Thursday, July 30, 2015

Take a Hike with a Friend (A #NationalGirlfriendsDay Post)

Warning - this post is going to be a photo dump of one of the most fun and physically active vacations I've ever taken.

Let me show you why spending a vacation hiking with your best friend is the best idea ever, even if your BFF isn't the most athletic person in the world. :)

1. You can escape your crazy schedules and spend some quality time together for once.


No emails. No jobs. No school. No responsibilities. Just you, your BFF and nature. 

Not to mention, you may have spent the last year living hundreds of miles away from each other and can't wait to take 5 million selfies to show that you were actually together for once, albeit in a beautiful place.



Photo by Brianna Kolota

2.  You take in some incredible views.


When you're 90 and sitting in your rockers next to one another, you'll be able to tell your grand kids about all the places you've visited together.


Photo by ???


Photo by Brianna Kolota

A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on



A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

3. You can act like a kid again.


If you're on a trail in the middle of the woods and find a huge fallen log, why not climb it and test your balance with some yoga poses?  


A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

4. You remember why you love your best friend, and get a pretty good leg workout in the process.


Hiking up and down the side of a VERY rocky, VERY steep mountain for 3+ miles just to reach an overlook probably wasn't my BFF's favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but she did it for me anyway. And that's one of the reasons I love her -  she always puts others before herself.

P.S. My BFF is deathly afraid of heights!





Photo by Brianna Kolota

Closing Thoughts


On a more important note, as I get older, I realize more and more how influential you can be in the lives of those around you.

If you're a physically active person by nature <--- hello me, the adult with ADD, you probably don't need someone to motivate you to be active, even if you're on vacation. But for others, motivation is the problem.

That's where I've realized I can make a difference. Suggesting "active" plans like hikes, runs, or stadium dates makes exercising something your friends look forward to rather than something you do because you should.

Endorphins make people happy. Sharing endorphins make for some happy, healthy friends and relationships.

Taking care of each other can be more than working out together too. Be accountable to one another for eating healthy, going to the doctor, getting checked for diseases, not smoking, driving safely, etc. I know females already talk about everything. It only takes a few seconds to send a text to remind your friend to eat her veggies, make that yearly check-up, get that mole checked out, or slow down on the roads.

If you're like me, you probably have NO idea what appointments and check-ups to make each year. But have no fear, here's a handy infographic about what you need to do each year throughout your life from my friends at Oscar Health Insurance. I know I'll be using it when I make my doctor's appointments this year!

You  can find more info about #NationalGirlfriendsDay and Oscar Health Insurance by following@OscarHealth on Twitter and checking out the CDC's Women's Health page. If you're interested in more on Oscar, check them out only to find out more about their health insurance in NJ and NY.

Until next time,
Brianna :)

Question:

  1. Have you ever taken an "active" vacation with friends or family?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4 (Spotify Playlist)

It's the end of July, and I'm dying for a power yoga or vinyasa class. A month at Fort Knox for training with ZERO stretching and a week in bed with tonsillitis has killed my flexibility. 

Guess who's starting from zero again in August when school starts? Ugghhhhh. I'm banking on the fact that making a yoga playlist usually sparks my desire to practice at home. I'll let ya' know how it goes. :)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4

Spotify playlist:



Follow me on Spotify if you like a mix of indie, alternative, EDM, pop, and country.

Question: 

  1. Has anyone else fallen off the yoga wagon? If so, how long did it take you to reach your previous level of flexibility? 
  2. Do you go to yoga as much for the atmosphere as for a good stretch?

Related HGG Posts:


Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

Yoga Playlist No. 3 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2 from Hungry Gator Gal (@spotify playlist included)

Yoga Workout Playlist

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Food & Fitness Essentials

Hydrate, exercise, jam out, eat, repeat. :)


From the top, left to right:

one // Nike Pro Classic Swift Bra and Nike Women's Dri-Fit Pro Classic Bra

No chafing. No band rolling. Everything stays in place. In other words, Nike Pros are everything I could ask for in sports bras when it's 90+ degrees Fahrenheit outside with 80+ percent humidity every damn day.

two // La Croix Sparkling Water

Because drinking plain water all the time gets old.

three // Aladdin Classic Insulated Mason Tumbler 32oz. 

Water bottle. Huge-a** smoothie holder. Every preppy girl's best friend...
 

four // Andy Grammer 

I wrote Andy Grammer off a while ago as "too much pop" for my taste, but then I saw him live at Fort Knox for the Army's 240th birthday concert. All I can say is that this guy is talented. Very down-to-earth but full of personality. He put on a fantastic show and made me a fan for life.

five // Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Running Shoes - Women's & Men's

After trying on a bazillion brands and other Nike running shoes, I decided to stick with the Nike Pegasus line. My Pegasus 31s made it through 10 months of Army PT and individual runs, so why reinvent the wheel? And did I tell you how amazing the flywire technology is?!? The shoes fit like a glove and feel like pillows on my feet. Bye bye, shin splints.

six // Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were 

Crazy, intense slow jams will have you playing this adult alternative album on repeat. It's one of those rare albums that captures thoughts and feelings you had no idea could be vocalized or let alone made into a melody.

seven // Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface  

Linkin Park meets Fall Out Boy meets Eminem meets Jamaican jams. I dare you to play this in the car and try to NOT sing along.


eight // Nike SFBs  

I LOVE THESE BOOTS. They become more comfortable with every ruck, hike, battle drill, march through the rain and mud, etc. I didn't get one blister while wearing these for a month in Fort Knox.

nine // Homemade pizza 

Cook three pizzas one night for the fam and you've got meals for two days. Pizza with cheese, veggies and protein always = a well-balanced meal.

ten // Nuun Energy Hydration Tablets

Running in the heat = no bueno if you don't refuel with electrolytes. And as much as I love Gatorade during field training, sugar water isn't necessary when I only spend an hour outside every day at home. These tablets pack serious flavor without the added sugar.


eleven //  POSH DJs App


Listen to club mixes outside of a club. The continuous streams are perfect for getting in the zone during workouts.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Question:

  1. What are some of your summer food and fitness essentials?

Related HGG Posts:


Favorite Nike Training Club Workouts



Friday's Favorites: Treats and Healthier Eats

Dunkin' Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee on Hungry Gator Gal

Food and Fitness Finds for the New Year

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Workout Mix No. 2 (Spotify Playlist)

"Without music, life would be a mistake." -  Friedrich Nietzsche

Summer Workout Mix No. 2 from Hungry Gator Gal

































Playlist on Spotify...



Follow me on Spotify if you like what you're hearing. :)

Question:

1. What are your favorite workout songs right now?
 

Related HGG Posts:


Summer Workout Mix No. 1

Summer Workout Mix No. 1 from Hungry Gator Gal 

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

Yoga Playlist No. 3 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist) 

"Go Time" Playlist (Spotify Playlist)

"Go Time" Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Workout Mix No. 1

The amount of time I can spend creating and perfecting a playlist is embarrassing.

Not in school? No more 5 a.m. alarms for physical training and 18-hour days fueled by coffee?

Allow me to approach making a playlist with the same determination and motivation I have after drinking two cups of coffee in the law library (a.k.a. the 90 minutes when I'm jittery and motivated).

Sooo I *might* have tweaked this playlist almost every day in the month of May to make it perfect. If you're as spastic as I am in terms of music, I think you'll like the mix of alternative, country, EDM and pop. It's good for backyard parties, beach days and road trips in addition to working out.

Summer Workout Mix No. 1 from Hungry Gator Gal

Follow the playlist on Spotify . . .



And follow me  on Spotify if you're in need of workout, study, yoga, party or throwback playlists.

P.S. I pay $5 per month as a student to have access to a bazillion songs with zero ads. I have the ability to follow and make as many playlists as my heart desires. It's TOTALLY worth the money. Ask for a Spotify Gift Card $30 (affiliate link!) for your b-day or a holiday. :)



Question:

  1. What are some of your favorite songs right now?

Related HGG Posts:


Summer Sweat

Summer Workout Jams Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal (spotify playlist included)

Drop the Beat Playlist

Hungry Gator Gal's Drop the Beat Playlist

Yoga Playlist No. 3

Yoga Playlist No. 3 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test

Once upon a time I HATED push-ups. And when I say I hated them, I mean I loathed them, and not in a love-to-hate kinda way. I just sucked at doing them.

But guess what?

Push-ups are by far my favorite exercise now, even over the squat, which says a lot coming from someone like me who lives for the power rack and sprints.



Source

Push-ups are a total body movement, and I didn't master the movement overnight. I learned the tricks of the push-up trade. After nine months in the Army ROTC program, here's what I've learned that can help you perfect the form, get stronger and therefore crank out more push-ups.

I went from being able to do 25 push-ups in two minutes to being able to crank out 62 push-ups in two minutes on last month's PT (physical training) test by using these techniques.

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test from Hungry Gator Gal

Graphic by Brianna Kolota

1. Look straight ahead while performing the entire movement. 

In other words, DO NOT look down at your hands!

2. Pull in your glutes.

a.k.a. Don't sag in the middle or make yourself a tepee. Your body should look like one straight line from the heels to the top of your head.

3. Find the distance between your hands and feet that naturally allows you to perform the greatest number of push-ups . . . 


4. . . . and change that stance when it becomes difficult.

Changing your stance will engage different muscle groups and will allow you to crank out a few more push-ups than you thought you had left in you. 

5. Enagage your quads (a.k.a. the tops of your thighs) and push your heels backward.


6. Engage your core muscles (a.k.a. your abs).


7. Don't forget to breathe.

You don't want to pass out in the middle of a push-up, do you?!?

8. Take a 10-second break when you're nearing complete muscle failure.

After your 10-second break, perform two or three push-ups and then break again for five seconds. Repeat this pattern of two or three push-ups followed by a five-second break until you can do no more push-ups or your time expires (if you're being timed for a test).

9. Practice!

Basically every other day I crank out 100 to 200 push-ups. I usually complete it circuit style by alternating between 20 push-ups and a 1-minute rest. I do these push-ups a few hours before or after a workout to give my body enough time to rest.

Some days I go MUCH slower with these reps than I would during a test. Slowing the upward and downward motion of a push-up allows you to focus on form rather than speed and builds the muscles needed to push out as many reps as possible on test day.

Other days I focus on an explosive upward movement as I would during the test. This trains the muscles of your upper back for power and speed.

Note: If you can't complete 20 push-ups in a row without resting, focus on doing 5, 10 or 15 at a time. Rest 1 or 2 minutes. Repeat as many times as possible.

10. Lift heavy things (body weight and added weight).

In addition to practicing straight push-ups for muscular endurance, I lift and pull heavy things.

I bench press or do incline presses. I do pull-ups (affiliate link!). I perform military presses, goblet squats, dips and biceps curls. In other words, I hit it all.

I like to stick with three or four sets of five heavy reps for each of the exercises. I focus on strength here as opposed to endurance with the 100 to 200 push-ups every other day.

That's it!

Feel free to email me at bkkolota@gmail.com if you have any questions related to Army ROTC, military PT training or tests. I'd be happy to share my experience! :)

Question:

  1.  What's your trick for performing as many push-ups as possible?

Related HGG Posts:


Lately + 5x5 Circuit Workout

5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015



50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal