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Fitness, Health

Get Ready to Hike!

August 14, 2014

I think a hiking preparation post is in order! I recently got back from a holiday in Salt lake City where my boyfriend and I went on some fun hikes. They were all much more challenging than I thought they were going to be (and the high altitude certainly did not make life easier either)! One hike in particular was absolutely ridiculous but so worth it because there were three beautiful lakes and absolutely stunning views.

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You’re probably wondering when I am going to get to the point of this post haha … basically these challenging hikes got me thinking that it would be really cool to do a post about preparing for a hike, whether it is challenging or relatively easy. I know it seems as if preparing for a hike is pretty intuitive but there are quite a few things you can do which you may not have thought about. 

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Preparing for a hike, especially a challenging uphill hike, can be categorized into the following:

Cardio/Strength, Research, & Supplies

Although anyone can technically just go on a hike, if you want to have a good time on a hike it is usually important to make sure that you are at least somewhat fit. I am not saying you have to be an avid gym go-er or a marathon runner, but it is good to have a good cardio tolerance and to have some leg strength. Core strength is also beneficial to keep yourself balanced if you are hiking on a steep downhill portion. What I would recommend is making sure that a few weeks before you go on a hike, you start doing something that will improve both your cardio and strength levels. For cardio you could start by going on a few brisk walks a few times a week, going for some runs or even trying out a fitness class such as kickboxing or BodyAttack (offered at most 24 Hour Fitness gyms) to raise your cardio levels. To improve your strength levels, you can start concentrating on lower body exercises such as squats and lunges. You could even do a pilates legs and butt workout (Blogilates online and free videos are my favorite) or go to a fitness class that focuses on building strength and tone such as Booty Barre (still need to try this class at Mint Studios Pilates!) or BodyPump (offered at most 24 Hour Fitness gyms).

Seriously, you will be happy you prepped when you do the hike. I would say that I am a pretty fit person, but my hike to Lake Blanche in Salt lake City KILLED ME. It was 6 miles, and 3 miles of it were all steadily uphill .. do not underestimate how exhausting walking at an incline can be 0__o

In terms of research, I just mean that you should do some Google searching about all the different hikes you can do a few days before you plan on hiking. Take the time to see how far away it is to drive to the hike, how long the hike will take, and how strenuous the hike may or may not be. A good tip is to read some reviews, such as on TripAdvisor, about what others thought about the hike. If you are a hiking newbie, avoid hikes with reviews that say ‘REALLY STRENUOUS HIKE’ .. ‘OMG, THIS HIKE IS HARD’ and the like.

 Lastly, but certainly not least, make sure you have the relevant supplies a day ahead of time. There was one point during my time in Salt Lake City when my boyfriend could not find his trainers .. ergo no hike lol. So make sure you have the following supplies ready (or at least some of them):

supplies

1. Lots of water bottles (1x 1 liter bottle per person for every 1 and 1/2 hour of hiking)
2. Appropriate clothing (some light and well-fitting activewear if in a hot place, or some warm jackets and etc if in a cold place)
3. Proper footwear that you do not mind getting dusty (think trainers like Nikes, Asics, Reebok and etc)
4. Sunglasses with a good amount of UV protection 
5. A phone (just in case you get lost, and helps you keep track of time – alternatively a watch instead)
6. A hat
7. Sunscreen (yes, even if you are hiking through snow or on a cloudy day, the sun will still reach you!)
8. A backpack (to hold all of you handy dandy supplies :D)
9. Food (if going on a hike longer than an hour it would be smart to bring portable and nutrient dense foods such as fruit, bread/crackers, nuts and etc)

If you guys think of anymore pre-hiking prep advice then please, please let me know either in the comments below or via social media or email. I would love to hear them because I am no hiking expert; but I do hope my hiking advice helps you prepare for your next (or first ever) hike!

Guess what I am doing this weekend … πŸ™‚

Honestly yours,
Alice xxx

Sunday Summary

Salt Lake City

July 6, 2014

I have officially been on holiday for a week now, and I am now in Salt Lake City, Utah! This is my first mini ‘holiday’ since going back to Thailand last summer, and it feels great to be somewhere new.

As most of my close friends already know, my boyfriend got accepted into the bioengineering PhD program at the University of Utah which therefore meant that he was going to move to Salt Lake City. I decided to tag along for the car trip and to stay with him in the city for a few weeks before going back to work and starting up classes again. The drive took us through Northern California (through Sacramento and Lake Tahoe area), across Nevada (the most amount of empty I have ever seen in my life), and then through the Utah salt flats. It was pretty rough though; my boyfriend drove the u-haul and I drove his car. It was a 10 hour drive overall (although we stayed overnight at a town called Elko in Nevada at the 7 hour mark) and I just cannot believe I did such a long drive, by myself effectively!

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Driving through California – so pretty

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Nevada during the afternoon

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 Nevada before sunset – same view several hundred miles later lol, but prettier now

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Border of Nevada and Utah, finally!

Thoughts so far? IT’S SO HOT! Far hotter than the Bay Area, but about the same temperature as California’s central valley but quite a bit drier. I literally HAD to buy sunscreen because I was getting sunburnt from spending half an hour in the sun!! But hey, at least I finally get to tan, something which was so not going to happen in San Francisco. We went to a fun 4th of July celebration in Sugarhouse park and saw some beautiful fireworks.

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I have been blown away so far by the range of cuisine available in Salt Lake City. I was kind of expecting 1 Thai and Chinese place to be honest haha. We have tried a few restaurants so far and they have all been really good. Red Iguana was an amazing Mexican restaurant with a whole range of mole’s, and Skewered Thai did a pretty good job of serving up relatively authentic and tasty Thai food. OMG and they have Rubio’s, yaaay!

I also didn’t realize this before  but Salt Lake City has a really big focus on health and fitness, so happy!! We went to a farmer’s market in downtown Salt Lake City and it was honestly better than any farmer’s market I have been too in California. Although my one criticism would be that there wasn’t a big range of vegetables. There are tons of gyms, yoga and pilates studio’s around the city, and 3 Whole Foods!! There are also a few Lululemon’s here and so I attended one of their free yoga Sunday classes (which was awesome).

I think these next few weeks will be really fun and full of me exploring the city and doing fun and fit-related activities. Hopefully I can avoid holiday weight-gain πŸ™‚

Have any of you ever been to Salt Lake City? Or do any of you live here? I would love some tips or suggestions on what to see or do!

Honestly yours,
Alice xxx

Fitness, Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – Kayla Itsines Week 11

May 11, 2014
review Kayla Itsines Week 11 BBG

Kayla Itsines Week 11

Kayla Itsines Week 11 BBG

I literally spent Tuesday through Saturday with the stiffest and most sore legs I have EVER HAD!!! For those who follow me on my bikini body guide journey, you will know that I have now completed week 11 of Kayla Itsine’s bikini body guide .. yay! On Tuesday, I did my leg workout and although I have done it once before in week 9, I truly pushed myself to the max this time. Hence the stiff legs for almost the entire week! It was pretty ridiculous, every night I would go to bed thinking ‘okay, so tomorrow they won’t be sore anymore’ and then wake up with equally sore legs -__-

I love the workouts for week 11 though. They are so intense and really make you realise just how strong you are. I have to say, the ab workout for this week has been my absolute favorite of the entire guide. It hits every part of my abs and makes them feel oh so tight and toned afterwards.

The arm workout is great too, although I have much more of a love/hate relationship with it. I did approximately 157 push up variations when I did my arm workout for this week, so hopefully that gives you some indication as to how ridiculous it is. But hey, at least now I can do that many push ups!! I normally do my workouts in the group exercise room at the gym, but for some reason an unannounced class was being held in there when I arrived on Friday, so I had to do it in front of all the cardio machines. A little embarrassing to say the least but I did look pretty bad ass doing all those push up variations, so it didn’t really matter in the end.

In other news, I was doing SO WELL on my #HFsugarfreemay until this weekend. It was my boyfriend’s graduation and so I wanted to bake him some yummy treats which inevitably ended up with me tasting these yummy treats too .. oops. Regardless, I think trying to stick to sugar free as much as feasibly possible as it is really quite helpful. It made me stop putting honey in my tea, stevia/brown sugar in my coffee and just made me think more about whether I really wanted that dark chocolate or not πŸ˜‰ I am all about balance so having sugar/sweets/ice-cream or whatever once in a while is alright as long as you are being mindful about your choices and not completely gorging on whatever your indulgence is. With that in mind, I will leave you with a photo of my boyfriend and I at his graduation, haha.

Kayla Itsines Week 11 BBG

So all in all, it was a great week and I am so excited (but kind of sad) to be finishing Kayla Itsines bikini body guide next week. Be excited for that next week and also for a really, REAAALLLYYY exciting post on Tuesday. Trust me, you will not want to miss it!

Honestly yours,
Alice