Tagged: growth

Fitness challenge 2014 | Keeping it Simple

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Don’t you get tired of hearing the slogan new year, new you?

We all are in completely different places in both our physical and spiritual journey.

Currently I am in a season of challenge, change, and caring for a newborn. You can read more about my precious new babies condition on this post: life with my new baby girl

This challenge isn’t about a diet, weight loss, or setting yourself up for vigorous goals you will be unable to achieve.

I’m a firm believer that we expect results to fast, we set our expectations extremely high and in the end give up on ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong weight loss done healthy, cutting calories when the are unnecessary are each equally important. Setting up a fitness regimen is just as important, but before all that and stressing yourself out lets think habits and lifestyle change.

Creating a healthy lifestyle is about setting yourself up for lifelong Success, one tiny step at a time. Setting short term goals for yourself that you are able to achieve will help build the confidence you need to give you energy to chase after your next goal.

How this challenge works:

I have never done a challenge specifically like this on my blog so I’m excited and nervous to see how it works out. It may be messy but together we will figure this out.

1. Like live fit women’s fitness page on Facebook here is the link: Live Fit Women’s Fitness

2.Follow Live Fit Women’s Fitness blog via e-mail to receive updates on how to form healthy habits all year long, get yourself out of your rut, reach your goals, nutrition tips, recipes, simple fast workouts, inspiration and accountability.

3. Write two short term goals you want to tackle by the end of this month on a piece of paper. Take a picture and post them on either live fit’s Facebook page, my instgram or twitter account. (Hashtag #livefitin2014) (Hang them in a place that you will able to view them often)

Example of a short term goals:

Work out three times a week for a month, drink 8 glasses of water a day, no eating after 8pm, no sweets only on the weekend, eat fruits and vegetables everyday for a month instead of chips and pop.

Example of long-term goals:

Loose 20lbs, train for a half-marathon, start a weight training regimen to build more muscle mass.

4. Each week I will feature a scripture verse for you to jot down on a notecard, memorize, and keep in mind for the week. Think about your two goals for the month and on Monday I’ll feature the verse of the week.

5. You are able to share(Facebook, instgram, twitter) throughout the month how these simple short term goals helped you form healthier habits that you can carry out throughout 2014. People who participate and send me a short story on how this helped them get on track both physically and spiritually for the new year will be featured on my blog in February.

I will be documenting my journey on all of my social media outlets. Let’s start by taking tiny steps together and achieving two short term goals together this month!

Don’t harp on yourself if you have a bad day. Pull yourself back onto the road to sucess. The sooner you start, the sooner the results will start to show! Let’s have fun! Ready. Set. Go!

Blessings, Michelle

Tone it Tuesday

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.

The Benefits of Canning Fresh Vegetables

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Hey Fitness Friends!

Over the past two weeks I have been in full swing of harvest season. If you have a home garden you are probably reaping the benefits of all your hard labor throughout spring and summer. If you don’t have a green thumb or a passion for gardening you can also visit local farmers stands, flea markets and even super markets to buy fresh vegetables to incorporate into your meal planning.

Whatever the case nothing is better then fresh vegetables straight from the vine that supply a wealth of nutrients to our bodies. The best part is knowing where they came from, watching them grow(especially if you have children) and being rewarded for all the hard effort you put forth.

Canning and gardening is a lot of work. I often times compare it to our workout regimen. It’s a lot of effort up front but as time goes on we start to reap the benefits of canning all winter-long. Just as if we stay consistent with our exercise and eating habits we begin to develop stronger muscles, our clothes fit differently and we start to think twice about eating that bag of potato chips.

I often joke with my husband, I tell him I belong in a more primitive era! But that’s beside the point!

Here are a few benefits I have found from home canning:
1. SAVES US MONEY and TIME!
2. Clean eating straight from the garden all year long
3. Power outage, winter blizzard? No worries we can find something to eat in our canning cellar home canned goods can last up to 4 years
4. The veggies we have canned are not exposed to harmful pesticides
5. Less sugar, salt, and preservatives
6. Tomatoes offer vitamins A, C, K, folate, and potassium. The longer they are cooked the more lycopene (a cancer fighting antioxidant) is released

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some of my home canning recipes. If this is something you find that you could quickly get interested in, I suggest taking a look at this website to help you collect the materials needed to can and find recipes that will suit your family. I only can what I know we use a lot of. I have learned over the past six years how to incorporate what I am canning to make it useful in our family meal planning. More Canning Information

Here is a quick List of what I re-stock in my cellar each year:
whole tomatoes
tomato juice
salsa
homemade tomato soup
pickles
pepper mustard
banana peppers
tomato marinade
zucchini relish

A couple things I freeze:
homemade pizza sauce
green bell peppers
tomatoes
sweet corn
egg plant

I’ll never forget all the hot summer days I spent with my father a small produce farmer, picking corn, clipping beans, and watching his mother make a peach jelly that was incredibly tasty. I love watching my daughters sprint to the garden and pick tomatoes and fight over who is going to help me in the kitchen. Give one canning recipe a try this year. Slowly incorporate this into your late summer routine. It makes me feel accomplished in knowing I can provide my family with the freshest vegetables all year long. You will love grabbing a fresh jar of salsa on a cold winter night or using fresh tomato juice for your favorite soup recipe!

Blessings, Enjoy Your Holiday

-Michelle

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.

Motivation Monday: Getting Started With Small Steps

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Good Morning,

Runner or not this quote is so true. What is it about race day that brings out the best in us. The new shoes, Cheering crowd, the rush we feel as we cross the finish line, So accomplished. Our hard work has paid off. The long hours, the sweat, the pain, we have finished the race.

It was that one thing that got us started. We set a goal and we tackled it. It seems so simple but yet why do we make it so difficult?

This weekend I set some goals: They actually were not workout related they started just with getting my life back in order. My priorities had shifted and I started allowing myself to become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with very simple activities around my home. With where I was going to start and how much I had to get done.

I needed to get started with the small steps again. God reminded me what was important in the race of life: ” A short of keeping my house in order both spiritually and physically”

1. first and foremost my relationship with Christ
2. Caring for and my relationships with my children and husband
3. taking on the tasks and work at hand with a joyful heart and attitude
4. my physical health, to have strong arms and endurance to tackle each day with my family

Sometimes it’s not just about the workout. I realized when the ritual of race day is off, you forget your number, your water bottle, maybe you fall at the start of the race, or you didn’t hit your personal best (PR) that you let it consume you. You have failed. It’s hard to get started again.

I was letting that sense of feeling unaccomplished around my home eat me up. This list I had to do titled:”before baby” but yet I couldn’t even keep up with the dishes.

If you are feeling that it’s time to reevaluate. Instead of looking at everything that needs accomplished around your home or how to start a workout regimen. Short out your house and start small.

It may be with just completing one small task at hand or walking for just 30 minutes a few days a week, whew when it’s accomplished you feel great right? It get’s the ball rolling and then you are started and moving forward to that finish line, the goals that you have on hand.

You see race day isn’t just the day you put on your number and line up to run. It’s everyday our feet hit the ground. Let that ritual of race day bring out the best in you each and everyday by starting the day out with small steps.

The Race of Faith:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12: 1-2

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