This summer is sure flying by, isn’t it. It’s Fri-YAY. You know what that means? The day that I give you three body weight workouts that you can do from the comfort of your yard, home and maybe while you’re laying by the pool.
I hope your holiday treated you well. Here I am running in a July 4th race and we celebrated afterward with some pool time, ribs, and fireworks.
I also had so much fun meeting up with the ladies that I workout with at a local gym and we got together and made homemade freezer jam. Strawberries are about out of season but you could still make some jelly with other types of fruit that are coming into season. I made both freezer jam (no cook) and regular strawberry jam. I serve so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in this house that having the homemade jam is worth the effort and tastes pretty incredible. It’s a summer tradition and I was excited to share that tradition and help some ladies learn how easy and quick making (no cook) freezer jam is. The difference between cooked jam is that you have to boil it with the pectin on the stove.With cooked jam you use the Ball canning jars and lids. (No cook) jam requires stirring in the pectin, freezer safe containers, and can be done in much less time. The Freezer jam can be stored for up to a year in the freezer. Canned jelly can be stored for a much longer duration.
We had lots of laughs and the kitchen was pretty gooey but it was well worth the mess afterwards! I use my homemade freezer jam and cooked jam in a lot of different ways. Below is a quick list of how I add a little flavor to different breakfast and dessert options.
- I put the jam in plain chobani yogurt
- In oatmeal
- I substitute on pancakes instead of syrup
- In Cottage cheese
- On cheesecake
- Peanut butter and jelly
- On Ezekiel toast
I have also been on an oatmeal bowl kick lately. I add just about everything to my oatmeal. Below is a photo of homemade jam, coconut flakes, and chia seeds.
Enough talk of food. I’m getting hungry. I hope these options help you come up with some new idea’s for breakfast to add into your morning meal rotation. Last week I talked about body weight exercises and you can read more information on them here: Bodyweight bootcamp
The video below is an advanced bodyweight bootcamp. You should be able to perform a side plank first in a modified position fifteen-thirty seconds before you begin bringing your arm under your body. You can start with wall push-aways or on your knee’s to bring down the intensity of the push-up and maintain good postural alignment through the exercises.
You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.
Side plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
3 push-up’s (wall push-aways or modified push-ups on your knee’s)
Side Plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
Return to plank and repeat 3-4x
Take a 1-2 minute break between each circuit
Stretch 5-7 minutes when you have completed this workout.
I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! A special thanks to my hubby who is my videographer. Look for a post on Tuesday about an awsome success story I’ll be sharing about one of my clients.
If you are local check out my About Me tab and scroll down to Live Fit Ministry and Local Meeting Times. I’m offering a free workout class July 12, 19, 26 and August 2nd. If you want to get more information about this class please leave your information and I will contact you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
If you missed week one of training you can catch up on this post: https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2015/02/12/half-marathon-training/
It is so cold here and the snow just keeps falling, falling and falling. Not the greatest recipe for the opening week of training as I want to stay curled up on the couch with coffee, my leg warmers and a good book.
This week I put one foot in front of the other as I began my half-marathon training. I had a fair amount of days that I wasn’t feeling my run but after completion I was loving the endorphin rush and boost of positive energy.
Here’s a recap of the week:
I always loved interval workouts and Wednesday I hopped on my treadmill and ran my 400 repeats. I broke down my desired mile pace for the half-marathon and my time for sprinting the 400’s (2:07) and took about a 3-4:00 minute break of running in between to fully recover between all four of the 400’s. I was able to finish up this interval (track repeats) workout in around 30-32:00 minutes. Thursday I ran 3 miles in around 26:00 minutes. Running on the treadmill has been a little hard to jump back into, but over time I will start to get used to it again.
Sunday I hit the local gym with my sister in law and we ran 3 miles on the treadmill in around 27 minutes.
I want to encourage you this week with this: Don’t Let comparison steal your joy.I was working with a training client who has done absolutely amazing. She started comparing herself to other women in the gym. I stopped her in her tracks and I said “Don’t ever compare yourself, stop and look how far you have come.” She is able to lift heavier, run farther, and hold yoga poses longer. My friends don’t waste your time comparing and worrying about everyone else’s journey. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and running your race. Those comparisons creep up everywhere from the gym, to at work, church, and between you and your friends. God has us exactly where he wants us and the beauty is found admist the struggle of overcoming the tough stuff, whatever it is in your specific life. This reminds me of such an important lesson this week. To stop comparing my journey to others and to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
“May The Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5
This week my prayer is to try to become better at focusing on how to love like Christ and to pray for his perseverance when I am feeling weak. To appreciate exactly where he has me in this specific season and to not allow comparisons creep in to steal the joy the Lord fills me with.
Here is my half-marathon schedule for weeks 2-3:
Happy Running, Blessings
Half Marathon Training
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the IF Gathering. You can find out more about what the IF Gathering is here: https://ifgathering.com
The IF means, What IF God is real… then we need to start living like it.
I was so incredibly encouraged by these women. They are gathering, equipping and encouraging us as women to live out our purpose in Christ.
Over the last almost nine months I have been going thru an up and down battle and grieving the loss of my daughter. You can read Angelina’s story here: https://livefitwomensfitness.com/our-down-syndrome-journey/ I can see a small glimmer of hope and a light on the horizon on some days. While others I shrink back, pull the covers over my head and just don’t want to face the day.
Isn’t it funny how God he always shows up. He never has failed me and the very first opening segment at the IF Gathering was about a women who lost her two sons in a horrific tornado in Arkansas.
How is she breathing, how is she sharing, how is she facing each day? I kept thinking to myself? Tears just flew of my quivering chin as I sat and listened to her journey through grief and loss.
Then as her session of sharing was near ending she said something that has just stuck with me: “My boys are healthy, safe, they’re with the one person that loves them more then me-Jesus! Selfishly I want them here. But it will be like a moment to them.”
She is right, Angelina is in the arms of the one person that loves her more then our family.
I can grasp this, but am I ok with it yet? Maybe…..it’s taking time and on some days time means healing while on other’s I have such an intense longing to be with my sweet baby.
Towards the end of the conference, Jennie Allen asked: Pick a word for 2015 that describes the step of faith you want to take:
I sat and prayed so intently, worshiping, and learning from these women. I was asking God how do you want me to move forward. I’m not ready to let go, I’m not ready to move on.
I felt him say, “GO, BE, Be Still,Trust me, and RUN Michelle.” Run Your race.
All these years my life verse has been: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
I kept saying I am running, “Right, God.” You have set this out before me this really hard race and I’m doing it, “Right?”
My answer has been right in front of me all along. I came back to this verse and kept reading:
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you don’t grow weary and loose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
He loves us so much: “He endured the cross for us.”
He wants us to consider it pure joy when we face trails to produce perseverance in us. He lets perseverance finish it’s work so we may be complete and mature lacking nothing. He has plans to prosper us to give us a hope and a future. James 1: 2-4, Jeremiah 29:11
I have been growing weary because I haven’t been running to HIM, I been running this race by merely keep HIM in mind and reading his word.
All this week I feel him saying: “RUN TO ME!” “TRUST ME” “LOOK TO ME first, MICHELLE.”
So.. Thats what I’m going to do each day I am going to Run to his arms. I am going to look to him first and stop trying to handle this burden of grief on my own hands. I am going to trust, be who he has created me to be, and be still as I allow him to work powerfully in my life. I can’t do this on my own and without him I would be bare lying on the floor without hope.
I have really felt God calling me to just run physically and spiritually. I was a runner throughout college and I coached track. I haven’t trained seriously for awhile and for me it’s a time where I connect with God.
My run is when I unplug from reality listen to worship music (somedays christian rap radio:0) and connect with God. I pray, thank him, ask for forgiveness, and listen. I haven’t done this in sometime and I am ready to have that back. Writing has also been a very therapeutic way to help as I process through sorrow and grief.
It’s never easy to get back into a fitness routine but I know that he will give me the strength. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Each week I am going to post my weekly half marathon workouts, encouragement, tips and scripture verses. I hope you can journey right alongside with me.
I am ready to Run this race well and to him. I have a long way to go as I continue to journey through grief but the best I can do is continue to move forward, to run and to share how great God is.
Today I will share my first week of training with you and will be back to update this series weekly on Wednesday or Thursday. I am a seasoned runner and this is an intermediate to advanced training plan. You ask why bootcamp and full body strength on monday? Well I teach a bootcamp/full body strength class on mondays and I have to figure this into my training as I workout with my classes. Your training may look different but please share this journey with us as we can encourage hold accountable and run this race together both in the physical and spiritual. (maybe you are training for a 5k or just starting to workout) Each of our races are unique to our purpose in Christ Jesus.
“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.”
Blessings and I’m excited to dedicate this time to God and share this journey with you. Week one starts on Monday, Let’s do this!
30 Minute treadmill workout – four ways to spice up your running routine
Once the middle of March hits the excitement that my treadmill brought me at the beginning of January usually begins to slowly loose it’s luster. At first it’s exciting to start back into a new training plan and over time things start to get a little mundane. This is when I like to spice things up in my running routine. It depends exactly what my goals are during the specific season of life I am in, but over the years these four ways to spice up your running routine listed below have always left me continuing to love my treadmill instead of dreading it after my 30 minute treadmill workout is completed.
I love to use the treadmill to help train for competing in local road races, to loose baby weight from pregnancy, to stay in shape, and to fit in my summer bikini. I have often used the 30 minute treadmill workout as a way to get a quick burst of cardio in to accompany my lifting and flexibility routine. I try to have a lot of balance when it comes to my training program incorporating cardio, weight and flexibility training spread through out the week. 30 minute treadmill workouts help me get my cardio in when I can’t get to the gym to participate and teach group exercise classes or outside to run at local trails. Our cardiovascular health is important and here are a few reasons why:
The 2011 American college of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend either doing 30 minutes moderate-to-intense cardio workout at a pace that works up a light sweat, fives days a week or a 20 minute vigorously intense cardio workout three days a week. If you are looking to loose weight and improve your fitness level 30-60 minutes of moderate-to-physical activity five times a week is necessary. Benefits of a 30 minute treadmill workout is boosting the health of your heart, increasing your all around cardio fitness, burns calories and fat (helping you loose or manage your weight), increases energy levels, and helps with stress.
This past winter I have been trying to ease back into my workout plan and shed around 25 pounds I gained from the birth of my third child. I have slowly worked my way back into running and started walking 15 minutes and jogging for a few minutes and gradually have worked myself back up to 30 minutes. You can adjust your speed to where you feel comfortable using each of the four ways to spice up your running routine listed below (listen to your body and start gradually).
Over time make sure that these four ways to spice up your running routine seem challenging. What happens as we begin to get stronger and more fit our bodies begin to adapt to our training program. This often leaves us not seeing the results that we are hoping and decreases our perseverance in our training plan. This is when you can adjust that speed dial to a faster and more challenging speed (I look at is as graduating to the next level, which is a huge deal showing consistency and hard work!).
It’s important to apply the overload principle and change up your workouts every 6-8 weeks. When exposing our body to the overload it makes it work harder then it normally would have to work, improving our fitness level and helping to prevent our bodies from plateau. Plateau happens when we constantly do the exact same workout for weeks at a time. Over time our bodies start to adapt to our workouts and we won’t see the results we once saw in the beginning. Changing up your workouts help you challenge your body in different ways, reduces chance of over-use, and injury.
30 Minute Treadmill Workout – Four ways to Spice up your Running Routine:
1.15 Minutes- moderately hard in which you could have conversation if you were running with someone and the last 15 minutes pick up the pace to were you are unable to hold that conversation. I do this often on Monday morning after the weekend when I feel tired and unmotivated. I give my body about 15 minutes of getting back into the groove for the week and then the last 15 minutes I hit it hard. This is also a great way to train your body to become stronger at the end of the race or workout, really burn some calories fast, and to help change over foot speed and pace if your training for road races .
2. Circuit your running. I use this midweek when a 30 minute treadmill workout just seems like to long to be on my treadmill. I’ll do 5 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute explosive plyo-metric drill (jumping jacks, box jumps, high knee’s) followed by a set of lifting (depending on the day back and biceps, chest and tricep or legs and shoulders), followed by 2-3 minutes of lifting. I will circuit this until I have completed 30 minutes on my treadmill.
3. Interval using a 3:1 ratio. I will run three minutes hard and run comfortably hard for a minute to allow some recovery time. Repeat until you’ve reached 30 minutes.
4. Hill repeats. I will use the incline and run a pretend hill every 5 minutes for a minute or instead of hills just run quick bursts of sprints throughout the duration of the workout. doing this for 30 seconds at a time.
Each of these 30 minute treadmill workouts have really helped me beat boredom and make those thirty minutes of cardio conditioning fly by!
What’s your favorite thirty minute treadmill workout?