Workout 2/8/2016

Last night, I decided it was too cold to step outside (40 degrees is too cold for Florida okay?) so I completed a workout video at home. The video was similar to the group fitness classes I take, in the sense that all I had to do was follow the instructor. The YouTube channel I got this video off of is called Fitness Blender. The whole channel is structured for both men and women and I highly recommend it. This specific kickboxing workout was a stress reliever and definitely challenged me to push myself.

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Don’t Make Me Think – Revisited

In order to keep the fitness momentum on this blog in mind, but also fulfill an assignment for my advanced interactive reporting course, I decided to jog to the library (to get a workout in) but also to rent this wonderful little gem, written by Steve Krug.

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‘Don’t Make Me Think – Revisited’ is an easy read about how to use the web and mobile devices for your benefit. Krug uses multiple principles to describe techniques and he also provides advice on using websites and apps.

He begins with the first principle literally being “Don’t make me think”… I really enjoyed the fact that he used this principle to introduce the book. I also think that he explains it very effortlessly… (You know, not making me really have to think about it.) Krug says that audience members or viewers shouldn’t have to think about anything on your website. They shouldn’t have to second guess whether something is a link or not, and they shouldn’t have to search for things. He says that a good website should provide easy access to needed information and I absolutely agree. “When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks” wrote Krug. Another principle he discusses is that people don’t really read pages… they scan them. It taught me to make my website design intriguing, eye-appealing, and simple. We need to design from a scanners perspective. In chapter four, I learned about how users like mindless choices. After learning this, I realized I am absolutely guilty of it as well. Pro tip: clicking is fun and quick when websites make ‘clicking’ to your goal clear and easy. The book gets a little more serious on page 49….. “The art of writing for the web”…. Most of us have already learned the basics about omitting needless words in order to reduce the noise level of the page and to make the useful content more prominent. Unfortunately, you won’t find that in this post because this is a review, but I plan on working towards shorter sentences in web stories. Chapter 6 and 7 go into website navigation as well as the importance of your website’s home page. I really enjoyed reading both chapters, not only because they provided useful information but also because it’s not just a ‘beginner handbook’ on websites. I’ve had my own site for quite a while now and still found the reading useful. It included tips such as stating your websites identity right off the bat, adding a search box to the home page, making your content timely, and more. (A good tagline is also an important characteristic.) Overall, this book includes a ton of useful information on how to make your website simple, clear, and non-biased towards different types of web users. I really like how it also included comics and quotes at the top of some of the pages. The reading was helpful, beneficial for my website’s future, and made me grin here and there; thanks to the clever chapter titles.

Thanks Steve, for sharing both your website knowledge and humor. I’m glad you “gathered enough energy” to write this book. It was well worth the effort.

Group Fitness 1/18/16

Although I’ve been working out for a few weeks now, I still get lost at the gym sometimes and I don’t always have a plan on what to do for each workout. With that being said, i decided to take another group fitness class today. This one was called ‘Cycle (60)’.

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As you can tell from the sign posted above, the class ran for 60 minutes and our instructor’s name was Elizabeth. She was very fit, really motivated, and kept the group encouraged. We did multiple different intervals and changed gears many times. We focused on endurance and then we also spent time working on fighting hard resistance. I learned that cycling works major muscles, gets your heart rate up, and will leave you exhausted… Overall, it was a difficult class, but well worth it.

Workout 1/17/16

I took another group fitness class today. It was called “Core” and it consisted of exercises that strengthen your abdominal and lateral flexers. It’s also supposed to improve torso stability and function. This class was only 30 minutes in length which is why I also did ten minutes on the stair master and ten minutes on the rowing machine.

Although today’s workout was fairly decent, I wanted to focus on the workout I completed last night. I got to the gym later than normal, at around 8:30 in the evening and I completed the following:

  • One hour of cardio on the Cybex Arc Trainer
  • Ten minutes on the rowing machine at level 9
  • Ten minutes of lunges and squats without additional weight

When I first began working out, I could only go on the Cybex machine for about 15 minutes. Last night, I was able to stay on it for an hour, burning 668 calories. This is a huge accomplishment for me because it shows that my hard work is increasing my stamina. Hooray for progress!

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Breakfast 1/14/16

My classes begin at 8:30 am and end at 6:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. With that being said, I don’t have very much time in the morning to devote to my first meal of the day: breakfast. This morning I threw together a little bowl of protein, antioxidants, and fiber. It was quick and delicious. The ingredients are below.

  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Half of a banana
  • Blueberries
  • Almond slices

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I definitely recommend this. It tasted like a morning treat.

Lunch 1/11/16

My current living situation is in a sorority house on the University of Florida campus. Living here means having breakfast, lunch, and dinner made for me every. single. day. (Sounds incredible right? If you’re not watching what you eat, it is.) Our chefs sometimes make healthy meals such as grilled shrimp with crab legs and rice, flat iron steaks with asparagus spears, or honey-glazed salmon with zucchini and squash. Our chefs also make quite unhealthy and buttery meals such as grilled cheese and tomato soup, pasta bar with garlic bread, and fried chicken tenders with macaroni and cheese.

Luckily, a salad bar is offered with every meal we get. Today, I made my own salad for lunch that included the following ingredients:

  • Spinach leaves
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Grilled chicken slices
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing

Not only was is tasty but it was quite aesthetically pleasing:

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Group Fitness 1/11/16

The University of Florida’s student recreation and fitness centers offer multiple group fitness classes for students to take. Not only are the classes offered at multiple different locations, but they are also available to students for FREE. Free workout classes are wonderful and they shouldn’t be taken for granted because after graduation, similar work-out classes will be far more costly and at public locations.

I began taking fitness classes on Sunday, January 10th, A.K.A. just yesterday… and I also took a class today called 50/50. It consisted of 50% cardio and 50% body weight training. Some of the exercises included plyometrics, agility, and other activities that raise your heart rate. Although it was difficult, I feel a lot better and more energized after taking it.

Below are my current statistics for anyone interested: (I’ll be posting these periodically to keep track of progress!)

  • Height: 5’3
  • Starting weight: 135 lbs
  • Size: Medium, 4

P.s. I’m already sore…

 

Introduction 1/10/16

A Multimedia Journalist. A Traveler. An Aspiring Fitness Junkie.

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I’m Megan. I currently work for WUFT News at the University of Florida and plan on graduating this April. Before I take my first steps into the real-world full of big-girl jobs and newsworthy activities, I hope to reach my goal of becoming healthier and adding the word “fit” when describing my lifestyle.

On my resume, my dream is to become a news reporter or anchor. In reality, I dream of being successful in that career field but I also hope to be in better health, in better shape, and to be more active than I am today. (All of these being done with the resources that are currently available to me.)

I’m 20 years old this year, which means it’s prime time to get in shape. On this blog, you will witness progress and hopefully be inspired to do the same.