Blog Posts by Shannon Hoehnen

  • Recovery drinks – are they important?

    You just completed an intense workout. You're tired, disgustingly sweaty and realize a shower is in immediate order, before you start offending the dust mites (I hear they have powerful noses). You strip off your clothes (oolala!) and head up to the shower.

    WRONG.

    STOP.

    FAIL.

    Before you do ANYTHING after your workout, you need to refuel! I personally like recovery drinks because: 1.) I have some awesome recipes in my arsenal; 2.) they are the fastest way (since they're LIQUID) to get your body the energy and nutrients it needs.

    Now let's make one thing clear. When I say recovery drinks, I don't mean pre-packaged unnatural filth.(perhaps that's a little harsh - those are probably fine if they are your ONLY option- I recommend this one in a pinch )

    But I prefer to make my own drinks using fresh, natural ingredients (and maybe some protein powder for good measure).

    Plus, if your primary objective is fat loss, you probably don't want to guzzle down a

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  • What they don't tell you about P90X - Week 1- a truthful, honest review!

    This is not a post written to explain what P90X is. We've all seen the infomercials and we've all heard about it. If you haven't, you really need to get out more.

    What this post will provide is the TRUTH. I will hold nothing back (except perhaps my sanity?) and divulge exactly what I think about this program.

    To be clear, I have NO affiliation with P90X. Zilch.

    Okay, now that we're all on the same page.

    I consider myself to be in great shape. I work out multiple times a week combining cardio and weight lifting. I figured if anything, P90X would serve as a good tool to help me kick it up a notch.

    False.

    P90X is HARDCORE. If you want to kick things up a notch, give the SHRED a try, not P90X.

    P90X is structured for muscle confusion. Each day is different, targeting different sets of muscles and providing either a cardio or weight-lifting workout. In addition, each WEEK is different. It's not like you just keep rotating the same DVDs in a continuous

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  • How to prevent exercise burnout

    So now that spring is almost here, it's usually the time that we re-evaluate our fitness goals and talk about motivation. Many sites and magazines talk about getting excited to exercise and how we can stay at it and go, go, GO! But you rarely hear about burnout - you know, that overwhelming feeling that can put any exercise program to a halt. Burnout is a sneaky little monster! It can creep up seemingly fast, but the truth is, it doesn't happen overnight. There are some tell-tale signs to watch out for to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

    Like most things, burnout happens in stages, so it's important to recognize the signs along the way.

    STAGE ONE: CLOUD NINE

    Classic sign: you want to look good in that swimsuit you just bought, so you never miss a workout.

    Banish burnout: Less can actually be more. See, burnout happens when you expect too much too soon. Balance your excitement with the big picture! Even with the smartest, most effective workout program, you still

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  • Stop stressing! 5 tips on how to make a difficult decision

    A couple weeks ago, I talked about how to ask for a raise or promotion . Many of you found the information helpful (good!), but I received a few emails from people on the other end - as in, they were lucky enough to get approached with another job offer, or were being offered a promotion and weren't sure how to make a decision. This reminded me of several scenarios the Mister and I have dealt with personally (both job-related and not job-related) and I thought it might be helpful to put some exercises together to aid you in making a BIG decision. Maybe you are trying to decide between schools, or maybe you are not sure what career path to take (read my post: So, what do you want to be when you grow up? ). Big or small, we come head-to-head with decisions on a daily basis. Now some are a little more intense then "do you want fries with that?" (the answer is NO!), but nevertheless, here are some great tools to help you along the way.

    Weigh your options

    Make a pros and cons list

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  • Banish cravings... one sip at a time!

    For those of you who are hoping to nip those cravings in the bud this year, I have a trick for you. I've found that it normally has a 95% success rate (yes, there are times when chocolate, frosting and cookies are 100% called for and that's where the other 5% comes into play!). What is it you ask? Tea.

    But are all teas created equal? Studies have shown that green tea, specifically may have an upper hand on the other varieties. Easy to find in your local grocery store, green tea is considered a metabolic stimulator and a diuretic.

    A study conducted in 2000 found that rats given an extract of green tea had a significant decrease in food intake and body weight.

    In addition, green tea contains beneficial substances called polyphenols, which promote the burning of fat. Green tea also contains caffeine, a stimulant and diuretic. Like any beverage that contains caffeine, just be aware of your intake so you don't get the mid-morning jitters!

    No, not the crazy green tea

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  • Let it snow! Fun ways to burn calories this winter (and burn off that cocoa!)

    As we've all noticed by now, Father Winter is here . For those of you who don't have to deal with an endless field of snow (ie - a snowy driveway), I hate your guts.

    But after reading this, you, your sunglasses and tank tops may be hating mine.

    Why, you ask? What could I possibly make you and your beautifully tanned skin jealous of me, Mrs. Powder, no excuse me...CULLEN ?

    Well, because while you are lounging in your beach chairs, my friends, I am building biceps!

    Yes, the only way to make shoveling a driveway tolerable is to think of it as a workout - and it really is! The average calories burn for a 150- lb person shoveling snow for 30 minutes is 205 calories. And for those of you who eloquently take out your aggression like me, slamming your shovel repeatedly into the slab of ice that was once your driveway, will whittle away 4 million calories. Of course then you'll need a hot chocolate, so you see where my title comes into play… (does this post vaguely

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  • How to train and exercise through an injury

    When I discovered I had sciatica , the first thing I thought was, How is this going to affect my activity level?

    While I may not be running a marathon any time soon, I certainly don't have to stay in bed, either. In fact, the Mister and I went to the gym this morning. Instead of tackling the elliptical, I opted for the bike - since the back stays in one place throughout the duration of the exercise. I did a good majority of my ab exercise routine , but omitted the movements that twisted my spine.

    I could have done some arm exercises, or anything else that allows me to stand upright, as well.

    Just because one part of your body is hurting, doesn't mean you have to forgo all exercise. Case and point : "The human being is a unique machine with some 536 muscles in the body, so if you pull a hamstring for example, and you've lost the capacity to work out four or five related muscles, you've still got some 530 other muscles in the body to help you burn calories." Have a sore

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  • Ride your bike safely throughout the winter with these tips

    One of my Christmas presents came early this year. A brand new BIKE. This has been a long time coming and I am SO EXCITED for my new bike. It's a top-of-the-line bike, built for speed and road riding, but it was MADE for those who seek COMFORT in their bike - no numb-butt here!

    I know what you are thinking - But Shannon, isn't it getting colder outside? Buying bikes in the winter might not the best way to avoid frost-bite…

    HA! I'm trying to be hardcore, people, hardcore.

    Taking a cue from the lovely Angela (one of my favorite bloggers) and her Project Snow, I'm not going to let a little cold air keep me from my trailblazing adventures!

    But that doesn't mean that we should throw all caution to the wind. Remember to keep my cold weather tips in mind, as well as these winter bike tips:

    Get a winter tune-up. You DON'T need a whole new bike for winter riding. Just make sure to stop in your local bike shop for a safety check - we don't want your breaks giving out!

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  • Take it outside! -- Tips for working out in the cold weather

    So it's officially coat weather. Yes, we had a few nice days sprinkled in, but I think it's safe to say that we're well on our way to winter. Taking a look at my own workout habits, I already notice a difference in my attitude and overall demeanor in regards to working out. For example, instead of getting up early for the gym this morning I stayed in my warm cozy bed - I mean, it's still pitch black outside for cryin' out loud! It's as if Mother Nature is begging us to keep sleeping! Well now heading into the afternoon I am KICKING myself for not getting my workout over with.


    Fact: it's only going to get more difficult. The excuses list is only going to continue to grow.


    So what can we do to keep ourselves motivated? And if we are working out in the cold, how do we know we're doing it safely?


    Behold my winter workout tips!


    1.) Bundle up!

    Dress in layers, using a moisture wicking material closest to your skin. Going on a snowy hike? Don't foget the long underwear!

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  • How to end 'fat talk' and why you should love your body

    So we all like working out to lose weight, maintain weight, look good and keep our tummies tight, but how many of us do it simply because it makes us feel good?

    Sure it may be a happy side-effect… ya know, the endorphins and all that science that proves that exercise makes us feel better, but for most of us, it isn't THE reason that we work out.

    The more I started thinking about this, the more I realized…it SHOULD be! Why shouldn't the main reason we work out be that it makes us feel better about ourselves? Let the fitness level and lowered body fat be the happy side-effect!

    Once we start switching our focus to the positive energy that exercise brings, our increased fitness level and tighter body will come with it.

    According to Heather Hausenblas, a University of Florida exercise psychologist, "people who don't achieve workout milestones such as losing fat, gaining strength or boosting cardiovascular fitness feel just as good about their bodies as their more

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