Flexibility Training

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

Strength training, check! Cardio? You bet! Core exercises.. okay. Flexibility training, well…. Here’s why you should make sure you add it to your routine.

  • It will help to prevent injury. Your joints have more range of motion if you are more flexible. If you twist your ankle or fall of the curb, being more flexible can keep you from a long recovery.
  • You will experience less back and hip pain, because your glutes, hamstrings, quads and IT bands will be more pliable.
  • Your shoulders and neck won’t hurt so much because your pecs and trapezius muscles will be stretched out.
  • You will experience the benefits of stress relief through the deep breathing techniques of flexibility training.
  • You will have better posture because flexibility training will keep your chest and hips opened up.

So don’t ignore flexibility training. Your body will thank you!

Here’s some great beginner yoga videos by Brett Larkin that can get you on the right track to a more flexible you.

 

10,000 Step Challenge

Spring is beginning to spring! I am so glad. I am not a big fan of Winter. Not sure why I continue to live in the Northeast. I know once I can live the life of a snowbird, I am sure going to try!

With the coming of Spring comes the urge stop hibernating and get outside to walk and work out. I found a great fitness challenge on myfitnesspal by Leslie Sansone  for beginners who want to walk 10,000 steps a day. It follows the principal of the Couch to 5K program to get you stepping a little more each day until you are doing 10,000 every day. There’s one for complete beginners, and one for people who have been walking, but aren’t quite up to 10,000 steps a day…yet.

Both challenges are displayed below. Grab your walking shoes and a walking partner. Hit the road or the park and get moving. Enjoy the great outdoors and the Spring weather!

Walking plan for beginners
Walking plan for beginners

Leslie_Training-Plans_intermediate

Let me know in the comments below how you like this challenge. Share this post with your friends and family if you think they would enjoy working up to 10,000 steps a day

-all infographics created by Tierra Wilson

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Flat Ab Challenge

Everyone wants flat, sexy abs right? The trick is knowing how to get them! Try this challenge put together with information and graphics from fix.com.

Ab Exercises
Source: Fix.com

  1. Pick two of the “flat ab exercises” from the graphic above (example: bicycle maneuver and dolphin plank on a ball)
  2. Do ten reps of each (moving slowly with good form)
  3. Repeat 3-5 rounds
  4. Pick two new “flat ab exercises” each day
  5. Do three times per week.  You can increase gradually to 5 times per week

Food Choices for Flat Belly
Source: Fix.com

In addition to a healthy diet. Work the foods from the “flat belly food pyramid” into your daily eating plans. These foods will help decrease bloat and decrease calories.  Stick with this challenge for 30 days and you will see your sexy abs emerging!  Grab a friend, try the challenge!  Share this post with your tribe!

5 Tips to Get Weight Loss Back on Track After A Bad Weekend

Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.
Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.

I had a disasterous weekend!  I was working at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg. We worked 12 hour days. We ate a big breakfast. We had no lunch.  We nibbled our way to 9 p.m on snack food.  We got little exercise (except for a walk to get a famous Farm Show milkshake).  We ate dinner in a restaurant at 9:30 p.m.  We didn’t get to bed till midnight.  We did it all over again the next day.  I tried to make healthy food choices, but when I got home the scale was WAY up.

Has this happened to you? From time to time, we all fall off the weight loss (or weight maintenance) wagon. It’s okay! Don’t throw your hands up in defeat and quit forever.  Here are 5 tips to get you back on track.

  1. Forgive yourself- It does absolutely no good to beat yourself up over it.  That causes undo stress that, guess what?  Makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off. The stress hormone Cortisol makes it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
  2. Realize there may be other factors at play-Being on my feet all day, lack of sleep, lack of water (we forgot to take some in our cooler) and eating late all played a part in the big number on the scale Monday morning. (My fingers were so swollen, I couldn’t budge my rings).  By Monday afternoon I had already lost a pound.
  3. Get back to regular habits as soon as possible-I can’t stress this enough.  Many people think, “Oh well, I blew it, I failed, I’m done.” Then they use that as an excuse for more unhealthy behavior.  You will feel better quickly if you just get back to healthy eating, sleeping and moving.
  4. Get moving-As soon as possible, get moving. Do some yoga, take a walk at lunchtime, get your workout in.  My aching feet and sore back from all that standing in one place thanked me!
  5. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet-There will always be bad weekends, or vacations, or holidays that will be stumbling points.  Think of them as hurdles to jump over or go around rather than brick walls that stop your progress!

Do you have any “get back on track” tips?  Share them in the comments!

Here’s the periscope video I did about my disaster weekend:

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Do a Spartan Race in 2015!

spartan2015

 

 

 

 

 

A new year is a chance to try something new, to challenge yourself, to step up your game. If you are into extreme racing, my friends at Spartan Racing are offering tons of things to make this your best extreme racing year ever.

  • They are introducing the Annual Race Pass.  For one fee you can enter any race, any time and race any heat at no extra charge. Plus you’ll get extra perks when you travel to a race like free bag check, discounts on hotels, rental cars and more.
  • The spectacular Spartan World Championship is slated for October in Lake Tahoe . This year, over $500,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.
  • The Spartans will be taking A CRUISE March 6-9.  It leaves Miami and heads to the Bahamas for a tropical Spartan Sprint.  There will be $50,000 in prizes. You will get the chance to meet the founder and CEO of Spartan Racing, Joe Desana on the ship and listen to expert speakers as you make your way to the race site. Once there, make new friends at the Spartan Party on the Beach. Then get ready! Your kids can compete in the free kids course and you can test your grit on Spartan Racing’s exclusive island course.
  • 2015 introduces the Spartan podcast. Founder Joe Desana travels the globe to interview leaders in the worlds of publishing, academics, business, athletics and high adventure to uncover the secrets to success in life. Biggest news?  It’s free! All you have to do is sign up to get advice from some pretty heavy hitters.

To get even more information, or to sign up for races, the cruise, podcast or annual pass. go to spartanracemedia.com. Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have another race code to give away so you can compete in a Spartan Race for FREE! Leave a comment on this post telling us what Spartan Race activity you are going to challenge yourself with during 2015. One lucky winner will be chosen on January 31.

Plus, here’s a discount code to get you 10% off when you register for your next Spartan Race.  The code is SPARTANBLOGGER.  Have an extreme 2015!

Why do YOU Exercise?

When most people start an exercise program, the reason they give is “to lose weight”.  It’s no wonder. Our culture is obsessed with thinness and equates being thin with being happy.

If you ask someone who has made exercise and fitness a part of their lifestyle, you will get a very different answer.  Did you know that money, looks and status contribute to only 10% of our happiness?  (Idea Fitness Journal, “The Skinny on Happiness”)

A long-term exerciser will have other reasons as to why they continue to work out. They feel healthier, more relaxed or less stressed.  They have more energy, more focus, are more productive at work. They can keep up with their kids or grandchildren.  They experience a reduction in chronic pain. They are training for a future fitness event. They have made a new set of friends they enjoy.  And the list can go on.

Here’s just one example of the  reasons I exercise almost every day.  On October 18th, my oldest daughter got married.  We have been planning and preparing for this day for almost a year.  The weekend involved a trip to Pittsburgh for my side of the family.  On Saturday morning, I woke up with an overabundance of energy.  I’m not one to show my excitement on the outside.  It all builds up on the inside.  By 7 a.m. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

Marladownaisle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness the hotel had a nice size gym.  A half hour on the elliptical and the stationary bike and I was much calmer.  Good thing..as later in the day we were stuck in a traffic jam getting back from hair and make-up and it was touch and go on the decision about an outdoor service.  Thanks to my workout, I was able to stay much calmer and really enjoy such an important day.

sueandbobdance1

 

So what are YOUR reasons for working out regularly?  If you  haven’t started yet, why do you want to get started? #notjustweightloss

How do I Keep Fitness Fun? Try “1000 Steps”

This past weekend, hubby Bob and I decided to try something we’ve never done before and climb the “1000 steps” on Jack’s Mountain.  This lies between the towns of Huntingdon and Lewistown, PA.  Our motivation was a cooler summer day and the fact that it was on my Summer Bucket List for Mifflin County School District’s Wellness Project.

Hubby Bob starting out.
Hubby Bob starting out.

1000 Steps was quite the workout!  This is not something you want to try if you are a complete couch potato. The steps were originally constructed in 1936 as a “shortcut” commute for sand miners who worked near the top of the mountain. The sand was mined to make silica bricks.  The miners would climb the steps to go to work in the morning and climb down at day’s end.  In between they worked a very physically demanding job.  After completing these steps I have a whole new appreciation for what good shape these workers must have been in. This is approximately an 800+ foot climb up Jack’s Mountain.  The steps are uneven and cut back and forth. This was a nice day.  Imagine commuting in the rain, sleet or snow. Yikessteps2It took about 45 minutes to get to the top.  It was a good cardio workout and the glutes and hip flexers worked hard on the way up. On the way down, it was the quads and hamstrings. It was worth it when we reached the top and saw the great views.   view3   view6   After our climb, we treated ourselves to lunch at Boxer’s Cafe.  This is a local eatery in the town of Huntingdon.  The cafe specializes in homemade food with local organic ingredients. We had sandwiches (a Reuben for Bob and a grilled veggie sandwich for me) and garden salads.  Mine had homemade ginger balsamic dressing.  Everything was delicious.  Boxsers

So to wrap up, we a had a really good workout that was a lot more fun on a Saturday than the usual circuit workout.  We learned some local history, took in some beautiful views and had a delicious locally grown lunch. That’s how to keep fitness fun. How do you inject a little fun into your fitness routine? Let me know below.

Staying Fit on Vacation-Kayaking

I sure am glad I got started on this blog thanks to #TravelFit2014 and Jennifer Whitehead at the Aria Las Vegas hotel. Otherwise I may not have been as motivated to get this trip arranged. Today we took kayaking trip at Assateague Island. If you are not familiar, this is one of the islands in Maryland and Virginia that are inhabited with wild horses.

We booked our ecotour with Coastal Kayak. Chris and Steffan were our guides. My family and another family on a day trip from Philly were in the group. We had a 45 minute van drive to the island. Steffan is the”lucky guide” and always spots horses when he leads a tour. Luck was with us as soon as we crossed the bridge to the island. There were several horses on the road including the only baby born on the island this year.


We unloaded the kayaks and got underway. The water and the weather were both beautiful. We spotted several native birds to the island and a few crabs in the water. Not long after that we saw a “band” of horses which consists of a male and several females. They were feeding on sea grasses. This is their main diet, along with lots of water since the grass is very salty. Our kayaks were only about ten feet away from the horses. They seem very used to people and watched us about as much as we watched them.


Our kayak trip was about 90 minutes of paddling. This was a good workout for the day. I think we made a convert to kayaking out of hubby Bob. He had never gone before and he was really into spotting all the wild horses.


Before we got back in the van, we had a visit from a lone male horse. He acted like he wanted a food handout. You aren’t allowed to feed the horses so they don’t get dependent on humans for food. The guides told us they get enough food from the campers (they steal it from the campsites just like bears or raccoons). When we didn’t give him treats he lumbered away to see what else he could find.

What a fun day! I would recommend a kayak tour for anyone looking for an active adventure on the water.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Stay Fit on Vacation-Fit Star Workout

The fun continues as we start our second week at South Bethany Beach Delaware. Today hubby Bob and I started our day with a Fit Star workout. If you haven’t heard of Fit Star it is a Fitness app you can use on your phone, iPad, computer or other devices. It gives you access to so many workouts. It is hosted by former NFL player Tony Gonzalez. We did a 20 minute body weight workout. I had never done it before and I really liked it.

We hung out and waited for our daughter Marla and her fiance Tony to arrive. After we got them settled in, we headed for the beach. Now we have a house full of younger generation and they are not all into working out in the traditional sense, but they do like to be active on the beach.

Today it was paddle ball…


…and for some reason Dan and Nate like to dig big holes in the sand!

Here’s the video..

Stay tuned for more adventures, brought to you by #TravelFit2014

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!


Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks 🙂

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?