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Run the Plank

6 Mar

This is how I get through a treadmill run when I want to do anything but run on the treadmill. I mean, sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, am I right? And this one’s a no brainer. Jump on the treadmill, run for 10 minutes, jump off and plank for the prescribed amount of time (15 seconds, then 30, then 45 … on up to 90 full seconds). Then jump on the treadmill again and finish the next 10 minute segment.  I leave my treadmill running while I plank so there’s no awkward waiting while the treadmill comes up to speed. (Of course, make sure there are no children or pets around while doing this and be careful getting on and off a moving treadmill!!). Just like the graphic says, this is a workout for time, not distance. The idea is to build strength and endurance–and bust up boredom on the treadmill. Set your pace, adopt your best pirate accent and … Run the Plank, Matey!

Runtheplank

Healthy Hump-Day!

14 Nov

This week is flying right by. I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. I love Wednesdays because I get to lead a class called Healthy Hump-Day at my neighborhood church. Today’s Healthy Hump-Day included this delicious Yoga and Pilates workout.

basic Pilates

 

It’s a little difficult to follow a Yoga/Pilates workout from a printable without pictures, but here you go anyway. If you are familiar with yoga and Pilates, you might be familiar with these moves by name alone. If not, try looking them up on Youtube. You can find just about anything on Youtube, right? Hmmm … that’s kinda scary.

My Healthy Hump-Day tip for of the week is Eat more vegetables! Seriously, you will be surprised what adding a cup of veggies at two of your three meals will do. Flat tummy, anyone? 

Do you have a Healthy Hump-Day tip you’d like to share?

Why I Love My Smartphone (apps I can’t leave home without)

17 Oct

It’s that time of year again. Autumn break! This has got to be one of my favorite breaks of the school year. The weather is as perfect as can be; the trees are displaying tremendous color; the holidays are just around the corner. What’s not to love?

This year, we’ll be heading up to our little canyon retreat which means RUNNING the rolling hills of northern Cache County! With views like this who would want to stay indoors? And I love snapping a picture or two with my phone while out for my morning run.photo 1

Now, don’t you feel inspired to get outside and go for a run?

Sometimes when I travel, though, running isn’t an option. And then there are times when I just want to add a little more to my running–some resistance or yoga, for instance. That’s when I’m glad I have a smartphone loaded with fitness apps.

photo 2

While I somehow make use of each of these apps from time to time, there are a few that get used a little more than others. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you which of these fitness apps I can’t travel without.

Tabata Timer: It’s just what it says it is–a Tabata timer. Eight timed rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is the perfect app for a quick, effective sweat fest.

Nike FuelBand app: Obviously, this app goes along with my Nike FuelBand–an activity tracker that keeps a tally of your steps, calories burned, and your fuel score (this is a score specific to the Nike FuelBand that is based on your movement). It’s a great motivating tool and I love to see how much I move each day, not just while working out but also folding laundry, shopping, you know, my everyday routine.

Daily Workouts: Five, seven, and ten minute workouts. You’ll be led through butt kickers, mountain climbers, high knees, and other tried and true basic exercises for a quick total-body workout.

Yoga with Tara Stiles: She has a series of podcasts offering simple, effective yoga workouts. I LOVE this app (ok, it’s a podcast, but anyway) when I’m traveling. It took a little time to get used to her voice, but the workouts are . . . well, for lack of a better word, yummy.

Barre3 app.: This is the only app on my list that is not free. That’s right, all the other apps are FREE. The Barre3 app was $4.99. But I consider that money well spent. I’ve talked in the past about my love affair with Barre3. Now I have it on the go. Delicious 10 minute workouts, recipes, fitness tips, and more. It’s a new app, but I’m clearly very excited about it. I will be getting my shakes and quakes on while up at the canyon retreat this weekend!

There you have it, the fitness apps I can’t travel without. I promise you won’t regret downloading a few of these. What are your favorite workout tools you can’t travel without?

 

26 Feb

Anyone who has been involved in fitness for any length of time knows that in fitness trends come and go. There is no one right workout for every body–though the informercials will tell you otherwise. The key to fitness is finding out what works for you, what engages you, and what fits your lifestyle and ability level and sticking to it.

My quest for fitness began with running. My sister was a runner. She was thin, fit, and happy. So, the summer before my freshman year of high school I decided to try running for myself. I failed. I couldn’t run even one block. I was young but out of shape, moderately overweight, and lacked the guidance to get me on the right track.

Over time–and by time I mean years–I not only improved my fitness level but also acquired an affinity for running. I ran daily for up to an hour for several years. But as most runners know, man can not stay fit by running alone. A balanced fitness regimen requires change and balance. So after the birth of my first child I added yoga and Pilates to my regular workout schedule.

Fast forward 13 years and …

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… I completed my Sport Yoga certification. Why Sport Yoga as apposed to traditional yoga? Well, because Sport Yoga incorporates my other love–Pilates. LOVE!

My passion for yoga and Pilates has now led me to my newest passion:

barre3-logo

Barre3 blends yoga, Pilates and ballet-barre style exercises. Besides the obvious, what I love about Barre3 is that if you live in an area like I do that has no studios, you can access the workouts by subscribing to the videos on their website. The workouts are varied and broken up into 10, 30, 40, or 60 minute workouts, so you can pick the workout that best suits your needs and your schedule.

Frequently I get up and 6:00 am and get in 30 minutes of cardio, then, later in the afternoon I’ll fit in a 10 or 30 minute Barre3 workout. It’s so convenient and after 3 weeks I can tell you that I feel the changes in my body already!

If you aren’t ready to subsribe ($15 a month is all) they do offer a few sample (read: free) workouts too!

Go on, give it a try!

HIIT the Deck!

25 Jan

***This blog has moved. If you like what you see here, come on over to Read.Run.Radiate.blogspot.com for more!

So yesterday’s ice storm left me with a house full of energetic kids and no sports practice or classes to take them to. They were antsy, as was I. This January weather is really beginning to wear on all of us. Can you say Cabin Fever?

Out of desperation to motivate my house-bound family to move their butts, I pulled out a deck of cards and replicated what Bob Harper did on the Biggest Loser. (He didn’t think of that card-game workout, by the way. My kids gym teacher has been doing this with them for years.) Every suit is assigned a different exercise and the numbers on the cards dictate how many reps are performed.

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Royalty are 10 reps and Aces 1 (because 11 is such and odd number, right?). Jokers are a 30 second rest. For our workout diamonds=skaters, clubs=squats, spades=squat jumps, and hearts=push ups, but you can choose any moves you’d like. It took us about 12-15 minutes (I wasn’t exactly timing the activity) to get through the deck. Everybody, including yours truly, worked up a good sweat.

All those intervals of exercises had me thinking about this Tabata routine:

Totally Tabata

It looks like I’ve got another busy weekend ahead of me. This level 2 Tabata may just be the go-to workout this Saturday. Not familiar with Tabata? Check out this post for a quick brush-up on this super time-saving training technique.

Totally Tabata

9 Jan

Trends come and go everywhere in society and that includes fitness. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about HIIT (high intensity interval training) and Tabata training. Many of us, especially runners, spend a lot of time training in the moderate range. This helps us develop endurance for activities like distance running. But we all know that slogging away on the treadmill or track for 45 minutes every day can become wearing. When exercise starts to become wearing, we are usually less successful at it and the exercise becomes less effective over all.

Dr. Izumi Tabata (source) developed a high intensity interval training protocol for  speed-skating athletes. The gist of what is now known as Tabata training is 20 seconds of all-out work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times totaling four minutes of work. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t have time for a four  minute workout, right? Not so fast. The idea with Tabata training is to push yourself beyond a perceived exertion level of 10. I mean, push yourself so hard that at the end of the four minutes you feel like you are going to puke. Seriously, you won’t want to do it again. If you do feel like doing it again, go harder. The payoff, though, is big. Tabata training is super effective for building speed, edurance, and (yes, miracle of miracles) fat burning. I’ve done a four minute workout at the end of a lazy Saturday and felt the burn for hours after.  But you have to go hard–go all out! I use the Tabata Timer app by Garaio Technology Lab. (Not a paid endorsement.)

Combine Tabata training with your regular, moderate intensity training and you will see your pace pick up and your endurance improve.

So, without further ado, introducing a simple level 1 Tabata routine. Complete eight rounds of the work/rest cycle for the four minute workout and/or repeat. Remember to push yourself, go hard!

Tabata1

Weekly Challenge: Food Journaling

7 Jan

Remember last week? Remember you made some goals, made resolutions for the new year? Remember this post about goal setting? Did you remember to run or walk at least one mile every day for a week? I hope you did. I did. Last night I was comfy on the couch when I remembered I’d forgotten to take a walk earlier in the day. So I bundled up and my husband and I hit the cold, dark streets to log 1.85 miles at a pretty quick pace (it was really cold and the faster we went the warmer we felt)! But, while the week has ended, my resolve to run or walk at least one mile every day has not. This morning’s routine featured 25 minutes on the elliptical and a quick mile on the treadmill for total of 36 minutes of fat-torching cardio.

We can do this!

foodjournal

This week let’s focus on nutrition. Changing what you eat begins with knowing what you eat. Most people aren’t really aware of what and how much they are eating not to mention when they eat it. In our country where food is ever-present and served in abundant portions, we can easily graze away any workout we push ourselves through. Add to that the fact that many of us eat highly-processed foods that are low in nutritional density. Do you have any idea how good you could feel if you changed that? It all begins with a food journal.

For this week–that’s right, just this week–I’m asking you to keep a food journal. It doesn’t have to be high-tech. You don’t have to run to any special store to find a food diary. Simply pick up a cheap notebook and pencil and obey one rule: if it goes in your mouth, it is logged in the food journal. If you can, measure your food with measuring cups or a food scale and compare your portions to the suggested serving size on the food package. A serving size of breakfast cereal is typically 3/4 cup to 1 cup. How much are you really eating? Make a note of when you eat. Is there a pattern? Are you really hungry at 3:00 in the afternoon, or are you bored? Most of us moms snag food off our children’s plates. If you do, log it in the journal. It all adds up!

If you are inclined to be motivated by tech gadgets and you own a smart phone, My Fitness Pal has a great app that helps you log your food and activity. It even has a tool that lets you scan the barcode of packaged foods to enter it into your daily food log. I personally LOVE this app! (No, this is not a paid endorsement!)

Don’t get overwhelmed. It may seem difficult to record every ounce of food you pop into your mouth, but food journalling is an extremely useful and eye-opening exercise. And, remember, it’s only one week.

And keep up the daily mile! Or if not, try the Minute-by-Minute workout, or Pretty Girl Kettlebells. You’re loving it, aren’t you?