Browsing Category

Fitness

Fitness

Promise Me.

March 23, 2017

Okay, y’all, I am going to apologize in advance for getting on my soap box. I tend to go overboard sometimes on topics that I’m passionate about. 🙂 But then again, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now: you know that.

Promise me one thing: you will focus and commit during your workouts.

Here’s the number one question I get asked as a fitness professional, “I am not seeing any changes in my body. I’ve been working out every day for the last several years and haven’t gotten stronger or more defined.”

99.9% of the time this is the answer: you aren’t committing to the movements in your workouts. You aren’t present in those moments.

For example, when the instructor says lunge with your right leg. Most of the time people are just doing the movements and going up and down. Don’t go through the movements or settle into the same movement you’ve always done…instead focus on how you can engage more in that lunge. When you lunge, focus on getting your back knee lower to the ground, drawing and engaging your abs, tightening your glutes, keeping your shoulders relaxed and away from the ears….there are many, many aspects of each movement that you can focus on.

You may ask, “Why should I focus?”

Well, that’s because CHANGE comes from focusing and committing. If you are present for your 20-30-45 minute workout, you will start to notice how dialed in you can become and aware of your body. Once you become aware of your muscles, you will start to notice strengths and weaknesses and you can begin to fine-tine and improve.

In my PiYo class, I tend to cue the HECK out of each move because #1) I’m OCD and want to make sure people are getting the most out of their workout and #2) I don’t want people to SETTLE into the move. For example, Warrior 1 (Yoga and PiYo move), don’t just go where you’ve always gone. GO FURTHER. Lunge deeper, hold your shoulders back, tighten your abs. With each move, you can push yourself to a new level.

So, promise me. The next time you workout you will focus on your body and yourself during the entire workout. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I go further?
  • What can I do to improve?
  • Am I settling into this move?

If you focus and commit to your workouts, you will start noticing you become stronger and stronger.

Fitness, Style

My Top 3 Favorite Places to Buy Activewear

February 14, 2017

Workout clothing could be my favorite thing to shop for! Maybe that’s because I’m usually in my workout clothes all day, every day, with multiple “costume” (hehe outfit) changes a day. In all honesty, the clothes you choose to workout in can definitely affect the way you work out. You need to be comfortable and you need to feel GOOD.

Here are my top 3 current favorite places to find fitness clothing!

Anthropologie

I have several pieces of Anthropologie leggings and tank tops and almost always get compliments when I wear them. Anthro is where I shop when I want something unique and high quality. Their clothing is definitely not cheap but they have 25% off promotions quite often. Anthro clothing has a feminine quality to it that I love! Shop the activewear line HERE.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom is forever my favorite store of all time but specifically their selection of activewear is AMAZING. My favorite line is a Nordstrom brand called Zella. The price is pretty reasonable and the quality is high. Nordstrom has a great return policy and customer service team too. If you aren’t happy with something, they almost always take it back! Check out the Zella line HERE.

Gap Fit

Gap is a recent fitness friend of mine! I did not realize how cute their workout attire is until my bestie Melissa told me about them. They always have the best sales too! Tip: when ordering from Gap Fit make sure you order the “Blackout” technology leggings, otherwise they will be a little too thin (aka see through when you bend down). Shop Gap Fit HERE.

What are some of your favorite places to find activewear? Please comment below to share with us!

Fitness

How to Become a Morning Workout Person

January 24, 2017

Alrighty, I’m back with a reader request…”How do I become a person who LOVES to work out in the morning?”

I have the answer and it’s simple, really.

One word: PREPARATION.

I know it seems daunting getting up at 4:45am, 5:00, 5:30am to work out before work, but I’m telling you: YOU CAN DO IT. If this is something you desire, I promise you that we can make it happen. A ton of people tell me there is no way they could get their act together to work out at 6am. I have a few simple tips that can ensure morning success.

Schedule Your Workouts

Whatever day it is during your week that you “get stuff done” (laundry, groceries, cleaning, etc), use that day to sit down for 10 minutes and schedule your workouts. When I worked in the corporate world, I would use Sunday afternoon as my rest day from working out and with a refreshed mind: schedule my work outs. This started my mindset and week on the right start. Somehow knowing there is a plan makes us stick to it more!

Get Your Clothes Out the Night Before

Now, this is a big one and super important! Lay your clothes out the night before in your bathroom, closet or wherever you get ready in the morning. I’m talking EVERYTHING from hair band to undies to leggings. Lay them out so all you have to do is get up, brush those teeth and put your clothes on. You don’t want to think about wardrobe at 5am. Trust me! And this is coming from a girl who loves clothes…even I don’t want to think about it. This will save you 5 minutes, easily!

Prepare Your Snack the Night Before

Some of you do not like to eat first thing and it effects your workout in the wrong way. You do you! For me, I have to eat a little something before I work out. My go-to snack is a spoonful of peanut butter. It has protein and the healthy fats I need. So, I literally put the peanut butter and spoon on the counter the night before so I can swing downstairs and eat it real quick on the way out.

Set 2 Alarms

I set 2 alarms the night before I have to wake up early. I set one 10 minutes before I need to get up and then one for when I actually need to wake up. This way I feel like I’m sleeping in a little by sleeping those extra 10 minutes. For example, when I teach my 5:45am PiYo, I set alarms at 4:50am and 5:00am, getting up at 5am and out the door by 5:15!

Just Do It

Just try it out for 2 weeks. Please don’t try it once and think “no way, Jose, am I ever doing that again.” The first morning will be rough but your body will start to get used to that time in the morning and it’ll get easier and easier. Two weeks is a good amount of time to give it a go!

Give Yourself Grace

Not everyone is wired to work out in the morning, give it a try and if it’s something that’s not for you, don’t be hard on yourself. Work out in the afternoon or evening…the key is finding the right time for you, your schedule and your family. You know YOU better than anyone else. 🙂

Please share with us, when do you work out? Comment below!

 

Fitness

My Favorite CORE Workout

January 17, 2017

Core muscles are super important to work, not only because of the desire for a flat tummy but because ALL moves come from the core. A stronger core can help with posture and back pain, which is super important in keeping us injury free. For me, working the core is something I try to do in every workout. I usually do not devote a specific ab section to my workout, it’s more-so intertwined in my workout because I try and engage my core throughout. However, sometimes I love to isolate my abs/core and devote 15 minutes just to those muscles.

Here’s my favorite core workout that you can do without any equipment!

15 Minute Core Workout

1 minute Pike to Plank

1 minute 3-Legged-Dog to Knee Into Chest (30 secs RT, 30 secs LT)

1 minute Leg Lifts Up and Down

1 Minute Crunches with Legs Up

Repeat 2 more times (3 times total)

Stretch for 2 minutes

Take a look at the photos and cues below for more information on form and technique.

PIKE

For Pike position, focus on bringing your glutes to the ceiling with a straight back (no arch in the back). Hold your core in tight with belly to the spine and then bring your body through your arms into a Plank position. Go back and forth between Pike and Plank and focusing on your core the entire time, don’t let your belly hang instead focus on drawing it into your spine.

PLANK

3-LEGGED DOG

For 3-Legged Dog, point your toe and extend it into the air, keeping your core locked in. When you bring your knee to your chest focus on contracting your abs in.

KNEE INTO CHEST

LEG LIFTS

Making sure your lower back does not come off the floor, bring your legs down and up 45 degrees. The second your lower back comes off the floor, you are taking the exercise out of the abs and that’s not go. To make it easier: bend your knees and bring it to and from table-top position.

For Crunches, keep your legs extended, toes pointed and crunch up, using your abs (not your neck).

I’d love to know, what is your favorite way to work your core? Do you do so at the end of your workout? Or throughout? Or both?

Fitness

Changing The Way I View Exercise

January 9, 2017

“I need to do extra cardio today since I had that slice of cake.”

“I work out because I love to eat.”

“I ate too much last night, so I’m going to double it up today.”

I’m guilty of saying all of that too, trust me, but I am working on viewing EXERCISE as a celebration of my health instead of punishing myself for what I ate the day before.

Over the past couple of months I have been focusing on exercise in a different way. I used to be in the mindset that exercise is meant for me to burn calories and that’s it. To make my body look good or whatever other worldly thoughts I can think of…however, that has changed quite a bit since I started really focusing on teaching others fitness.

Now I view exercise as a CELEBRATION.

Exercise is a celebration of our bodies – look at what we can do for ourselves to get stronger and stay healthy.

Exercise is a celebration of our health – the more we workout, the healthier we can be and the smarter decisions we can make.

Exercise is a celebration of our inner strength – look at what we do! Even when we don’t feel like working out, we push ourselves and make it happen. That takes heart and strength.

Ever since I started being more grateful for exercise instead of viewing it as something I just “have to do,” I’ve noticed a shift in my workouts.

  • I take my workouts more seriously and get more out of my workouts.
  • I am present in the workouts instead of focusing on other stuff I should be doing.
  • I’m nicer to my body and allow myself more grace. If I don’t want to work out today, then why should I work out? Plan it and listen to your body.
  • I want to try new workouts and want to workout with friends more often.

All I’m asking of you is to think about this next time you work out…think about celebrating yourself and your body for allowing you to work out. I’m telling you, you’ll notice the difference! 🙂

I’d love to know, what do you think about this philosophy? If you’d like, please share your thoughts below in the comments section.