Train To Maintain: Fitness Tips For December

Hi Guys I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving.  We did!  We started the day with our annual turkey trot, had a yummy dinner at my Aunt Connie’s house, played some games and hit some black Friday sales.

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 Like I said in my previous post on having a happy and healthy holiday, I thoroughly enjoyed all the yummy treats and a few extra glasses of wine, but now I am back to my routine.  

Train To Maintain Tips

For most people (including me) they tend to coast through Christmas and New Year’s with a health plan to start after New Year’s.  I was thinking about this concept and thought why wait?  Why not “Train To Maintain” for the month of December?  This is what my hubby and I decided we are going to do! Most training programs focus on 3 weeks of hard work followed by a 1 week recovery period.  This timing is perfect!  I plan to use the first 3 weeks in December to work harder than usual and the last week of the month will be my recovery period.  I will still workout and be active during my recovery period but the intensity level will be lower or I will focus on doing something totally different (yoga, hikes, walks).  So here is my plan:

  1. Set A Goal:  I am a goal driven person so I like to have a goal in mind to motivate me and keep me on track.  My friend and I are trying to hit the 500 mile running mark by New Years Day, so I will make sure to increase my mileage to meet this goal.  I also want to focus a bit more on a more consistent strength training program and I plan to incorporate The Body Beast workout program into my current training.  
  2. Work Harder:  My plan is to work harder than usual.  To do this I plan to use my heart rate monitor to check my intensity level, increase my weights and reps, and try to increase my distance and speed (especially in running and rowing).  
  3. Find a Friend:  Find a buddy who will join you.  I plan to include my boot camp class in on this and ask them for suggestions on what they would like to focus on for the month.  There is usually a fun run before Christmas so you could get your running crew to set a goal now.  Set strength training goals with a friend and commit to meet each other.  
  4. Nutrition and Hydration:  Remember anytime you are training hard nutrition and hydration are very important.  Be sure to take in enough water, your superfoods, and be aware of your calorie and nutritional intake.  My plan is to try and increase my water intake and focus on drinking my Shakeology for one meal or snack per day.  This will ensure I am getting the proper nutrition I need when times get crazy!  I always have a packet of Shakeology in my purse or desk for those times when I need it.  This is especially important as the holiday parties and treats will start surrounding us soon.  

So who is ready to join me and train to maintain for December? I would love to hear your goals in the comments!   

Turkey Burn HIIT Workout

Hey guys!  Are you all ready for Thanksgiving?  I know I am.  I am looking forward to the turkey day 5k, my mom’s pumpkin pie and our annual black Friday shopping craziness! 

Since I don’t teach my boot camp class on Thursday I put together this workout inspired by my friend Holly who also teaches a boot camp class.  This was a good one!  Try to get your workout in early on Thanksgiving day.  Trust me you will feel so much better. 

This workout can easily be done at home or at the gym.  Give it a try before your big dinner on Thursday.  Get up early and get it done! 

HIIT Workout

Turkey Burn HIIT Workout

You will need heavy weights, a bench, and a mat.  You will perform each exercise 5 times repeating for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  Rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next round. 

Round 1

  • Burpees
  • Bicep Curls
  • Goblet Squat

Round 2

  • Box Jumps
  • Shoulder Press
  • Sumo Squats

Round 3

  • Squat Jumps
  • Push Ups
  • Lunges (5 each leg)

Round 4

  • Straddle Bench Hops
  • Tricep Dips
  • Curtsey Lunges (5 each leg)

Round 5

  • Step Ups
  • Bench Press
  • Get Ups (lie on bench with holding weight at chest, do a full sit up with feet on the floor, stand up, jump, and return to start position) *Take out the jump for lower impact version. 

Round 6

  • Bench Hop Overs (example)
  • Rows
  • Plank Jacks

Cool Down and Stretch

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! 

Happy and Healthy Holiday Tips

Healthy Thanksgiving TipsDo you ever find yourself using the holidays as an excuse to overeat, skip workouts, eat too much sugar, and drink too much?  Maybe that is just me and my hubby!  This holiday season I want to feel good but still enjoy myself and not enter the new year feeling sluggish and having put on the typical holiday weight gain.  

I thought I would share my goals and tips with you to hopefully help you come out of the holiday season still feeling awesome but not depriving yourself.  

Pre-Planning

I know for me if I don’t pre-plan I am more likely to fall off the wagon.  If I have a holiday party to attend I am going to plan ahead by eating a small meal before, so I don’t go crazy at the party. Hydrating all day will also help feel full and energized.  Most importantly I will bring one of my favorite healthy holiday treats to share. The week before a big holiday it’s important to meal prep and eat clean.  We all get super busy this time of the year and continuing to prep your meals will help.  

Workouts

The week before the big holiday bump up your workout intensity a bit. If you can workout on the day of the big holiday meal.  Find a turkey trot, play some football, or do a video.  Get your workout done early so you can enjoy the day.  Take a post meal walk, not only is this activity it will help digest that big meal.  Invite family and friends to join you!  The more people the more fun!

Enjoy Yourself

Be kind to yourself and indulge in some of your Thanksgiving favorites, but still be mindful. Don’t just splurge for the sake of splurging. The result of this impacts your body in unhealthy ways.  Pick a few items that you love and really enjoy them.  Use a small plate so you can focus on a serving of each item that you love without getting too much.  Most people (my hubby) will always fill their plate, so it’s a good idea to use a smaller plate to help with serving sizes.

Get Back To Normal

Enjoy the day of Thanksgiving and the day after and then get back on track.  Get back to your normal routine of eating clean and working out.  Your body will thank you.  

These are just of few small tips and goals I have for the holiday season.  Keep these in mind as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.  

After the holiday season I am starting a New Year Challenge for any holiday damage control!  This challenge will start on January 4th!  I hope you will join me on this challenge and start the 2017 off right! Who’s in????  

Have a happy Thanksgiving! 

So Much To Be Thankful For

Ephesians 4:32Today as I was writing in my journal and reflecting on the previous week. I was thinking that I have so much to be thankful for.  This past week I started my goal of meditating daily for 10 minutes a day.  I am happy to report that I only missed 2 days this week.  I have already noticed a difference in how I feel,my ability to fall asleep quicker, and when I wake up at night I can easily get myself back to sleep using some of the techniques I have learned.  As I was reflecting on the past week I thought about the election. I am thankful for the opportunity to vote, the country I live in and religious freedom.  I also noticed all the negativity we get wrapped up in when things don’t go our way.   This affects us all, even my youngest daughter was scared that one of her friends was going to have to leave the country.  We had to do a lot of explaining here.  I have had to really be mindful of not letting this get to me and not letting my daughters see and hear all of this negativity. 

My husband posted this message on Facebook yesterday and it is so true:

“I normally don’t post things on facebook. I use it to see how others are doing but when I opened the Bible this morning it said this “let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin…..And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another even as god in Christ forgave you.” After this last week, I just thought I would share.”

The part that stood out the most is to “Be angry but do not sin.”  We need to be kind, understanding and compassionate to one another.  We have so much to be thankful for and I truly feel that spreading kindness, being tender hearted, and forgiving is what I need to do right now.  

Be kind to one another.  Do something nice for someone today totally unexpected!  

I hope you all have a great Sunday.

Outdoor Partner Workout

Hey Guys I hope you had an awesome weekend!  It was so pretty here and nice to enjoy some sunshine.  I am dreading moving my running indoor to the treadmill so I am still trying to enjoy all the outdoor workouts I can.  Saturday I gathered a bunch of my friends and we headed to the park for an outdoor partner bootcamp workout.  It rocked! It is always fun to do a partner workout to mix it up a bit.  It was also nice to see each of the partners encouraging one another.  I thought I would share it with you so you can give it a try before it gets too cold.  

For this workout you will not need any equipment except a mat (optional) and a park bench of some sort.  You will also want to make sure you have room to run at least 50 meters preferably in a straight line.  

Warm Up:  One mile jog or brisk walk.  We did a loop around the park.  If you do not have a loop you could always sub in a dynamic warm up performing high knees, jacks, jog in place and body weight squats.  

The Workout

You will be in pairs for this workout (you could do it on your own as well).  Partner 1 will perform the exercises (A) listed while the other partner performs the other exercise (B)  listed.  Complete each number of rounds and then move on to the next.  This workout is approximately 45-60 minutes.  

Round 1

  • Partner 1 (A)    Run 50 Meters and complete 15 push ups, run back to the start
  • Partner 2 (B)    Plank Jacks
  • Repeat 2-4 times

Round 2

  • Partner 1 (A)    Run 50 Meters and do walking lunges back to the start
  • Partner 2 (B)    10 Tricep Dips on bench  and 10 bodyweight squats until partner returns
  • Repeat 2-4 times

Round 3

  • Partner 1 (A)    Run 50 Meters and do 10 burpees
  • Partner 2 (B)    Plank Shoulder Taps
  • Repeat 2-4 times

Round 4

  • Partner 1 (A)     Run 50 Meters and then do side squats back be sure to rotate sides halfway
  • Partner 2 (B)     Steps Ups on Bench
  • Repeat 2-4 times

Partner Abs

Gyrator:  Sit with facing each other with feet touching, in a v sit position circle feet over and under your partners while holding core in tight.  (1 minute)img_2176

Plank High Fives:  In plank position high five each other alternating each side. (1 minute)

Cool Down and Stretch

partner workout

Grab a buddy and head outdoors for this fun and challenging wbootcamporkout.

Have a great week!  Let me know if you try it!  

Meditation Through The Holidays

Meditation As the holiday season is fast approaching do you find yourself feeling a little more stressed?  I know I do!  I decided I wanted to do a little experiment and challenge myself to meditate daily through the busy holiday season.  I was inspired by another blogger who suggested a meditation challenge.  I thought this was an amazing idea!  Starting next week I plan to meditate at least one time per day until the New Year.  I know that sounds daunting but I think I can do it.  

There are so many benefits of meditation.  Here are the top reasons I think we need to incorporate more meditation into our physical, mental and spiritual strength.

  1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
  2. Helps with Concentration
  3. Increases Happiness
  4. Slows Aging
  5. Helps with Sleep

These are only a few of the many benefits of meditation.  If you are new to meditation it can be a little intimidating.  This article by Mind Body Green  has great tips and suggestions for beginners.  Start with just a few minutes a day and build up.  We all have time to scroll through Pinterest, Facebook, or zone out in front of the TV, so I am sure we can schedule 5 minutes into our day to start meditating.  

I also recommend using guided meditations.  Guided meditations walk you through meditating step by step.  They can be a great resource for those new to meditating.  I prefer to use a guided meditation.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Sleep Ezy Tonight.  This one is great for everyone.  My 9 year old daughter loves it!  Try it on your kids it will work!!!!  

The Chopra Center Guided Meditations.  These mediations vary in length and topics.

The Meditation Podcast (ITunes)  This can be downloaded onto your phone and you can access it anytime you need it.  I recommend listening to this on headphones for the best results.  

The Headspace App is also highly recommended but I have not tried it yet.  I plan to try it next week.  

Who is ready to join me on this meditation journey?  Have a great weekend!

Onward Shay! Half-Marathon Recap

Hi Guys I hope you are having an amazing week and had a great Halloween.  I thought I would share a little race recap with you.  

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Sunday was the Onward Shay half marathon.  A little while back I told myself I was going to stick to shorter distance running but my running girls talked me into this one!  I think it is an amazing cause to support so why not.  I didn’t really have a goal going into this race, but I was feeling strong and ready.  When I saw the weather was forecasting rain I was dreading it.  It brought back memories of my Portland Marathon experience in the pouring rain.  I told myself I was not going to let the rain get me this time.  I remained focused and didn’t let myself get mental.  It poured rain almost the entire time.  My feet and clothes were soaking wet when I was done.  I was feeling sore but I felt good.  It wasn’t my best half marathon, but I feel good with my overall time of 1:55.  For now though I think I will stick to shorter distance running!   

One of the questions I get from friends or new runners is about my nutrition before, during and after runs.  So I thought I would recap that as well for you guys.  I think it is important to find what works for you and stick to it.  It’s kinda boring but it will ensure you have a great race.  

The Night Before

I am super picky about what I eat right before a race and I have learned what my body can tolerate pre long runs.  So I whipped up a chicken stir fry with some white rice.  I try to stick to rice or sweet potatoes and chicken before a race because I seem to tolerate those foods the best.  Went to bed early and had my normal pre bed rituals.  

Race Day

I woke up WAY TOO EARLY!  I tried to stay in bed and fall back to sleep but that didn’t happen.  So I got up and had my 1 cup of coffee, read my Bible and wrote in my journal.  I find morning to be my most relaxing time when the house is quiet and I have some time to reflect and connect with God.  

Pre-Race Breakfast

Since the race starts at Noon I decided that I was going to have a bigger breakfast.  I stuck to my typical breakfast that I eat before a long run.  I had oatmeal cooked with ½ a mashed banana, almond milk, peanut butter and chocolate protein powder.  I wanted to eat more early so I could have it all digested by race time.  I also drank about 80z of water with my breakfast.  On the way to church I did pick up a soy latte.  I was hoping this didn’t mess up my stomach and it was fine.  

Pre-Race Snack

Since the race was at Noon this was very different since I am accustomed to running early in the morning around 8am.  I headed off to church at 9am (I can’t miss church it throws my week totally off) and made sure to bring my water with me, so I could sip on it.  I did not feel hungry so I decided to skip any pre-race snack.  I opted for water instead.  

During the Run

I am very picky about the nutrition I use during races.  For longer races I like to stick to water and more natural options like raisins, dates with almond butter or fig newtons.  However, my friends at the Pulse running store hooked me up with a Huma gel a few weeks ago and I fell in love.  So at around mile 5 I started taking little bits of my gel followed by water.  It got me through to the finish.  Huma gels rock.  They are all natural chia energy gels.  My favorite flavors are the strawberry lemonade and plain lemonade.  

Post Run

After grabbing a water, a banana, and a bar.  I headed straight for my friend Teresa at the Foothill Physical Therapy booth for a calf massage.  Man did it feel good even though I was freezing!  I think it helped with my recovery too.  I never really feel like eating after a race, but I was starving.  So I had some water and a Back Country Bar.  Later that night I was still not hungry so I had a small amount of  stew for dinner and a banana peanut butter protein “ice cream” for dessert.  For some reason I was craving a banana.  

The Day After

Man was I sore!  I got up and went to the gym although I was not feeling it!  I met my friend and we focused on upper body.  I rode the bike for about 10 minutes to warm up and I think that helped loosen up my legs.  I was struggling at the gym but at least I went.  As for nutrition, I was starving!  I am always super hungry the day after.  I ate a big breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon and avocado toast with coffee.  For a snack I had another Backcountry Bar and for lunch I had smoothie.  It was Halloween so I indulged in some wine, chili and some treats at my friend Holly’s epic Halloween Party.  

I hope these tips help you with your next run.  Do any of you have any special rituals or things you do before a run?