Walking Guide

Alicia Capetillo

Alicia graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a minor in film and media studies. Prior to joining SparkPeople, she worked in marketing and public relations and once left it all behind to backpack through South America. Alicia enjoys practicing yoga outside on sunny days, farmers markets, planning trips to practically every country and cheering aggressively for her beloved Cincinnati Reds and New Orleans Saints. She can also make a mean guacamole on toast.


Read More of Alicia's Blogs:

Hit the Finish Line Stronger and More Motivated Than You Started

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Who's Hiding in Your Head?

 
If you're not already following SparkPeople's Daily Motivation group on Facebook, stop reading this post right now, click here, hit "+ Join Group" and get ready for some serious motivation to come your way. You in? Okay, good, now that we got that out of the way, I'm going to hit you with this:

Posted 12/7/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 51 comments   4,536 views

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Ladies, Listen Up Because This Go Get It Guide Is For You

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Sweat: Hulk Arms and Abs of Steel


For decades women have feared the dreaded "Hulk arms" and muscular thighs, steering clear of the weight room for fear that they would build up unattractive, masculine muscle. And so they (and I) gravitated toward exercises that felt tailored specifically for women—Zumba, Pilates, yoga, water aerobics—convinced that these were the ones that would give them the slim, "toned" and defined look that they so desired. For years I only printed out workouts or watched exercise videos featuring women with titles that included words like "toning" and "lean muscle." If the woman in the video looked like a ballet dancer or ex-Victoria's Secret model, I wanted what she was selling.
 
But I was wrong, and so are a lot of other women. A few weeks ago, I talked a friend into doing a 12-week training program focused on resistance training. After picking up running and dropping nearly 40 pounds, she was determined to continue working on her body and improving her health but had hit a bit of a plateau. While her endurance was on point, she wasn't noticing changes in her body anymore and asked, "What more can I do when I'm already doing all this running?" "Strength. Training," was my only answer; resistance was her only response. After throwing out facts and relatable anecdotes and flexing maybe a little bit, I was finally able to convince her to add some weight to her cardio-fueled routine. By the end of this post, I hope I've convinced any non-believers, too.

Posted 11/2/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 49 comments   11,466 views

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A Night Owl Tries Morning Workouts & New Gear in the Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
 

Spark: To Snooze or Not to Snooze?

 
Is there any characteristic more defining than the stereotypes that go along with being a night owl or early bird? Tell me you're a morning person and my mind immediately jumps to Apple CEO Tim Cook waking up at 4:30 a.m., which is to say I'm impressed. I assume you spend your mornings maximizing your time by checking stocks (you definitely maintain an impressive stock portfolio), whipping up a nutritious breakfast, maybe squeezing in a quick stretch, writing in your journal and so on—effectively having an entire day before I would ever dare set an alarm.
 
I, however, am the opposite of that morning person. I regularly hit the snooze button four times before I begrudgingly get up and stumble through the daily race to make it to work on time. In college, I was known to sleep well past 2 p.m. on days when I had afternoon classes. These days, it's a struggle to make it to the farmers market on Sunday before 11:30 a.m., after which time all the good stuff has disappeared.

Posted 10/5/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 64 comments   14,431 views

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Carve Out 5 Minutes of Your Day for This Tough Abs Workout

Living in a small town, Le Sweat founder Charlee Atkins didn't have a choice but to be active. After all, with only 90 kids in her high school, it was practically mandatory to play sports just so they could fill the volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and track rosters. Despite not initially choosing fitness, she eventually chose it when she began studying sports medicine in college and the love only continued to grow.
 
"It feels good to feel good," the 10-year trainer says about her love for health and fitness. "Through my college education and the final years with my dad—who had me at 64 years old—I realized how the things we do now in our 20s, 30s and 40s make our 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s much easier."

Posted 9/18/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 47 comments   15,976 views

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Sweet Tooth Confessions, Flaws and All in This Month's Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Savor: Have Your Ice Cream and Be Healthy, Too?


Mint cookies and cream, black raspberry chip from Graeter's and a mix of strawberry and dulce de leche from Freddo in Buenos Aires. Ask me my opinion on sneakers or popular music and I'll go back and forth, never fully committing to a solid opinion or recommendation. Ask me about ice cream, though? I have my favorites, my reasons why and fight me if you think otherwise.

Yes, my name is Alicia and I have a sweet tooth that cannot be tamed. And yet, ice cream every day (or every meal of the day, if I'm being real), is just not in line with my ultimate health and fitness goals. In my attempts to give ice cream the "it's not you, it's me" speech, I've tried going cold-turkey, opting for pints of trendy "healthy" ice cream in various flavors and even tried talking my dad into pulling out the old hand-crank ice cream maker from the depths of their basement so I could control the ingredients. Nothing worked. So back to mint chocolate chip I returned.

Posted 8/3/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 68 comments   16,928 views

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A 20-Minute Pilates Workout That Will Power Up Your Core

One of the biggest misconceptions about Pilates is that the workout was designed exclusively for dancers. Perhaps it's the class's typical clientele or the association of the workout with long, lean bodies, but it's a misconception that needs to be debunked according to Andrea Speir, Speir Method founder and owner of Speir Pilates. "Pilates was actually created by a man [Joseph Pilates], and in its most original form was meant to strengthen men," Speir explains.  
 
While dancers adopted the workout as their own after discovering its ability to strengthen their bodies and athletic abilities, Pilates really is a workout that can benefit everyone, no matter their physical stature or flexibility. Despite another misconception about the decades-old workout, Speir stresses that Pilates really has nothing to do with flexibility, noting that the moves are more designed to help you find proper alignment.

Posted 7/20/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 48 comments   34,795 views

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Learn to Give Yourself a Break in This Month's Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
 

Spark: Goodbye, Guilt!

 
Like many women, I used to think my muscles made me less feminine. For years I hated my muscular calves, silently wishing I had those toothpick-thin legs that looked so great in skinny jeans and shave gel commercials. I tried barre classes and yoga videos online in hopes that the "lean, toned" muscles they promised would eventually become my reality.
 
Thanks to a steady diet of HIIT exercise and a newfound love of strength training, I've since gotten over that needless self-shaming (thank goodness) and embraced my muscles fully. For anyone still questioning if their own muscles are something to be ashamed of (they're not) or are wondering if muscles can be girly (they can be) or need to know if muscles can be attractive (obviously), I'll ask the class to please turn their attention to Kelsey Wells. A bona fide workout warrior, Wells' journey to health began after suffering from postpartum depression. In search of a solution, she discovered the power of exercise and, in time, built the biceps, quads, triceps and abs of our dreams. Now, this mommy is on a mission to help women embrace their muscles and their strengths, both physical and mental.

Posted 6/1/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 45 comments   13,404 views

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Some Summer Inspiration and Laughs in This Month's Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: The Summer Pool Blues


For me, it was my thighs. The way they brushed together in swimsuit bottoms regularly made me feel uncomfortable, unattractive and uncertain sitting poolside in the summers. While it never prevented me from hitting the pool, I'd be lying if I didn't say I don't still harbor some lingering self-doubt every time it's time to throw on a bikini.

I bring this up because a few weeks ago, I saw a post on Facebook written by a guy (we'll call him Mark) who lived across the cul-de-sac from me when we were in middle school that had me reminiscing about those summer pool anxieties. In the post, he addresses his own insecurities regarding how his weight as a kid influenced how he used to and currently approaches going out in swim trunks. Mark talked about how he always wore a T-shirt to the pool as a result of his weight and felt uncomfortable in his skin, and how now, even as an adult, he doesn't "want to be 'that guy' in the T-shirt because everyone knows the reason for you being in a T-shirt."

Posted 5/4/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 45 comments   19,608 views

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Fitness Feats and Foodies in This Month's Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
 

Sweat: Jump, Jump!

 
When I was in elementary school, I remember thinking the kids in the jump rope club were a cut above the rest. Here they were shredding double unders, leg overs, double Dutch and criss-cross moves during their annual assembly about exercise and heart health held in our gymnasium while the rest of us watched on in awe. I tried to give it a go myself, I really did, but after snapping my back and the back of my legs until they were bright red one too many times, though, the jump rope beat me down and I gave up.
 
That is until this year. As someone who is none too fond of running, I'm always looking for ways to increase my heart rate without a treadmill or the open road. When I noticed the aerobic-jump-rope prowess of fitness guru and Instagram star Kayla Itsines, I was taken back to those elementary school days with a renewed sense of purpose. Her skipping warmups are advanced, featuring a number of different jumps and a faster pace, all of which she does, literally, without breaking a sweat or missing a step. I knew it would take some time to even get close to Itsines' level, but I wanted to start small and see if I could commit to jumping for one full minute without whipping myself silly in the process.  

Posted 4/6/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 65 comments   14,206 views

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Will Smith, Beets & Beats in Your Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
 

Spark: Did I Just Become a Will Smith Fan?

 
This past summer, I went skydiving. My boyfriend had been dropping not-so-subtle hints for years that it's something he desperately wanted to try, but we never got around to actually doing it for real. When his 30th birthday came about, I decided to surprise him with the experience along with a few friends who let me talk them into jumping out of a plane with us. It took months of planning, so I should have known that I would start to chicken out a few days before we actually pulled the trigger (or life-saving ripcord, as it was).
 
After one particular nightmare-fueled evening of sleep, during which my brain conjured up approximately 72 things that could go wrong and leave us plummeting to the ground below, I woke up to a text from a friend who was also planning on taking the plunge. "Assuming you're as freaked out as I am," she wrote. "This Will Smith speech will probably pump you up."

Posted 3/2/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 68 comments   17,843 views

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Self-Care & a New Leg Day Move in the Go Get It Guide

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Sweat: Curtsy Lunge With Glider


Variety in leg exercises has always seemed to elude me. No matter how often I try to incorporate new moves into leg day, I always find myself coming back to the basics: squats, lunges, more squats, more lunges.
 
Luckily, thanks to my addiction to Instagram fitness accounts, inspiration is usually just a quick scroll away. Such inspiration struck just the other day as I was clicking through Busy Philipps' Instagram story. I only just recently started following the actress—who starred in one of my all-time most favorite shows, "Freaks and Geeks," among other things—and, guys, she is a workhorse. She regularly posts snippets from her morning workouts, unafraid of the social world witnessing the beads of sweat dripping down her face. I applaud her and kind of want to grow up to be just like her.

Posted 2/2/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 71 comments   20,651 views

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15 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Jenny Craig

There are some things that are synonymous with weight loss—those terms, emotions and activities that on their own conjure up the image of someone taking control of their health and achieving the incredible. Since 1983, Jenny Craig has been one of those terms. Started in Melbourne, Australia, Jenny Craig has helped millions reach their goal weight and come to understand health and wellness in a more positive, sustainable light.

Posted 1/16/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 29,637 views

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9 SparkPeople Articles Every Beginner Should Read

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Spark: Where to Begin
 

The last champagne bottle has been popped and you've swept up what you pray is the last of the glitter, meaning there is only one logical thing left to do: determine who you're going to be in 2018. Now, I'm not talking about some "She's All That" transformation where you ditch the glasses, learn to wear your hair down, miraculously get hot, start attending all the best parties and land the high school quarterback who actually seems to like you just the way you are. Resolutions that get too big are doomed to fail. Life and errands and deadlines will eventually get in the way and trying to take on too much change all at once will inevitably lead to frustration and quitting. Who you become could just be 2017 you, but on time for social gatherings. It could be you, but someone who cuts down from six cups of coffee every day to three. Maybe it's a you who decides to make the move to the front of spinning class.

Posted 1/5/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 81 comments   25,986 views

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Two Wonderful Things We Love This Month

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Savor: Spirit Animal Crackers for Adults


I have a confession: I am an aggressively bad snacker. I break a lot of snacking rules and I'm actively trying to perfect my snacking strategy so it helps my overall goals, rather than rudely hinders them. In an effort to overhaul my bad habit of diving into last year's Easter candy or finding my hand at the bottom of a bag of plantain chips (again), I keep an eye out for foods that can satisfy my need to snack, while offering some kind of nutritional value or keeping me full instead of jonesing for even more salty or sweet goodness.

While I've replaced overly processed granola bars with homemade popcorn and fun-sized candy bars with a banana and peanut butter, the weakness I can't seem to shake is the craving for crunchy crackers. Cheez-Its, Cheetos, Teddy Grahams, Wheat Thins—you name it, I've eaten half a box or bag in one sitting. There's just something about the texture, crunching sound and taste that get me hooked every time. I very well might have been the inspiration behind Pringles' "Once You Pop, You Can't Stop" slogan. I know they're chips, but they might have been spying on me, guys.

Posted 12/1/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 90 comments   18,979 views

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3 of Our Most Favorite Things This Month

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!

Shop: A Challenge a Day Keeps the Boredom Away
 

Unless you're a loud and proud creature of habit, finding new ways to exercise your body and challenge your muscles every day can be exhausting. Scrolling through an endless feed on Pinterest or doing a million Google searches with variations of "great abs moves" or "killer leg circuit" day after day, week after week, is enough to crush the spirit of even the most tenacious workout warrior.

Not to sound like a broken record, but a major part of sticking to an exercise routine is keeping things interesting and exciting. If you're going to get bored going to the same spin class with the same instructor every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you're going to get really good at coming up with excuses for skipping out (not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything).

Posted 11/3/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Alicia Capetillo : 85 comments   28,366 views

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