Listening to Audiobooks While Working Out & Running

Hello readers!

I’ve been quite terrible at keeping up with my workout schedules lately, but I’m still running about twice a week, and hopefully now that things have quieted down in my personal life, I can go back to kicking ass regularly!

I’m not the best multitasker ever, as I’m more of a focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time kind of person, but I loved the idea of listening to a book while working out and getting TWO things done at the same time, so I tried it out – here’s how it went!

The first book I listened to while working out was Skin Deep, which I listened to while on the treadmill. If you don’t know, I love running but I suck at it, and I’m pretty new to it, too. My main issue back then, and even now, is endurance – running for a sustained period of time. When I started, I did mostly walking at a fast pace and short periods of running in between, on the treadmill, and even that can be challenging for a beginner, so I thought Skin Deep helped keep me distracted, and I was so tense I ended up doing more running between walks than in other days. So, success! Continue reading

Signing Up for a Run when You’re (Mildly) Socially Anxious – A Survival Guide

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If you’ve read my other Fitness & Health Journey posts, you know by now that I’ve been attempting to run and joined the run my colleagues participate in every year, a 5K that is commonly run by literally thousands of people. And if you’ve known me for a while, you also probably know that I am socially anxious & generally awkward.

Between trying to act like a normal person, not get overwhelmed by the crowd and trying to survive the run although I suck at running, I did a few things that helped me go through this as smoothly as possible, and I thought today I’d share some of my tips that worked!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, neither do I work in mental health, sports or medicine. My social anxiety is mild to medium, and normally triggered by depression or being in groups and crowds, but I do not normally suffer from panic attacks and have been able to work and have a more or less “normal” social life for over a year now. If you have medium or severe anxiety, these tips will probably not be enough, and should at least be combined with medication and/or therapy. My aim with this post is to make life with social anxiety a bit easier for other people with things that help me, NOT to substitute proper medication and care, or to encourage socially anxious people to try an activity that is potentially triggering. Stay safe and do only what you can do. But if you are a runner and you’d like to join a race, I hope this article makes you feel less alone. Continue reading

Running as an Overweight Woman

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Hello readers!

I have been meaning to write this post for a while, and here it finally is! My experiences with running are, as always, just anecdotes and not to be taken as a rule or guideline, but I think they might resonate with someone and be helpful.

Running is a sport that has been predominantly male since forever. The first woman to run a marathon signed up for it against the rules and was famously pursued by one of the officials once she got found out DURING the run:

Did you know that people (*cof* men *cof*) thought that a woman’s uterus would literally fall off from running? Huh. Continue reading

Running with a sports watch vs. without one

Hello readers!

When I started running a bit more seriously than just as a warm up to my workouts, I figured a sports watch would be very helpful. I don’t like wearing watches very much and was a bit skeptical in the beginning, but all the people I know at work who run really recommended getting one, so I went online and bought the cheapest one I could find. It was really helpful! Keeping my heartbeat in check and finding out my pace and how far I was running was really good to help me structure my trainings and keep track of my performance.

Within a few months I decided to upgrade and got a really good running watch that measured things I didn’t even know existed (VO2 what). It was a data-lover’s dream come true. So many graphs!

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I love graphs

Theeen a couple months later the screen broke (it may or may not have been my fault). I returned it and now I’m waiting for the repair/replacement. It’s been about two months now that I haven’t used my watch (slow service is all kinds of fun). So I’ve been running without a sports watch for about the same time that I ran with it, and here are my impressions: Continue reading

Practicing Self-Love vs. Losing Weight

  grow self love self care riceisholy GIFHello readers!

This is a complicated topic, so I took a while to write about this, but I thought it would be nice to start a discussion.

It is no secret that I have been trying to lose weight for the last year and half. I struggled with the idea of actually telling you guys that I have weight loss as a goal, because I think most women have been worrying about their weight since forever (I remember first thinking I was too fat at 10 years old) and I didn’t want to add to the discourse. But the more honest approach is to say that I did want to lose weight among other fitness & health goals, and as much as I would love to not engage in this weight-loss-for-women discourse, I also feel it’s important to make my decision clear. Continue reading

What I Do When I Can’t Train

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Hello readers!

Training as a routine thing, going to the gym every time you plan to go, never missing a workout, running 3x a week are all wonderful, idyllic dreams. Reality is: we get sick, we get tired, we get lazy, we go on vacation, we have to take care of other things that are priority. It can be frustrating to break your routine, especially if it’s for a long while.

When I can’t work out for a reason or another, here is what I try to do instead:

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I Inform Myself

Researching things takes time. If I’m not working out but also don’t have to do other things instead (so, for example, if I’m sick or injured, or vacationing), I like to use the extra time to watch videos, read articles and generally get more informed about how I can improve certain weight lifting moves, know more about the effect of sugar on the body, how to improve my running etc. Here are some of the videos and websites I thought were most informative: Continue reading

How I Deal with Frustration: not losing weight, junk food, being too tired to workout

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Hello readers!

When trying to become healthier, whatever that means to each person, there is for most of us many, many times when we just want to give up. Not losing weight, being so tired, not seeing improvement, being out with people and feeling like you’re the odd one out eating a salad. I haven’t started my healthy journey now. It’s been a year since I started and I almost gave up many times. I broke my disciplined routine more times than I can count. It took me a full year of trial-and-error, but I had a LOT of time to think about my weak points, my psychological behavior, and find out why I felt frustrated and how to deal with it.

So the stuff I describe below comes from a lot of thinking, a lot of researching and seeing what WORKED for me. Continue reading

Why Did I Start Running? (aka wtf am I doing)

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Hello readers!

So, I run consistently 2-3 times per week for the last months. You guys don’t know me in real life, so here is a piece of information that might make you understand a little more why this is shocking: I SUCK at anything athletic. I played football (soccer) in High School and I was the goalkeeper because, while I was a GREAT goalkeeper with reflexes of a ninja, the fact is that I could not run for my life, so all other positions on the team were a big no-no to me. The sports I’m best at are reading marathons and foosball (table football). So you can say I’m not the most athletic person.

There are a few reasons why I started running, and better reasons why I continue to run.

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Why I Started

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First, I need to do something about my cardiovascular health – it’s my highest priority and it must always be. I’ve got a strong family history of heart problems, and I’ve had high cholesterol since my teens (genetics, huh). It’s now under control, but I will always have to watch that with exercise and food. Since I hated all kinds of aerobics anyway, I decided running sounded like the most effective way to improve heart health in a short time. If I had to suffer, I’d do it efficiently. (typical me, tbh) Continue reading

My Health and Fitness Journey, Introduction

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Hello book lovers!

Today we start something new in the blog. I ran a poll on Twitter and also asked on a blog post, and you guys were overwhelmingly positive towards a new series of health & fitness posts according to my personal experience. I will initially write these every two weeks in addition to my bookish posts (that I’d already scheduled for most of April anyway when I ran the poll) and then see how it goes and how much time I actually need for them. Might not be sustainable over time to have 4 posts in a week, so we will figure this out together.

I thought of creating these posts because it’s a good way to stay motivated (also being held accountable by the fact that all of you now know about it) and to maybe let other people see that it’s possible to be healthier without being skinny, super restrictive with your diet or a natural-born athlete.

I am not nervous about writing about such a personal thing to me (you guys have been amazing when I opened up about my mental health issues before, for example), but I am a bit wary that this kind of posts will bring a different public to my blog that might be far less kind than the bookish community. But I think these posts might actually make a difference for myself and for others, so I am motivated to write them. Continue reading