Enjoy the Season

Healthy Holidays to all out there!

What do you do to enjoy this time of year?

Do you have family traditions?

In our family, we have managed to keep some of the old and create some new ones along the way.

We buy fresh trees each year, and each year I vow to get a fake one for next year. :) Hey, traditions are important!

I bake goodies for those who surround us all year long: the mail man, the garbage men, our neighbors, our church staff, the staff at our bank, the UPS guys (they frequent this house), etc. Now, my kids are old enough to lend a helping hand in the baking process and particularly enjoy working in the quality control department.

Each year brings about shopping, time spent with family, Christmas pageants, looking at Christmas lights, decorating the tree and reading stories. We also spend loads of time watching Christmas movies and we exchange the gift of brand new pajamas each Christmas Eve (thank mom and dad!).

All of these are wonderful traditions, but for some, Christmas is not always a time of joy.

Many have suffered loss this year and mourn as Christmas approaches. I can relate and may I offer a heartfelt virtual hug and the knowledge that the days will get easier and joy will begin to come back.

Others find financial straits to be holding them back from joy this year. Remember that the true joy of Christmas is found in the heart, not the pocket book. To those who have been blessed with more, I encourage you to seek out those who could use some love and a hot meal…then provide those needs.

Some simply suffer from not feeling good enough. Perhaps you feel as though you just take up space. You are still here for a reason and you can find it through the ones you surround yourself with everyday.

Now, there are those of us who experience anxiety as Christmas approaches. We know the New Year is close at hand and that we have yet to tackle last years resolutions. Or perhaps we dread the “morning after” feeling of over-indulging at parties. And to those, I truly relate :) So I hope to offer a few bits of healthy advice to make the season more joyful.

  • The average weight gain during the holidays is actually 3 pounds. Why do I tell you that? The perceived weight gain for most is over 10 pounds. It takes a lot of fudge and sugar cookies to gain 10 pounds, so relax. You’re going to be fine.
  • Movement ALWAYS helps…so long as it’s fun. Let’s face it, if it is not your “JOB” to be fit then it is hard to get your workouts in during this busy season. Did you know stressing about working out will actually pack on pounds, not burn calories? So chill out! Move a little every day. Walk to the store from the farthest parking space, take the stairs, stretch when you get out of bed, do a little jump rope in the bathroom at work, whatever! It all adds up and is good for overall mood boosting.
  • Limit the alcohol, up the water. I love some good wine at Christmas! It just makes everything more magical right? LOL However, it can wreak havoc on your health and overall mood. So set a limit before you indulge and make sure you drink a glass of water for every glass of Cabernet (or whatever you may choose).
  • Take a time out. You may actually need that 30 minute nap you’re craving. Perhaps your body would prefer a slow walk over a run. Choose this time of year to nurture your body as opposed to punishing it.

Through it all, remember that you are your best self when you take care of yourself. So be gentle, be kind and enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Michelle

For quick bouts of movement Monday-Friday, check out my Twitter page and have it delivered to your phone.

Healthy Holidays: The Art of Giving

Hello Fitness Elves!

This time of year presents parties, busy challenges and fun to be had all over. We often are able to spend more time with family and even see friends and loved ones we don’t normally get to see. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, perhaps you have come to a stopping point on gifting. The gifts we give needn’t be extravagant or expensive to show we care. And what better way to show you care than to give the gift of health and fitness. I’m going to break down some favorite fit gifts, from the ordinary to the crazy, so come along for the ride!

LET’S START WITH THOSE JUST STARTING

Either you or a loved one could possibly be just venturing into fitness. The gift of at-home fitness can be a great way to offer encouragement and empowerment. But what do you give? Well, it can take a little finesse to make sure you get it right, but with these tips, you’re sure to get a bright smile and a heartfelt “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” from the recipient….plus, you’ve truly just given the gift of health :)

  • Consider a home-based program. Beach Body offers a wide variety of programs for any goal and fitness level. You can also find challenge packs full of goodies and nutrition as well. Now, in order for this to work you really do need to know the level of your recipient as well as their overall goals and motivations. Got a bestie who loves running and is looking to add some strength training? Opt for Chalean Extreme. Is your family member a class enthusiast who has been sidelined from the gym by having kids at home? Check out Turbo Fire. P90X, P90X2 AND P90X3 are all great options for those with big goals who love to work. There are also programs for weight lifters, Tai Chi (called Tai Chang) , as well as dance, kickboxing and more. Draw backs? The one big one is some of the programs cost upwards of $80, so you better like these people :) . The best thing is that these programs are tried and tested for safety and effectiveness. One of my favorites to gift out: Body Combat. Intense, but doable. PLUS, awesome accents :)

rach chalene tony danP90x_product_configuration_170x100

  • If you’re strapped for cash OR have no clue as to the above criteria, opt for a gift card. Beach Body offers gift cards that work towards anything they sell (even vitamins and recovery). You can also check out cards to online Fitness DVD’s like Collage Video and Acacia.
  • Make a gift bag. Grab a cute gym bag and fill it with goodies to keep them going. Consider things like water bottles, sweat towels, body spray and even deodorant. It all comes in handy no matter where your workout takes you.
  • A smaller option for quick fitness is a small gift bag with a towel, refillable water bottle, gift card to a shoe store (doesn’t have to be much), and a fitness magazine to inspire. My faves are Oxygen, Fitness RX for Women, and Muscle and Fitness for Women.
  • A pedometer can range in price from $10-over $100 and make great gifts for getting people up and moving.

How about the ones who already frequent the gym?

If your friend or loved one already clocks in hours at the gym on a weekly basis, try out these gift ideas to show your support and keep them motivated.

  • A gift card to just the right place. Nike, Under Armour, Athleta, Adidas, New Balance and Reebok ALL offer gift cards that can be emailed directly to your recipient. Who wouldn’t want an awesome new outfit to rock during that New Year’s Day workout right?
  • One place: ITUNES. This gift card will allow your buddy to load up on hot new tracks to fuel hard-core workouts. You can get any amount and these make AWESOME stocking stuffers too.
  • How about a small gift bag full of gym goodies? Opt for a nice sweat towel (or 2), socks, makeup wipes, deodorant, body spray, flip-flops (for the gym shower), small tooth brush and tooth paste (or wisps), and a lock to keep it all safe.
  • If you’re looking to spend a little more, consider a calorie expenditure reading device. Think Body Bugg, Jawbone, or the Exerspy (my favorite).

Nutrition Nuts:

This is for those who don’t focus as much on the movement as they do on the health of their food. Few and far between, but they still deserve great gifts :)

  • Shakeology. 1 bag will last them a month and comes with loads of recipes. It will help promote weight loss, lower blood sugar and cholesterol and has also had positive effects on mood disorders.
  • Gift card to a local whole foods and a really awesome cook book. I am loving the Clean Eating series by Tosca Reno, It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snider.
  • Browse the recipes here and bake up some healthy goodies. It will save you money and give away what people value most: your time.

The Gamers:

  • Xbox One. Now, this is no cheap investment, BUT the Xbox One does have an awesome fitness component that comes free with a GOLD membership. Here’s a couple of things to consider: this will cost you over $500 for the basic console, so it’s not a cheap gift. Also, if you have a couch potato gamer, simply having popular workouts ON a gaming system does NOT seem to make them want to get off the couch (I have learned from experience). Overall, the Xbox One is a superior system with awesome graphics and much faster voice command than the previous console.
  • Dance Games. Dance Central and Just Dance can get just about anybody up and moving at least a few times. My daughter has all 3 Dance Centrals and that is her PE time.
  • Kinect Adventure games. You can jump into just about any sport with these games. Have you always wanted to skateboard, but fear the fall? Yeah, there’s a game for that. Skateboarding, rafting, volley ball, soccer, boxing, snow boarding, etc. You can be a sports star in your living room.
  • Kinect MMA Conditioning. This is my gig and is backed by NASM. You’ll get real MMA training and conditioning all while preparing you for the fight of your life: ownership of your own health.

Stocking Stuffers:

  • Small gift cards to ITunes, Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Beach Body, Nike, Under Armour, etc.
  • Raisins
  • Socks
  • Small sweat towels
  • Pedometer

And, for the BEAUTY in your life:

I couldn’t neglect this one because I am OBSESSED with it. Derm Exclusive is a dermatologist skin care line that has completely changed my skin. It lessens spots and wrinkles and is just all out wonderful for glowing, gorgeous skin. you can even get one month for less than $50. The beauty in your life will thank you :)

Derm Exclusive

LAST, but not least:

Consider giving a personal training session, package or consult. I offer all of those and I’m happy to help you figure out the best one for your loved one. :) You can reach me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Rockstar Training

Well, that’s it for fit gifts. I’ll be back on a couple of times before Christmas with more fit tips, so stay engaged and stay healthy!

Michelle

Thirsty Thursday: My Superfood

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RAISINS!!!!!

I promised you on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM the other day that I would give you the details on my latest Super Food obsession and here they are!

Raisins seem pretty simple right? I mean, other than being a dried out version of a grape, what can they possibly do for fit folks? Hold on to your hats, cause raisins are about to take your game to the next level.

Some of us (like me) enjoy our raisins in all different varieties and variations while others tend to keep it simple with dried fruits. Either way, you can reap benefits like these:

  • lower blood pressure
  • lower blood sugar
  • more intense training sessions

Let’s break it down…

LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE:

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that simply munching on raising for a period of 12 weeks, those with slightly elevated blood pressure levels lowered their systolic (the top number) by as much as 10.2

LOWER BLOOD SUGAR:

This may come as a surprise considering raisins general sweetness, but the American Diabetes Association  found that eating raisins 3x daily significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels by 16% in non-diabetics who experienced prolonged mild elevations of blood sugar levels, when compared to other snacks. Meaning: choose raisins over candy and protein bars.

MORE INTENSE TRAINING:

Don’t freak out! This doesn’t mean your sessions will actually get harder, but studies do show that raisins (most likely owing to natural sugars) can help you work harder. Researchers from the University of California, Davis compared the effects of raisins, sports chews and water on running performance (cardio). They found that those who consumed raisins had similar increases in performance as those who ate sports chews.

So there you have it! Science to back your dried fruit addiction :) Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  1. 1 ounce of raisins contains 85 calories. That’s about 1 small handful.
  2. Heating raisins, or throwing them into hot cereals, does change the texture and release a bit more sweetness.
  3. If you’re like me and can go overboard, consider purchasing the boxes of raisins to keep stashed in your purse or gym bag.
  4. Experiment with different colors and recipes.
  5. Add raisins to cookies, breads, crisps (a holiday fave around here), cottage cheese, yogurts, small bowl of nuts, hot cereals, salads, etc.

So, have a blast and boost your drive with these super sweet power houses.

 

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Peace, Love, and Lunges,

Michelle

What would a nutritionist do?

This time of year tends to be hectic for most and down right crazy for some, but there is an easy way to stay on track with your goals and keep your energy up.

WHAT IS IT?!?

The answer is found in your food!

Don’t clock out on me now people. This is important stuff. Just pay attention for a few more minutes…

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We get busy this time of year AND, let’s face it, we crave the goodies that seem to be more socially acceptable around the season. So we end up eating more overall as well as eating foods that don’t contribute to our energy levels in a positive way. HOLD UP: “You’re not really going to tell me to diet during the holidays are you?!?” Of course not! I don’t believe in deprivation at any time of the year, and I am a firm believer in little indulgences during the season. What I am going to do is let you in on the little secrets I use to stay in..ahem…bikini shape even during the holidays. Hey, you never know, somebody may gift me with a trip to the islands (hint, hint).

lemons

Let’s get started on those little tricks shall we? Grab a pen…

  1. Lemon water. You can do this ANYTIME during the day (or all day if you fancy it). Take the juice of 1/2-1 whole lemon and squeeze it into 16-24 oz water. Sip on it throughout the day OR drink it as a hot beverage. This trick livens up your liver so you can burn off more fat.
  2. Liquid meals. Now, I want to be very clear here: I do not promote meal replacements. I think they are part of the problem in our lack of weight loss and results. I do however, choose to enjoy a smoothie each day as one of my meals. I have a favorite meal and you can get the recipe for that right here in the archives. Check around this site or the great wide web for Whole Foods Smoothie recipes. These should be easy to make and top off at a calorie count of about 180-300, depending on the additions you throw in. I drink mine for breakfast, post workout, but feel free to figure out when you most enjoy yours.
  3. Don’t skip meals…but pay attention when you’re NOT hungry at meal time. This one can get confusing, but I’ll try to clear it up quick. Eat 4-6 small meals a day. The actual number will depend on your own lifestyle. I eat 5-6 times per day, BUT I wake up at 4 a.m. and I move most of the day. If your designated meal time (which should be about 3-4 hours after the last time you ate) has you still feeling full, the chances that you ate too much at your last meal are 100%. Scale down your portions to ensure you are hungry AND burning more fat, plus avoiding that pesky afternoon slump, all day long.
  4. Move daily. This time of year is actually a bit of a break for me. I tend to stick to whatever workouts I really and truly enjoy. Why? It keeps me moving. Yours can be walking, running, weight lifting, aerobics classes, Pilates, yoga, skipping, 10 minute sessions, WHATEVER! Just make it a point to move more. More movement doesn’t have to be all about weight loss. More movement throughout your day will help your joints, skin and even your energy levels and mindset. SO pick something fun and go get it!
  5. Hydrate. Even though it’s cold, you still need to drink water. If you indulge in extra sweets or alcohol, drink an extra 8-16 ounces that night before bed. Hydration is key to fat burning and warding off depression that can sometimes creep up in the colder months.

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Don’t forget! You can still grab a FREE copy of my new book: 5 Steps to Surviving the Holidays to get meal plans, workouts, recipes and even stress relief tips. Just email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com to find out how!

Healthy Holidays!

Michelle

TRUST is the Issue

I have to share some truth with you today: I too suffer from instant gratification want! This is especially bad when I’m looking into new programs or trying to change my body composition. There are many times when I feel as though my body should just comply since I’ve been doing this for so long! :) Sadly, that isn’t the way it works though…

As I sit here sharing this I am surrounded by reminders of my commitment. There is a cup of black coffee to my right and a food log to my left. This weekend I was forced to do some pretty hard studying into my own personal habits AND re-visit trusting the process. Here’s one of my best kept secrets: I am really good at maintaining. Change is difficult for me, but maintaining I can totally do. Well, a few weeks ago I decided to change things up. My body had become accustomed to my regular workouts and my food was clean, however the portions were out of control. Therefore, I maintained. I made the executive decision that I was no longer satisfied with maintaining and that I needed a new challenge to change some things. SO…I issued the flat abs challenge to you and changed my workouts. Here is pretty much how my week goes when these things happen:

  • MONDAY: feeling good with the new workouts and pumped about the challenge before me.
  • TUESDAY: sore is good (I actually do believe this) and I’m fueling for the fight.
  • WEDNESDAY: morning cardio is rockin….afternoon, not so much even though it’s a much shorter workout.
  • THURSDAY: feelin FINE! I feel slim, trim and strong. I’m slipping on clothes with NO problem…so, a few glasses of wine at Thanksgiving are cool
  • FRIDAY: Aside from dragging this morning, the workout was good and I’m ready for family time…this means several hours in a car and then a movie theater. More wine to commemorate the moment.
  • SATURDAY: Seriously?!? Tony Horton drives my crazy and I HATE this workout! It’s stupid and makes me feel uncoordinated. Who comes up with this stuff? Later….I hit a way too intense workout in the gym just to get it out of my system. BY NIGHTFALL: oh yeah, inflammation is setting in and my body thoroughly hates me….I blame Tony.
  • SUNDAY: yeah….jeans are too tight, shirt feels tight, I feel like a blob. Why? I lack in trust….

Can I get a witness from anybody who has been there? By the way, P90X2 is one of my workouts and it is EXTREMELY well sequenced, but it is challenging. So what are the problems here? Allow me to let you into my world.

  1. I’m fueling a lot, but not really correctly. I’ve been stressed out with work and eat as a means to avoid work or conquer boredom. Wow, it’s so freeing to say that :)
  2. I don’t trust that my workouts are working. This is stupidity really, and I find myself prone to it. Your workout will work, however it is the SMALLEST portion of your results and your day. Your food (and mine) is what makes the difference.

So, what’s my plan?

Pretty simple. I pulled out the old spiral, set alarms on my phone for meal times and adjusted some of my foods based on my goals. I am trying to drop about 10-12 pounds and basically fit into any pair of jeans in my closet. In order to do this, I have to take my calories down a notch since they are clean to begin with. I have also taken more notice in how foods make me feel. Salads give me loads of energy, bread strips my energy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out, you just have to be willing to see them. My beloved coffee creamer is out until Christmas (if I even want it then) and NO MORE WINE until then either. Hold me to that would you?

Small adjustments lead to big results. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time and TRUST THE PROCESS!

Michelle

P90X2

 

All I Want for Christmas is ABS

Bikini body abs should be a year round thing. Why? Because strong abs indicate killer dedication to your sport and if you work out regularly, guess what? You totally have a sport!

So, how do you GET killer abs and how do you maintain them?

Abs have always been my problem spot. I hold water and fat there like I’m in the middle of a plague. When I eat a few too many treat cals, they tend to party on top of my abs. If I miss workouts, the abs tell me. Now, perhaps they are my problem spot because I have always been most self-conscious about them, but we’ll move on none the less…

Since the holidays are upon us, it would be nice to have a helping hand in the ab department right? Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a clearly cut 6 pack over Christmas. What I am proposing is a holiday without bloating and crying over jeans that OBVIOUSLY shrunk in the dryer…duh. How does that sound? Pretty good right? I mean, how awesome would it feel to wear the same jeans you wore in July on Christmas day? Rock on.

What will it take from you? Easy. I’ll be doing the leg work. I’m going to be posting my workouts and meals via Twitter and Instagram. Now, since my insta feed goes directly to Twitter, you need only follow one and it’s RIGHT HERE. My workouts will consist of DVD’s I have reviewed on the blog. I’ll be totally honest with you up front: I’m doing a blend of Turbo Fire, Chalene Extreme, and P90X2. My diet is pretty basic with no crazy foods you have to travel across the globe to obtain. Don’t own the workouts? You can grab them HERE…OR you can leave a note in the comments with the DVD’s you do own and I’ll let you know a good rotation.

Why DVD’s? This time of year requires no brainer exercise. DVD’s make it possible for you to hit play, go to town, then finish up and get on with life. You can choose ABS, cardio, strength training, etc. based on the time you have available and the energy level you have (always on high right?). In a word, it’s EASY. That’s the key when sticking to a workout regimen, especially during the holidays. Think of it like a trainer in your living room.

The diet is the biggest factor when it comes to flat abs. Be prepared for the basics as I don’t do fancy stuff when flattening abs. I can tell you what I do though: I avoid dairy, wheat, and alcohol during this time. I know, that sounds crazy around the holidays, but it can be done. Moderation will save your life :)

Need an idea of what to expect?

weight training abs

This was earlier this year when I was on Turbo Fire and P90X2 along with my flat abs eating plan. THIS was taken a mere 14 days apart! We don’t starve as that leads to more bloating. You can expect a food pic every 2-3 hours and chances are you’ll have the food on hand. So, leave a note in the comments if you want to join up! We have one month until Christmas…who wants to get their abs going BEFORE the New Year?

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

Thirsty Thursday: Pre-Thanksgiving Game Plan

Good Thursday People!

In one short week, many of us in the US will be overindulging in the time-honored tradition of Thanksgiving meal with our loved ones. It may seem tempting to forgo this meal in order to stay on track (or in order to avoid the crazies), but that is taking it too far. You can stay on track and in shape throughout the entire holiday season if you set a little time aside to be prepared. Lucky for you, I am the queen of prep :)

First, this week isn’t over yet! Get some workouts in before the big feast. Strap in your running shoes and log some mileage instead of online shopping (GUILTY!). You’ll feel better and save money in the long run. Download a FREE 7 day gym pass to your local 24 Hour Fitness and use it! Think of it like this: even if you don’t plan on ever setting foot in the gym, get your sweat all over as many things as possible during that 7 days. And don’t just sit in the sauna crazy…that doesn’t burn calories or count as a warm up. Need a pass? Grab it here: www.24hourfitness.com

Second, I have 3 words that will ensure you don’t begin Thanksgiving meal feeling bloated already: smoothies, salads, soups. It really is that easy. Start now by having a smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch and soup for dinner. This keeps your calories low and nutrition high. Supplement with snacks made of fresh veggies or even low-fat yogurt if needed. Drink up on your water and cut out sweets and breads. Why? Sweets and breads lead to more cravings, so if you’re already indulging it would stand to reason that you will want to eat ALL of the sloppy sides and desserts Thanksgiving has to offer.

Third, plan out the aftermath. Don’t be caught off guard! The most important thing is this: DON’T KEEP LEFTOVERS! If you are hosting, pack them up and send them home with guests. If you’re attending, do not take your hostesses goody bag of treats as they have obviously read this post, cheaters. If you feel as though it is wasteful not to keep the food (because it serves SUCH a great function at midnight as you eat standing in front of the wide open refrigerator) here are a few ways to donate food:

  • Contact your local shelter and see if you can drop off plates.
  • Contact your local church prior to the big day and see if you can drop off extras OR if they can point you in the right direction.
  • Give it to your neighbors.
  • There are quite a few businesses still open on Thanksgiving. Take plates to the workers, example: local prisons, police and fire departments, hospital workers, etc. Many of these people give up their holidays to ensure the safety of ours.
  • Make plates for the homeless in your area and deliver them. You get bonus points for taking a blanket too.

There are plenty of ways to use the food other than trashing it in the can or down your own throat. Enjoy it, then get it out of there and get back on point.

Last, along with moving plenty after the big day, consider a brief cleanse. I’m not talking the crazy ones here, just a gentle way to get everything back on track. For some, this can simply be giving up all sugar until Christmas. For others, maybe it’s alcohol (I won’t judge). Some need a bit more help and for those few I suggest The Ultimate Reset. It really is just like hitting the reset button on your body and works in 3 weeks! That means you could be lighter by Christmas. And everybody will notice ;)

Keep your eyes open for coming events and big news. I’ll have a Healthy Holidays support group sign up next week and I’m only taking a few, so stay tuned! Want to know quicker? Sign up for the newsletter!

Healthy Holidays to you and yours!

Michelle

Rockstar Training

Healthy Holidays: A Fail Safe Plan to Tighten and Tone during the Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving creeps up upon us (aaahhhhhhh! It’s RIGHT THERE!), most of us have a tendency to simply wave goodbye to those New Year’s Resolutions and vow that next year will be better…

Well, SNAP OUT OF IT PEOPLE! There is no need to tap out just yet. Take it from me (I usually lose weight during the holidays…stress?), you can tighten and tone while still enjoying the season, even if your loved ones are not so enjoyable.

Care to know my secrets? I’m telling you anyways so read on!

1. CIRCUITS RULE!

During this time of the year, I bust out the circuit training instead of focused muscle workouts. You know, leg day, shoulder day, eyebrow day, etc. The reason for this is simple: my time is gold and I don’t care to waste it. If I’m dragging my butt to a workout, it better work fast! Circuit training helps to burn more calories overall because it keeps you moving non-stop. Basically, circuit training involves moves completed one after the other with minimal to no rest in between. You may stop to vomit, but come right back… I kid! Wait at least 2 minutes after vomiting. :) OK, how do you get your eager little hands on some circuits? Well, there are LOADS of ways to do this, but perhaps I could make some suggestions. There are a few at-home circuits that I enjoy purely because they work (meaning I don’t always dig the personality and I don’t buy things just because somebody was on some show about weight loss, ahem). My 2 favorite circuit training programs are P90X2 and Chalean Extreme. Both have their pros and cons, but both really do work. Chalean Extreme is shorter in workout duration, P90X2 was NASM developed (my training school) so I’m biased because they rock.

chalean-extreme   P90X2 (disclaimer: I am a coach, I do use these, don’t hate)

What if you don’t dig working out at home because your family drives you crazy? Community center and gyms will often have discounted rates on classes during the holidays. If you don’t see a discounted rate, ask for one people! Want a totally FREE workout? Many gyms offer a free sampling of fitness classes on Black Friday and it sure beats standing in line. If you have a gym membership, but hate classes, ask for a free session with a trainer and ask them to set you up with an easy circuit. Will they be happy you aren’t signing up for sessions? NO. BUT….if they treat you right and help you out, how likely will you be to sign up later on? It’s all in the approach, so make sure you get good service.

2. LOG YOUR FOOD. Have I talked about this before? YES. Most people simply do not do it though and it drives me crazy! If it goes in your mouth, your body keeps an accurate record. You can’t cheat it. I always have clients claiming to be under calories, but they’re still gaining weight. Are they lying? I don’t think so. I think we omit foods that are seemingly small such as candy or beverages and we underestimate our portions by A LOT. So, keep an accurate record and measure your portions.

Side note: do not feel the need to write everything down Thanksgiving day as this could result in a terrible stress response and you family has enough drama without having to witness you crying into the gravy boat and then finishing off the pumpkin pie. If you stick with these tips, you can indulge without scaring small children :)

3. DON’T BE A LOAF. Oh my goodness, is anybody else finding themselves stuck to the couch, or is it just me? I have been so swamped with things that I find when I come in contact with the couch I am immediately sucked into a vortex of vinyl laziness. So, don’t sit on the couch! Or whatever furniture beckons for long snuggles from your rear end… make it a point to move a bit more. Get up and stretch every few minutes, do 10 squats every time you go to the bathroom (not in the stall people), walk around the whole store to get what you need, take walks on purpose, ride your bike that’s buried in the garage, do a sit up and then do another one! The list could go on, but at the end of the day it really is about how much you move.

These tips will get you started in the right direction for a tight Christmas and that ever lovely “You look great, what have you been doing?” compliment :) Soak it up, you deserve it!

Until next time, Healthy Holidays to you!

Michelle

1,2,3,4, Get Your Booty Off the Floor: The Workout to Combat Saggy Butt Syndrome

No matter your age or background, a tight and round rear view is something most of us aspire to. Tight, powerful glutes are a sign that you work for your physique and were by no means, simply born with it.

As we age, gravity takes its nasty toll and we end up with saggier bottoms than a diaper ad. We moan and complain about the crease between the glutes and hamstring (wait, that’s not supposed to be there!?!?! Nature would say yes, but I strive to defy that…) and wail about panty lines. Interesting fact: if your glutes are fit and tight, you won’t get panty lines since the panties won’t have copious amounts of fat to dig into. Now, if you suffer from HORRIFIC panty lines, buy the right size people! That info was totally free, please use it.

Lucky for you, I happen to be one of the most butt-obsessed people out there. Get your mind out of the gutter…I mean in terms of shape, form and function. I’ve seen them all and have struggled with my own battle of gravity. So now, I bring to you indispensable booty wisdom and a workout deemed to round out even the flattest of rears. Enjoy :)

aFTER 5

Saggy Butt Solution

After a proper warm up consisting of moving the joints to their full range and getting some blood pumping in the lower half, perform this circuit with minimal rest between moves. Once you master the moves, add some weight to make it more challenging.

Sumo Squats: 20x

Plyometric Plie’: 20x

Donkey Kicks: 20x each leg

Bridge Lift on Floor: 20x

Step Up: 20x each leg

Pop Squats: 20x

Rest for 30-45 seconds between each circuit and aim to complete the circuit 5 times. For all you mathletes that means 100x for each exercise. Add this circuit in 2x per week and you’ll thank me in a couple of months :)

booty pic

Workout Descriptions

Sumo Squat: Stand with feet about 4 feet  apart in a wide base, toes turned out very slightly and weight in heels. Push your butt back and lower your butt down, pressing body weight through heels. Come to knee level then squeeze your butt and stand tall. Add weight by holding weight in front OR by wearing a weighted vest.

Plyometric Plie’: Stand with feet in a wide stance as above, and turn toes out towards opposite sides of the room, weight in heels and forefront of your feet. Tuck your hips under and lower the tailbone towards the floor. Once hips are level with the knees, explode up pressing from heel to toe, then land soft and back into your plie’.

Donkey Kicks: From all 4′s, flex your right foot and push the heel up and away from the body as if slowly kicking in a door (cause we ALL know what that feels like), return and repeat on same side.

Bridge Lift on Floor: Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, slightly wider than your hips with heels as close to hips as is comfortable for your knees. Press down into heels and lift hips straight up, squeezing the butt tight. Slowly return to start and repeat. If you do not focus on squeezing the butt, your quads will take over, so focus and press straight up, not back.

Step Up: Find a tall step OR even 2-3 stairs (depending on your height). Place one foot right on top of the step, weight in heel. Press down through top heel and squeeze glute to step all the way up, then lower down with control. Repeat on same side and focus on that particular glute. Try not to press off the floor with the other leg.

Pop Squats: Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, toes and knees facing forward. Lower down into squat (bonus points for getting to knee level every time) then explode up, landing with knees soft and feet together. Jump back out into squat position for 1 rep. Stay low in your squat and keep knees soft when you land, abs in super tight. These should move fast once you get the hang of them. Need more of a challenge? Hold a dumbbell at your chest OR wear a weighted vest.

legs and glutes

Remember to FEED YOUR MUSCLE with quality foods that keep it lean and mean. Oatmeal, egg whites, whey protein and plenty of veggies will help to combat the overcoming pull of gravity, so load up!

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Healthy Holidays: Quick Fix Workout

As we enter into the season of joy and overindulgence, it’s nice to have some ammunition in your back pocket that will help you burn off some of those indulgences and keep it fit throughout the holidays…within reason ;) Try this workout 3x per week for maximum results.

Warm up with a light jog or power walk for 5 minutes

15 squats

20 alternating back lunges

50 jumping jacks

10 burpees (either a single or double leg)

15 pushups

30 mountain climbers

Jump rope (real or imaginary) for 2 minutes

Recover for 1 minute and REPEAT 2 more times

COACHES TIP: Keep your core engaged the ENTIRE time to work your abs and keep you spine safe and movements clean and efficient.

Give it a try all at once, or break it up throughout your day to rev up the metabolism. DO IT…then log it in the comments below :)

Peace, love, and LOADS of lunges,

Michelle