It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Practice what you Preach

I don't just talk about exercise, I do it.  I have to be an example.  My poor family doesn't have a chance.  I drag them with me every opportunity I get.  Yesterday I treated my husband and my sister to their first Tabata workout.   Yes, it is the one I posted earlier in the week.  We decided to perform the exercises in a foot of fresh powder instead of on hills and it was just as much fun.  I think the pictures will show that.  Good job Kurt and Landi.  

Dressed and ready.  Notice the happy faces.

After round two.

After round four.

Frog Jumps were their favorite

Landi doing her own version of a frog jump.  

Me multi-tasking.  Holding tabata timer, frog jumping and trying to keep  up with my hair.

This was Kurt and Landi after the workout.  They didn't realize that I was taking their picture

This was Landi and Kurt posing when they  thought I started taking pictures. 
I had so much fun. I look forward to having more of my family and friends visit so we can exercise together.

Get Inspired-Mandy Battleson

I love to use this blog to inspire and motivate others to get fit.  Here is a story that I would like to share. Mandy's story has helped others to get on the fitness bandwagon as well.

Mandy's Success Story
My Before Picture

My After.  

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Mandy, I'm 29 years old and I live in a small Wyoming community. I'm married and have two small children, a five year old son and a two year old daughter who keep me on my toes. Within the last five years, I have slowly started a nursing career and have been working as a full time, night shift, nursing assistant since the birth of my son. Also in the healthcare profession I enjoy volunteering many hours of training and service as an EMT. My husband also is a full time employee who works very hard during the day as a Foreman.
Growing up eating healthy regularly was scarce. Most of the time it was late night meals and on-the-go snacks. Being athletic and playing sports was definitely a plus for me, even though I was the slowest runner on the team. In junior high and high school, I never felt comfortable in my clothes and I always felt like people were looking at me. I was not extremely overweight but I was VERY self-conscious and still am. I was never asked to any high school dances and I was to shy to ask anyone myself. At this time in my life, I didn't realize it but was depressed.

I never have been overly concerned about my weight until I started working as a Nursing Assistant at a hospital. I have been able to see first hand the harmful affects of obesity. All of the health problems that come with being obese is mind blowing. A few examples that have impacted me the most are diabetes, heart failure, and pro-longed recovery from simple illnesses or surgeries.

On April 24,2012 I started the Insanity program and I can honestly say, I love it and look forward to doing it. I have a good friend who also has taken the Insanity challenge. Its nice to have someone I can talk to or get advice from who is doing the same program. The reason I chose the Insanity challenge is because I didn't want to be away from my home anymore than I already am, didn't want to pay for a gym membership, I don't have gym equipment, but I needed something to get my energy back. Working 12 hour night shifts place a huge toll on your body physically and mentally. Nobody directly inspired me, but I have always had a good support group through family and friends. It was a decision and commitment made by and to myself.
Like you always hear, diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. I firmly believe in this. In my journey I feel it a waste of time and effort to exercise if I am not going to make better choices in my diet. When I do exercise I feel total motivation to eat better and make better choices. For example, I always try to eat something for breakfast. I am not a breakfast eater and never have been. But I find myself feeling better when I do. I love fruits in the morning. They are light and flavorful. Sometimes I will have yogurt with some granola in it. Special K cereal and Honey Nut Cheerios are great to. I used to be a 2% milk drinker, now I drink 1%. Not a huge difference, but its better. Egg whites are great for my mid-morning snack/meal. I crave the protein in them and I add some things to it to like fresh salsa and cheese. For lunch, if I am craving carbohydrates this is when I will have a small portion. Maybe a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with veggies on it. This way, I know I will burn the carbs off throughout the rest of my day. I always have lots of things to snack on. A few of my favs are almonds, cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes, grapes, string cheese, pineapple, and basically any type of fruit or veggie. Since I have to be to work by 6:00pm, I am usually out the door by 5:15. Which in turn means I am making dinner for my family at 4:30. For me to make it through my 12 hour shift, I need something that is going to hold me over. Otherwise I am starving during my work hours and will start snacking on junk. I purchased a small George Foreman grill that is easily stored and kept at my work for my use. So I bring chicken to put on the grill, veggies, turkey burgers, practically anything can be grilled. I grew up on red meats and that was hard for me to change. But I have found ways to love turkey. I try to substitute bread/buns with a taco shell and its surprisingly good! I always throw in fruits and veggies in there too! If I am working, I feel a Subway 6" turkey sandwich is sufficient to eat at night because I am working and need the carbs. If I am not working, I limit my carbs at night simply because I will be going to bed and i don't want that food just "sitting." One other thing that I use to cook with it olive oil. This is a great resource to use rather than cooking sprays. I enjoy finding healthy recipes online! I find it fun to try new things. Soda!!!! I was drinking 44oz of soda at night 3 times a week to try and get me through my work nights. I have now cut back to just water. I take a water bottle with me everywhere! Because I am exercising, I have more energy and don't need the soda. I am disgusted just thinking about drinking that much soda in one night. And last but not least, planning my meals ahead of time has been highly beneficial. If I do this, I am guaranteed a healthy meal and so is my family.
What keeps me going is that I feel FANTASTIC!! Exercising is the only way for me to gain my energy back. I reflect a lot on how I used to feel and compare it to how I feel now. I have learned that I never knew what it felt like to feel healthy. I needed to feel good in order to know how crappy I felt. I, along with others, have seen amazing results and that boosts my self-confidence a lot. Just looking back at my old pictures and looking at my new ones puts a smile on my face. I think that many of my close relationships have improved because I am a happier person.
Of course there are times when I struggle. I would not call this cheating, I would simply call it living. It would be very unrealistic for me to say that I am never going to eat something bad or never have a soda. If I set myself up for unrealistic goals in the first place, I would give up on the whole thing because I have failed. If I want a cookie, I will have it. If I want a hamburger, I will have it and move on. I feel like crap after and it is never worth it and that reminds me of how I used to feel all the time and never realized it. I cannot even drink soda anymore. There are days when I am totally exhausted and I rest but I get up the next day and hit my workout hard.
The number one thing that has helped me lose weight the most is making sure that I get my heart rate up. And if I am sick of doing Insanity for a day, I may go for a run or take my family on walk. My family enjoys exercising with me and that makes me so happy! I want them to develop good eating and exercise habits as well.
The hardest thing for me is of course finding a good time to have an un-interrupted workout session. This can be very difficult for anyone. When I first started, I made the commitment for sixty days. That's it. Not that long. Without the help of my husband, this would not have been possible. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the basement so I can focus on my workout. I even will exercise and nine or ten at night after my kids are in bed just to get the time to focus and not be interrupted.
I haven't reached my ultimate goal yet but it is definitely in range. I didn't even think that what I have done so far was even possible but it is. In the beginning, my goal was to be able to wear a two piece bathing suit and feel comfortable in it. I have learned that there are so many more aspects to being healthy than just looking great. I'm emotionally healthy, physically healthy, and mentally healthy. These things mean the most. As far as my workouts go, I would like to add some weight lifting and I am planning on running my first small marathon in the near future.
With all of that being said I can tell you that my self-esteem and self confidence had risen above and beyond what I thought possible. One thing that I would say to anyone is Trust Yourself. Trust yourself that you are capable of a difficult challenge. I never understood what people meant by "its not a diet, its a lifestyle." But that lifestyle change has hit me and I understand it completely!

Way-to-go Mandy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Get Out and Play In the Snow

We have had a beautiful white Christmas.  It makes you just want to stay in and snuggle by the fireplace and I have done plenty of that but it is also a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  The happy face you see in my workout pictures isn't just because I loved being outside.  I chose to go out when the winds were howling and the snow was pummeling my face.  Oh well.  I still did it and loved every minute of it.  So did my photographer husband in his shorts.  Giggles.  The workout is a Tabata workout.  I chose 5 different exercises.  I repeated each move 6 times.  I performed 20 seconds on and then rested 10 seconds.  My hill workout in the snow was as follows:

Sprinting Up Hill 6X
Shuffle Up Laterally 6X Right Leg Lead
Skipping Up Hill 6X
Shuffle Up Laterally 6X Left Leg Lead
Back Pedaling Up 6X
Frog Jumps Up 6X
Remember that each round is 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest.  Bundle Up and Have Fun.

Remember the incline of the hill doesn't have to be that steep .
Bundle Up.

If you run out of hill before your 20 seconds are up, keep running back down.


Move sideways up the hill.  Keep hips, toes and knees facing in the same direction.

Keep your momentum going.

The snow and wind were pummeling my face.
Deep snow makes for some fun skipping

Drive your knees and arms upwards

Keep tall and don't fold forward at your hips

Repeat Shuffle on other side

Back Pedal
Lead with your backside
Great for your glutes and hamstrings

Frog Jumps
Squat down and then jump up hill
You don't travel very far.
Land softly and hinge at hips.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Daily Reminders

Print off this list and put it somewhere you will see it often.  Here are 10 reasons to help keep you moving.

1) Look at exercise as a pleasure and a privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will produce. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!

2) Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

3) Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.

4) Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you're eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!

5) Create an exercise schedule the day or week before instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to "find" the time. If the last three Presidents of the United States can make time to work out every day, you can make time too!

6) Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who want to feel better and have more energy.

7)Avoid monotony by taking up new forms of exercising, or using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

8) Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod®, fitness equipment, a new series of tapes, etc.

9) Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

10) Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excess calories, even if they're from food that's fat free and high in protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HIIT Double Ladder Workout

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been around for a while but like many things in the fitness industry, it has become a big thing. Two days ago I sent you an infographic explaining what it is. Today I am sharing a great workout. Remember that HIIT training sessions are short and sweet and shouldn't be done more than 2-3 times a week. Thanks to my great models. Even though I am the worst photographer and I have the terrible camera, they still look good. Always adequately warm up and cool down after each workout.  This workout has 7 sets of exercises with both a cardio and strength component in each set. If you are just beginning to incorporate HIIT into your workouts, you can start with fewer sets. The double ladder is this: You start out by doing your cardio move 12 times and then your strength move 1 time. Now do 11 cardio moves and 2 strength. You can see how this goes. As you do less cardio you do more strength. You will always do thirteen total exercises in each round. By the time you are done with the first set, you will have done at least 78 reps. Oh Boy. See the sets below. The description of each move is below the pictures.

Double Ladder Workout

Warm Up-Repeat each cardio move 10 times as a rehearsal effect.  Do at a moderate intensity.

Cardio #1-Squat out slow/quick jump in
Strength #1-Squat down and up/tricep kickback 2X

Cardio #2-Squat out slow/Scissor in 2X
Strength #2-Dead Lift/Straight arm extension 2X

Cardio #3-V-shape ski jumps side to side (side to side counts as one)
Strength #3-Curtsie Squats side to side with flys (side to side counts as one)

Cardio #4-Lateral tap jump over and back then jump up in middle (side to side counts as one)
Strength #4-Sump squat down with bicep curl

Cardio #5-Jump front and out jacks (Set counts as one)
Strength #5-Pull over crunches

Cardio #6-Ski twist jumps side to side (side to side counts as one)
Strength #6-Bridge with chest press

Cardio #7-Squat with alternating kick front (side to side counts as one)
Strength #7-Push Ups

Cardio #1-Squat out slow/quick jump in
Strength#1- Squat down and up/tricep kick back 1 time
Cardio #2-Jack out slow/Scissor legs in 2 times
Strength #2-Dead lift/straight arm extension 2 times
Cardio #3-V shape ski jump-Side to side counts as one
Strength #3-Curtsie Squats side to side with flys-Side to side counts as one
Cardio #4-Lateral tap over and back and then jump up in middle
Strength #4-Sumo squat down/bicep curl up
Cardio #5-Jump front and out jacks

Strength #5-Pull over crunches
Cardio #6-Ski Twist Jumps side to side
Strength #6-Bridge with Chest press

Cardio #7-Squat kick front alternating kicks
Strength #7-Push Ups