You’ve been eating healthy, hitting the weights and even doing cardio. Why aren’t you seeing results from your workout? If you’ve been working out for a while now or are new to exercise but you aren’t seeing the results you want, read on.
Let’s look at a hypothetical exerciser, “Karen.”
Karen goes to the gym to lift weights and run on the treadmill 4-5 times per week. She met with a personal trainer about a year ago who gave her a workout plan and general dietary guidelines. In the beginning, she saw great results. She lost about 8 pounds and felt great. But over the last few months, 5 of those pounds have crept back and she’s not looking as tight and muscular as she once did.
Karen knows she’s supposed to do 3 sets of 10 leg presses at 115 lbs, 3 sets of 10 biceps curls at 12 pounds, etc. She hits all the major muscle groups in her weight workout (which she’s done 3x/week for one year) and is done in about 40 minutes. Then she moves to the treadmill and watches TV while she runs two miles in about 20 minutes.
It sounds like a great workout....more
What is sodium: Sodium is a mineral that is used by your kidneys to regulate your body’s fluid balance.
Benefits of sodium: Sodium is key to nerve impulse generation and muscle contraction. Endurance athletes who sweat an excessive amount should be aware that sodium is lost through perspiration and they may need to increase their sodium consumption in order to prevent hyponatremia (too little salt in the body).
Detriments of excessive sodium: Increased sodium in the body triggers the kidneys pull more water into the blood vessels in an attempt to dilute the body’s sodium content. This retention of water not only causes bloat, it also increases the total amount of blood volume within the blood vessels. Increased blood volume can be thought of as too much water in a small hose- it creates a pressure against the walls of the vessels, resulting in an increase in pressure. Chronically high blood pressure and increased blood volume puts a strain on the heart walls and kidneys, resulting in an increased chance of heart...more
So you want to run faster. Great! Now the question is...how?
The short answer: To run faster, you have to run faster.
"Hmmm..." you say. "If I could do that, I would. Care to elaborate?"
Sure, Read on for details:
For the sake of having a coherent example throughout this post, I'm going to use the example of decreasing your time on a 5K or 3.1 mile foot race.
Let's assume you have perfect running form and a fairly decent aerobic base (you can jog about 30 minutes at a time without stopping) but you can't obtain the speed you desire due to muscular and cardiovascular inhibitions (your muscles and your lungs give out on you anytime you speed up).
The best way to start increasing your speed is to do high intensity interval training or (HIIT) workouts. This includes Tabata training.
What the heck is Tabata Training?
What is the "posture of motherhood?"
If you're a mom, you probably already know you perform a lot of forward motions throughout your day that can cause your upper back to round and your shoulders to roll forward:
How does the posture of motherhood compare to "good" posture?
Good posture can be quantified as the following:
1. A lordotic curve at your neck.
2. A kyphotic curve at your shoulders.
3. A lordotic curve in the small of your back (lumbar spine).
4. A kyphotic curve at your sacrum or tailbone.
If you're a new mom, chances are you are struggling to fit fitness into your busy lifestyle. Maybe you've tried to attain a health and wellness goal but you just can't reach it. Below are four reasons why your fitness plan may be failing.
1. You put your children (and everyone else) before yourself.
When you come second (or third or fourth) in your own life, there is always a reason why you can't begin your fitness journey or pursue your goals. Carve out some mom"ME" time each day to focus on your personal health and wellness. Put it in your calendar and keep that appointment everyday.
The six week Get Fit Challenge, starting Saturday, April 16th, requires you to set your schedule at the beginning of each week and reflect at the end of every day on whether or not you kept your appointment with yourself.
2. You haven't defined your fitness goals.
Goals need to be SMART to be attainable: Specific, Measurable,...more
Ah! A New Year! So much promise to throw away old, unhealthy habits and institute newer healthy ones.
I oscillate between making resolutions and not making any. One year, I'm all about it, the next, I vow never to do it again.
I've spent most of December 2015 reflecting on who I've become in the past two decades. I've definitely changed, and not always for the better.
I thought about who I was in my 20s. I was definitely a lot thinner. I started to think about WHY I was so much thinner in my 20s. I worked in two gyms. At one I taught spinning and at the other I worked 8 hours (2 of which I spent working out). After working out all day, I would take CrossFit classes. Yes, I'm serious. It was not uncommon for me to workout 3 times a day. I also ate better. I had to bring my lunch to work as I didn't have the time to go out to eat. My co-worker and I had an unspoken ongoing competition for the healthiest lunch. Flax, brewer's yeast and berries on plain yogurt, anyone? Mmmm. I wasn't in a great relationship and my excessive working out was...more
One morning after class, I was standing and talking with another mom whose son was competing with mine for most-hyper-and-destructive on the playground. After jetting to the other side of the jungle gym to save her kid from an untimely death leap off of the side, she locked eyes with me and exclaimed:
"I am a tired mama."
I couldn't help but laugh, because I knew the depths of what she meant when she said that so very well myself. But at the same time, my heart ached for her, knowing what a lonely burden the exhaustion of motherhood can be to carry.
We all joke around about how caffeine and wine get us through the day, but underneath the laughter there is a silent cry of helplessness. Sometimes when I'm asked how I find the strength to mother I want to reply, "I don't" because it's the truth. I have days where I sit on my kitchen floor in a puddle of salty tears and chocolate chips. There are evenings where I countdown the minutes to bedtime like a kid waiting for that end-of-the-day ring of the school bell. I'll never pretend like I have it all together...more
You've heard it a million times before and that is because it's true; If you want results you have to put the work in. It can be easy to think that just because we show up to class we should be seeing a change, but unfortunately that is not the case. Showing up is definitely the first step, but in order to really see improvements in your body and overall health, you need to be challenging yourself on a daily basis. Plateaus happen to all of us and it can be so easy to get into routine, even when the actual exercises themselves are being switched up daily. That is why I have come up with a list of five things you can do to get over that slump and start getting the most out of your workouts.
1. Fuel Your Body: This is hands down, the most important thing you can do for yourself to maximize your workout. You could burn 1,000 calories but if you are not eating properly you are not going to see any positive changes in your body. If you're new to the world of healthy eating I highly recommend taking our FIT4MOM Get Fit Challenge. You will be educated on the right kinds of foods...more
I’ll never forget looking at myself in a full-length mirror for the first time after having my son. I was barely three days postpartum and already poking and prodding at my soft belly, wondering why I wasn’t able to leave the hospital wearing my pre-pregnancy pants like Megan Fox. I wish I could say that I quickly came to my senses and realized that my body had, you know, just produced a human being, but instead I spent the next few months obsessing over my new figure and desperately trying to get back to how I looked before I decided to have a baby.
I talk with a lot of moms these days and I’ve noticed that this body obsession I faced is an all too common trend. Beautiful, perfect mothers are going to extreme lengths to try and obtain a Hollywood postpartum recovery that is not only unrealistic for almost all of us, but also extremely unhealthy. Magazines Photoshop people like Kourtney Kardashian and make us believe that if we don’t look like she does by 6 weeks out then we are clearly doing something wrong. So we cut our calories even more, start back-to-back...more
Getting together for our Mom's Night In events is one of the best ways to really bond with the other moms.
Sure, class is a blast and all of the kids are adorable, but being able to have a conversation with someone without the interruptions of a child is just good for the soul.
While it never needs to be elaborate or fancy, having a general theme helps to break the ice for any new moms and make the event more entertaining for everyone.
So I came up with a list of 10 ideas should you find yourself in the hosting chair for this monthly event.
Cake & Karaoke: There's something about awkwardly singing chart toppers in a group of people that is both hilarious and fun. Since most karaoke events don't usually start until after 10pm, why not bring the fun to your own living room with a home machine? Throw a potluck of cakes in there and it's guaranteed to be a night full of sweet laughter.
Recipe Swap: One thing we all have in common other than being moms, is that we are all on the pursuit to live healthier lives, which is a reason we choose to workout...more
I don't know if anyone can relate, but my husband and I were a little ahead of the curve when it came to having kids in our circle of friends. It's something I didn't really put much thought into before I actually had my son, but once he was born the isolation of being a stay-at-home-mom was only highlighted by the fact that I was alone in mommyhood as well.
I would spend my days laying on the floor with my infant, working out in my living room while he napped, and having one-sided conversations all day long with a tiny human that would respond by either cooing or spitting up on my clothes. By the time my husband got home everyday, I would be desperate to have an adult conversation and feel a twinge of myself again. I began to realize that I NEEDED to connect with other moms for my own sanity, I just didn't know how.
I remember going to the park several times a week hoping to meet other mamas there. It always felt like an uncomfortable blind date. I'd put D in the swing next to their kid and we'd start with the classic ice breaker:
So... Father's Day is in 6 hours. Still haven’t gotten him a card? Here is a quick and easy shirt-and-tie card you can make in about 10 min. We found a great step by step post at the blog listed below
We are also posting slightly modified instructions and images here.
All you need are two papers, 4 buttons, and glue. This makes 2 cards.
1. Fold an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper (preferably cardstock but not essential) in half lengthwise so it is 4 inches by 11 inches. Open and fold it in half again the other direction so you have the top of the card fold. Cut along your fold lines. You should have two cards that are about 4 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall.
2. Eyeball or measure about one inch from the fold and use scissors to cut through both sides of the paper.
3. Fold these pieces in to the center of the card, so the top corners meet in the middle. This should look like the collar. Glue collar...more
It’s November! That means I see a lot of people posting what they are thankful for on Facebook each day. As that takes a lot of discipline and organization, I thought I would instead post the 30 things I am most thankful for in one blog post.
Ahhh, family photo day. Gone are the overly posed portraits of yesteryear with all family members donning the exact same Christmas sweater. Today’s Christmas cards capture a family in casual perfection. Streams of afternoon light making their way onto a wooded scene while Mom and Dad frolic with their little ones. What a delightful occasion to capture the wonderment of our children’s youth and our perfect parenting skills!
My husband and I arrived at Huntington Beach Central Park at 5:00 p.m. on a recent October afternoon with our kids in tow, ready to meet the photographer and show off our stunning progeny. I had spent the previous two days purchasing the ideal outfits for everyone. Black and red accented clothing bought at a local upscale, hipster children’s boutique for the kids. I was wearing a new red sweater which hid the last remaining pregnancy pounds I had been trying to shed. My husband had shined his shoes and bought new jeans to go with his freshly pressed all black button-up.
It was going to be the first photo shoot for our son,...more
This post is part two of a three part series.
Wow. Toilet training is HARD. I thought earning a Masters degree took perseverance. I used to think having a non-medicated VBAC was an accomplishment. My perceptions have changed in the last ten days; the throes of toilet training are the hardest things I remember having to conquer.
As I’ve written before, I tend to pass up reading instructional tomes on parenting, toilet training, car seat installation, etc. I believe my “free time” (when I get some) is better spent showering, FaceBooking and sleeping. So I guess you can see where this is going…
I knew my husband had a three day weekend coming up; what better way to spend it then watching a two-year old’s bottom for 72 hours? Let’s do the 3-Day Potty Training Boot Camp! Do my husband and I have any background or knowledge in what this entails? Nope. Not a problem. Strip the pants off that kid and let’s see what happens!
Here’s the gist of how we tackled H1′s training:
The following post is part one in a three part series.
Shortly after she turned two and her brother, H2, had arrived (he was about 2 weeks old when this saga began), I decided to begin potty training H1. As I mentioned in my car seat post, I tend to not read directions. I’m really more of a “let’s just jump right in and see what happens” kind of gal. One of the moms at Stroller Strides told me she was doing “potty awareness” with her daughter where the potty is around all the time and you just let them run around naked so they can see what happens when they pee or poop.
Great. I’ll do that. It sounds easy enough.
Fast forward to a nice, sunny, southern California day. Perfect! The husband is at work but the water table is out back so she can play with it while she becomes “aware” of her body and it’s natural processes. I’m half way there, right?
I grab the frog potty we had bought a few months earlier and put it outside in the backyard near the water table. I grab my breast feeding pillow, H1 and H2 and head outside for some “potty awareness.”...more
When H1 was born, the husband and I debated over whether or not the car seat was put in correctly. As the husband is an aerospace engineer and very fond of reading instructions (and I am definitely not), I let him be in charge of installing our car seat and conceded that his installation must be correct. Let me just say that his initial installation involved a towel under the seat to make it “level” and about an hours’ worth of struggle and head scratching.
Problems arose for me whenever the car seat needed to be removed for upholstery cleaning, transportation of larger items, etc. If the car seat was taken out, I definitely could not put it back in as I do not have the same Masters’ degree in engineering as my husband and I could not figure out his elaborate system of levers, shims, pulleys and other jerry-rigging.
Enter a ray of hope: someone suggested I have the owner of Car Seat Savvy LA, Tamara Garcia, come talk to the Stroller Strides Long Beach moms about proper car seat installation. Not knowing exactly what type of service Tamara provided, I scheduled a...more
When my daughter, H1, was born I was very bad about creating a storage of breast milk and the result was massive anxiety every time I had to leave her for more than 45 minutes. ”What if she gets hungry and has a melt down?” was a common thought of not only me but also of my husband or anyone else left to care for her. A trip to Target was a luxury. I was pretty much chained to her while she was breastfeeding and she wasn’t weaned until 16 months.
Enter baby #2 (H2). Lesson learned- to create a sense of freedom and relieve anxiety among all care givers, I have been very diligent about pumping and storing milk everyday. We have a deep freezer and I have been stockpiling every morning- I have over 60 bags at 8 weeks postpartum.
Great! Now where do we put the frozen pizzas that once resided in the freezer? Anyone who has breast fed knows that mother’s milk is liquid gold. The last thing you want to do is throw it out or let it go bad but I am running out of room and my little man surely can’t consume ALL the bags I currently have and will have in the...more