, you may want a little more to achieve the right consistency.  As you can see, I added an extra dollop and some pretty smoked paprika for garnish. :)

    Another favorite variation of mine is switching up the herbs (basil works great!) and adding a little lemon juice for a “green goddess” style dressing.  SO perfect for a Summer-y spinach salad topped with toasted almonds and blueberries!   

    Because the peas and yogurt end up replacing the pine nuts and olive oil found in a traditional pesto, this creamier version tastes incredibly indulgent without adding too many extra calories to your meal.  I could go on and ON about the nutritional benefits and versatility of Greek yogurt (we go through nearly a quart per week!), but the peas themselves are high in protein, fiber and vitamin K, and they add a nutty sweetness that tricks you into thinking that you’re digging in to a real indulgence!

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      To a Joyful New Year…

      Image Credits // Entertain, Move, Unplug, Bicycle, Hair

      The very first S&P post of 2013 – Hoorah!

      Today, I’m sharing a few things that I’m hoping for MORE of in the new year.  Not exactly resolutions, as those usually seem like things that we vow to do less of (eat junk, drink alcohol, spend too much, etc), but a few little bits of life that I’d simply like to do more of in the coming year.

      Entertain more // G and I love throwing a great party, and we have a long list of friends (new and old!) that we’d love to have to dinner before the year ends – Just a bit of fun on the quest to make our home “A place to love“.  Here’s to more yummy food, more bubbly beverages & more late-night conversations and cherished friendships.  UPDATE:  We hosted our first annual Epiphany Party last year (140 people in our tiny apartment over the course of 12 hours!), joined a Dinner Group where we rotate hosting each week, and loved having several little parties here and there where we included lots of new friends and neighbors.

      Unplug more // Whenever I get a tiny squiggle of free time, it often gets taken up by my never ending to-do list. (Can anyone relate?) Instead of letting it slip away to work related minutiae, I’m hoping for more more book-readng, more DIY projects & more time snuggling on the couch with G and Sadie.  UPDATE:  I made it a point to step away from my desk the moment Mr. Pepper gets home from work each night.  That means I sometimes have to work more after he’s gone to bed, but having that time together after a long day has been such a treat!

      Experiment more // I haven’t been to a salon for a haircut or color for over 1.5 years, and have lately been feeling inspired to switch things up by trying a few different hairstyles lately.  Currently working up the courage to try more fringe, more braids, more curls & maybe even a great big chop one of these days.  UPDATE:  Two drastically different haircuts and the recent addition of some blonde highlights make me feel like I totally knocked this one outta the park. :)

      Ride my bike more // I snagged a beautiful little red vintage bike (and named her Ruby!) at the end of last summer, and hardly got any chance to ride her before the freezing-cold weather arrived.  Might be a bit chilly until Spring, but excited for more leisurely rides, cute bicycle-style posts, quicker errand-running, and perhaps some new wheels for my Sweet G!  UPDATE:  This was the ingredient that got neglected the most, but I DID order a bike pump the last week of 2013 and I’m hoping that getting those tires pumped up will have me on the road in no time.

      Move more // Ever since the Hurricane hit in October, my own personal fitness routine and goals have completely fallen by the wayside.  Now that the holidays have zipped by and the days will slowly be getting longer, I’m hoping for more outdoor runs, more focused discipline, more dancing and hopefully trying more new classes whenever I get the chance!  UPDATE: This was one of my favorite things to add this year, and I had such a fabulous time taking barre classes, getting back into my pilates and ballet practice, joining a gym & trying SoulCycle for the first time.

      Not trying to wiggle out of setting any tangible goals here, but I suspect that being intentional about adding just a bit more of each of these things to my life will be a great start towards a very good year.  Does that sound like it makes sense?  

      Are you planning on adding anything more to your life in 2013?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, and provide some encouragement in the comments, so feel free to share and I hope you have a fabulous first day of the new year!!

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