Run

A Spring Workout

Spring is right around the corner.  If there is a way I can get in some fresh air and exercise outside before it gets too hot, I can get pretty creative.  Not only that, but who wants to go to the gym once the time changes and it is day light longer, not to mention all of the extra activities that start when spring comes.  When the weather is pretty and I’m short on time, I like to head out to my street and get in a little cardio and strength training for a quick spring work out that takes 30 minutes. All you need is a good pair of tennis shoes, an exercise band with a place to support it, and a light set of weights, 3-5 lbs.  Here is an example with one of my favorite clients, Shelly.band outside

 

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 WORKOUT Start off with light jog or fast walk for 5 minutes to warm up.

Complete the following workout 2-3x depending on your fitness level

  •  15 walking lunges down driveway    

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 If you are new to lunges, forget the walking lunges and stay in a stable position and lunge up and down to complete 15 on each side. 

**keep toes forward and knee over your hill at all times to avoid injury to your knee

  •  15 Chest presses with exercise band

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 With band wrapped around a stable object, face opposite direction, place handles under your arms on each side and press out chest level

**keep elbows soft at all times and avoid locking them out

  •  15 Back presses with exercise band 

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Now turn around and walk back, extend arms on each side and pull back squeezing your elbows back together

  •  15 squats
  •  Run or walk 3-5 minutes
  • 15 bicep curls with band

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While standing, place band under feet that are shoulder width apart and curl handles up to shoulders

  • 12 shoulder raise with weights

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With weights to your side and palms down, lift them up together shoulder level

**keep a slight bend in elbow and do not raise weights about shoulders. 

  • Repeat 15 walking lunges down driveway   
  • Run or Walk 3-5 minutes

Consult with your doctor before beginning any new program. Remember this is what works for me.  Modify exercises according to your location.  Be creative and you can have your own quick spring workout.

For more customized workouts for your needs and personal schedule, contact me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to learn how you can get started.

A Tug-a-War...Exercise vs. Mom

Summer is around the corner and as a mom, you may have this thought running through your head,  “I liked to tone up for the summer, but I do not have time for exercise and be a mom.” Trying to find time for yourself and have time with your children can sometimes feel like a tug-a-war. I remember the days before children; I worked out 1.5 hours 6 days a week.  That kind of schedule is not going to happen now with two small kids.  Not only do I not have the time, I choose not to take it.  What I have learned is that my workouts depend on my children’s stage of life.

For example

As a baby

Once cleared from my doctor to exercise after the birth of my daughter, I struggled to figure out what I should do. It was too hot to go outside in the afternoon and her naps could be unpredictable.  My focus was not to get in a long run or take the time to go to the gym.  My favorite workout was simple….a pair of weights, an exercise band and a resist-a-ball right in the middle of my living room floor. I would work as hard and intense as I could for 20 minutes, which was all I had on most days.

As a Toddler

A walking/running stroller is a must at the toddler age.

There was nothing I loved more than a long walk or run while talking to my little one and exploring the world.  My goal was to utilize my time for exercise as an opportunity to spend time with them and be a good example of health and fitness.

As a child

A long talk, family time and a lot of calorie burning has been accomplished while they ride their bikes next me as I walk or run.

It is not always at the intensity or duration that I may desire, but it gets the job done. They have also hit the stage to play in the backyard while mommy gets in a 20 minute strength training work out.

Finding time for kids and exercise will change with the season of your family.  Do not be discouraged. Throw out what you may have done in the past and create a new plan for exercise with your kids and don’t let the tug-a-war pull you down. Not only will you “tone up” but you will be a great example and before you know they will be working out right next to you.

Do You Feel too Busy to Eat Healthy? Add Green, it is Simple!

Too busy to eat healthy!  That is what many women think.  I’ll admit; it can be overwhelming to think of all of the things I should and should not eat.  To make things easier, have you thought about focusing on one healthy habit at a time?  It can make things much easier. For example, take a little challenge this month and see how much green you can add to your diet each day.  Don’t worry about what you should not eat, just think of ways to add green. It can be simply done even for busy woman.  Here are my top picks.

For a few snacks to go, green apples and pears are a great quick afternoon pick-me-up.

 

One of my favorite snacks is to chop raw zucchini with carrots.  Throw them in a Ziploc when you are on the run and you are able to grab some green at any time.

For lunch, I love to add green grapes to my spinach salad with raspberry salad dressing.

 A favorite summer time dinner is asparagus on the grill and it’s easy to sneak in broccoli, zucchini, green peppers into spaghetti or lasagna for my kids.  If chopped real small, they never notice.

I love to cook cabbage on a Sunday afternoon to have ready for my lunch or dinner during the week. Even though I am the only one in my house who likes it, at 88 cents a head (on sale) I can afford it if I have to throw some out.

Of course, those are all of my favorites.  However, there are so many things to chose from, such as: arugula, artichokes, rabe, kale, collard greens, green beans, lettuce, and cucumbers.  It is not hard.  Just think about your schedule and think outside of the box and you can “Go Green” in your diet, one step at a time, no matter how busy life gets.

When you focus on simple things to add to your diet, it moves your attention away from what should not be a part of your diet.  “Going Green” really is simple,.  Why not try it!.

 

 

A Date for the Busy Couple

Is it even possible to have a normal date (as you once did) and a candle lit dinner amidst every thing the world is bringing you.  Maybe you're new social life consists of party after party for those under the age of 10 and, to be honest, you're too tired to even think about a date.  How does today’s busy couple stay connected and still feel that they have time for each other? What I've learned as I work with busy women to create a Personalized Fitness Plan, is that most women are overwhelmed with life.  How in the world do you make time for exercise, much less have quality time with your husband?

For my marriage, we have to sometimes get creative and think outside of the normal dates we once had when our life was simpler.  Yet I still feel connected since we've made it a priority to find ways to spend time together.

A date for this busy couple may look something like this.

  • A walk or run

When my husband and I need to catch up or discuss certain things going on in life, we love putting on our shoes and going for a run or walk.  We tell the kids to grab their scooter or bike and head outside with the family.  While they are busy seeing who is the fastest, we are getting connected and spending quality time together.  We've also from time to time made a commitment to work out or train for a local race together.

  • Have Lunch

We don't always have time for a long dinner nor can we always make arrangements for a babysitter, so we schedule lunch.  The key words for a busy couple are “schedule it".  It's more likely to happen if you set a specific date and time and put it on the calendar that just having good intentions to make it happen.

  • Friend exchange

Some times we just need to have one hour for dinner.  We're fortunate to have best friends who need the same.  Babysitters can be expensive and not many want to waste one hour….which may be all they get.  Find a couple who's willing to keep your kids for an hour or two for a date night and be sure to find a time to offer the same to them.

The key is thinking outside the box.  You can still have romance and quality time.  It just may not be the way you once did.

 

Austin Jailbreak 5K - New Paths

When my running partner forwarded me a link about the Austin Jailbreak 5K I knew I couldn't turn it down! The Austin Jailbreak is a 3.8 mile run with a total of 17 obstacles including (but not limited to) a gauntlet, water crossing, rock climb, police blockade (aka jumping over cars), a muddy crawl, and something called the "powdered donut" (which I was a little concerned about).

So...this past Saturday when my alarm clock went off in the 5 o'clock hour instead of a groan I excitedly pulling on my carefully laid out running gear like a student on the first day of class. Not quite knowing what to expect but looking forward to something new! After a ton of water, cup o' joe, and a banana, we anxiously waited for the gun to go off.

The run was one of the hardest I'd ever done - not because of the distance or the weather but because trail running is no joke! It takes a lot more energy and concentration - mentally, physically - to navigate over rocks and sticks on a totally new path than to navigate a well known sidewalk. We climbed bales of hay, jumped cars, ran over sand, water and mud, and army crawled through drainage pipes filled with gravel that cuts our knees...but we did it!!! It was great having people cheer us on and volunteers yelling, "you're at the front of the pack, keep it up!".

Isn't that just like life? It's easy to get comfortable in our routines, the same well-worn paths. And there is nothing wrong with consistency...as long as we're willing to try something new from time to time and stretch ourselves. We may get a little beat up along the way but the struggles will be well worth the growth and in the end we can say...we did it!!!