No Time for Excuses!

Are you avoiding exercise because you:
                    -don't have time?
                    -can't change your old habits?
                    -can't stay motivated and on track?
                    -have bad knees, back, etc?
                    -aren't sure it's worth the effort?
                    -don't know where to start?

Feel stronger! Have more energy!  Increase self-confidence!

Life is short!  Stop making excuses!  Start making life changes...

Complimentary first month of personal training and nutrition guidance.

Contact Aura Fitness today!

Parque del Buen Retiro

Only five more days until I arrive to Madrid!  It will be about 53*F there (11*C--have to keep practicing my metric measurements!) on Tuesday, perfect weather for running, biking and walking my dog, Dior.  We have been hibernating from our favorite parks, as this winter slammed the northeast with blizzard after blizzard.  I can't wait to end our cabin fever!  My boy is starting to get too lazy.....

Parque del Buen Retiro is to Madrid what Central Park is to New York City.  It is the epicenter of rest and relaxation in an otherwise commercial, international city. Affectionately referred to as "the lungs" of the city, I look forward to the opportunity to exercise alongside los españoles and learn new techniques or routines to share with my clients back here in the States.

I would also like to discover other walking/running paths the city has to offer.  I'm sure there will be a lot of people preparing for the Mapoma Race in April, Madrid's annual marathon, who can give me insight.
I'm so excited!! :)

Photos to come..

Viva España!!

I am very excited to be returning to Spain this spring.  I plan to travel in Madrid, Salamanca, Barcelona and hopefully to Portugal and Italy as well.  I will be teaching English with a terrific organization in Salamanca, and look forward to meeting some great new students!

I will also be working on various fitness projects, including research on the role of Physical Education and Health Education in Spanish communities and schools.  I would like to study what principles and practices are in place that help foster positive physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual growth specifically in children but also in adults.

Some topics I will be covering:

What types of activities in the community do children participate in? How are girls and women supported in athletics?  What types of mental services are available to students in schools and the community?  How do young people interact socially?  How has social media affected teenagers?  What role does religion play in the lives of young people? How do parents communicate with their children?  Are there unique characteristics of social and physical interaction between Spanish parents and children?  What role does exercise play in the lives of adults?  How has the new smoking laws affected Spanish lifestyle or health? (Spain FINALLY just passed legislation prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars, near hospitals, and school playgrounds.)

Riding on the tails of this past summer's World Cup victory, I am interested in finding out what else the Spaniards do for exercise besides fútbol!

Regarding nutrition in Spain, I found that the Spanish easily resist the fast food industry.  Based on my last visit, I observed their ability to place greater importance on cooking with minimal distractions, and instead to rely solely on the natural flavors and spices of food.  It was very refreshing to see families eating together as one unit, without televisions blaring, and without teens texting under the table.  I loved watching the families eat together, serving one another delicious paella from a very large pan and enjoying every morsel!  They certainly eat slowly, to savor every bite!   

Another amusing thing I observed in families was their drinking habits.  No, no! Not the alcoholic kind!  They would split one can of soda between say five people!   I stared in amazement as they quenched their thirst with a tiny sip of cola.  These people were like cacti plants!  It took all my willpower to not devour a whole can in one gulp, like a typical American would.  I appreciate the idea of not drinking a lot of soda. I also liked that children are taught not to drink excessive amounts of soda.  

There are approximately 3 grams of sugar in one sugar packet.  As there are 65 grams of sugar in one 20 oz bottle of Coca-Cola, that means there are more than 20 packets of sugar in the soda you drank during lunch!  No matter what your viewpoint is regarding soda and sweet drinks, the fact remains that our nation is in love with sugar.  However, the numbers just don't add up.  We are putting ourselves at unnecessary risk for obesity, lower bone density, tooth decay and possible reproductive difficulties. 

I really don't enjoy drinking soda or juice.  What works for me is number one, always adding lemon to plain water.  Number two, I do not buy individual bottles of water (it's bad for the environment and not very cost effective!).  Instead, I am a big fan of my water filter on the kitchen sink, and use a reusable (BPA-free!) water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.  When I drink regular amounts of water, I notice a difference in the clarity and softness of my skin, less joint pain during workouts, and less fluctuation in my body temperature.   

So let's make like the Spaniards and abstain from soda, fruit juices and alcohol for a week.  See if you can consistently drink eight glasses of (8 oz) water daily.  Can you only drink water for a month?  Try to cook with olive oil and spices such as rosemary, oregano and basil, instead of cheese or sauces (check out the quantity of sugar in a bottle of BBQ sauce!).  Turn off the television, and share your meals with your family.  Enjoy your meal slowly, and listen attentively at the table.  

Buen Provecho!

Cada dia es un nuevo comienzo...

La vida es muy corta para preocuparse de cosas tontas.  DISFRUTA! AMAR! Di lo que quieres decir.  Has lo que quieras hacer.  No te arrepientas de nada.  No dejes que nadie que no vale la pena haga sentirte menos.  Riete con todo tu corazon! Baila en la lluvia! Ignora el dolor! Ama y aprende.  Perdona y olvida porque recuerda que solo tienes una vida.

El sol de Ibiza, Verano dosMILdiez...

Motivated Movement..

Recently, a friend and I were speaking about motivation.  
A quote below:
“Every day I wake up thinking about how I should be working out,  but then something else gets in the way.  My schedule is busy and I don’t have time to get to the gym.  I want to have the strength and resolve like Mike [boyfriend].  He is the most dedicated gym rat I know.  Works an 18 hour NYPD shift and then wants to come home to not sleep, not eat, but work out!!”
I first responded to her comment by reminding her that everyone has different fitness goals.  Likewise, many people in high-risk, stressful jobs utilize exericse as a method of stress reduction.  I hypothesized that after an 18 hour police shift, her boyfriend needed a way to release his adrenaline, which is why he opted for exercise before anything else.  
We discussed her short term and long term goals.  To address her lack of motivation, I invited her to sign up with me for a 10 week personal training program.  It is harder to be a slacker when you know someone else is expecting you to perform at a certain level.  Likewise, I reminded her that jumping rope 10 minutes per day to upbeat music would be a quick, affordable and efficient way to squeeze cardio into her schedule.  
For a short term goal, I would like to see her cardiac output increase by 5% within the next 3 weeks.   She recently quit smoking, but still wheezes while walking up stairs.  Long term, I would like to see her combining circuit training with cross-fitness elements.  I am sure that if I were to design a fitness plan that incorporated multiple elements of fitness (ploymetrics, cardio, and kickboxing), she would stay motivated and on track for imroved wellness.
So how do you get motivated to work out?  Do you prefer to work out with a buddy?  Write a fitness journal?  I’d love to hear your tips for staying motivated!