I can remember riding in my dads F150 with him as we pulled into the local YMCA. He was heading to his forty and over basketball league. He would be playing basketball while I ran around a tiny indoor track, with my Walkman listening to ace of base.
My love for fitness started even before my running around the tiny indoor track at the Y. I often would roller blade pretending I was a ice skater in the basement or the best was seeing how many times I could ride my bike around my house. Their was the jump rope competitions in the basement between my brother, dad, and I. Late night games of pig and cow in the drive way in the intense humidity of late summer nights.
My dad often thought it was hilarious to go on an after dinner run with me on Sunday evenings. We would run around three miles, an out and back course. He would always turn around early and try to beat me. I would end up catching him and a few times we literally had a race off for the last 200 meters!
Fitness gave me discipline, routine, and motivation. It helps me plan my day. It helps me stay energized. It gives me focus. It helps me connect with God. It gives me a tiny sense of freedom in a world full of diapers, potty training, and bottles. It’s a habit and part of my everyday routine. When I don’t work out I am cranky, exhausted, and what I call out of sorts. It is my escape and the only ‘medicine’ I want to have to take during this lifetime.
I remember my father quoting this throughout my life on a frequent basis: “When you have your health, you have everything. It is a gift.”
Over the years my love for health and fitness not only grew but has become my passion. I yearn to help women incorporate fitness into a routine that they carry out for life LONGTERM. When I became pregnant with Angelina I wanted to journal my third pregnancy. I wanted all my baby girls to be able to look back and see my ever changing belly photo’s. I used my photo’s as motivation and they helped me stay on the path to a healthy pregnancy. I believe progress photo’s help similarly if you are trying to loose weight. The scale often does not reflect what is happening inside during a weight loss program or if you are trying to get into shape. Progress photo’s show gradual changes and give us such confidence to move forward on the journey of becoming more fit.
I am so glad that I tracked my photo’s. This was my third pregnancy and by far my best feeling pregnancy. I worked out almost to my 37th week and I felt fabulous. I ate so many vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I drank a lot of water and ate lots of steak :). I felt amazing and I was so excited that I gained 30lbs a healthy amount of weight and kept my blood pressure down. It was so important to me to care for my little peanut while she was growing inside. In my first pregnancy I did not take good care of myself and ended up delivering 5 weeks early and having hypertension.
Until the moment I gave birth. I lost that excitement in caring for my body due to my daughter who was born at 4lbs, 3oz. I just didn’t get it. Why was she so small? I kept asking myself: Did I eat enough calories, Did I overdue it even when I felt good exercising, Did I rest enough and many more thoughts circled through my mind. I was upset with myself for a long while. I felt like it was my fault that Angelina was born so small. I kept telling myself if she was only bigger she would be able to fight harder. You can read about our little fighter here:Angelina Hope
I continued to blame myself until I finally made it to my 6 week check up at my OBGYN. It was around 13 weeks and I looked at her and asked her: “Was it my fault, was it something I did or didn’t do?”
In that moment and her response I felt such a huge burden lifted of my chest. She said: ” Michelle in caring for you body the way you did, you did nothing but help Angelina come into this world happy and strong. She went on to tell me about studies that have been conducted on moms who work out during pregnancy and how much it benefits their babies. She told me that everything I did helped Angelina.
When Angelina was first born I blamed myself a lot. I now know that she was brought into this world to bring HOPE and for a specific purpose. I did nothing wrong, nothing I did or didn’t do would change how God created her and we are so quick to blame ourselves when things don’t go as planned in our lives.
Maybe it’s your family life, career, you aren’t content with where you are at in life currently, or a weight loss journey that you are on that feels like it’s spinning out of control. Know that ultimately God has his hand on each step of the journey. In each season he is molding us into who he ultimately wants us to be.
I have felt a lot of closure in this area lately. I feel happy to have done everything I could have done for Angelina while she was growing inside of me. I am feeling extremely blessed at what this little girl has shown us about life after only four short months and so excited to watch her grow.
I would love to help you turn fitness into LIVING FIT FOR LIFE! Stop blaming yourself in life and start living life healthier!
Contact me today to start your affordable training plan and to Live Fit For Life
Hey live fit,
This is anther one of my go to moves. A cutesy squat with a lat row. Working the Glute muscles and lat muscles In the back. It’s great to alternate sides and get that heart rate pumping.
If you want to modify here: quarter squat or just take out the lat row.
If you are looking to tone 12-15 reps, 3-4 sets, if your weight seems light the last 3 reps of your last set then maybe it’s time to grab a set of heavier weights (3-5lbs).
Fit tip:machines in the weight room are great. Free weights give us the opportunity to use weights more functionally as we would doing our daily activities. They also are a great way to increase your heart rate.
Hey Live Fit,
Good Evening and welcome to TONE IT TUESDAY. I uploaded my first video to the blog pregnant belly and all. Know I just need to learn how to add music to my video!
The Video is two very basic exercises paired together. A bicep curl and squat. A squat is considered a multi-joint exercise that that requires the exerciser to maintain balance and core stability. Make sure your belly button is pulled in to protect your lower back. It’s working multiple muscle groups of the hamstring, calf, quad, Glutes and your core. Adding that bicep curl will help allow your body to burn more calories and get your heart rate up to help add in some cardio to your workout. I have added the pulses an isometric hold to both the legs and bicep to stimulate the working muscles and change the pace. Adding isometric holds during our strength training routines are a great way to tone and sculpt the body. Holding the exercise while exhaling in a fixed spot, creates definition strengthening the smaller stabilizer muscles.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some different variations of exercises that can be performed together as a circuit in which you can hit most of your muscle groups in a circuit workout. Being pregnant I have tried to weight train my full body (minus abs towards the end) 3 times a week. I have been pressed for time lately so I been circuiting my muscle groups versus the split routines that I normally do.
Make sure you always warm up the body prior to working out, I would recommend 1-3 sets of 12 reps adding in the 8-12 pulses, and an isometric hold for 8 seconds at the end of your reps.
Take Care, The girls and I are whipping something up in the kitchen that I will be posting by the end of the week. Fingers crossed it turns out tasty!
Blessings, Live FIt
Day 5: Resistance Band Training and The Pregnant Girl Workout focuses on the gluteus. The bent leg lift targets your butt muscles and gives you a nice shape to the back of your thigh. If you are looking to work the hamstring more you can target that muscle by doing a straight-leg lift.
You want to kneel with your knee’s directly under your hips and your elbows under your shoulders. You can also stack your fists and place your head on top of them. Exhaling as you lift the leg to hip height and holding for a second. As you lower that leg to the floor inhale.
Doing 8-12 reps on each leg in 1-3 sets. You can add pulses to intensify this exercise or ankle weights. (Don’t forget to warm-up)
Today’s Fit Tip: Change up the pace of your workouts to stimulate working muscles. Pulse, a 2 count, 4 count and isometric hold.
Greetings Fitness Friends,
Behind on days 1-3 on the resistance band/pregnant girls workout?
Find them here:
Today’s Exercise Focuses on the upper back. A reverse fly strengthens the trapezius and rhomboids and posterior deltoid. Having strong back muscles help reduce strain on our back and neck and also help us with our posture.
start with a neutral wrist, hands in line with shoulders and take your arms (straight or slight bend at the elbow) out to be in line with shoulders. Make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together exhaling during the exertion phase of the exercise and as you release inhaling.
Doing this exercise in reps of 12-15, in 1-3 sets depending on your fitness level
Fitness tip of the Day: Adding isometric holds during our strength training routines are a great way to tone and sculpt the body. Holding the exercise while exhaling in a fixed spot, creates definition strengthening the smaller stabilizer muscles.
Happy Sweating Live Fit, Blessings
Greetings Fitness Friends,
I apologize for the delay as I have promised 5 days of resistance training workouts, great for pregnant and non-pregnant exercisers. Life gets hectic at times with kids and being pregnant myself. I recently just started personal training and am getting adjusted to new changes. I want to bring you great fitness, motivational, nutritional information, grow my readership and am trying my best to update my blog as often as I can!
My Goal at the end of day 5 is to have a full body workout that you can perform all in a day or circuit train with that pertains to your training schedule.
Looking to catch up on the resistance band workouts:
Day 1: Works outer hip, hamstring, quad, bicep
Day 2: Works chest and tricep
Day 3: Working Lat Muscles in the back, inner thigh, shoulders
Day 3: Picture 1: Working latissimus Dorsi: sit up nice and tall and have a slight bend in knee’s. loop resistance band around your feet and adjust resistance as necessary. Pull handle bars back and as you bring elbows directly back squeeze your shoulder blades exhaling and inhaling as you return to starting position.
Day 3: Picture 2: Working your anterior shoulder with an upright row and inner thighs while you pile squat. Make sure your feet are at a 45 degree angle and criss cross your resistance band. as you squat down bring your handles up to shoulder level and release. If you are new to exercise you can take out the upright row or quarter squat here to modify. Inhale as you squat down and exhale as you return to starting position squeezing the gluteus!
New exercisers I would recommend 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps, a seasoned exerciser 3 sets of 12 reps. Circuiting the exercises are also an option. 4 sets of 30 seconds per exercise or 12 reps moving from each exercise with little or no rest. I also recommend starting with the large muscle groups leg, back, and progressing to smaller muscles as you conclude your workout.
Don’t forget to warm-up and cool down! 🙂
Fit Tip of the Day:
Don’t mistake hunger for thirst. Stay properly hydrated it helps our metabolism. Think you are hungry drink an 8oz glass of water first!
Blessings, Live Fit
Good Afternoon Live Fit,
Today’s feature exercise with the resistance band is chest and Tricep. If you missed out yesterday I am featuring exercises each day this week that you can use with the resistance band. Being pregnant it has often been my go to piece of equipment and it’s great for if you need to change up your regimen or are pressed for time. Check out yesterday’s link if you missed out:Day 1 Resistance Band Workout
I used my husband for the top picture! You might see him around live fit more often as he is also passionate about staying in shape and weight lifting!
Top and bottom picture 1: Each working a different part of the tricep muscle. When lifting my triceps I usually go until exhaustion. Exhale as you press up and inhale as you release down. If you are new to weight lifting, I would go anywhere from 1-2 sets of 8-15 reps working your way up to 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps. Circuiting the exercises are also an option: this is going to give you the a quick workout in a short time. It Promotes strength, endurance, and allows you to incorporate cardio. You could run through all the exercises that I give you this week to create a routine that you repeat 1-4 times doing each exercise for 30-60 seconds.
Top and Bottom Picture 2: The first picture is a chest press. Exhale as you press up and inhale as you release down. Adjust the resistance as necessary if the exercise is feeling to easy, shorten your resistance band and if it is feeling to hard give yourself some slack. The bottom picture is a chest fly. Inhale as your take your arms out and exhale as your bring them back together. Palms face each other, slight bend in the elbow, take your arms out and really squeeze them as you come in. The new exerciser I would recommend 1-2 sets of 8-15 reps and a experienced exerciser 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Quick fit tip for today:
When selecting tubing keep in mind that each color represents a different resistance
When I bought my tubbing I bought the resistance that I was training in and the the next highest color. When I began to get stronger I had the resistance band on hand!
Blessings, Live Fit!
Greetings Fitness Friends!
It’s Monday and everyday this week I am going to be posting new exercises that utilizes the resistance band. I am coming into my 7 month of pregnancy this week and have used this piece of equipment a lot throughout my pregnancy. Even if you aren’t pregnant these exercises are great to incorporate into your current routine. By the beginning of next week you will have a full body workout that you can use with the resistance band. You could write it down and keep your band with you on days you are pressed for time and still want to get a thirty minute burn in! Great do do on your lunch break at work!
A few things that are great about the resistance band:
they are inexpensive
you can travel with them wherever you go
a great way to change up the old routine
kids playing outside or at a kids practice? get a quick full body burn in
they provide resistance on both the contraction and relaxation phase
you can incorporate them into cardio workouts
no gym no problem, You can perform these at home
Lunge with a bicep curl: This is considered a multiple joint exercise. You are working both your lower and upper body at the same time. You are going to feel the burn on this one! Personally when I workout I want to get the most bang for my time. Incorporating exercises together is something I do often. You are going to burn more calories and get your heart rate up. Pay close attention to both your breathing, Range of Motion, and Postural alignment: Mentioned here in Why Weights Part 2
Make sure your knee isn’t going over your toe during the lunge, your shoulders are nice and tall, and torso is directly over your hips.
Modification: You could do an alternating lunge by itself and quarter lunge, you aren’t getting as deep into the movement here (if you have had knee complications or surgery in the past). Take the band and place it under one foot to then perform the bicep curl by itself.
Start in a Squat position with the band underneath each foot and hold the handles up at your hips. Bring your right leg together and then as you squat push your left leg out as you sit into a squat position keeping your handles up at your hips. Bring your legs together and then alternate to the right side. This is working your gluteus medius (outer hip muscles).
Modification: Take the squat out of the exercise and have the handle bars at hip level underneath each foot and a slight bend in the supporting knee to perform leg lifts.
Depending on your current fitness level I would recommend anywhere from 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions for each exercise. If you are just starting out use the modifications listed above and then gradually move to the more advanced exercises. Start with one set of 15 repetitions and work your way toward 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions over time. A good way to know you are ready to advance in resistance or more difficult exercises is when you are on your last set and last three reps can easily be performed.
I will see you tomorrow for Chest and Tricep exercises! We are building a resistance exercise routine that you can take with you anywhere.
Don’t forget pregnant ladies, keep on keeping on! I am starting to feel the final trimester burn out and am reminded that exercise gives me more energy, helps prevent back pain,improves my mood, helps my posture, helps me sleep like a rock, promotes and maintains: muscle tone, strength, and endurance!
(Remember it’s always crucial to warm-up your body prior to working out and cool down the body, stretch once you have completed your workout. I am not liable to any injuries/health issues that result from exercises from this site. Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any workout regimen. If you feel pain or any discomfort while exercising stop immediately).
Post your Favorite Resistance Band Exercise, I Love New idea’s and sharing them with each other will only advance us more on our journey together!
Blessings, Live Fit
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.
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,