12/17/12
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new mama fitness: 10 ways to make it happen

Good morning! How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

We sure did. On Friday I got my second tattoo that I’ve been waiting to get since before Hunter was even born. So glad it finally happened!

On my arm a little owl and verse – He was a might Hunter before the Lord.

Hunter was a champ the whole time and mainly napped on Jacob. That was great, but then it was kind of tricky getting him to sleep once we were home.

Saturday I taught total body conditioning and body pump. We had Jacob’s parent’s over for dinner and we all enjoyed watching Hunter eat. That boy cracks me up.

Sunday was a nice family day at home. We watched two movies – Christmas Vacation and Ted + had lots of time together relaxing and in the kitchen too.

Finding time for fitness as a new mom

I remember when I was pregnant I thought I would be able to do it all. I’d still be blogging every day (hmmm ya that hasn’t happened), dinner would be a fantastic creation all the time, the house would be clean… all that kind of stuff. Little did I know how full my hands would be with this crazy little kid.

He’s gotten a lot more independent lately and happy playing with his toys, which gives me a tad more time to get things done, but still not much.

I know if I wasn’t teaching my exercise classes throughout the week, I would have trouble fitting that in. I feel so lucky that my workouts are already planned into my week and I just can’t skip out on them if I don’t feel like it. Believe me, there are days I’m tired and it’s the last thing on my mind.

However, not all new moms have that luxury. That got me thinking, how would I find time to make it happen if I wasn’t teaching?

Here are 10 ways:

  1. Limit the workouts to short, high intensity workouts
  2. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and start the day with my workout
  3. Plan the workout for his first nap if he wakes up earlier than normal (like today!)
  4. Plan a stroller workout date with another mom
  5. Go for a run with the jogging stroller
  6. Workout DVDs – pause as needed if he’s awake and they allow me to turn my brain off
  7. Family walk together when Jacob gets home
  8. Workout with Hunter as my 16 pound weight – keeping it simple – squats, lunges, push ups, crunches, etc.
  9. Do some serious cleaning
  10. At the end of the day if I haven’t gotten to it, do a yoga video once Jacob gets home

I think the key for me would be making it happen earlier in the day. This little guy wears me out with him go-go-going all day long!

Lately I haven’t been running as much as I’d like to, but my teaching schedule is going to slow down a bit for the next couple week with the holidays so I’ll have to plan in #5 on one of my non teaching days.

Are you a mom, new mom, or just a busy lady? How do you fit fitness into your routine?

Heather

02/8/12
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where’s the muscle?

So glad I got to share our super fun 80s themed body pump launch 80 with you yesterday. It’s like a big lifting party full of smiles and sweat. Totally a party you want to go to huh? I thought so :)

When I first started getting into fitness, it was mostly all running with some workout videos thrown in there. I’d feel wonderful after my workouts, but, other than being able to run longer, I didn’t see much change in my body.

It wasn’t until I started weight training that I really fell in love with all aspects of fitness. Muscles I never saw before started showing up. I felt strong, lean and confident. It’s a good feeling.

If you just started or have been strength training for a while, but aren’t seeing results that you hoped for, here are a couple areas to consider changing up.

5 reasons you might not be building muscle

Too much cardio

I am a fan of cardio, so I’m not here to tell you it’s bad. It’s good and part of a complete workout plan! But… too much cardio can work against your muscle building.

Running long distances, for example, require fuel. After a while if you aren’t properly fueled, or not fueling during the run, your body will tap into energy stores in your body –> your muscles. Instead of building those muscles, it breaks then down to give you the energy you need to carry through the long distance.

Lifting too light

I used to be afraid to lift heavy weights. I thought I’d get bulky or man-ish, but boy was I wrong! Just lifting light weight for tons and tons of repetitions isn’t going to definite and shape you the way lifting heavy weights done. Muscle grow by being pushed and broken down. When you lift weights tiny little tears show up in the muscles. It’s during the recovery of those tears when you see growth, change and an increase in strength.

Ladies don’t have as much testosterone in their bodies as men do naturally. Testosterone is the muscle builder, so we actually have to work harder to gain muscle than most men. See, there’s no reason to be scared to lift more than 5lb!

Skipping needed food

Muscles need food to grow. If you deprive your body of food muscle can’t grow. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns at rest! It’s as easy as that, never skip a meal.

One of my favorite pre-workout snacks are these almond, date and coconut energy balls. They provide you with quick burning carbs + sustaining fats and a little protein.

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Missing out on protein

Along with not skipping a meal, don’t skimp on the protein, especially after strength training. Your muscles need a combo of protein and carbs to help with repair and rebuilding (when they grow and get stronger!) Eating within 1 hour of exercise is best.

Some of my favorite post workout meals/snacks (in on my recipes page!):

Double custard banana oats

Protein oats

Cinnamon roll custard oats

Apple spice protein bars

Deconstructed breakfast skillet

Salmon feta grain salad

Salmon over caesar pasta salad

Protein packed salad

Of course, smoothies are a quick and easy post-workout snack too.

Keeping it the same

Variety is key here. If we want to see change, we have to give our body change. If you’ve been following the same routine for a while now, switch it up. Try to change it up at least every month.

Ways to switch it up include:

Different exercises
Change the tempo of the moves
Change the # of reps you do
Change the # of sets you do
Take a whole new class or workout with someone new and follow their strength training routine for a day

What are some of your favorite tips for getting those muscles?

Heather

08/21/11
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Get Back on Track: The Plan

get verb, got or ( Archaic ) gat; got

verb (used with object)

1. to receive or come to have possession, use, or enjoyment of: to get a birthday present; to get a pension.

2. to cause to be in one’s possession or succeed in having available for one’s use or enjoyment; obtain; acquire: to get a good price after bargaining; to get oil by drilling; to get information.

3. to go after, take hold of, and bring (something) for one’s own or for another’s purposes; fetch: Would you get the milk from the refrigerator for me?

4. to cause or cause to become, to do, to move, etc., as specified; effect: to get one’s hair cut; to get a person drunk; to get a fire to burn; to get a dog out of a room.

5. to communicate or establish communication with over a distance; reach: You can always get me by telephone.

source

I like the word get.  It’s all about action, doing something, going somewhere, an outcome, a plan, etc.  Just from my name here ‘Get Healthy with Heather’ I think of action.  Get.  Not be healthy with heather, not lounge around healthy with heather, it’s get healthy with heather.  The action of making a conscious decision to eat better, move more and feel better about yourself as a whole. 

You could be happy as a clam with low energy and a bloated stomach.  That’s no fun and not a way to live.

Oh, and by you I mean me. Smile

This past week, although it’s been a busy and fun week, I’ve just felt… blah. 

There has been more coffee and beer and less water and smoothies.  More dessert, cracker and ’healthy’ granola bars and less greens and whole grains.

It seems that once I start increasing the non nutrient dense foods, I start decreasing the very nutrient dense foods.  Then the cycle continues and gets bigger and bigger leaving me feeling wiped out and reaching for extra caffeine or sugary ‘healthy’ bars to keep me going.  It’s a cycle I’m aiming to stop right here and now!

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Get Back on Track: The Goal

Here’s what I want to happen. 

  • feel energized
  • not rely on coffee (as much)
  • lose the stomach bloat (<—this is a big one!)
  • feel satisfied with my meals
  • have amazing energy for my workouts
  • sleep better

Not too much to ask right?

Get Back on Track: The Plan

With every goal there needs to be a plan, hopefully involving lists (cause I love lists).  Since I have 6 goals I need 6 mini plans for each all revolving around 1 big goal to get back on track.

Goal #1 – feel energized

This is a very generalized goal, but a great goal to have.  I love feeling energized, happy and excited.  All 3 go together, and all 3 shouldn’t rely on caffeine or sugars to happen.  I want to {naturally} feel energized. 

  • Eat more greens, including a green smoothie, at least 3 times a day.  Of course, include other non-green veggies more often throughout the day.
  • Meals – there will be 5-6 a day, which is normal, to ensure there are no times I feel ‘starving’ and reach for ‘healthy’ granola bars (if you can’t tell, I’m against those that say they are healthy… 20+ ingredients does not scream healthy to me). I say 5-6 meals, not 3 meals + snacks because each time I plan to eat will be balanced meal (carb, protein and fat) and they will be pretty similar in size.  I guess it’s like mini meals… they work for me.
  • Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.  That’s as easy as 4 (27oz.) bottles of water from my Klean Kanteen a day.
  • Less coffee – see goal #2.

Goal # 2 –  not rely on coffee (as much)

Although caffeine gives you energy, it’s really like you’re borrowing it from the future.  Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands causing them to produce adrenalin.  Adrenalin is great… if you’re running from a bear.  I’m not always running from a bear so I don’t need to feel like I’m ripped and ready to go all day long. 

  • First thing in the morning drink a {big} glass of water, preferably with some lemon juice in there.
  • Limit coffee to 1 {small} cup in the morning.
  • Drink tea through the day: black, green and herbal, and maybe even switch to tea in the mornings.  Or even Iced Orange Green Tea.

 

Goal #3 -  lose the stomach bloat

Stomach bloat is the worst.  It makes me feel so uncomfortable in my own skin, and that is just no bueno with me.

  • Drinking more water {with lemon} has already been covered, but that will be a big one. 
  • Focus on cleansing foods throughout the day – veggies, fruits and fiber filled whole grains.  Not so much store bought whole grain bread (unless it’s Dave’s Killer Bread!), but actual cooked grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, wheat berries, barley, oats, etc.).  The real stuff.  They’ll keep things moving if ya know what I mean.  Winking smile
  • Limit dairy.  I seem to be doing okay with my 1 serving of yogurt a day, but in addition to that I’ve been eating more cheese.  Dairy definitely has an effect on my stomach so I’ll limit it to a few times a week in stead of daily. 
  • Less beer. Half a glass a few times a week will be okay, just not every night and not a full glass.  Drink extra water then too.

Goal #4 – feel satisfied with my meals

I’m not looking to do anything drastic here.  This isn’t a crash diet.  Nope, not one bit.  It’s a goal to feel great, eat well and have tons of energy.  That said, my meals need to leave me feeling full (but not weighed down), and also hold me over.  I need staying power here.

  • Balance meals with a carb (whole grain, fruit or starchy veg), protein (lean protein, meat or vegetarian variety) and healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, oils).
  • Need to meal plan and prep for the week so it’s easy to grab and go.

4 week meal planner

{more on meal planning}

Goal #5 – have amazing energy for my workouts

Exercise gives me energy.  It’s funny how it uses energy but gives you so much more back. 

  • Workout in the morning, even if it’s just the 9 minute mood boosting workout.
  • Eat a little something something before a workout (hand full of raisins, dates or banana + almond butter).
  • Fuel after the workout within 45 minutes.  Balanced of course!
  • Move as much throughout the day.  Walk on my breaks at work (I’m already great about doing this!), bike as much as I can (to the store + work) and pick up around the house (still doing good with my (at least) 10 minutes a day!).

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Goal #6 – sleep better

I mentioned it last week, but my sleep hasn’t been that great.  I think it’s the combination of not eating my best, the sudden rise in temperature outside and chocolate in the late evening.

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  • No sugars a few hours before bed.  Naturally sweetened treats like nutty whole grain carrot cake bread and almond, date and coconut energy balls will be perfect though.
  • Get ready and be in bed by 9pm, not starting to get ready, be in bed.  I get up early and am usually fighting to stay awake past then if we’re watching a show.  I just need to turn it off and get ready.  No excuses. 
  • No caffeine after noon.  Teas should be decaf and definitely no coffee in the afternoon.

That’s my plan of attack in a {wal}nut shell.  No little {pistachio} plans here, we’re going big. 

Do you have any tips for me that will help me get back on track?  Please share!

In other news, head on over to the original spent grain granola giveaway page to see if you’re one of the three winners.

AND, I’m a day behind in the sit up challenge, but still doing them!  This is what I did on Friday:

Week 2 – DAY 2
REST 60 SECONDS BETWEEN EACH SET (LONGER IF REQUIRED)

SET 1:  21
SET 2:  24
SET 3:  18
SET 4:  18
SET 5:  max (at least 26)

I finish with so many more sit ups if my mom is with me.  Did 50 this time… still more than the max!

Today I’ll be getting to week 2, day 3 and also going to a free outdoor bootcamp this morning.  I’ll run there + back too.

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