Guest Post: How to Dress a New Athletic Body

pixabay
pixabay

Today’s article was written by guest author Tina Hamilton. If you’d like to contact Tina please check out her social media and contact info at the end of the article.

Making the decision to lose weight, eat healthy and get into shape is one of the best decisions a person can make. Women everywhere are beginning to see the importance of a healthy lifestyle, not only for themselves but for their families as well. Therefore, every woman should be proud of her new healthy body once she finally sheds that extra weight and builds some lean muscle.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of women who don’t feel this way. Many women are self-conscious of their new, fit body and struggle to feel confident in their new skin. The most common reason for this is because they cannot find clothes that fit their body properly anymore. Especially for women who were able to make a drastic change in their physic, the clothes that used to fit them well might not fit at all anymore, this can be extremely frustrating.

Instead of giving up on fashion entirely and resorting to only wearing fitness clothing, women should embrace their new bodies and be proud of what they have done to create a healthier life. Here are some tips to help fit women dress their new athletic body.

Start with the basics
Finding the right fit is the biggest struggle for athletic women. Women with new, fit bodies should try to start from the most basic wardrobe elements to create looks that will flatter their new figure. For example, women should look for a perfect fitting t-shirt bra that will work for their new cup size. Women who have changed a lot in cup size should even consider getting a professional bra fitting to make sure that they have the best fit possible. There are even bra fitting mobile apps that even the most self-conscious woman can use in the comfort of her own home. Creating this base will make every item of clothing fit better, making creating an outfit that much easier.

Show off strong shoulders
Prominent shoulders are one of the most common complaints of an athletic built woman. Strong shoulders are proof of what fit women are capable of, inside and outside of the gym, so they should be proud and excited to show them off as much as possible instead of trying to mask them. A great trendy item to try is halter tank tops with high necklines that draw attention to the face and make the shoulders look more balanced against an otherwise small frame. This effect can also be achieved with big necklaces and bracelets to dress up any look. However, when using jewelry, fit women should try to stick to one bold piece at a time instead of stacking on layers of big jewels to create a more professional and functional look.

Embrace skirts
Finding pants that fit around muscular thighs while still hugging a small waist can seem almost impossible. Fit women will try on hundreds of pairs of jeans before they find a pair that fits their correctly. However, a lot of great skirts can be found that flatter a fit figure and fit properly in all the right places. Fit women can look for fuller A-line skirts for a classic look that accentuates a small waist, or even try a daring pencil skirt that will create an hourglass figure. When wearing pencil skirts, fit women can look for skirts with piping that will balance out their hips and thighs, but they should never be afraid to try out a slim fitting skirt. Wearing skirts means much less tailoring and an easily flirty look every day.

Play with patterns to define a waistline
Most women, especially women with athletic figures, are afraid to play with big patterns and other new trends on the market. Patterns can seem intimidating, but pattern can be a great way to define a small waist and perfectly proportion a healthy body. Though fit women may not be able to work with the printed pants trend, they are lucky that most new trends will be able to work on their bodies better than anyone else’s. Use horizontal stripes around the waist and hips to make them look fuller, or even play with some big jewelry around the neck to draw attention to the face. These ideas can help any fit woman feel more beautiful and confident in her new body every day.

Tina Hamilton HeadshotAuthor Bio:
Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.

Foodie Friday: 25 Healthy Recipes for Fall

autumn-207854_640_mini Happy Friday! Today I’m bringing you a collection of 25 Healthy Recipes for Fall.  When it starts to get colder you may crave heartier fare, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice health or nutrition.  These recipes are great for celebrating the best of fall – pumpkin, squash, apples, rich spices and more while keeping your nutrition in check.  This collection of fall-inspired recipes includes soups/stews, main dishes, snacks, side dishes and desserts. They also range from vegetarian to paleo, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Soups/Stews/Mains

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
Slow Cooker Rotisserie Style Chicken
Harvest Cobb Salad
Autumn Minestrone Soup
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew
Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops
Lentil-Vegetable Soup
Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Apples and Onions

Snacks

How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Chocolate Hummus
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

Sides

Maple-Glazed Parsnips And Carrots
Fennel Roasted Fall Vegetables
Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple
Spinach and Artichoke Sweet Potato Skins
Autumn Kale Salad with Fennel, Honeycrisp and Goat Cheese
Crunchy Cauliflower Bites

Sweets

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Mousse
No Bake Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars
Pumpkin Spice Donuts (Grain-Free, Nut-Free)
Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Mousse
5-Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Flourless Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

A huge thank you to all the wonderful chefs and authors sharing their recipes and cooking talent!

As of the date of this post all links are working. Some of these recipes are getting older so if you find a broken link please let me know so I can take it down.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Guest Post: A Guide to Working Out with Back Pain

pixaby
pixabay

Today’s article was written by guest author Tina Hamilton. If you’d like to contact Tina please check out her social media and contact info at the end of the article.

Many people get very excited and enthusiastic when starting or maintaining a workout regimen for the first time. They want to go hard every day and never want to miss a workout every again. This is great motivation that should always be encouraged, but it can cause some problems for people looking to improve their fitness level. Rest days are very important to incorporate into any fitness regimen because they help the body recover and build muscle. These days are essential for helping the body reach its full potential and prevent injury, but sometimes, rest is not always the best answer.

Many people experience back pain on a daily basis. Those who are starting a new workout plan or trying to advance their fitness level often report bothersome back pain. However, there are a lot of different reasons for back pain to occur, and a person needs to know what the specific cause is before he or she can find the right treatment for it. Here is a simple guide to back pain while exercising and how one can treat their back pain effectively.

Learn the type of back pain being experienced
There are different types of back pain that can be experienced. Knowing the type of pain being experienced is essential to finding the right treatment for that back pain. Back pain can usually be categorized into three types: acute, chronic, and neuropathic pain. Acute pain is often easy to pinpoint, and therefore treat, like a minor injury that just requires a day’s rest. Chronic pain is longer lasting and can be the result of an injury or an issue that is not easy to determine. This can range from a muscle tear to bigger issues that require spinal stenosis treatment. Neuropathic pain is difficult to diagnose and may not have an easy treatment method. For both chronic and neuropathic pain, one should speak with a medical health professional before resuming any physical activity.

Understand the causes of that type of back pain
Causes of acute and sometimes chronic pain can usually be lead back to a certain injury. Athletes should be careful when treating their own back pain. Back pain is difficult to treat not only because not using your back literally means lying in bed for that period of time, but not using your back for too long can cause problems of its own. To keep the back loose and the muscles supporting it strong, everyone should try to do some physical activity daily unless they are sustaining a major injury. Try some exercises specifically for treating back pain in the daily routine.

Know what possible treatments are available for that type of pain
Once a person knows the types of back pain and the cause of his or her back pain, he or she can begin to treat it. Some people may find one day of rest will be enough, others will need to maintain regular back strengthening exercises to avoid recurring back pain. More intensive treatments might be prescribed by a doctor to control neuropathic pain. Many people can treat back pain easily by correcting form and doing exercises to strengthen the back muscles. However, athletes should be sure to take rest days when needed, meaning real rest days with no physical activity, not just a lighter than usual day at the gym. After the rest day, light walking or easy yoga can be done to slowly transition back into a workout program.

Manage and prevent pain from returning
This step goes hand in hand with the treatment of back pain. Athletes don’t want a quick fix for their back pain, they want a solution that will keep them free from pain. This can involve strengthening exercises, a better mattress to sleep on or a better chair to sit on during the work day. More importantly, athletes should always be sure that they are preforming each exercise correctly to prevent injury. A personal trainer is a great tool to use to learn correct form and make sure each exercise is being performed correctly. Athletes can also use mirrors to see that they are performing an exercise correctly and adjust as needed to get the best results every time they workout.

 

Tina Hamilton HeadshotAuthor Bio:
Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.

Workout Apparel for the Fall

Chill Resistor L/S Top
From Sweaty Betty

The right workout apparel can mean the difference between a successful workout or a miserable, unproductive session. So how do you dress for working out when the fall weather starts to set in? You need to consider the environment, temperature and the potential for changing temperatures when selecting your wardrobe. Here are some suggestions for picking the right workout apparel no matter what activity you choose to participate in.

Dress in layers. When working out outside layers can be crucial when the temperature is low or there is potential for temperature fluctuation. Dressing in layers has a dual purpose. Layers help to insulate you better and they can also be removed when you start to heat up from activity. Starting with a good sports bra, followed by a t-shirt and a ladies running jacket can be solid way to stay warm, yet allow you the flexibility to shed layers if you heat up. Colder or cloudy days may call for a long sleeved t-shirt and sunnier days may allow for short sleeves. Pants over tights can also be a good way to layer your bottom half while still allowing the flexibility to shed a layer if needed.

Think about your environment. Dressing in layers for exercising outside may be obvious, but what about working inside? Your indoor exercise environment may be a little cooler as the weather starts to change too. Switching to long sleeves, long yoga pants and other more substantial clothing may help to keep you comfortable when working out indoors. Layers can also be utilized indoors as well. Coming prepared with a light jacket, sweatshirt or pants may help if your workout space ends up on the cooler side.

Dynamic Yoga Leggings
From Sweaty Betty

Be a smart shopper. Be sure to buy clothing in the right size. Clothing that is overly big or small may not provide adequate insulation or comfort. Pick your fabrics wisely. Cotton may be warm, but it may also trap moisture. Newer sport-centric fabrics may provide better moisture wicking properties and greater insulation while remaining light and comfortable. Online retailers are a great place to find new workout apparel. Stores like Sweaty Betty can be excellent resources for fashionable threads that are perfect for the changing season.

It’s easy to prepare for working out in the fall if you keep these tips in mind. Don’t let the colder weather stop you from enjoying all the benefits of working out!

Please note that this is a sponsored post. All opinions and information expressed here-in is my own. Links in this article may lead to third party vendors which are not affiliated with Former Fitness Flunky.

About the Author

Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

My Health Heroes

FreeDigitalPhotos.net and vectorolie
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and vectorolie

When the Outreach Coordinator at Oscar Insurance asked me if I would be interested in writing about who my health hero was I have to admit I was a bit stumped. After lots of thought I couldn’t really nail down any one person who I could attribute the hero title to but I could think of lots of people who have inspired me to not only take care of my health, but to also help other people take care of theirs. I know there are way, way more people that have impacted my life than just these, but here are a few of my health heroes:

Eating/Nutrition

My mom. From bulgar to sushi, my mom was feeding her children food that while common now, was strange and a lot of times practically unheard of in the early 90’s. She was the first person I knew that actively sought out information about nutrition and really tried to make informed choices for both herself and us kids. We never ate sugary cereal, drank Kool-Aid or consumed other junk like. While at the time it may have seemed like our family was a little “out there”, those lessons in nutrition and food choices have long stuck with me and impacted many of the nutritional choices I make today.

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. In a world where trends and fads dictate many people’s diets, saying that you’re doing a Whole30 sort of gets lumped into that pool. The thing is, I know from personal experience that the dietary approach presented in their Whole30 program is not simply a trend, but an education in totally changing how you think about food. The Hartwigs certainly aren’t the first to come up with a lot of the ideas presented, but they do get health hero status in my mind because they offer every single possible support tool for doing the Whole30 for free. They are clearly so passionate about helping others that they aren’t worried about the money and that’s just amazing.

Fitness

My step-mom.  From serving as a workout buddy who wouldn’t let me skip a workout day needlessly to helping me get my fitness business off the ground, my step-mom has championed many parts of my fitness journey. Without her unwavering support and constant encouragement I am not sure where I would be today.

My 11th Grade PE Teacher. Random, I know. I have admitted to being less than optimally fit in my youth. A bout with some big life changes around that time were weighing seriously on my weight and my well being. Going to PE class every day became an amazing outlet for working hard and relieving stress.  This teacher was great at exposing his students to so many different kinds of activities that it would have been hard not to enjoy class.  I improved my physical fitness to levels I never even imagined and gained a solid appreciation for what consistent, hard work could do for your body.  While he may not have any idea of his impact, I’ll never forget how valuable a good teacher can be all because of him.

Truly, these are just a few of the people who I could consider my health heroes.  There are so many more people, from the brave men and women sharing their health and wellness experiences online with the world, to the clients who reach out to me for help and guidance in making changes in their own lives who I could call heroes.  When you think of your health hero who comes to mind? Leave a comment about your health hero/heroes below!

What is Oscar Insurance? They provide health insurance to those living in New York and offer many features that help members be proactive about their health. Features like a gym reimbursement program and a unique ‘doctor helpline’ are just some of the features that make Oscar unique.  Check them out if you’re in their coverage area.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.