All posts by Lindsay Wright

About Lindsay Wright

Lindsay Wright blogs at the inspirational healthy living site, Lindsay’s List, where she shares her fitness journey as a NASM-certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. A stay-at-home mom to two toddlers, Lindsay’s just trying to balance fitness, family and fun!!

Working Out While Pregnant!

As a pre/postnatal trainer, it is my job to keep women healthy and fit during their pregnancy.  The question I get asked most often:  How much should I workout while pregnant and what exercises should I avoid?  There seems to be a lot of worry and fear about overdoing it and hurting both mom and baby when it comes to a fitness routine.  In most cases, there needn’t be.  A pregnant woman simply needs to pay attention to her body, it’s cues and the overall need for movement during these 9 months.

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The Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

The benefits of exercising during pregnancy are vast and they impact both the mother and the fetus.  Stud­ies show exer­cise in preg­nancy boosts energy, aids in sleep quality and duration, reduces stress & dis­com­fort, and eases childbirth.  Work­ing out can also have pos­i­tive impact on baby as well.  For exam­ple, as early as age 5, chil­dren score higher on gen­eral intel­li­gence tests if their moth­ers worked out while they were preg­nant with them.  The odds of obesity, in mother and child, are also reduced with a prenatal exercise plan.

Now that we know WHY we should exercise while pregnant, here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:

Start slow or MAINTAIN!

If you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before you got pregnant, right now is probably not the best time to start a major overhaul.  Start slow with exercises like walking, biking, light weight lifting or water aerobics.  If you’ve already been working out, maintain your current fitness level.  Essentially, keep doing what you’re doing (within reason) and don’t make any goals to lift more weight or run longer during this time.  After delivery, you can turn into an exercise machine, but for now, aim to maintain your current fitness level.

pregnancy-exercise

Fuel your body prop­erly.

Your body needs about 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy. Make sure you fac­tor in what you are burn­ing into your daily calorie needs so your baby is getting the proper nutri­tion for development. It’s also important to drink plenty of water before, dur­ing, and after your workout. If your body gets dehydrated, it could cause contractions or raise your body temperature to dangerous levels for you and your baby (source).

Listen to your body!

Trainers and physicians used to tell pregnant clients to monitor their heart rates when exercising to see if they were pushing themselves too hard.  Now, we use a Scale of Perceived Exertion.  In a nutshell, the pregnant client learns to listen to her body and it’s cues (sweat rate, ability to talk, pain, etc) and is in charge of determining how much is TOO MUCH.  Be sure you’re exercising to stay fit and not to lose weight or meet fitness goals – there will be time for that later!

Avoid prone and supine exercises.

After you’ve passed that 12 week mark, you’ll want to steer clear of any exercises that require you to lay flat on your back (think bench press or crunches) and/or flat on your stomach (think BOSU Back Extensions or some yoga poses).  These types of exercises put strain on various blood vessels in your body and should be avoided.  A few other exercises/sports that should be avoided?  Skiing, snowboarding, skating, and contact sports!

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Buy a supportive sports bra!

Be sure you’ve got a supportive sports bra, especially if you’re running or doing group fitness.  Two of our favorites include the Handful bra and the La Leche League sports bra line which can also be used while nursing later on.  Believe us – your “growing friends” will thank you!

Ask for help!

If you need help determining how hard you should work out or what exercises are on the Do/Don’t list, ask a certified personal trainer to assist you!  There may even be someone at your gym with a Pre/Postnatal Fitness Certification.  Many gyms will offer free or discounted rates for training when asked.  A trainer can show you exactly what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and can also help you in developing a plan for getting that postnatal body back into fighting shape!

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For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

 

Woman Doing Push Ups with Resistance Bands

Strength Training BASICS

Learn the fundamentals of weightlifting!

Last week, you learned WHY strength training is so vitally important for everyone, especially women.  The benefits are VAST and not only impact you on the day that you strength train, but also carry on for weeks, months, and years with continued focus. Particularly for women in their child-bearing years, weight bearing exercises can be the perfect low-impact way to improve health, lose weight and “tone up.”

Today, we’ll discuss some STRENGTH TRAINING BASICS that you’ll need to know before walking into the weight room.  Because you should walk in there, knowing what you’re doing and having confidence in your form and approach.  Women belong in the weight room!

cow bell lifts at the gym

STRENGTH TRAINING BASICS

1) BREATHE! Exhale on the hardest part of the exercise.

Clients tend to hold their breath during strength training exercises.  We get so hyper-focused on what we’re trying to do, that a simple thing like breathing seems to fall by the wayside.  Try to exhale during the hardest part of the exercise.  For instance, if you’re performing a crunch, exhale on the way up, then inhale on the way back down.  Not only will your lungs thank you, but you’ll also unconsciously slow your movements down, which will allow for more intentional, precise movements.

2) Watch yourself in a mirror.

Gyms have mirrors for a reason (and it isn’t to make you feel so bad that you sign on for another year!). Do all of your exercises in front of a mirror so that you can really SEE your form. You can also more easily detect muscle imbalances and improper technique when you’re looking at yourself versus the wall.

3) Think about the muscle you’re working.

Don’t just go through the motions –  think about the muscle(s) you’re using during every exercise. For instance, if you’re performing a bicep curl, don’t just swing your arm up and down.  Slow down and turn your focus towards your bicep muscle contracting and then lengthening.  Doing so will give you a much better workout, physically AND mentally!

bicep curls in the gym

4) Allow your muscles to rest between sets.

The rest period that you choose will depend on your GOALS. If you’re strength training for the purpose of gaining PURE STRENGTH, you’ll want to aim for lower repetitions (5-8), longer sets (5-7) and LONGER rest periods (2-4 minutes).  If your goal is to lose weight and gain strength, you’ll want to aim for higher repetitions (12-15), lower sets (2-3) and SHORTER rest periods (60-90 seconds).

Resting between sets enables your central nervous system to “reboot,” and will allow for sustained performance throughout your workout.

5) Allow your muscles to rest between workouts.

Not only is it important to rest between sets, but it’s also vitally important to allow your muscles to rest BETWEEN WORKOUTS.  When you lift weights, you create tiny tears in your muscles. Your body is alerted to the “damage” and goes in and fixes it, but this time, it makes sure to do a better job and adds more muscle fiber to prevent against a future tear. All this takes time (and energy – which is why your metabolism is high post-workout). Your body needs AT LEAST 24 hours of complete rest to repair itself and restore energy levels.  Make sure you’re not strength training the same muscle groups two days in a row!

6) Be sure to refuel properly. 

Your post-workout meal could be the most important of the day!  This meal/snack allows for your body to replenish its glycogen stores and also aids in the repair of your muscles.  Within 30-60 minutes after you exercise, you’ll need to consume a combination of two things: PROTEIN and CARBOHYDRATES!  Some examples include:  Low-fat chocolate milk, whey protein shake made with skim milk or water, low-fat string cheese with deli meat, quinoa mixed into Greek yogurt!

protein shake

The biggest tip I can provide is to ASK FOR HELP!  If you need help with form, technique or just have general fitness questions, ask a certified personal trainer at your gym for help.  They’ll often give you one free session so you can “try them on” and see if you’d like to train further.  It can never hurt to ask!

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For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

Beautiful Fit Woman Doing Barbell Squats In The Gym

Strength Training – Why It’s Essential

Quick question:  Do you lift weights?

I hope the answer is an emphatic YES!  (or at least a semi-happy, “I think so.”)

The truth is every healthy woman (and man) should be lifting weights at least twice per week. Three to four times would be optimal!  The benefits of strength training are VAST:

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[source – NASM]

Even though the benefits should outweigh any negatives, the fact of the matter remains that most women opt for the treadmill or elliptical over the weight room, thinking that they’ll burn more calories. Nothing could be further from the truth!  While it is true that you might burn more calories DURING a cardio workout, strength training trumps cardio for it’s EXCESS POST OXYGEN CONSUMPTION, or “EPOC.”  Simply put, your body uses energy (aka calories) to repair itself after a strength training session. Therefore, the “afterburn effect” that accompanies strength training means that your metabolism will be stoked for 24-48 hours AFTER a session. Pretty cool, right!?

Another myth that prevents women from truly embracing weight lifting is the old adage–“I’ll look like a man.” Erroneous.  Unless you’re supplementing your diet with massive amounts of testosterone or creatine, the female body simply cannot put on as much muscle as a man. In fact, if you lift weights regularly, you’ll not only trim your waistline and tone up, but you can actually ADD curves to your buttocks and chest by adding more muscle fiber to those areas.

As if all of this wasn’t enough enough to motivate you into the weight room, strength training also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis–two diseases that primarily affect women.  By performing weight bearing exercises, a woman can actually increase her bone density! This helps prevent any future fractures and breaks. It’s best to be proactive about the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis by starting these exercises NOW in a woman’s 25-50-year old range.

Now that we know that WHY’S of strength training, what’s stopping us from beginning a weight lifting program?  Honestly, it can be intimidating to go into the weight room for the first time. You might not know what to do, how often to do it and in what order. That’s where I can help (or any trainer at your local facility)! 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing the HOW’S of weight training–topics will include:  Program Design, Proper Form & Technique and Pre/Post Workout Fueling.  I hope you’ll check back in and be informed and inspired!

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For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

woman jumping rope in gym

No Fuss Workout – Tabata Training

If you’re looking for a quick and effective workout that can be done in your living room (during the baby’s naptime or to start the day off right), look no further than TABATA TRAINING!  In some cases, lasting only FOUR MINUTES, Tabata training is a wonderful way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, as well as work on those fast twitch muscles that may have been underdeveloped during pregnancy.  You can perform Tabatas anywhere (think your living room or while traveling) and with little to no equipment!

What IS Tabata Training?

The Tabata protocol looks like this:

20 seconds on. HIGH INTENSITY!!

10 seconds off.

Repeat for a total of 8 times – 4 minutes total workout time!

I know you’re thinking, “4 minutes?!?  That’s not a workout!”  I promise – when you work to your max during those 20 seconds, you’ll get out of breath quite quickly and force your body to workout ANAEROBICALLY (or without oxygen)!  Tabatas are designed so that you won’t NEED to work out any longer than 4 minutes, but if you are advanced you can do a few rounds of eight OR pair a Tabata with some additional cardiovascular or strength training. 

How Often Should I Tabata Train?

As with any type of high-intensity training, I wouldn’t advise anyone to train Tabata-style on consecutive days. Instead, alternate, 2-3 times a week max.  You can also incorporate Tabata intervals into a strength training regime (example: Bench Press then two rounds of Tabata intervals. Then back to Bench Press.)  As with ANY health and fitness program, it’s best to consult your primary physician before beginning.  If you’re a new mother and still within your initial six weeks post-partum, it is advised that you forgo plyometric and tabata training until you’re cleared for exercise.  Listen to your body!

What Does a Tabata Workout Look Like?

Creating a tabata workout is fun and easy!  With the proper knowledge of exercise form and technique, you can create your own tabata workout!  Here are the steps for creating your own Tabata-style workout.

  • Choose EIGHT exercises you know how to do – select a good mix of plyometrics and strength.
  • Write the exercises on a piece of paper so you can easily remember them.
  • Get yourself a timer – this can be a stopwatch, an online tabata timer or the Gymboss app for smartphones.
  • Set up the timer for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest and to repeat this sequence eight times.
  • Work out!

Just in case you’re a little confused, I’ve taken the guesswork out of creating a Tabata for you!  On non-consecutive days, perform “Hakuna Tabata” 1-4 times through, depending on your fitness level. 

hakunatabata

For video demonstrationsHigh Knees, Burpees, Knee Ups with Mountain Climbers, Plank with Frog Jumps, Sumo Burpees, Jumping Lunges, & Jump Squats

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

fitness woman on trampoline

Say NO to Fad Diets and Quick Fixes!

Learn the secret to losing weight long term

Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!!

Banish inches without changing a thing! 

New Year, New You – Eat brownies and still get rid of that cellulite!!

We’ve seen them all before!

The sad part? I didn’t make these far-fetched statements up. All three headlines were plastered on various national magazines in the month of January.  WHY?  Because these type of statements SELL magazines. Who wouldn’t want to lose ten pounds in ten days?!  We all want to know “the secret.”  Think about it: when your girlfriend loses weight, you ask, “What’s your secret?”  Like we’re all hoping that the mystery will be unveiled and that, fingers crossed, it won’t involve giving up the foods we love or spending much time in the gym.

I hate to be the Debbie Downer here, or put any magazines out of business, but you should probably know something:

Real, lasting, healthy weight loss takes time and effort on your part. 

It takes dedication in both the kitchen and in the gym.  It takes longer than ten days and you won’t see real, significant changes unless you do what needs to be done:  CREATE HEALTHIER HABITS!

So What SHOULD I Do?

Fitness

Start by simply MOVING MORE.  Every day, aim for at least 30 minutes of activity.  It can be walking, weight lifting, playing soccer with your kids, vigorous cleaning.  It all adds up and it all counts toward making you feel better!  If you’ve already established a pattern of exercise, try to increase your duration or the amount of weight you’re lifting.  Incorporate sprint intervals and HIIT into your routine. 

Food

First up, stop buying processed junk.  It’s very hard and unnatural for your body to break these foods down and they have little nutritional value.  Focus on WHOLE FOODS – meaning foods that contain one ingredient (think apples, chicken, broccoli – they have one ingredient.)  Eat more vegetables, fruits, lean meats, lean dairy.  Drink more water.  And lastly, reduce your sugar intake

Bottom line Put nutritious foods into your body and see what happens – I promise you’ll see a change!  Your energy levels will skyrocket, your skin will look better, your digestion will improve.  Treat your body like a machine – give it only the highest quality “fuel”!

Fad diets are just that, FADS. Short. They come and go. Yes, they might produce results, but these results won’t be long-lasting.  And they certainly won’t help you change bad habits. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit.  Start today with healthy, “clean” eating and a daily sweat  Then in 21 days, it won’t feel like a huge struggle. It will be part of your LIFE.

A lifestyle that involves honoring my body, controlling my hormones and mood, and increasing my life span?!?

Where do I buy that magazine??

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

fitness female doing a push up at the gym

5 Exercises Every Woman Should Be Doing!

Add strength-training practices to your routine, and get stronger, feel amazing

As mothers, we always tend to be short on TIME! Between carpooling, cleaning, folding that darned laundry, and running after the crawling baby, is it any wonder most of us are perpetually 10 minutes late?!? Finding time to exercise? Yeah…add that to the list of things we KNOW we should do, but seldom make time for. (Cleaning the shower is on that list as well. Things are starting to grow, you guys!)

Today I want to share FIVE strength training exercises that every woman should be doing. Not only are they perfect for targeting multiple muscle groups, but you can do these five moves ANYWHERE and with LITTLE TIME! As you know, strength training can do phenomenal things for the female body. It burns calories, it creates more muscle (which in turn, burns more calories), and strength training also aids in the prevention of certain diseases, namely osteoporosis, obesity and diabetes. Don’t worry – you won’t bulk up. Quite the opposite – by incorporating strength moves into your fitness plan, you’ll see a slim and trim body in no time!

1. The Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is a great lower body exercise that also engages the entire core and shoulder complex. Perfect for targeting quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, intrinsic core stabilizers, and the shoulders. A total body move!

fitness woman performing an overhead squat

How To: Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Extend weighted bar over head, keeping arms straight and locked out the entire time. Squat down with arms overhead. Try to get thighs parallel with the ground – more advanced: drop slightly past parallel. Knees should not extend past the toes.

**Keep the weight in the heels. Chest pulled back and upright.

2. The Upright Row

The upright row targets one of the larger muscles of the body: the latissimus dorsi. Using larger muscle groups burns more calories than say, a bicep curl, where you’re only isolating a small muscle. The upright row also makes a great shoulder and upper back exercise!

fitness woman performing an upright row

How To: Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip weighted bar or dumbbells, palms facing the body and a little narrower than shoulder-width. Bring the weight up to chest height, elbows held higher than the weighted bar or dumbbells. Slowly lower back down.

3. The Lunge

A stationary or walking lunge is a great exercise that can be done anywhere! Targeting the quadriceps, gluteal muscles, calves and core muscles, the lunge is also the perfect move to slim your inner and outer thighs!

fitness woman doing a lunge

How To: Start with feet together. Lunge forward with one leg, creating a 90 degree angle with your shin and thigh (thigh parallel to the ground). Drop the knee of the opposite, back leg into a 90 degree angle. The load should be prominently on the front leg, engaging the quadriceps, glutes and calf. Push off the ground with the front leg and repeat on the opposite side.

**Avoid collapsing the core – hold it tight and upright throughout the exercise.

4. The Pushup

Often overlooked, the pushup is one of the best exercises that women can do! A beginner may start on their knees and work their way up into a full “boy” pushup. This strength move works the chest, core and back. One of my favorites!

fitness lady doing a push up

How To: Start with body in a high plank position, arms extended and with shoulders directly over wrists. Lower the entire body down to the ground, then push back up with the arms into a high plank position.

**Avoid a low back arch (stomach falling toward the ground).

The Forearm Plank

Planking is now all the rage in the fitness realm! The plank exercise is a total body move, engaging the entire core, shoulders, back and lower body. It is particularly good for post-partum mothers, as it helps to restore strength to the intrinsic core stabilizers!

fitness woman in plank position

How To: Begin in a pushup position with feet and hands on the floor. Lower down onto your forearms. Hold for as long as you can, drawing the belly button towards the spine. Avoid a low back arch (stomach falling toward the ground). Try to keep a straight line drawn from your shoulders to your hips to your ankles.

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

Project Zero – Making Resolutions that STICK!

Hello Mamas!

It’s December 31st, which means a few things:

  • 2012 is nearly over and you have only the highest hopes for 2013!
  • Your Christmas decorations may or may not still be up.
  • You’re going to a party tonight.  Eh.  You’re staying home, passing out on the couch at 10:03pm, and not feeling one bit of remorse.

And one last BIG one:

  • You’re making New Year’s Resolutions.  They may or may not “stick”.

If you’re like most of us, you sit down with a piece of paper, write out some HUGE goals and resolutions, stick with them for a week or two, life gets hard and then you resolve to try again next year.  The same cycle every year.  It’s almost as if we’re setting ourselves up to FAIL.  Now I personally know many people who have made resolutions and have succeeded, so it CAN be done, but this is not the majority.

This year, I say we try something different.

No resolutions.  No hard and fast “rules”.  And nothing that contains the word, “NO.”  (How many of you have said, “NO SUGAR,” only to be gnawing on a donut come February??)

This year, I challenge you to pick one ACTION WORD that will define 2013.

Instead of focusing on items to check off a list or one-sentence resolutions (“I will lose 30 pounds!”), we’re going to take one action word and keep it at the forefront of our brains for the entirety of 2013.

Step 1:  Pick your ACTION WORD!

Think about what you want to DO (action) in 2013.  Select a word that might be a weakness for you. If you aren’t in the habit of exercising, pick “MOVE”.  If you need you’re uptight and want to live more in the moment, “PLAY” might be a great word for you.

Here are a few examples:

  • MOVE
  • PLAY
  • MEDITATE
  • THINK
  • LEARN
  • LOVE

Step 2:  Add the word “MORE” to the end of your action word.

Adding “more” to the end of any of those action words will provide you with your ACTION GOAL for 2013.

“MOVE MORE.  THINK MORE.  LEARN MORE.”

As opposed to your standard resolution list, this ACTION GOAL concept is different and easier to accomplish because it shifts the focus away from things that we CAN’T do and instead, focuses on general concepts that are easier to achieve.

Step 3:  Set sub-goals, if necessary.

If this concept is too general for some of you, set some sub-goals within your chosen action word.  For instance, if you want to “MOVE MORE”, set daily or weekly goals in the amount of steps you’ll take per day.  If your goal is to “LEARN MORE”, select 2-3 subjects that you want to focus on, head to the library once a week, or subscribe to a trade magazine.

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My action word??

LISTEN.

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I want to be present.  To listen to my children and my husband with an eager ear and a silent mouth.  I want to listen to the needs of my training clients and be someone who they can come talk to.  I want to listen and while listening, I don’t want to be thinking of the perfect thing to say when the other person is finished talking (please tell me other people do this!)  To become a better listener, I have to put myself second, a goal in and of itself.

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What will your ACTION WORD be for the upcoming year?  What word will define you?  And how will you implement it?

Make it a good one!!  I have high hopes for 2013! 

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

 

Project Zero: Staying Fit During Holiday Travel

Happy holidays, friends!!

If you’re like many, you’re in the midst of holiday celebrations right now.  For some, that means staying at home, wrapping gifts, and getting ready!  For others, it might mean that you’re TRAVELING to spend time with friends and family over the holidays.  Today, I’d like to address just that – STAYING FIT WHILE TRAVELING.

Traveling during the holidays can be a HUGE stressor.  Waiting in lines, dealing with travel and flight delays, sleeping on a couch or guest bed, and eating foods you didn’t prepare (actually, that sounds nice) can put us out of our comfort zone.  If you’re like me, you happen to LIKE your comfort zone.

While you might be forced to sleep on an air mattress this Christmas Eve, what you SHOULD’NT have to worry about is getting your exercise in while traveling. In fact, all of the Project Zero workouts that I’ve created for Mom365 can be done with minimal space, minimal equipment and minimal time.

All you need is the DESIRE and COMMITMENT to do them.  Hopefully last week’s post helped with that!

fitwhiletraveling

Here are a few other ways to stay in shape while traveling:

  • Explore the area you’re traveling to BY FOOT!  Or look into bicycle rentals, which most cities and towns now offer!
  • If you’re staying at a hotel, take advantage of the complimentary gym.  Many hotels offer top-of-the-line equipment and/or a heated pool for lap swimming.
  • Take the stairs wherever you go.
  • Pack a resistance band and jump rope in your carry-on or luggage.  They’re lightweight and perfect for travel workouts!
  • Check out a local gym. Most of them offer a free week or daily pass to visitors.

My biggest tip would be to focus on making your travel time ACTIVE and seeking out opportunities to do so!  All it takes is a little planning and motivation.  Who knows – you might just turn your Aunt Margie on to this whole “fitness” thing while visiting.

For this week’s workout, I created a Holiday Travel Circuit that you can do in about 15 minutes.  Pair it with a walk or a jog around the block and you’ll work up quite the sweat!

What You’ll Need

A resistance band

Flight of stairs or a sturdy chair

How It Works

Perform this circuit 3 times per week on non-consecutive days.

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QUESTION:  I’d love to hear any tips you might have for squeezing in exercise while traveling – leave them in the comments below!!  Happy Holidays!

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

 

Project Zero: Finding Exercise Motivation

I LOVE to exercise. A lot! It has never been a problem or a battle of the wills for me to get to the gym.  Working out is simply FUN!

Most people don’t understand me.

Heck, my own husband doesn’t understand me.

And that’s OK.  I’m smart enough to know that my “exercise is fun” mentality lands me in the MINORITY of how people think.  Lack of motivation to work out is one of the reasons I have a job as a personal trainer.

During this holiday season, finding that drive can be almost impossible, so today I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES that I often use for my clients.  Tackling the MIND is just as important than working the BODY and inspirational quotes often help overcome mental barriers.  In fact, saying or repeating a motivational mantra can improve athletic performance and help one reach their goals.  When you employ this tactic, you’re literally choosing MIND over MATTER, telling your body, that yes, you CAN do this!

If you have a Pinterest account, feel free to “pin” the following motivational quotes for yourself and get inspired!

Fitness Motivation:

Source: fitfabcities.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: bexlife.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: imgfave.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: goinghometoroost.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: goandmakeyourself.tumblr.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Lindsay on Pinterest

Source: s110.photobucket.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

These are just a few of my favorite inspirational quotes.  Do you get inspired by motivational quotes?  What are some of your favorites?  Please share in the comments below!

phonto

For this week’s workout, I thought I’d incorporate a household item that you probably already have in your cupboard or pantry!

A PAPER PLATE!

Actually, you’ll need two.  And just 15 minutes of time.

This workout will be AMRAP-style.  AMRAP stands for “As Many Repetitions As Possible.”  For 15 minutes, we’re going to work straight through this circuit as quickly as possible (with correct form). AMRAP’s are wonderful for getting your heart rate up and metabolism charged in a short amount of time, just what we need right now!

Let’s get moving!

What You’ll Need

Two paper plates – (If you have access to gliders at your gym, you can substitute those in for the paper plates!)

A sturdy chair or coffee table

How Often

Three to four times per week, non-consecutive days.

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Confused about some of the moves? Watch below as I demonstrate each one!

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QUESTION: Log your current weight below! And be sure to leave a comment and let me know how Project Zero is working for you.  We’ve got one week left!

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!

 

Healthy fresh vegetables in grocery display.

Project Zero: Tips to Avoid Unnecessary Calories

Hi Ladies!

phonto

How was Week 1 of Project Zero?  Did you find the time and motivation to create extra MOVEMENT in your day?  I hope you found my tips easy to follow!

For me personally, I find that WALKING does wonders for me.  Just by adding an extra 20-30 minute walk into my day, I feel much better.  Last week, I went on three extra walks with my toddlers.  Pushing our double stroller (filled with 75 pounds of toddler meat) is HARD, but always rewarding.  My kids loved being out in the fresh, crisp air and I loved being able to burn off those extra holiday cookies.  Win-win!

For this week’s Project Zero installment, I wanted to touch on the DIET aspect of maintaining weight over the holidays. It seems like every day leading up to the New Year, there is a party, birthday, or gift exchange.  And all of these special occasions have food involved – yummy treats and desserts.  In order to avoid any unnecessary weight gain, I wanted to give you some tips for avoiding unnecessary calories.

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Follow the 80/20 Rule.

Looking for a way to eat healthy but still enjoy a daily holiday indulgence?  Follow the 80/20 Rule!

80 percent of the time, your food intake will come from lean protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and complex carbohydrates. The remaining 20 percent can be whatever you want.  I have used this rule for about 5 years now and I feel content and not overly restricted in my food choices.

Ask Yourself One Question

Like I stated previously, the holiday season is FILLED with treats!  Before you fall head first into the eggnog, ask yourself this simple question: “Can I live without it?”  If the answer is yes, don’t indulge.  If the answer is no, partake in the treat and move on with your day.  Eight times out of ten, you can easily live without the treat.  Pre-packaged sugar cookies from the grocery store?  You can live without those.  But Grandma’s pumpkin pie is something worth having.

Simply put – be selective in your indulgences.  Eat only the treats that you cannot live without.

Bring a Backup

If you’re asked to go to a holiday get-together, bring a healthy dish with you.  Aim for a dish that is high in protein and fiber (think lean turkey chili or a vegetable and hummus tray).  Protein and fiber are proven to fill you up and keep you satisfied for much longer than processed carbohydrates and sugary treats.  Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Don’t Buy It and WALK AWAY!

If being around Christmas cookies and candy canes is just too much for your willpower, do not have these things in your house!  Don’t buy them!  It seems simple but it can be really hard to avoid buying these items at the store.  If you’re at a party and you can’t stop eating, station yourself far away from the food table.  If you don’t want another cookie, politely say “NO, THANK YOU.”

Practicing AVOIDANCE can help you if you can’t moderate yourself around food.

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I think the biggest tip I can give you is to simply be AWARE of mindless snacks and nibbles.  Fully enjoy yourself and this holiday season, but THINK before you act.  Unnecessary weight gain, be gone!!

For this week’s workout, I thought I’d share a really fun “Countdown Workout” that I created!  If you know how to count, you’re good to go!  Bonus:  there is no equipment needed; just your body!

What You’ll Need

No equipment needed, but feel free to add weight to your squats or lunges if you have dumbbells!

How Often

Three to four times per week, non-consecutive days.

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Confused about some of the moves? 

Watch these video demonstrations:  High Knees, Jumping Jacks, Squats, Crunches, Wall Jumps, Walking Lunges, Inchworms, Plank, Pushups, Burpees

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QUESTION:  Log your current weight below!  Leave a comment and let me know how Project Zero is working for you!!

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!