27 Things I’ve Learned About Life and Fitness in 27 Years


This upcoming Sunday is my birthday, and somehow I’ll be turning 27 years old.

Seriously, where does the time go?

And while in all honesty I feel no more than about 15 most of the time, I have to admit that I’ve learned a lot so far on this journey I’ve had.

I’ve grown as a person in so many ways, and pushed myself past countless mental and physical challenges.

Whereas I didn’t used to be able to do a single push up and thought pull ups were impossible, these days, I can do both and so much more.

I used to eat mac & cheese, sugar cereal, and candy on a near daily basis. Now I can’t go a day without mounds of fresh veggies without feeling like crap.

And the most important thing I’ve learned is that I’ve learned that health and fitness is a lifestyle—and once you embrace it, you never go back.

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50 Ways to Kick Ass at Working Out


Are your workouts feeling less than awesome lately?

Don’t worry—we all need a little extra motivation at times to push us to work out harder and more often.

You have to own your workouts. Crush them. Work harder than you ever thought possible and give them your all. Only then, will you progress as an athlete—and as a person.

And this list can get you there—so look through it, pick the tips that resonate with you, then go kick ass at your workouts (and life)!

How to kick ass at working out (in no particular order):

1. Push past your limits regularly. If you aren’t collapsing in defeat on a regular basis, you aren’t pushing hard enough. Train hard.

2. Have a mantra. Mantras help trick your brain into believing something is true, and can get you through even the toughest of workouts.

3. Gear up. While bodyweight training is awesome, a few pieces of equipment such as a jump rope and a kettlebell can push your training to the next level.

4. Master (or at least attempt) the handstand push up. Include these in your workouts and you’ll find yourself stronger, more coordinated, and more badass than ever before.

5. Show up no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick, hungover, tired, or just overly stressed, the key to kicking ass at your workouts is to always show up.

6. Take pictures along your fitness journey. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing the visual progress you’ve made from your workouts. Do it often, and hide them somewhere no one else can see them if that makes it less embarrassing.

7. Kettlebell swings are your friend. Do them often. You’ll get all the cardiovascular, strength and coordination benefits that go with them.

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Why You Should Take More Naps

why you should take more naps

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look at my cat with envy. He sleeps most of the day, usually in some sunny, warm and cozy spot, and even when I wake him, he seems happy, rested and content—very rarely stressed and grumpy.

Yet no matter how tired I am during the day, whether from lack of sleep, too much stress, or overworked muscles, my first inclination is always to try and find a way to wake myself up more—never to actually rest or take a nap.

And in my 26 and 3/4 years of observing human behavior, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not alone here. Most people, when they’re tired, reach for a cup of coffee, an energy drink or even a caffeine pill—rarely, if ever, do they actually consider taking a nap.

While I’m not big on using caffeine as a remedy (for some reason, it doesn’t really have an effect on me), I completely understand why people would reach for stimulants instead of listen to their body and sleep. Usually, this comes down to the logistics of napping. If you have a full time 9 to 5 job, are a new parent, or just have a lot going on in your life, it can be pretty difficult to find the time and a place to nap during the day.

But for the most part, the lack of naps also comes down to one, silly but completely normal human characteristic—guilt.

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How to Make Exercise Your #1 Priority


Every day, you’re forced to make a number of decisions about what’s important to you and prioritize them accordingly.

You decide if you’re going to work (most people decide yes).

You decide if you’re going to put pants on (again, usually a yes here too).

You decide if you’re going to walk/feed/play with the dog or make breakfast for your kid or pay your rent/mortgage/car loan.

In fact, for most people, their top priorities for an average day are pretty simple:

  • Family (including pets)
  • Work
  • Sleep
  • Eating
  • Entertainment/relaxation
  • Friends
  • Finances

The order will vary of course person to person, but you get the idea.

And for most people, these are no-brainer priorities. In fact, if you’re like the majority of people, you don’t even have to think about these types of responsibilities—you just accept them, and take care of them. And of course, over the years, you learn to prioritize—if you don’t, you’ll be fired, lose your house, force your dog to pee on the carpet, let your kid go hungry, etc.

So why is it that exercise isn’t on this list?

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How to Kick Ass at Life


Wake up. This is your life. You’ve only got one shot at it.

If you fail, there’s no turning back.

This is it.

So I want you to ask yourself right now: are you living the life you want to live?

Are you kicking ass like you know you should be?

If your answer is no, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start living life optimally.

Because no matter whether you’re 18, 32 or 85, you can start living life the best you can right now.

Here’s how to start immediately:

Fuel your body

You wouldn’t expect a fancy car to run smoothly on cola-infused gasoline, and you shouldn’t expect your body to live up to its potential if you’re feeding it sugary drinks, fast food and junk 24/7.

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I'm Not Perfect, and Neither Should You Be: 39 Things You Should Know About Me

Krista Stryker

Despite what you may think, I haven’t always been this active.

In fact, there was a time in my life when I was actually a little chubby. I didn’t work out. I ate way too much Trader Joe’s mac & cheese. I couldn’t do a push up or pull up to save my life.

Born into a family of extremely active people, I was constantly bitter that being healthy and active didn’t come naturally to me as it seemed to for most of my family. Even now, despite being in his mid 60’s, my Dad still skis, kiteboards, windsurfs, SUPs, surfs, bikes, goes on crazy hikes, does CrossFit and is always looking for a new sport to try. He’s my inspiration. But I used to think I was nothing like him.

Because for a long time, I thought that the ‘active gene’ in my family had skipped me—since I hated the thought of exercise so freaking much.

Along with this lack of desire to exercise, I also suffered from near constant depression starting in my early teenage years. In short, I hated myself. I was restless and always unhappy. I hated what I was doing (or not) doing with my life. I hated the way I felt every day. I hated the way my body looked.

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How to Be a Badass in 21 Steps

how to be a badass

For most of my life, I’ve tried to be as tough as possible.

I used to punch all the guys in high school. I also put a few holes in my parents’ walls (sorry mom and dad). After that, I asked for (and was quickly given) a punching bag to take out my toughness on instead.

And while I’ve never taken myself very seriously (OK, other than maybe my freshman year in high school when I died my hair pink and covered myself in spikes), I still love the idea of being a badass.

Because being a badass means more than just trying to be cool. It means being true to yourself and who you are, sticking to your beliefs, and putting yourself out there in the world. And most of all, it means having the confidence to go after your dreams—even if no one else believes in you but yourself.

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It's Time to Stop Talking—And Start Doing

start taking action

It’s rare to come across someone who doesn’t want to be in really awesome shape.

That wouldn’t love to be able to crank out several pull ups in a row.

Or run a sub 5 minute mile.

Or eat healthy foods, effortlessly.

Or have a rocking body they don’t mind showing off at the beach.

These people are everywhere.

They talk about how nice it would be, how only if they had better genes, or more willpower, or more money for healthier food or a gym membership… then they would be fit. They’d have the body of their dreams, and the athleticism needed to conquer the world.

And that’s it. These people are talkers.

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Choose to Be Fit, or Choose to Be Unfit: It's Your Choice

It amazes me how many people I talk to tell me they can’t lose weight, can’t get fit, can’t get healthy.

Oh, they’re very good at coming up with excuses.

They don’t have time, can’t find the motivation, they travel too much, the workouts are too hard.

Or maybe they blame their weight issues on genetics, an undiagnosed thyroid condition, big bones.

Excuse after excuse.

The whining never stops. But it’s their loss.

Because no one can force you to be healthy.

It’s completely up to you. You have to choose it.

What are your priorities?

Some people really don’t care if they are in good shape or not. They’ve made a conscious decision that food X is more important to them than a strong, healthy, sexy body and a long life.

And that’s OK.

But if you do choose to eat that fifth slice of pizza, or that second bowl of ice cream, don’t tell me that you can’t lose weight.

Because if I ate five pieces of pizza in one sitting, day after day, and skipped out on my veggies, I’d be fat too.

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100 Ways to Get Moving Outdoors This Winter


Think winter means you have to be indoors all the time?

Think again.

I’ve put together this list of 100 outdoor activities that you can do all winter long to keep getting the benefits of getting outside.

Depending on where you live, some of these will be more feasible than others. But don’t let any inclement weather stop you.

Here are 100 ways you can keep active outside in the winter:

1. Go skiing.
2. Try a polar bear swim.
3. If you live somewhere rainy, jump around in mud puddles.
4. Learn to snowboard.
5. Gather some friends and go ice skating.
6. Cross country ski.
7. Go sledding.
8. Take a walk in the rain or snow.
9. Get a pair of shoe shoes and go exploring.
10. Work out outside.
11. Go stand up paddle boarding (just don’t fall in).

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