Category: Physical Fitness Journey

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

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Why Weights? Part 2

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(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Good Afternoon Fitness Friends,

Here is our second segment on Why Weights? if you didn’t get a chance to read our first segment on weight lifting it covered the benefits of why lifting weights is so important to incorporate into your fitness routine. Today I am going to talk about some resistance training guidelines.

Resistance Training Guidelines:

1. If you are new to weight lifting, find an experienced friend or partner that can offer feedback, assistance, check your technique and help keep you motivated.
2. Select a minimum to 8 to 10 exercises targeting major muscle groups
3. Training each muscle group for 2-4 sets and 8-12 repetitions
4. If you are just beginning a workout routine ease into it with 1 or more sets of 10-15 repetitions for the first month really focusing on your form and postural alignment
5. Resistance training for each major muscle group should be performed 2-3 days per week on nonconsecutive days, separated by at least 48 hours
6. Use a full range of motion
7. performing each exercise in a slow, deliberate and controlled manner.
8. Don’t hold your breath! Here is a great article explaining how to breath during exercise from Spark People.com and it also has some great video demo’s with different exercises explaining when to inhale and exhale during weight lifting. Breathing During Exercise

Reference-NETA Fitness Professionals Manual

What is postural alignment? Postural alignment when we are focusing on good posture. Our Chin is up, shoulder blades nice and tall, and abdominals are compressed. Our feet our hip width apart, weight evenly distributed on each foot. Postural alignment is important in preventing injury and making each exercise effective.

What is full range of motion? Range of Motion

Resistance Training during Pregnancy helps women from loosing muscle mass and here are some safe exercises that can be performed: Bicep curls, shoulder raises, chest press (back supported, on an inclined bench), triceps extensions, and leg lifts.

Blessings, I hope this information will help you on your fitness journey. Find a friend, keep good form and postural alignment, remember to breath, make sure to rest and exercise each major muscle group on nonconsecutive days and next week I will write on how to formulate a exercise routine that will target the major muscle groups.

Why Weights? Part 1

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Greetings Fitness Friends,

If you would have asked me six years ago if I liked lifting weights. I would have had to tell you occasionally. At this point I would lift here and there and mostly pound the pavement or my treadmill everyday. I would be getting in anywhere from 4-6 miles per day.

It wasn’t until the birth of my first daughter that I was struggling to get back to point A. I kept trying the things I knew had kept me fit in the past and they just didn’t seem to work like they once did. I was flat out discouraged. I began reading, researching, and understanding why it is so easy for people to become stuck in a workout rut. I understood why it was easy to give up and become complacent both physically and spiritually throughout life. If you are currently feeling like this, you aren’t alone and I want you to know that part of the process is believing in yourself and starting with small steps. Don’t let the big picture overwhelm you.

New Years hit that year and I was ready to make some changes. I had a one year old and I was ready to feel good again. To have energy and to live with purpose. I wanted wear something besides the same two outfits I had worn all year!

My husband started giving me some pointers. He encouraged me to start lifting more and I did. Over the past six years I have read and learned so much about the bodies response to weight training. Over the past six months I have especially realized through becoming a certified personal trainer that it is a major component of any workout regimen.

Today I am going to just give you the benefits of why weight lifting is so important:

1. Increases lean body mass, resulting in improved body composition and resting metabolic rate
2. Improves coordination and balance
3. It strengthens muscles and joints so that you can increase the intensity and duration of cardio-vascular work
4. Increases bone density, reduced risk of osteoporosis, musculoskeletal injuries and hip fractures
5. Enhanced athletic performance and functional capacity to perform activities of daily living
6. Reduces back pain

Pregnant women: It can help prepare you for childbirth, help you recover your pre-pregnancy weight, strength and flexibility levels.

The above is taken from:
National Exercise Trainers Association The Fitness Professional’s Manual 3rd Edition
Strength Training for Women, By: Joan Pagano (One of my Favorite Books on Weight Training)

This is a pretty meaty topic. Look for Part’s 2-4 of the Why Weight’s Series over the next three weeks on Live Fit’s Blog.

This information can seem overwhelming, small steps. Small steps are rewarded in both our physical and spiritual walk. The changes you start today on your spiritual and physical walk are an investment in yourself.

“But you, Take Courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”
2 Chronicles 15:7

The Lords rewards us for our faithfulness. Physically as we take charge of our physical health we begin to see results on the outside. While on our spiritual journey it’s a matter of the heart and letting God in to help us when we become discouraged in knowing we can’t do this alone and we need him in this life.

Blessings Live Fit,

Michelle

If workout plan A fails: Always have a plan B

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Hey Fitness Friends,

Yesterday I had this great plan of action in my head for my workout routine. My husband recently moved our weight room around and I needed him to plug in my treadmill before he left for the gym early morning. Which he did not. So, I slept in and fell back to my plan B: Take the girls for a run in the double jogging stroller. I was really hoping for a good 3-4 mile run. I was just feeling the itch. I think it’s this weather. It reminds me of my countless summers training for Cross country season.

I literally unloaded the girls. I had to go to the bathroom. The whole first half-mile was me a twenty week pregnant women sprinting to a bathroom with both kids in tow. It was downhill from this point on. after 1 mile of running I had to go to the bathroom again. Ava my oldest demanded to run on the track. Amelia then climbs out of the stroller and we all are running. The kids had fun and I started to loose motivation. We were off to the playground next to play and to the library to take out a few books for the girls.

Frustrated mid-afternoon because I still hadn’t worked out and I was starting to literally feel sluggish and icky. I stubbed my toe and I think I broke it and my brother shows up with my dads f150 and a truck load of firewood for our log pile. I sighed. Because, honestly if I don’t do it by mid-afternoon I have about a 20% chance of working out before I throw in the towel that day due to: dinner, bath-time, and being a pregnant mom of two under 5, the last thing I want to do at 7:30pm is workout.

I dropped everything grabbed the girls and said we are working out. I put on my music and warmed up. Was it worlds most challenging and creative workout? No. I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I lifted my back and biceps and in between each set did a 30 second cardio drill. I didn’t give myself much rest except to let my heart rate come down a little bit before I moved onto the next set. The girls rocked their babies to the music and I spent a few minutes breaking up heated arguments over mini strollers. I’m telling you when I was done I felt so much better. I had energy to finish my very unorganized and random day.

If you have a hectic schedule or maybe you are a mom like me grant yourself grace. Tomorrow is a new day. Don’t let life’s little interruptions drain your fire. Use them to your advantage to set yourself up for success instead of failure. Let them help you learn quick mindless workouts that give you both Cardio and strength training at once. When we begin to understand more about working out, our muscles and our bodies response to exercise. We can use it in situations were we are pressed for time and still get an effective workout in.

Here are a few tips I have learned over the last five years of child rearing and trying to squeeze in my workout:

1. Have a plan in place the night before. Set up your week on a planner or in your head about what you want to accomplish workout wise throughout the week. If it is planned you can’t use many excuses to avoid it. You won’t have to worry about what you are going to do on that specific day.

2. If plan A falls through have a few quick workouts on the back burner for plan B so you are staying on routine and don’t let it discourage you. We all go through seasons in which things aren’t going to look exactly the way you might expect them to.

3. Know that some sort of activity is better then nothing at all.

4. If you get fitness magazines tear out workouts and store them in a binder. I often refer to these when I feel like I need to beat plateau or am just stuck in a rut. Change is good and it’s easy to forget that when we get set in our working out routine.

Lastly, When these things happen don’t give up! Start fresh the next day.

Whats your Plan B?

Blessings, Michelle

My Blog Vacation

Greetings friends,

I have been away and I am ready to get my blog in order and start sharing with you again! Some exciting things have kept me from keeping up over the last four months!

My husband and I are expecting our 3 baby GIRL!

I have been studying to obtain my personal trainers certification and hopefully passed my test yesterday!

I have been in constant prayer about the direction of my blog, Live Fit’s Local fitness ministry and exactly how I will utilize my training certification when I become certified.

In the meantime here is what you can look for on Live Fit’s Blog in the upcoming months:

The strength training post I never got around to posting:P

New exercise moves to integrate into your routine, fitness tips

Workouts: strength training, cardio and the importance of flexibility

Tips on having a fit and healthy pregnancy

Healthy recipes, tips on eating

Canning 101 – How to effectively can and put clean food away to eat all year long

Money saving tips in fitness and on groceries

Random posts on life as a real life mom and wife

The direction of Live Fit’s Ministry, this blog, and how I will use my training certification

I am looking forward to training our bodies in both the physical and the spiritual together! Here is some encouragement as I have been anxious and nervous over these last few months:

” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 4:6-7

Blessings, Michelle

How Much Sugar are you really Consuming Each Day?

Hey Live Fit

About a month ago we were blessed to work with Certified Personal Trainer Sonia Maranville. Sonia gave us a booty kicking kickboxing workout and shared some astonishing information on America’s sugar intake. We are going to be meeting with Sonia again on March 13th and 27th if you missed our last meeting and want to join! Check our Meeting Times tab or message me for more information.

I thought this information really correlated with our eliminating 1 bad habit and adding a good habit in its place post: https://livefitwomensfitness.com/tag/eliminate-the-bad-add-the-good/ How is that going for you ladies? For me it’s still been a struggle. I was having energy highs and lows during the day and realized it was due to consuming too much sugar. I have cut out a good deal of sugar and am feeling a lot better. I substituted packaged oatmeal for homemade, sugary snacks for triscutts and in the evening have been giving up eating after 8pm which at first seemed hard but know I’m realizing it was pure boredom that I was eating out of. I am craving fruits and vegetables much more than sweats these days and am loving it! Please reply all let us know what you cut out and added in its place. Maybe for you it was turning negative thoughts into a more optimistic attitude, Let us know!

This article was written by Sonia, Owner of Sonia’s Fitness Training. She is a Group Fitness Instructor and Certified personal Trainer through National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA). She has been in the fitness industry since 2005. You can find her at:  www.soniasfitnesstraining.com

Sugar, How Sweet it is…Or is it?

Do you ever have a hunkering for something sweet? Do you think about it all day until you satisfy it? After you find something sweet do you feel a rush from the sugar, almost euphoric? Research shows that a high intake of carbohydrates, including sugar, releases feel food chemical in the brain called serotonin. Then within an hour of eating the sugar you start to crash and feel tired, fatigued, and lethargic and grab another piece of candy or something.

Maybe you’re sitting there thinking “who cares, what harm can a little sugar really do to me? Cravings, binge eating, weight gain, and heart disease are just a few problems that sugar can cause when eaten in excess. It also causes an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, elevated triglycerides, and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It has also been linked to depression, migraines, poor eyesight, autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis, gout, and osteoporosis.

Twenty Years ago the average person consumed about 25 pounds of sugar per year. According to the USDA, today the average American consumes over 135 pounds of sugar a year. That’s about 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily, the equivalent of 350 calories which means over 8,000 teaspoons a year. That’s double the recommended amount. The American Heart Association recommends that we limit our daily sugar consumption to 7% or less of our daily calorie intake. That’s about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men. One 12 ounce can of regular soda contains 8-10 teaspoons of sugar, and a glazed donut contains 6 teaspoons. At least half of the sugar we consume comes from high-fructose corn syrup found in fat-free foods like ketchup, teriyaki sauce, chocolate milk, cookies, cake, ice cream and cereals. And even when you think you’re eating healthy foods, like yogurt and instant oatmeal can pack as much as 20-30 grams (5-7 teaspoons). Wow looks like we have some work to do!

4 Ways to reduce your sugar intake:
1. Only drink water and milk. No sugary liquids, including juice.
2. only eat sugars that have fiber (ie fruits). This will slow down he breakdown of sugars and cut out the unhealthy sugary treats.
3. wait 20 minutes for a second portion. A second portion only doubles the sugars you ate for that meal. You might not even want it!
4. Exercise. It improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. And if exercise is done after you eat sugar it makes fructose less toxic therefore improving liver insulin sensitivity.

Taken from the UCSF Watch Clinic Lifestyle Intervention.

The attached picture is from an exercise we did with Sonia. We measured out the sugar consumption for all the meals listed next to the glass mugs. The first day is the American Typical day of Sugar, The second day is the Healthy day of sugar and the last day is the Ideal day of sugar.

Thanks Sonia, What a great visual exercise that helps us grasp how mush extra sugar we are consuming and not even realizing it.

Blessings Ladies, Michelle

Love Your Body Month Recap

As this month is coming to an end so quickly. I thought I would throw up a quick recap of what we talked about this month! If you have an exercise routine, post idea or question please feel free to comment. I want this blog to be a place were you can come and learn how to live both a physically and spiritually fit life. If you are making that choice to live a fit life both in the physically and spiritual I think it’s important to seek knowledge in both departments and a lot of times they work hand in hand and that’s what I love about fitness for our body and spiritual fitness for our hearts!

This concept of Love your body is so broad. It could boil down to so many different area’s in your life both physically and emotionally. Whatever your struggle I hope that your were really able to work on these area’s and when I mean work I mean gradual change.One day at a time. I think sometimes when we try to change area’s in our life we try to change too much to fast. It’s not something that is going to happen over night but over time if you really focus on Loving yourself as God loves you will be radiating a love for not only yourself but those around you. (We will revisit one topic in March about last weeks post (eliminating one bad habit and adding a good one in its place). Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten keep up the hard work ladies! We are in this journey together to help each other live both physically and spiritually fit lives!

Matthew 5:5 ” you’re blessed when you’re content with who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

The bible affirms self-acceptance by exhorting believers to love others as themselves. Matthew 22;37-40 “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind. This is the first and great commandment. and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

The bible teaches that when we genuinely open our hearts to him, God accepts us just as we are. And, if he accepts us-faults and all-then who are we to believe otherwise? God Loves us and wants the best for us, He wants us to live a healthy lifestyle. We can start this journey today, remind yourselves daily of the benefits you will earn when you start loving your body and establishing healthier habits and thoughts.

Reference-Food, Fitness and Faith for Women

Week 1: Being content where you are physically, building confidence and tapping into Christ strength your goals won’t seem too far off.  You will begin to build the confidence you need to become stronger not only physically but spiritually.

Week 2: This week we are beating perfectionism. Perfectionism is our enemy and Christ wants us to know that he didn’t create us to be perfect but holy and blameless, and wonderfully made in his image.

Week 3:Step 1: identify what is draining you,Step 2: come up with a plan of how you are going to eliminate this habit,Step 3: adding in a good habit

Blessings Ladies,

We will revisit Week three in two weeks! Keep working on eliminating the bad and adding one good habit in its place.