Category: Living Fit For Life

Adding Variety To Your Workout

This is part 1 of a five part series. You can read more here to find out more about this series: Introduction

Today we will focus on Aerobic exercise or otherwise known as Cardio. 

I am sharing a brief memory of how my love for running started before I get to the nuts and bolts of why aerobic exercise is so important for our health.

I can remember being a kid. My father owned a tree farming business and still does and we lined our back fields with rows upon rows of tree’s. I loved nature and the great outdoors. I especially loved riding my bike to the highest hill and taking my feet off the pedals and coasting all the way down to the bottom. My mom told me after I flew down the hill I would ride around the house anther fifteen times before doing it all over again.

20141118-192036.jpg

Seifert’s Tree Farm October 2013

It was in grade school that I remember my best friend who was a year older then me asking me to try to go on a run with her. While I chuckled and thought basketball is the only sport for me. I decided to join her. She assured me running to the stop sign and back was easy and that I could do it.

I remember in that moment a little seventh grader thinking, sheesh… this girls nuts. Huffing and puffing along I made it to the stop sign and back. I’m pretty sure my best friend ran five miles before I finished my two. I ended up running track that year and have been hooked ever since. I went on to run in college and coach 400 and 800 runners shortly after I graduated college.

My best friend and I still run when we can get together and I can’t explain to you how thankful I am that she encouraged me that day. There are special people in our lives that have the ability to encourage us and help you feel empowered. She is defiantly one of those people.She believed in me and in turn it helped me believe in myself. Running has been an outlet for me as I have gone through the grief of loosing my daughter and battled through depression over the last two and a half years.

My dad used to tell me growing up to train and surround myself with people who were better. It pushed me and continues to grow me. What a wonderful training slogan for life.

It has allowed me to understand that with change comes growth. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and learning new ways to add variety to your workout help you from becoming stagnant in your workout routine. Aerobic exercise is one of the five ways to add variety to your workout.

The information below on aerobic exercise has been taken from an article from Everydayhealth.com . There are many benefits of aerobic exercise.  Mental benefits include an increase in confidence, emotional stability, memory and brain function. 19 million Americans experience depression every year and is is believed that aerobic exercise helps improve the symptoms of depression. Health benefits include strengthening your heart and lungs, lowers your cholesterol, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve your immune function and lower blood pressure. Physical benefits include burning calories, which helps shed excess weight. Aerobic exercise tones the muscles and improves posture. It helps you look and feel better while increasing your stamina. Providing more energy for work and play. You will sleep and handle stress better.

My clients say this often: “I just all around feel better”. 

Now that you see the benefits of adding aerobic activity to your workouts. You might be wondering how much and how often?

The most recent guidelines published from the American Heart Association and the American College of sports medicine recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise 3 days a week to maintain good health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

If you are just starting out slowly increase your intensity with the help of a trainer. Maybe start with first deciding what type of aerobic activity you enjoy most. Options are and not limited to: biking, running, hiking, dancing, and swimming.

dsc_5848

Photo Credit: Easterday Creative

Below is a quick and effective running circuit I do if I am short on time. If you are new to exercise check with your doctor before beginning any new training program. Use the FITT principe to slowly increase in Time, Intensity, Type, and Frequency.

Warm-up 5-7 minutes by jogging. Perform 4-6 short bursts sprints between 30-60 seconds at a time. Take a 1-2 minute break or until you feel recovered enough to perform your next short burst sprint. Cool-down 5-7 minutes

You can use this same workout on a bike, swimming, on an elliptical and while walking.

Next week we will talk about why adding variety with strength training is such an important component to your workout regimen.

 

Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Jen

Living Fit For Life: Success Story : Jen Kauffman

I first met Jen at a bible study and we became friends quickly. She grew up in West Branch on a dairy farm and shared a similar love for running like me. Jen is a busy wife and mom of four (Blake 11, Mason 8, Kariyas 6, and Aniela 4).

Jen approached me looking or help to get out of a fitness rut that she had become stuck in.

As I began to work with Jen we really focused on incorporating strength training along with a three month training plan for an upcoming half-marathon that she was training for.

Jen started to lift consistently and loved having the training programs to keep her on track.

Jen Writes:

“ I didn’t have to think about what I was going to do that day, it was already laid out for me. I felt like I was working towards a certain outcome and that was exciting”.

As Jen progressed in her training program she started to see the benefit of consistent weight training.

img_4251-2

I love this action photo of Jen!

I love this victory she shares:

“Michelle made me realize the importance of lifting weights. My fitness was lots of running and cardio before I started working with her. I’ve never felt better about how I look since I started lifting. I have more control over my weight and my confidence about myself has increased”.

Jen learned that as she turned fitness into her daily routine living that she is was a much happier and pleasant person if she got her workout in. It’s her time and she can’t live without it! It recharges her to care for her family. It prepares her to have strong arms for the tasks ahead of her each day.

Jen has also learned the importance of healthy portions and has enjoyed content I provide my clients in a private online group.

Jen states: “Her posts on the facebook page have been informative about healthy portions. I love that they aren’t long articles but sometimes just what she is doing at home. I love her transparency with her own fitness journey. It makes it real”.

Jen enjoyed the check-in’s via text message as they helped her keep going. She loved being encouraged if she felt off track or had a rough day. It helped her learn healthy habits that she has continued over the last two years.

I love how Jen took the knowledge she learned from her sessions to grow both in strength and confidence. Jen used the information I provided  and has created healthy habits and a solid foundation keeping her feeling healthy and strong for all the adventures, love and memories she makes with her family of five! Way to Live fit for Life, Jen. Thanks, for sharing your story!

dsc_5301

Photo Credit: Easterday Creative

Adding Variety To Your Workout

What should I do for my workout? It’s a question that used to haunt me and circle in my thoughts each morning as I climbed out of bed.

It usually ended in a 4-6 mile run and maybe a few crunches. It wasn’t until I became a personal trainer that I began lifting heavier and incorporating a variety of different types of training into my workouts.

If you asked me if I would ever attempted power yoga or swinging around a kettle bell I would have told you, your crazy. I felt the biggest burn from pounding the pavement. There really is noting more euphoric than a runners high.

img_3839

However after the birth of my first daughter the weight seemed hard to drop and just running wasn’t cutting it anymore. What should I do for my workout?

I was at this question yet again and I slowly started to incorporate lifting. I wasn’t really consistent and did it sporadically but slowly I started to feel a little bit stronger and the weight started to budge on the scale.

The more I started to read the more I learned that incorporating variety into your workout helps prevent plateaus and with building strength. When we re-challenge the body and overload it in different ways our body has to work harder, which breaks plateaus. Changing up your routine is important to do every 6-8 weeks.

Over the next five weeks I am going to expand on these five ways you can add variety to your workout. With each element you will find a free workout incorporated in its post.

The five ways to add variety to your workout are: strength training, core exercises, balance training, stretching, and aerobic exercise.

Next week I’ll be talking about the importance of aerobic exercise and will be posting a cardio workout.

If you are at a place where you think you reached a plateau,maybe you are unsure or how to add variety, or need the support of a certified trainer to take your workout routine to the next level, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

I am kicking off an online boot camp on November 21, 2016 and this might be the perfect opportunity for you to try something new and add variety to your workout. I like to work closely with my clients and only have a few spots left open. 

I have ran this boot-camp in the past and women have said, “…what they enjoyed most is the sense of community and knowing that other people are doing the same workouts as them. They love the accountability of checking in and not having to worry about what to do for a workout. It’s simply laid out for them”.

Nutrition Tip Tuesday: Eating Smart this Holiday Season

Welcome to Nutrition Tip Tuesday in the Live Fit Community. What is it about the holidays that sends my appetite desiring more. Maybe it’s because so much time during the holiday season is centered around food and celebration. I personally feel when I am more active in the summer months and on the go I’m not reaching for that midnight snack that I often reach for in the winter.

Over the years I have developed a little bit of a strategy to propel me through the holidays and winter months and it’s about this time each year that I start to implement it again, when I am feeling like that 10pm snack is sounding pretty stinking good. 

Here are a few simple steps that help me eat smart during the holidays.  These tips allow me to celebrate our savior being born, enjoy family, delicious food, and not focus on what I shouldn’t have ate at holiday meals.  

Tip 1: This visual aid is a great reminder of how to eat smart this holiday season. You can create one on your own with using a plate/paper plate and a dry erase marker. 1/2 of your plate should consist of fruit and vegetables. 1/4 meat or protein and 1/4 starch or whole grain. Often times at meals we end up filling 1/2 our plate with starch and 1/2 the plate with protein.

Healthy Portions Visual

Healthy Portion’s Visual

 

Tip 2: Avoid eating two hours after dinner and two hours before bedtime. This can help with unnecessary cravings. I have really noticed over time I don’t have them anymore after consistently giving up eating after dinner for 2 weeks.

Tip 3: Eat to nourish your body. If you are feeling like you want to fill your plate for seconds drink an 80z glass of water and see if you still feel hungry after. If there are appetizers, holiday drinks, and dessert consider these calories before grabbing a second plate. I am a big believer in eating in moderation. I love dessert so I will cut back on appetizers and bread with my meal.

Tip 4: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season don’t forget to eat breakfast, it helps start your metabolism and try to eat it within one hour of getting up each day. Plan your meals I talk about my meal rotation plan: here:https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2014/04/04/egg-steak-and-rice-stir-fry-cook-with-michelle-thursday/ This will help when you are busy and on the go (having healthy snacks to keep on hand (nuts, granola, smoothies, veggie trays). These healthy snacks preventing you from reaching for that (bag of chips or crackers). They prevent unneeded stops in which you may be hungry which could cause overeating, picking up things that are unnecessary and fast food trips.

Below is a picture of a really quick meal I made. My husband is remodeling our kitchen and I honestly wanted to eat a burger and fries. It’s so chaotic in our kitchen area currently, some days it’s so hard to cook. Instead of heading out to grab fast food I made homemade burgers on the stove grilled in a little bit of evoo. I have a half open sandwich since we were eating homemade fries. For the fries I grabbed two big Idaho potatoes and cut them small drizzling a small amount evoo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, a sprinkle of seasoning salt and pepper to taste. I baked them in the oven until crispy at 375 stirring them every few minutes so they wouldn’t burn. Fruit isn’t pictured here but generally I prepare it for our family to eat throughout the day breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Quick Meal

Quick Meal

Live Fit how do you eat smart during the holidays? Please share your comments and healthy quick recipes with us below in the comments. 

I hope you find this information helpful and are able to apply it to your life as you enjoy this holiday season.

Blessings, Michelle 

The Fitness Professional’s Manual Third Edition by National Exercise Trainers Association; was referenced when writing this post. 

 

Benefits of Fitness

20140309-233209.jpg

Here are me and my oldest before I was heading out to speak to a group of women about the benefits of fitness

This past weekend I was able to speak to a group of moms about the benefits of fitness. I have a passion for spreading awareness about the many benefits of fitness and how they can have such a positive impact on your health. I also have a passion for sharing my core beliefs as a personal trainer: “making fitness a habit of daily living.” I told these ladies: “you have to find what you love and go with it”. Schedule thirty minutes to yourself each day to fit fitness in your daily routine. I am notorious for disappearing to my treadmill during the day even if I only have a quick thirty minutes. I grab my headphones, running shoes, and disconnect with the craziness of life and connect to a world that allows me to process my thoughts, connect with God and reap the benefits of fitness. When I am able to take care of myself, I am able to take better care of my family and those around me.

For many women it’s hard to find your niche in the fitness world. I suggest when you are searching for a type of workout you enjoy to try many different forms of working out before you decide what you love the most. Try it a handful of times before you make a decision. When you enjoy something you are going to go right back to it and repeat it again. Making it a daily habit. If you have had a negative experience you are going to hesitate to allow yourself to go back to it again. This is when you may need the help of a personal trainer or friend to get you started in the right direction and encourage you to keep searching until you find what feel most comfortable to you while exercising. Personal trainers help clients understand the benefits of fitness and create training programs that will help them stay consistent to their workouts and goals.

When I asked the women: “How Can you Make Fitness Fun?”

I received answers like: “meet up with a friend to workout, group exercise, workout with your spouse and compete for a cause”

Here are some benefits of fitness that I briefly touched on when speaking to these women:

-helps with stress relief

-helps manage health problems

-helps boost the health of your heart, helping improve your ability to burn calories managing your weight

-strength training helps our muscles work more efficiently and keeps our bones strong

-flexibility (stretching) helps prevent injuries and provides mobility of joints and muscles

-our body is better able to perform the tasks of daily living

Once you figure out what you enjoy while working out, schedule a time to workout each day, and if finding what you enjoy or understanding how to build a workout program is overwhelming to you and you understand how important the benefits of fitness are I would love to help you create a fitness regimen that is tailored to fit the needs of your specific lifestyle.

Blessings and Live Fit, Michelle

Motivation Monday: Start this week off with a healthy breakfast

Where does the weekend go seriously? Well I have really learned the hard way in the past. Working out hard and putting in my hours and not seeing results. That is when I realized how much diet and fitness work together. Our diet is just if not equally important as our fitness regimen. You want to be rewarded for your hard work by seeing results. Thats when I realized that my mom was right, It has to start with a healthy breakfast. Not with somedays, everyday. Consistency here is the key. Eating a healthy breakfast is the basis of any good and healthy routine in life.

If you have kids, or a crazy work schedule, believe me I get it. It’s hard to plan out your meals and I have fallen victim to starbucks, dunkin donuts, the big breakfast (oh man it’s good), countless times because I failed to plan. I also extend out grace on certain occasions, well because come on Starbucks is a nice treat. Most days I have gotten into the routine of making breakfast that provides lean protien, fiber, and carbs out to my kids. At first it was hard, I mean MOMMY, Mom, I NEED Water, I’m hungggery, I pooped(ya, gotta love my middle child so dramatic in the morning), I just want to throw anything I can at her because I feel a bit scattered brained and then I remember, hey I have to feed my kids healthy breakfast too!

It was also overwhelming to me when I got online to find out healthy idea’s that I could make quick for my husband and kids. I get asked a lot at the gym about my diet so I thought I would share breakfast on most days and my oatmeal trick with you:0

A few Tips why breakfast is important:

1. Eating breakfast starts us off on the right foot, helping us make better choices throughout the day
2. By skipping breakfast to cut back on calories, it could cause you to over eat at other meals
3. It helps balance your fitness regimen by fueling your workout
4. Helps control your hunger and keeps you from reaching an unhealthy mid-morning snack

A few things to incorporate with your breakfast:

1. Lean protien-holds you over longer and helps you feel full until lunch (eggs have the highest quality of protien-grab an omelet instead of a bagel!)
2. Fiber- helps digestion, decreases cholesterol, controls our blood sugar, and helps with weight loss
3. Complex carbohydrates- whole grains, veggies, fruits are high in essential vitamins and minerals. They contain fiber and polysaccharides(which require more energy to digest and are released into our blood stream slower). (USDA recommends 55-60% of our total caloric intake be from this form of carbohydrates). While only 10% is coming from simple carbohydrates. These are refined sugars, table sugar, low nutrient density food, honey, corn syrup.

We usually have this variety for breakfast:

chobani yogurt w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Malt o meal w. peanut butter and honey 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid-morning)
Omelet w. butter 100% whole wheat toast (smoothie mid morning)
Oatmeal w. nut mixture and a pinch of brown sugar (smoothie mid morning)

Below is a picutre of how, (If I know the week is going to be hectic) I store my oatmeal. I make a big batch on Monday and then I pull it out throughout the week warm it up and add some brown sugar and nuts. The kids love all of this!

Please share your idea’s below, on our Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter. I love getting new ideas and it’s healthy and good for our bodies to change up the foods we eat. #livefitin2014

Blessings, Michelle

20140126-140102.jpg

Home-canning Recipes

20130916-152903.jpg

Hey LIve Fit,
Here are a few of my favorite canning recipes. If you are new to canning and have questions about what process or hot bath means please comment away and I will do my best to help answer your questions. My pizza sauce recipe is also just a lot of throwing together so please if you have questions with that let me know! I always make notes on my recipes in my cook book about where and who I got them from. From one kitchen to the next lets spread the wealth of healthy eating ladies!

Tomato Soup: ( My mother-in-Law for found this delicious treasure! great for a quick lunch in the winter. It tastes out of this world with the fresh tomatoes)
14 quarts ripe tomatoes
14 ribs celery
14 stems of parsley
11 bay or basil leaves (We prefer basil Leaves)

Cook this together first until it cooks down and is tender. Put through a sieve( I always have my husband do this part) Place back in the kettle. Add these ingredients:

7 Medium Onions
2 Cups of Cream
14 T. of flour
1lb of butter
8 T. of salt (I cut this in half and do 4)
16 T. of sugar (I cut this in half and do 8)

Boil a half hour and then pour in hot jars and process jars for 15 minutes

*I usually double most of my recipes, so my yield is higher

Yellow Peppers: (My mother-in-law found this a couple years back great on sandwiches, on top of fresh pizza, or in a skillet with eggs, potatoes and rice)

1 pinch of alum
1 T salt
1 clove garlic

put in each jar, then add cut up banana peppers

pour over top of above mixture after it has boiled:
6 c vinegar
6 c water
2 c sugar

Make sure the jars are hot right out of the dishwasher along with the lids. Make sure the lids pop to ensure proper sealing. You will hear a little pop and the lid will be pushed down to indicated it sealed.

Salsa: (Got this recipe from one of my best girlfriends Melissa we can it together each year)
8 cups of tomato
2 1/2 cups onion
1 cup jalapeños or green or assorted peppers
6 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
2T canning salt
1/3 cup vinegar
15oz tomato sauce
12oz tomato paste

boil 10 mins and then squirt in lime, place into hot canning jars and process 15 mins

End of the Year Pizza Sauce: ( Use up the rest of your tomatoes and bell peppers)

cut up a pan full of assorted tomatoes, green peppers, onion, garlic,
have these spices out and ready (pepper, salt, oregano,)

Fill the bottom of the blender with tomatoes and a little bit of water, add green pepper, onion, clove of garlic and a shake of pepper, salt, oregano and blend (I Usually fill blender until almost full)

have a big pot on the stove ready and pour in the blended batch and repeat until you are done with the cut up vegetables. Bring to a boil and let it cook down. Have your jars hot and ready fill them up and process them in the hot bath for 15 minutes.

when you get out a jar of this add a can of paste and heat up to thicken on the stove. Place on pizza crust, Enjoy:)

Please post your favorite canning recipe, we are on this journey of health and fitness together!

Blessings, Michelle