The LEA(V)ES are a-Changing

Change is inevitable. The right vibes and souls enter your life through constant changing motion. To thrive and grow, it is essential for humans to change. Especially the college-type humans. We’re a bunch of commitment-phobic, indecisive millennials anyhow, right? We hear it all the time.

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I woke up out of bed this morning with a spontaneous thought: I desperately need to get back into fitness blogging. Did I know what I was going to blog about after being gone for two months? I didn’t. Maybe about my grocery list? My new job at the gym? How hard I’ve been on myself for slacking on the blogosphere?

I went to my Total Body Fitness class at 1pm today, Thursday. The same class I go to with the same instructor and the same familiar faces every week. I walk into class and set up my step aerobics and dumbbells as usual when my fitness instructor, Olga, announced that she isn’t returning after class today. And my heart SANK. It wasn’t a dramatic excuse for leaving, but simply because the commute is too long. I relied on this woman (who kicked my butt harder than any group fitness instructor) to get me into shape and be there for me at 1pm every Thursday. And this happens every semester. New group fitness classes and new schedules means changes happen all the time. I’m used to it and yet it will never stop bumming me out.

I’m a pace changer, wild bird, adventure seeker and yet the slightest bit of change can break my spirits in a split second. A little contradictory, no? It made me reflect on how much change I’ve experienced in such a short time in this semester in college. How different of a human I am in what feels like a matter of split seconds.

I started this blog about a year ago as a way to inspire and share my tips and tricks from my experience losing weight in college with other looking to do the same. Losing 30 pounds? Easy. Losing 50 pounds? Easier. Losing 86? Not a problem. I did it; I get it. Weight loss is a formula. There are 1 million and one personal trainers and fitness professionals that will tell you the same path to get to the weight you want to be.

But no one is going to tell you what to do about the feeling you get when your group fitness instructor leaves. Or when you were looking forward to a liberating morning run until it started to rain. Or when your favorite machine is out of order. It might seem silly, but each of these things require CHANGE. A new fitness class, a new workout routine for the day, or a new machine is going to throw you off for the worse or the better.

A lot of uncomfortable change happens in college. The same people that once would drop everything for an ice cream date or late night rendezvous with you might not even exist on your contact list anymore. The same major that once pushed you off the edge of your seat might seem like a chore. The usual down-to-earth you may not be so thrilled with staying in and being a homebody on weekday nights. Or the party animal in you that once existed in high school wouldn’t mind drinking chai tea on the couch with a mystery novel. It’s O.K. It’s normal. We’re all a little crazy, but we’re all a little normal, too.

Adapt to change. Be adaptable, but remain the best version of you for yourself. Love the you that are you are NOW. Quit what doesn’t feel right. Branch out to meeting people that feed your soul in new ways. Try something, or someone, new. Find the human in you that can adapt to change. Accept yourself (changes and all) and the world around you will accept you, too

The leaves are changing. I am changing. Fitness4U is changing, too. I’m excited to show all of you. Stay on the moving ride with me.

XO Kayla J.

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Group Fitness Classes to Try: PiYo and Barre Blast

Combining what you already love with a contemporary twist is the best way to spice up your summer workout and transition into a new one for fall.  I’m always looking for ways to mix it up to avoid plateauing, and mix up my cardio and strength training routines. Sometimes it’s just easier to head into the gym without having to think about the sets and reps you have to do. Just follow along with the group instructor and the rest of the class and your workout will go by in a breeze!

Challenge of the month: Be spontaneous and check out your college’s recreation center or gym and take a new, unfamiliar class!

As an avid Pilates enthusiast, I found two classes to mix up my traditional workout that I want YOU to try:

PiYo

PiYo is a fusion of Pilates and Yoga involving stretching, core work, and meditation practices. If you love Yoga and have never tried Pilates or vice versa, this is the perfect happy medium and introduction to the new practice. PiYo uses faster paced cardio and core based movements from Pilates and more traditional yoga poses such as the downward dog and warrior pose for a representative mixture.

TRY IT TO:  *Mix up your traditional yoga or Pilates workout, learn a new technique in a group fitness atmosphere, develop strength, agility, and breathing methods encompassing your own body weight

Barre Blast 

Whether you were born with two left feet and wish your parents threw you into dance at the age of 4 or have hips like Shakira, Barre is the perfect combination of ballet and strength training. Incorporating many core exercises from Pilates, Barre is a standing workout mimicking the graceful vibes of ballet. Looking for Plie squats, booty lifts, and lunges? Barre will tighten and strengthen while increasing endurance through cardio based strength training. I always come out of this class sweating like I just got out of the oven!

TRY IT TO: *Incorporate cardio into a traditional Pilates workout, develop balance and strength, tighten up your thighs and butt for your Halloween costume

Tell me about your experiences with group fitness classes: love the motivation and vibes or prefer to work out on your own?

Clean Eating Grocery List for a New Semester

Summer is now surely drifting away like the end of a weekend long musical festival, trip across the globe, and the dog days of a blooming romance that could have been. While the end is bittersweet, new things are quickly sparking as a new college semester arises.

Studying a new language, meeting new friends, or simply introducing a challenging workout routine into your schedule may be just the change necessary to put a little spark in your step.

Nevertheless, it’s the perfect opportunity to hop off and recover from the summer treats. Ice cream pops, double cheeseburgers, and alcohol from picnics and bonfires will still be around come next summer.

It’s your year to vow to stick to a clean eating routine because your body deserves it. Vow to treat your body like the holy grail that it is. Vow to treat yourself and keep it 80/20. Vow to love yourself, exercise, and keep an open mind.

Clean eating in college does not have to be brain science even when on a budget. Ditch the processed foods and snacks and take this list with you to the nearest grocery store as you prep to start the school year off on a healthy note.

Here’s a little sneak peak of some of my own pre-semester food shopping:

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Grocery Shopping Essentials:

Breakfast

Eggs

Turkey Bacon

Tomatoes, Spinach, Onions

Oatmeal, Loose and Microwavable Packages

Peanut Butter

Chia Seeds

Almond, Soy, or Low Fat Milk

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Low Sugar Cereals, Special K Chocolate Delight and Honey Bunches of Oats

Whole Wheat Waffle Mix

Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, Watermelon

Greek Yogurt

Ground Cinnamon

Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Bagels

Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

Pesto

Avocadoes

Lunch

Sliced Deli Oven Roasted Turkey or Honey Ham

Lowfat or Thin Cheese Slices

Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Sliced Bread

Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Mixed Greens

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Canned Tuna in Water

Light Mayonnaise, Ketchup, Mustard

Sriracha and Hot Sauce

Black Pepper, Salt

Canned Soups, Tomato and Chicken Vegetable

Dinner

Whole Wheat Pasta

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Sauce

Ground Turkey

Spinach

Onions

Brown Rice (microwavable bowls)

Black Beans

Lean Boneless Chicken Breast

Green Beans, Asparagus, Packaged Greens, Cucumbers

Broccoli Stir Fry Vegetable Mix

Salad Dressing, Stir Fry Sauce, Soy Sauce


Snacks 

Reduced Fat Cheese Sticks

Boom Chicka Pop Low Calorie Sea Salt Popcorn

Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Grapes

Trail Mix, Dried Fruits

Dark Chocolate, Dove Squares

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, Frozen Yogurt or Sorbet

Multigrain Crackers

Kashi, Cliff, or Quest Bars

Tortilla Chips

Salsa

Extra Goodies 

Vanilla Extract

Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder

Cooking Spray

Vegetable Oil

Coconut Flakes

Honey

Chocolate Chips

Drinks

Water! Invest in a solid water bottle to refill on campus for free!

Protein Powder

Lemonade

Orange Juice

Green Tea

Tips and Tricks

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Stick to seasonal produce when looking to cut costs. Seasonal= less $$$ and more freshness.

Buy in bulk. Non perishables liked canned goods, snack bars, and crackers can be bought in bulk to last the semester.

Read the labels! Make sure you’re incorporating fiber, sugar, carbs, and protein into every meal.

Check out a cookbook! You might think there is absolutely nothing to make with the ingredients you already have, but there’s always room to get creative.

Join in the conversation and tell me what else is on your college grocery list!

#personalgoals

Ever scroll through endless posts on your Instagram or Facebook feed about committing to fitness for the summer? They go something like: #summerbodygoals #fitnessgoals or the glorious #mondaymotivation goals. Or constant reminders of what you swear you already know: “drink more water, wear sunscreen, eat more greens” yadayada? 

At an interview at Lululemon a few months back I was asked: What is one goal that you failed to meet and what did you learn from it? The popular fitness clothing company holds a primary focus on goal setting within its brand and employees.

Various answers in the group interview included not reaching a certain goal weight, getting all A’s on a report card, and failing to spend enough time with family.

My failed goal: not putting enough effort into preparing for my Pilates certification. It’s a goal that I aspired to reach before creating Fitness4U because I wanted a way to share my passion for fitness with others.

The question ultimately made think in different terms: Is a failed goal really a failure if you learn from it? And more importantly: what did I learn from not making it?

It’s okay to not meet a goal as long as you take something away from it from it. Time is never wasted if you are learning. 

I decided to take my “I don’t have enough time for it” excuses and combine my passion for fitness AND writing to share a few tips and tricks from my experience on this blog while I work toward my certification in the meantime.

Some goals are not meant to be met in a few weeks or a few months. Life can get messy, but setting up a list of deadlines and using visuals to see your goals can help.

Here’s a little fitness goal setting 101 for the remainder of the summer:

1. Have a number to work up or down to. This can be ANYTHING from cups of water, minutes per mile, squat repetitions, or as a simple as a goal weight to work toward. Having a certain number in mind will remind you to keep working toward achieving a certain goal.

2. Create a vision board, either virtual or real. Pinterest anyone? Spend a little time putting together workouts or recipes that inspire you to stick with a fitness plan, or certain goal you want to reach. Look at it daily to remind yourself just where you are meant to be.

3. Tell your best friend and a group of peers. The best friend that will drop anything to help you get to where you are reaching for. That will jump out of bed and go for a run with you when necessary or skip the ice cream for fro-yo instead when you say you’re on a little bit of a cleanse (guilty!) Now for the group of peers: make it people who will keep you accountable, and maybe even some who don’t exactly believe in you just so the outcome is 10x better when you make it happen.

4. Don’t take summer vacations on your health. It’s the season of traveling and summer fun, but it is easy to incorporate fitness and clean eating in a vacation to Hawaii or Southern California this month. Stick with whole grains, greens, and lean protein even when eating out. Choose healthier options that won’t leave you bloated for the rest of vacation. Walk or run around town to explore the new city you’re in.

5. Learn to appreciate spending time on you. Stretching, yoga, and running are all good forms of stress relief that allow you to focus on you in the moment. It can be difficult to reach a goal with everyone else in mind. Anyone who is successful has taken some time to focus on themselves. Use this time to your advantage.

Sneaking FIT in

Ever feel like you are drowning in life and starting to feel the bloat or guilt from not focusing on clean eating and workouts? With work, school, and writing there isn’t a lot of time  for anything extra, but staying healthy is still a top priority. Fitness and eating clean keeps us going and able to do all the amazing things we are trying to achieve.

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Here are a few essentials to easing back into health without much time commitment:

1. Drink Water! You hear it a million times, but water is the key source to cleansing out bad toxins in the body. Replenish with a tall glass of water in the morning,  in between workouts, and at night to get in enough to refuel your system. It clears skin, helps with mind focus, and gets rids of the bad stuff consumed in your YOLO treats from the day even quicker.

Quick Tip: Drink half your weight in ounces for optimum daily performance! Add in fresh fruits for a sweet kick.

2. Keep healthy snacks with you throughout the day so you’re not tempted to binge at dinnertime. And save money! Some of my favorites:

  • Protein and Fiber Bars
  • Dark Chocolate 72%+
  • Apple, Bananas, and Oranges
  • Peanuts, Almonds, and Cashews
  • Greek Yogurt (tons of protein!!)
  • Crunchy Pretzels or Pita Chips

3. Cut back on simple carbs: white breads and rice make you bloat and are the quickest foods along with sugar to store automatically in your lower belly.

4. Sleep!  Sleep is so essential to maintaining balance in your life. Make sure you get in a recommended 6-8 hours a day and don’t be afraid to take short 30 minute naps to get an extra energy boost. Sleep is important for refueling

5. Use the time you DO have to work out to your full potential. So you only have 20-30 minutes? Push hard and do circuit training. Run a few miles to improve your time. Dance a little! You don’t have to have a lot of time, but use the time you do have to get in that extra calorie burn.

6. Don’t overwork yourself. Stress is one of the sole causes of weight gain. It releases cortisol, a stress hormone that messes with your whole system. Get in adequate sleep, take a few deep breaths, and remember: it’s all going to be OK. You WILL get through it.

ALSO: I know I’ve overloaded the blog with smoothie recipes but I made the BEST mix a few weekends back that I have to share:

3/4 individual container of Blueberry Yoplait Light Yogurt, 4-5 cubes (approximately) of fresh cut pineapple, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 5-6 frozen or fresh strawberries, 3 ice cubes, 1 tablespoon chia seeds

This turns into a sweet, fruity smoothie perfect for mornings, pre-workouts, and study breaks! Throw in some greens and protein for even more nutrients.

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FITNESS4U is coming back with a new look in a few weeks and my recent blog absence is due to trying to get it all up for you and being a little bit of a busy BEE. Thanks for sticking around! Keep reading and let me know what YOU want to know!

Blogilates “Hot Body Year Round” Meet Up and Banking on Yourself

Think about the last time you truly indulged in yourself, took the time to reassess where you stand with your goals, or made it a point to release the distractions in your life to focus on you. It may be today, a few months ago, or a time that you can’t quite pinpoint. What ever your answer: it might be a great time to consider banking on yourself.

At the Music Television (MTV) Movie Awards show last Sunday, Jennifer Lopez said something after receiving an award for her recent film that refuses to leave my head: “Banking on yourself can be scary, but it’s rewarding. So bank on yourself.”

A lot of really great things have come out of times when I decided to focus on myself, including my health and fitness journey. One of the most prominent: discovering Cassey Ho’s Youtube Channel, Blogilates, after high school when I committed to finding a healthier and more confident version of myself.

I found Blogilates after deciding I was going to get in shape before entering college and try out Pilates since I was in a funk with finding what work out really worked for me. One day in the summer of 2013 I came across this video:

and the Beginner’s Workout Calendar (currently updated!) that accompanies it and decided to stick to it. In the past two years I have been with the channel and workout program following each month’s fitness focuses while incorporating my passion for Pilates.

Since 2013, Ho has created numerous workout plans, increased her subscriber number by hundreds of thousands, released a phone application, and just recently wrote a book, Hot Body Year Round.

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I attended her San Jose book signing tour stop and had the chance to work out in her VIP (Very Important POPsters) class beforehand. Her live classes are intense, but extremely motivating when everyone is working hard to a series of Top Hits designed to each workout.

Around 100 POPsters (a term designated to her Youtube, blog, and social media followers) lined up for her class and recieved coupons to her clothing line, tattoos with inspirational quotes like “Train like a beast. Look like a beauty,” and Quest nutrition samples. The class consisted of the moves in her POP Pilates Youtube Video series: including ab, oblique, butt, and thigh sculpting moves.

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After the class, all class and meet and greet attendees had the chance to meet and take photographs with Cassey. I told her about my weight loss journey and she commended me for it. She is very sweet, personable, and totally FIT in person just as she is in her online persona!

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It was wild to meet her because she is the one who truly inspired 
my passion for fitness: something I found while taking the time to bank on myself. Her workouts are combined with powerful messages about body image and an uplifting focus that makes me want to work out.

I want you to try something this weekend, this week, or within the next month that is JUST FOR YOU. Do some spring cleaning and make space for a new passion or hobby by removing anything from your life bringing you down. Try out Pilates if you haven’t before and check out Blogilates Youtube Channel and blog. Try making a new friend, joining a club, or looking for a new job that involves something you love.

To Choosing Beautiful: A Pledge

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” popularly addresses topics of beauty standards and photo alteration to its target audience, female media consumers. Earlier this week, Dove released its Choose Beautiful campaign through a video that features two doors labeled “average” and “beautiful” placed side by side in various metropolitan locations around the world. Women are indirectly instructed to walk through one of the doors representing how they view themselves.

Dove conducted a study for the campaign and found that 96% of the women in the study did not choose the word “beautiful” to describe how they look, but 80% agreed that they saw something beautiful in themselves.

Beauty is open to interpretation. It is no secret that women are culprits to overarching beauty ideals. Blonde hair blue eyes big butt bigger boobs long legs lean arms and the list goes on and on. Beauty to me is skin deep and has nothing to do with looks other than an infectious smile that brings happiness to others. Beauty to me is ambition, intelligence, strength, passion, creativity, understanding, and the ability to see the good in people.

I watched the video and was immediately aggravated every time I watched a woman walk through the “average” door. When I walk through town and school in my everyday life I subconsciously see beauty in everyone, and it was no different with the women I saw in the video. It almost breaks my heart to hear strong women put down their looks or compare their own beauty to that of someone else.

And then I started thinking: what door would I walk through? I can preach beauty and empowerment until the end of time, but there are still some days that I would choose average because a) I don’t feel beautiful all the time and b) the fear of misjudgment from others: who is to say that I am beautiful? who is the judge? why would I go through the “beautiful” door if a woman who is just as beautiful walked through the “average” door?

I wasted a lot of time in my life thinking that I wasn’t beautiful enough until one day I realized it was enough; putting myself down isn’t going to get me anywhere and it’s definitely not going to make anyone else believe that I am beautiful. Today I very rarely compliment others on appearance because I see beauty in a different lens: through character, intelligence, and warmth.

The subjectivity of beauty is a gift. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’ve all heard the cliches, but they are cliche for a reason. You decide if you are beautiful and when you decide it the rest of the world will see your beauty shine through. It’s about making the choice to walk through that “beautiful” door and telling yourself that you’re beautiful even when you’re not feeling it.

It’s important to remember that we’re all real: I’m real and you’re real. We all compare ourselves and our beauty to others because we’re human. One of the quotes I live by is, “comparison is the thief of joy.” The only person you should compete with is the you from yesterday. We are all made up of different features and different body types. Think about it this way: would you still be friends with someone who talked about your looks the way you do your own? If the answer is NO! then it’s time to start on the journey of self love and appreciation.

In starting this blog, I wanted to create a safe space for questions, support, and motivation. So this is my reminder to let you know that wherever you are in your fitness journey, you’re just as beautiful as you were when you started and where you will be in 5, 10, and 20 years. Today I want you to pledge to always choose beautiful and inspire others to recognize their own beauty through your own.

x Kayla J.

Tell me about your definition of beauty in the comments!

How-to Make a Bunny-ficially Healthy Easter Egg Basket!

Easter is hopping around the corner and it’s time to get a little creative with festive gift baskets if it just hit you that, well: tomorrow is Easter!

While walking through Target yesterday to think of some gift basket ideas for the little ones in my family; I rummaged through the holiday section filled with glistening candy wrappers and egg dye kits when it hit me to create this guide to healthier basket alternatives.

There will be plenty of candy and sweets at the BBQ, Picnic, or family gathering you attend so here are a few ideas to guarantee the spot for most creative this holiday!

Gift Basket Items to Include:

1. Lush Cosmetics Easter Themed Bath Products 

Kids (and grown-ups) love baths and smelling amazing! Lush has all natural products made specifically for the Easter holiday for bath and shower time. Get all the sweet smells without the added sugar at your local Lush tomorrow morning.

LUSH Bunch of Carrots Bubble Bar

2. Fruits and Vegetables 

Ah, nature’s natural sugar colored for a vibrant basket at your convenience! Include carrots (naturally for the festive rabbits), bananas, cucumbers, apples, and oranges for a variety of nutrition and natural color!

3. Frozen Yogurt Gift Cards/Certificates

Give a cool, refreshing treat to all your favorites this Easter. Perfect for all ages, especially with summer quickly approaching. Yogurtland and Pinkberry are always a favorite!

4. Nail Polish in Fun Spring Colors

Looking down at bright nails always brightens up my day. Nail polish is fun, different, and will add to the colorful aesthetic of any Easter basket.

5. Candy Alternatives: Granola Bars, 72%+ Dark Chocolate bars, and Simply Balanced Fruit Strips 

While all sweet in nature they are made out of natural ingredients such as cocoa, fruit extract, coconut, and granola! These healthier alternatives will balance out all the candy from the festivities.

Are you going traditional with candy baskets this year or for a healthier, more creative approach? Let me know what you’re putting in your baskets this year in the comments!

Featuring: Favorite March Mania Fitness Finds!

1. Nektar Juice Bar

March was inevitably the month for smoothies on the blog. Rising temperatures and the change of seasons has me researching all kinds of smoothie bars and recipes to make at home. Nothing screams fresh and satisfying like a smoothie after a great morning or afternoon workout.

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I discovered Nektar in Sunnyvale, CA this weekend and was intrigued by their menu full of natural ingredients and relatively reasonable prices.

Nektar has an assortment of organic fresh juices, smoothies, and acai bowls (featured in February’s favorites)!

I personally recommend the Popeye’s Acai smoothie (pictured above) made with spinach, bananas, and acai if you love all things banana like me!

2. Races and Running

In effort to train for She is Beautiful’s 5k this month I re-discovered my passion for running races. The competition and excitement from the thousands of other runners beside you creates just the right motivating environment for anyone looking for a good refuel.

Running is one of my favorites of the month because all you really need is a good pair of running shoes and the motivation to get up and go. From there you can take the world by storm running through towns and destinations you’ve never really seen on foot before.

It’s completely free and with the stress of finals, work, and staying on track with fitness; it can be refreshing to go on a run with the wind blowing in your face to act as a distraction.

Now with daylight savings time upon us there is even more time in the day to go for a run while the sun is out. I typically run around my neighborhood, through local outside shops, or on my local high school track. Just make sure to pick a place that won’t affect any spring allergies you may have and get running!

3. Circuit Training with Equipment

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the latest workout crazes of 2015. By performing multiple sets of the same repetitions per workout, anyone willing to put in the work can achieve major fat and calorie burn in a short amount of time.

My favorite HIITs are from Blogilates. She has an assortment of printable lists to take to the gym and videos to follow at home or in your dorm:

Already performing circuits but want to challenge yourself? Add in weights, a BOSU or stability ball, or resistance bands.

4. Special K Chocolate Almond Cereal

Photograph by dishblogger.com

A must try for all chocolate lovers out there! Remember indulging in cocoa pebbles as a kid? This is the grown-up (or whatever the 20’s are) alternative to a childhood favorite.

Special K offers a variety of different options, but their latest chocolate-y additions including Chocolate Almond and Chocolatey Delight include their original cereal flakes with almonds and mini dark chocolate squares.

The mini chocolate squares substitute for any late night sugar craving that might make you reach for a cookie or chocolate cake.

Try it out with Unsweetened Almond Breeze for a sweet breakfast or late night snack!

5. Girls on HBO (okay, so it’s not really a fitness favorite.)

Somehow I just stumbled upon Girls one day this month and just can’t get enough. While it’s not a fitness favorite, it is U(niversity) related! The show centers around the lives of four friends who are trying to figure it out in their mid-twenties in New York City. In college, just out of college, and free-spiritedly out in the real world; all four girls are just trying to figure out life in their 20’s.

Comparable to a modern day version of Sex and the City, Girls addresses relationships, finances, and stress that most of us are constantly thinking about everyday.

It helps me put my small issues in perspective, and realize that we’re all just trying to figure it out together. It’s definitely one to binge on this weekend if you are on spring break!

“You were born to be this girl. Make her proud.”

She.is.beautiful’s 5th annual “The Pinkest 5k and 10k” race was held last Sunday morning in Santa Cruz, California with a record breaking 3000 participants. The race, complete with women dressed in pink workout gear and tutus, motivational signs with catchphrases “Like a Girl” and “You were born to be this girl,” and captivating beach front views rallied to encourage female empowerment.

She is Beautiful promotes health and wellness through running and womanhood. One of the brand’s many quirky slogans, “Some girls run to stay in shape. Some girls run so they can indulge on so called sins of bread, chocolate and wine. Some use it to unleash their daily fears in private, so they can feel strong again. At the end of the day, we all run for a reason. What’s yours?” is used to inspire women to find strength and a purpose behind the health benefits of running.

The 10k and 5k races began with a motivating speech and stretching routine from Jenny Schaltze, motivator, speaker, and owner of the Jenny Shaltze Program, and concluded with an assortment of sponsor booths, a yoga retreat station, photo areas, and a T-Shirt pick up station for finishers .A number of teams, including “Team Glitter” participated in the race to raise funds for “Unravel,” an organization motivated to find cures for pediatric cancer.

I participated in the 5k race with my mom for the second time on Sunday. As a fitness blogger and current journalism student, I love attending events that are centered on health and fitness. I am an avid runner and lover of Pilates, weight training, and high intensity interval training. It was refreshing to be surrounded by women who are also passionate about fitness and female empowerment.

I went in with a goal to beat my time from last year: 38 minutes and 42 seconds. To my surprise, I kicked this time out of the park and finished the 3.2 miles in 31 minutes and 51 seconds. I owe a lot of this to training and staying consistent with my weekly runs throughout the year!

She is Beautiful results

Running is a huge stress reliever and releases endorphins between studying and daily stress. According to Active.com, running helps you “lose weight, improve your health, prevent disease, boost your confidence, relieve stress, and eliminate depression.” With all of its added benefits, it’s the perfect exercise for anyone looking for a new cardio routine to add to their weekly workout schedule. Along with the health benefits, it’s a fun way to get involved in social events like runs and races similar to She.is.beautiful’s.

Popular races in the Bay Area include the 408k held in San Jose, and the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. The adrenaline rush from all participants running, fun cardio music, and the burst of competition is exciting and motivating.

It’s important to find what motivates you to want to work out so that it does not feel like working. Whether it’s the competition with others or yourself, a particular exercise that you are good at, or the energy you feel after sweating it out; find what works for you.

One sign near the end of the race read, “You were born to be this girl. Make her proud,” and at that moment it hit me that sometimes we spend so much time trying to make others proud that we often forget to do so for ourselves. It motivated me to keep on running and will stick with me as I remember to chase after what I really want.

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A lot of people fall off the workout wagon because they are not passionate about it and dread the thought of exercise. Try out new workouts to find what you are into and you will stick to it. Some of the latest workout crazes include: high intensity interval training, Barre, rock climbing, and PlyYo. Stay fit and happy by engaging in what you love!