Home Gyms Are For More Than Selfies

There’s a shocking amount of content out there on gym selfies. Mostly positive, some so-so. So I guess the moral there is if you’re a post-workout selfie taker and it’s helping with your motivation, keep it up! But if you’re interested in maximizing your time in the gym leading up to that sweaty selfie, here are some online resources to put some structure around your gym time:

Follow a certified trainer: There is so much fitness content out there. If fitness is your passion and your feed is full of fellow enthusiasts, that’s great. But it’s so important to take actual advice from trained experts. People go to school for this stuff for a reason and often provide tips and programs on their feed for free. Here’s Shape’s list of top certified trainers. Celebrity trainers often share workouts and health tips on their sites and in the press. It may be worth some research to find a few experts that work for you and keep up with their content to incorporate into your routine.

Go with the apps: I’ve you’re a runner there’s Studio (I’ve used this extensively and I love it). If you’re looking for more variation there are Daily Burn and obé (which also sells in-demand workout accessories and gear). If you’ve got the money and space there’s also the emerging at-home fitness system with proprietary content. Enter: Mirror.

Hire an online trainer: This seemed kind of unimaginable even a few years ago, but here we are living in the future where this is a very feasible option. Even if you’re a believer that there is no replacement for in-person training (I’m one such person) it’s definitely worth considering as an option going into this winter.

I’m Not Basic, Fall Is

It was quite some time ago that the internet made its call on fall. Verdict: the most basic season of all. And yet, some things are universally beloved for a reason. The foliage! The crisp weather! Sweaters! The plethora of seasonally specific renderings of various drinks/desserts/cocktails/etc.!

On top of all of that it is also the preferred season for outdoor exercise, particularly running. People of the internet have spoken on this, too, and the stated reasons are plentiful: the days start off cool, you’re ready for a break from summer heat, you did some fall shopping and have cool gear to show off, there are tons of races, and, once again, foliage. This year, as with so many things, the fall racing season is looking very different. But whether you’ve never run a race in your life or have a bunch of virtual races lined up, there’s no time like the present to get out there and run. Some tips living for your best fall fitness life:

Fuel: If you’re getting into long distances, read up on Runners World’s list of best fall superfoods for long runs. Spoiler: apples and pumpkin make the cut. See also 10 fall recipes for fueling & recovering.

Gear: No surprises on Refinery29’s list of fall workout essentials, but worth noting they showcase a sports bra from Everlane’s recently dropped fitness collection, which is actually news to me. Business Insider’s women’s list is focused on workout brands to fit your specific needs, with an offering in the eco-friendly category. BI’s men’s list has some tips on identifying good quality gear as well.

Fall 2020 Basics: Ok, so you’re not a runner, here’s some #sweaterweather inspo brought to you by Who What Wear.

Shorter Monday Motivation

The leaves are turning. The days are getting shorter. And yet, the to-do list seems to be getting longer by the day. This sensation can feel particularly acute on Monday morning. Sure, Monday’s got a bad reputation for good reason. After all, it single-handedly kills the weekend. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Beat Monday on Sunday: You may find an uptick in Monday motivation when you do something productive Sunday night. For me this often entails catching up on email and planning my week. Fitness plays a huge role in my life, so scheduling my workouts on Sunday night is sometimes enough to give me a little leg up on the week. Sure, it might feel like you’re stealing a little bit of weekend from yourself, but seriously, if it works, it works.

Intrinsic Motivation for The Win: Often, we think of motivation as something we need to get our work done. And that’s definitely part of it. But motivation is more than a mechanism to finish the to-do list. Intrinsic motivation shows us what our values are and helps us align our lives to them. Start digging into this idea to understand what you’re truly interested in doing and how to to re-frame your mindset around everything else.

Managing Distractions: Beating distraction is the Everest of WFH life. But it’s not impossible. Engaging with your distractions in a healthy way is a habit, according to author Nir Eyal, via Goop. In other words, it’s entirely within your control. And that in itself is a little motivation boost, no?

Bonus Read: If your posture is getting you down, here’s a back and bicep workout from Self to help you work on your standing form. And what better way to start your week than with good posture?

An Entrepreneur’s Podcast for Non-Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs love podcasts. Dean Graziosi is no exception. His content falls in the general “strategies for success” category, so relevant even if you’re not particularly interested in entrepreneurship. It’s a good listen if you’re looking for a little motivational boost, with many short episodes clocking under 10 minutes.

I recently started listening to these during my gym workouts, and I have to say they do not disappoint. If you have even just a few minutes, give The Key to Getting What You Want In Life a listen. You may not think you’re the target listener, but it can never hurt to take a few minutes out of your day to try to put things – your goals, your struggles – into perspective, and this episode really did the trick for me.

Pairs well with: short workouts. Line up 3 for a quick cardio/weight lifting routine. Highly recommend: I Am One of The Biggest Failures You Will Ever Meet and The Easiest Way to Reach Your Next Level.

Rainy Monday Reading List

A Selection of Recent “Best of,” “How to,” and “Why You Should Do This” Lists from The Experts for Your Consideration

Gear Patrol’s Best Fitness Products of Oct 2020 includes two running shoe picks

Best Workout Headphones from Self

I feel like I’ve been sitting forever. Like FOREVER. Goop here with some tips on correcting your posture, if you, too, are worried about what all this sitting is doing to your body

PopSugar Fitness is here with a 15 minute jump rope workout. Sure, your neighbors may hate you, but… worth it? (Just kidding, try it on the carpet to minimize noise)

Why the Link Between Financial & Physical Wellbeing Matters (per Well + Good)

Around Astoria

Key Food on Ditmars is being demolished to make room for a Target. So. Many. Feelings. (For what it’s worth I love both Key Food and Target)

WeWork On Demand is expanding services to LIC and Astoria for easy conference room booking per QNS.com

Exercising Gratitude

Gratitude and fitness go hand in hand. Practicing gratitude is an exercise: the more you do it the better you get, and the more it pays off. And practicing healthy habits is an act of gratitude to your body for everything it gives you.

There are so many ways to treat your body and your mind well. For me, running has always been a huge part of my practice of being healthy. I run to stay fit, to spend time alone with my thoughts, and to push myself to be better. These past few months, I have been more and more grateful for having the time, the space, and the ability to make time for this practice.

I was supposed to run the Chicago Marathon this weekend, which for obvious reasons, is not happening. Instead I went for a long run by myself around the city today. It was beautiful. I took a route I haven’t done in a long time and felt like I was seeing so much with fresh eyes. I am grateful for these moments that I got to share with just myself, in the city I’ve called home for so long but maybe have never truly appreciated the way I should.

There is scientific evidence backing up the benefits of practicing gratitude. And at the same time, it comes with a caveat: it’s not about ignoring the bad, and at times, unimaginable hardships that come our way. It’s a way of healing and putting the bad things in perspective.

I’m grateful to my body and my city and everything they give me. Stay well, NYC.

Maria Menounos Is More than a Hair Idol

When I think of Maria Menounos, I think of her arc on Mindy project, and more specifically Mindy referring to her as a “hair idol.” Which is true. Her hair is amazing.

But Maria (the real life version) also has a podcast, Better Together, that brings in experts focused on health and happiness. These are great running podcasts if you like to contemplate these concepts while working out, which I do. The episodes are pretty heavy on banter in the beginning, so you may particularly enjoy this one if you’re into the whole “stars, they’re just like us!” vibe.

Two episodes worth considering on a run this week:

Episode 148: 5 Questions To Bridge Your Mental Health and Spiritual Life w/ Dr. Anita Phillips

This one is about 30 minutes of banter before leading into a really interesting discussion on mental health and honoring one’s feelings.

This conversation feels important right now as so many of us are experiencing new and unfamiliar (or just uncomfortable) feelings.

It runs over an hour. Pairs well with: A 10k run. Or a 5k if you skip the banter.

Episode 56: How To Stay Fit During Quarantine With Harley Pasternak & Maria Menounos

This episode aired earlier this year, when the new reality of COVID-19 was still setting in and we were largely unaccustomed to life indoors. It was really interesting to re-listen now, as we’re heading deeper into fall and looking at potentially spending more time inside again in the coming months.

Runs about 60 minutes, the first half of which is opining on the emerging COVID crisis. (Skip that if you don’t want to relive that moment in time.) The interview, which takes up the back half, is more interesting, especially for the guest speaker’s take on influencer culture and fitness.

Here’s What’s Happening on this Tuesday (that Feels Like a Wednesday)


Winter is coming. So is dry hair. Read up on conditioners before it’s too late.

A fun plyo training workout that doesn’t require much in the way of equipment.

Quick intro to using weights & bands to increase the intensity of workouts.

Hinge & Headspace teamed up to provide free guided meditations.

And the best thing I hear today: Jane Fonda in an exercise video to promote voting.

Who Needs a Little Push Today?

Sometimes you’re eager to conquer the world and other times you just cannot deal with whatever it is you’re being asked to do (including your daily workout). Sounds familiar? Motivation is a tough thing to harness and especially these days it feels like we could all use a little boost.

There’s so much information out there on this topic and some of it is pretty easy to apply. According to Psychology Today some easy ways to get yourself moving include: giving yourself more options, and drawing up a behavior contract with yourself. And there’s always the tried and true reward method if that works for you.

If you’re more inclined to look at things through the lens of individual psychology, boy do I have a treat for you. Recently, I heard an interview with Gretchen Rubin, an author and podcaster focused on habits and happiness. Her take on motivation is pretty simple: your responsiveness to doing things is dependent on your relationship with expectations. You can take a quiz on her website here to figure out where you land on her list of personality types and how to get better at motivating yourself. And if you really want to dig in, there’s always the book.

Take what you want here, but I think the moral of the story is that we all have off days and you’re never going to be motivated to do all of the things on your plate everyday. Try your best and remember to enjoy the journey. You’re doing great.

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Pour One Out

Queens comfort, an amazing piece of the Astoria community, and unparalleled purveyor of brunch, announced they’re closing. My favorite thing about this place, besides the food (duh) is obviously the decor. It feels like home. Like a weird person’s house? But like home. Last day is Oct. 11th. Try to go or order this week if you can. And you can always try one of their recipes from home. That’s all.