While we are spring cleaning our houses, why don't we also give our fitness a good deep clean as well. The approach of spring time always puts a little spring in my step. Temperatures are going to start rising, maybe the sun peeks out a bit more, and the school year (if you have children) starts coming to a close-and FAST!
It's a great time to put your 2014 goals back on the front burner, make the necessary changes to encourage more FITting FITness in your schedule, and get ready for swim suit season feeling confident in your own skin.
Here are some ways you can spring cleaning your FITness Routine:
1. Sign up for a race: you might think it odd I put this first. Here's the rationale: it gets you motivated to FIT it in, FITness, that is. If you've had some dull, hard winter months sign up for a race that will be sure to get you moving so that you can cross that finish line feeling confident in your accomplishment. If you've been working out throughout the winter, maybe sign up for something that will push you to go farther or harder. If you are in the Bay Area, you can join me here: Mermaid Run East Bay. Let me know if you'll be there!
2. Stay hydrated: If you are following me on Twitter you know randomly ask you to do a water check. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Don't like the taste of water? Add fresh lemon, cucumber, mint, raspberries, strawberries, orange slices, or even apple slices to give it a hint of flavor. My favorite it lemon and cucumber together. Make it a priority to get enough water in your body to keep all your systems working at their very best. As it gets warmer, you will want to pay careful attention to your hydration level even more.
3. Choose a new activity: Are you tired of your same routine? Try a new class at the gym you belong to. You know the one, the class that totally intimidates you and you think you will pass out before even being able to finish it! Just give it a shot, you can make it. Always wanted to try rock climbing? Go take a class or find someone who will be an adventurous partner and try out a local gym. It will get you excited and you just might find a new passion-whatever it is.
4. Clean out your pantry: Go through everything in your pantry and refrigerator. See, you can do this while spring cleaning the kitchen! Double up on the rewards with this option. Everything that is not a real food, you can just toss. Fill your pantry with real food-say goodbye to packaged food and hello to a world of even more delicious and nutritious food waiting to be discovered. Fill the refrigerator with fresh vegetables and fruits. Tip: don't go hog wild filling it to the brim only to throw away 3/4 of it because you couldn't eat it all. Buy in quantities that are realistic for you and your family. Toss those frozen meals-(or donate these items to a neighbor or someone you know that is in need)-and stock with frozen veggies and fruits. Have sources of protein and a variety of grains to choose from. Re-think you menu planning with this post.
5. Schedule a physical: What better way to start spring than with a clean bill of health or taking the first steps to getting a clean bill of health. Not many individuals get a physical every year, but you can join the ranks of those who keep careful watch of their health. I am scheduling mine for June, not spring, but it works for me. Find when works for you and get it scheduled.
6. Refresh your wardrobe: Seriously, what makes working out more fun? Stylish attire, of course! Everything from the tops to the shoes. Lucy is one of my favorites, but I can't always afford their cute clothes. Athleta is another of my favorites for workout and regular clothes. I have also had a lot of luck with TJ Maxx. Find a local running store or athletic shoe store that will really work with you to find the correct shoe for your foot type, exercise choice, and gait. Some stores will do a free gait analysis to determine the best type of shoe for you. I encourage you to take advantage of those places to save your feet and joints down the road.
7. Find a partner: are you just not as motivated to workout if you don't have someone waiting for you? Find that workout partner that will be the committed force you need, and they probably need as well. Work out a schedule that will suit both of your needs. Whether it be walking, running, hiking, or becoming gym rats together, you will need to decide how to make it work with your schedules. Over the last couple of years my running partners have evolved and the schedules have been altered and the workouts have changed. We go with the flow and try to hit everyone's preferences and abilities. We have had a lot of success that way.
8. Music Mix Up: Are you getting so sick and tired of your same play list or have a song that reminds you of that awful 5 mile run on the treadmill in the dead of winter? It's definitely time to change it up. Uplifting and motivating music will certainly get you through any workout that is proving to be hard and will keep you going strong on those great days. Give your old playlist a rest and rejuvenate with some new found tunes.
9. Re-schedule: the days when children will be out of school is fast approaching. If this is something that is going to mess with your regular workout schedule, you probably want to consider coming up with a plan that will accommodate FITting it in now. If it's a 5am wake up call to get it done, maybe you want to start getting into the habit now. Maybe it's a matter of finding a babysitter or finding a friend to swap with. Try to set up something soon so that you won't be scrambling at the last minute to try and get that much needed workout in. If you are anything like me, a nice mom is a FIT mom!
Do you have any more suggestions on spring cleaning your FITness plan? I'd love for you to share them with us.
It's FRIDAY everyone! That means tomorrow there will be no waking kids up to get to school, a somewhat slower morning and making either pancakes, waffles, or some sort of muffin for breakfast to eat as a family in a not so rushed environment, and I can still get up at 5:30am and have an hour and half to work out and prep myself for the day. Those morning are the greatest.
So to add to these wonderful feelings of the upcoming weekend, lets do a workout!
10 minute warm up
(run/jog/walk around the track, on a tread mill, around the block-whatever!)
:30 plank jacks
:30 jumping jacks
:30 mountain climbers
(repeat 3 times)
30 regular squats
30 sumo squats
30 alternating forward lunges
(repeat 3 times)
:30 reverse plank
:30 R side plank
:30 L side plank
(repeat 3 times)
To wrap it up:
(add in a mountain climber before the push up!)
:30 jumping jacks
1/2 mile run/jog/walk
Now that is a serious(ly), fun workout! Go get your sweat on and FIT it in to get FIT! Let me know how you like it. I appreciate constructive and appropriate feedback!
We knew rain was in for the forecast, but the chance was slim at 6am this morning. After our
1/2 mile warm up
around the high school track, we began our 2min. x 3 plank series.
:30 straight plank
:30 R side plank
:30 L side plank
:30 plank jacks
After that intense series we began our high intensity workout. It was good we worked fast because half way through this series the rain began to fall.
50 jumping jack
50 jumping jacks
:30 high knees
10 burpees with a plank jack
1:00 mountain climbers
We finished off with a
Our last lap around the track was quite wet. The rain in the face was actually quite refreshing and I certainly didn't mind the slightly warmer temperatures with the cloud cover.
I wouldn't have missed this workout because yesterday was super busy and FITting a workout in was tough. Some small ab work throughout the day had to suffice, but I seriously love the cardio endorphines and my kids benefit from the good mood, too. Win-Win!
A few weeks ago I began hiking St. Joseph's hill with the little guy on my back in the hiking backpack. It is such a good workout, I did it three times in one week. One of my running friends said she would like to hike it with me. So today was our first day out together hiking the hill. She hiked to the top with little guy on her back and we switched so I got him on the way down. The extra weight on your back as you hike makes such a difference in the intensity of the workout. We marched up that hillside at a pretty good pace.
I hope to be back there Friday morning doing the same thing. The weather has been a little warmer here and that always energizes me. I might be addicted to the feeling of working out...it's such a great feeling. I like to keep moving throughout the day.
FITting your workout in with little children can be challenging. It can be done. Search Craigslist or go to a camping store or online and find a backpack or jogging stroller to pack the little one in. They love the outdoors. When my kids were babies we would use the plastic links to hook toys onto the straps so the kids could play with toys while hiking along. My little guy now is content without the toys on the way up, but the way down he gets antsy, so I pull out his toy cars and he vrooms those cars all around his seat way up high on my back. Something about being outside makes little ones content and mellow. We play I Spy when they are older, count the birds in the sky, or look for lizards to help keep them occupied as they do sometimes want down.
Find a hiking trail near you or a jogging/bike path and do what you can to get out with your children. They will see how important it is to be active and how good you feel after you've got your workout in. I tell my children, "Mom is so much nicer and more patient if she gets this workout in. I will have more energy to play and care for you." My kids respond well if they know they benefit from it, too. I have jogged with a double stroller while keeping up with the older child on a bike. I have jogged next to my little one while he rides his scooter. (He's actually very fast!)
FITting a workout in at home is as easy as a workout DVD or even youtube! You can search podcasts as well that take you through workouts. I have done a cycling podcast before. There are lots of yoga podcasts that will take you through a yoga session. Your local library might have some decent workout videos as well. The possibilities from home are endless.
FIT your workout in today no matter what you think is holding you back. No excuses.
What are some workouts you have done with your children?
This morning I met with a few running friends for our typical Monday morning run. We have a few routes to choose from depending on how far we want to go that morning. We each have one hour before we have to get back to our homes and get kids ready for school. That means we run at least 3 miles and up to 5 miles.
As I was running this morning thinking about the 5 miles that lay ahead (we've been running 3-4 miles for the last few winter months because it's cold at 6am!) I was getting into the mindset I knew I needed to be in. We are not training for any races, we aren't trying to break any records, and right now we get together for Sanity Power Hour, as I lovingly refer to my 5:30-7:00am hours. We speak openly and candidly with one another. We share our highs and lows, our pains and frustrations, our Ah-ha moments, our moments where we felt we did something right, and so much more. Nothing, really, is a banned subject with this tight group of girls. Do you have a tight group like this you run or workout with?
The 5 miles this morning really awakened my soul and brought me to a time when I was running 20-30 miles each week. It was been warming up here during the day and warm sunshine, as opposed to the cold sunshine, really has given me motivation to get my miles back up. There is something about the warm sun rays that make you feel alive and energized. As a mom of 3 small, but growing, children it takes extra planning to coordinate a schedule that works well to get in that workout-whatever it may be. As I look forward to increasing my miles and my activity level, I also have to consider my husband's schedule in the morning and children's activities and school schedule. It can be easy to make an excuse not to exercise. It's not convenient when you are being pulled different directions, it's too cold, you're too tired, the list goes on and on. Don't take the path of least resistance. When you forge through the the planning and scheduling you will be that much more proud of yourself for taking the time for you. It is time for you. It is time for you to feel good about yourself. Take control of your exercise schedule.
My husband and I often remind each other that we make time for the things we really want. We go through trials where we need that reminder. We can sit and complain about how hard it is to get something done or we can do it. We have enough time for those things that truly matter and make positive changes in our lives. Everything else will fall into place.
5 miles provides several minutes of great thoughts to scroll through your mind. It is the best stress reliever!
This is just one run of thoughts.
What do you sometimes think about when you exercise?
We've all had those moments when we are running in the morning when it's still dark (or not), running on a trail, or headed to a workout location when we get scared out of our mind. Well, that happened yesterday morning to my friend and I as we walked, in the dark, to the high school across the street for our morning cardio/strength routine. We were walking along talking, like we always do on Wednesday mornings. We crossed the street to where the high school was. The baseball fields are on our left and we heard someone moaning or mumbling or making strange noises. With the time change, it is pitch black. She and I looked at each other and without saying a word started booking it. We sprinted so fast to the opposite side of the school where the bleachers and football field are located. Not really sure that would have helped us as it only got darker the closer we got to the football field! We noticed our other morning crazies were in the lit parking lot above so we ran all the way up the hill to where they were. We felt safe up there. My heart rate was through the roof! I started laughing, when we calmed down a bit, that I was now in my fat burning zone. We determined that in the fight or flight scenario, there is no question, we are in the flight category! Those workout scares really get the adrenaline going and blood pumping.
We ran some laps around the parking lot and then took ourselves back down to the football field where I normally lead our group in a series of cardio and strength training exercises. We've done everything from HIIT, Tabata, bleachers (when it's light in the morning), body weight strength moves, jump rope routines, and hand weight routines. Yesterday I included a 2 minute plank routine that we did twice through. I can really feel it this morning. Here's the sequence we performed:
:30 straight plank
:30 right side plank
:30 left side plank
:30 push ups
Try repeating this 3 times for a really great burn.
I love HIIT training and try to incorporate that into every Wednesday morning routine. By alternating high intensity cardio with dynamic strength exercises we usually leave feeling like we've got a great workout in by 7am.
Do you have any scares during your workouts? I'd be interested to hear about them.
It's Wednesday and that can mean you start running out of motivation to finish off the week strong in your exercise and nutritional goals. We all start out reading Motivational Monday quotes and spent some time thinking about our week long plans and goals and perhaps even the small steps we need to take to meet those goals.
Here's a little sentence that can help you in achieving those weekly goals you set out to do. I did not come up with this. I heard it in a talk and liked it so much it has stuck with me. You can use it in so many areas of your life, including exercise and nutrition. It is this:
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Part of my Sunday afternoons are spent reviewing that weeks goals and habits I wanted to work on. I record what worked, what didn't , how well I did each day, and so on. I also use that time to write each of the next weeks goals and habits I want to work on. Tweak what didn't work the week before, etc. I make sure dinners are planned out and workouts scheduled, e-mails sent to those who want to come with me, and all the other everyday activities that keep everyone busy.
Here are some ways to stay motivated through the week to finish what you were so encouraged to do at the start of the week.
1. WRITE IT DOWN: Not just write it down, look at it morning and night. Ingrain the goals in your mind.
2. CHECK IT OFF: Each night as you read the goals you've written down put a check mark next to that item if you did it that day. You will be surprised at how satisfying a check mark can be.
3. POSITIVE SELF AFFIRMATION: Sometimes you just need to talk to yourself and remind you of how strong and how much will power you actually do have. If you find yourself saying you want to skip out on a workout or you really want that second helping (no matter how healthy-watch portions, too), just remind yourself of what your goals are and what you want for yourself. What is more important to you in the long run?
4. QUOTES: Re-read those Monday Motivation quotes. Maybe you have them in the pantry or refrigerator for those really tough times. Keep them by your bed to read or put them on your phone so every time you turn it on you will have a reminder of why you have the goals you set.
Perhaps you will get yourself re-motivated this week!
What do you do to stay focused and motivated to meet those goals?
I did jump out of bed at my typical 5:30am for a morning run. It felt wonderful after a day of rest. Whatever you are going after-be an active participant in that vision. You have to change and do in order for your life to become what you see in your future. Don't just go after those things, go after those things with a vengeance.
2. EatRight.org has a National Nutrition Month link on their homepage to games for kids and adults, links to books they recommend about nutritious eating, and handouts for adults and children with games and facts and tips on them. Go explore, there's lots to see and learn.
3. From the EatRight.org website: "The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits."
That is such a great mission.
4. National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and its foundation.
You can start March out with mapping out a vision of your lifelong health. How do you see yourself as you age? Are you active and healthy? What fixes do you need to make in your life to see you as that gracefully aged individual? Take some time to really think about this path. Choose a baby step for this week to swap out an unhealthy habit with a healthy one. Maybe you need to eat breakfast or maybe you need to walk for 30 minutes a day. If you already live a mostly healthy and active lifestyle, what can you do to maintain that lifestyle. Are there areas that you'd like to improve upon?
Since I'm asking you to divulge your baby step for the week, I'll share mine:
Taking more time to eat. Pausing between each and every bite and chewing thoroughly. I did this at dinner and was at the table at least 30 minutes after everyone was done and I couldn't finish my plate. Giving your stomach time to send the full signals to your brain is a good way to keep insulin in check, not eat when you are past full, and help keep out those extra calories if that is your goal. Feel free to copy!
FITting it in will share amazing tips on how you can incorporate exercise and nutrition into your hectic and crazy life.
You're body won't know what hit it after you learn all the tricks of sneaking those exercises in during your day. In the car, at the store, through the house, walks around the block...
keep on reading, get hooked, and most importantly FIT it in!