15 Tips to Increase Your Step Count

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Plenty of factors informed my decision to leave New York City, but I will miss a few things about it. I’m saddest about the fact that I’ll no longer be living in such a walkable place.

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City Walk: From Grand Central to the West Side

City Walk grand central west side selfcareseason

Welcome to my first City Walk blog! My favorite way to get around in New York City is by taking long walks, so I’ve decided to share some of my routes/urban trails in blog form since some of my followers requested it.

City Walks can be great for tourists looking to experience NYC from a more residential perspective or for city dwellers trying to gain a new appreciation of their area while exercising more. Try this one or other upcoming ones the next time you’re in the city and share you experiences with me in the comments! Just be sure to wear comfy shoes and stay hydrated.

Alright, now onto this lovely and very doable walk from Grand Central, through Central Park, and to the West Side. 

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Jumping Back into a Fitness Journey After a Break

jumping back into a fitness journey after a break self care season

Today I lifted a weight for the first time in three years.

Typing that made me cringe a little, but it’s true and I’m not going to make myself feel bad about it. Instead I choose to focus on the fact that I did the thing I’ve been dreading to get back in to: I actually worked out today!

I love to walk everywhere and often pass that 10,000 step mark, but that has been the extent of my exercise routine for a while. I’ve lost forty pounds in the last year through changing up my diet (Whole30 did me well) and walking, yet it became clear to me that I had to commit to restarting my fitness journey to continue making progress.

But I felt scared. I googled nearby gyms and hesitated to sign up for any memberships. I would look like a total newbie, use a machine incorrectly, insert other excuse my thoughts came up with. I was feeling really anxious about working out which then made me feel pathetic. The loop of self-doubt is real, folks.

These feelings held me back until the perfect opportunity arose. My friend Jenn Damiano became a certified personal trainer and asked me if I would be interested trying a session. I wouldn’t have to exercise in a public gym and I would get to work with someone I already knew. I said yes and we scheduled a private session.

Of course I felt a little nervous as I laced up my sneakers before my first workout back, but I got through it and I’m so glad I did! Here are a few tips to help you restart of your fitness journey.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes. The opinions expressed on this website are solely mine and do not reflect the opinions of any others. I am not a medical professional, and any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice. Consult your doctor regarding your nutrition and fitness.

Find a Friend

Team up with a friend or family member as you dive back into working out. Having someone you trust with you in the gym may make you feel less intimidated, plus it’s always easier to get something done when you know that someone is depending on you!

I lucked out by teaming up with a personal trainer who happened to be a friend. It made our session super chill, personal, and fun!

Wear Something That Makes You Happy

When you’re getting dressed for your first time back on the mat, consider choosing a piece of clothing or an accessory that brings you joy. Putting it on could make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Cute sneakers, leggings with a funky pattern, or that old lanyard bracelet you made at sleepaway camp could hype you up for your impending workout.

kiss t-shirt george workout

I decided to wear an old and soft KISS t-shirt my birth dad gifted me with some stretch capris to me to my first session. I felt ready to rock-and-roll all through my work-out. It was clearly a great choice.

Watch Your Nutrition

The nutrients we put into our bodies can really affect how well we function. Make adjustments to your diet that will help you before, during, and after your first workout back.

Don’t workout on a completely empty stomach. Take water breaks between songs and sets. Eat some protein once you’re done to help your muscles recover.

Take it Easy

Maybe you ran a ten minute mile in your heyday, but you probably shouldn’t attempt to do it again if you’re hitting the track for the first time in a while. You may feel eager to get back to the place you left off, but don’t push yourself too hard in that first workout. Doing so could increase your risk of injury.

It’s better to be patient with yourself and start slow. Modify the amount of sets you do and opt for lighter weights than you’ve used in the past. Take adequate breaks. Most importantly, listen to your body. If somethings hurt, stop and evaluate. It’s always better to avoid an injury than have to heal from one.

Once arms, legs, and abs were done at the end of my first session, I was feeling a bit burnt out. Jenn told me it was fine to stop a bit early and start cooling down if I felt like it, so that’s what we did. I really appreciated that she didn’t force me to go too hard.

I’m so glad I took this leap and said “yes” to exercising again! Stay tuned as I discover what forms of physical self-care work best for me.

Jumping Back into fitness After a Break selfcareseason

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

 

50 Ways to Treat Yourself for Free

Admit it: there’s nothing better than feeling pampered and unwinding. Treating yourself can be a great way to de-stress, but the price tag associated with more expensive self-care options like vacations, spa visits, and shopping sprees can be an obstacle when you’re trying to save money.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to practice self-care without spending a dime! Here’s a list of fifty free or cheap ways to treat yourself:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Listen to a podcast
  3. Call a friend and have a heart to heart
  4. Lay in the sunshine (with adequate sun-protection, of course!)
  5. Dance around your room
  6. Write in a journal
  7. Look for a free fitness class in your area
  8. Spend quality time with your pets (or find a friend who has pets)
  9. Check out free events in your community
  10. Meditate
  11. Wake up in time to watch the sun rise
  12. Try a new recipe that features your favorite ingredients
  13. Rearrange your furniture and decorations
  14. Play music that makes your heart sing
  15. Take out a new book from your local library
  16. Plan a day off from work
  17. Find a nearby hiking trail you haven’t been to before
  18. Window shop and make a wish list of your favorite finds
  19. Doodle or color
  20. Get dressed up when you feel like it
  21. Stay in your pajamas when you feel like it
  22. Sing
  23. Search for a new mantra
  24. Take a long bath or shower
  25. Snuggle under a blanket with a cup of tea
  26. Volunteer for a cause you care about
  27. Add new things to your bucket list
  28. Dig up old pictures and put your favorites on your fridge
  29. Stretch your body
  30. Watch silly videos online
  31. Use the beauty products hiding in the back of your cabinet
  32. Hug a friend
  33. Strike up a conversation with a stranger
  34. Nap
  35. Write down your favorite inspirational quotes
  36. Take deep, slow breaths
  37. Make a homemade gift or card for someone special
  38. Water the plants
  39. Water yourself
  40. Visit a museum with free admittance
  41. Look up at the stars on a clear night
  42. Try a new (affordable) hobby
  43. Roll down the windows when you’re driving
  44. Masturbate or have sex with a partner you trust
  45. Find a free crossword puzzle to do
  46. Prepare today for an easier tomorrow
  47. Re-read your favorite book
  48. Go to bed early
  49. Visit a garden and smell the flowers
  50. Practice gratitude

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What’s your favorite way to treat yourself on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

Have a little cash and want to treat yourself? Check out 20 Inexpensive Products to Treat Yourself To.