Health & Well-Being

Incorporate Stretching Into Your Routine

Stretching |I Fucking Love Fitness

Old pic because I don’t have time to take selfies at the gym for this blog anymore but I’m still stretching my hip flexors like crazy. I wish they would just loosen up!!

You should be treating your body like a temple and one way to do it is to take care of it and let it recover properly…

…whether it be eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep or to incorporate stretching into your routine. A problem I have is not having enough finding time to stretch, which I think is so important for my body so that it can relieve all the tensions in my muscles that are causing so much discomfort in my body. Plus it’s feels SO good. I don’t understand why people don’t stretch!

If you are very active, you may suffer from a lot of annoying pain and muscular imbalances.

I have really tight IT bands, hip flexors and calves (in fact, all muscles in my legs constantly seem to be tight), my VMO is constantly sore, I have flat feet and all of this causes my knees to occasionally hurt which really interferes with my cycling. My also back gets tired really easily and my shoulders and rotator cuffs are constantly tense (and having a desk job does not help). This is from a combination of a lot of workout, too much cycling and having to sit at my desk for hours at a time.

Lately work has been exhausting, despite working in front of a computer. Although, I’m still finding time to escape to the gym (whoever says they are too busy is just plain lazy), having to sit for such a long period of time makes me feel like my body is slowly dying. Especially when my muscles are already filled with so much tension due to my love for fitness! Luckily, I find many ways to incorporate stretching into your routine:

  • Instead of resting in between sets at the gym, foam roll and do mobility exercises. Only do static stretches when your muscles are warmed up.
  • ALWAYS stretch and roll out those tight muscles after a workout. I aim for at least 20 minutes and I consider that my “yoga.”
  • Stretch and foam roll while watching TV. I “force” myself to watch an hour or so or TV on some days only so I can lie there on my yoga mat, stretch and foam roll. It is really the only time I have to “relax” and do this because I’m usually up and about or sitting in front of my computer.
  • Golf balls are sooo awesome. I keep them everywhere (even in my purse) just in case I want to lie or sit on one to really target a trigger point. Seriously everyone… GOLF BALLS. You will not regret it.
  • Stretch while sitting at your desk and working (videos after the jump). Yes, people walk by and give me weird looks but I really don’t care!

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    Freezing Winter Rides: Best Time to Cycle

    I Fucking Love Fitness | Winter Cycling

    The week before I was still cycling in a few super warm dri-fit layers and a zip-up but a week later, the temperatures dropped so much I had to pull out my snowboarding jacket and a face mask.

    Vancouver was hitting record lows all of last week and it was the coldest weather we’ve had in a while. Nothing crazy as the rest of Canada is experiencing, but anytime it drops below 0, we all literally think we are going to freeze to death.

    BUT it was the best cycling weather ever!! The first day last week it hit  -7°C, I actually chickened out (and got lazy) but I immediately regretted it when we drove by dozens of cyclists commuting to work. Of course, I bundled up and hopped on my bike to get to work the rest of the week.

    “Once you start cycling, the city opens up for you. No longer are you fighting it, hot and frustrated; no longer are you at the mercy of bus drivers, roadworks, decisions made by others and over which you have no control. Believe me, once you’ve tasted this freedom, you’re hooked.” – Deborah Moggach

    So WHY is this the best cycling weather ever?

    • You know exactly how to dress. I always found the best times to cycle is when it’s really hot or really cold. In the spring and fall, I always worry about over or under-dressing but when it’s really cold, I throw on a bunch of dri-fit layers, my snowboarding jacket, a face mask and I know I still won’t overheat. Plus my snowboard jacket has so many pockets. I love pockets.
    • It’s cold but it’s not raining. It’s beautiful out, the sun is kissing your face and you get to share the road with dozens of cyclists living a wonderfully healthy lifestyle.
    • You don’t sweat. And you won’t smell like a wet rag when you get to work.
    • You seriously feel so fucking reinvigorated afterwards. Best feeling ever.

    I don’t actually own much cycling-specific winter riding gear. I have some but I prefer wearing my general fitness gear because I haven’t found much cycling gear that I really love and want to spend so much on. These days, I double-up my gloves and leggings (non-padded since I’m only commuting) and throw on my super warm Roxy boarding jacket. When I snowboard, I only wear one dri-fit top and my jacket so that should keep me warm enough for cycling.

    The other secret is to keep your face warm and a face mask is much better than a regular scarf because it will stay in place. When you breath through material, the air warms up a little before entering your lungs, making the frigid morning rides more enjoyable. Well, I have to admit sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating because you have to take deeper breaths when riding up hills but it’s much better than looking like Rudolph when you get to your destination.

    Last Friday, I actually had to throw on my thick boarding gloves over a fleece pair because my fingers always gets cold no matter what… which resulted in me cycling really slowly because I was scared I couldn’t brake in time if I had to. My fingers always freezes and doesn’t warm up until 15 minutes into my ride but I have no choice but to suck it up.

    Do you cycle in the winter?

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      How To Live A Fulfilling Life

      These days, having a rich life means to live a fulfilling life. How do you fill your days? Do you live a fulfilled life and do what makes you happy on a daily basis? Here is how I live a fulfilling life:

      Do what you LOVE what you do.

      If you want to have a happy and successful life, you need to be passionate about what you are doing. You cannot have a job you dread or do types of exercises you hate and live a fulfilling life. My “passions” are design, health, fitness and cycling and I managed to incorporate lots of it in my personal and professional life. Oh yeah, and eating. Lots of it. Can eating be a passion?

      Do things you’re good at and be good at what you do.

      I have a successful career in design because it was my first passion and the thing I discovered I was really good at. If you saw me designing and developing Backstreet Boys websites when I was 9, you would’ve been like whoa! too because I made amazing BSB collage backgrounds and animated GIFs. I followed my passion, went to school to further develop my skills and started a career I wanted. I was about to study business before a very last-minute decision to attend art school and although I could have gotten into the career I have now, it would’ve taken much longer. Or worse, I would be stuck in a corporate job. And this blog would probably not exist. The lesson: if you discover a skill you are truly good at and you love, cultivate it and good things will happen.

      Cherish your body because it’s the only one you have.

      I say this all the time but health and fitness changes lives. It changed mine. It was the major player in my self-transformation and I credit it to a lot of the things I am so fortunate to have in my life. It helped me rediscover my passion, find new passions, gave me strength and confidence and it brought me happiness. Whether you are smashing PR’s at the gym or out riding your bike with the wind in your hair— being fit and healthy is a key to being happy.

      every man is the builder of a Temple called his body

      Find the balance.

      Work-life balance is crucial to your happiness. I have a full-time job and freelance. I use to take freelance jobs even when I was swamped because I love making money which resulted in constant stress and deadlines but I’ve learned to scale back and live a little. These days, I have much more free time and most importantly, less stress because I’m more selective in the jobs I choose to take but I’m doing better than ever. Stress throws your body off-balance and is terrible for your well-being but balance will make it all better.

      To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

      Challenges make you grow. It shapes our character, arms you with knowledge to succeed in the future, develops mental toughness, helps you realize your real potential and most importantly, gives you renewed confidence. Confidence can take your life to new heights and gives you the power to be happy. They say live and learn, and it’s true if you want to get better at living.

      Be compassionate and serve others.

      Relationships are important and this study proved that love is really all that matters. Cultivate your relationships with your significant other, family and friends. Do little things, pay for their dinner or drinks, surprise them with small gifts or actions to show your appreciation, do things even if you will get nothing in return, let go of the little things, always make the most out of your time with them. When I was younger, I use to be really negative, bitchy and suffered from verbal diarrhea, but I’ve grown up …and my life has never been so fulfilling. Well, I admit I still suffer from verbal diarrhea but not as often!

      friends are the family you choose

      At the same time, don’t give a shit about what others think of you.

      You get to choose what makes you happy— no one else. If I gave a shit about what other people think, I wouldn’t have a blog and I would’ve not discovered fitness and it would’ve not changed my life. It’s amazing to think how everything is connected. Over the 14 years I’ve been blogging, I realized that having a blog really pisses people off because bloggers are suppose to be narcissistic and too opinionated. But those are the kinds of people whose opinion really do not matter. And besides, blogging is therapeutic, motivating and changes lives.

      Find things to laugh and smile about.

      It’s simple; stop complaining, stop being negative and make the most out of every single situation. Be positive, smile lots and laugh lots. One thing I always say to myself if I’m somewhere I really don’t want to be: “you’re already there so why not make the most out of it?”

      Be grateful.

      My life is still not perfect and I’m not happy every day— life is full of ups and downs and it’s normal to feel a range of motions. If you are happy every single day, you are either in denial or be on a lot of drugs. I live everyday knowing my life can come crashing down at any moment so I do things that make me happy most of the time and am extremely grateful that I have things I am passionate about. It keeps my life fulfilled in so many ways.

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