2017

Reflection on 2017 and What’s to Come in 2018

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. First, Happy New Year! Although I’ve been MIA for a solid minute, I’m hoping to be back for a while. I wanted to start back this year with a little recap of 2017 and sharing some goals and changes to the blog for 2018.

#1. If you had to describe your 2017 in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, Adventurous, challenging

#2. What, or who, are you most thankful for?

My friends for supporting me through the ups and downs that I’ve faced the past few months.

#3. What new things did you discover about yourself?

When I put my mind to something, I’ll achieve it.

#4. What single achievement are you most proud of?

I’ve achieved a lot this year, but honestly, the thing I’m most proud of is my volunteering twice a week with Reading Partners and helping my RP become a better and stronger reader.

#5. What was the best news you received?

That I got accepted into the University I’m attending, which was my first choice #ReignCane!

#6. What was your favorite place that you visited in 2017?

Panama City, Panama. Hands down an amazing country with amazing food and people.

#7. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

I’m going to say friendliness. Starting college requires you to go out of your way and be friendly to people since everyone’s trying to make friends.

#8. Which new skills did you learn?

I learned how to ask for help.

#9. What was the most important lesson you learned in 2017?

The only thing stopping you from doing something is you.

#10. What advice would you give your early 2017 self if you could?

Be excited about opportunities, and enjoy the adventure along the way.

Getting Excited About 2018

Despite the fact that any day of the year you can set a goal to achieve, January 1st seems to be the day we all choose to do so. I have three main goals this year. I’ve already been working on these goals whether I’ve actually started working on them, or I’ve just been planning the steps needed to achieve it. Here are the three goals I’m hoping to achieve or start the journey to achieve in 2018.

#1: Do well in college

I’m not going to lie. College is hard. There’s a transitional period that nobody tells you about. Which is that it takes you about half of your first semester to learn how to study in college because mid-terms and finals in high school are comparable to that of quizzes in college. So my goal is to keep my head above water this year, and the next couple of years ahead of me.

#2: Run a sub-2hr half marathon

I ran my first half-marathon this year. It was an amazing experience, and I did it with relatively little training. Don’t worry, that sentence makes me cringe too. At the time of which would’ve been time to train for it, I was on a D1 collegiate rowing team. The only reason I was able to even think about finishing my half marathon is that every day before rowing/erging we’d go for at least a 20min run. Not to mention rowing is an endurance sport. With the races I’ve signed up for this year including 2 half marathons, I’m going to truly train for them.

#3: Continue on with the blog, but with a change

It’s crazy to think I started RunningSoleGirl as a freshman in high school, and I want to continue on with it as a freshman in college. RunningSoleGirl has always focused on empowering women when it comes to health and fitness, and my mission is to continue that. However, I want to change it up a bit, but this has to do with my other two goals to begin working on in 2018. I plan on posting my training logs as well as tips to survive college. The usual health and fitness posts will continue on, but there will be some variety now. This makes it easier for me to continue posting on here, and I hope you lovelies support it.

Here’s to the journey that 2018 will bring us on!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: 8 Fitness Hacks That Will Make Your Life Better In 2017

The internet is full of life hacks and tips and tricks which can help you improve your life. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and some of them are just plain stupid. However, there are some things out there which are extremely insightful and which you can use to your benefit very regularly and with success. Below are some of the best fitness hacks that the internet has to offer: hacks which will help you in your pursuit for a physically healthy body and which will make your life much, much better in 2017.

#1 Eat Well Before and After Exercise!

The importance of adequate nutrition is often underestimated and unknown. Eating the right foods at right times can exponentially increase the benefits that you gain from every workout. You should eat high carb foods before you exercise so that you have plenty of energy to burn. Top up with foods high in simple sugars during your workout (bananas are always a good option), and remember to refuel when you have finished. Since your body’s energy stores are depleted at the end of a workout, you need to make sure that you eat a lot of carbs as soon as you can. You also need to include plenty of salts to replace those lost while you were sweating and a source of protein to aid in muscular recovery.

#2 Use Wasted Time Wisely:

Use times when you are doing nothing to exercise a little. Next time you are standing on a train platform or at a bus stop waiting for your transport, do some heel raises or squats. Take the opportunity to do some sit ups or pushups during the ad breaks of your favorite TV show. You can even take drastic measures and do things like strapping weights to your legs for the walk to work or uni.

#3 Install Exercise Equipment in Your Home:

This is one of the simplest and most effective fitness hacks on the web. There are many, many different pieces of exercise equipment designed for home use, and which you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. One of the most useful and simplest of these is the ceiling mounted pull up bar. Installing this in your hallway or kitchen will allow you to give your arm muscles a quick workout every time you walk past it. This is one of the best ways to make your life better through exercise in 2017!

#4 Drink Plenty of Water Before and During Your Workout:

I bet you didn’t know that drinking more water helps you burn more fat? Well, it does! You should be drinking water throughout every single day, making sure you stay well hydrated at all times. Doing this will make sure that you get the maximum benefit out of your workout sessions. Make sure that you also drink plenty during exercise to replace any fluids you lost, especially if you are sweating a lot.

#5 Follow Bodybuilders and Fitness Celebrities on Social Media.

Doing this will ensure that you are always faced with motivation and motivating material, even when you are sitting on your phone. This will help you get out and exercise more, will give you ideas about the activities you could do, and will help make your life so much better in 2017!

#6 Join a Fitness Club or a Sports Team:

Joining a club or team has a lot of obvious benefits which will help make your life better. These include:

  • The social side of groups makes it easier to stay motivated and focused on goals.
  • Playing a team sport or participating in a group fitness class can be fun, educational, and can give you the chance to make great new friends!
  • You will find yourself surrounded by a support network which will help you stay motivated and focused, even when you feel a bit down.
  • If you are really serious about making your life better through exercise in 2017; then joining a sporting club or fitness group could be the solution you are looking for!

#7 Sleep a Lot!

Although this may not seem like a great fitness hack, it is! Your body needs time to recover and rebuild after all those difficult exercise sessions. You have to give it enough downtime and make sure you don’t overdo it. Otherwise you may find yourself breaking down or getting hurt.

#8 Music, Music, Music!

Create a playlist of all your favorite tunes and listen to it while you exercise. This will help you stay motivated to workout, will increase the enjoyability of every workout session, and will ensure that you get the most out of it every time you exercise. You can also try some new music – you might even discover your next favorite artist this way!

Guest Post: Top Workout Trends You Need to Try in 2017

Whether we love it or hate it, most of us have by now realized that working out is a must. The benefits are numerous: from general health, through mood enhancement, to weight control. However, after a while, it can get boring. It’s not easy finding the perfect form of physical activity that appeals to you. Once we get bored with the routine, we often drop it – especially those of us who struggle with discipline and willpower in the first place. But, just like in every major field, each year brings us new trends and fads in fitness, too. Take a look at the hottest workout trends in 2017 – you might just find some new ways to keep your workouts fresh and fun.

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