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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life

My 2017 Focus Word

January 6, 2017

EMPATHY

For most Januarys in my life, I’ve had a long list of New Year’s Resolutions…and I haven’t kept them (shocker, I know). This year I am changing it up and just doing 1 focus word: empathy.

In my mind, the definition of empathy is to step into someone else’s shoes. All too often, I tend to judge something or someone before really offering my compassion and understanding. By putting myself in their shoes and focusing on what they have gone through and where they stand: that can only make me love more unconditionally. Why put stipulations on loving friends, family, and acquaintances? Will empathy make me more vulnerable in 2017? Perhaps, but that’s okay.

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself softening some of my “hard edges.” I think a good bit of that has to deal with my husband and his empathetic nature but also most of it has to deal with me shifting where I find happiness. I used to want to climb the corporate ladder and success meant making more money each year. Things changed when I started teaching more group fitness and helping women on their wellness journey. That desire for more money, more professional growth in terms of “managing people” stopped pretty abruptly. I found myself not motivated by marketing but instead getting so excited to teach my fitness classes. I truly feel alive and happy when I teach others. God has been working on me for a long time to realize this and finally with some recent professional developments, I have realized it! I’m stubborn, what can I say?! 🙂

With all of that said, I’m hoping by leading a more empathetic life can help me grow personally in my relationships, open my heart more to others and reach more people in the fitness world. I’m hoping to document that on this blog with posts weekly on fitness tips, personal stories, fun recipes to bring family and friends together and of course style advice to make us feel beautiful both inside and out.

Cheers to 2017!

I’d LOVE to know and if you’re willing to share, what is your focus for 2017?

Please comment below!

 

 

 

Style Questions

My Style Advice for Women 50+

January 12, 2016

You asked for it, I am delivering it! In my last post, I asked what you wanted to see on Styled by Madison and received comments from two people about this very topic. I have learned quite a few things in my day for dressing women over 50. Something to remember before I dive in, there are no RULES in fashion. This is just based on my personal advice.

What matters the most: 1) How YOU Feel and 2) Is it Comfortable?

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Fit

Fit is of up most importance for women 50+. When clothes lay right on your body, you look and feel better. Look for better fabrics and cuts that make a better fit. A-line is always my go-to and ultra flattering. It never goes out of style. Something else to remember? A lot of the stores today that have the trendier/more hip clothes, those do not fit well. They are lower quality and the manufacturers tend to focus more on the style instead of the fit/cut of the fabric.

A Step Above- Tailoring

Clothes that fit well can be more expensive, especially if you get them tailored. However, if you know you will get more use out of the garment and keep it for longer: it’s definitely worth the investment. Tailoring is SUCH an important investment. It can take an ill-fitting garment from extremely drab to fab.

Accessories

Choose big, bold accessories. In my opinion, more mature women can pull off these bold accessories better than any one else. I love it! Pair your simple turtleneck and jeans with a bold, bright scarf OR a chunky necklace. You got it, so flaunt it!

Skin

In my opinion, “skin” is the same for 18 year olds and 65 year olds. Don’t show too much of it! Do the either/or method. What’s that? Well, if you are wearing a semi-low cut top…don’t make it tight. Keep it loose. If you are wearing tighter leggings, don’t wear a low-cut top or a tight top. Pair a seamless tunic on top and you’ll be set.

Style

Don’t pop into Francescas, Top Shop, Zara, H & M and expect to see as many options for you. There are certain trends that do not work for women 50+. For example, the crop top or printed leggings. Those two trends VERY few people can pull off. When you are shopping, choose classy silhouettes and not trendy! My favorite classy lady is definitely my Mom, however…as far as celebrities: Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christie Brinkley.

So, there you have it! There are no rules to fashion because each of us are one-of-a-kind and unique. Follow your gut and you are going in the right direction.

Interested in a one-on-one consultation about your style OR need personal shopping? Comment below OR contact us HERE.

Style Questions

My 2016 Style Resolutions

December 29, 2015

 

Let’s begin 2016 with a BANG and take a moment to think about our style resolutions. If you are anything like me, there are probably clothes in your closet you don’t wear often AND trends you want to try. I’ve laid out a list to help you achieve true style sassiness in 2016:

  1. Purge Your Closet. We all have lots of clothes in our closet that we’ve saved for years and years. Some of these, we will never wear again but keep them “just because.” My rule: if you haven’t worn it in 2 years, it’s time to donate. Make a conscious decision this coming weekend to spend a couple of hours organizing your closet. I promise you that you will feel better AND it’ll make your mornings easier when you get dressed. Cluttered closets are stressful and can make you wear the same 10 outfits over and over, just because you don’t want to go digging in the mess of your closet.
  2. Organize Your Clothes. Every few months, usually with a new season, I reorganize my closet. Some people like to organize by color but for me, I like to organize with functionality being the number 1 goal. I first donate the clothes I haven’t worn (see number 1 above) and then organize by section: sweaters, dressy shirts, casual shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses. This works best for me but may not for you. Either way, play around with it and get organized! You will start wearing clothes that were hidden deep within your closet. If it’s not easy peasy and organized, chances are: you won’t wear it. We are all stretched for time!
  3. Try 2-3 New Trends. Okay, y’all, you got this! Try some new trends. 2016 is the year! If you’ve been following my blog posts for a few weeks now, you will notice I talk about trends and how to make them classy. There are certain trends I will not try because they simply don’t work for me and/or I don’t want to invest. However, there are also lots of trends that I am happy and eager to try. For example, vests, blanket scarves and ponchos. All of those will be around in 2016 and probably for years to come. Identify the right trends for you and TRY it!

Don’t forget Styled by Madison offers style and closet consultations. We offer lots of services varying from closet organizations, personal shopping and event styling. Start 2016 with a bang and feeling great. Visit our contact us page or email me (styledbymadison1@gmail.com) if you are interested in learning more about our services.

Now, I need a favor from you…what do you want to see on these blog posts? Do you have any style questions? Comment below and I will make sure to answer in an upcoming blog post. Free advice is always a good thing, right?!

My Faves

Fluffy Vests Make Me Happy

December 17, 2015

Is there anything better than a fluffy vest? I think not. Well, yes there is…chilled Pinot Grigio, Sticky Toffee Pudding hot out of the oven, the feeling after a hot yoga class, time spent with family and my closest friends….

However, when it comes to fashion…I’m all about the fluffy vest these days!

Lately, I’ve been loving this vest from Southern Ties in Mocksville, NC. Make sure y’all go check them out! They have lots of vests to choose from, but the key is to choose the right vest to fit into your wardrobe. If you make the right choice, you can wear you vests with so many clothes you already have in your closet.

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I paired my vest with these skinny oxblood jeans, brownish grey booties, a simple long sleeve white shirt, and a tasseled pearl necklace (booties, shirt, vest and necklace from Southern Ties).

How to Wear Your Fluffy Vest

  • Keep it Classic. Rock an outfit similar to the one I’m wearing above. Here’s the formula: skinny jeans (or jeans that are streamlined), a basic shirt or turtleneck, fluffy vest, and booties or boots. You can add on a tasseled necklace for an extra touch of sass!
  • Dress to Impress. I also love to pair my vests with dresses. Take a look at my post HERE in Davie Life for more information on how to rock the vests. It’s essential to make sure the vests are long enough and fit loosely.
We want to know: Do you have a fluffy vest? If so, what’s your favorite way to wear it?

 

Tips & Tricks

How To: Wear a Drapey Sweater

December 9, 2015

You may have noticed a new trend around and it’s the DRAPEY sweater. 🙂 That’s definitely a trend that I can get around and that I hope stays around. These sweaters can be super flattering but they can also be very unflattering and make you look boxy, if you aren’t careful. I don’t know if the official term is “drapey sweater” but that is what I am going with for now.

This one below, from Hip Chics in Clemmons, is my VERY favorite of the season! Hip Chics has a great assortment of fashionable clothing, including beautifully designed drapey sweaters.

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I paired my emerald green Kerisma sweater with another must for the season: flared jeans. Secret: I’ve had these jeans since college (8 years ago) and have been able to bring them back out. Makes me so excited when a trend comes back and I was smart enough to save a few.

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To keep my legs from looking short, I wore ankle boots with about a 4 inch heel. Heels with flared jeans are an absolute NECESSITY, y’all. I’ve never seen flared jeans worn with flats that actually looks good. Sorry, not sorry.

I wanted to be comfortable and casual, so I kept my jewelry simple with my favorite costume-collar necklace and layered rose-gold necklaces.

Okay, so…what’s the secret to pulling off a draped sweater?

  1. The Neckline. We need to be able to see your neck, so a crew-neck is not a good thing. Having a V neck or Scoop neck makes you appear taller and draws your eyes up. If you wear a drapey sweater with a crew neck or turtleneck, you may appear block-y.
  2. The Bottom Half. Make sure you pair your drapey sweater with a corresponding bottom. For example, these flared jeans worked with my drapey sweater because they were still fitted around the waist, upper thighs and rear. If I wore wide leg jeans that were lose all the way around, it wouldn’t be a good look and I would look sloppy. When in doubt: wear skinny jeans or leggings with your drapey sweater. It balances it all out.
  3. The Rear. If you choose to wear leggings with your sweater, by all means: make sure it covers your booty and comes halfway down your thigh. It’s definitely the most flattering and won’t offend anybody. 😉
Tell Me: Do you own a drapey sweater?
Tips & Tricks

How to: Wear Leather

November 29, 2015

Here I am with my debut post and it’s all about L.E.A.T.H.E.R. Way to start strong, am I right? 😉

I am excited to officially launch my company, Styled by Madison! Please take a look around the website to see what it’s all about.

Back to the main squeeze of this blog post…leather.

I have not always been a fan of leather. At all. But this year has been different for me. For some reason, once I slid on these leather leggings, I have been obsessed with all things leather. I am here to tell you that leather can be classy and worn in a subtle way OR it can be showstopping. It’s not one or the other and that makes this stylist a very happy lady.

12065872_1513008819019978_3991118039742202498_nHere is how I am wearing leather this season. In leggings!

First rule: if you wear leather leggings, you MUST have your blouse/top of choice cover your rear end. If you don’t, it starts to get Olivia-Newton-Jon in Grease. It was cute back then and for a theatrical number but not for bumming around down or a date-night. Or actually, ever.

I paired my leather leggings with a suede short boot, a grey tunic and a tweed vest. It all worked well together because none of the clothing was fighting with each other. If you have something statement like leather leggings, you need to keep the rest of your outfit pretty simple. Otherwise, your outfit will be competing and it will not work.

Leather leggings aren’t your thing? That’s okay. You can wear leather LOTS of other ways! Here are some of my favorite ways.

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I own a skirt very similar to this one but the color is oxblood. I love to pair a leather skirt with black tights and a beautiful button down top or turtleneck. Again, it’s all about keeping it simple.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 2.55.25 PMYou can also find leather pants at lots of places these days. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but these a leather skinny pants and hug to curves but NOT as much as leather leggings do.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 2.55.52 PMAnother one of my favorites for this season, intricate leather skirts. I love the pattern on this one. I would pair it with a chunky ivory turtleneck sweater and brown boots.

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Finally, this drapery cardigan with leather sleeves has my heart buzzing. It’s great paired with jeans and boots for a casual date night out.

Looking to dive in to leather but not sure how to style it? Contact me HERE or email me (styledbymadison1@gmail.com) if you are interested in a style consultation.

Tell Me: Are you a leather lover?