Workout FAQ: Answers to Your Questions

Hey friends!

So we just left on our summer tour, and I wanted to pop in with a quick little post with some workout Q+A. I got such a variety of questions on workout related posts, that I thought it might work best to just do a post answering those. I have copied the questions and put those in quotation marks, with my answers in italics below that. Please leave any additional thoughts or questions in the comment section! Thanks for reading!


“Enjoying” Working Out:

“This probably will sound strange, but do you enjoy working out? And if so, did you always enjoy it? Because I DON’T.  and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that? Thanks, Alli!”

Well, my answer to this is “yes and no”.  Somedays, I am all excited and others I am NOT. It’s something I try to enjoy, and usually I genuinely do, at least once I get started.  If nothing else, I love the satisfying feeling when I am finished!  But one thing I’d encourage you with, is to remember that you’re not primarily exercising for the fun of it, although it’s fine to have fun while doing it.  Reminding yourself why you’re doing it will help keep you motivated, and I also think it helps to find what you enjoy the most (for example, running vs. lifting weights) and spend the majority of your workout time in that area.  


Showering Post Workout:

“I know this is kind of a weird topic request, but one excuse I use (whether it’s valid or not) for not exercising daily is that then I would have to shower every day (currently I shower every other or occasionally every third day). Any tips on freshening up after exercising?”

This is a great question, and actually something I had to figure to when I started exercising regularly.  I find that the length and intensity of the workout determines how much cleaning up I need to do afterwards.  Something like a quick ab workout may only require a fast little scrub off with a  soapy wet washcloth.  I tend to sweat easily, so wiping off and applying fresh deodorant goes a long way.:)  For a more intense workout or longer runs, a shower and washing my hair is what I need.  Basically, I have three options: quick scrub with a washcloth, super fast rinse off shower, or complete shower (including washing hair).  I just do whichever seems necessary that day! 


Back Pain During Ab Workout:

“This is great, Allison! Question: when I do these ab workouts, what seems to hurt more is my back. Is that normal? Or am I not doing it correctly or on the right surface. Thanks!”

The problem could be improper form or surface.   I would recommend watching some professional workout trainers (you can find them on youtube or at the library) if you are in doubt about your form.  Regarding the surface, definitely don’t do floor work (like the ab exercises I posted) on a hard floor.  Carpet is great, or you can get an inexpensive mat that enables you to workout on any floor.  I even use it on concrete parking lots when we’re traveling!


My Exercise Routine:

“I enjoyed your post. In addition to what you have listed I enjoy exercising for the health benefits. Do you have a certain exercise routine you follow?”

My exercise routine is constantly changing, as I love variety!  Currently, I do one of the following pretty much every day (Mon-Sat): running, strength training/lifting, ab workout, or other workout (sometimes an overall body workout that includes ab/strength/cardio).  I usually workout in the morning. 


Exercising Indoors:

“Hey Allison,

Thanks for this post!  I kind of have a love-hate relationship with exercising…, but it is something I need to be consistent with. Do you have any good indoor workouts? I had been doing bike rides with my Daddy for a few weeks, but then the weather got rainy, and then it been snowing for almost a week now!  Also, how do you exercise when you are traveling? As you know, we also travel (although not NEAR as much as you!:) ), and with a busy schedule and staying in other people’s homes, it can be hard to find time or ways to exercise. Any suggestions? Thanks again! You are such a joyful blessing to me!”

Yes!  I do almost all of my workouts indoors!  Honestly, the place I find the most inspiration is pinterest!  I have found excellent links to workout videos as well as well as different super simple workout formulas on there.  Below are a few great ones to give you some ideas.  There are literally thousands to choose from!  And the awesome thing is that there are so many good workouts you can do with absolutely no equipment and very little space.  You could workout beside you van or in a guest bedroom where you’re staying as you travel.  I plan to post more ideas this summer on working out while traveling.

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Making Time for People When You Don’t Have Time

Just popping in this evening with a few thoughts on relationships and people in the midst of life that can be so full. (By the way, the picture is dinner with some of my sweet Mexico friends during the time I was living there. I felt like it went with what I’m talking about here, and I miss them, so that’s why!)

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have time for something? One concept has been revolutionizing my world this week:

Sometimes we simply need to do the very things we have the least time for.

Like going swimming with my little siblings today. I didn’t “feel” like I had time. But I was able to get off work, and rearrange my schedule to make the other days this week fuller (yay!), and just go do it!

Sometimes it’s gotta be people over whatever else is screaming to be done. I’m not talking about neglecting one’s responsibilities. There are times when I say “no” to people because of responsibilities or commitments and you will have to as well. But as much as possible I want people to be priority in my life.

I want to prioritize the important as well as the urgent.

And it is a balancing act! But I believe it is possible. Is prioritizing hard? Yes! Messy? Often. But it’s part of life, so those of you that are young (like me)……we may as well practice now and learn to do work AND relationships well- to be dependable employees (or business owners) AND the there-for-you kind of friend and sister/brother/whatever!

Cheers to you all! I’m off to get some sleep and get up early for another day of the balancing act! What could be more exciting?


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Memories from May

May was a sweet month.  It was a month of blessed days, difficult decisions, hard work, and hard play. All in all, I look back with gratefulness on another month of life and the grace of my Jesus.

I did a lot of study, planning, teaching, and general office tasks for work, and those days were often accompanied by extra coffee (see above). The main things I was learning about were leadership and customer service.  I find these two topics fascinating, and absolutely loved my time spent learning in those areas.


One day saw me loading up my sweet younger siblings and meeting up with dear friends at the park (photo on left). Several other days I spent some time with a very dear friend and her little ones, playing, cleaning, and having a generally grand time (right photo).

I always, always eat breakfast, even on mornings when I leave for work before the family eats. Hard boiled eggs, energy balls, cheese, and blueberries was on my menu one morning (left). And middle of the day iced coffee accompanied by the sweetest note from my little sis…..well that made my laundry folding and contemplations a little sweeter! (This extra special gesture also happened during a time when I had extra responsibilities and decisions weighing on my mind, and I thought it was so sweet that my little sis, Elizabeth, was encouraging me like that.)


I absolutely love interacting with guests at the Inn, and this particular gentleman was so friendly and interesting.  We had a fabulous time chatting in the hotel lobby (right photo)! Several days were spent spring cleaning and painting verses in all the guest rooms. This project was completed on May 31st, per my goal.

My little brother, Josh, also got engaged in May, which was pretty much the most fantastic thing ever! Watching some very special things happen in my siblings’ lives during this month was incredible. I will be doing a special post about that soon.

And that’s my happy little update on May! June, let’s go!


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June Goals

Sometimes you just gotta sit down and do a little dreaming and planning for the month ahead.  At least I do.:) So, first an update on how my May Goals went (completed goals in bold, other have explanations in italics at the end):

  1. Finish memorizing Philippians 1 (recite to Liz with no prompts!) This one is almost done, but I need to recite it to Liz yet. I have self-recited it with little issue, so I’m close!
  2. Run 35 miles- gonna try to snag a little quality time with a sister for a few of these miles.:) This was an epic fail due to a leg injury. I ran a few times, but mostly opted for weight training and other workouts.
  3. Read “Follow You Anywhere: 22 Little Lessons for Team Leaders”
  4. Take the little siblings on a park/picnic date
  5. Execute large cleaning + painting project at work
  6. Write 7 encouraging notes
  7. Interview + hire new hotel team member
  8. Do 6 blog posts
  9. Invest $__ (specific amount of money I want to invest this month) Close….had a technical glitch, but the $$ that didn’t get invested was saved instead.
  10. Schedule time to nurture relationships (cleaning for a busy mamma friend, talking over coffee with another friend, having heart to heart talks w/ the siblings, etc.)

And now on to JUNE!!!!

  1. Memorize first 10 verses of Philippians 2
  2. Finish reading “Sacred Singleness”
  3. Take a gift to a friend at church.
  4. Go on a coffee date with Elizabeth.
  5. Finish staff transition + training before June 15.
  6. Help Mother in the garden.
  7. Get a budgeting app.
  8. Go out for breakfast with Grandma.
  9. Joyfully pack for + embark on Summer Tour.
  10. Go out for lunch with sisters + sister-in-loves.

I could go on and on with my “dreaming and scheming” but 10 seems like a good number. And a few things to keep in mind that help me when setting goals like this:

You CAN’T DO IT ALL. Keep it reasonable, keep it real.

Don’t try to list everything, just the top 10 (or however many) that are either especially exciting, or push you a little extra, or whatever. Some that stand out.

Make sure that you include relationships in your goals.

People tend to be the things that get pushed out first if life is really full (at least for me). Making them a big part of my written goals seems to help keep the most important things in focus.

I wanna hear about your goals! Are there any you are especially excited (or scared:) about?


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Dear 17 Year Old Girl

Why “A Letter to 17 Year Olds”? I recently received a blog comment voicing this thought, “I am 17. What is your advice? I would love to hear what you would do differently if you could go back to your teen years, what you regret doing, things you did that were a blessing, how you responded to critiques, how you managed your time/priorities differently then you do now…etc!”First of all, this age group is so very precious to me. I see such freshness, innocence, promise, and worth in all the beautiful young women I know that are in their teens. I have been privileged to meet hundreds all over the US, Canada, and Mexico and I just love them. The picture at the top of this post is me with two sweet teenage friends I was privileged to get to know during my time in Mexico last fall.17, 15, 18, 13….Yes, dear girl, this is for you. I decided to write a letter to you girls today. Imagine me and you sitting down for a fresh ice coffee or tea……me sharing a little bit of my heart with you, just as if you were the girl in the comment, asking what I regret about my teen years, and what I would do all over again….and all that stuff.

Here’s my letter to all you sweet girls:

Dear 17 Year Old (or whatever age you are),

You are so young and fresh, full of energy and dreams. But on your way to your dreams, there’s alot of doing to be done. The enemy of your soul wants so much for you to waste these precious years. Here’s what I regret doing at your age:

  • wasting time
  • not developing more personal discipline.
  • watching romance movies/reading romance novels.

I spent too much time surfing the internet, reading and watching things that weren’t worth much, and dreaming instead of doing. Don’t get me wrong, I did some things I am so grateful for (which I’ll tell you about soon) when I was 17, but I also wasted some precious time. I would really encourage you to evaluate VERY carefully how you spend your time. Ask someone older and wiser for advice, and realize that the decisions you make now will affect you and others for years to come.

The habits you develop now are forming the woman you’re becoming.

Here are some things I am so glad I did at 17:

  • spending time getting to know Jesus better- every minute in His Word and prayer was WELL SPENT! This is the MOST important thing I am so grateful for.
  • getting a job and saving money.
  • working on my relationship with my parents, including having late night chats, asking their counsel on decisions, and learning to honor them as an adult.
  • helping young mothers and learning from them.
  • honing new skills like landscaping, bookkeeping, writing, and natural remedies.
  • helping my mother around the house and learning from her.
  • seeking friendships that would help me grow.

Sweet girl, God has given you unique talents that can be a blessing to others RIGHT NOW! He looks at you and smiles, because He has an amazing plan for your life! He wants to be your best Friend. He can help you with the perplexing decisions and questions you may be facing. He will give you wisdom about that job, or friendship, or opportunity. 

One more thing that is really near to my heart is your relationship with your parents. They can invest so much into your life, and they will bring perspective and wisdom to topics like guys, education, and work. Don’t be scared to ask them to pray for you! Ask them for advice, and make it a priority to spend time with them. If your parents aren’t believers, seek out an older woman or a couple that can be mentors to you. 

You, my dear, are beautiful, and created in the image of God for good works which He has before ordained that you should walk in them! If you have been born again into His Kingdom, then you are His precious daughter. If you don’t know Him yet, He is waiting and hoping to start a relationship with you. I’d love to tell you more about this if you have questions!Sweet girl, the single most important thing you can do right now is to KNOW HIM.

A close relationship with Christ will be the foundation for all that is to come in your life.

Start each day spending time with Him, and He will become your very best friend. Talk to Him all day long and just delight in the joy of being His.

He will show you how to invest your time, how to spend your days. Your life will be blessed and full.

I am cheering for you, sister!

with much love,


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